Who’s the man?

Once, I came across a list of things every man should be able to do. Strangely enough, Google isn’t helping me find it. Sure, it lists all sorts of similar lists, but not the one I had in mind. So, instead of backing it up with some empirical evidence, I’ll have to invoke the (my) First Law of the Internets again, and just say it: knowing how to clean a fresh pineapple is something every man should be able to do.

Spring cleaning

While not caring about this website for a while is fine with me, but invariably, stuff keeps piling up. So without further ado, tonight’s business.

Nightwish in Amsterdam

For years, I’ve had the idea that it would be great to go to a concert in the goth-scene (think Within Temptation, After Forever, Nightwish, et al) in a salmon pink shirt with a corn blue (or whatever totally gay color scheme) legend saying “I’m too gothic for my shirt”. This year, I finally had the right opportunity: Nightwish was coming to Amsterdam, and I was going. For my birthday, I got a very suitable shirt.

So there I was in the Heineken Music Hall on March 21st, donning my “I’m to[o] Gothic for this shirt” shirt. It didn’t gather a lot of attention. For one, we showed up when the support act (Pain) was about to start, thus missing all the die hard Goth-heads who were reportedly stood in line for several hours before the doors opened. Secondly, we were standing way in the back, near the bar, with all the other people who were not totally into this whole goththing. Like the fortysomething year old guy who was there with his son, and gave me an appreciative nod when he saw the shirt.

For me, one of the reasons to go and see Nightwish (even though I wasn’t exactly thrilled by their performance on their latest DVD) was to see how their new singer holds up in a live setting. Just like on the album, she did alright. On the new stuff. On the old songs, all four or five of them, not so much. For the rest, all the things that bothered me while watching the DVD — like not knowing exactly what was coming from tape or what was played by mr. Holopainen — still applied. Only this time, they added some pyrotechnics. Cheesy pyrotechnics. The worst part was when there were a series of orchestra hits: chord on keyboards – flames – chord – flames. Ad infinitum.

It wasn’t that it was a bad gig, it’s just that I couldn’t get past the cheese and over my initial skepticism. Next time, I’ll probably pass and listen to the album instead.

First Lines: Het zijn net mensen: Verhalen uit het Midden-Oosten

This book deserves more attention than I’m going to give it. Joris Luyendijk was a correspondent in the Middle-East, and in this book, he shows how the media only tells a miniscule (but heavily coloured and manipulated) slice of what is really happening.

Basically, this book was an eyeopener on how the media works, even though I don’t exactly know how much of this book I have to believe. Which of course follows from criticizing the media for not bringing the objective truth.

Joris Luyendijk — Het zijn net mensen: Beelden uit het Midden-Oosten
Nog eentje?


Speciaal voor die mensen die vandaag de dag het nog steeds nodig vinden om de term “goedemoggel” te gebruiken: komopnouzeghé! We zijn ondertussen bijna een half jaar verder, en het was na drie weken al te afgezaagd voor woorden.

An inconvenient day for respect

Our prime-minister, in a reaction on Geert Wilders’ film, Fitna:

Muslims, Christians and people of other convictions can easily live together in peace. The problem is not religion, but misuse of religion to sow hatred and intolerance. That is why we are calling for respect for everyone’s deepest convictions.

This year, Dodenherdenking (May 4th, the annual remembrance of all Dutch casualties during World War 2) falls on Sunday. Almost all ceremonies include two minutes of silence. Reason enough for Staphorst, a city in our very own Bible Belt, to move the whole damn thing to the 3rd. Mayor Joop Alssema explains their reasons:

We willen zoveel mogelijk mensen bij de plechtigheid betrekken en mensen vanwege de zondagsrust niet voor het hoofd stoten

They move it a day, in order not to inconvenience those who want to observe the sabbath. In their own heretical way (Let’s be honest here: declaring the sunday a day of rest was nothing but an PR-stunt anno 321 AD).

For some people, who take their moral guidance from some old book, observing two minutes of silence to remember the victims of World War 2 is too much to ask on a Sunday. And according to our prime-minister, I have to respect that.

