Bad Japan

by bicyclemark 3 Comments

Had a great first day as a podcast consultant for the magazine. Won’t say much more about it, cept that I thought alcohol flowed at the fishtank, at this place they drink in style- starting after lunch.

We got bigger fish to fry; today’s issue is the world. More specifically – I’m pissed off at the Japanese government. Few other nations, but Japan most of all, for this all-out effort to get a permanent seat in the UN security council.

Some of you may need a backgrounder. If you’re really against doing your own research, basically the UN-SC has five permanent seats held by the winning powers of WorldWar II. Recipe for disaster right from the beginning, a group of countries “win” a war and decide the world’s organization for peace and security should be run THEIR WAY. So the US, UK, France, Russia, and China are the only nations in the whole world that have permanent seats, as well as VETO power. 5 nations. Out of the entire world. Oh yeah there are 10 other rotating seats, whenever the music stops – isn’t that cute?

So I’m angry with Japan, and let me not forget Germany, because these two countries are licking all kinds of boots and trying oh so hard to create a new permanent seat for themselves. Japan and Germany, two nations that I normally look to for wisdom and experience, as they have been through it all historically, fighting to be a part of a flawed and unrepresentative body. Instead of demanding change or reform, instead of setting a global example, they just want a piece of the action. – LAME.

If this somehow doesn’t interest you, here’s a movie I think I helped develop, by that famous director xTx.

And if video doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe motorcycles do and you can listen to DucSloerie ride his Ducati somewhere near Amsterdam.

Today’s Sounds: Fugazi – End Hits

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AudioCommuniqu?#17; Podcast Dinner for 2

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

This weekend’s show features a cozy dinner with Characochan visiting Amsterdam from California. It’s couscous night and we’re discussing Dutch cuisine, languages, and we do a question the answers segment. A thousand thank you’s to the following people for leaving me tips in the tip jar:

Marc the Mindcaster
Joerg in Germany
Foggy Recollection my bro
oooh and another just rolled in.

AudioCommuniqu? #17 (mp3)

25min 48sec, 64kbps, 12.1Mb

Featuring:

  • I’m still annoying the world about my a-peel for help
  • Podcast Dinner for 2
  • Bring the Beef blog
  • This new podcast service Odeo

Pizza from Iraq

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

As if having hundreds of people around the world reading or listening to what you have to share wasn’t enough of an honor. Or the amazing new friends, be they bloggers or readers, that I’ve made. Nevermind the super-kind comments that are left everyday, by so many different people. You’d think that was already overwhelming.. but it has gone beyond that. The tips that have been left in the paypal tip jar couldn’t have come at a better time, to pay the internet publishing bills. The CD from xtx, the letters from my couz, and today… A package from Iraq! I’ll wait while you read that line again…

Chris Missick, a member of the 319th Signal Battalion, stationed in Iraq, send Bicyclemark, a member of the Amsterdam lazy-ex-pat community, a package. Talk about role reversal. As the postalworker handed me the package, I looked at the address and then looked up at him and smiled; “It’s from Iraq,” I said with excitement. “I know” he responded with a look of will you and your plague filled package please leave now. I sniffed the package, which is shaped like a pizza box, for its desert scent; a pizza from Iraq, I kept thinking to myself. The contents of my pizzabox: lots of new music, some music magazines, a copy of a military newspaper (cause Im interested in propaganda), and a still packaged kefeyah.. complete set that would make Yassir Arafat himself envious.

But this stirs up lots of odd feelings. Beyond gratitude. I know Chris because of his blog, a self-described war-blog. Now you may know, I’m a Pacifist with a capital P. I also have a deep distaste for patriotism, nationalism, and all the associated isms. (like Ferris said.. I don’t believe in isms, I prefer to believe in myself)While since my first reading of his blog I realized I don’t agree with most of his political views, especially in terms of Iraq, I did (and still do) admire his passion for writing and describing the world as he sees it. Oh, and we also discovered that we have identical taste in music. (Im so loving these cd’s)And so I ask myself… how ironic is this?

Some of these thoughts stem from my viewing of the first half of the STUperbowl last night. Me and BigJim, both jerseans in exile for the long haul, decided to take in some American football, at an expat pub with 1 million screens and 2 million drunks. But I think it was completely ruined for us the moment it began. It was like a giant military parade. Veterans marched on to the field — WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH FOOTBALL? F-16’s flew overhead. Ex-presidents walked onto the field, pretending to still be important. And then to further scare the shit out of me, they beam images of soldiers in Iraq watching the game. One camp ironically titled “camp victory”. Out of the entire pub crowd, a hand full of Americans stood up all solemn and started singing the national anthem and putting their hands over their hearts and giving the room dirty looks. I gotta be honest, this pacifist wanted to throw cups of beer at them like this was a Detroit Pistons game. Interestingly many in the room gave them blank stares or dirty looks right back. One even raised his arm in nazi salut style.

Extreme you think? I don’t really. Its the same formula in a different era maybe for a different goal. They still push a political agenda using patriotism, nationalism, songs, oaths, ceremonies, symbols, etc etc. And I felt especially angry because this is not the United States, and I had hoped this place would be kept free from that which I considered nonsense. I guess you could say I felt (dillusional as always) that my safe-place had been discovered, and these patriotic Americans were going to somehow hurt me.

Anyway, Chris I know you’re out there, and I do so thank you, and consider you a friend. In fact, it is (has always been) a friendship that reminds me people with differences can still learn from each other and get along.

Today’s Sounds: Pinback (my fav so far, thanks Chris!)

Jetlag Brings This

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

I smell. I’m hungry. I can’t keep my eyes opened. Some random dude has been crashing at the Spaniard’s place next door, and he obviously cares nothing for my strict bathroom cleanliness. A brotha goes away for a few weeks and suddenly all of Amsterdam comes over to aim badly at his toilet.

I digress. It’s grey, cool, and windy. Bikes speed past my window and ring their bells. Dutch high speed internet flows through my veins again. I HAVE ARRIVED, all over this city.

I’m too jetlagged to tell you about the nicey-nice Minnesota Femenina who sat next to me for one leg of the trip. We were like travelling peas and carrots.. both carrying our own bags of dried fruit and both working in random European Cities. (she chose Bar?alouca!) Turns out, life in Bar?a is fun, but salaries suck and prices are high. More inspiration never to leave budget life here in the Netherworlds.

Having stopped in two European countries today and read up their newspapers, I thought I would mention that they keep pointing out how many people each country has lost in South-East Asia. They also keep breakin down who donated what. I thought it was odd that the US comes in after Australia, Germany, and Japan. And I think it’s cool that individual countries give money and then the EU as a whole throws a chunk of change. That makes for lots of aid. Imagine individual US states did that… talk about lots of loot!

I spoke to Anti the other night, while in Jersey. I call him Antee, if you must know. And we had a hootenany of a AIM conversation.

And just to get back into my normal inkkernet routine, I chatted quickly with BITCHPHD who seems to be on the verge of big changes, including CHANGING HER BLOG NAME!

Today’s Sounds: Kings of Convenience – Quiet is the New Loud