The text was about a famous graffiti painter. Nobody knew who he is, what he looked like or where he lived. The only thing they knew for certain was his existence. The reason why Banksy wanted to stay anonymous is because of his job: no one is allowed to do graffiti, so when his anonymity would end, his graffiti would also end.
Simon Hattenstone tried to interview this guy, but when he mentioned Banksy's name, everyone acted strange and no one believed that Simon managed to arrange an interview with Banksy.
The reason why Banksy's famous because his works are unique and that's what makes them special. His works also lift up people's mood, because they really love his work. Once you've seen one of his work, you want to see more.
Later, he meets Banksy and he told things about himself, but he doesn't go into details. According to Banksy it's all about retribution, when you can't own anything, you put your name on it as if it were yours.
And a lot of brands asked him to advertise for him, but he turned everything down, because he doesn't need the money and he doensn't want anyone to suffer for what he made.
The reason why he's doing graffiti is because he kicks on not getting caught for something that is not legal and he likes the fact that no one knows what he is doing.
OK Go - ***
The text is about a famous band called OK Go, it's not one of those teen bands, but it's a band that works with different materials which are connected to each other. And all those materials are being moved by a simple movement. So the fall of dominoes causes a ball to roll across the floor where it managed to make a speaker start playing the song of the band, et cetera. The video ends with the four band members who are getting balls with paint fired to their heads.
The members of the band aren't just musicians but they compare themselves to mechanics, they care for creating "cool stuff". Now they want to create something which no one will ever forget, they want to be like Goldberg and Heath Robinson, who also created such stuff. For this, they asked help from different scientist guys: the band wanted to make tribute to Goldberg and it should contain movements that are amazing and the duration of the movements should be long and there are no cheats acceptable. After they made the contraption, everything failed. They had to do it 47 times before it worked perfectly.
People of different generations are amazed by things Heath and Goldberg show and that's the reason why it became so popular and why people try to make more and more amazing machines.
A burger from the lab - ***
The text is about professors who are trying to invent a kind of meat: vitro meat. This is a flesh product that has never been part of a living animal. Vitro meat allows us to enjoy meat without having any animal killed. First it's just wasted muscle (cells) that has to be "trained" before we can use it as meat. The cells are being put in a medium that allows the cells to grow. While they're in the medium, electric streams are being passed through the cells. But it's definitely not simple to transform stem cells into skeletal muscle cells. Once this obstacle has been overcome, it brings benefits such as reduction of green-house emissions, freshwater use and animal suffering.
But there still is a group of scientist who try to make it work. Post says that it's necessary that the use of electricity is as little as possible, which is impossible and that's why he tries to invent a method by observing how the cells change. But when they manage to make vitro meat, the texture and taste is very important. That meat will be missing a lot of properties of meat, but they can easily add those things.
This invention seems amazing but critics don't like the thought of someone playing God, but Post doesn't understand why somebody would think that.
Mud, mud, glorious mud - **/***
At first sight the Glastonbury festival looks like it came from the Middle Age, but that's a mistake a lot of people make when they're not familiar with the festival. The Glastonbury festival is a very big festival (4 km) with hundred thousand of people. People are supposed to keep moving from place to place, so you could get lost very easily. You would think that people would get cranky between all those people, but actually, they're smiling.
Every year G2 send a journalist, this year Alexander Chancellor, to find out why everyone is so happy during the festival, because the conditions are horrible: it's very filthy, you have to walk a lot through all the mud and there is a large amount of litter. The reason why people are happy is because of the music, some people wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for the music. But the main reason is that they feel free to do whatever they want: it's the place where they can relax.
Later, Alexander has been told that he should go to the stone circle to understand the true spirit of the festival. The stone circle is a place where people gather around to sit and dream. Here Alexander discovers that the people are not as crazy as he thought they would be. They're very friendly and they love to chat with strangers. In the end, Alexander was happy to take part in the festival, but he wouldn't do it again.
Writer: Graham Joyce
My book is complicated and there are a few things happening which are connected to each other.
First, a teacher named Tom lost his wife when a tree fell on her car. He couldn't handle the death of his wife and at school happened something he could bear either: someone wrote dirty things on the chalkboard, accusing him of sleeping with a student, so he quitted his job.
After he resigned, he went to Jerusalem to meet an old friend he met in College. But when he was standing for her door, her neighbour said that she wouldn't come home for a while. So he went to a hotel where he met David and where the strange things went on: every time between 3 and 4.15 there was knocking on the door and right before he fell into sleep, he heard the voice he's always been hearing. But it was getting worse: every time when he was exploring the city a black veiled woman showed up, beckoning him. She tried to write something on a wall, but Tom always fled. The ghost took different shapes. Sometimes it was the black woman, other times it was a woman who tried to say something about what happened 2000 years ago and there were times when the ghost looked like Katie. He started seeing this that weren't there. Someone accused him of cheating with a student and that became real in his head.
