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Tag: video

Bruce Springsteen: Tougher Than the Rest

Friday, 23 September, 2016 0 Comments

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born on this day in 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey. In his new book, Born to Run, he reveals that far from being tougher than the rest always, he’s struggled like the most of us at times. You see, Springsteen suffers from clinical depression, for which he has sought relief through therapy and antidepressants. This makes his resilience and endurance all the more remarkable. But he’s never quit, he doesn’t give up and then there are all those fans: “Waiting for you to pull something out of your hat, out of thin air, out of this world, something that before the faithful were gathered here today was just a song-fueled rumor.”

“She was Italian, funny, a beatific tomboy, with just the hint of a lazy eye, and wore a pair of glasses that made me think of the wonders of the library.” — Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run


Paula Radcliffe: “The ability to run is a gift”

Saturday, 10 September, 2016 0 Comments

“The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky always.” So writes Haruki Murakami in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Clouds of all different sizes and big sky are constant presences in Run by the filmmaker Jack Weatherley. His subject is Paula Radcliffe, the English long-distance runner and holder of the women’s world record in the marathon with her time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, which she set in the Chicago Marathon on 13 October 2002.

After competing in the London Marathon last year, Paula Radcliffe announced that she had decided to end her long-distance running career. But she keeps on running.


Hey, you wanna hear a good joke?

Thursday, 25 August, 2016 0 Comments

Joshua Paul “Josh” Davis is better known by his stage name DJ Shadow and he’s said to own an exceptionally large record collection consisting of more than 60,000 albums. Run the Jewels is a hip hop supergroup formed by New York City-based rapper El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike in 2013. Their “fist and gun” hand gesture is iconic and beloved of graffiti artists. Nobody Speak is the title of their remarkable joint venture.

The lyrics are intriguing and the language is cryptic. This is English evolving.

“What more can I say? We top dealing it
Valiant without villainy
Viciously file victory
Burn towns and villages
Burning looting and pillaging

Murderers try to hurt us we curse them and all their children
I just want the bread and bologna bundles to tuck away
I don’t work for free, I am barely giving a fuck away”


We’re not just saving lives, we’re saving souls

Friday, 22 July, 2016 0 Comments

Tomorrow, Frank Turner is playing in Latvia, in Cēsis, to be precise. To give you an idea of how history has had its way with this region, Cēsis is called Wenden in German, Venden in Livonian, Võnnu in Estonian, Kieś in Polish and Цecиc Tsesis in Russian. After Latvia, Frank is off to the USA for a huge three-month tour and he’ll be back on this side of the Atlantic on 16 November when he’ll play Dublin, Ireland.

“Hear ye, hear ye, now anybody could take this stage.
Hear ye, hear ye, and make miracles for minimum wage.
Hear ye, hear ye, these folk songs for the modern age,
Will hold us in their arms.”


Instant indignation impact

Monday, 11 July, 2016 0 Comments

This is an era of instant indignation impact. People now spend hours online each day searching for videos, photos and stories about “injustice” and then instantly share them with others. The result is increased indignation impact. Social media has changed the rules and the playing field has not just been levelled; it’s been paved over. The antiseptic output from traditional media outlets has been replaced by raw, unedited, personal input reports from the front lines that have an immediacy that intensifies their emotional impact. This makes them more effective at triggering outrage and makes us more vulnerable to emotional manipulation.

The paradox is that many people would like their police to be militarized when confronting terrorists, but unarmed when confronting protesters. But what happens when the peaceful protest in Dallas is joined by the armed warrior Micah X. Johnson? Wanting to have our cake and eat it has never made for good policy, however.

Baton Rouge


Facebook predicts the end of text. Fail

Friday, 17 June, 2016 0 Comments

After 2020, Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, head of Facebook’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at a conference in London on Tuesday. Mendelsohn even suggested that the written word will be replaced by moving images and sound:

“The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn said. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

Does it? Facebook is said to be hosting eight billion views a day on its platform, but most of that is happening in silence. Millennial news site Mic, which is averaging 150 million monthly Facebook views, said 85 percent of its 30-second views are without sound, while PopSugar says its silent video views range between 50 and 80 percent. Note: Facebook counts a view at three seconds.

