29 December 2007

Best of.. 007.

The end of the year is here again. Gosh, it’s been a peculiar year but I suppose that’s the least we have grown to expect during these times of the ever changing world. People getting hyper about things like global warming. Can you see their worrying look while they are cruising their 4X4 to the corner shop to get organic food and beer and somehow all this is meant to save our planet? I am not sure whether the planet will be saved but the time still flies. It’d December again. I am fast becoming a cliché of a blogger. Having a blog and updating it only in the end of the year while I invite you, the dear reader of this text to give a toss about which records made me feel good in double-o-seven… gosh, the agent year is almost done.

So here we go. It’s been such a good year for music. I have enjoyed so many records, played them in my radio show and recommended them to my friends while at it. Few notes again for the list. Passi blew me away this year. That record is such a cool combination of streets; very grim at times and more mainstream appeal beats including even a guest appearance from Wyclef. Well, that’s not the song that stands out for me but it’s still a good one. New Public Enemy record was also brilliant. As a lifelong fan it’s hard to rate these purely because the experience of a new PE record is completely different to any other record. It puts a smile on my face in a very different way. The feeling when I hear the first sounds of the first song is like nothing else. Well, like nothing else to me. So It’s difficult to compare them with any other releases purely because my experience of them is very different and therefore it’s not always easy to say which is better.

Also, and I suppose this is important note, the EP from Nthabi is an EP. I am not a music industry ignoramus who wouldn’t understand the difference between an EP and a full-length record, but most of all, I have no intentions to devalue anyone’s debut album by calling it a follow up to an EP. In my books, by the way, it must be said that giving this EP out online for free is one of the best moves in SA Hip Hop this year. It’s one of those mad modern things... or actually not at all new, but still seems to surprise many. First people need to hear your music, only then they can like it and proceed giving money to you (if you have more interest in how the music industry has, is and will be changing then you can always check the blog of my old university lecturer who knows his stuff). Finally, Promoe’s Standard Bearer is actually a DVD but I am referring to the CD that comes with it. I am a big fan of CD’s that come with DVD and vice versa. It seems to be something that small labels understand – give the customer; the fan, something extra so he/she doesn’t feel that the Euros, Pounds or Rands were wasted on something that really wasn’t worth it.

But before I lose myself even further to the business side of things let me return to the culture. The sonic pleasures I have been forward selling to you for a while without yet getting into them (it’s because of my past in commercial radio that I don’t see a problem if I ask you to wait for a 45 minutes to hear a song.. not even a bad one, but these are good).

So here it is. If you have a lot of money in your pockets then go and cop these when you see them in a shop and if not then try to find alternative ways to get them. I am not your guardian so if this involves some “illegal” activities then don’t blame me.

1. Passi – Revolution
2. Public Enemy – How You Sell Soul to the Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul
3. Klashnekoff – Lionheart: Tussle With the Beast
4. Blue Scholars – Bayani
5. IAM – Saison 5
6. Wiley – Playtime is Over
7. Promoe – Standard Bearer (DVD/CD)
8. Nthabi – From the Streets to the Lab EP
9. Pioneer Unit – Planetary Assault
10. Dizzee Rascal – Maths & English
11. The Lost Generation – The Infinite Potential
12. Pete Philly & Perquisite – Mystery Repeats
13. Underclassmen – Underclassic
14. Kano – London Town
15. La Rumeur - Du Coeur A L'outrage
16. El Matador – Parti de Rien
17. KRS- One & Marley Marl – Hip Hop Lives
18. Pete Philly & Perquisite – Remindstate
19. Tuomo – My Thing
20. Arts the Beatdoctor – Transitions
21. X- Clan – Return From Mecca

4 August 2007

Nthabi, Reason and DJ Hamma Helsinki Invasion


Nthabi and Reason from Johannesburg and DJ Hamma from Cape Town have been performing in Finland for the past week and I've been hanging out with them for couple of days in Helsinki. Altogether I ended up with 500 photos. I uploaded some of them to my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/welfarestateofmind.


Download Nthabi's EP "From the Street to the Lab" free and legal from:

http://www.vinyl1980.com/nthabiprofile.html

or

http://www.faycblaq.co.za/music/Nthabi.zip

31 July 2007

July please I am on my knees...

Four years ago I lived in Ireland. In Cork. In Ireland there's a singer called Mundy and that summer he had a hit song called July. It's one twelfth of each year but now when it's still barely here, it's almost again eleven months away from us. It's somehow a special month. It's what summer is all about in the north.

