As Mark McKinley puts it, “no collector ever says, ‘I’ve gone too far.'” After 27 years and an official Guinness World Record, he stands by that statement.
This story is republished from MEL Magazine. MEL aims to challenge, inspire and encourage readers to drop any preconceived notions of who they’re supposed to be.
For Mike Orr, a.k.a. “Sweet Lips,” escapism comes in the form of Wasteland Weekend: an annual four-day post-apocalyptic festival held in the Southern California desert that attracts thousands of people from around the country. It’s basically a giant celebration of end-of-the-world culture, where, per Sweet Lips, “people can do whatever they want.” This includes everything from hand-to-hand combat to burlesque to bonfires that set the night sky ablaze.
But most of all, people come to Wasteland for the cars — DIY war machines that look as though they’ve rolled right out of “Fury Road.” For his part, Sweet Lips is in a constant competition to outdo himself, always imagining, devising and constructing a junkyard monster that’s bigger and better than the year before. His main ride at Wasteland is a Camaro, the grill of which is adorned with a near life-sized mermaid (Sweet Lips rescued it from an aquarium where a bunch of turtles were constantly trying to hump it). And at the most recent Wasteland Weekend, he refurbished the hulk of the Exxon Valdez from the Kevin Costner bomb “Waterworld” (he bought it for $1). In other words: There’s nothing he won’t do to push the limits of Wasteland revelry.
Watch Sweet Lips’ story and get a taste of Wasteland wanderlust above.
“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.
Get up close and personal with the athletes of the reemerging ancient pastime of mallakamb, in Narratively’s first 360 film.
Once a year, residents of this mountainous island gather at two churches on opposite ends of town and launch 100,000 handmade rockets — directly at each other.
When Dee came out as a transgender, it meant the end of her marriage to Penny. And that’s when the empowering journey for both women truly began.
As Chinese investment turns this mineral-rich region into a cash cow, does the Southern Mongolian culture have any hope of survival? A few families are willing to fight for it.
We humans are far more complex than the news headlines and clickbait would have you believe. Let the Narratively newsletter be your guide.