Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

h1

On nonviolent struggle (2)

December 19, 2013

Interviewing Howard Clark – video 2
by Mujer Palabra (June 2013)

Advertisements
h1

Why did I become a pacifist? + On nonviolent struggle in the world (1)

December 19, 2013

Interviewing Howard Clark (Mujer Palabra June 2013)
Howard died last Dec 5, 2013

h1

A Child’s Guide to War

June 29, 2013

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1597527590/a-childs-guide-to-war/widget/video.html

h1

Women not getting justice ever, not even in mythology! and the water problem and…

June 15, 2013

Please, watch. “Dancing for a better world” by Mallika Sarabhai. Against violence!!!

HERE IS THE ENDING:

So, why is it, that if we think that we all agree that we need a better world, we need a more just world, why is it that we are not using the one language that has consistently showed us that we can break down barriers, that we can reach people? What I need to say to the planners of the world, the governments, the strategists is, “You have treated the arts as the cherry on the cake. It needs to be the yeast.” Because, any future planning, if 2048 is when we want to get there, unless the arts are put with the scientists, with the economists, with all those who prepare for the future, badly, we’re not going to get there. And unless this is actually internalized, it won’t happen.

So, what is it that we require? What is it that we need? We need to break down our vision of what planners are, of what the correct way of a path is. And to say all these years of trying to make a better world, and we have failed. There are more people being raped. There are more wars. There are more people dying of simple things. So, something has got to give. And that is what I want. Can I have my last audio track please?

Once there was a princess who whistled beautifully. (Whistling) Her father the king said, “Don’t whistle.” Her mother the queen said, “Hai, don’t whistle.” But the princess continued whistling. (Whistling)

The years went by and the princess grew up into a beautiful young woman, who whistled even more beautifully. (Whistling) Her father the king said, “Who will marry a whistling princess?” Her mother the queen said, “Who will marry a whistling princess?”

But the king had an idea. He announced a Swayamvara. He invited all the princes to come and defeat his daughter at whistling. “Whoever defeats my daughter shall have half my kingdom and her hand in marriage!” Soon the palace filled with princes whistling. (Whistling) Some whistled badly. Some whistled well. But nobody could defeat the princess.

“Now what shall we do?” said the king. “Now what shall we do?” said the queen. But the princess said, “Father, Mother, don’t worry. I have an idea. I am going to go to each of these young men and I am going to ask them if they defeated correctly. And if somebody answers, that shall be my wish.”

So she went up to each and said, “Do you accept that I have defeated you?” And they said, “Me? Defeated by a woman? No way, that’s impossible! No no no no no! That’s not possible.” Till finally one prince said, “Princess, I accept, you have defeated me.” “Uh-huh …” she said. “Father, mother, this man shall be my wife.” (Whistling)

h1

ORALES – A MUERTE! VAMOOOOS!

June 14, 2013

FOR MY INTERMEDIO AND AVANZADO STUDENTS:
These days, total exposure to English (listenings) and as much LISTEN & REPEAT AS YOU CAN. IT’ll help you a lot!

The most important thing: avoid making mistakes you know you can avoid making! And if you make them, yes, relax, it’s ok if you… FIX THEM! Practice Useful language for that, in case you make a mistake. “Sorry, I mean…” (corrected version)

Communicative Strategies: Useful language
audios to listen & repeat – do Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3
Listen to the audios for Interactions, too
http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/usefullanguage/langfunc/langfunc_conversation.htm

Learning to monitor your production as you speak
Watch the videos with my corrections, and repeat out loud the corrected sentence. By watching videos os this kind, you’ll learn unconsciously to fix your mistakes when you make them as you speak. Here are some audios too with corrections on the webpage:
http://www.youtube.com/user/EOIdeLeganes
http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/listofperformances.htm
Here, I didn’t do the Intermedios, but I did the Básicos and Avanzados (click on their Reproduction List and watch the ones with my comments)

More, here: including a mon on bullfighting for Avanzado (by me) and some ideas for potential problems during the interaction, so you can prepare useful language to be fluent and accurate (grammatically) while doing something to fix the problem!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking.htm

I’LL PUBLISH INTERMEDIO 2’S MARK ON THE SCHOOL’S WEBSITE ON MONDAY EVENING. I’LL DO THE SAME WITH AVANZADO’S, THE EVENING BEFORE THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION ON THE SCHOOL’S BULLETIN BOARD.

