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The Morning GIF: Karma Sutro

Now that's what I call "street view."


Lorraine Murphy

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 21, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 9:02 pm CDT

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

The terrifying Sutro Tower looms over the Bay Area like a gigantic crimson mantis, silently interposing itself between broadcaster and audience, intercepting radio, television, and other, more mysterious signals, passing on what it chooses. Burying what it does not.

“Dropped call” my ass.

Erected in a more innocent, mustachioed age, the 40-year-old behemoth was originally designed to relay television signals, back in the days when “broadcast” wasn’t just a metaphor. Doubtless it still serves the three or four homeless people with rabbit ear portables just fine, but since then, it’s expanded its reach to all forms of wireless communication and now perhaps only ye olde string-and-tin-can hotlines are entirely Sutro-free.

The La Lengua-centered blogger at Burrito Justice has a love-hate relationship with the titanic erection, alternately hailing it as a touchstone and denouncing it as an Orwellian freak of architecture. In his 21st Sutro GIF aka “what a bowling ball would see if you dropped it at 21st and Sanchez,” he invokes cheesy ’50s horror movies and brings the Monster to shocking life. As it approaches and recedes over a queasy-making series of vertiginous horizons it reminds pretentiously bloviating former Comp Lit majors of the unsettling questions raised by the unchecked rise of technology in the 20th and 21st centuries: technological utopianism, the Singularity fallacy, privacy erosion, the Department of Homeland Security, nuclear fallout, mutually assured destruction. Are we running toward it for protection or fleeing for our lives?

It is the Beast of Yucca Flats of the San Francisco Bay.

Sleep well, San Francisco. Sleep well.

GIF by Burrito Justice/Wordpress

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2013, 9:18 am CDT