Behold - my first Poet Laura-eate podcast (with a bit of movie-software cheating thrown in!) Every embeddable MP3 player seemed to come with its own multi-media content pre-installed. By someone else. Or didn't allow an image, or turned its nose up at Blogger. Amazing how much of your life you can waste trying to get to grips with these things and finding yourself up one dead-end alley after another. To think I had delusional visions of setting up my own blog radio station with broadcasts each week to try out short stories, interviews and comedy etc. However that might have to wait for reincarnation...well certainly until I find a new job anyway (the other saga that is taking up most of my headspace).
When not trying to learn podcasting/applying for jobs, I've been indulging in a documentary-watching phase, notably 'Enron - The Smartest Guys in The Room', 'Wal-Mart' The High Cost of Low Price and my favourite 'The Corporation' - the extraordinary story of the birth and rise of the Corporation, an entity which shares the same rights in law as a human being, but apparently the same psychological profile as a psychopath! Here is a promo clip. The film itself is nearly 3 hours long but is one of those films you come away evangelising that everyone and their dog should watch.
In the Wal-Mart DVD there is a chilling scene where a former regional manager in charge of expansion relates how he used to drive through small towns betting to himself 'six months', 'four months', 'a year at the outside' as he drove past the often family-run for decades high street retailers, psyching out the town in readiness for the next grand Wal-Mart opening. So obvious really, yet it seems to me we Brits have been remarkably slow to catch on to the fact that the more we shop at the large out-of-town hypermarkets the more our towns and cities will implode, and even that there might be a deliberate corporate plan to destroy our towns and cities, eventually making us wholly reliant on the likes of Wal-Mart and internet shopping (something I personally only resort to if I cannot buy what I seek locally). In Oxford this week I treated myself to a discounted bracelet at one of our few remaining independent boutiques, only to have him confide in me that he might be closing down after 25 years. How did we let things come to this? At the end of the Enron film, a scandal I never quite understood at the time; but can scarcely believe the scale of after watching the film; this Tom Waits track played out to the closing credits. Ten years old now, yet a song not only for our times but strangely apt for the crash of 1929 too.