This has been the first year when the Avanzado 2 Reading and Listening Tests were at the B2 level, with no C1 questions. As people did their Writing test some teachers corrected the Reading and Listening of one of my groups (because I don’t have enough days to do all the work I have this week – even though I’ll be spending this weekend checking Writing Tests), and everybody has passed those two parts (Avanzado 2 Tuesday).

Anyway, when people see their marks, if they have failed some part, they should come to revisión. Check the time and the date for that, and come, if you fail any part. I could be late for Revisión because I’ll be part of an Oral Examining Board the hours before, so wait for me keeping quiet if you are in the corridor.

h1

Screenplay to work on your English!

June 13, 2013

best_exotic_marigold_hotel_ver2At last!!! Finished preparing the screenplay of the movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!

It’s taken me two months because I did it whenever I had some free time!

I’ve prepared this screenplay for me to use in class next year with Upper Intermediate and Advanced students. Teachers are welcome to use it, of course. And if you are a lifelong learner, you might want to use at home to work on your English.

the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-bk13 (44 pdf pages – the two last are ideas for activities!)

h1

Shipping and Transport, an Intermedio 2 interactive presentation!

June 6, 2013

Thanks, Roberto, and thanks to the students in his group, for taking part!

h1

Spanglish in Europe

June 6, 2013

Alberto sent a very interesting video: people from Gibraltar. They speak English using words in Spanish, too, so we could say that it’s the European version of Puerto Rican Spanglish! Enjoy!

h1

Interactions (dialog, Intermedio 2). Again! But they did so well!

June 5, 2013

I’m surprised I didn’t include more “Well done!”‘s  and “Awesome”‘s!

(At the moment I’m finishing Roberto’s interactive presentation, which I hope to upload in a couple of days.)

h1

How books can open your mind (TED Talk)

June 4, 2013

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/es/lisa_bu_how_books_can_open_your_mind.html

h1

Improved version of the World Book Day video!

May 22, 2013

Please, spread the word. The more visits the video gets, the more people will want to see it, and the more we’ll be spreading good ideas for the classroom experience, linking academic learning with LiFE!! I included the pics of Cake Days!

If anyone appearing in the pics did not sign the permission, and doesn’t want to appear, I will downloaded and blur his or her face, OK? No problem!

h1

A little music by an astounding artist

May 20, 2013

h1

Haim – Jammin’

May 18, 2013

h1

Haim – music and docu

May 18, 2013

h1

Don’t Save Me – Haim

May 18, 2013

h1

A video on World Book Day (Av 2&co)

May 17, 2013

Our second 5-minute video on the School’s YouTube channel!

I learned so much!!! I’ve learned to edit videos with iMovie!!!

If anyone wants any changes, I can download it and fix things, so just let me know.

h1

Our first contribution to the School’s YouTube channel!

May 15, 2013

On EINSTEIN!!

Thanks, Juancar!! I hope it’s useful for you too. I corrected all the minor mistakes. There were no major mistakes. I’ll bring a copy of this AUTORIZACIÓN PARA SUBIDA DE VÍDEOS! 🙂

This post also occurred because of Juancar: how to read Einstein’s equation

h1

Photos of World Book Day (at the EOI where I earn my living)

May 14, 2013

worldbookday2013On World Book Day there were two groups where we took pics: one Intermedio 2 and one Avanzado 2 group. The quality is not good — they’re pixeled and blurry. But I’ve sent out the bunch to a group of people in each group, hoping they’ll forward them to more people.

Here’s my question: if I distort them further, by turning them into watercolors, do you think we could send them to the School’s website and so that I could post them here and publish them on talkingpeople.net?

World Book Day

A HUGE THANK YOU TO JUANCAR EINSTEIN WHO TODAY GAVE A TALK ON EINSTEIN AND ALLOWED US TO VIDEOSHOOT IT!!! The School where we meet has created this year a YouTube channel and it’s almost empty, so this is a great present for us all!

IF ANYONE WERE WILLING TO ALLOW US TO VIDEOSHOOT, PLEASE, TELL ME. So far, I’ve arranged to bring the video recorder next Tuesday, but I can bring it any other day. Just let me know!

h1

15M – Málaga, March 2013 & August 2012 videos

May 1, 2013

Honesty is key. Kindness is key.

On the street we can communicate and think together. That’s what 15m means. Better thinking, collective thinking.

Culture is based on values (not on the market): the value of freedom, of justice, of solidarity.

