The Viewer

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Antihero, Pirate, VHS, Cycling, Tel Aviv

On heroic aspirations, the economics of piracy, the glory days of VHS, and the benefits of cycling.


This week's Viewer essay: In Bruges, a dark comedy where the setting is as important as the protagonists.


The Psychology Of The Antihero

Academy of Ideas | YouTube | 20th May 2020

Examination of how (and why) we try to be heroes. "We disguise our struggle by piling up figures in a bank book to reflect privately our sense of heroic worth. But underneath throbs the ache of cosmic specialness, no matter how we mask it in concerns of smaller scope." Draws on William James, Gilgamesh, Emerson, and Faulkner (11m 54s)


How To Be A Pirate: Quartermaster Edition

CGP Grey | YouTube | 2nd June 2020

Piracy from an economist's eyes – contracts, shares, quartermaster term lengths. Wittily animated. "The pirate business is like any other – make a product or provide a service to your customer in exchange for money. The difference with Piracy Inc. is our customers don't wish to be... serviced" (7m 20s)


The Power Of VHS

Hbomberguy | YouTube | 30th September 2017

On the unexpected virtues of VHS. First of all, it introduced the wonders of home viewing to the American public. Second, "a lower-resolution format can increase the emotional impact of a scene. In some ways, modern, high-resolution versions of these films can't quite capture that particular magic" (29m 20s)


How Cycling Could Help Solve The Coronavirus Transport Crisis

The Guardian | YouTube | 3rd June 2020

How can we move around safely during coronavirus? We can't all drive, because the sudden increase would block up all the roads. Perhaps bikes are the answer; not just now, but in the future. "There's a wider conversation going on at the moment about how we can use this crisis to readdress how we think about transport" (6m 49s)


Creative Video Of The Week

An observant animated sketchbook of a trip to Tel Aviv


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Editor: Abe Callard
Publisher: Uri Bram [uri@theviewer.is]

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