Videos Just for Fun

Now that my wife and I have broadband access, after only allowing ourselves as much decadence as dial-up would allow for a couple of years, the world of internet video has opened up before us.  Unfortunately, that world is much like the world of television in terms of the amount of trite, banal, crude and even cruel fare to watch.  But I do have to admire the variety, and often the charm, of amateur enthusiasm in many of the clips I see.  YouTube, Google Video, iFilm, DailyMotion: there seem to be many sites chasing the YouTube success.

My viewing preferences seem to fluctuate between the absurd and the informative, and sometimes a combination of the two.  Here’s a few where I’ve found a laugh or paused to think, “Now that’s interesting.”

One of the first I really enjoyed in this new popular artform is one called The Amateur.  We see a tuxedo-clad character fumble with drumsticks.  Before long, some artful and amusing editing and another character appears to complete what can only be described as a satisfying musical experience.

There are a lot of martial arts or similar videos to be seen, some plain awful, others quite edifying or awe-inspiring.  In the latter I would place the many parkour videos.  Not really a martial art, although often attracting the same sort of testosterone brimming young men, it is more like where daredevil skateboarding has gone, sans skateboard.  It’s for young, incredibly fit young guys who run full-tilt through the urban landscape hurtling and jumping, climbing and leaping fearlessly over obstacles, or from rooftop to rooftop.  Gymnastic in the extreme, often they seem to fling themselves blind over walls, trusting they will respond as needed to what may be on the other side.

Since I practice aikido, and we do train with the wooden sword known as a bokken, I found this video on the art of Japanese swordmanship quite interesting.  The typical sword fight only lasted a few deadly seconds and when you see this video you can better see why.  I have held a live Japanese sword and the sensation of knife-edge mortality carried in my hands was extremely sobering.  I’m glad I don’t have to live as a samurai.

In aikido, as in all the Japanese martial arts, neatness counts.  There are prescribed ways to fold the hakama, the black skirtlike pantaloons worn in aikido, and the gi, the traditional uniform.  You can see the Japanese neatness principle at work with a more ordinary article of clothing in this short video.

Returning to the more absurd end of the video spectrum, I found these two white-coated gentlemen engaged in delicate experiments requiring many litres of Coke and mint candies.  (The symbology and the effectiveness of the white coat in advertising imagery and the Western mind set deserves some kind of scientific study of its own.)  In the end, a kind of conceptual art piece resembling fireworks is created and preserved for posterity.

Continuing in the same vein, here is a display of what might be called horizontal bungy jumping.  Some enterprising lads utilize a lawn tractor and encourage somebody’s girlfriend to participate.  Fortunately, nothing breaks.

We’ve travelled to Shanghai quite a few times now.  When first we visited, perhaps a dozen years ago, the traffic was much like you can see in this video of traffic in India.  I’m happy to report it’s not quite as chaotic these days.

Come with me now as we visit what has been billed as the worst music video of all time, by a 1980’s Finnish pop duo.  With a title like, “I Wanna Love You Tender” you may be able to imagine the scene without even seeing the video.

Here is an intriguing look at a frog that literally stays frozen all winter and miraculously returns to life in the spring.  Life!

Although I would never pay the inflated prices that Adidas imagines their products are worth, I am greatly amused by this advertising video that I had never seen before.

And finally, a video that borders on the profound, about yearning and how we are led by images.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Internet, Martial arts

2 Comments on “Videos Just for Fun”

  1. bloglily Says:

    That Finnish pop group gave me a really, really scary flashback to ’80s aerobics classes. And what’s with the flying car at the end?

    Thank you for wading into the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is youtube and its ilk and pulling this one out of the sludge!

  2. fencer Says:

    Where’s ABBA when we need them now?

    You know, the most memorable of the bunch to me was the horizontal bungy jumping. I can just imagine those young yahoos daring somebody’s girlfriend into having some “fun.” Must be an echo of northern BC life there.

    Regards


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