It’s late night late July and in Helsinki the rain is pouring down. Today everyone has told me that July was rubbish weather wise, but I thought it actually wasn’t too bad. I got myself a tan and I enjoyed the nice days on manyer occasion. So not complaining. Another thing about July; it took forever. This in normal circumstance on the northern hemisphere is supposedly a good things as well, but boy, it’s been very long this time around. I am waiting for the September see. This year I am about to have two summers in a row again, but even better news on a personal department – I am also getting married. That surely is a great news. That’s my September this year.

Before September there are still few things happening. This week I am going to go and witness some South African pure Hip Hop in Helsinki as Nthabi is performing on few different occasions and I’ll also see my homegirl Endz the Otherness finally on the documentary Counting Headz: South Africa’s Sistas in Hip Hop.

After that I’ll pay a visit to Nordkapp. Nordkapp is, as you can see from the map, the very north tip of Europe. It’s what Cape of Good Hope is to South. I am exited and quite frankly I have no idea how it will be. There will be enough fotos of the trip I am sure. I am going to drive there with my dad and come back around my twenty eight birthday and then September. Yeah the September… good times.

On another news... whether any of this really qualify as news or not, the University is over and I have finished my studies with nice First Class Honours and nice ackowledgment of the hard work in the form of a cheque... It needs to be said once again; good times.

23 June 2007

Podcasted

Nick Booth from Podnosh contacted me around October 2006 when I had written about then brand new Soweto Kinch record. His Grassroots podcast channel, which tells stories of active citizens in Birmingham had done a podcast of Soweto and he thought I would be interested - and I was.

After that we were in contact about our Refucast podcast concept and we also interviewed him about community based podcasting. After our interview he asked to do an episode for the Grassroots channel about our experiences and we, of course, said yes.

The episode is up now so you can listen to it here but even better, subscribe to his feeds from the Podnosh website.


Listen Now:











icon for podpress Refucast on the Grassroots Channel [18:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


31 May 2007

Summer is here.. almost.

Do you know what is optimism? Optimism is when after four years living in UK after one of two sunny days you leave for a long weekend thinking “I don’t think it will rain”. You could call that naïve; stupid even, but most definitely optimist. So, an old cynic like myself had to immediately pay the price for one step to that side. Now I have a flu. Weather in London was just plain awful. Rain, wind and cold, but other than that the city is still as nice as ever. I like London. This may have been a last visit in a while but I finally bought myself an Oyster card (for the public transport) to validate me as a human being (because that is how important it is) and letting the government to follow my movements. Although, I do have to say that even if that's the word on the street that Oyster card is for monitoring ones movements, I have no idea how they know it’s me and most of all what they want to find out about my life. If big brother is reading this blog entry, please email me what is interesting in my life because I fail to find it. I guess you know my address.

Ah well, jokes aside. Life really is nice at the moment. All the University work is more or less done, and it was fun to be in London again, as it has been established. The thing that makes the city nice, is that its got so many small businesses that you can support. Well, in theory if you have enough money you can, but I say this as compared to Birmingham; infested by big chain companies and J D Wetherspoon pubs, you just don’t get a chance to get a nice cup of coffee without supporting some big company that then, with your one and half pound, go and put up even one more branch right across the street. London has them as well, of course, but they aren’t the only options. We had such a good time in Juice Bar in Brixton. I recommend this place to everyone. They mix different juices and alcohol and you can also get the traditional drinks, beer and wine. It’s a small place, absolutely wonderful service and atmosphere and cool music. I had the best (and damn near the only) night out so far this year!

After visiting London I still have one more trip to be done in UK before my departure in 25th of June. I must still go to Manchester to collect my exhibition ‘Kipepeo’ away. I haven’t been in Manchester since opening it up almost three months ago. Nevertheless it has been such a cool experience even from the distance. One more of those and my self-esteem gets too much for my own good.

I have also opened some new accounts online. So check me out at Linked In and Facebook (if you have an account and if I still remember all my passwords for these). These are the new flavours of the month so I had to tag along and get them. I actually think Facebook is ok and Linked In may be useful at some point as it is more professional.

At the moment I think I have or contribute to five blogs, have MySpace, the new ones I mentioned already and subscribe to some dozens of RSS feeds, five or six which are weekly podcasts. That, I suppose makes me an online addict but I am actually, besides coffee drinking, trying also to cut down my daily online time.

