Darren Barefoot
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The Arts


News and comments about the arts. Mostly theatre.

August 30, 2003

I've never actually owned anything with Che Guevara's ubiquitous picture on it, but I was still interested to read this short essay examining the image's origins and popularity. Via the excellent and stylish Coudal Partners, who have no end of fascinating stuff.


11:11:10 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    The Arts

August 29, 2003

A great collection of pulp fiction book covers. They've been turned into postcards by some enterprising soul. I particularly like the romantic/erotic ones such as Naked on Roller Skates and (the downright surreal) Virgin with Butterflies. Courtesy of Coudal Partners.

10:14:12 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Books The Arts

August 26, 2003

Angels in America is my favourite play. It's extraordinarily well-written, wonderfully creative and a clinic in magic realism. It also happens to be about 6 hours long, all told.

So, it was with mixed feelings that I learned that Mike Nichols was directing a mini-series adaptation for HBO. My concerns were eased, though, when I read about the casting, which includes Meryl Streep, Al Pacino (in a role he was born to play), James Cromwell, Emma Thompson and (the luminous) Mary-Louise Parker (who, frankly, deserves an honourable mention for my freebie list).

Apparently it's supposed to air this Christmas, which is a little odd, as it's a pretty serious play about, among other things, AIDS. And I don't think there's much Yuletide content. But, what the heck, I look forward to it.


10:37:44 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies The Arts

Mentioning the Beachcombers reminded me a of a related, hilarious phenomenon that I learned about in Ireland. In the seventies and eighties, Ireland's national broadcaster, RTE, apparently purchased the rights to a ton of television shows from the CBC and National Film Board of Canada. So, Irish kids were raised all sorts of Canadian touchstones, including stories of Inuit, The Kids of Degrassi Street (and Junior High and High), Danger Bay, the aforementioned Beachcombers and many others.

This was handy, as it enabled me to make obscure references to Canadian shows among my Irish friends. They, on the other hand, were kind of bitter about the whole thing, and believed that Canada was composed of grizzled log hunters, moose and canoes. Which, in truth, is more or less correct.

I wonder, will the new generation of Irish kids get to see Degrassi: The Next Generation (regrettably, there are no phasers)?

Incidentally, I had a big crush on Caitlin (pictured above). She was the good girl on Degrassi, and, if I recall correctly, went on to university and much happiness.


10:04:35 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Canada The Arts

As you no doubt know by now, the BBC plans to put its entire radio and television archive online, free of charge. This amounts to an enormous gift to the world, and to history. It's truly a visionary decision for which the British government should be lauded. Danny O'Brien has some interesting observations about the decision.

That got me thinking about the CBC. What's the state of their archives? Could they undertake a similar project? Imagine if all national broadcasters made such a donation to the public domain. I emailed the CBC archives to see what their thoughts on such a project. Obviously it would be tremendously expensive and time-consuming, but I think it's absolutely a project worth doing. And not just because there are several episodes of Beachcombers that I missed.


9:58:06 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Canada The Arts The Commons The Long View

August 21, 2003

Todd pointed me to the hilarious and revealing Kittenhate.com (content probably unsafe for work):

We are a free, member-oriented community website geared towards keeping track of one's sex life online and in full view of the world. Through this, you are encouraged to seek out and talk to everyday people and see what their sex lives are like. People your age or ten years younger; on the other side of the world; in your very own neighbourhood. Same sex, or opposite gender. Whatever you feel like on any particular night or day.

The URL, of course, comes from a certain myth about wanking and kittens. This guy's been particularly busy. Poor kittens.


10:11:12 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet The Arts

August 20, 2003

Interesting article on Kuro5hin on exploring abandoned buildings:

It's the dead of night, and I'm stumbling through dense undergrowth, a weak pen torch lighting the way. Brambles tear at my clothes and bare arms. Ahead, Monty navigates with a stronger beam, and leads me and Pi up a steep incline. I give up all pretence of looking after my clothes and scramble up on my hands and knees, the torch held in my mouth. I slide down the other side on my arse into a broad trench. "Watch your step, it's along here somewhere," says Monty. We walk slowly, scanning the floor with our torches, and there it is - a featureless black hole in the leaf litter, just three feet across. With apprehension I realise that now I've come all this way, I'm going to have to climb inside.

This kind of appeals to the archaeologist in me, but I think these buildings would mostly be dirty, scummy and empty.


10:47:13 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    The Arts

August 19, 2003

This is bizarre, but strangely compelling:

All those stations, playing all that music, all the time! There's at least 40 different songs being played every week on most radio stations! Who has enough time in the day to listen to them all? That's why we've set up banks of computers to do the listening for us. They know what you really want to hear. They're trading variety for variance.

Eigenradio plays only the most important frequencies, only the beats with the highest entropy. If you took a bunch of music and asked it, "Music, what are you, really?" you'd hear Eigenradio singing back at you. When you're tuned in to Eigenradio, you always know that you're hearing the latest, rawest, most statistically separable thing you can possibly put in your ear.

Those kooky guys at MIT! What's next: optimized television? Actually, the soundscape that this project creates reminded me of the sound design in the opening moments of Contact, as we zoom in on earth from a galactic (universal?) scale.


10:19:20 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Technology The Arts

August 18, 2003

Links for the memories:

  • Be the first on your block to own a wireless chair.
  • While looking up the word smoot (a unit of measurement equalling five feet, seven inches), I re-discovered the most excellent Jargon Dictionary.
  • Laundry care for men. I take issue with this, as I'm a careful and thorough laundry-doer. In fact, it's my favourite household task.
  • This man is crazy (thanks, Bike Trouble).
  • The complete works of Troy McLure. Favourites include 'Leper in the Backfield' and 'Suddenly Last Supper'.

10:16:25 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Link Round-up Mixed Bag Technology The Arts Words