Still a bit shaky, but I seem to be feeling better. Good thing, since my fam is arriving today for a brief visit.
I have been finding myself using visual distractions more than usual. Yesterday I watched several videos. The dance in the one above is a work of art. I barely noticed the bland music but was captivated by the choreography and execution of this amazing piece. A bit embarrassing that the dancer is a reality TV show star, but what can I say? I think it’s excellent.
I do find myself less and less interested in commercial popular music. I keep poking around looking for new things to listen to, clicking on things recommended by friends and fam. I made a spotify playlist of the albums in a recent NYT article about music in 2014 by Jon Carmanica.
I found a few things so far in the NYT article that I sort of like. The Vince Staples album above for example and Girlpool below.
Perhaps like so much of my personal taste not for everyone but my first impressions of these two albums is that they are doing music not just a bland bid to go viral in the age of the interwebs. I’m gradually working my way through the rest of the list.
Speaking of popularity, I was surprised to find myself attracted to the Beyoncé video below.
This entire piece draws me in. It uses the stark smile of the beauty contest contestant and the ritualized waving to make a deep critique of the objectification of women in our society and the pressure put on them. I find it particularly heartbreaking at the end when Beyoncé reaches into her own actual past to play a clip of her as a child receiving an award. Damn.
Anyway, I think it’s good.
I thought about putting these two videos up on Facebook and soliciting responses. I did in fact link the original Rolling Stone Article of the best videos of 2014 there. So far no one responded. I grow weary of the crowded paper thin world of algorithms and manipulation. Fuck it. I’ll put up what I think here.
And what I think is that I continue to find things of interest in popular culture, just not the most popular stuff, I guess. It is difficult these days to find stuff because there’s just too much of it and there are fewer and fewer coherent curators to guide me.
Eileen and I have been watching the series, “The Story of Film,” on Netfflix. It has drawn me back into the idea of film in a very good way. It is a savvy look at the entire world of film, not just commercial films from the West. I am finding it very educational and making notes of what movies I might want to look at. Plus the sardonic voice of Mark Cousins is delightful.
The Best Non-required Reading of 2014 was on sale as a Kindle book yesterday. I bought it and read the first article, an artful piece of fiction called On The Study of Physics in Preschool Classrooms: Pedagogy and Lesson Planning by Matthew Schultz
Good fun. The sterile voice of the non-fiction self help manual is employed nicely. “Perhaps, if the work warrants such a reaction, fall to your knees and let your head become heavy with new insights.” Schulz has his narrator say. I admire that sentence and this phrase: “anything true is impossible to fit inside your head.”