Times have changed

Interesting interview in which David Kuo claims that we don’t need libraries. In fact, the only use people have is to use the Internet to but books for a penny. So why not spend the money you currently spend on one library to supply 50,000 people with free internet access.

Right. Read the rest of this entry

Short Films

Short films: Meet the directors who grab your attention and don’t let go | Film | The Observer

Mail protests X-Factor Sleaze Storm by printing the best bits

Update: as of 20th April, Ofcom agrees with me!
The X Factor cleared over Rihanna and Christina Aguilera dance routines | Media | guardian.co.uk

X Factor sleaze storm grows: TV watchdog to act after thousands protest over lewd prime-time scenes | Mail Online

ITV faces a huge backlash after thousands of viewers protested about lewd performances on the X Factor final.

Critics called on media regulator Ofcom to launch an inquiry into why ‘disgusting’ routines were shown before the watershed.

The performances by U.S. pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna could have broken Ofcom’s broadcasting code which seeks to protect children from sexualised content.

And I must say, they have some rather nice photos to show “bums hanging out”. Interestingly, it has an issue showing this between 7 and 9pm on TV, but not at any time during the day if in print.

The Mail really needs to look at the difference between”sexualised” content and “Sexual” content. Sexual is the kind of thing we see in a Sex scene – watch “Sexarama” if you are confused. Sexualised, however, is refering to sex without showing it – and I think you will find this is what Mumsnet (the “experts” behind this complaint) are complaining about at the moment – High heeled shoes for toddlers, “Porn Queen” T-shirts for 12 year olds etc.

While I support this protest and agree with the “let children be children”, being prudish about a tame set of dancing in a family show that is no more suggestive than any other dance / ice skating / performance in general shows an element of prudishness. This is not something that will help the main argument – the overt sexualisation of children.

A few pointers – beside the misunderstanding of the two terms, it doesn’t matter how many people complained. And Never, ever, let the Daily Mail attempt to discuss Offcom’s role. It will just end in tears.

Snapshot of Indian TV

India’s ‘vulgar’ reality TV shows judged too real for viewers | World news | The Guardian

When someone is called impotent on Indian TV, It leads to a death – if it happens in England in ends in serialisation of their Autobiography in The Sun. However, Indian culture is such that there is an expectation of morals in the media. Within the last decade, we have seen fire-boming of the film “Fire” because of the main story about two women in love. Other films have been censored by the Bollywood system – why deal with a serious issue in a serious way when you can throw in a song and dance routine? Read the rest of this entry

Amazon Film Studios: Camerons Vision come true?

Amazon sets up movie studio ‘without gate guards’ | Film | guardian.co.uk

Amazon announce the setting up of their own Film making enterprise, a completely pluralistic exercise that has been tried before with little success. The idea is to let the public decide what films they want to see, and therefore what should be made. But this is just a mini version of the Hollywood system (What’s selling today? Quick! Make more of them!) It doesn’t work on a small scale, in exactly the same way it doesn’t always work on a large scale. Read the rest of this entry

Arts Cuts in Somerset.

Arts cuts: D-day in Somerset | Culture | The Guardian

I am sure the conservative leaders see it in terms of saving money, but the rest of us see 100% cut to the arts as losing culture, jobs, education, self esteem… Read the rest of this entry

Doc/fest write up.

Sheffield Doc/Fest: how the documentary got democratised | Film | guardian.co.uk

Copyright vs public domain – How many people really don't get it?

Cooks Source: US copyright complaint sparks Twitter and Facebook storm | Media | guardian.co.uk

…”the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!”

This is a view we have to fight as teachers, and it is fascinating that it also exists in an apparently experienced publisher. I am used to it in 16 year olds, but the storm that has kicked off since ‘Cooks Source’ copied an article wholesale has proved that not everyone is falling into this trap.

Obviously, the extreme other end is Rupert Murdoch who doesn’t want anyone seeing his copyright material (see various rants against aggregators, like Google – who then link to the original article on the original site). Lessig would argue that his centre of the road approach of Creative Commons is a way to let people ‘try before you buy’ – and it’s very existence is to hold a line directly between the ignorance of free and the obfuscation of paywall.

While I don’t condone the cyber bullying that has occurred, it is bloody funny.

Measuring Peace in the Media

There have been studies before to show that Watching News Reports can raise stress in viewers, but this is the first to measure the actual violence reported and compare it to the level of violence in the country. Read the rest of this entry

Guardian Best of Flim Genre Lists

The best films ever, by genre | Film | guardian.co.uk
The greatest films of all time: download the data, as a spreadsheet | News | guardian.co.uk
The romance 25 | Film | guardian.co.uk
The crime 25 | Film | guardian.co.uk
The comedy 25 | Film | guardian.co.uk

Links to Genres will be added over the next week.