If something is inmoral, it doesn’t matter it’s legal. We have to fight for improvements.

h1

How to read Einstein’s Equation

April 25, 2013

To answer Juan Carlos’s question! It includes the short (e equals m c square) and the complete forms.

h1

An OP on Working Abroad

April 4, 2013

with written corrections (few, so it’s mostly a black screen!) by teacher

María tells us about a lecture she attended on Working Abroad

h1

A monolog on Beggars with visual corrections by teacher

April 4, 2013

and a final comment

Telling people about things we read /red/!

Spiro Freire, a woman writer in Spain, had written an article on beggars with was totally uppity and cruel, and which is what Rebeca, an Avanzado 2 student, tells us about. I write a final comment on that, but you need to press PAUSE the moment you see it because there won’t be enough time for you to read it.

h1

Like installations but with movement! Dance!

March 23, 2013

h1

The Riace Bronzes!

March 22, 2013

Pablo sent in the info on the Riace Bronzes, the two awesome sculptures that were found in the seabed in Italy!

Hello Michelle. I am sending you the answer to your question about the sculptures in the documentary. Paste the link. Kisses. Pablo, Av2 L-X 16h.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riace_bronzes

Thanks so much! Big hug and tons of rest and enjoyment! 🙂

 

h1

Happy spring holidays!

March 22, 2013

Dear all (to my students – the happy hols is for all, though! :D),

  • Remember we’ll be starting unit 6 when we’re back in class, and that we’ll be doing just part of the unit, for lack of time. So if you haven’t finished unit 5, try to do so. Remember using your audios should be your priority, because it helps you with oral communication and with your grammar and pronunciation! When we’re back, I hope we can listen to a few people holding timed conversations or timed monologues every day.
  • Remember to post your Installation, too (Avanzado 2) And Intermedios remember to listen to your classmates.
  • Here is some literature you can print and read, and there are audios for some of them.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Yaba daba doo!!!

h1

The Story of Stuff

March 19, 2013

This is a must watch for Avanzado 2 students. 20 minutes. It’ll help you with Useful Language and ideas to tackle a diversity of topics, from Consumerism to Climate change!

I downloaded it and have it in a DVD, and my plan is for us to watch it in class any day soon! But it’d be a blast if some students who watched it decided to present it in class, and prepared a kind of listening activity or discussion activity for After Watching! Just let me know.

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

You can also use the materials other students created for their OP on Story of Stuff! Have a look here!

h1

The Story of Bottled Water

March 19, 2013

Here is the video Avanzado 2 students can watch to tell us about it next day (or after the spring holidays) in class!

(Please, don’t use subtitles in ANY language! The point is you get used to listening and understanding! The Onion Approach — watching it a few times — is much better for your English. And you will actually notice your progress on the spot!)

We can have a group telling us about it all, and then Q&A and discussing stuff!

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-bottled-water/

h1

How Art Made the World! (updated)

March 14, 2013

March 13: Laura and Juanma told us about finding the documentary on YouTube! The complete episode 1! So people, use it to learn more, and see if you can prepare a re-telling of what you learned. Also, if you missed these lessons, print the worksheet below and do it while you watch it a couple of times. Next week we’ll correct the second page. Today we only had time for correcting the first, after watching it a second time. http://youtu.be/efS9qOYNOjc

March 4, 2013: This week we’ll be have pairs and groups of three doing their oral interaction at Plenary, but in our second lesson this week, in its second half (the break will be a bit earlier, I presume), we’ll be watching the first episode of this amazing BBC documentary on Art.

How_Art_Made_the_World (2 Word pages)

The documentary is about how we humans depict the human body. This episode starts in prehistory with the venuses /vínusis/ — and it’s a pre-HIStory, yes — you’ll see why you never visualize women artists, which does not make any sense, really! Then it highlights the fact that Egyptians depicted the human body in the same way for … how many years?! And attempts to explain why. The most impressive part is when we get to Ancient Greece! So don’t miss the lesson! We’ll watch it once this week and again next week, for discussions in small groups and at plenary.

Here is a video where you can listen to Sara, an Avanzado 2 student I once had. She volunteered to do an Oral Presentation on the fourth, I think, episode, which is about how Politics has used Images to make people do and believe things! Enjoy!

h1

Parkour

March 10, 2013

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/21061014″>EXTRAORDINARY EPISODE 1: AMY – Documentary series</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/phoebehartley”>Phoebe Hartley</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

h1

Inviting Av2 (B2 – Upper Intermediate) students to do Oral Presentations

March 4, 2013

Some years ago, Raúl gave an OP on his Learning to Listen experience. I hope he inspires you!

