It used to be that we would say the famous people died in groups of three.
I think by now everyone acknowledges the enormous amount of suckage that 2016 represents. Yeah, sure, people who are famous die. And yeah, there are a lot of people who are paying this year for choices they made when they were younger. And we’re all getting older.
That doesn’t mean it gets any easier, especially when our icons are dying daily. We just can’t keep up, can’t recover.
I was never much of a Wham! fan, because the music was way too pop-oriented for an edgy New Wave fan, but they were in the clubs when I was, and the music was all over the radio back before I stayed tuned to NPR most of the time. It wasn’t until Freedom hit the airwaves that I really paid any attention to George Michael.
This song became one of my anthems, intended to be sung at the top of my lungs in the car.
I’m sorry that fame comes at such a price, that we do what we do to those who live a different life. Sorry especially for the ones who crash and burn early. His was another unique voice silenced in a year that has hit the music industry hard and its fans harder.
Time lapse video shot with my Nikon D5100 over the course of the storm.
Got a slightly late start, had a couple of instances where the battery ran out and I needed to replace it, and had to move the camera about 3/4 of the way through because of moisture outside the window.
The ghost at the left of the frame is me, working on my computer while the camera went off.
Total accumulation here: 19″ as measured by me off my back deck.
This is the one and only repeat video, because I just couldn’t resist. Now with new and improved second link!
Viral video responses to real world events. They’re a thing. And particularly appropriate, given last night’s Alberta Clipper in the DC region. Schools delayed or closed over the equivalent of two inches of snow, because we were too busy preparing for #SnOMG!, the 2016 edition.
Honestly, you’d think people would remember that this is what happens when El Niño is active, but no. Not so much.
So here’s today’s installment, viewed over 14 million times. Accept no substitutions.
Bread and Milk
But wait! There’s more!
Bread and Milk – Part 2
Now go forth and conquer the grocery store. Hurry. Before it’s too late!
It’s so easy to get distracted by the things in life, just in general. As I’ve gotten older, it seems there’s some new thing to deal with every day, and some new reason to move away from established habits. I’ve let this blog slide because of that, but today’s Twofer Tuesday selections come in direct relationship to the discussion of #YesAllWomen, #NotAllMen and #AllMenCan, the three hashtags accumulating their current fifteen minutes of fame.
I would like to think that the discussion will outlast the next few weeks, and that we will continue to explore our views of sexuality and violence as they relate to gender and equality, but I think Ingrid Michaelson got there first.
I don’t even remember how I got turned on to the first of these videos. I may have mentioned before that when I was a kid and MTV still played music (a statement that dates me instantly) I watched everything, and Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” appeared in heavy rotation back then. I disliked the video, even as the music caught my attention. I’ve included Palmer’s original for reference, so you can see shot for shot, how well the director pulled this off.
Now that the distraction has become an extended discussion about the foundations of communication between men and women, this seems most fitting of the videos I’ve collected in my playlist, so I’m presenting it to you for further comment.
It’s likely that there aren’t a lot of people today who remember the noise and furor surrounding the publication of Playgirl magazine, the first porn magazine directed at and for women. Reading the Wikipedia page tells you nothing about the handwaving that surrounded the publication. Chippendales, with a sordid history of violence, bankruptcy and legal issues. Objectification of men just doesn’t happen all that often, so when videos like this one come along, they’re eye openers.
(Here’s Robert Palmer’s original, for reference.)
Now the thing about YouTube is, if you watch one video, you’re often presented with similar videos to watch that follow up on the subject matter, the artist, or the action in the video. So I watched this follow-up and liked it a lot, because it’s much more real than the first video. It speaks volumes about the difference between seeing someone as a whole person and seeing only what you want to see. It’s sad that people don’t check the entire package before buying for the pretty wrapping outside.
I’ll note that the first of Michaelson’s videos has reached viral status. The second has under 150k hits. That’s a shame but not a surprise.
