Brussels - a Manifesto: Towards the Capital of Europe

‘Towards the west, the border is sharp because of natural conditions…’ [Brussels – a manifesto, p.27] I have mentioned before that Bruxelles is one of my favorite cities in the world and certainly in Europe. This is in spite of (or rather because) the city is a mess: European institutions reside in buildings that most of the time look as if they have been randomly dropped from the sky and fact that the city is a nightmare to cycle in but a joy to be in a taxi since it has lots of tunnels (i ❤️…

Random reading

The Piratbyrån’s Rasmus Fleischer has a an extremely interesting essay titled ‘the future of copyright‘ in the current issue of CATO unbound (a monthly web-journal by the ‘we love limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace’ CATO institute). In ‘the future of copyright’ he argues that ‘neither the stabilization nor the abolition of the copyright system seems within reach’ and that instead ‘we will have to live in this landscape of gray zones for quite a while, for good and ba…

STEIM needs your support!

The fabulous electronic performance arts venue/center/place/non-place [it is hard to describe what this place really is] steim in amsterdam is in danger of loosing it’s funding. over the past years steim has received funding from both the dutch ministry of culture education and science and the city of amsterdam. for some reason (probably because they never go there or because their idea of culture is quite limited) the advisory bodies for both the ministry and for the city of amsterdam have deci…

Don't cry for me Adolf Hitler

Up until now i have been pretty sure that things around me are going down. I mean since i am 15 or so, thing’s around me close down: it may be no secret that i was totally in favor of my school closing down, but for the rest it is usually bad: municipal swimming pools close, train lines disappear, bank branch offices get replaced by card-eating machines and cultural institutions get forced to shut down by budget cuts (and then i am not even talking about good ole’ fordist factories here). So whe…

Living museum of youth cultures

I guess the bigger a city becomes the harder the kids are forced to develop some kind of group identity. São Paulo with it’s 18 million inhabitants seems to be a pretty good example. The kids seem to be much more devoted to individual youth cultures than in most European cities. This is pretty much obvious on the streets or on the subway but the prime spot to witness this is the rock-gallery in downtown. It is a multiple story shopping gallery from the 70ties (or so) that neatly sorts youth cult…

Wristband madness

Yesterday the Dutch conductor was wearing an orange wristband. When he was checking my ticket i could not help to wonder why he was wearing a wristband in support of the nutters that are currently occupying the gaza strip and resist the israeli disengagement plan. a young inter-railer (probably being israeli himself) two seats down the carriage actually asked him why and as a response got to hear that this actually had nothing to do with the gaza settlers but was in support for the respect2all c…

Star biz

Yesterday was the German premiere of ‘star biz’ a documentary film produced as part of the project import-export. The film uses mercedes as a tool to examine the process of cultural appropriation of western consumer and luxury goods in India. The film gives an surprisingly unfiltered insight into the corporate culture of Daimler Chrysler. The interviews with Daimler Chrysler managers among them CEO Hans-Michael Huber reveal a fair amount of arrogance and narrow mindedness among these ‘ambassador…