I couldn't have a blog called "Say Hello To My Little Blog" without including this weird little piece of something or other that was posted on YouTube a couple of days ago, and has since gone viral. Allegedly a video of a school play version of the 1983 Al Pacino/Brian De Palma hyperviolent splatterfest "Scarface", it turned out to be a hoax, at least according to the folks at TMZ.com - and we can trust them, right? The story is that the vid was actually shot by Marc Klasfeld, who apparently also produced Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" video. Now I don't know what to believe. And not sure if I should laugh, cry or shake my head and tsk tsk. The video raises far too many ethical questions to ask here, and I suspect everyone's got an opinion, but I just don't know what to make of it. But since it's April Fool's Day, and I love a good hoax I thought I should put it up. Enjoy. (or not)
Last week I spent a most interesting evening at Victoria's inaugural "Pecha Kucha Night".
"Pecha what now ???"
Pecha Kucha- a Japanese phrase which roughly
translates as "Chit-chat". As a format for the public sharing of
ideas Pecha Kucha has become a media phenomenon that now
takes place in close to 300 cities world-wide.
Began seven years ago in Tokyo by Astrid Klein and
Mark Dytham, this movement engages its audience on many
different levels, and yet the presentation itself if quite simple.
Here's how it works;
Pick 15 people who are involved in interesting projects in your community.
Give each of those people just under seven minutes
to present a slide show to an audience.
Limit each presenter to 20 slides.
Invite the public.
The place was packed.
And, except for a few small technical glitches,
the format worked like a charm.
The producers of the show were smart enough
to mix in enough variety so
the audience was presented with a wide range of topics.
From Eco-utopian ideals to self-promoting artists,
the presenters all gave us an intense and thought- provoking evening.
And there was a bar.
The show was billed as "An Evening of Thinking & Drinking"
Afterwards I got to wondering why Pecha Kucha has been such a
success, both here and around the globe. After all, we can all
pretty much go on-line and get information about any of these
projects or artists via websites/blogs and social networks, right?
Butin this age of instant information we often find ourselves
isolated in front of our screens and laptops, and Pecha Kucha
has found that people have a thirst for coming together for a live/public/in person exchange of ideas, outside of academia, and outside of whatever church they may, or may not belong.
Any complaints I have are minor;
a public Q&A at the end of the evening would have
made the show a lot longer,but it would have engaged the audience
a bit more, and, for future events I'd recommend more science,music,
The people that put together Victoria's first Pecha Kucha Night
are planning three more for 2010. I suspect they all will be
very well attended. Keep and eye out.
I'm already sick and tired of The 2010 Olympic Games. And they haven't even started yet. Living so close to Vancouver doesn't help any. The media over-kill is brutal. But at least I'm not living on the Lower Mainland. Amid all the Hoop-la, both pro and con, one has to ask the one big question-
"Is It Worth It?"
Is having the world (or those people in it who have access
to cable television) watch a two week long sporting event
worth what Vancouver (and Canada) have had to put up
with to put the damn thing on? In other words, what's in it
for us? We know the drill > jobs during an economic
slowdown > infrastructure > prestige > national pride
vs. the chaos and the clampdown. And the relentless
hype. Will the tourists flood our cities after this circus
leaves town? How much money will it cost to put on
the show? No one knows.
We do know that the "security costs" of 2010 are about
a billion dollars. And who, exactly, pays for that?
The one BIG problem that everyone seems to agree
Vancouver has, above all else, is the number of people
"living" on the streets. For a billion bucks you could give
a thousand homeless people a really decent condo and
a half a million dollars - EACH. It's nice to know we've got
our priorities straight.
We are told that these are tough economic times,
which is why Arts Funding have been cut in British
Columbia. As have School Board Budgets.
Sorry, our Government tells us, we just don't have
the money. But 15,000 cops and soldiers brought into
Vancouver? Not a problem. Security you understand.
And if Canada doesn't win Gold in the hockey finals-
well, the terrorists have won.
There are enough reports on VANOC's bullying
antics to make most Canadian's cringe.
The most succinct critique I've read on what the Olympics
have done to the very spirit of Vancouver is written
by Vancouver's own Poet Laureate (and, please,
don't let that scare you away) Brad Cran in this wonderful