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Fortnightly Culture Thread April 11, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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gregtimo proposed in comments recently this idea:

I think you need a weekly culture section !

It’s a great idea but perhaps fortnightly gives us a chance to bring something new?

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1. alanmyler - April 11, 2021

There was a good article in the Guardian a week or two ago about how difficult it’s going to be for people to reacquire the habit of conversation in post covid social settings where everything seems to have been reduced to the past year to what have we been watching on netflix. It’s been a bit of a dry patch here for the past couple of weeks, a couple of attempts to get into a new box set and giving up after an episode or two. One recent addition to Netflix is the italian film Baaria, which is just excellent. Class struggle, communism, Sicily, what more could one want really, and 2:30hrs long, well worth watching. Herself commented that it was 2:30hrs of her life she’d never get back, but I’ve sat through plenty of dross on her behalf so we’re not even close to quits there. Musically, my Krautrock drive has waned a bit, and I was giving Gang Of Four a spin a bit while working. Books, I started into Helena Sheehan’s Marxism and the history of philosophy which is a good read. I’m out of my depth in it but enjoying it washing over me, so I’ll be delving deeper into it all I’d say. Still have a couple of Simone De Beauvoir books on the pile to be read too.

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

Baaria sounds very interesting. I wonder will it be so difficult to talk in the aftermath? I guess for some yes, but then again events/activities will restart one presumes so that will change things. People will move around (though I wonder about international travel, how soon that will start up in any significant way). And there’s always politics!

For myself still on a noir kick, saw Laura (1944), Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and Sweet Smell of Success (1957?). All great, all quite different. And the comedy on Netflix, Superstore, which is at times quite a realistic portrayal of work in stores – even has a union dispute which is resolved… well, I’ll say no more.

Also just started reading this alternate reality/SF novel, which so far is pretty great – set in a world(?) where instead of a Jewish state being established in the Middle East, instead it is established Uganda/Kenya in the late 19th century. Genuinely fascinating.

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/08/665308878/this-unholy-land-may-not-even-be-real?t=1618139463990

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6to5against - April 11, 2021

I went along with Superstore in the early episodes because it worked as something the whole family could watch – but now I’m into season 2 and I’m quite a fan. I think it really settled into itself after a while.

And the storyline you mention still ticks the family viewing box while also educating the youngsters about union membership – and about how difficult union organising can be! – the ungrateful feckers all drifting back to work as the organisers stay out….I’ve (nearly) been that soldier.

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

Hahahah, yeah, been there too. It’s all too true to life. I kind of prefer it to Brooklyn 99. I think it deals with identity issues in a really good way, and less self-consciously.

Glad to hear it keeps that up well into Season 2.

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NFB - April 13, 2021

Started watching Superstore myself recently. Took a few episodes for me to get into it, but as tends to happen with me one good joke and I’m hooked in this case the argument between the manager and Dina: “You want truth? Your podcast is a mess, no one wants to hear you ramble, just get to the interview!”

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WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2021

Yeah, that was great. It’s a kind of genius show. I love the snippets in between the main parts of it where it just shows people doing random/not entirely implausible stuff as they do in supermarkets.

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6to5against - April 11, 2021

Baaria sounds good. I’ve seen it listed but it’s to much work to vet everything you see pushed at you – which is why a thread like this is great. It does some of the curating for you.

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2. 6to5against - April 11, 2021

in the world of music, I’ve been very much enjoying Nubiyan Twist recently, and the latest offering from Valerie June….

https://nubiyantwist.bandcamp.com/

https://valeriejune.bandcamp.com/

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Fergal - April 11, 2021

Books… Collection of short stories by Flannery O’ Connor … she’s great
Came to this late but really enjoying The Americans…. the KGB agents undercover… full of suspense and varying plots… and some cool 80s political stuff too
Music… Phillip Glass

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

They look very good, 6to5 going to follow them up.
Amongst other things I’ve been listening to George Harrison, of all people, never heard anything of his until this last two weeks. His first solo album is very impressive – produced by ahem Phil Spector.

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WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2021

Wow, it’s a while since I listened to Glass, that’s another rabbit hole that beckons. I really like his stuff.

The Americans are great. Though I’ve not got through season one.

Flannery O’Connor, I was reading about her last year, first time she’d kind of got me interested. Really interesting, contradictory, conflicting person. And good writer.

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3. polly - April 11, 2021

I’m a bit behind the news cycle here, many of you will have got here ahead of me but better late than never, have just found Dick Gaughan.



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yourcousin - April 11, 2021

This is my favorite.

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4. NFB - April 12, 2021

Anyone else check out the latest Reeling In The Years. 2010 feels like a very long time ago. I was getting some anxiety remembering the Autumn sitting of the Dail that year and how bad things got.

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

Incredible, eleven years ago. And yeah, it really really got bad. And didn’t lift for a lot of people subsequently.

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5. Liberius - April 12, 2021

A few days ago I watched Arctic starring Mads Mikkelsen as a pilot stranded somewhere in the arctic circle, I really liked it, obviously its spartan dialogue (almost every word is spoken by Mikkelsen) and cold setting won’t be for everyone but if it doesn’t bother you then it’s well worth looking at, it’s very engrossing.

Also been looking at the series Biohackers on Netflix (where you’ll also find Arctic), not sure I can really recommend it, it’s a fairly sedate science & medicine thriller set at a German university with a new student seeking to unmask a celebrity scientist of low ethical standards. It could have been better than it has been so far (3 episodes in of 6), it also has one of the oddest credits to content ratios I’ve ever seen with near 10 minutes of credits in a 45 minute episode.

And continuing a theme from last time, I’m writing this with a set by Nina Kraviz playing on the TV, did watch a Modeselektor concert yesterday, didn’t take to the conceptual dancing in that.

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WorldbyStorm - April 12, 2021

That’s very interesting, thanks Liberius. Biohackers, might give a miss, but the others sound spot on.

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6. eoghan - April 13, 2021

If any of you are interested in western music theory here’s an interesting video on it and some of it’s implicit less-than-savoury implications that I came across during the week https://youtu.be/Kr3quGh7pJA

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WorldbyStorm - April 14, 2021

That’s really interesting.

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7. alanmyler - April 13, 2021

Somebody else posted this elsewhere in the CLR, that I can’t find now, but which was at the back of my mind to watch. Which I did this evening. It’s well worth a watch if you’re a fan of Eric Hobsbawm, and sure who wouldn’t be.

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8. crocodileshoes - April 15, 2021

Reading Ishiguro’s ‘Klara and the Sun’ and watching the Ken Burns history of country music. The latter a bit solemn but he can’t go wrong with the material he has at his disposal.

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WorldbyStorm - April 15, 2021

I’d like to see the Ken Burns doc, I have to read Ishiguro

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