Friday, July 27, 2012

Life of the Mind and Let them eat Cheetos.


A statue at Versailles,I think. As a little girl I would have liked to have this one, or even just a picture. The idea of a flying horse is kinda dumb. Kind of counter-intuitive. Really,they weigh a tonne. But I wanted to ride one as a child. Still do.

Pegasus was sired by Poseidon, out of the Gorgon Medusa.  A God-Horse. Half-brother of Venus. Snakes are a symbol of female sexuality. That seems counter-intuitive too.

Anyway, Versailles is a Unesco World Heritage site.  But I couldn't find any excellent YouTube video  of that place yesterday. Not one with the characteristics I am looking for. Many lengthy shots, no narration. I had found some good ones the day before of the Loire Chateaux. I especially liked the castle Chenanceau, the second most visited castle in France after Versailles.. No wonder over the centuries so many spoiled ladies of the aristocracy have fought over the place.

And looking at Versailles, or Catherine the Great's Palace at St. Petersburg, it's easy to see, with gilded gold clarity, why France and Russia had Revolutions. "Let them eat cake," indeed. (Today it would , "Let them eat Cheetos") Did they film the movie Marie Antoinette at Versailles. I bet they did.


 I did eventually find a good video of Versailles, but one that broke all my rules. It has a song-over (Rufus Wainwright) super-quick edits and the people have put themselves into most of the shots.

The video is terrific though. So I looked at more videos this couple has made and I found  one of the Rodin Musuem and Monet's garden. Even prettier.



This Rodin, the Burghers of Callais, also can be found in Montreal.

Here is the link to Monet film which leads to Versailles.Monet Garden Video

Anyway, I noticed yesterday that there are many new Olympic channels on the grid of my satellite provider, one at least is pay extra. My husband and I won't mind paying extra for coverage of events we like. I just hope these pay channels have no advertising. That will bug me, that's double-dipping.(Are Cheetos an advertiser at the Olympics.. Frito-Lay is it? I checked. Maybe. And they are promoting bio-plastics for their packaging as a diversion from the fact they sell empty salt-laden calories to sedentary children. )

I mentioned my pay-channel concerns to my husband and he replied. "What about your beloved tennis? We pay for TSN and yet there's commercials."

Yes, I fear the long-term plan of these communications companies is to have nothing but PAY channels with commercials. Indeed, it is most obviously the case: these companies have to continue upping their profits, not for the next quarter, but until the end of time. Indeed, let me peek into the future:  All the preliminaries are available for free, but to see the finals in real time you will have to pay extra.

Just like Facebook yesterday. That company's earnings report wasn't terrible, it beat Wall Street Projections,but Facebook's  shares took a dump merely because there's no proof that Facebook will make a lot more money in the future. "Revenue growth skids" is how one headline put it.

This is as decadent as in the time of Versailles, if you think about it. Except corporations are Faceless Entities. Facebook being an exception. No over-dressed upper class twits to aim your fury at.

I mean the reason I can't afford to travel to Versailles and France in person, as I had planned to just a couple of yeas ago, is because of the last economic downturn, as they call it. I call it the Great Brain Robbery.. (I just thought of that. Does it work? They are always saying these 'banksters' are the world's top brains.)

Anyway, just as predicted, I veered from my intended Virtual Travel course, which is looking up YouTube videos of Unesco World Heritage sites, one site at at time. But when it comes to YouTube it's hard not to be like a dog hearing the word "Squirrel."

This Monet video led me to a video of a film of Monet the artist painting in the same place, 1910 or so, which led to me a series of old films about famous artists, mostly ballerinas like Anna Pavlova. But also of Renoir and Rodin. The film of Rodin was very clear.

Which led me to a Smart History snippet on Rodin's unfinished Dante Doors in the Orsay Museum, which led me to a bit on Corbusier which led me a long documentary on Corbusier's design for a Monastery. Very Interesting. Which led me to another long documentary by the same people on Villa Mila in Barcelona.

So I took a snippet of one of that place's luxury apartments for my collection of rich people's homes.



Even the emergency stairwell in Villa Mila is a hoot.