A few months ago, while exploring Time-Based Media options for class, I came across these videos produced by DeFrees Productions. generated with a couple of [Sound and Video warning] GoPro cameras and a LOT of time on the road, Brian DeFrees created these videos from around 200,000 images.
I’ve wanted to do something like this for years, but from inside the car. Been pricing out GoPro cameras, thinking that might be the way to go. I dunno, but these are awesome, particularly since Brian hit a lot of the highlights I’ve seen.
Roadtrips were a staple of my family life from the time I was around 8 years old until I settled in my current area. I’ve started taking them again because I miss travel and because for me it’s much more about the journey than the destination. I like the concept of camper travel (never did it as a kid – we were all about car camping then) but the cost of gas makes me think it’s not practical. Maybe if I could get someone to back me for it…
Well, while not precisely history, there’s a lot of history behind the sights and sites Brian visited.
Having just completed a class in Time-Based Media, I have a much better idea of how this video was constructed, but the mechanics aren’t the point. Watch how women are represented in art as we slip quickly through five centuries of artistic representation. Notice how often the woman’s eyes are downcast, and notice how shape, color and texture changes.
Art is an idealized form. Even in photography, especially with the tools available through Photoshop and similar editors, truth is often elusive. These are the ideals of the eras, or the truths viewed through the lenses of their artists, most of whom were men.
This Mother’s Day, consider how often we try to reach for the ideal and wonder whose ideal that is. We don’t live in an ideal society. We live in the real world, and our connection to that reality is manipulated all the time.
If you’ve watched this video before, watch it again and consider the filters through which you view your own life.
So, normally this space is reserved for embedding YouTube video, but today I’m highlighting a show that you can watch on broadcast, cable, and streaming online.
When Carl Sagan’s original series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage originally aired on PBS, I was hooked. I already thought of the Strasenburgh Planetarium as my favorite place in the city, growing up in Rochester, but here was a trip to places unseen and science made so clear and easy to understand, I didn’t miss an episode, rewatched the series every time it aired, and eventually bought the DVDs.
Neil deGrasse Tyson returns to Sagan’s exploration of our universe, but adds dimension and knowledge gained since the original aired almost 35 years ago. His series should serve as inspiration for learning more about our world.
Sadly, there are places where the concepts he talks about are considered sacrilegious, and not everyone sees the broadcast.
If you’re in a place where censorship has taken away the free broadcast, there are other options. I watch the show on both Fox and on Hulu. You can also find it on National Geographic Channel and Netflix Streaming.
It’s Feel Good Friday, and just like that, I’m back.
Really, though, this is an attempt at feeling better, knowing that there’s a whole lot of awful stuff going around today, especially in my personal Facebook feed.
It’s hard to think of a reason to smile, which is why these posts exist. Thanks for sticking around – classes are just about over for me and I’ll probably include a couple of my own pieces in the coming weeks, when I think about it.
Ephemeral as it is, YouTube has a wealth of information. This video’s making the rounds, but there’s only one original and it belongs to Margaret Hutto. (Hint: It’s the link below.) Accept no substitutions.
I know you folks have been waiting with baited breath (eww) for the next post in the series. I’m 20 days behind now, and I’ve decided that the better part of valor is to let those days go, and restart this week with the looser theme of “whatever makes me happy or think or smile” instead.
And on this day, seemingly random though it may be to most of you, I am picking from a different source. Queen’s song, with Bowie’s counterpoint, is a chilling reminder that there are people who find it hard to swim through the daily grind, who exist outside the bubble of happiness, or at least, can’t quite push themselves to one more day of the same. For whom joy and happiness remain permanently elusive.
I’m not inclined to drift that way because I quite firmly believe this is the place, and that there’s nothing on the other side to greet me if I cross over, but for some people, the pain of day to day living is simply unbearable.
We lost one of those people last night. The signs were there. Heck, some folks would say the signs have been there for a few weeks. But I missed the one key post, the warning. I sat up through a lot of last night, just feeling like I couldn’t go to sleep.