Raúl mentions “garden paths” but that is not the name of the kind of mistake. My wrong, so sorry about that! What happened to him, what he misheard, that kind of mistake is called “mondegreens” in linguistics. Here is a worksheet I wrote a few years ago explaining Mistakes by Native Speakers, to cheer students up! Anyway, in some group this year I mentioned a very famous mondegreen, based on one of Dylan’s songs, “Dead ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind” 😀

lexical_mistakesbynatives (1 Word page)

Oh, you can base our OP on your adorable textbook, on the language you learn from it, I mean!

h1

The Art of Asking – don’t MAKE people do things! Just ask!!

March 3, 2013

amandailoveyouand self-employment and the joy of social networks and random closeness!!

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/es/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

How to become the hat! – She gives away her music for free and she asks for money (crowd funding) to be able to keep making music.

h1

2013 Spirit Awards

February 24, 2013

Film Independent Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards celebrates artist-driven filmmaking and recognizes the finest achievements of today’s independent filmmakers.

Hey, I just heard they said “two thousand thirteen” instead of “twenty thirteen.” So who’s hearing what where? 😀 Or better still, “Who’s saying what where?”

http://www.spiritawards.com/

Read this article from The New Yorker, “Twenty Something” and from The Left Call, “The Year Is Twenty Thirteen…

h1

Atún y chocolate (Tuna and chocolate)

February 22, 2013

Enjoy your weekend, adorable people!

Here is one of my favorite videos (this is the kind of relationships human beings can have — where people do their thing freely, and they are all connected!) and one of my favorite songs! It’s (at least in part) in the roma language (romaní).

Barbati, atún y chocolate Y un poco de levante pa volar. Barbati, la tierra de mi “pae” donde mi “mae” me hace la “pringá”. Barbati, atún y piñonate y un poco de poniente pa enfriar. Barbati , la tierra de mi “mae” donde mi “pae” me deja la vespá.

h1

Thank you for rocking the world!

February 22, 2013

ilovefeminismThe Biggest Mass Global Action To End Violence Against Women & Girls In The History Of Humankind

One Billion Rising is the beginning of the new world ignited by a new energy. It is not the end of a struggle but the escalation of it. NOW is the time to enact change. This is NOT an annual holiday, we are not waiting until 14 February 2014. NOW is the time to harness the power of your activism to change the world! We celebrate these victories, and we hope you do too. Now ask yourself WHAT CAN I DO IMMEDIATELY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS – and then go out and DO IT!

One Billion Rising was always conceived to be a catalyst and a wind rather than a new organization. So use it to fuel your next activities. Plan local actions for International Women’s Day, 8 March. Stay tuned for tips and actions!! If you want to know where to direct your energies right now, you can stage a V-Day benefit in your community – visit vday.org/our-work/college-community-campaigns today!

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Brought together people across movements and causes – mobilizing communities such as migrants, women in prison, domestic workers, urban poor, LGBTQI, farm workers, the disabled, and many more.
  • Created the opportunity for councils of indigenous women to participate in global problem solving.
  • Created global solidarity and strength cutting across borders, races, class, religions, sexual orientation, ages, genders. Reignited solidarity between women’s organizations in various countries. Rekindled the ethos of sisterhood amongst women on a global scale.
  • Brought to the surface the intersection of issues both causing and affecting violence against women: patriarchy, poverty, corporate greed, environmental plunder, imperialist policies, religion, militarization, interventions of outside countries, immigration, labor export policies, nationalization of industries, political repression.
  • Engaged masses on a deeper, more embodied level through dancing, poetry, singing, and art.
  • Produced massive media exposure, discourse, and advocacy on violence against women issues. It also created or was the catalyst for the development of millions of women citizen social media journalists telling their own narratives by picking up cameras.
  • Created solidarity and safe and free space, through our creativity and numbers, for violated women to tell their stories, many for the first time, and heal their trauma by dancing in public, communal open spaces.
  • Inspired millions of men to stand and rise as our allies, deconstructing patriarchy alongside us.
  • Galvanized and empowered legislators to generate legislation in support of ending violence against women and girls globally. Created an opportunity for globally linked women’s councils to lobby at all levels of government and UN.
  • Made violence against women impossible to ignore and never to be marginalized again. Reminded the world that women united will never be defeated.
  • Generated the best collection of worldwide dance videos ever!