One cool project though, which I have spent a lot of time with is Refucast. Well, I think it’s cool anyway. It is a concept (that means that it’s hypothetical for now) to create a podcast system amongst the refugee community in Britain. I am quite proud of some this work so go and have a look and listen at Refucast web blog.

Tomorrow is the first of June. The summer is here. It’s a first one for me in seventeen months. I needed one badly but in all honesty, this summer will be the best ever. Why? – I am sure we’ll find out later on.



29 April 2007

Thing or two

I have become a complete stranger to my own blog. It is not the first time either that I say that. I have been writing a lot – just not here. The dissertation starts finally be ready. Well, very soon it will and it has been a mission and a half. I am not going to write more about that.

Sleep deprivation resulted with one of the strangest experiences in a while. I was having a dream during my short rest and in that dream I was also resting but then the mattress started moving. It was very vivid; I never remember my dreams anyway and mouse ran out of my bed. I woke up but because I was so tired I can’t quite tell at which point the dream ended and I woke up. So I still am not sure if there was a mouse in my bed or if I was just dreaming. But so real it was that I woke up and couldn’t sleep after it at all. I checked the room and under the bed and later on even more carefully and there is absolutely no sign of anything. I am not quite sure if I rather have a mouse in my room than be trippin, but it appears that the latter is the case.

Other than that, our neighbours in Estonia are experiencing a bit of commotion. Tricky situation but I feel that they have right to do as they wish and moving a symbol of oppression does not sound like a crime to me. Especially I don’t see why Russian citizens should take it so personally. If someone, then it is the Russian speaking minority in Estonia who doesn’t have the passport as I hear they aren’t treated that well generally, but even that is not about a statue. But people get serious about these symbols. I guess as I Finn, I see things from a certain angle, but Stalin wasn’t all about fighting fascism in the second world war. If he wouldn’t have been on a winning side who then goes on to write the history his reputation now would be even worse than it is. And not many see him particularly as a freedom fighter as things are. This, of course, is not to side with his main enemy but that conflict wasn’t all about big countries. Smaller ones like us and Estonia, although not independent at the time, were drawn in without putting out any sort of death wishes. I hope the conflict gets sorted soon and no one over-reacts any more than they already have.

On the good news, spring has arrived. When I was in Finland during the Easter my friend told me that he can tell I’ve been in UK because I talk about the weather. That is true, but it’s emphasised by the fact that I haven’t had summer in 16 months now and I desperately need one.

My time in UK is soon over. Four years on and off on the island has been an experience to remember and large parts of it to try to forget. Very educational. Both academically and generally in life. The time has become to reflect and I am not going to do it here now, but I must say it has been on my mind a lot recently. New things are waiting for me and surely that is a good thing.

What have I learned then. Well, a lot, but if nothing else a characteristic to a process has been a skill to engage in a discourse which indicates considerable insight on matters which I may not posses significant knowledge of. Ya dig.

But many things are inevitably changing and that’s good, but I haven’t even had time to think how I am going to sort some things, such as my radio show out. I haven’t got a studio available in Finland where I will spend this summer. After that I am however going to South Africa (fingers crossed) so that will be a good thing. For my next academic research I am going to be so much better than this time around and that’s just natural. Things are looking up aren’t they. I hope I never meet that mouse regardless of if it was real or imaginary.

23 March 2007

Few documentaries

Few good documentaries that I recommend. I don't have time to write about them more at the moment; hopefully later. But the first one is "Rageh inside Iran", which will show you the nation in a light you probably haven't seen it. An interesting BBC documentary. The second on is by Byron Hurt and it's called "Hiphop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes". That one is a critical look into the culture that has been taken over long time ago by markets.






Watch Rageh in Iran from the Google Video site. I recommend this as you can have the full screen option.



Hiphop:Beyond Beats and Rhymes at Google Video site.

20 March 2007

Review of my feature "Street Kids in Cape Town".

Here is a review of my feature 'Street kids in Cape Town' by Program Director John Hingsbergen from WMUB-FM, Oxford, Ohio.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars

Adjectives: Earnest, Informational, Thoughtful

Listen to the feature here:

powered by ODEO


This is a factual, apparently well-researched piece giving the listener a glimpse of an often-overlooked problem. Although it focuses on the streets of Cape Town, the story could be produced on the streets of many American cities.

Producer/narrator Mikko Kapanen has a dry matter-of-fact delivery that serves the piece well by avoiding the impression of a bias that could be communicated through a more emotional presentation. The speakers tell their own story without need for more elaborate narration.