This morning, I knew what the signs were pointing to, too late to do anything but stare helplessly at the news.
Those cries for help? Take them seriously.
For my friends who are struggling every day, because the pain is so hard for them to bear.
I would post the original and leave it at that, but we don’t have rights to see it. Odds are excellent these will go away within the year, too.
Okay, so this is another throwback (might be that way for the whole week, at this rate), but Paula Abdul’s dance is infectious and the animation for her performance partners, The Wild Pair (originally credited as MC Skat Kat), the video employs a technique similar to Gene Kelly’s Anchors Aweigh and Invitation to the Dance.
It’s one of my favorite music videos from the ’80s, because of the animation and the dancing.
My musical tastes spring from late ’60s Motown, R&B and folk, ’70s psychedelic and classic pop & rock, and the ’80s New Wave movement. I’ve liked some of the newer stuff, but not much.
There are a few artists who transcend time and style, who produce classics that defy pigeon-holing when describing their work.
Cyndi Lauper made hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “She Bop” popular in the clubs, and yeah, they’re fun to dance to when you’re out in a club or at a party, but they’re not substantial like these two pieces.
True Colors and Time After Time both have a smoky quality and more heart than a lot of the music that came out of the New Wave. The video shows she went there long before Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Björk.
This video began to make the rounds in my feed shortly after the 2012 elections. I’m sorry it didn’t start to circulate before the election, but now that 2014 is on us, it’s time to revisit the subject, especially in light of Robert Reich’s new feature, Inequality for All.
If you don’t have the time or the patience to sit through a full-length documentary, here’s a summary (not directly related to the movie) that should spell it out for you.
I encourage you to watch the full-length movie, though. It’s available online through a variety of sources, including Netflix streaming, which is how I watched.
I’ve been howling about Trickle Down economic policies for decades. Here’s why.
In 1994, Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland wrote a book called, simply, How We Die.
On March 3rd, Dr. Nuland died of prostate cancer. This week, Krista Tippett featured an earlier talk with Dr. Nuland about his various books and his views on spirituality in her weekly NPR show, On Being.
Until this week, I didn’t know of the book’s existence. I still haven’t read it, because I’m presently swamped (as you may have noticed from the erratic way in which this blog is being populated at the moment). Based on the radio show, which I listened to this morning while trying to adjust my internal clock to the new Daylight Savings normal, I’ve decided the book needs to rocket to the top of my reading list. And, I think, perhaps for my friends as well, as this has been a bad week for a number of them.
The majority of my friends are older (in the vicinity of, or over, 50), and most are dealing with the aging and illness of parents and their siblings, but one of my friends just lost a battle with H1N1 and pneumonia at only 43. It’s not clear to me from this obituary whether I will agree with all that he writes, as I believe quite firmly in speeding up the process if the person is ready to go and wants to exercise the option, but I found his words this morning to be worth further investigation.
Here’s a TED talk featuring Dr. Nuland on the subject of hope rather than death. I recommend listening to both this and the On Being show as well. Expect more of these over the coming months. I’ve found many of the TED talks intriguing springboards for further conversation. I don’t think I’m alone.
Fast forward to today (for real) and the video below that hit YouTube on March 3. In just five days, the video has accumulated some 11 million hits. Sadly, if you visit the Wikipedia entry for the BTTF II Hoverboard, you’ll see it’s the hoax I expected it to be.
Sad? No, not really. The video gave me a smile.
Just don’t be that gullible maroon who thinks this is actual science. It’s not. It’s just movie magic.
It’s one-hit-wonder time today, with Kajagoogoo‘s Too Shy, a video I liked a great deal when I used to watch MTV (back when they showed, you know, music).
I always wondered what happened to them, because I knew there was something that happened. Limahl broke away (well, not really, according to Wikipedia), and eventually made a hit out of the theme for the movie version of The NeverEnding Story.
Ah, well. The backstory is seldom as nice a read as the art produced.