GO TO ONE BILLION RISING 

h1

Talking about Food

February 21, 2013

“Talking about food” is a general way to say this is the subject that will be dealt /delt/ with.

But when you do your monologue at your speaking test, considering it’s a formal situation and the fact that you are not going to hold a conversation, say “I’m going to speak about food.”

Australian English

h1

Speaking about The Internet

February 21, 2013

Stephen Fry

http://www.videojug.com/interview/stephen-fry-the-internet/

h1

Speaking about Elderly People

February 21, 2013

At the CEFR B2 level people may be asked to speak about The elderly / Elderly people.

Old people’s homes can be nursing homes or retirement homes. From wikipedia: “A nursing home provides a type of residential care. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities”, “A retirement home is a multi-residence housing facility intended for senior citizens” (another way to call elderly people).  Now — retirement communities and retirement villages are further options (see below). Then — younger generations can take care of their elderly, too. Finally, some elderly people want to live in their own houses while they manage, and even when they don’t! There are personal care aides /aids/. Some more useful vocabulary: retirement benefit / (old-age) pension; pensioner(s).

About opening sentences connecting the issue of elderly people and the economic crisis, here is an example: “Due to the rising rates of unemployment and the consequent economic crisis, the elderly in Spain are actually providing food, shelter, or money for their younger relatives — children and even grandchildren!”

  • Article: Pro’s and Con’s of Living in a Retirement Village (Australian English: spelling like in the UK). Two interesting points they make: Security. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to home invasion and if they do not feel safe in their home or neighbourhood, it can cause a great deal of stress. Social life. Retirement communities are full of like-minded people who generally want the same things out of life that you do. This can make for a busy social life, if that’s what you want!
  • Brochure, 2 pdf pages, great read /riid/ to pick up vocabulary and practice “timed scanning”) in Canadian English (UK spelling, too).
  • Video, 1 min., British English. Social care worker working with the elderly, 3 min.
  • Video Personal and Home Care Aides Job Description, 2min, US American English

grannywantedOnce I was given this topic in a Writing exam. We were asked to write about pros and cons of having elderly people in an elderly people’s home or in their children’s home. Examinees wrote an argumentative essay. I thought of something different: I wrote a news story about an elderly woman who had gone into hiding because her children wanted to take her to their home, or take her to an old people’s home, and she refused to accept any of those two options. She wanted to be left alone! I had lots of fun writing the piece, and examiners checking it too! 🙂 The headline was: GRANNY WANTED, and I quoted her like journalists do! (a good journalist would never disclose its sources!)

h1

The language of nature for those who care to listen!

February 15, 2013

OK, my proposal is you listen and learn to listen to girls and women, too, not only to men and boys. Because women have not been considered human beings, with a human mind, in societies until the 20th centuries.

But learning to listen includes something else: Listening to nature! Learning from nature. I found this on D.A. Hartley’s blog, an artist, a bound-to-be-teacher! 😀 and a cyberfriend! ♥

http://friendnature.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/the-language-of-nature-for-those-who-care-to-listen/

h1

Dear girls, we’re here, we’re listening!

February 14, 2013

Riley analyzes market from a gender perspective. She’s simply a brilliant thinker!

h1

On pronunciation (on behalf of Alberto)

February 7, 2013

Here is a link to a video Alberto (Av2 Martes) sent in, to share with you all, for it’s helped him learn a bit more about pronunciation. Enjoy!

h1

Girls’ & women’s issues are not “side issues”

February 4, 2013

EmotionalCreaturepicWe’re over half of the population on the planet! One Billion Rising! (Mil Millones en Pie de Paz!) – Getting Ready for Feb 14! Print the poster OBR-POSTER_8.5x11pink and put it up wherever you work or study! Next week we’ll be uploading the pack we’ll use in class so you can print it for our lesson (public education has no money for copies for this, either 😦 ), which is three stories from I Am an Emotional Creature.  (Read A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sexual Slavery. Get more info here.

h1

Stories for Feb 14: A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery (in 2 pages)

February 3, 2013

Foto 132Here is one of the stories in I Am an Emotional Creature, inspired in girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And this is one of the stories we can read in class on Feb 13 & 14. In case you are afraid to read it, please consider this: we need to listen to the people who know about violence and are never listened to, not only to the people who tell about “the victims” (and keep in mind this book is informed by girls). The difference is clear: when you listen to people who were subject to violence, you not only learn about violence — you learn how to survive violence, and with this lesson you become more human, so to say, and you also become more aware of what to do about it all.

