Archive for January, 2008

Saving you the Wikipedia Trip: Dutch Soccer Teams

rotterdam, feyenoord, middle finger

Ajax:Amsterdam

Feyenoord: Rotterdam (this charming little fella’s team)

ADO Den Haag: The Hague

AZ Alkmaar: Alkmaar

FC Utrecht: Obvious

FC Twente: Enschede

Play Your Part, Part 1 by Girl Talk

Raising the Prostitution Age

Dutchnews.nl had an interesting little article today: “Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is to consider whether the legal age for prostitutes can be raised from 18 to 21 years as part of a package of measures to combat forced prostitution, reports ANP news agency on Wednesday.In November MPs rejected a proposal by the right-wing PVV party to raise the age for prostitutes.”

This makes me really wish I could read Dutch, cause then I could look at Telegraaf or Volkskrant and get some kind of opinion on this. I wonder if age is the real issue behind the trafficking. Is an 18 year old that much more malleable than a 21 year old? It’s only three years. I wonder if the proposal is misguided and overlooking a major issue here. No, they shouldn’t be Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver young, but it’s so easy to fake an age that all the government might end up with is a false sense of security.

Shouldn’t they go after the pimps rather than making it harder for prostitutes to work?

Throwback to 07:

You might remember my earlier post from Amsterdam about the multiple graffiti images of Anne Frank in keffiyeh. I still don’t know what to make of it. I feel as though all the responses I’ve heard to it are either extremely passive or extremely aggressive; both emotions feel uncomfortable in a discussion of Anne Frank. Now the image is available on a free postcard from Boomerang. Of course, there’s a lot of controversy. More here.

Official Amherstdam Endorsement

And now you know.

…you make my heart sang

Here are some stills from Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Good.

Just in from Reuters via the New York Times:

“The government has decided it will not impose a general ban on the wearing of burqas and similar garments in public on security grounds, but will bar them and full-face veils at schools and for government workers, local news reports said. They said the government had concluded that a broad ban would violate the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion. About a million Muslims live in the Netherlands, and Muslim groups say just 50 to 100 women regularly wear a burqa. Geert Wilders, the right-wing leader of an anti-immigration party, sent a bill to Parliament last July proposing a ban on the burqa in public.”

I’m glad Geert didn’t get his way. He’s cruising for a bike-by assassination like Fortuyn and Van Gogh, but it’s not right that he’s stirring up so much hate as he goes. No matter how you feel about burqas, banning them takes away freedom of expression and fuels fringe radicals. “Security grounds” my ass.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Especially if you live here.”Yummo.”

PS Still very, very glad that I switched to wordpress. The lack of font flexibility and overall look of blogger was kind of getting me down. I think it’s about time to erase the old one now, hmm?

Can I get a womp- womp?

I love today’s nytimes.com series of photos depicting stock market disappointment from across the world. This picture is from Frankfurt. The picture in the Netherlands isn’t pretty either:

Share prices on the Amsterdam stock exchange fell by as much as 6% on Monday as fears grew that the US economic crisis would drag other economies down with it.

Shortly before 1pm, the AEX blue chip index had fallen to 421.5 points before recovering slightly to around the 432 points by 3pm.

The downturn comes a day after central bank president Nout Wellink warned that the American credit crisis would have an effect on the Dutch economy and finance minister Wouter Bos is being too optimistic in his forecasts.

Wellink told television programme Buitenhof on Sunday that he expected economic growth to fall to between 1.5% and 2.5%, compared with the 2.6% forecast at the end of 2007.

Bos must start planning to offset any economic downturn now, Wellink said.

Analysts said Monday’s decline was accelerating towards panic. ‘The stock exchange declines and the negative sentiment are increasing. No-one knows where the end will be and that is extremely scarey,’ Rob Koenders of asset managers Harmony, told the Financieele Dagblad.

‘Investors are throwing in the towel,’ Rik Zwaneveld of AFS Brokers was reported as saying.

