Greetings from VlogEurope2007

Yes it is that time again.. here I sit as Gabe and Gabe are speaking in the final talk-session of VlogEurope 2007. This year we’re here in Heidelberg, Germany, an extremely picturesque city south of Frankfurt. The group this year is the smallest its ever been since the first conference back in Amsterdam 2005. At the same time, we still manage to have lots of old friends meeting here to talk about this tool, this art, the vehicle that we believe so strongly in — video blogging.

If you wish to watch the live feed, it is probably too late, but the archived conference can be seen here. If you do watch you’ll see me speaking here and there, including a segment where I introduce and break down Euronews’s NO COMMENT video podcast. (pause as the panel discussion asks me a question)

Beyond the conference, the one thing I notice over and over again in Heidelberg is the presence of the American military. As I strolled through the old section of town, an amazingly beautiful oldfashioned city scape, I heard loud shouting.. at many points.. the familiar sounds of two booming American voices threatening each other. As I turned the corner there before me are two amazingly huge and muscular men, drunkenly yelling at each other while a barefoot girl lay half passed out on the ground. I kept walking due to my fear of muscular drunk people, only to pass the entrances of various flashy bars and night clubs.. again the familiar accents.

My wonderful hostess (thanks hospitality club) whom I’ve never met before but we’ve become fast friends, told me that there are various US military bases in the region.. including an important hospital nearby. For them its a completely normal thing and I found it fascinating as I strolled in the daytime, to see how they are in fact regular fixtures in the backdrop of daily life here. Come to think of it, I’m typing this from the great JoelArt’s house, he too has told me tons about the world of US military employees in Germany.

I bring it up because it is a fascinating world. It is also one that I’m not sure I like. To put it another way, it makes me uncomfortable as an American and as a European that US troops have a permanent prescence anywhere.. that is unless they’re there to actually help people and improve the quality of life.

Anyway, fireworks are starting here at the VLogEurope07 party, yes, it is a special night here in Heidelberg. (explosion… off I go to look out over the river)