Water Waste

by bicyclemark

I drink tap water. Constantly.

Yet somehow, much of the first world.. doesn’t anymore. Are you one of them?

This is world water week… and one of my many issues of concern in today’s world is the privatization, commodification, and destruction of the world’s water.

Everywhere I look I see bottled water. People carry them like a fashion statement. They put them in their kitchens for drinking water and act as if using the tap for drinking water is some kind of unthinkable punishment. This despite the fact that in most European cities and many North American cities, the municipal water systems ensure an extremely high quality of drinking water from the tap.

Meanwhile, large corporations mobilize to convince people and governments of how great things will be once they sell off their water system. They hope you won’t notice the disasters they oversaw in South America during the great privatization spree of the late 90’s.

And all the while you’re carrying that plastic bottle with you and cocacola has bought that poland spring or whichever your favorite allegedly spring water you like to drink. Oh and most of that water doesn’t come from a spring either, but the photo of a waterfall on the bottle somehow manages to make people forget that fact.

As it is world water week, Ill be doing more research into who is pushing for more water privatization and looking into who is currently making big bucks off of it. Meanwhile I can only hope that a new trend will emerge, one where people turn back to tap water.. carry a water bottle with h20 from the tap.. if only that would become the new cool.

Greetings from the Lost City of NOLA

by bicyclemark

Just arrived. Circled the town via automobile. Checked into chez lil’Robin who is just a fantastic person. She’s probably reading this too.. so I’ll withhold all other compliments.

Lots of meetings set up for tomorrow with some interesting projects. NOLA bloggers have not been the most responsive bunch, but I still hope to get some of the great personal publishers of this town to sit town and tell me what has happened and how.

For now this is just a hello to let y’all know, the crusading podcasting journalist has arrived and its amazing to see a city you’ve read, heard, and seen so much about.

French Q

Oh and there is a pressing issue that demands some immediate attention and I think EU sanctions.. and that is the Polish government’s rabid homophobia and their desire to erase any references to LGBT issues or history in their education system. Any mention of gay is apparently to be banned as well. (?)

As a very concerned citizen of the EU I think the government should have sanctions put on it and perhaps they should be brought before the EU court of justice for discrimination and violating the fundamental human rights they agree to respect by being part of the EU.

But ok, right now its hard to focus on that.. cause I’m in the Big EASY!

bm179 A long term vision for Wroclaw

by bicyclemark

You may have heard the name Warsaw or even Krakow, but have you heard about the Polish city of Wroclaw? Well chances are, you will, because whether you talking culture or commerce, the city and its mayor are making waves in the European swimming pool.

My guest, on the phone from Wroclaw, Poland, is Agnieszka. She is one of the very busy people who, I’m convinced, are driving the city’s dynamic art scene to international recognition. (read about the upcoming 12th International Media Art Biennale WRO 07)

We discuss:
– What is unique and what is important to know, when it comes to this city.
– History of Wroclaw, the changes over the past century
– Mayor Rafa? Dutkiewicz, coming to power, and his plans for the city
– Working with the mayor
– His famous and unorthodox campaign to reach polish emigrants, in places like the UK
– Who is investing in the city and what jobs will there be
– The longterm possibilities
– The independent thinking republic of wroclaw
– and more, listen to the program.

Some audio from Bill Moyers as well, to start it off right.

Keep the Car Runnin Paw’

by bicyclemark

Here I sit… 3 houses down from my parents place… engine running.. heat on… laptop on crotch… this is what it takes be a dedicated blogger in this town. Hot dam.

I’ve clearly left Lisbon and it is, as always, an internet jungle out here. Just got kicked out of the Youth Center-Cafe where I had only sat for 30 minutes before they were telling me to hit the road, not that i care, that fascist place firewalls my website. Imagine that? Internet Porn and Bicylemark.org… thats not right. Both of those should not be censored.

Muddy,.

Before it gets to dam cold with the engine off… i wanted to tell a brief story:

Today I had lunch at the pump house.. to see my darlng Elsa. Ive blogged of how much I love her before.. she and I go sooo way back and its amazing to see how we’ve both aged and life has changed.. yet whenever Im here I end up right there in that pub.. and there she is ready to leap from behind the bar and give me a big hug and she knows my flavor of iced tea and loves to tell me about her love life. And thats how it has always been.. since I was teenager and she was this super cool bartender.

As I sat eating, the cook came to sit with me. Ive noticed him only in the last year or so.. looks british.. might be eastern european, I aways figured, from his style. Turns out he’s polish and we got to speaking about a certain town in Poland that Im trying to do a podcast on the mayor.

Turns out he’s also a journalist, just cooking to pay the bills (soon I will too!). He was talking about how opposite Portugal is from Poland, and how he can’t explain it.. but that I must simply go there to see and feel it. He also spoke about how there is only about one town where people walk with their heads held high(!). According to him, most people are disillusioned with everything and either planning to leave or walking around in a rut. This general mood is said to be reflected in politics, where I went on and on about how fickle the electorate is and how they change there minds about politicians so fast, no one has enough time to ever impliment any programs; good or bad.

Unexpectedly interesting conversation at my favorite pub. Which gave me more fuel and inspiration for the Wroclaw Mayor podcast (working on it) and confirmed any thoughts I had about needing to visit that country ASAP.

Time to get out of this car.