Remember the A-Team?

January 19, 2007 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Entertainment, Globalization, Television | Leave a comment

Dirk Benedict a.k.a. “Face” is currently one of the housemates on UK Celebrity Big Brother. Being American, he seems to be bonding a bit (or at least trying to) with Shilpa Shetty, both being alienated by the chav crowd in the house.

Race, Class, Culture & the Big Brother House

January 19, 2007 at 10:15 am | Posted in Entertainment, Gender, Popular Culture, Race, Television, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments
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Read Lenina’s post Shilpa vs. Jade: Indian upper-class vs. White working-class and watch the video below. It might stop or flicker when you play it the first time, but once it’s been fully loaded the quality is quite good of that one. I suppose it was uploaded by one one of the Channel 4 employees, as it shows the credits sequence for a suspiciously long time and freezes on the logo in the end.*

Why though did “they” choose to subtitle Shilpa’s, but not Jade’s words? Apparently because Jade’s accent – distinctively working class – was considered typically native. Being a non-native (or non-Brit – that might be the more crucial distinction at work here) I have a much harder time understanding Jade than Shilpa (and I’m quite fond of the Indian accent).

Lenina read the incident as a class issue, the British public predominantly has to read it as a race issue (and display signs of guilt and horror to appease the Commonwealth audience – to whom the show and its continued airing is probably a clear case of colonialist behaviour and discourse).

One could simultaneously look at it as an example of typical problems that may arise in crosscultural communication. As Jade claimed herself, she wasn’t able to read Shilpa or figure out whether she was “genuine” and hence assumed, based on her previous perception of such behaviour (in upper class people), that she wasn’t. Shilpa (even Jade had unknowingly provided her with the code to deconstruct the attack) in turn was hurt because she mainly took in the reproachful comment that she wasn’t genuine and that she played games, but clearly couldn’t see why Jade’s inability to read her disconcerted Jade so much. According to Shilpa, she simply “played the game (= BB) by the rules”. In the same way, Jade wasn’t able to see why what she perceived of as “being direct and honest” was not appreciated, but taken as vile (uneducated) behaviour and interpreted it as an upper class reflex. It couldn’t occur to her that being working class (and behaving like it) was probably not a centre of positive identity construction in some cultures (like the Indian), and looked down upon for other reasons than wanting to deride the uneducated. Etc, etc. Watch the video and see for yourself 😉

Bye the way, eviction night is on tonight on Celebrity Big Brother!

*) Back in the Web 1.0 days, start-ups had to take successful content like comedy show videos off the web because they couldn’t afford the bandwith. These days, they just upload them to youtube. How youtube can afford this is beyond me – but we also do not know yet whether the Web 2.0 bubble is going to burst or not. I think it will, but not quite as dramatically as the last one.

Embed Youtube in WordPress (.com)

January 19, 2007 at 9:46 am | Posted in Webfilm, Youtube | 1 Comment
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This might serve as a reference post for me rather than for the reader’s diversion. On and off, I’ve been having problems with embedding videos from youtube. You cannot use the regular embed tag that is provided by youtube According to WP’s youtube support page, they don’t accept what they call arbitrary code – the embed function apparently IS arbitrary code.

They offer a snippet ready for you to copy and paste, but that stopped working as well. And it was slightly different from the Youtube video URL anyway, so maybe that had to do with it.

N.B.: If your blog uses WP software but is hosted elsewhere, wordpress.ORG is where you’d find support. It might be that this solution is not working for you

Here is what worked for me (recommended by the Shandyking.

  1. Log into your account hosted on wordpress.com and go the dashboard.
  2. Select the item ‘Users’ from the main navigation.
  3. Select ‘Your profile’ from the submenu.
  4. Uncheck the box ‘Use the visual rich editor when writing’.
  5. Click ‘Update profile’ before leaving this page to save your changes.
  6. Start a new post and paste the following code:

    [ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ0c5F6pFi4]

  7. Once pasted, you need to delete the space between the bracket and youtube (I had to add it to avoid that youtube interprets it as a functional tag).
  8. Now replace the ID of this video (ZZ0c5F6pFi4) with the ID of the video you want to link to.

Looking for directions to embed video from DailyMotion, SplashCast, LiveVideo or PodTech? The answere is here.

P.S. But for some reason, I wasn’t able to embed the Jack Tweedy masturbating on Celebrity Big Brother video using this trick. With my thing for conspiracy theories, I wondered whether there was a mysterious youtube function that deactivated links to erotic content. But Lenina was able to link to a similar video without any such problems. And above all, you really don’t see anything kinky in the video, except the that there’s movement under the duvet. If you have any idea, leave a comment.

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