February 23, 2007

The Year Zero Spectacle Part III

The train is not slowing down on this one, in fact it looks like it's just getting started. This alternate reality/interactive environment/future concept album/viral marketing scheme seems to get more and more complex, intricate and enveloping by the day. Here's the latest:

- The cover for Year Zero is believed to be this picture. That's a picture of "The Presence," the potential drug-induced hallucination, government ploy, or God itself.
- Confused? If you're not, then I do not think you have been paying attention. Rolling Stone has a writeup which serves as a good, quick summary of how and what has gone down so far.
- There's all sorts of stuff going down at the official Year Zero page. Aside from the hidden images (scroll around, you'll encounter them) is the observation that a mark next to one of the song titles on the tracklist leads to the discovery of a USB drive at a NIN European concert venue bathroom. More obviously though, there's a trailer for the album which includes a visit from The Presence. The street sign which is shown for just a fraction of a second reads "I Am Trying To Believe," one of the many secret websites unveiled so far.
- Speaking of found USB drives and the mysterious treats they contain, another leaked track, "Me, I'm Not," has surfaced. You can go here and reap the benefits.

Meanwhile, as referenced here previously, you can fill yourself to the brim with YZ info, rumors, theories, and add your own over at Echoing The Sound.

Then there are the literary allusions (The Hobbit and Slaughterhouse V in particular) , the sound clips, the phone numbers, the email auto reply, etc, etc. The plot is thicker than you can imagine.

Personally I think the best way to do this is to explore the websites which weave together the story and provide the basis for most of the other clues. These websites are as follows:

# I Am Trying To Believe
# Another Version of the Truth
# Be the Hammer
# 105th Airborne Crusaders
# Church of Plano
# Consolidated Mail Systems
# U.S. Wiretap
# Art Is Resistance

But honestly, who can piece this all together without a little bit (or a lot) of help? That's why God (or The Presence) invented wikis. The NINWiki has all the data so far organized as you would expect, by category and into discrete sections. It's by far the best resource out there to track, compile, and review information. Enjoy.

Trent has talked about how Year Zero is a "soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist." My question is, how much longer will this movie not exist? With the interest and buzz this game is generating and the energy that both Trent and numerous fans have put into this, it seems like only a matter of time. I sure as hell hope so anyway. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a coherent narrative. But you gotta admit this would be a killer sell. Think "V for Vendetta" meets 1984 meets Brave New World. Reznor has not ceased to shock, disturb and frighten us yet.

Coming in the near future: An analysis of how all of this leads to Trent's response to the neo-fascist, ultra-conservative, radical right governance of the last several years. Stay tuned.

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