Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

This video essay examines the philosophical response to moderism and the effects of urbanisation on the human being. In particular, it compares Georg Simmel’s The Metropolis and Mental Life and Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproductions.


One of the major philosophical concerns for modernists was the effects of urbanisation and industrialisation on the mind of the individual. Georg Simmel observed that it was difficult to maintain our sense of self in the wake of a rapidly changing social and sensory landscape. He identifies the city’s primary element as being a “plurality of stimuli”, which the citydweller would gradually come to suppress (176). Similarly, Walter Benjamin wrote that technological advances have fundamentally changed the way we create and interpret art. As the artists techniques change, so too do their ideas and habits; and moreover, with the ability to reproduce on a mass scale, the relationship between everyday people and art has also been irreversibly altered from what it was in pre-modern times (222). Both men equate the modern individual with a sense of dislocation and detachment, as though some vital part of our selfhood and creative potential has been severed by modernisation. They reveal in their work a tendency to romanticise pre-modern society, referencing the greater cohesion of rural communities and the “aura” present in singular artworks, now dissolved by big city anonymity and mechanical reproduction. However, it could be argued that the sense of loss exemplified by Simmel and Benjamin is more emblematic of how the people in those societies felt, rather than what they were genuinely experiencing. Admittedly, this is a small distinction, but perhaps important, and one that can be explored more objectively from the privileged gaze of the early twenty-first century.



This is a dramatic reading of Robb’s speech to Dino about the reason the Shkeen (and his beloved Lya) are surrendering their bodies to the Greeshka. It is taken the novella A Song for Lya, by George R. R. Martin.

A poem written by Irish poet W. B. Yeats in 1919. It uses Christian imagery regarding the Apocalypse and Second Coming allegorically to describe the atmosphere of post-war Europe.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Here is a dramatic reading of a monologue from William Shakepeare’s Richard II. It begins “No matter where – of comfort no man speak…”

This is a dramatic reading of the story Meera Reed tells to Brandon Stark about the Tourney of Harrenhal. It is taken from Bran’s second chapter in A Storm of Swords (book 1 of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga).


[MP3] Download or play this episode directly
[iTunes] Subscribe to us on iTunes
[WordPress] VOK podcast feed
[Forum] Episode Thread

To celebrate their 400th podcast, the curators of VOK break bread in the smoky halls of the Twins and toast a joyous marriage to Edmure Tully and Roslyn Frey.

Join Duncan (Valkyrist), Glen (Dagos_Rivers), Bina (Bina007), Patrick (Ser Patrick the Tall), Zach (Alias), Adam (drownedsnow), Nadia, and Greg (claudiusthefool) for a one-night only performance of Catelyn VII from George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords (aka the “Red Wedding”). And stick around backstage for a postmortem discussion of the chapter.

Warning: Contains spoilers for all published books in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

02:20 – Full Cast(le) Recording #13: The Hole Where Our Hearts Had Been
33:32 – Catelyn VII (ASOS) Chapter Discussion

Edited by Valkyrist

This is a dramatic reading of the Lament for the Rohirrim poem (aka “Where now the Horse and the Rider?”). It is first recited by Aragorn on their way to Edoras during The Two Towers (book 2 of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings).

This is a dramatic reading of the story Old Nan tells Brandon Stark about the Others and the Long Night. It is taken from Bran’s fourth chapter in A Game of Thrones (book 1 of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga).

This is a dramatic reading of Sandor “The Hound” Clegane’s speech about how his face was burned by his older brother Grergor as a child. It is taken from Sansa’ second chapter in A Game of Thrones (book 1 of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga).

This is a dramatic reading of the confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgûl. It is taken from the Seige of Gondor chapter The Return of the King (book 3 of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings).