GWAR’s Michael ‘Blothar’ Bishop Gives TED Talk on Regional Identity
If you're the inquisitive type, you may have caught a TED Talk to learn a bit more about a certain subject, but we're guessing you've never seen a TED Talk quite like this. GWAR bassist-vocalist Michael Bishop, better known as Blothar, recently conducted a TED Talk on regional identity.
Making an impression right off the bat, a speaker is sent out to the front of the stage only to have his head crushed by a tablet and then his face ripped off as he's carried offstage. Bishop, in human form, then follows and tells the audience, "Hello, my name is Michael Bishop, I am a musician… I am the human slave of the berserker Blothar, who is the new lead singer of GWAR."
The TEDx Talk took place in Richmond, Va., where he and the band originated. Bishop, who earned his Ph.D. in music from the University of Virginia, started his discussion with a bit of background on the intergalactic GWAR and their folklore of thawing out in Antarctica. He went on to state, "What I've found is that being from [Richmond] is almost as strange as being from Antarctica."
What follows is an interesting discussion on how GWAR reflects the culture, history and geography of Richmond. "Here's where I become an academic," says Bishop. "Gwar registers this city's troubled history with race relations and economic struggle." He went on to discuss the band's "Slave Pit" and their "voluntary devotion to art." "Like it or not, Richmond, Gwar is one of your most recognized cultural products. I'm very proud of that," concluded the musician.
Check out the TED Talk in full above. And learn more about TEDx Talk programs at this location.
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