Monday, October 28, 2013

Reed, Gaiman, Gillard and a bunch of weird and wonderful documentaries: A list of links

1. Lou Reed died. And news of his death and tributes and clips of his music are flooding through my social media and regular news feeds. 'Perfect Day' is one of my favourite songs. This version of it, packed with singers and musicians from all over the musical spectrum and used to promote the BBC, makes my heart sing. 

2. Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) is one of the folks stuffing my twitter feed with Lou Reed-related links, including this article he wrote on interviewing the man himself.. He retweets like a mad-man and links to some incredible posts and videos including this amazing Guardian article on the importance of reading and funding libraries (there's a devastating line or two in there about predicting future prison size/needs by looking at the literacy rates of little boys); this PSA video on birth control and sex education; this blog post on how Mickey Mouse shapes copyright; and this video by Catherine Bennett (a made-up pop-star invented by a nine-year-old). 

3. Hooray for The Guardian (Australian Edition) who've taken on Julia Gillard as a some-time contributer. Her first article/essay talks about Labor's future and a need to stick to their guns about carbon pricing as well as the pain of losing the leadership: “I know too that you can feel you are fine but then suddenly someone’s words of comfort, or finding a memento at the back of the cupboard as you pack up, or even cracking jokes about old times, can bring forth a pain that hits you like a fist, pain so strong you feel it in your guts, your nerve endings. I know that late at night or at quiet moments in the day feelings of regret, memories that make you shine with pride, a sense of being unfulfilled can overwhelm you. Hours slip by". She's also just written about the American government shutdown and the need to stop governing in crisis mode. 

4. A small number of Saudi women have taken to the streets, filming themselves driving. Brave ladies all, defying bans and their their government and their menfolk.

5. Gold does grow on trees! No really.

6. I am loving ABC iview and SBS on-demand. I’ve started heading straight to the docos section and have watched some weird and wonderful shows in the last few weeks. Most of the live video links have disappeared but if you can find some of these, watch them. The most amazing is Life in a Day, a joint project between You Tube, director Kevin MacDonald, the Scott brothers (Ridley and the late Tony) and the people of the world. Sewn together - the editing is A-MAZ-ING - from thousands of hours of footage shot on the 24th of July 2010, it's beautiful and banal and gut-wrenching and uplifting. Here's the trailer. Other's that I've seen recently are The Vasectomist (video link still good until November 20) about Dr Doug Stein, a whose mission is to save the planet from overpopulation and overconsumption, one snip at a time; and Men who Swim, about a men's amateur synchronised swimming team in Sweden (and mid-life crisis and making friends as an adult, immigrating for love, etc). If you have a spare 45 minutes to two hours, go and browse. There's some wickedly interesting stuff out there.

7. I may or may not also be watching Sex Rehab with Doctor Drew. This piece by Duncan Roy (one of those seeking rehabilitation) makes it even more interesting to watch, with me trying to pick out chronological errors and Dr Drew's ventriliquism.

Have you seen or read anything interesting lately? 

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