Later, he started to get along with David, but he was an old man and he wouldn't live much longer. So David gave Tom the Dead Sea Scrolls. He wanted him to bring it to someone who was able to figure out what it was saying and that's where Sharon brought him to her friend Ahmad.
The Dead Sea Scrolls was written by Mary Magdalena (the ghost Tom had been seeing), who claimed that people who wrote the bible tried to make the prophecies come true, the crucifixion. They just picked Jesus to play Jesus and he wasn't supposed to die at all. The idea was to crucify him (you don't die for 3 days then), so then he would "rise from the dead" and live his life. But St. Paul broke his leg, because then your longs can't handle the pressure which can lead to the death, so they changed the book by saying that he rised from the dead and disappeared.
The ghost crossed the line and the things he saw were disgusting, so Sharon tried to bring him to a therapist. Once he was there, the therapist found out that there wasn't any ghost. She figured out Tom had been seeing those creepy things because of guilt, because he didn't love Katie the way she loved him and Tom knew she knew. So guilt made him see strange things. Tom claimed he felt guilty because he cheated on her with a student, but there wasn't any cheating. This also he imagined.
Tom couldn't handle the things she said so he locked himself up. Sharon, Ahmad and Therapist were trying to calm him down, but he wouldn't let anyone get close to him so he ran away. He went to a church, where the ghost (a.k.a. guilt) made him set it on fire, because he thought that would be the solution to all the problems, but it wasn't: people got mad and the jews blamed the muslim, muslim blamed the Christ, Christ blamed the Jews and so on. During the riot, Ahmad got killed by a bullet shot by Tom.
In the end, Tom is going back to his hometown. He even asked Sharon to marry him, but she didn't want Tom to suffer from all the things they've been through. And she knew that if when she's in his life, he wouldn't be able to get over Katie.
Tom was an English teacher who was married to Katie, he wasn't religious while Katie was. During their relationship, Tom found out that he may not be in love with Katie, but he had difficulties accepting it. After Katie died, he became an unstable man. He couldn't accept the fact that Katie died.
David is an old hotel owner. He was a man who didn't trust anyone, because they were after his Dead Sea Scrolls. He hadn't been outside for 25 years and he doesn't like changes.
Katie has a mysterious personality: you don't get to know very much about her. Tom is the only source of information, but he doesn't tell a lot about her character, he focuses on her lifestyle and the things she liked.
She has been in love with Tom since the day she saw him, but it took 25 years to accept it. She's very helpful and goes through everything to help a person. She is a strong woman who once was an alcoholic and that's why she became a therapist for people who have an addiction.
No-one but Sharon likes her. She has an accent which annoys everyone. She's straight to the point and that's why you have to know her before you start liking her.
The theme of the book is guilt. The book shows what guilt can do to people. All the things that were happening in the book was because of guilt. Tom felt guilty because he didn't love Katie. Sharon felt guilty because she and Katie were best friends but she still loved her man. And Ahmad felt guilty for setting his friend up.
It was complicated book yet very original. I've never read such book in my life, and that's what made it special. The things that happened in the book were scary and at the same time enjoyable. The book adds something to you: you see what guilt does to people.
Because the book was complicated, I couldn't really distinguish reality from fantasy. Tom went through a lot of things and weird thing were happening in the book, but later the book tells you that not all of it was really happening. I think the book should be more specific about what was real and what wasn't at all.
The painted bird
Writer: Jerzy Kosinki
My book was about a six-year-old boy whose name was not mentioned in the story. He was sent by his parents to a distant village for his own safety, because they lived in the second world war. The parents lost contact with the man who was supposed to bring him to his foster family, so they didn't know where the man brought their son. In that time people thought that a black-eyed person was possessed, so they didn't treat them nicely. Sadly enough, the boy had dark eyes, dark hair and he was dark-skinned.
The boy went to different places and everywhere he landed something happened which made him leave the town. The whole book contains descriptions about all the places he went to:
Marta, Olga, Lekh, Miller, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Forest, Peasant, Rainbow, Priest/Garbor, Makar, Labina, Red army, Orphanage, Home, Jail, Mountains.
But I'm only going to summarize a few of those places:
First, he lived with an old woman named Marta. She believed in dark magic. But after two months she died, because she fell into sleep when her house burned into flames.