The result is that publishers are now creating videos that have the same look and feel and they increasingly feature text that does the talking, as it were. This Facebook video about a futuristic bike features visuals with a text explanation of the content. Prediction: Text will outlive Facebook and cat videos.


The Japanese are different

Friday, 3 June, 2016 0 Comments

First, the news the world has been awaiting: Seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka, who went missing in bear-inhabited forests in northern Japan after his parents abandoned him, has been found alive. Yamato’s parents said they made him get out of their car on a mountain road last Saturday because he had thrown stones at people and cars. After being reunited with his son, father Takayuki Tanooka told reporters: “The first thing I said to him was that I was really sorry. He nodded and said OK, like he understood.”

This clip by the Oh! Matsuri team about the Onbashira Matsuri (Sacred Pillars Festival) in the Nagano Prefecture offers a glimpse of what makes Japan different. Groups of men chop down 16 huge fir trees from the local forests and engage in all kinds of raucous ceremonies as they haul them to the Suwa Grand Shrine. The ancient spectacle is held across the region every seven years to replace the shrine’s sacred pillars.


Writer’s block today

Sunday, 29 May, 2016 0 Comments

“The last thing we discover in composing a work is what to put down first.”
Blaise Pascal

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, ‘look in thy heart, and write.'”
Sir Philip Sidney

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
Charles Bukowski


The stars come out with Chris Stapleton

Saturday, 19 March, 2016 0 Comments

Brief bio: Chris Stapleton is a 38-year-old Kentucky singer-songwriter who has written a series of chart-topping hits for other artists — Adele recorded If It Hadn’t Been for Love — and is married to fellow country singer Morgane Hayes. His debut solo album, Traveller, was an instant hit and his musical alliance with Justin Timberlake has spread his fame far beyond Nashville. The voice contains the souls of Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett and the songs are filled with the longing and loss that hallmarked the work of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.

“Everybody’s got a friend of a friend
Somebody that can get you in
Begging angels for a sin
In a game that we’re all playing
You and I, we’re gamblers holding cards that we can’t see
And I’m betting on you, you’re betting on me.”


For those who shall grow not old

Wednesday, 17 February, 2016 0 Comments

A great time was had by all in Paris last night when the Eagles of Death Metal resumed the concert that was so tragically interrupted by Islamists, who stormed the Bataclan venue and killed 90 people during November’s terrorist attacks. “The show must go on,” as Liberation put it.

And it will continue in Paris tomorrow night when Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats promise to deliver their very own Missouri-Colorado sound at La Maroquinerie. This will never get old.


Bernie’s excellent video

Friday, 29 January, 2016 0 Comments

The prize for the best presidential campaign video so far goes to Democratic Party hopeful Bernie Sanders. The appeal of “America | Bernie Sanders” is heightened by the use of the song America by Simon & Garfunkel from their Bookends album. According to Marc Eliot, author of Paul Simon: A Life: “America creates a cinematic vista that tells of the singer’s search for a literal and physical America that seems to have disappeared, along with the country’s beauty and ideals.” (That was 48 years ago.)

“Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together.
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag…

…Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America.”

By the way, Bookends was released in 1968, the year of the Olympics in Mexico City, where Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two US medalists, gave the black power salute during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Also in 1968, the Black Panther Party declared that every member had to study Mao Tse-tung’s Little Red Book “to advance his or her knowledge of peoples’ struggle and the revolutionary process.” Bernie Sanders has never publicly expressed admiration for Mao, but he joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party of America, while at the University of Chicago in the 1960s. You’d never think it when looking at “America | Bernie Sanders”, though. The “peoples’ struggle” has changed, but the song is still the same.