Ryeberg

Ryeberg Playlist: Who’s To Blame?

1) The Deeper I Go The More I’m Turning Blue

Deep sea expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have revealed a highly diverse habitat that is — in their words — “akin to combining a tropical rainforest with a desert in bloom.” It looks a little like this.


U571FRA, “Reef Corals Up Close” (2009)

The Gulf is not only colorful and mysterious: it offers up more finfish, shrimp and shellfish annually than the south and mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England areas combined, and is home to 400 species of shells. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency says it has the best shelling beaches in North America.

2) She Might Have Loved Him Once But That Was Long Ago

Oh, but wait a second. That was 2003. These days you may want to do your shelling elsewhere.


Pelicans on Grande Terre Island, Gulf of Mexico (May, 2010)

Deepwater Horizon, the British Petroleum off-shore drilling rig that exploded on April 20, 2010, killing eleven men, and kept on pumping oil into the Gulf until July 15.

Pelicans are not the only creatures that bore the consequences. The entire ecosystem was affected, from tubeworms to endangered Western Bluefin Tuna. And don’t forget about the men and women in the Gulf tourist and seafood industries.

3) Who’s to Blame? I Haven’t Drawn a Conclusion

The recipient of the world’s rage was BP CEO Tony Hayward. Here is a compilation of his obfuscations during testimony to the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations.


Ben Craw, “Tony Hayward Testifying” (June 17, 2010)

4) This Is What’s Called The Liberal Tactic

BP faced countless lawsuits, and had to hire a team of equally evasive Nathan Thurms.


Martin Short as Nathan Thurm, Defense Lawyer for Big Oil Inc.

In the end, BP settled up, and began writing cheques that amounted to billions of dollars.

5) “God Keep Our Land, Glorious and Free”

Meanwhile, with the Gulf thickening, G20 leaders wined and dined in downtown Toronto. The Harper Government spent over a billion dollars to make sure it was a good party for invited guests and rather unpleasant for citizens out in the street.

A few Canadians, unaccustomed to police barricades, sang the national anthem — ironically — to little effect.


Queen Street West during the Toronto G20 Summit (June, 2010)

6) Under Pretext Of Public Utility

Police searched, arrested and detained over a thousand protestors and bystandersillegally and unconstitutionally according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association — while not seeming to pay much heed to the anarchists who were smashing up store windows and burning mysteriously abandoned police cruisers.

There is suspicion here and there that the first people to attack the police cruisers were agents provocateurs, à la Montebello, there to get people to take the bait. Is the young guy who casually smashes Cruiser 766 an everyday moron or an undercover cop working with the police? His lame anarchist costume and lackluster “Yeah! Fuckin’ A” would suggest that he’s the latter.


Humberto61, “CRUISER 766 And 3251 Queen And Spadina. Provocateur” (June, 2010)

Perhaps this is paranoia, and the squad cars got themselves into the wrong place at the wrong time. In which case some officers were in for a very firm slap on the wrist!

One thing’s for sure, the burning cars made for spectacular photos. In an interview with Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein argues (as do others) that the cars were welcome “media props” to justify the enormous expense of summit security (cheeky French President Sarkozy said during a press conference that next year’s G20 summit in Nice would cost ten times less than Toronto’s).

7) But The Earth Is Still Going Round The Sun

Let it be admitted, a police car is a tantalizing target for any young person. Or dog.


rotide123, “Dogs V Cops” (2010)

8) Ear To The Ground

In June, 2010, Ryeberg welcomed new curator Christopher Doda. His first curated video features a few cover songs. Here’s one more: A very fine Tom Waits number in the mouth of Scarlett Johansson.


Scarlett Johansson, “Falling Down” (from “Big Time,” 1987)

9) Never Stop The Dreaming

Over in South Africa, the World Cup saw early exits for les Bleus, the Azzurri, Bafana Bafana and every other African team excepting Ghana. Big men falling down.

And England? When the Cup kicked off, Englishmen the world over thought it might be their year, now with no-nonsense master tactician Fabio Capello at the helm. After all the oh-so nears, would it finally come home? (*the brilliant fan video below by dbarnesy2k — “First video I’ve ever made!” — has been blocked by UEFA, EMI, Big Corp Inc, and whoever else, as ever…shame).


The Squad, “Three Lions 2010

Um… no. Germany thrashed England in the Round of 16: 4-1. “If The Few had defended as badly as England we’d all be speaking German now,” said the Daily Mail. Woeful, dire, failure, rout, said the other papers.

As in the past, England were victims of cruel injustice when a legitimate goal was not given. The three men in the world who did not see Lampard’s shot cross the line, namely the Uruguayan match referees, were promptly sent packing by FIFA, and head ref Jorge Larrionda subsequently retired. Sepp Blatter apologized. All too little too late. England were robbed once again! Of a 4-2 defeat.

10) Anyone For Tennis?

Crestfallen England fans could distract themselves with their very own tennis tournament. A slightly unusual one in 2010: For the first time in eight years, Roger Federer would not be gliding onto Wimbledon Centre Court for the final. He lost to Thomas Berdych in the quarters.

Well, he’s a man, and a man can lose his composure.


Pedro Pinto with Roger Federer (2009)

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Ryeberg has been publishing essays about online video clips since 2009. It's part magazine of ideas, part video show-and-tell for writers, artists and critics. To know more about Ryeberg, go here.