Every spring, an interactive installation takes over a high-traffic area in Montréal's Quartier des spectacles and sets a collective ritual. The installation offers a fresh look at the idea of cooperation, the notion that we can achieve more together than separately.
The result is a giant instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation.
This is truly lovely. I would like to see this someday, and getting back to Montreal is already on my life list. I think I would definitely want to try to get there while this is up some spring.
I'd seen Wisconsin when it was first uploaded to YouTube in March of last year, but it was great to see it again. So much has happened since then. Cold, snow, crowds, mud, pizza... Show me what democracy looks like: petitions, boxes and boxes of petitions.
It isn't the best of the little films that came out of the protests (the uncertain focus and camera angles was a bit maddening) but it was great to see and hear a variety of faces and voices.
We're Not Broke was well made, and if there was a person in the theater who didn't find themselves getting furious while watching it, I think they might have been asleep. It detailed the lengths to which American multinational corporations will go to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. and the ways in which they do so. They are literally willing to spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, campaign contributions, lawyers, and accountants in order to reduce or eliminate their tax bills. The things they do *may* be legal at this time, but they are in no way right or ethical.
As is often the case in documentaries like this, there were occasional moments where the protesters came off looking a bit silly, but that was mostly due to the fact that they are not professionals. But it was corporate America that came off looking like jackasses at best.
I particularly enjoyed the interviews with Lee Shephard., who was incredibly droll with a dry and acerbic wit.
I ended up sitting next to two older women, whose sotte voce comments I could overhear during the course of the film. If I was seething internally at the nefarious practices of the corps, they were visibly (and audibly) bristling with indignation.
It was rather a good thing for me that it wasn't the last film of the night, because if it had been, I'd probably have seethed all night long. As it was, I had about an hour after the end to glower about corporate tax dodgers, after which I was plunged into French action sequences, and it was my adrenaline being raised, rather than my blood pressure. It has stayed with me, though, and I will definitely recommend it to other people, if they get the opportunity. This is something we should be made about.
Ok, so technically it is still winter, but it feels like spring. It smells like spring. That's the important part.
Yesterday evening, it was grey when I got off of work, but it was also 50 degrees and not raining. I hauled out my bike, pumped up the tires, and went out for a ride. It was wonderful! There was still a bit of chill in the air, of course, but a pair of fingerless gloves were sufficient to keep my hands cozy on the handlebars.
Riding along, I smelled woodsmoke, mud, saw dust (from a construction site), and, at one point, ganja (near Willy St.). It was neat to smell things besides salt and cold.
The mist was rising up from the Yahara River and Tenney Pond in very interesting ways. I did find myself wishing for my camera, but all I had with me was my phone, which wouldn't do. (Actually, with the lighting, I'd have needed my camera and tripod.) However, we are getting to the time of year when I actually do start bringing my camera with me when I go out. At least, much of the time.
Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday (hence my current treaury and spring becomes official the week after. Granted, this is Wisconsin, and late snow storms are not unheard of. Those are always a little hard to deal with, mentally, but even if we get an Easter Blizzard or WIAA boys basketball tournament snow...it's only a little time before that is all just a memory for a few months, and we all start smiling.