Foreign TV

Doing it Soviet Estonian style...

Quick, before this blog gets dreary. This one is for you Gabriela. Gabriela runs a blog in Tartu, Estonia and I visit it from time to time. She has a good eye and is always exploring it, but what I love most about her work is that it gives you a good sense of the seasons in the Baltic state that is Estonia. In the past few years, I have become quite familiar with her friends, family and lifestyle. She gives off a good vibe, she feel vivacious, honest, intelligent and full of youthful fun. As an aside here is a montage her parents might have seen on Estonian TV, way back in the Soviet Seventies. Straight from the studio of Mr.Chicken himself Harry Egipt.

"Hao, hao, hao...."

One last nugget for today. I can't really recall how many times I have watched this sort of programming while waiting for an official to show up and tell me to leave the county, as it is still officially closed to "foreign friends", or in some dingy hotel room, in the deepest Sichuanese provincial hole I could find. The narrator's voice is typical of chinese TV or Radio narration. It's essentially the voice of the state and I find it particularly interesting when governments go as far as to seemingly regulate the tone, intonation and pitch of its official broadcasts. This male voice, (there is a rooster and female voice too) narrates any and all programming on TV, wether it be an industrial output documentary, a travel piece about Tibet or how deliriously happy with the communist party, the Miaos in Guangxi happen to be.

This video also reminds me of visiting Mao's mausoleum and watching the looks of utterly fearful stupefaction on the mourners faces, upon catching a glimpse of Mao's mummified body.

Two birds, one finger.....

Here is what you might have been mesmerized by, back in 89', if you had been moi, and watching a peasant's 12 inch black and white TV screen. I have not been back to china since 1998 so may be now they do not need any more programming fillers such as these, but frankly it would be a shame to cancel and forgo such finely tuned communist chanting. [display_podcast]


but if this somehow doesn't bore you enough, you can go to this site and watch the countdown to the 2008 Olympics. Let the page download fully and turn up the volume on the sound system. You won't regret it as I always keep my promises.

So Ronery...

As you may or may not know, Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator in residence, is a big film buff and has personally directed many North Korean block busters. He has even gone as far as kidnapping South Korean stars so that they might perfect their craft in North Korea. This one wasn't directed by the man himself........ A workers' Paradise but soon to be repurposed as a Geico insurance commercial....


but this one was directed by "Dear Leader" himself.......


Southern fried Koreo-Greco-Chino-Roman-Franco-Estonian.......

One of my all time favorite source of entertainment, when I travel to foreign lands, is watching their version of TV. Not only does it give me a opportunity to get a foot hold into, said alien minds, and therefore allow me to better do my job but it also satisfies a very important and integral part of my personality, a kind of intense sardonic curiosity. To my credit I do not judge others beyond my first reactions and internal or public commentaries. Invariably these kinds of cultural diversions, leave me awe struck by humanity's extraordinary diversity and creativity. I love human culture in all its bewildering forms and one of my life's most important and dogged pursuit has been to experience as much of it as could be crammed in. I have gather a large collection of YouTube nuggets by key wording in some of my own personal collections or notes from the field. I will post these findings from time to time and if I ever get to it I will grace this site with MP4s harvested from my own video collection. I probably won't get to it since editing, copying and downloading video is incredibly labor intensive, but you never know. In the meantime, you still can check out the video I made in Afghanistan 4 years ago. It's long and strangely uneventful but it has its own beauty. Just copy it to your ipod and watch it on your favorite from of public transport.

Begin festivies here:

This one is from Estonia. I'll be posting more from Estonia so yall come back. On a personal note, the most disturbing part of this one is that it sounds like polyphonic Corsican folk music. Fucking bumpkins, they always sounds eerily familiar and similar.


I have been a great fan of Bollywood since my first of many trips to the continent in 1987. I have a large personal collection of both Bollywood flicks and their musical scores as well as the other more "serious" Calcuttan school of film making. This one plays like a bizzare tourist advertorial, loose limbed Mumbai extravaganza. Watch for the peculiar disrobing and the transparent bus among others. I have to admit that I have been know to frequent such buses in the great state of Bihar. And oh yes, it's also a good way to sneak into Afghanistan.


A classic and it features a commercial photographer to boot. I have watched endless hours of this kind of stuff while living and working in Asia. This one is Korean. Those Korean girls are so damn fine it's sometimes hard to concentrate on the story line and wonder what a Korean South Park might look like. Of course as everything Korean, it never ends well. The syrupy fatalism is to die for....


Much more to come, I have a feeling that this will become a permanent feature on this site.