Catch Up Weekend

by bicyclemark

Everything is in a holding pattern as summer that was lost has suddenly returned to Amsterdam. Which means you play catchup. Making up for the lost time. The time you couldn’t go out on the canals, or head to a beach disc tournament and swim in the sand after dropping such a perfect throw. Therefore the podcasts and vlogs are delayed til tomorrow.

Also because I’m often told by the good people that they’re trying to catch up with me. So I’m taking some time so that the audio-visualists can do just that. But we start fresh tomorrow. Which is of course, America’s biggest cliché day. My condolences go especially to all of you media consumers and families of victims, who never asked to be constantly bombarded with manipulative speeches and related themes, every 11th day in September.

If you need escape, follow Tony who is somewhere near Utah. Otherwise, enjoy another photo of my weekend.

Brecht’s Good Person

by bicyclemark

After a very long day walking the streets of Amsterdam, I was due to meet friends at the Amsterdam Forest. I’ve seen it on maps and repeatedly ridden around it but never into it, during my over four years here. In my mind’s eye I never imagined it to be anything beyond a few scattered trees, a pond, and many bike paths. So I left very little time for getting through the forest this evening.

Was I ever wrong. Or at least, upon arrival at the forest entrance this evening, as I rode and rode, the streetlights eventually stopped, and it was just me, my dim bikelights, and the moon. Riding riding riding along a path I could barely see, so I turned off the mp3 player to hear the sounds of the tires on the ground, to determine if I was on grass, gravel, or somehow biking into the lake that seemed neverending and always just a step to my right. Allegedly I was riding to a theater, an open air theater, to see a Brecht play. But throughout the ride, as the darkness got thicker and the way back got further and further, I started to doubt I’d see any play on this night, or that there was even a theater. For a brief instance the world was flat again, and I forsaw myself falling off the edge.

But as luck, or a keen sense of direction, would have it… I eventually found the sillouettes of rows and rows of parked cars. I did my best not to ride into them, and when the rows finally ended, there began racks and racks of bikes. Hundreds of bikes, many scattered beyond my field of view, and up ahead, christmas lights strung up in the trees. I could hear what sounded like singing, or shouting, probably both… I had stumbled upon the theater.

The Good Person of Sezuan was the name of the play. And although I was tired and after the long strange ride, felt like I was stoned, the play put me into a tranz. Though the jokes in Dutch are almost always lost on me, feelings of sadness, happiness, and other character struggles came across very clearly. Lucky for me they didn’t try giving their Dutch a Chinese accent… most of them didn’t anyway.

Brecht is interesting as was this play. I understood the question, about being a good person and being taken advantage of, versus being a bad person and getting ahead in life, especially in the professional realm. I know Brecht was a Marxist, and it’s something I love to see in his plays (the few Ive seen).. in this case I saw his commentary about what capitalism forces people into and how desperate it can make people. There was also a sexual undertone, which was illustrated by the main character creating an alter ego which was a mean businessminded man who was very successful, in order to sustain her real self who was a good natured selfless girl who everyone loved and loved to take advantage of.

I was reading about how Brecht went into self imposed exile to the US. Which sounded impressive, until I read that he later faced the McArthy hearings as an accused communist and all that witchhunt. An irony which in itself sound like one of his plays.

After that, I had the long ride through the forest in the dark to ponder this post and the frisbee tournament I must play in 8 hours at the Hague.

Yawn, Plane Turns Around

by bicyclemark

Dear US and UK, please keep your terrorism paranoia to yourselves. We have quite enough of our own here in the Nertherlands.

Like a media sucker, I’m watching the news reports from the BBC. Amazing that they have news reports even though the have no information. They even tell the viewer they have no information. They then proceed to show you video footage of airplanes behind a fence and they invite experts to talk about how they don’t know anything either. Go to commercial, back to our wall street analyst in New York.

They arrested a bunch of people.
I can already tell you why. The reason is: if you turn around a plane and scramble f16’s to guide it back to Amsterdam, then someone’s at least gotta get arrested. It’s the least they can do.

One of the girls on the plane was describing what she noticed on the flight, she said

“we were in the air, and some people noticed that a group of south asians were not paying attention to the flight attendants guidelines.”

If being uninterested and ignoring the flight attentant with the useless seatbelt overview is terrorism, than I’ve been terrorizing the skies since I was 12 years old.

bmtv15 Windmill Windup 2006

by bicyclemark

Well, it has taken me some time to finally release this videoblog… and beware it is very big (15 min. long).

My frisbee association in Amsterdam hosted this tournament last month… voila a videoblog of the fun.

Considering all the pain and sufferring in the world.. at this very moment. I present this vlog as one of the few examples these days of many nations and many cultures coming together peacefully thanks to a common bond – ultimate frisbee.