Posts Tagged ‘video’



Wandering around the worldwide interwebs can bring up a clutch of conspiracy theories, to be sure, but this link offers some of the more interesting UFO and “ghost” sitings recently captured on video.

Are these UFOs? Ghosts?

If you have five minutes spare, click the link, have a look and tell us what you think.

Have you ever seen what you consider to be a UFO? Or a ghost?

We happen to think, based on no evidence whatsoever, that sometimes universes in the “multiverse” bump into one another in a way we don’t understand, and we see shadows of what’s going on there.

We recently watched one of those brain-snapping TV speculative science shows that argued there was an infinite number of number of universes in which with every action – in every moment, for the whole of time – the universe continually splits. Turn left walking down the street, one universe is created. Turn right, a different one is. Both then exist side by side, interminably, constantly re-splitting.

Apparently the maths works. And no, we don’t pretend for one instant to understand it.

Are these UFOs? Ghosts?


We also think that in the future conquering time travel is inevitable, and in the universe as it stands right now, we can’t possibly be alone. So the idea of future beings or aliens checking us over doesn’t scare or surprise us at all.

Hey. Other recent research argues that aliens will look like us, pretty much. And if all the aliens look like Scarlett Johansson, frankly we say they can invade tomorrow.

Arrested for dancing

Threatening the very structure of society. Not.

Police in Iran have arrested six young people and shown them on state television for posting a video online of them dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song Happy.

The song has sparked similar videos all over the world. But in Iran, some see the trend as promoting the spread of Western culture.

And women are banned from dancing in public or appearing outside without the hijab in the Islamic Republic. The young people claimed they had been encouraged to perform by a film producer who wanted to make a movie, and that he, not they, posted the short clip online.

Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia confirmed on state television late on Tuesday that the three men and three women were detained over the video.

State television also aired pictures of the video with the women’s faces blurred and then showed the six with their backs turned to camera.

On Twitter, Williams himself said: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.”

Theran: time for a new approach.

Tehran: time for a new approach.

Wellthisiswhatithink says: Once again, the authorities in Tehran show themselves absolutely tone deaf to what will make them look idiotic in the wider world.

Our view? In essence, the young people of Iran will not tolerate these restrictions on their freedom much longer. And an increasingly urbane and west-facing leadership in Iran will bend rather than break and lose power in another popular rebellion.

Iran is unquestionably the most influential anti-Western state in the eternally fractious Middle East. And the current Western stance on Iran boils down to, in effect, widespread sanctions and continual sabre-rattling. But all stick and no carrot only ever serves to create obduracy and stubborn resistance.

We are no apologists for a government that has been brutally cruel and treated civil rights with contempt, let alone fomented terrorist acts elsewhere and made the Syrian conflict even worse than it was going to be anyway. But if we do not seek to befriend – at least to establish mutual respect and courteous dialogue – towards the new regime in Tehran then others – notably the Chinese and new assertive Russians – will. At this point in time, we should be doing everything we can to engage the current Iranian leadership and bring the pariah state in from the cold. Perhaps the Obama team are actively engaged behind the scenes, perhaps not, but we frankly do not see the type of will-power and dramatic seizing of the day that was evidenced by Gorbachev and Reagan, for example, or Nixon going to China. Obama in Tehran? We’d like to see that.

As Churchill once remarked, jaw-jaw is always better than war-war.

Marina Shifrin. Writer. Comedian. Waitress. Love it.

Marina Shifrin. Writer. Comedian. Waitress. Love it.

So you love your company, but your boss just doesn’t get it.

You make videos, and you long to make the content so compelling that people will watch in their millions.

But your boss just busts your ass to produce more and more product.

So after two years, you make your own video, resigning. To prove a point. That great content MATTERS. That it gets hits.

So then you post the video on YouTube, and you say this:

“I have put my entire life into this job, but my boss only cares about quantity, how fast we write and how many views each video gets.

I believe it’s more important to focus on the quality of the content. When you learn to improve this, the views will come. Here is a little video I made explaining my feelings.

Wanna deal with me? Hit me up.”

So you post an interpretive dance video. Why, of course! Why didn’t we think of that?

Funny. Clever. Original. Witty. Appropriate.