Our public radio listeners consider themselves "world citizens" but this piece might be most effective when used with a locally-produced companion piece or as a setup for a talk show about the plight of youth in our cities.

From a technical point of view, I applaud the use of a stereo mic in the sound gathering. There is however a notable perceived difference in levels between the narrator and the interview subjects.

Some listeners may have difficulty understanding the content of the interview clips due to the heavy accent of the speakers. I got used to it after a couple of minutes and assume other listeners will have the same experience.

This review can be found from PRX website.

18 March 2007

Reflecting back a bit


My exhibition 'Kipepeo' is finally up. If you’re around the Manchester area, you are more than welcome to check it out at Cafe Muse and if not go and have a look at the online version. I also have some fotos from the venue and from the preparation process which you can view here.

The whole process from beginning to an end; although it hasn’t ended yet, but, say, so far, has been such a learning experience. Much more work than I would have guessed but the satisfaction to see the images up was also better than I thought. It wasn’t just something along the way but an actual moment of pride. Not bad at all. Seeing for the first time people just being there, mostly drinking coffee not even concentrating on the images, was nice. It was a moment when it all become quite real and definitely a moment to remember.

I have just the other day booked the tickets to Finland so I will be there for the Easter. Next few weeks will be incredibly hectic as I may still make my way to Manchester to a radio conference where my boss from Cape Town is talking. Haven’t made up my mind about it yet but I’d really like to go.

I have also uploaded whole bunch of old fotos to my flickr site (the older one of the two). Many of them are from live concerts and although the quality (or the camera at the time) isn't always the best possible I still find some value in them. Go and check them out from here.

10 March 2007

Participating in the democratic process

It’s election time again in Finland. Last time around, four years ago when I was living in Ireland I didn't vote. What happened then was that some serious idiots were elected including a boxer, a singer and a radio presenter; none of them should have been anywhere near the decision making and although my vote would not have stopped them to get in, I felt that I wasn’t quite in a position to complain.

I checked out the information what should I do in order “to get my voice heard” and was positively surprised to find that there was a place to vote in Birmingham. Well, the website said Birmingham but it actually was in Solihul. That’s an hour or so in a local bus which isn’t too bad but I was surprised that they didn’t organise it in the second city but rather in its surrounding suburb. It turned out when I got to Solihul that it actually isn’t near the centre at all and that the only way for me to get there is to take a taxi. I hadn’t planned using too much money in this but I was already out of town and woke up early just to get there so I thought that I am not going to turn away now. So I took a cab to Knowle, a small place somewhere outside of immediate Solihul. It was a posh looking place. Solihul is where the rich people move from Birmingham but this was even more affluent; that most often translates into the lack of means of transport for poor students like myself.

So there I was cruising with a cab that I didn’t particularly feel I could afford and thought that I am going to need another ride to get back from there. At that point I was thinking that what in the world made them to put my voting place in such a messed up far away place. It appeared when I jumped out of the cab, asking him to wait for a ten minutes, that Knowle is home to some small Finnish community which, if I understood it correctly, makes coffee and drinks that then together every second Saturday. Woman in a traditional dress greeted me not being quite sure in which language, but as soon as I gave my passport and started speaking Finnish they asked me questions and even invited me for a coffee, which I would have had if there wasn’t a cab waiting for me. I was invited to join their community of coffee drinking every second Saturday which I kindly refused with a smile and a comment “let’s see about that”.

But it was their small community who had organised the opportunity to vote at the first place so I didn’t feel it would have been appropriate to start complaining to these elderly ladies in traditional Finnish clothes inviting me for a coffee – I may be a cynic but I am not a monster.

When leaving the yard decorated with small Finnish flags tied up into trees and walls the cab driver asked me am I going to start hanging out with these people. Although I already knew that I won’t, I then realised what a ridiculous idea it would be. Not because they wouldn’t be good people or anything like that. It is just one of those inexplicable things that are unquestionable for no apparent reason.

But the main thing of the day wasn’t that my quest for my democratic right of voting set me back a total amount of £18 (approximately 28 Euro!), but that I used my right as an adult citizen and voted. Now I voted for a person that is not very likely to get into parliament but it’s all the same. Of course I wish she will but at least no one can tell me that I don’t have a right to complain if things don’t go the way I wished they did – I have probably more right than anyone this time.

