Last night, Mr Ivrinel and I went to Chris Hadfield’s Generator show at Massey Hall in Toronto. The show was MCed by Adam Savage from the Mythbusters, and had a number of guests, the most famous being Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman. We even got to see baby Ash.
The other guests were a couple of Cyborgs, Moon Rivas and Neil Harbisson, the founder of the Lucky Iron Fish company http://www.luckyironfish.com Bryan Slat, the CEO of The Ocean Cleanup ,an organization working on removing plastic from the ocean.
Oh, and Michael McCreary, a local comedian who refers to himself as Aspiecomic.
Anyways, Adam Savage was up first. He talked about his anger at the US election, and how many people are asking how to talk to their kids about President Trump. To answer the question, he told a story about his own sons, a set of 17 year old twins. A few years back, it was discovered by their mother (Adam’s exwife, whom he still lives a couple of blocks away from.) that they were surfing porn online. So he sat them down and had a talk, in which he said something to the effect of: “Much of the Internet hates women. But it doesn’t have to be like that. And you can be part of what changes it”.
He went on to tell a more recent story. Apparently to try and keep balance in their lives, they confiscate the boys smart phones every night. The boys being teenagers, try to steal them back. Adam’s wife complained that when tAdam is away on business, they steal the phones more frequently. She accused them of being sexist on that front. Adam says the boys had a quick conference together and came back with “We can’t abide being called sexist. We still the phones just as much when Dad is at home, you just notice it more when he is away.”
So he said, he believes the message to give kids is that the world can be a racist mysogynist place, but it doesn’t have to be and you can be part of the change.
Michael McCready was up next. He was quite funny.
Then the Cyborgs were up. Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his skull that vibrates and creates different sounds depending on what colours it detects.He is colour blind, so it helps him detect colours that he can’t distinguish with his eyes, but he can also use it to “see” into the ultraviolet and infrared ranges. Moon Ribbas has an implant in her arm that vibrates whenever there is an earthquake anywhere in the world. Apparently they also have false teeth with Bluetooth, and if one of them clicks their teeth, the other one feels the vibration so they can send messages to each other via morse code.
After explaining their tech, they did a performance where Neil connected his attenna’s output to the sound system, and used it to look at a live feed from the international space station. Moon had this huge drum that she played whenever she detected an earthquake. While the concept was interesting, I found it got old fast, as I found the tones Neil was generating physically uncomfortable to my ears.
Towards the end of their performance, suddenly some guy on the balcony above us screamed “Fuck her in the pussy!” And we heard a loud noise. Later Amanda Palmer asked the audience if he had left, and people up there said he had, so I guess that was the noise was the balcony door slamming. That was very unsettling.
I was happy to see the Lucky Iron Fish company there. The Lucky Iron fish is a simple way to fight anemia. The cast ioron fish get boiled in water with a little bit of acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc) for 10 minutes, and then you make your food. Iron leaches out of the fish, and into the food. I bought a lucky Iron fish a year ago with their “buy 1 give one” program.
We saw video from Chris Hadfield’s Artic Generator project, where he travelled to Elsmere Island with a group of artists and writers this past summer. The point of the Generator is to use Chris Hadfield’s fame to bring attention to people and causes that he deems importantly a couple of the guests had to back out at the last minute, one a researcher in green energy base in California apparently had to cancel because the results of the US election might put her funding in jeopardy. With the two guests backing out, that’s how Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman ended up on the ticket. Apparently they have been friends with Chris for several years now. Amanda had a concert in Toronto Friday night as part of a larger tour, and their 1 year old, Ash has been travelling with her. Neil joined them this week to be, as he put it “tour nanny”, so they were both in town and happy to help Chris out.
Amanda sang a couple of songs and played the Ukelele. One song urged people to play ukuleles. I have been staring at ukuleles in a shop window on my street for months. One side of me wants one, but my inner critic keeps going “It’s a waste of money. You won’t stick with it.”. I think I am getting a ukelele come Monday.
Neil Gaiman read the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s Anthemn as a poem.
Then the show closed with Amanda, Chris and Neil singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.