Later in the book, the boy stayed with a miller and his wife. The miller is known for his jealousy, so when he found out that his wife may have an affair with their servant, he kills the guy with a spoon: he poked his eyeballs out off their eye sockets. The boy saw everything and couldn't handle it, so he ran into the woods and he found a bird keeper's house whose name was Lekh. He thought him everything about birds. The man was desperately in love with Stupid Ludmilla, and one day she managed to take the boy to a cemetery. There she tried to rape him, but as the boy screamed, peasants were coming from the town to see what was happening. When they saw the naked lady, they raped her. The women of the peasant know the lady and they know how much she loved men, so they tore her apart. Lekh came and tried to stop the women, but nothing worked. The boys also started running away.
One day, as he was walking through the woods, he found a wounded horse. He decided to bring the horse to the village where they could take care for him. After he arrived at the village, he found the horse's owner, who said that the horse wouldn't be able to recover so he decided to kill the horse: he tied a rope around the horse's neck and he attached the other two ends of the rope to two horses, but the boy ran away because he knew what would happen.
When the boy was walking in the woods, armed guys were following him. The boy tried to run, but they caught him and brought him to an officer who said that he had to be killed. The boy begged one of the armed guys not to and out of pity he let him go.
Later in the book, he went to a priest, who didn't believe that the boy was bewitched, so he decided to take care of the boy, but Garbos, the man whom the priest sent him to because of the war, abused him and his dog tried to eat him. The boy wasn't allowed to tell anything to the priest.
In the end he lost his voice because was thrown into a pit. He managed to get out of it and decided to search for a sleeping place. Later they were liberated by the red army. They found the boy in that town and brought him to an orphanage where his parents found him. They brought him into their home, but he managed to get into trouble, so they sent him to a place where he fell into a deep gully. When he woke up, he was at a hospital with his voice back.
Persoonsbeschrijvingen (alleen de belangrijkste personages)
The boy: The boy is very naÃ¯ve, he goes through a lot of things but he still believes in the humanity even though they treat him badly. He isn't strong, because he doesn't say or do anything when people treat him like dirt.
Labina: Labina was the only person who treated him nicely. She has a sweet personality. She made the boy see that people aren't as bad as they look like.
Lekh: Lekh is a nice man, but when it comes to love, he's helpless. He's desperately in love with a woman who isn't able to love him back and that made him unstable.
Garbos: Garbos is a horrible man who loves to see people in hurt. He doesn't stop until someone dies.
The boy's parents: His parents really loved him, but they were very worried which made them send their kid away. They didn't know what the boy went through, so they didn't understand why the boys was misbehaving.
The theme of the book is acceptance. The boy tries to find a place where he would be treated nicely, but every time he fails. Everyone sees him as a bad person and no one tries to know the boy for who he is. Later, the boy finds out that the only place where he would be accepted is home where he's surrounded by the people who love him for who he is.
It's a beautiful book for so far. You get a clear picture of what happened in the past. You get to know how people treated each other and you also get to know what their habits were.
But however, I didn't like the book, not because it was boring or the writer couldn't write, but because the things he wrote about were horrible and disgusting. For example he described how and old woman caught on fire and how a woman got raped or how a man tried to kill someone with a spoon. Those things aren't nice to read about. And the worst part was that he wrote everything in details, so I had to read about horrible things in every detail. I really felt very sorry for the boy because everybody hated him.
I also didn't like the book because of the time it's written in. The book is written in the time of World War II, so the conditions were horrible and people believed in the strangest and weirdest things.
Dancing boys from Afghanistan
This documentary is about the dancing boys of Afghanistan, also known as Bacha Bazi, which means playing with boys. This is an ancient tradition; boys between 10 and 19 year wear bells on their feet and dress like a woman so that they can dance and entertain men, who usually abuse them. A Bacha stands for power and wealth. The more Bachas you have, the more respect you have.
But on the other hand, the practice of Bacha Bazi is in no way acceptable in the Islam. In fact, it's illegal, but the number of cases is still growing. In Afghanistan women are not allowed to dance for men, so little boys are used to replace them. People don't like to talk or hear about it, because it's a taboo, but you can go to every DVD shop to get some Bacha Bazi DVDs.
Muhzamah Pudi, the head of the independent human right commission, has been asked if it's true that the practice of Bacha Bazi is growing. His answer to this is that the tradition never disappeared of the country and it never will, because the police can't do anything about it. Most men who are going to such parties are career men, so they're very rich, which means that the police in Afghanistan can't do anything to stop Bacha Bazi. The government also knows about the existence, and people asked them to stop the practice of it, but they won't do anything about it, because they're too ashamed to admit the existence of it.
