Adam Curtis: The Century of the Self (by therebel.org)
The four episodes of Adam Curtis’ most celebrated documentary series have been compiled in one video. I enjoyed ‘All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace’, and my interest was further piqued by Curtis’ blog. The first episode ‘Happiness Machines’, tells the story of how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays invented the term ‘Public Relations’ and used a New York parade to start women smoking. He “shifted America from a needs culture to a desires culture, and the American worker was made into an American consumer”.
‘The Engineering of Consent’ details the propaganda campaign that linked Guatemala with the Soviet Union and the overthrow of its democratic government at the behest of a fruit company. Marilyn Monroe is then persuaded by her psychoanalyst to move into a house similar to his and treat his family as his.
‘There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed’ explains how Wilhelm Reich fell out with Anna Freud and the rest of the psycholoanalytic community, and then sent to prison where he died. He is the chap who was played by Jack Bauer’s dad Donald Sutherland in that Kate Bush video.
‘Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering’ is the final episode and joins the dots more straight-forwardly than the other episodes. The right-wing parties in the UK and the USA dominate politics in the 1980s, and the left turns to public relations to find its way back into power. This necessitates changing its politics.
Charles Dickens Song from Horrible Histories (by itsmattymattymatty) via b3ta
Children’s television seems so much better than television for grown-ups sometimes than it might be a better option. This skewers Morrissey from the Smiths well, while being surprisingly educational about English literature. I’m not the greatest fan of Dickens’ prose, but he was a great social campaigner. I’ve probably spent more time watching adaptions of his work on the BBC and ITV than reading his actual books. This Charles Darwin song from Horrible Histories is very well written and performed as well.
I’m hoping that Falcons can avoid relegation again, at least. Even if Jimmy Gopperth has left.
- Leicester Tigers
- Northampton Saints
- London Wasps
- Exeter Chiefs
- Sale Sharks
- London Irish
- Newcastle Falcons
- Worcester Warriors
Bear in mind I am making these predictions in June 2013, before most of the summer signings have even happened.
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- Tottenham Hotspur
- West Ham
- Newcastle United
- West Bromwich Albion
- Aston Villa
- Stoke City
- Crystal Palace
- Hull City
I guess we’ll see just how accurate these predictions are. Difficult to tell how the newly-promoted clubs will get on.
George Monbiot’s new book is called ‘Rewilding’, in which he makes some of his boldest Green propositions yet. His recent articles in the Guardian and interviews have made the case that this will be possible without significant population reduction in an era when mass house building is required in the UK to meet the requirements of the population. He argues that this will be possible by changing practices such as the hill farming of sheep over an unrestricted area. This pleasant and optimistic video serves an introduction to Monbiot’s ideas. A Serengeti on every doorstep is an enticing, if unlikely, prospect.
(via Rewilding made simple, an animated guide - video)
This xkcd cartoon explains how I feel when I read the ‘Health’ sections of the newspapers. Huge amounts of Vitamin C, or anything else, are going to be poisonous. These agents are only useful once they have been tested in humans. Paracelsus said, “The dose makes the poison”.
‘Tottenham Ayatollah’ is a classic 1997 Channel 4 documentary by Jon Ronson, in which he follows Omar Bakri Muhammad around for the year. This Syrian man was exiled from Saudi Arabia for being too extreme, so came to live in London. Inadvertently he is frequently hilarious, whether he is collecting money to overthrow the West in Coca-Cola bottles or pleading for clemency when his dole money is stopped. It is clear where some of the inspiration for ‘Four Lions’ came from. This ‘revisited’ version contains a few extra minutes following the 2005 London bombings.
Voltaire said, “In my life, I have prayed but one prayer: oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it”. I guess silly people tend to have silly ideas.
London in 1927 (by Tim Sparke) /via b3ta
The way this video of London 86 years ago is filmed is romantic. Makes me pine for a past age that probably never existed. Easy to forget how much worse life was then with no welfare state, evidence-based medicine or free wi-fi. Why don’t people wear hats any more?
Daft Punk’s new album has been put on iTunes to stream free for a while, so those of us who aren’t music journalists can listen to their most expensively recorded output yet in low quality.
The initial response on the Internet is naturally snark, as can be seen in Fact Magazine’s collection of jokers trying to out-do each other. They seem to have successfully removed from the public memory just how much their last album didn’t live up to the quality of the first two, and how they were eclipsed by Justice in the French electro duo stakes.
Justice took Daft Punk’s sound and made it rockier and tougher. German duo Digitalism took the sound and made it more techy. English duo Simian Mobile Disco took the sound and made it poppier and quirkier. Justice’s second album didn’t bang as hard as the first one and went too proggy, Digitalism lost their touch and SMD turned tech-house, leaving Justice to reclaim the throne.
Never has a Daft Punk album used the word ‘dance’ so much, and never has it been less dancy. Hudson Mohawke tweeted about how ‘Get Lucky’ sounded like Breakbot before I did. Certainly the whole album is funkier than any of their previous ones. I nominate Chromeo for support act on their next tour.
Unlike other collaborators Nile Rodgers and Panda Bear, Paul Williams was a name that I had to Google. This older gentleman’s singing was charming in its own way, but did not entice me to investigate his back catalogue. Daft Punk, just because your last album was the music to a Disney film, does not mean you’re allowed to sound like you’re on the soundtrack to Beauty & the Beast.
It’s no surprise that Daft Punk’s music has slowed down as a natural consequence of age. Even Soulwax have remixes at a disco tempo now. But it would have been nice to have had one explicitly dancefloor track just as ‘Get Lucky’ is the explicitly pop song; something like ‘Da Funk’.
But the remixes are always better anyway, right?