8 March 2007

Update

My blogging has decreased to the minimum lately. Surely I will get more active when I don’t have that many things on the plate anymore; now for instance I should write my research, not this. It still needs to be said that the preparations for the exhibition I wrote about before are going well. I have all the images done and printed and now I only need to take care of few other things such as frames and then brochure. Photographs themselves will go up next Monday.

Another thing that is happening at the moment, well Saturday actually is that I am going to vote. I have never before got around voting “abroad” and now we have a parliamentary election in Finland and I have figured out not only where should I go but also who do I give my support to.

Today I was on an inaugural lecture of my Professor. That was nice event. He was talking about popular music, radio and things like that using James Brown as an example.

When I get the photographs up for my first exhibition I will write more and I also by the way have already confirmed another exhibition in Birmingham. That will take place in June in the Central Library. It’ll be a very different space but no less exciting.

2 March 2007

My First Exhibition


This week has been unlike any week before in my life. That’s always good if it is better than rest – or at least different but great. I have confirmed my first photographic exhibition which will take place starting 11.3, next week, in Manchester Café Muse (Manchester Museum).

So wonderful news on that front but I am busy enough at the moment getting the prints, organising frames, getting my pictures to Manchester and designing a brochure etc for this exhibition.

The Images shown will be from my Tanzania set which I have updated with some images that I have not used previously.

I am sure I will return to this later on and tell how everything is going but now I must run again to the printers.

20 February 2007

Pictures



I am back again from London. It is such a cool place to visit. Partly that is due to my friends who live there and partly as it is so big and there is always something new and exciting. I don’t know if I wanted to live there, and if I indeed moved there would the excitement wear out at some point. Maybe I like it also because it is a change of my usual routines – who knows but few photos are available again to be viewed here.

Check rest of the photos I have online from here and here. As you can see the photo service by Google did not win my heart (at all) so I stick with what I know at least for now.

14 February 2007

Who was your hero?

This year a new film about South African history “Goodbye Bafana” is introduced on the Berlin film festival. As a person who is interested in South African history and culture I have been reading a few articles about it which has lead me to do some further research. Now, firstly it needs to be said that I, of course, have not seen the film in question. It would have been hard for me to have, but more importantly, I will not see this film.

Why do I boycott this film? There are a few reasons really but mainly it appears that Nelson Mandela himself is not acknowledging the friendship that the film is about. We are talking about a guy who forgave the very people who jailed him for almost thirty years so I cannot see why he would lie about this. It makes me suspicious.

The film is also directed by a white South African, produced by few different European production companies and South African one called Film Afrika.
Film Afrika is white South African company and lastly about the production team, Mandela is played by an American actor. I am quite tired of everyone except the people whose leaders and heroes these are, making money and controlling these productions. I understand that Mandela is a global hero; he is my hero too and I am not black African, but I think his legacy should benefit all the people he fought for.

Although in America the word liberal seems to be the tag word conservatives like to attach on everyone who is against the war on anything or anyone, in South Africa it means something quite different. Liberal usually goes hand in hand with white. White liberals are not seen very liberal at all. In my personal experience they are liberal enough to make money out of it but would not like their daughters to date anyone outside of their complexion. If you have seen the film Cry Freedom, which I like as it was done in a very different political environment; the way Donald Woods, played by Kevin Kline is in the beginning, that is how white liberals are. I cannot really explain it better. Liberalism is only a word that they use to describe themselves but it does not usually manifest itself in any kind of action. As I am writing this, I would like to say that there surely are many white South Africans who are for the equality; some of them went into prison during the apartheid as well but the problem I have noticed in the post-apartheid South Africa is that quite a few whites feel that they have contributed to the struggle when it is evident that only handful did. Now many are after the credits for it. And that is also what this film seems to me like - a prison guard who wanted to be down with the cause. He may or may not have been, but he wrote a book, made some money, now they make a film and whoever got the rights for that publication in his will made some money. White South Africans make a film about it and make some money and European and American people go and pay money to see it because, hey it is Mandela – a great hero. So it is. He or the people whose rights he was fighting for are not economically benefiting except maybe in some smaller roles and production duties. That is hardly where the power lies.

I come across like a cynic which is quite accurate description of me but to add insult to injury the name of the film uses a word “bafana”, a Xhosa word, but I wonder how far you have to go in the production team to find a first person to speak this language.

I cannot say whether this film is good or bad as a film. As I said I have not seen it, but I know I will not find out. I am boycotting it.

