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Best Christmas special ever


The surprise BBC hit of the holiday season was two hours of a woman leading reindeer through the snow. In realtime. No dialogue, no music. The occasional caption. Boots crunching in snow.

We sat mesmerized through every minute of it, and we weren’t alone.

It was the latest installment of a phenomenon known as ‘slow tv’ popularized by the Norwegian Broadcast Company (though you could trace its lineage to Andy Warhol and the Sixties if you’d’a mind to; Wikipedia did). Their first effort was a seven hour train ride.

The reindeer lady is a Sami (the people we used to call Lapps), the natives of the far North. The route is an old postal route inland from the coast. Along the way, she meets up and parts company with another lady and some guys and they shake hands and mutter things in an unknown language. But mostly it’s just the backend of the reindeer. The reindeer have bells on.

And that’s it. That’s the whole thing.

You can watch the first two minutes of it here. Or you can just watch my header loop for two hours.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 28, 2015, 10:26 pm

The Sami are worth reading about. Europeans didn’t only genocide brown people!

Comment from Bruno Braun`
Time: December 28, 2015, 10:41 pm

Beats the hell out of Bernie any day.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: December 28, 2015, 11:14 pm

mmmmm Reindeer

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 28, 2015, 11:18 pm

A large cognac (or several)… feet up… fire blazing.

Best thing I’ve watched for years.

Comment from uscitizen
Time: December 28, 2015, 11:47 pm

And that’s the way things usulally happen for me, too.

In real time.

No cuts, no highlights, no backgroung music, no voiceover narration.

Just me in 1st person doing my ‘me’ thing.

Strange, huh?

Comment from AliceH
Time: December 29, 2015, 2:41 am

I dunno… that’s frantic kinetic action thriller drama for those used to watching “Yule log” for hours.

Either works with cognac, thankfully.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: December 29, 2015, 3:52 am

Hmfh… now I don’t feel bad about napping for 3 hours at a stretch during each and every stinkin’ day!

Comment from mojo
Time: December 29, 2015, 1:47 pm

Ship ’em a few thousand middle-eastern males.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 29, 2015, 2:18 pm

It’s been done. I must say, I think it’s the perfect resolution to the refugee crisis.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 29, 2015, 4:07 pm

Pretty rough on the poor Sami. They’ve only just started to recover from what the bloody Lutherans did to them. Now you’re wishing the religion of pieces on them!

Comment from Nina
Time: December 29, 2015, 5:44 pm

And here I am, actually IN Norway, and we didn’t watch. What’s up with that?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 29, 2015, 7:24 pm

I love this. It was my dream for many years to have a camera and microphone aimed at a little remote mountain lake and have the feed piped to a flat screen tv in my windowless office. This would be even better- a constantly live GoPro feed of someone like a reindeer herder speaking a language I don’t know…. The first Truman show?

Comment from bikeboy
Time: December 29, 2015, 9:44 pm

“Unless you’re the Lead Reindeer, the view never changes.”

Comment from AliceH
Time: December 29, 2015, 11:22 pm

Wow – I was completely indifferent and uninterested in the new comment rating function, but I just noticed I got a thumbs up (!) and I am truly a little shocked how pleased that made me. I generally imagined my comments floating partway out into the ether, and dissipating before reaching the other side.

Of course, now that I have hard evidence my contribution might actually be read, I’ll have to try harder to say something worthwhile.

Starting right after this one. 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 29, 2015, 11:31 pm

It’s a little disconcerting to be so easily pleased, innit?

Comment from AliceH
Time: December 30, 2015, 2:12 am

That’s a less pathetic way to look at it. I’ll take it.

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