Metal band Gwar is not usually associated with thoughtful social commentary. Unless you’re already a Gwar fan, you probably think of the band as “that crazy group with the freaky costumes and elaborately vulgar stage shows.“ (Actually, even if you are a Gwar fan, you probably think of them that way.)
So you might be surprised to learn that the lead singer of Gwar recently gave a TEDx Talk.
Dr. Michael Bishop, who gave the talk, currently plays the role of Gwar’s lead singer, the berserker Blothar. More importantly, he has a Ph.D. in music from the University of Richmond, with a particular interest in ethnomusicology (basically, the cultural and social context around music).
“Our society is homophobic, it is infused with homophobia, it is dripping with homophobia.”
Panti Bliss delivers a follow-up speech at a local TEDx event to her viral video addressing homophobia today, talking about “all the little things” gay people have to put up with on a daily basis.
In the speech from September last year Panti discusses the little things that make us human that lgbt people cannot enjoy without first considering the possible consequences of these actions:
“Everyday I am jealous of straight people because that tiny intimate expression of affection has never once been mine…I am jealous of that because gay people do not get to hold hands in public without first considering the risk…We look around to see where are we, who’s around, what kind of place is it…are there bunches of lads outside a pub? … I’m 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, carelessly held hands with a partner in public… I’m 45 and I’m fed up of putting up so I’m not anymore.”
Panti also covers what homophobia really means, being treated differently or less than straight people and how gay people are reduced to nothing but sex acts by homophobia.
“The people I met have endured terrible suffering, loss, heartbreak and fear. They look to Europe for protection. They look to Europe for safety. Yet they are too often met by prejudice, ill-will, hostility, intolerance and anger. I urge people to take some time – even just 5 minutes – to look beyond the headlines and get to know one of the millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their home.” - Douglas Booth
“TINY VICTORIES: What I learnt from painting a miniature every single day for 730 consecutive days.”
I’m so honoured to have been invited to be a speaker at TEDx UCT this Saturday (and yes, my nerves are shot). If you’d like to see me facing my giant fear of public speaking, you can grab a ticket at the link in my profile. 🐜 #tinyvictories #tedx #uct #uhoh (at Buchanan Square, Woodstock)
Viet Vu's TEDx Talk, “Bi the Way, We Exist,” on Bisexuality, Coming Out, and Equaldex
Viet Vu, Equaldex moderator and Economics major at University of British Columbia, delivered a TEDx Talk speaking about the complexities of coming out as bisexual, LGBTQ+ rights, and his involvement with Equaldex.
Before becoming a moderator on Equaldex, Viet was a top contributor to the site, even before it was launched to the public.
“In this TEDx talk, Viet speaks about the complexities of coming out as bisexual and the positive and negative reactions that he received from his family and friends. While focusing on a group that is rarely talked about in LGBTQ+ rights, Viet explains how anyone can have a tangible impact on someone’s life by choosing to care.
Viet is a fourth-year Economics student at the Vancouver School of Economics. He’s also a researcher at Equaldex, a database that maps the status of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.”
Many think the ‘para’ part of Paralympics means paraplegic or paralysed, but they would be wrong.
Speaking at TedX Sydney today Dylan Alcott, a Paralympic gold medalist explained the word Paralympic is actually just two words smashed together with ‘para’ meaning parallel and the ‘lympics’ bit just meaning Olympics.
“It actually represents the word parallel, meaning the Paralympics runs in parallel, or alongside, the Olympics. Every four years in the same venue with the same elite sports, with the same elite sports stars competing,” he said. “The only difference is that at the Paralympics everyone has a disability and is heaps better looking.”
Thank you to syoti Gian (giannicdao) and the rest of the TEDxUPM team for inviting me to be a speaker (so proud of you guys for pulling off such a successful event!), to my mentor Bianca Gonzalez, and to my manager/achi/friend Tricie who helped me weave such beautiful words (especially my creative manifesto) into an 18-minute talk.
It’s definitely one crazy experience I’ll never forget. Here’s to ideas worth spreading and encouraging everyone to move forward and act towards finding their passion. <3
Alex’s recent TEDx Talk, “Cosmic Creativity: How Art Evolves Consciousness”, was performed at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on January 13th, this essential twenty minutes offers a journey through Alex’s art, distinguishing phase shifts of awareness and showing how visionary icons of interconnectedness are transformative.
Douglas joins UNHRC, you can read his thought about his experience in Greece:
There seems to be so much confusion amongst us about the difference between economic migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Populist views would have us believe that boat-loads of people are invading Europe with the sole purpose of taking our jobs, exploiting our welfare systems, and making money. I’m concerned that it’s an opinion born out of misunderstanding and fear-mongering and it isn’t a fair reflection of the reality.
The fact is that the vast majority of people crossing the Mediterranean are escaping persecution and war. They are refugees. The people I met on the island of Lesvos – who had arrived on overcrowded, barely sea-worthy boats only a few hours before - had no option but to flee their homes. It wasn’t a choice for them – stay and likely die, or leave behind everything they have ever known and loved in order to survive.
No one chooses to be a refugee. No one hopes for war to find them, for friends and family to die, for their home to be destroyed, their education and plans for their future to be interrupted so brutally. No one wants to flee their country, scrabble together enough money from their life savings, selling possessions, borrowing from anywhere they can, to pay unscrupulous smugglers to abuse and exploit them and send them across troubled waters where thousands before them have drowned making the very same high risk journey.
The people I met have endured terrible suffering, loss, heartbreak and fear. They look to Europe for protection. They look to Europe for safety. Yet they are too often met by prejudice, ill-will, hostility, intolerance and anger. I urge people to take some time – even just 5 minutes – to look beyond the headlines and get to know one of the millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their home. Read or watch a short film of a refugee story here on this website, talk to a refugee in your community. Take time to understand where these people – people just like you and me - have come from, the horrors they have escaped, the journey they have undertaken, the life they have to rebuild from scratch, the hopes they have for the future. I know, like me, you will recognise yourself and your family in them, and understand that refugees are not ‘other’ – they are ordinary people going through an extraordinary hardship.”
Former U.S. Marine Mike Hoffmann now holds a leadership position at Cornell University. In this TEDx talk, he challenges his audience to consider how climate change will impact their daily lives. Milk, wine, coffee, oysters, rainfall, etc. Pretty good way of presenting the issue. H/T, Andy Revkin of the NYTimes.
(I was kinda hoping I’d have a video to post by now, but anyway)
Back in March I had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event in which I gave a talk on fanfiction and fan culture. My opening hook was introducing the bisexual Captain America movement and using that to explain headcanons and how they relate to representation.
After my talk, some guy I’d never seen before came up to me and shook my hand, congratulating me on my speech. He then said, “I never knew that about Captain America, but it totally makes sense.”
In 19 years of life, I think that was probably my proudest moment.
To all those interested in watching my TEDx talk tomorrow
You can watch the livestream here tomorrow, starting at 11am EST. However, my talk might not be until around 2-ish, but I highly encourage you to watch the other talks! One of my colleagues and a psychology professor is giving a talk about how baby boomers need to stop griping about the younger generation and how they in fact should APOLOGIZE to millenials for the shitlhole they’ve left us. I love his talk, so watch it. And all the others. They’re all amazing and inspiring.