31 January 2007

Birmingham arrests

The war on so called terror keeps on continuing here in UK and now on my streets in Birmingham. The fact that this took place in Birmingham doesn’t really surprise me at all, quite the opposite, but it’s a sad thing. From what I have been following the whole situation here, probably the most ethnically diverse part of the country, the tension is rising. Not in any obvious way (unless if you call the riots less than 2 years ago obvious) but on the background. You hear how people talk and how little the different communities communicate with each others. How the area you live in pretty much tells your ethic origin and those lines are not to be crossed. It’s almost like voluntary group areas act (of apartheid) and it’s sad to see. What this creates is ever increasing suspicion towards the large Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi etc communities. There has already been extremely ignorant and hurtful comments from Home Secretary John Reid urging all Asian parents to “spy” on their kids so they wouldn’t join so called terrorist activities and then the government leaked document urging universities to keep an eye on the “Asian looking people”. It seems obvious to me that every single person from these communities is a suspect now. I’ve seen the frustration of my fellow students and I cannot imagine how it would be to be in their shoes.

I am not, of course, saying that they shouldn’t arrest people who plan on blowing up innocent people, if that is the case, but this government won’t win this war with its discourse of aggression and dividing the nation. Out of all the options to deal with the situation, it is probably the worst one. There is a lot of healing to be done and for it to ever happen, someone should start it in the near future. Maybe even today.

By the way – what a convenient way of not to talk about this.

28 January 2007

A new photo service.. new for me at least.

The new services online are getting better all the time and I am sure they have a fair bit of competition amongst them; which becomes the next YouTube or MySpace and so on. I like the Flickr photo service but I wanted to try Picasa. To know what is it about. Picasa is the image service of Google and having Gmail address I get to use all that they have to offer. Even this Blogger now works with the same passwords, but here is how it looks. Some photos that has already been up on Flickr but I'm only about to find out now how they work with Picasa.




15 January 2007

eMpTyV

It must be already over fifteen years ago when our household got a new VCR and unlike the older one, with this I could start watching MTV. That was one of the best things at the time. Little old me was finally connected to the big world of entertainment and popular culture. I must have spent months just staring at the box during the next few years after that. It was MTV Europe with Ray Cokes, Davina and likes and all of this music that I had heard off but had not heard. I remember spending some absolutely gorgeous summer days (and back home they are limited) inside waiting for the Madness video or American soul tracks or dozens of pop tracks that are already forgotten even by the very people who wrote them.

During the years my habit was fading a bit by bit but I still have memories taping the latest TLC and Boyz II Men videos. For the youth of today this may sound incomprehensible but at that time MTV still played music.

Some years after MTV Europe became MTV Nordic; a regional Scandinavian and Baltic music channel playing mainly Swedish music and increasingly mind numbing reality shows and now, over a year ago Finland got its own MTV which plays few videos in the middle of the night but mainly shows that kill your brain cells more than sniffing glue. It is all pretty much that American teen entertainment. It is understandable that as I grew up MTV as my best friend, it is hard for me to completely to detach myself from all of this rape of human mind. I am no longer the target audience for the channel but while I was watching some of it on my holidays, and when I do my best to set my need for nostalgia aside, and I thought that it was nothing more than eMpTyV.

Their rotation of videos at night time, the time when you can still see some videos, is so tight that it makes CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) feel like a diverse and well balanced source of entertainment and information and on top of those videos, viewers can send text messages and channels offers a tasteless comment about their sex lives. I must be getting very very old, but at the same time surely the viewers themselves must be too young for that. I mean the content feels like it is targetting ten year olds. The shows are almost all American and I remember when they started this new service it was promised how it will give a new platform for local popular music. Although few of the videos played were local, the small amount of videos and the tightness of rotation ensures that not many artists will benefit from this. Only thing I can imagine to be different from the regional MTV Nordic to MTV Finland is that now they can sell their own advertising time and all of a sudden all the old Nordic channels can multiply their advertising revenue by targeting it better and Viacom in US will be happy while the kids learn that a) it’s cool to be stupid b) money defines your value if you are a male and c) the size of your breasts define your value as a human being if you are a female. If I ever have children I will not tell them that popular culture exists before they are old enough to understand that it also has more positive sides than MTV.

Back in UK

I arrived back to Brum last week and I am finally ready to start the final part of this journey that has taken much longer than I ever thought it would. Although Finland had no winter either, the spring is much further here. Or I suppose the it is more like the winter never came here as much anyway. I have a new room in the same old house and I think it will be a good one. For once I am very excited about the future and that, my friends, is a great thing. I cannot wait for the proper spring (although that will still take a while, but in the last year of university time flies).