Hi everybody! Don’t worry, I’m not giving up this blog, I’ve just created another one. I’m teaching an English 101 class, and for their fifith essay I have them creating blogs. Since I post more personal writings on this blog, and the intent of the assignment is for them to create a blog in conversation with what they see going on in blogs, I decided it would just be easier to create another one. And I’m posting about this addition here because it will be a blog that I’ll upkeep to facilitate an aspect of the internet that I love – the videos! The focus of the new blog is to share the random videos that I find online. I figure that will let me stick to more English-y things here, and I will now have a place to post the random videos I love. So feel free to check it out at http://videorandomness.blogspot.com/ It’s not a particularly inventive blog, but again I just wanted a forum that I could use as an example for the students, but that I could still be entertained by.
The Christian Science Monitor has a blog post from Marjorie Kehe about a new documentary on the world of Harry Potter fans called “We Are Wizards.” She says in the introduction:
When it comes to Harry Potter enthusiasts, it’s a wacky world out there. Parents, of course, want their kids to learn to love to read. But could it really be a good thing for anyone to obsess over any books the way some young readers do over Harry Potter? This is a question you may find yourself asking as you watch “We Are Wizards,” Josh Koury’s documentary film released in theaters last week about some of Harry Potter’s more, well, let’s say “dedicated” fans.
I’ll be honest – I’m excited for this. I enjoy documentaries, and I have found that the ones that follow people who are completely devoted to fantasy worlds are fantastic. I hope it’s as good as “Trekkies” because that will only make the Harry Potter fan-world even better, especially for Harry Potter scholars.
So I’ve just finished Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and it’s fantastic. And by finished I mean that I just finished watching it here. He’s put video of himself reading his book on his book tour last week on his website (so many ‘his’ in that sentence). So when I found out that this book (that I’ve been excited about since I read a small bit somewhere on the web) was out, I had to listen to it immediately.
And it was like I was reading it.
Though slightly frustrating because he didn’t read quicker through the tense parts to get to the resolution of that action like I do. But as I listen to Gaiman read his story, I still felt as though I walked along side Bod through the course of his adventures.
Really though, I love Gaiman’s use of language and the way he blends these beautiful images and characters with the inanity and insanity of the life that I see everyday (which I find particularly astounding since he’s a middle-aged man born in England living in Minnesota). His characters talk in a way that I wish I could, and yet it sounds real. They talk in a very literal style and respond with acceptance of whatever circumstances the conversation presents. It’s a book for younger readers, that does not shy away from difficult topics, and the speech patterns seem to reflect that audience.
I can’t wait to pick it up and get to read it for my own self, and this is after listening to Gaiman read it completely. I love Bod and the way that he interacts with all of the characters, as well as the way the characters are and aren’t what I expected. I read a lot of fantasy and have a rather macabre view of life, and this story surprised me in several places and made me smile in others. Gaiman usually makes me laugh out loud at least several times while I’m reading, and The Graveyard Book definitely fell into that quite a lot. I also decided that I really need to read The Jungle Book because this apparently riffs on that story, just in a cemetery. I was describing this work to a friend as a mix between Tim Burton, Monty Python, and Douglas Adams, and I mean that as the best possible view since I love them all.
So there’s my nerdy share for the day. Enjoy this beautiful cemetery!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bav63MWNUKg] Yeah, so I’m supposed to be doing so many other things, but I’m listening to a fantastic book online and so I’m posting these videos because I’ve been meaning to for a bit. This Ok Go video is probably my favorite. I love their one shot videos, and this one I think is great because it’s just them in the backyard.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUGIgl2Z_54]Just in case you want to know how to say that you were robbed by two men and tone your arms at the same time…