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Big Weekend part Two: Mothers' Day, Lessig, The Woodsman
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Following on from part One, let's look at Sunday.

Mother's Day

Not only am I normally un-enthused by commercial celebratory days, I don't have a mother (not living, at least). As such, I am guilty of doing what purple_silk charged arcanumveritas: not thinking about doing anything nice. We did at least go to McDonalds so that Deborah could serve brekky to her Mummy.

Lessig, Ito and someone I can't remember

Though I didn't want to miss out on going to a lecture - The Creative Commons: intellectual property & public broadcasting & opportunities for common sense & public good. While I can't remember much of what Martin Harrison (poet and ABC supporter) spoke, Lawrence Lessig and Joi Ito both gave well prepared, well delivered, memorable presentations. I'd love to learn the skill of putting together a Keynote presentation in the way Lessig did.

Lessig's presentation was a variation of the Free Culture one he did for Web 2.0: audio available from IT Conversations.

I don't have to record copious notes about the lecture. Instead, I'll refer to this blog entry by the student who asked three (long winded) questions instead of one, and has blurred his face on the photos he got with Larry and Joi.

Kim Weatherall was also there and found the content a little less than satisfying. She's right in saying he lives up to his "rockstar" academic reputation. I don't think it is at all a bad thing to popularise and summarise important issues for wider consumption. But Kim's look at the nature of Lessig's rhetoric helped my keep a sense of balance.

Joichi Ito also presented, providing examples of how it can make good business sense to allow sharing as a promotional tool. Now we just need more companies to realise this viral marketing power.

Still, there are laws that need to be examined and these presentations didn't clearly say "this is how it should be". Maybe that's because they don't have The Answer, but because they want to want to encourage movement in a particular direction. Essentially, I agree that the presentations contained imprecision and a lack of a clear path forward, but I don't think that's all bad. The copyfight is comprised of many small battles; it is useful for people like Lessig, Ito, Doctorow, etc. to push the ideas behind them and get people interesting in joining the fight.

The Woodsman

After the lecture, I went to see The Woodsman at The Lumiere. A brilliant film, and it is a shame that only a couple of cinemas are playing it. But as one review said: "Extremely. Bad. Timing." I somehow doubt there'd be much demand for it to play at more cinemas.

I'd like to see it again when I'm not so tired. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing/reading the stage version that inspired the film. Tiredness aside, I thought the film did a good job of showing the human side of a child molester, without condoning his actions or being unrealistic about the recovery process. Seeing him grooming a girl in the park was unnerving; it felt so wrong, but then, it was presumably part of his pattern of abuse before his jail time. More affecting to watch, was seeing it dawn on him that maybe his victims didn't want his touch. Leaving Robin alone, plus beating another child molester were signs of his entry into a life of recovery.

Sadly, though, I don't think any film can have a high impact on me these days. Damn society/media desensitising me! I was gripped, but perhaps would have found the film even more intense if I hadn't read much about it beforehand (and wasn't so tired).