Monday, September 18, 2006

Super Size Me?

After seeing the documentary "Super Size Me" today, I again realized that ethics in companies is a questionable thing. In its heart, a company will always stay a profit making machine guided by the wishes of the shareholders. Marketing is the tool which companies use to cover up for some of their more dubious activities.

That guys experiment of eating mcdonalds food for one month was more fun to watch than I intitially expected. I imagined I would see him puke a lot of times in those 90 minutes, but the count stopped at one time. The first time he tackled the super-size meal. It turned out to be a real documentairy with a lot of information about how the fast food chain makes itself an important part of a lot peoples lives.

The best point in the documentairy was that Fast Food companies do not focus on what they feed you, but on the money they can make from giving you what you think you need. The main cause for this is again the modern society. These days people simply don`t have the time, skills or energy to make their own food. So they go for the easy fastfood.

So after seeing this documentairy I decided to start an experiment for my own. I will not eat any fast-food or any other food that is not prepared or made at home. The last time I went to a fast food restaurant was ages ago (more than 6 months ago), but still, those fries, pizza and chinese each week do count to the easy-to-get-food category. Problem is that I will have to make my own food on those days, but I`m sure my mind will help me with that ;). In combination with a bit more cycling (bike has been repaired since a week, after 4 months of being unusable) its of to the healthier path for me..hehe.

Oww, and the Sopranos is a great series. I`ve seen the first two episodes and its great! Poor Tony...running two "family business'" at the same time..

Saturday, September 16, 2006


September always has been a special month for this family. Three birthdays in 4 weeks explains it all. My birthday is the last in the line and will be on the 23th of September. 22 will be my age. Graduating is probably one of the first major things I will do while being 22. Even birthdays are by the way a lot more fun than odd years. How was life when I was 1? Horrible, all those bottles of milk and feeding at strict times. When I was 3 I had my first day at school. So you can imagine why that must have been a horrible year. When I was 5 I entered group 3 (of 8) of primary school, and I remember having a horrible teacher for whom I was afraid. When I was 6 however I had the best teacher ever (the husband of the teacher in group 3). I remember being 15 was a real pain in the ass, and 16 was a whole lot better. Then came 17..which is not yet being 18, which also sucks. Then 19. Who wants to be 19? 19 is the last year of being a teenager and so it is a horrible age to be since you will be constantly reminded of the fact that 20 is waiting around the corner. I would rather stay 18. 20 was my age when I made my first cross-continental trip, so that year was perfect. 21 up till now has been a very slow year. I planned a lot of things to do, but only ended up concentrating on one: My final thesis. I'll be glad when I reach 22, get that precious piece of paper and do what I really wanted to do while I was 21. To do something.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Elvis and Neil's Band.

Lately I`ve been buying classic vynil records for one or two euro a piece. Three of my best buys are Elvis Costello's "This year's model", The Band's "Music of the big pink" and Neil Young's "Zuma"

I stumbled over This year's model when I was looking in a not so promising collection of albums and somebodies stand. Although it was a bit worn, I still decided to buy it because you don`t see Elvis Costello records at markets where mostly junk is sold. The good records are often left home, or already grabbed away by collecters. Since the only song I knew from Elvis was "She", the sounds of this record came as a complete surprise for me. Each song is short, but very, very sweet. Side A is especially weak or boring song there. I especially like Pump it Up; It is fast, catchy, and a feet-mover. It is a positive up-temp album with a few perfect pop-songs on it. Some of the single-producers of these days should listen to this album.

Neil Young's Zuma is maybe one of the less famous albums of Neil, but that does not mean it is a lesser album compared to others. I bought it because "Cortez the Killer" is on this album, which in my opinion is one of Neil's best songs together with Crazy Horse. The song starts with an instrumental intro of almost 3 minutes. Slow and heavy Neil and the band start this song with a typical "solo" of Neil, putting you back a few hunderd of years when Cortez invaded south america. The band just moves on and on in the same steady tempo while Neil sings and plays his guitar with a lot of emotion. Stupid Girl is also a nice little song, with Neil singing in a very unusual low voice. Danger Bird is another song in the style of Cortez the Killer. And the other songs..well..actually I failed to find any weak song on this album. A great album.

The Band's Music of the big pink is probably the best of the three. Also the oldest. Dating from 1968 it dates back from the period when the beatles released "Seargent Pepper". In general, all songs are great with their multiple vocals (all with a lot of character) and instrumental diversity. My favorite song is Chest Fever. Its grande opening with the organ really shows the beauty and power of the instrument. Then the organ settles and starts to play the main rythm: papaa, paapaaa. Again Rick (bass) and Levon (drums) do the vocals perfectly and the tempo changes really make this a great song to listen too. Also Robbertsons guitar play has to be admired. Instead of filling each song with chords and endless solos he plays in between the bass, drums, piana, organ. He fills the gaps with his guitar, instead of really letting the guitar dominate the whole music. Something you hear a lot in todays music. Everybody knows The Weight, a classic song, but other personal favorites of mine on this album are Tears of rage, To kingdom come and this wheel's on fire.

Daily Show...

If there is one thing which I really miss in the Netherlands, it is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. CNN europe only airs a compilation episode once a week. And it just isn`t enough. So I search youtube for clips. Some of those old clips really break me up, and make me laugh in a way I haven't done in a long time when watching dutch television. Here we also have enough satire on television, but in my opinion its a little bit dull and uninteresting. We have a program called "Koefnoen" here where a number of people impersenate famous dutch people. Sadly, the impersenations are in 90% of the cases highly annoying instead of funny. Some goes for other programs. "Kopspijkers" used to be very funny about 4 years ago, but has lost its edge through the years. Then we also have a program based on "..And this was the news" where a number of people make funny comments about last weeks news in a game-setting. Boring jokes, boring people, who writes their lines?

Nah, just give me Jon Stewart. On dutch television please. And no, I don`t want a dutch version of the show with a dutch presenter, because Jon Stewart and his team are what makes the daily show so funny.

Besides, a regular airing of the show would perhaps change the view of the dutch on the americans. That not all are so idiotic as Bush and his administration. That there might still be hope for the most powerful nation in the world.

An example: