Archive for September, 2008

Greedy Fuckin’ Fit Haver

Normally I like to post only once a day. But something so stupid and egregious caught my attention, that I couldn’t hold back. Horace Engdahl, the chief of the Nobel Prize committee,  (Who the hell died and left him in charge?), thinks that Americans are too “ignorant” to be great writers: ‘‘The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature,” Engdahl said. ”That ignorance is restraining.”

I’m the biggest fan of living abroad and learning new things, but this has gone to far.

Since Mr. Engdahl only respects European words, I’ve got some for him: “To generalize is to be an idiot.” Well said, William Blake. Engdahl has not only grossly underestimated the largest population in the Western world, but he brought shame on the Nobel committee. He’s also done a great job of perpetuating the stereotype of Euro-snobbery. Lekker bezig, wijfje.

You know what will help everyone participate in the “big dialogue” (discourse is a better word) of literature? You know what will keep people writing and not feel discouraged because of their birth place? Not labeling them as “ignorant.” That’s cute that he speaks five languages, but if he can’t say anything intelligent, there is no point. He needs to apologize and retire.

Asshole. Transatlantic culture wars help no one.

Anyway, this is a music blog. So, Mr. Engdahl, this one’s for you. Don’t tell me what to write, and don’t tell me that I’m wrong.

Backstabber by the Dresden Dolls

This is the sound of throwing pennies on the ground

So no bailout, huh? This is going to get interesting. I can’t claim to know all there is to know about our current situation, but I do know the obvious: deregluation is horrible. How could they allow stuff like naked short- selling go on for so long? Why do they do this to us?

As Amy Poehler put is on SNL this week: “Critics of the bailout plan say it will save Wall Street, while it will do virtually nothing to help out Main Street. And, as always, you’re on your own, Martin Luther King Boulevard!”

Sometimes, I’m too happy to be out of America. Anyway, the song for today is Pennies by the Cool Kids. Enjoy. Try not to think too much about the slow implosion…

Pennies by the Cool Kids.

OK, konijntje, het is je dag vandaag

My friend Ashley sent me an article yesterday, and I meant to mention it. Apparently, a bunch of Dutch people (including the Prime Minister and heir to the throne) went over to New York to celebrate the 400th birthday of New York City. Way to trade places with me, guys. I’m guessing they went shopping, too.

I think the Dutch are still kicking themselves for selling New York for $24. (Stupid, stupid, stupid.) This explains why they constantly remind me that Harlem is named after Haarlem and Brooklyn, my hometown, is named after Breukelen. Oh, well.

Anyway, today’s song was a hit in Holland earlier this year. I still love it. It gts good after 0:15. And if anyone can recommend some new Dutch techno/nederrap, I’d appreciate it!

Download Konijntje (Remix) by AKA The Junkies

Let’s do some shots, you know I can’t turn ’em down.

People use water here for everything. The canal system serves as a water park, a great place for a restaurant on a barge, and, for an unfortunate many, an impromptu bike lot. I’ve seen the canal cleaning boat twice since I’ve been here, (without my camera, alas) and both times it’s been piled high with blackened bicycles scraped from the bottom of the grachts.

They probably landed there because some bicycle thieves rode them for a victory lap, then shoved the evidence in the drink when they got bored. Speaking of drink, here’s another theory: inebriated miscalculation. I’ve never been drunk on a bike, but I’m clumsy enough to have trouble parking it sober. Some people probably tried to chain their bikes to a bridge or some other railing, and the bikes went overboard. Or, even better, they cycled right into the canal. I’m not sure how deep the canals are but I think they are easy to escape if you fall in. They’re definitely nasty enough to motivate an escape. I mean, houseboats use them a sewers. Hell, drunken pedestrians use them as sewers! It’s gross.

Anyway, here’s the song of the day: Nosebleed by Illinois. You might know it from an episode of Weeds or from me yacking on about what a good song this is. Enjoy!

Download Nosebleed by Illinois.

“Girl, I’ll love you… tonight.”

