Or how about...
Happy slaping Prince Charles?
She may be an octogenarian but Queen Elizabeth has joined the Web 2.0 jamboree just in time for Christmas. The 81-year-old monarch, who annually delivers a televised Christmas day message to her subjects, will this year also see her festive chinwag posted to video sharing website YouTube. Last year's message from the Queen …
For an incorrigible Anglophile like myself, this is pure gold.
Say what you will about it; bash on the Queen and the Monarchy all you want, but I find the entire concept fascinating. Not because of the Royalty aspect, but by the fact these films and videos are being made available for the public view instead of wasting away in some archive somewhere where only a select few ever gets a chance to see them.
One of the films they have available is the Royal Wedding in 1923. Think about that. A silent film document of an event that happened in 1923. Who would think that an ephemeral piece like that (probably made for a newsreel of the time) would be viewed with interest nearly 85 years later? And the film itself (for its age) is in remarkable shape!
I would like to see the archivists in the U.S. government get their collective heads together and place archival films of Presidential inaugurations and special events of this quality on YouTube. Would there still be usable newsreel footage from the 1920s?
Yes, a sensible idea that one of the few remaining monarchies in the world should wish to keep pace with modern technology. However it would have been so much better to have established a UK web-site to communicate whatever Her Majesty, or the Royal Press Office wishes to say, rather than using this ridiculous jokey thing that is generally used by youngsters and often for very "doubtful" material !
One wonders whether HM could possibly approve of this. More could be said of course, but the damage is done now.
In France, INA is offering online the TV news from their archives (http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/?vue=jn). Currently, 1976 to 2005 have been digitalized, and some older broadcasts (news and others, http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/?vue=corpuse) of special interest are as early as 1927.
" the "powers that be" should never have unmediated access to the public"
I can think of lots of people who would just love that but that theory always ends up the same way - established church, NEDC, Partnerships - when you force communication into approved channels the bodies concerned become part of the organisation and lose their value as civic groups. And if you don't have approved channels you just end up with self-selecting elites mediating the communication - media barons, political parties, trade unions, religious organisations, wikipedia.
Anyway - Mondeo man destroyed civic society in the UK in 1987 - there is currently a vacancy for a coherent political theory of capitalist democracies for c21.
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