The man went out to interview a Bacha. He works 12 hours a day and gets 2 dollars. His father died when he was 10, his mother doesn't have any job and he has 2 little brothers to take care of. He has no choice but to work as a Bacha Bazi. It's difficult for him to talk about what men do to him. They spend the night with him, but he can't say no, because they force him and he's too affraid to say something.
Later, he goes to someone who likes to go to such dances. His name is Sabbi. Sabbi owns 3 Bachas, the youngest is 15 and the oldest is 18 year old. Sabbi is 40. He gives them clothes and money in exchange for kissing and hugging the bachas, but he denied spending the night with them. Sabbi doesn't see it as a crime, but as a hobby.
Abusing a woman is a crime, but it's different with boys and some people don't actually see it as a crime. It's not easy to fight it, because the men take part in fighting a bloody war, so they're dangerous. Many boys don't have a future and they don't know what to do.
Jos: a city still divided
Jos is a city divided into two religions: the Christians and the Muslims. The Muslims and Christians life separately from each other. Rob Walker went 2 years ago to Jos to understand why they were killing each other in the name of religion. And since then, thousands of people have been killed. Now he's back in Jos to find out if the violence has continued.
There used to be decent areas where there was no violence at all, but those areas changed into dangerous cities. People were living in peace, but that was only happening in the past. Now people can't walk decently over the streets, because they are being attacked.
Now there's just one place left where people are living peacefully together. That's the only area without violence. What's the secret? They had an agreement with each other: they agreed to protect their community from outside intruders, would it be Muslims or Christians. The people in that area say it's difficult to explain why other places can't be like their place. There are too many factors.
Later Rob went to bomb explosive to see what's happening. You could feel the tension. There were 2 men who dropped a bomb. Muslims blamed the Christians and Christians blamed the Muslim. When Rob mingled into the crowd he saw the bodies of the people who dropped the bomb. But they had no arms, legs and heads. Some people where chopping their bodies to eat the meat. He had been told that the reason behind the chopping and eating was that that was the only chance to humiliate their enemies and it's for binding together those involved in the violence.
Rob Walker went to find out what the roll of the politic is. Nobody wants to die, so when there's danger people ran away. But where should they run? And there's where the politics come in action. They promise shelter when you support them in your area.
Rob Walkers finds out that it's not about religion, but it's about power. Leader of different ethnic groups want to take the lead. Another factor which can cause the violence is the uneven distribution of rights. One group has more rights than the other group.
A lot of people are uncertain about that lies ahead. Young children are being exposed to all the violence, they see horrible things. At some point they think it's normal and because of that, the violence will never end.
This documentary is about how a nuclear family should look like. Lucy Williams goes to Kathmandu to find out how the structures of family have changed. In the past a family unit was a father, a mother and a small number of children. This has been held up by politicians, religious leaders et cetera. They say that this can lead to a successful society. But now everything is different. Families used to have seven children. Now the ideal number of children is 2.
Lucy visited a woman named Loupna and she asked her why she doesn't want to have more children. She can't afford a second kid because of the financial situation and she wanted to invest all her time and earnings and savings on this one kid. It's quality over quantity; people want the best for their kid, so that's why they only have one kid; they want them to study and that isn't possible when they have a lot of children, because they simply can't afford it.
The next family she went to is a family which consist of 10 people: a grandmother, a grandfather, 4 sons, 1 daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. According to the grandmother they're very happy together; so far so good. But the grandmother doesn't want their sons and their grandchildren to go to school, because people who go to school will study when they're finished. And after they're finished, they split up. 30 years ago every family was just like this family, but everything has changed. Families who are still living this way are farmers who live from what they crop.
The main reason why families aren't living how they lived 30 years ago is that it's difficult living together. It's because of economic reasons: the sons split up to work in the village and from there they send money to their homes. Leaving a village and going abroad is the only way to earn money.
Roules Stalger, the key thinker of family structures said there are 3 pre-conditions a family should live to:
Ready, willing and ability.
Readiness: the new form of behaviour must be economically feasible.
Willingness: the new form of behaviour should be religiously and ethnically acceptable, it's about dealing with the cultural background.
Ability: there should be technical means to these goals.
If one of the conditions is missing, the new form of behaviour is not feasible.
Lucy goes to a meeting of a bunch of young women where they talk about love and sex. She wants to know how those women think about big families, but she finds out that some girls got confused between attraction and love. They had no idea how love feels, but they all experienced attraction. At school they mix with boys en they form strong bands. Because of these things, they split up faster.
In the end, she went to a care home where they take care for grannies. Children abandon their parents because they can't afford them. The grannies long for their children, but they don't want nothing to do with them.
There is a big gap between the generations. A lot of things differ from the past and family structures change quickly.