Meanwhile, research by marketing consultancy USP published on Monday, found that fear of a recession was receding. One in five households expected the US housing market crisis to impact on the Netherlands, compared with 25% six months ago.

© DutchNews.nl

I might have to go there

I was reading the Turntable Lab blog, and learned that there is a DJ school in…guess… the Netherlands. It’s a merger of my post 2007 dreams come true. Every since I threw a wonderful Pancakes, Booze and American Pop Party on the Prinsengracht I’ve connected the NL with good times in DJing. This excludes the night at Dansen bij Jansen when the DJ abused the smoke machine in order to compensate for a sloppy night. Other than that, fun times. I’d love to go here. Check it. It’s a school attached to a hotel, and there are setups in every room, so you needn’t drag your own around.

It would be fun to see what formal training looks like, meet more people, and get exposure to other setups. And more time to practice my Dutch!

Tempted to LOLcat this one, too-

Stupidest thing, but I love that both ING’s and Postbank’s logos are the same exact lion. If lions were indigenous to Holland, I would understand, but it’s strikes me as a generic “leadership” choice. According to my lazy Dutch, these bank lions bundle crack. Just kidding. It means that they’re joining forces. Odd, because I think ING owns Postbank. Anyway, it seems as if ING is in revamping a bit. They’re shutting down 38 different branches. Apparently, they’re moving from a traditional branch structure and focusing on insurance and mortgages. As long as the word “subprime” isn’t involved, they should be cool.

In Case You Haven’t Heard:

Rent, the musical that too many high school girls “relate to”, is going out of theaters. Thank God. It was overdue. It’s one of my youthful pop culture memories which, unlike Roald Dahl books and Batman, has aged terribly. Sad times.

I read an article stating that Rent’s sound has got progressively louder over the years. I wasn’t surprised; they needed something to cover up the smell of being around too long.

Rent would have been better had it a.) ended earlier than it’s 12 year run and b.) not had a crappy movie. They should do musicals like British sitcoms: kick them out after two years before the fanatics over quote and ruin it for everyone.

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program

Lovely. Perfectly lovely.

Open Letter to Bob Johnson:

Dear Bob Johnson,

You’re little race traitor, aren’t you? Seeing you on that stage, calling Obama a druggie and sticking up for the Clintons reminded me just how dangerously pathetic you are. Congratulations, you found another way to sell out Black America all over again. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

Barack Obama 08,
Me

PS Get the hell out of St. Maarten. Rumor is you vacation there. MY FAMILY LIVES THERE. GET THE FUCK OUT.

Beautiful Books

The Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastrict was voted the world’s most beautiful bookstore by the English paper The Guardian. It’s in a deconsecrated church. I might have to visit it one day. It combines my nerdy loves of books and great architecture. It’s probably not nearly as cheap as Strand but I’m sure it’s worth the look. At least they didn’t stick (yet another) trance club in there. I wish old church buildings were used in more interesting ways.

I also wish I bought kiddie books at the Kinderboekwinkel to help me with my dutch. A picture dictionary would be been great. It’s at the top of my list for whenever I get to go there next time.

Murder in Amsterdam: still good.

Murder on the Bike Path

I’m about thirty pages into a Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma. So far, it’s very good. It’s mostly about the 2004 stabbing of Theo van Gogh, as well as the killing of Pim Fortuyn, the wacky, openly gay right wing politician who had a huge following. They were friends and very anti-Muslim. Van Gogh was killed by a Muslim fundamentalist, but Fortuyn had been killed by a Dutch animal rights activist.

Only in the Netherlands.

I’m still looking for a more 1992 centric source for daily life in Amsterdam. And I’m not finding enough English language resources about the daily lives/roles of foreigners in Amsterdam. Until I do, I’m sure I can just make some stuff up, polder it out and create ground to stand on where there was none before. It’s a very Dutch thing to do.


January 2008
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