Wednesday, February 11, 2015

C'est intéressant w/c 9 Feb 2015

Interesting, intriguing, exciting, amusing, enraging, fascinating things I recommend.

Podcast - New Yorker: Psychedelics as Therapy
Discussing the therapeutics effects of LSD on alcoholism, depression and terminally-ill patients. It made me think of all those very old people in hospices and retirement homes who are slowly declining, and how, gently, with ever increasing doses of morphine, they are being led to the end.

Essay - New Yorker: This Old Man
Writer Roger Angell on life being 90.
"A few notes about age is my aim here, but a little more about loss is inevitable. “Most of the people my age is dead. You could look it up” was the way Casey Stengel put it. He was seventy-five at the time, and contemporary social scientists might prefer Casey’s line delivered at eighty-five now, for accuracy, but the point remains. We geezers carry about a bulging directory of dead husbands or wives, children, parents, lovers, brothers and sisters, dentists and shrinks, office sidekicks, summer neighbors, classmates, and bosses, all once entirely familiar to us and seen as part of the safe landscape of the day. It’s no wonder we’re a bit bent. The surprise, for me, is that the accruing weight of these departures doesn’t bury us, and that even the pain of an almost unbearable loss gives way quite quickly to something more distant but still stubbornly gleaming."

Dance - Wim Vandekeybus: What The Body Does Not Remember
Classic contemporary dance from 1988 and, where else, Belgium.
Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's music and costumes + Pina Bausch's whimsy + what would become contemporary circus, all to the power of physical danger.
Thrilling stuff when I saw it at Sadler's Wells yesterday, and now on tour in the UK until 20 Mar.

TV - The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
They have quite the calibre of celebrities taking part this year, haven't they? It's a step up from the third best-known singer in that girlband or the Emmerdale actor. The first heat had Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Lulu and Dame Edna Everage, no less! Disasters (Lulu's cake falling through, Joanna's coffee blunder) and Edna's gracious poise and pointed wit in the face of baking adversity made me laugh the whole hour.

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