Netflix's Floor Is Lava is the perfect background show.

By that, I mean it's a show that seems tailor-made to be half-watched while browsing the Internet, playing Animal Crossing on your Switch, or cooking dinner. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. If anything, Floor Is Lava might even be one of the best new game shows in years.

If you've seen the title, you already know exactly what Floor Is Lava is all about. Just like the make-believe game that literally every child in the world seems to independently invent, the floor is lava, so you need to climb all over the furniture to escape the room. No touching the floor...because it's lava.

Floor is Lava | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman.

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did.

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny.

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid.

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper.

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.


That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.


So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.


A Love Letter to "Jeopardy!," the World's Best Game Show

It's just the right blend of mind-numbing leisure with thought-provoking clues.

Hold your buzzers—Netflix recently added even more Jeopardy! episodes.

For my fellow introverts who don't care for sports but still love to yell profanities at their TV, this is fantastic news. Now, you can watch educators face off in the Teacher's Tournament. You can play along with Buzzy Cohen, the charming nine-game streaker dubbed "Mr. Personality" by host Alex Trebek. You can recall your own brace-faced awkwardness during the Teens Tournament, and feel an extra confidence boost when you actually know more correct answers than usual (until you remember these clues are written for literal children and you are in your mid-20s). The long-running trivia show has held a similarly ceaseless presence in my young life, from my mom watching new episodes after picking me up from elementary school, to the bartenders I worked with in college playing episodes on the restaurant television mounted between shelves of tequila. Now, I'm a full-fledged adult with a full-time job and a dwindling attention span. Jeopardy! hits the spot for the short bursts of entertainment my mind craves at the end of a long day of making content for the internet.

If Twitter is any indication, I'm not alone. "You guys very old episodes of Jeopardy is on Netflix so there goes my weekend," tweeted My Favorite Murder co-host Georgia Hardstark. "Petition for Netflix to remove Friends and upload every single season of Jeopardy," @gabrielledrolet proposed. User @smileandconquer announced "I'm 'watching Jeopardy on Netflix' years old," to which I say, I think we're all "watching Jeopardy! on Netflix" years old if we want to be.

The older I get, however, the more anxious I become, and the more often existential dread looms over my head. But, thankfully, Jeopardy! serves as a great distraction from all the things that make the world feel big and scary to me, serving up just the right blend of mind-numbing leisure with thought-provoking clues that make me say "I have no idea what that is." The show's rigid structure keeps each episode feeling familiar and easy-to-follow—which is to say, it's one of the few things in life I can depend on to be predictable—but with its constant rotation of categories and contestants, I never get bored: there's always the potential to unearth a topic I'm unusually well-versed in, such as, say, "America's Got Talent Season 5 Contestants" (I made that one up). Anyway, Jeopardy! is the best game show in the world, and even amid the countless streaming services available now, I would be totally happy with one dedicated entirely to Jeopardy!'s 8,000-plus episodes. For now, though, Netflix's allocation should suffice.