Her [insert abusive expletive] of a boss should have listened to her. The video is currently pushing three million hits on YouTube, and has been featured on leading websites and in newspapers everywhere. Dur.

And we suspect Ms Shifrin will be in work again very soon, if she isn’t already.

Oh, and she can bust a move, too. You go, grrrl.

Which if you haven’t seen already, what’s the matter with you? As it has got 10.5 million hits.*

So, anyhow, that twerking stuff is so yesterday, ya know?

mileyHmmm. “Wrecking Ball.” Is it art? is it porn?

Well, yes, both, probably. She knows what she’s selling, that’s for sure. And for equally sure is the fact that she’s embracing her raunchy persona with great enthusiasm, so, you know, you can’t really say she’s being exploited.

Or can you?

Is there management behind her insistently whispering “Push it further, girl, push it further.” How would anyone know? Should someone take the girl aside and murmur, “You know, you’re really more than this, kid”? Because it’s hard to see where she goes from here, if not to star in a re-make of “Pizza Delivery Boys IV”.

OK, we know she’s making squillions, but we really cannot help but wonder what will she be when gravity takes hold of her perkier parts. Will she be “Highly respected recording artist, Miley Cyrus”, or “That fit bird who used to stroke and kiss the chain on a wrecking ball”? Will her career have longevity, or will she be discarded by this time next year, in favour of the next (and presumably more overt) gamine entrant.

We really dunno. And you know what? What gives us pause for thought is that it’s actually not a half bad song. Even if, when we asked our local culture guru Pat at the desk next to us, “But did you like the song?” he wryly answered with a smile, “Was there a song?”

We are not, at the Wellthisiswhatithink toil cubicle, a particularly censorious lot. We are on record as being comfortable with sexual matters. But we do, honestly, worry about this type of performance, and especially the impact it will have on young girls, and their self image.

To our minds, there is little difference, in reality, to the performance you see here, and the performance you’d see in a lap-dancing club or striptease joint. And would you take tweenies and teenies to such a place? We wouldn’t. Simply because there’s such a thing as “age appropriateness” to be considered. But how many of the 10.5 million viewers so far are … 16 years old? 14? 12? 10? Younger?

Parent's Poll" The red thing is (a) a handkerchief (b) what the streetwalker on 9th and Delaware was wearing last night (c) what your teenage daughter changes into when she goes into town for "a couple of hours with friends".

Parent’s Poll: The red item pictured here is (a) a handkerchief (b) what the streetwalker on 9th and Delaware was wearing last night, or (c) what your teenage daughter changes into in the back of her mate’s car when she goes into town for “a couple of hours with my girlfriends”.

Do young female viewers feel, as a result of this and a hundred other “pushing the boundaries” videos, that they can only really be “in” if they wear extraordinarily skimpy clothes and subscribe to raunch culture?

Tell you what: go stand on any downtown street corner about 10pm any Friday night and we think you’ll know.

But what if they don’t want to conform to that norm? Or what if they aren’t blessed with a bullet-hard body; how will they feel about themselves?

In short: are we creating diversity of personal expression, or simply a new conformity?

We think we know the answer to our own questions, but what do you think?

Interestingly, the public response to the video has varied from “she looks great, get over it, losers” to the frankly unprintable, of which the kindest we have seen is “whore”. And before we are accused of beating the story up, a cursory glance at the comments on various forums will show you that word used often. Miley says that she just ignores negative comments, but we are frankly sceptical whether any 20 year old woman is going to be entirely inured to the gale of criticism that is swirling around, which about balances the tidal wave of enthusiasm.

We confess we’re a little worried about this. But then again, we don’t want to overstate it. We’re just as sure there’s a happy medium, we’re simply not sure this video is it. And we are more worried about the war in Syria, to be frank.

But then Ms Wellthisiswhatithink is not a teenager any more, and anyway, she’s got her head screwed on with more screws than seems quite decent in one her age. We strongly suspect at her age we were much more irresponsible. Well, there’s no “suspect” about it, in all honestly.

But if we were the father or mother of a twelve year old breathlessly urging her parents to buy the latest Miley Cyrus DVD, we think we’d be a tad more concerned. Or a lot more concerned, actually.

*UPDATE The 20-year-old pop singer’s new music video for new single “Wrecking Ball” has shattered the record for most views on VEVO in the first 24 hours, with 19.3 million views across the music video platform. Now that’s serious pop princess power. A bona fide “cultural event”, no less.