How about a nice cup of shut the fuck up and some respect for those who died instead?

hail the thief to

Stolen from Matthew Balwin’s And Great Lyrics Quiz Rock Roll The: below, you find the words to five reasonably well known songs, in alphabetical order, with each word appearing just once (regardless of how many times it appears in the actual song). Try to name the corresponding songs.

  1. a again ain’t alone am and apart back baltimore bar be difference don’t down end everybody everybody’s fell flowing for going got had have heart her here home hungry i in it it’s jack just kept kids kingstone kingstown knew know lay like love make met money needs never no nobody now out part place play rest ride ripped river says that to took turn wants we went what where wife wrong you your [answer]
  2. a act after again all an and anything are around as at back be been before believe better black breathing brief build burning but can carved cater city cold colorize come coming control crazy dance days do don’t down dreaming dreams drums dust easy else emerald end ever every everything fact fall fantasy feel feeling final fire fires fling for forget forgive get give go god godforsaken got grains ha hands hard hell help hold holy home hose hot i i’d i’ll i’m i’ve ice if in interlude into it it’ll it’s just keep know known later less lie life like little lonely long lose love magic make maybe me midsummer move my myself never night night’s nights no noone nothing now of oh old on one only or out own pact places planets pray prayers promise qualified raise right rock roll rolls run sacred sand save screwing seal see seen sex sick silence so some something sooner soul stars stop take territory than that that’s the there there’ll there’s these this thunder tight ’til time to tonight too town true turn turning two up vow was watch water way we we’ll wheels when while white will with won’t would ya you you’ll you’re you’ve your [answer]
  3. a and arms bag be below can ’cause coaster coca cola come cracker disease do down early eyeball feel feet filter finger flat football free good got groovin’ gumboot hair hard he he’s here his hold holy i in is jam joker juju just knees know looking me mojo monkey muddy no now old one ono over please production right roller say see shoeshine shoot sideboard slowly so spinal tell thing three to toe together top up walrus warning water wear what yeah you [answer]
  4. al alleen arm bekend beleefd bij de denkt die door draait een en gehad gemeen gezicht gezichten gister haar heb heen het hij hoeft houd iedereen ik in is je jij kijkt kom koud leven liefde liggen lijf lijkt maar me meer mij moeten nergens niemand niets of om ons oogcontact schijn sla spreekt stevig stil te tonen toonde toont uit van vanavond vast verwacht voor vreemde waarheid ware was wat we wereld wie wij winnen woorden wordt z’n zeggen zegt zitten zo zoals [84 words] [answer]
  5. a all alright an back banner be better big blood boy buddy can day disgrace everybody eyes face gonna got hard hmm in into kickin’ make man mud noise old on over peace place playin’ pleadin’ poor put rock shoutin’ singin’ some somebody street take the wavin’ we will with world yo’ you you’re young your [answer]

And if, like me, you’re to lazy to do the sorting by hand, here’s something I knocked together.

First Lines: High Fidelity

One thing I have always wondered is how people manage to read several books at once. Well, not so much at once, but why would you start in a book while you still haven’t finished another? About two weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to spend less time behind my computer, and with TV being a bore and all, I picked up that hardcover Dream Theater biography. Hardcover first editions are nice, but when you read mostly in bed, they’re a bit impractical. But sitting on the couch, they’re quite manageble.

Apparently, it’s quite easy reading two books concurrently. In the evening, I read one book, and in bed, I work my way through another. At the moment, that other book is non-fiction, and I still have to see if this experiment will still work out as I try to tackle two works of fiction at the same time. But we’ll see. Or I could lapse.


Book read
Nick Hornby — High Fidelity
First line
My desert-island, all-time, top five most memorable split-ups, in chronological order:

1.) Alison Ashworth,
2.) Penny Hardwick,
3.) Jackie Allen,
4.) Charlie Nicholson,
5.) Sarah Kendrew.

Every review I’ve skimmed about either the book or the movie mentions the record store, the endless top five lists, the musical snobbery and all that other stuff that is just window dressing to the story of some guy who has a bit of an identity crisis when his girlfriend leaves him for the neighbor from up the stairs. Basically, it’s just a love story. But one that’s very funny and terribly well written. I’m definitely going to read more Hornby.