I  was taking a break from reading religious texts and banging out seriously typo-ed posts (thanks for the heads- up, Martlock) when I discovered this classy “Eros Centre” standing a mere three blocks from my house. Leiden doesn’t have a red light district, but it’s still in the Netherlands. I was bound to run into a brothel/ sex club eventually.

At first glance I thought it might be a dance club or a sketchy singles bar, but the hours posted on the door were something like 12:00-16:00. Probably not a dance club. There’s no Grolsch or Heineken sign above the door. And it literally has red lights out front.

Like most things seedy and inappropriate, this made me miss my undergrad thesis.

Speaking of seedy and inappropriate, this Diplo/Spank Rock remix is great. It’s re-fried 2 Live Crew with a catchy Beach Boys sample. Beautiful.

Download Put That Pussy On Me (Diplo Tonite Remix)

Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain

Lot of reading in grad school. Oy. I have to read this account of St. Theresa of Avila from 1642 It’s about 100 pages of text. The spelling and language is all old and obscure; S equals F, and VV equals W. Sometimes, U equals V. I don’t know how the non-native speakers of English (everyone in this class but me) are getting though this weekend. Their English is, of course, is really solid, but this reading is terrible. My head hurts already.

Today’s song:

Download: Pinky and the Brain remix by DJ Sega

My sneakers mo’ cleaner than yours…

I don’t know who this adorable child belongs too, but this picture makes me day. You know what else makes my day? The prospect of moving from my current dorm. With shared bathrooms and kitchens (that are not cleaned as regularly as they should be) it’s OK if you’re here for a semester, but not for a year as I plan to be. The hunt has begun. I pray that it ends very, very soon. Stay tuned. Anyway, today’s song is Mastered, brought to you by Lupe Fiasco and A-trak. Well, at least think it’s Mastered. I’ve seen this .mp3 called Mastered, Running Man, or Sneakers. For the sake of today’s picture, let’s stick with Sneakers. Download Sneakers by Lupe Fiasco and A-Trak

Vruchten van de Zee

Today was market day in Leiden. It’s a 5 minute bike ride up Niewe Rijn from me. The lines of vegetable, cheese, and Lord knows what stalls are very crowded, but it’s fun. I finally had herring! In this case, haring broodje. It’s herring and onion in a bun. It was…interesting. Like sushi, but less tame. But it’s not bad. I could have it again, as long as I carry gum with me this time.

So let’s try this music thing again. I can’t promise that they song will always match the post. La Mer, the herring; the connection is pretty obvious. And the song is quite good. I’ve always been a fan of the Bobby Darin version, Beyond the Sea, but this one is pretty sweet.

Download: La Mer by Charles Trenet

Just a test

If I insert Hearts on Fire by Cut Copy, will it work?

Hearts on Fire- Cut Copy

Yes, it will! Oh, good. I think this will be fun. I’ve always wanted to post music stuff here. Especially since I’ve got all this Euro-pop around me. Stay tuned.

Ik heb teruggestuurd.

I’ve been so very neglectful of this blog. Between schoolwork, trips to Ikea in Delft and finding my way around, I’ve been busy. So far, Leiden is nice. The two classes are somewhat Amherst-like (i.e. small groups, engaging professors, and that one girl who loves her voice will keep yacking to the small group because the engaging professor is too damn nice to do the smackdown).

It’s been cooler lately, but the leaves haven’t started to turn. This place is already pashmina and riding boot central. (Fashionable, and smart while riding a bike in chilly weather.) I wasn’t quite prepared for that this time around, but I’m adjusting.

For the first time in my life, I’ve actually become concerned about fitting in. Not socially, but in a superficial, nondescript way. Costuming has become important, and my unstable grasp of Dutch is making me nervous. This wasn’t a problem in for me in high school, which was dominated by rich people. I didn’t have the right clothes or “speak the language” there, but it didn’t phase me at all. Amherst was less homogenous, so I cared even less. But now that I’m here, it’s becoming more obvious that I can’t get away with certain things anymore. I don’t know if this is the death of one of my strengths, or the birth of self-awareness.


Anyway, I’m currently reading Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes. Yes, I wish I were me, too. More updates to come. Ik beloof.

September 2008
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