I am working, dammit!

I am working, dammit!

So for some reason, I ended up on You Tube again this evening, following links with half an eye.

I really don’t end up there that often, whatever you may think from following the blog, but I did happen across a clutch of my favourite music all on one page so I thought I would share.

Be still my beating heart

It is hard to imagine a more beautiful lead singer than Susannah Hoffs. In a string of great songs with the Bangles – who could forget “Walk Like An Egyptian”? – a dance move I never captured then or now – she stole the hearts of a generation of males. Not to mention quite a few girl crushes going on, too, I shouldn’t wonder.

“Come on honey, let’s go make some noise.” Hoo-hah.

Oooh, lookie here

Then further down the page there was the immortal Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible.

Now this video clip is just so wrong on SO many levels. Love it. Love the editing. Love the song. Lover the performance. Love the girls and the choreography. Just a classic.

(I did used to know a young lady who looked exactly like one of the girls in the video. You know who you are. That could be why.)

Sadly, a heavy smoker, Palmer died in 2003 in Paris, France, at The Warwick Hotel, from a heart attack at the age of just 54. What a waste. Along with “Addicted to Love” he was responsible for two of the great pop-rock anthems ever recorded.

While we’re talking about catchy

Then again, was there ever a better hook in a song than in “Angel is a Centrefold”? And as for the dance routine, well, you may be sensing something of a theme developing.

Change of pace

So I had better change tack entirely; I was so pleased to come across this achingly beautiful song from Sinead O’Connor.

It’s easy to be a smart-arse about O’Connor. To say she’s led a controversial life – bedevilled, it is now revealed, by bi-polar disorder – is a bit like saying Everest is a high hill. But this is about as good as a ballad ever gets, written by the artist once known as and now known again as Prince of course, and she performs it brilliantly.

Genius was always inclined to the unusual. And this performance is genius on display.

Elkie’s a singer, damn right

Continuing my wandering around, I also came across this performance of Lilac Wine by the astounding Elkie Brooks.

This song was a constant accompaniment to my time at University. It always seemed to be one of the “grab a girl” options at the end of a disco in the Old Refectory. It remains one of the few and most honest songs about alcohol abuse. The point wasn’t lost on any of us, as we struggled to stay on our feet and grope our equally drunk partner at the same time as swaying lugubriously to Elkie’s mesmerising performance, lubricated with enough Wadworths 6X to float a fleet of battleships.

This lesser-known version, from a German TV show, is, I think, closer to the true nature of the song than the version delivered on Top of the Pops, which you can also find if you want, but honestly it’s not as good as this. Interestingly, Miley Cyrus has also recorded the song in her “backyard sessions” – and I am not a big Miley Cyrus fan, but fair play she belts it out really well.

And just how good is Elkie Brooks, by the way? Just track ’em down for yourself. “Pearl’s A Singer”, “Fool if you think it’s Over”, “Don’t cry out loud”. What a voice.

Vinegar Joe for all you history buffs

She was one half of Vinegar Joe with a younger Robert Palmer too … wish I could have seen that.

This early recording is pretty crap quality, and right at the beginning of their time together, I think, but it gives a great indication of how they rocked together. Were they ever really that young? Apparently, yes.

I can’t help feeling that if Elkie Brooks had been American and not British she would have been considered one of the pre-eminent blues/pop singers of her generation.Now 67 years old, she is still going strong, apparently, and long may it be so.

Last but not least

My last favourite for today would have to be one of everybody’s faves, surely?

In 1979, I was in love. She was the first one, but not the last one. There is something about this song with is inscrutable, peculiar, obsessive, and it is, of course, blessed with one of the great choruses of all time. The musical production is simply brilliant.

What is the video about? Indeed, what’s the song about? Lord knows. But frankly, who cares? It’s something to do with loss of innocence, which is probably why it resonates with me so strongly: it smells of when I was passing uneasily into adulthood. I expect to get there one day.

Here’s a piece of trivia: this was the first video ever played on MTV. Did you know that?

Anyhow, I’d love you to nominate YOUR favourite You Tube clip, please. Tomorrow, back to miserable crap about Syria or the Republicans or world hunger or something. Meanwhile, just enjoy the music.