The minimum respect people who have always been ignored by HiStory is to listen to the direct source, and here is a 2-page story, a good chance!

A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery, 2 Word pages: LessonPlan14Feb2013

h1

Punky Brewster!

January 29, 2013

Thanks, Antonio! 🙂

h1

One Billion Rising

January 27, 2013

h1

Man Prayer

January 27, 2013

by Eve Ensler

h1

Led Zeppelin

January 25, 2013

Brussels, 1975 (Interview with Robert Plant)

1969 – “Communication Breakdown” & other songs including a ballad… sort of… 😀 (rock – groundbreaking)

First, the ballad, “Babe, I’m gonna leave you”, because in the video below it’s cut (here in 2008, for Amnesty International – Jimmy Page and Robert Plant)

I’d say that after listening these people, some other music we’ve had since the 1990s appears as a crime against humanity… (just made to make money, with commercial formulas, nothing to communicate, no emotion behind…) The industry of art is revolting… We should have separate words: say, “indusformies,” for the “masters/mistresses” of commercial formulas (yes, they should have a place in the world), and then “music” for artists.

They start with “Communication Breakdown”…

h1

Don’t Know Why

January 25, 2013

(2002) by Norah Jones

Norah Jones interview (re: Foo Fighters collaboration)

Below the video, a link to print the lyrics and fill in the blanks! (just in case you haven’t got the textbook audios!) 😀

Lyrics: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/audio/music/jones/norahjones.html

h1

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

January 25, 2013

by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ♥ (soul, ar-n-bee) – Ain’t No Mountain High Enoughtammiterrellmarvingaye

Watch ’em!

“ain’t” here means “there isn’t”

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is an R&B/soul song written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1966 for the Tamla Motown label. The composition was first successful as a 1967 hit single recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, becoming a hit again in 1970 when recorded by Diana Ross.

h1

Chet Baker – so light and sweet! (and powerful)

January 24, 2013

h1

Sinéad and the homeless

January 24, 2013

Black Coffee, sung by Sinèad O’Connor (I love how she sings this one!) Previous interpreters include Ella Fitzgerald, Black Coffee

homelessgirlSinéad O’Connor dedicated this album to the homeless (homeless people), and well — when I was younger I was a homeless for some time, not much, but when I give money to people asking for money I know I have no right to say, “Spend it well.” What’s well? If people with houses have alcohol whenever they like, what would they have to bear life on the streets? Anyway, I missed music so much! Some time after that unwanted experience, I had found a job in a private language school in Gran Vía, and one day an adorable student of mine was ranting and raving about seeing a homeless person having a cassette player with earphones and a natural orange juice in one of those expensive cafeterias in Madrid. And regretting having given this person a coin. Well, that blew my mind. I think I mostly asked questions.

Do you have a place to get back to when you choose? Is it a place where you are safe, and warm, and can drink and eat, moreover, where you can read, and listen to music, and watch TV and have your special treats? Why should you feel outraged because someone who is homeless has a cassette player and gathers some money to have something this person loves. Please, be honest. What’s the role of the cassette player or a natural orange juice in this person’s life and what’s the role of that in your life? Please, don’t go insane. That’s tradition speaking through you. We’re children of the 20th century. We have managed to grasp the meaning of the word ‘human rights.’ Actually, we make enough money with our work to pay for nobody to be homeless. The problem is some other kind of people, who are invisible for us all, take it all. But our work would make a kinder world possible. Don’t grow cold and hurt the most vulnerable people.

sineadoconnorSo when Sinèad O’Connor dedicated this album of hers, called Am I Not Your Girl? (where she interprets classical jazz songs, songs of her own her story and mine!, in her own talented way), to the homeless (and there’s a text she wrote too), I was really happy to get it! She even interprets one of the songs Doris Day (el colmo de la cursilería) used to interpret! It’s always struck me how cheesy Doris Day was and her very well muscled arms! If you ever watch a movie of hers, try to notice. Nowadays, any woman can have those arms and we have nothing to say about it, but in her days slim women were meant to have softer “curves.”

There’s a song in this album that I always imagine mimed by a girl who appeared miming a song in one of Almodovar’s movies: How Insensitive. I wonder if this happens to anyone out there ? 🙂 I don’t even remember which movie it was!

%d bloggers like this: