“I tell people that BUG is like going round to a friend’s house and having him open up his laptop and show you interesting and amusing things he’s found or made, except not as tedious and shit as that sounds.” Adam Buxton
We went to see Adam Buxton present BUG last night at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, with no real preconceptions whatsoever.
Well, maybe one. That it would be something akin to watching Rude Tube live, but with more interesting beats and without that curly-haired twat. Thankfully it was nothing of the sort.
Sitting in an art-house cinema to watch cutting-edge music videos was a novel enough experience in itself, but the focus of the evening was definitely the host, Adam Buxton, who was in fine comedic form, making the whole experience much more like live stand-up comedy than anything else I can think of.
He would be the first to admit he has been off the public radar for a few years – in “TV Jail” as he puts it! But he has still been very active in the digital realm, carving out his own surreal style via his Youtube channel. While incarcerated in obscurity, Buxton has embraced the viral and assimilated this culture into his comedy vignettes, which seem just as playful (but a lot less infantine) than his seminal work with former partner-in-crime, Joe Cornish. As a childhood fan of The Adam and Joe Show it’s really nice to see his comedy mature and develop as I do.
The whole evening had a really relaxed and intimate atmosphere – like you really were round his house, peering over his shoulder while he showed you his favourite online clips. My only criticism of the event was that it didn’t last quite long enough. I could easily have stayed into the small hours watching music videos with him. It felt like I was hanging out with an old mate of mine that I hadn’t seen for a few years, and it seemed like the rest of the audience felt the same.
The music videos he showed us were also of high quality. Alongside more obvious (but still great) choices like Roots Manuva’s Witness The Fitness and contributions by the legendary Cyriak, there were also some great videos that had passed me by, and I enjoyed this aspect as much as the comedy. If you get chance to go see one of these shows, do so!
Some of Adam Buxton’s new material:
They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scenes from cartoons. The cat reaches a precipice. But it goes on walking. Ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street – Hey, look down! We are awakening from a dream. When the Buddha was asked to describe his experience of awakening he said, “What I have awoken to is deep, quiet and excellent. But,” he continues, “People love their place. It’s hard for people who love, delight and revel in the fixed views and places of absolute certainty, to see interdependence.” – Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek’s rousing speech at Occupy Wall Street protest
Remaining Human: A Budhist Perspective on Occupy Wall Street is an inspiring article written by Michael Stone (Centre of Gravity).
Stone’s message is an important one. As a student of the dharma, one learns to cultivate the middle way, and part of that is casting a discerning, questioning eye over one’s own views, intentions and actions. It is easy to let passions run amok and cloud vision and judgement. As the Buddha once said, “what you think you become”. Unchecked anger becomes violent action and is met with anger and violent resistance. We’ve seen in the past how the important issues which protesters seek to bring to light can get over-shadowed by unchecked passions and unskilful actions. As we all know, the media/news loves drama, and what could be more dramatic than a protest which erupts into violence. If this happens politicians will seize upon the opportunity provided by the unruly mob to shift attention from the important issues which people are trying to raise through their right to peaceful protest, and the core message will be lost in a media feeding frenzy of sensationalism and spin.
That is not to say that passions should be suppressed. More skilfully guided, and creatively employed. Occupy Wall Street, and other recent inspired expressions of the people’s voice (Cairo, Egypt. Where the people refused to pushed to violence. Patience, peace and unity won the day) have been victories for just such an approach. Keeping the right attitude is so important. Just as unchecked anger will spread and multiply, so too will a balanced and peaceful, skilful, determined and creative attitude. Through these means the people will begin to awaken from the dream to the reality of the situation. As Stone writes in his piece, Enlightenment is not personal; it’s collective. There is the tale of the rampaging elephant who is subdued by the Buddha’s unwavering light of peace and compassion. This truth will spread. Through unity and solidarity these skilful means can have the most potent effect, and once the ball starts rolling along the right path, momentum will build and no obstruction will stop its progress.
Television and the media may have changed a lot since 1976, but Network still packs a punch. Profit motivated corporations still control the news, and televised news is still how most people find out what is going on in the world – even in the digital age of free information, the media giants heavily influence public opinion. There are parallels with Murdoch’s empire and its recent controversies. The film is set during a global recession, and feels more relevant than ever. Recommended viewing for all.
More info here:
I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!
Review of 4everevolution coming soon!