Cameron Carpenter is a classical organist who takes his instrument very seriously. If you want to hear him play, check out his versions of Schubert's Erlkönig, Chopin's Revolutionary Étude, and his mostly Bach program at the 2012 BBC Proms (Toccata and Fugue in D minor excerpted here). For more background, see this NYT interview. But please watch that first video at least once -- you won't regret it.
Ayn Rand: More Relevant Now than Ever
The speaker was the CEO of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen. As the head of an investment bank based in socialist Denmark, Christensen is particularly enraged by high taxation, social welfare and banking regulation. "The world is on the wrong track," he told us. "A malady that has long beset Europe is currently spreading to the US". Apparently we are experiencing a "socialist revival" to which "Ayn Rand is the only answer".
Online pornography to be blocked by default in the UK, announces Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech today. Internet users will have to contact their ISPs to opt out of the filter. Possession of pornography depicting rape will also be illegal. Here is the full text of the speech. Coverage by The Independent, the Telegraph, and a shortened video of the speech at the Guardian. [more inside]
The United States Men's National Soccer team played a very, very, snowy game last night against Costa Rica. Costa Rica is not happy. A live blog of the events.
If you're sad that there's no Seven Samurai-inspired Star Wars movie in the foreseeable future, or if you want to view James Cameron's first feature film special effects, or early soundtrack work by James Horner, look no further than Battle Beyond the Stars (full film on YT; Wikipedia), Roger Corman's 1980 film that was inspired by Star Wars and Seven Samurai (by way of The Magnificent Seven). [more inside]
Every Thursday, Film School Rejects posts things "learned from the commentary tracks of an iconic movie": Commentary Commentary [more inside]
The Bible & Terminator 2: Heteroglossic discourse and poetic authority.
"How to make sense of Conspiracy Theories" [Part 1 of 9 from YouTube] Rob Ager is best known for his very thoughtful analyses of films such as The Shining [see also this analysis of the Overlook's geometry, previously], A Clockwork Orange [and supplement], Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Aliens, Taxi Driver and others. He has recently completed an analysis of the subject of conspiracy theories. "All of us, from time to time, will believe that two or more people in a particular context have conspired to achieve a mutual aim – be it cheating in a card game or engineering an international war. It isn’t by definition a lapse in logic to believe that a conspiracy has or is going to occur in a given situation. Conspiracies do happen and it is a natural facet of healthy thinking and self-preservation to seek out awareness of conspiracies that may affect our lives." [Text version, Ager's Collative Learning site]
The European Union said Friday that 26 of its 27 member countries are open to joining a new treaty tying their finances together to solve the euro crisis. Only Britain remains opposed, creating a deep rift in the union. In all, just 23 of the 27 EU countries signed on outright to draft a new treaty binding them to a uniform regime of deficit controls and budget regulation. Only one country said no: Britain. Three more say they are open to the idea. [more inside]
"Punk-artist-anthropologist Cameron Jamie has made three documentaries on violence; I’ve read about them all and seen just this one." The author speaks of "Kranky Klaus," LA-born artist Jamie's peek into the Austrian folkloric character Krampus, a sort of photo-negative of Santa Claus who comes on Christmas to punish bad children. [more inside]
Following days of uncertainty not witnessed since 1974, David Cameron makes a hasty entrance to 10 Downing Street, an hour or so after Gordon Brown made a surprisingly hasty exit. [more inside]
In a very unusual move, 20th Century Fox has decided to release James Cameron’s entire screenplay for AVATAR online. Read the script as a PDF.
Remember that cool house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Yeah...well it's for sale. Great house as long as you don't have a frustrated teenager and a Ferrari.
Julia Margaret Cameron did not begin her photography career until she was 48. She lived on the Isle of Wight in two adjacent cottages linked with a gothic tower that she called Dimbola Lodge. Many of her captivating photographs are of The Freshwater Circle, a group of artists and intellectuals centered around Alfred Tennyson, whose poems Idylls of the King, she illustrated with her photographs. Cameron's portraits of contemporaries -- Charles Darwin, George Frederic Watts, Edward Eyre, Thomas Carlyle, Julia Jackson (mother of Viginia Woolf) -- became significant because they were sometimes the only existing photographs of her subjects.
Webcameron. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, reaches out to the Youtube generation.
Growing Pains... In my PANTS! Kirk and Ray go to San Francisco and West Hollywood to witness to homosexuals, showing how to share the way of salvation without causing undue offense.
Don't like the results of legitimate scientific research? Make up your own! Conservatives (including GW) love to quote Paul Cameron of the Family Research Council on the effects of gay parenting. This Boston Globe articles tells what everyone should know about the man and his methodology.
Gay sex -- so good, it just might destroy the planet. Family Research Council founder Paul Cameron is frequently cited as an authority on sexuality by the religious right. In his view, "lesbians are particularly good seducers" and the thrill of gay sex is like "pure heroin" -- which is why homosexuality must be stopped before we all suffer gay-orgasm death, apparently. (I don't know about you, but after reading Cameron, I could sure use a... something in my mouth.) [via TBogg.]