Monday, October 01, 2007

Titanic artifacts and Nuit Blanche.

I managed to cross a few things off my life's "to-do" list on Saturday. This included a bunch of stuff I never even knew was on there to begin with.
  • See authentic artifacts recovered from the Titanic, at the Ontario Science Centre.
  • Threw a baseball at 59 miles per hour in the radar gun a the OSC.
  • Vow to return to the Science Centre as often as I can, as I can get in there free. (This is a nice perk of being a teacher... that, and all the free red pens I could ever want.)
  • Discovered a delicious new dark beer called Hockley, which was recommended to me by the Chair of the Physics department at Ryerson. It has this gorgeous, slightly nutty, slightly caramel-y flavour, not unlike Waterloo Dark. I found it an an LCBO in Toronto, and I hope you can find it in your local outlet.
Then, at Nuit Blanche...
  • Walked on the field at the new Varsity Stadium, and marveled at the wonder of FieldTurf. Nice work, U of T! That's one easy-on-the-knees surface you have there.
  • Drew a chalk outline of frequent site-contributor ECB on Hoskin Street, complete with purse.
  • Sat down at a stranger's kitchen table, at the corner of Beverly and Cecil. Outdoors.
  • Got co-interviewed by a documentary filmmaker about what I thought about said kitchen table.
  • Saw a dumpster that got turned into a hotel room.
  • Watched a silent movie with piano accompaniment.
  • Made a "farewell AGO, come back in eight months when your renovations are done" card.
  • Inspected a replica of downtown Toronto where every building was made of little cushions.
  • Walked past a "life drawing" workshop where you could draw some naked dude.
  • Saw a naked dude.
  • Didn't draw a naked dude.
  • Walked around in the TTC's "ghost subway station," Lower Bay.
  • Took a subway at 4:30 in the morning.
Perhaps the most bizarre thing I saw all night was a set of "Scopitones."

Let me explain.

ECB, CH and I were walking around this art gallery on Richmond Street when we saw a giant screen set up in the courtyard, and what looked to be someone from the '60s on it. So, we ambled in and sat down to catch the action.

What we saw was something that looked like a music video from 40 years ago. "They didn't have music videos back then," we reasoned. "These have got to be some sort of performance-art pieces that they just made to look retro." We figured they couldn't possibly be real, because they were possibly the hokiest things we'd ever seen.

Ski-bunnies singing backup? Check.

Ridiculous numbers of costume changes? Check.

Snowball fights between a guy in a red sweater and women dancing in a forest? Check.

Wildly-gyrating hobos? Check.

So we laughed our asses off, thinking that whoever did these sure as hell did a convincing job. As ECB and I were heading off from Nuit Blanche, ECB said to me, "I think CH thinks those were actually from the '60s."

"There's no way they can be," I replied.

Well, it turns out that Scopitones are real. Go here for a bunch of them (look for "Good For Nothing Bill" for the dancing hobo); here's a whole whack of 'em on YouTube. For my money, nothing quite beats Bobby Vee's "Pretty Girls Everywhere" for sheer campy stupidity.

1 comment:

kelly o! said...

OSC! *jealous*