Monday, May 23, 2011

Listening ideas for 23 May 2011

Documentary on One
The story of Jack Foley, a former dock worker who, when working at Universal Pictures, created a method of adding sounds to films, known now as the 'Art of Foley'. Every film now has sound dubbed in - yet the real sources of these sounds are unimaginable.
(review, feed)

The Art of Ideas
She has spent a lifetime asking questions. Her body of work was never satisfied with the answers. Poet, anarchist, intellectual, former radio producer, and co-creator of the program IDEAS, we honour Phyllis Webb in this documentary by Robert McTavish.
(review, feed)

The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick
The SFFaudio Podcast #109 – a complete and unabridged reading of The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick. First up, the complete story from Wonder Audio, followed by a discussion of it with Jesse, Scott, and Tamahome.
(review, feed)

WTF with Marc Maron
Garry Shandling
Marc seeks wisdom and insight from a true comedy Buddha, the one and only Garry Shandling. Garry talks boxing, basketball, mothers, self-acceptance and, of course, Larry Sanders. Plus, Marc wonders if the Rapture actually happened without us knowing it.
(review, feed)

Early Modern England - Yale

The Yale history course Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts with Professor Keith E. Wrightson was delivered in 2009. It took the university however until now to publish the recordings as podcast and in that sense the course is brand new. The time in between has apparently been spent on careful post-production of the materials, the audio, the video and the transcripts. From the sessions page of the course one can select additional information per lecture and there you will also find a full transcript. (audio feed, video feed)

I have started this course and am about to listen to the 6th lecture. Up until this point Professor Wrightson has not yet 'told' any history narratives, but rather spent his time in carefully describing the English society's structures from where we start our history. The result is more than four hours of introduction to the action, which has a bit of a tendency to become too lengthy. I would want to recommend however to patiently sit through.

In time I began to appreciate the descriptions a lot. Apart from the fact that I expect that such subtle realities around land ownership and family relations are going to turn out to be relevant for understanding the narrative that is to follow, it also helps to bring the message home how deeply different English society around 1600 was from today, despite the label 'early modern'. The concept of family, for example, is deeply alien when you consider that servants and apprentices that live in the house are considered to be part of the family. This goes even as far as the epitaph of an apprentice which would name him 'Johnson's man' when he was learning with master Johnson in stead of his own personal and family name - so much for being an individual.

However, this weird picture did not provoke too much estrangement as a result of the circumstance that I was simultaneously watching some televised productions of Dickens novels. Charles Dickens, while criticizing the new modernity that is developing in the 19th century, clearly references to the earlier mode of society. With the help of Wrightson's depictions, I could much better appreciate where Dickens was coming from.