Chris Neary is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks Volume 43
Monday, February 04, 2013 - 11:26 AM
Our favorite things for the first week of February.
The US National Archives has a tumblr that I am really into. Basically every day they post a different document which can be anything from a photograph to a letter to a political cartoon or even presidential memorabilia. I like seeing how random objects like these candies are archived. There are also some true gems like this (above) “Life-Preserving Coffin, In Doubtful Cases of Actual Death.” You know, just in case.
Last weekend, in the midst of an otherwise chaotic art fair I stumbled on a booth full of the most serene paintings. They were simple, evocative of lots of other things (so like modern art and yet, the closer you look, so different) and I couldn’t get enough of them. Turns out they’re Tantra paintings, work done anonymously in Rajasthan, India. The iconic, repeated forms are part of a religious practice in which the painters are searching for divinity through creativity and the recipients use them as part of meditation rituals. They’re rarely seen in the U.S. (the always great Feature Gallery in New York City is one of the few places they’ve been exhibited) and only in the last 25 years have they been seen outside of India. They’re stunning …
(Images courtesy Feature Inc.)
And I’m going to recommend Scandal, the hour-long drama on ABC. Is it a good show? No, it is not. It’s a soap opera and not even a particularly good one. But it’s got Kerry Washington in it and that’s enough for me. Since Our Song I could happily watch that woman hand cancel postage. This is slightly better then that.
While working on a story this week about machinima, a genre of video making that often uses video game code to create animations, I was introduced to this video, “Male Restroom Etiquette.” The short uses The Sims video games to create an instructional video for men using public restrooms:
This Milwaukee's Best commercial ran only in North Platte, Nebraska during the Super Bowl. It stars Will Ferrell. Someone taped it off their television. Enjoy?
Whatever you think of Les Miserables, and whatever you think of Anne Hathaway, you must watch this.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I know this play. I used to read Edward Albee’s masterpiece out loud with my junior high buddies. (The other play we would perform “table readings” of on a regular basis was Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders. They were both deliciously transgressive and made us feel cool). And of course I was familiar with the brilliant Taylor- Burton film. Brilliant, but so, so grim. One wondered why the warring couple in the film hadn’t killed each other long ago. The current 50th anniversary Broadway production puts the play back in balance. The Steppenwolf Theater production led by Tracy Letts as George and Amy Morton as Martha, is hilarious as well as dark and that makes the whole show so much more powerful and poignant. You can see love transmuted into pain. But it’s clear that for these two, they’re can be no other kind of love.
Reports are coming in from all over the world. The Earth is under attack by flying saucers from mars! We must build an atomic blaster! It’ll never work…