A chemical reaction in the brain
Did you see the news this week about a US court case, conducted over zoom, in which one of the attorneys had a snapchat-style filter turned on which transformed his face into a cutesy kitten? Apparently one of his young children had turned the filter on, and he didn't know how to turn it off again, and instead uttered words rarely heard in a court of law, "I am not a cat". I was even more gobsmacked to watch the viral clip from the Parish Council zoom meeting. The pompous proclamation, "You have no authority here Jackie Weaver", will long stick in the memory.
Blimey, those were the days
The pandemic has forced so many people to embrace technology, and the last twelve months has seen the rise of virtual meetings, virtual teaching, and virtual gigs. The news last night was even talking about virtual dates for the virtual valentines on Sunday. I suppose if there was such a thing as a virtual party it would definitely have to be a "bring your own bottle" event. What would a virtual party look like, I wonder? Oxford band, The Factory Lights, has written a topical song about it and given us this visualisation;
Keep wearing those masks
Loads of people have now been vaccinated, 25% of all the adults in the UK, but even when you have been vaccinated, you are not bulletproof. You need to carry on wearing the face mask in shops etc, not just because it is the law, not just because it gives you a bit more protection in dangerous times, but also because it helps stop you spreading viruses to the 75% of us who have not been vaccinated yet. Just like the Lone Ranger, Zorro, and Batman, Oxford's das Ghoul are never seen in public without their masks, though not quite the sort of mask that counts as covid-compliant. This is a new single-shot video they made in the hiatus between lockdowns, when there was a bit of sun in the air and mist on the ground, when it was possible to film outside.
Do you want to see the world
Das Ghoul played for Klub Kakofanney at the Wheatsheaf in December 2018, and on that same night we also featured the a performance from Gravid. Like das Ghoul, Gravid has produced a new video recently, though Gravid have opted for creativity in the editing process, mixing some performance footage with effects and topical news clips which gives it a slightly halllucinogenic quality.
Burn baby burn,... (but what that carbon footprint)
I feel sorry for the kids having to endure virtual teaching at home. There is a certain novelty to it, I am sure, but trying to learn stuff from a screen can be mind-numbing. Then again, parents must be equally stressed by it, trying to be the substitute teaching assistant whilst struggling to remember their own school days and something about the radius of a pie. A few years ago, the Aylesbury superstar who never quite was, John Otway, was trying to help his daughter remember the terminlogy for her chemistry homework. It inspired him to write his disco song, "Bunsen Burner", which peaked at number nine in the BBC charts in 2002. I'm not sure it's going to help with the O levels, but it's a lot of fun.
Otway has been playing gigs for more than 40 years now, and played at Klub Kakofanney in August 2000. His song "Beware of the flowers ('cos I'm sure they're gonna get you, yeah)" was voted the nations seventh favourite lyric in a BBC poll of 1999.
I am hugely impressed by the work of the NHS in rolling out this vaccine, and it really feels like an end is in sight for all of us now. Keep doing the right things, the masks, the distancing, the hand washing, because the quicker we get on top of this virus, the sooner we'll get back to live gigs again. If I hear any news on when they might become possible again, I'll be sure to let you know.