Monday, May 29, 2006

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RIP Desmond Dekker 1941-2006
The Reggae and Ska originator died of a heart attack Friday may 25.

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Podcast 007 (shantytown)
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Not my people
Not my war

Saturday, May 27, 2006

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End of an era.

The old Laundromat in my street has closed. Besides being conveniently close to my flat, it unfortunately also served as a "shooting gallery" for the local junkies and this to an extent which makes it fair to say that probably more shots of heroin were processed there over the years than dirty laundry.

Highlights:

A young junkie enters, pulls out a needle and jams it straight into a vein, blood spurting while he fixes standing up, right in the middle of us locals doing our laundry...one guy (I think he was actually hit by some of the spurting blood), is so enraged he calls the police from his cellular phone, the junkie was already on his way out and the police never showed up (standard procedure, despite the fact that one of Copenhagen's largest police stations is situated on Halmtorvet, two hundred meters from the laundry...)

Prostitute walking around in Laundromat half naked (bottomless) because she is washing the only clothes she has. When she tries on her blonde wig I'm politely asked how it looks (she still have no pants on..) "uh, er... you look great, luv!.."

Black guy asking me for help with the machines, he seems like a nice tourist guy so I give him some advice about looking out for the drugdealers and junkies..."ah, yeah, thanks a lot man..." when I return later he's standing outside the Laundromat smoking a big joint...

RIP.

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No podcast.
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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A short trip to Oslo (4o hrs) on this baby with my girlfriend and her kids, neat!

(check my Flickr account for more coverage)
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Podcast video

Podcast video

Podcast video
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Not my people
Not my war

Sunday, May 21, 2006

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The word "GRY" (which roughly translates to "dawn") and a strange logo with some palmtrees, this marked one of the havens of my youth...

Situated in Copenhagens old town it was THE alternative record shop in Copenhagen in the 1980's and the place you went to buy your Joy division records or your Nick Cave concert tickets.
Like most oases of this kind it was also a gathering point for those who considered themselves to be "punks" or just "black-clads" (lousy translation, but "men in black" was taken...) and behind the desk you would usually find "Martha", a women of American descent who was close to local superstars like the Danish punk band Sort Sol, and I believe she was the person who actually owned "GRY".
Martha also had a keen eye for the young men in tight black trousers invading her shop and would sometimes display an almost motherly approach to "the kids".
She must have been thirty-something at the time, but she was the type of person who was very hard to place age wise. To me, her slightly exotic presence and American-style openness only added to the general good feeling of the shop; this was the place to go.

My first encounter with GRY was in highschool when my class went on a school trip to the national museum. At that time (1983) I had a classmate who would drop out of school after a few months (and today is a renowned Danish poet)
Besides provoking everybody with his pranks (like writing "glad to be gay" with chalk on the back of people's t-shirts) he was also, a punk.

After the "glad to be gay" incident (yes, he wrote it on MY t-shirt...) I think he felt he somehow had to make it up to me. After all, I was one of the few people in class who also listened to punk music (along with the only guy he befriended, a skinhead dressing bloke who would later become a policeman)

Well, maybe he just needed company, but to get to the point; When the school trip was over he asked me if I wanted to check out a cool record shop...
Filled with pride that this real life PUNK wanted to spend time with ME (at the time I didn't do the "punk thing" with the spiky hair, leather jacket and all that, that came later...) I of course agreed and off we went to: GRY.

After this introduction I often went there to buy music, or other subcultural artifacts, and get a whiff of the atmosphere. Then It was off to the train station for that long journey back home to my parents house where I could go to my room and place the records on my turntable for close scrutiny and deep contemplation.

As I mentioned earlier my classmate dropped out of highschool and today is a well known Danish poet. A few years ago I met him at a poetry reading and asked if he remembered me.

He didn't.

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Podcast video
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Not my people
Not my war

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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Went and saw a documentary about the Danish seventies rock band Gasolin
A very nice film dealing with the difficult task of portraying a band which today has legendary status in Denmark, especially if you were growing up in the seventies, like I did.
I never had the fortune to see the band play live, I was only twelve years old when they called it quits in 1978, but I had all of their records (on cassette...) and their magna opus "GAS 5" I almost wore out from frequent playing.

As the film contains a lot of interviews with the four band members as they are today, it avoids becoming too nostalgic, but one thing you notice is how much the world, and Denmark, has changed since the days when you could do things the Gasolin' way...

Gasolin' were huge back then, and not just in Denmark, also in Norway and Sweden, but basically they were a bunch of highly talented and freewheeling amateurs, only Franz Beckerlee, the lead guitarist, had previous experience with music (as an avantgarde jazz musician playing the saxophone)

Their shot at international fame, by going on tour in the US, flopped completely! but in scandinavia they hit a spot away from the Marxist doctrine folk-rock which dominated back then. Instead they had an seemingly endless ability for making catchy songs about fair women, off beat existences in the city (mainly from their own neighborhood Christianshavn, not far form the newly formed Christiania) and all of it mixed with a slightly melancholy everyday poetry (often courtesy of the external poet Mogens Mogensen), which in a sense was very close to the hearts of Danish people (situated right behind our wallets, and just above our stomachs...)

A world gone by in many ways, and sorely missed... It's unlikely Gasonlin's special brew of poetry, good time rockin', and freakyness would have the same impact on today's audiences, but who cares? - you don't hear me humming the songs of Oscar Striboldt or Olga Svendsen do you? (huge Danish vaudeville stars of the 1910's and 20's)

To each generation their own, but I think the days of unifying national icons like Gasolin' are over, time to join this weeks subculture, and get the right gear.

(ten minute guitar-solo, followed by fifteen minute drum-solo)

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Podcast video
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

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Orestad, a car passes by.

#Note: I have now added a new feature to my postings; the subcategory of Podcast video...sometimes the video relates to the posting, sometimes not - so please consider it just another thread in that intricately wowen tapestry we like to call "Don't Ask Me, I Just Work Here..."
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Podcast video
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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, May 15, 2006

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When I finished highschool in 1985 I didn't want to go straight to the university, I wanted to get away from books and homework, I wanted a job...

Some friends of mine worked as cleaners at the State Hospital in Copenhagen and suggested I applied for a job there. After my job interview my friends told me the interviewer didn't like me, she thought I was a bit dim and unmotivated, but my friends had a connection with the people doing the actual hiring, and someone might do me a favor...

I was lucky and got the job, which meant that since I lived at my parents house 40 km from Copenhagen and had to report for work at 0.600 every weekday, I got up at 4.30, rode my bicycle to the nearest train station (6 km) got on the first train, arrived in Copenhagen at 5.45, and then jumped on my SECOND bicycle parked at the station so I could rush to the State Hospital, change into my work uniform and report at my supervisors desk at:... 0.605

My supervisor never failed to inform me that showing up five minutes late was NOT acceptable, and there were PLENTY of people working there which had to travel EVEN LONGER distances and they showed up ON TIME.

So I cleaned offices to begin with, and got the occational abuse from overworked chief surgeons who needed to dump some frustrations (considering the quality of cutting these overpaid c.......rs did on me when I was a patient at the same hospital - maybe I should have given THEM some abuse? But ya' gotta know ya' place, right?)

It was pretty boring, but somehow I greatly enjoyed it.. I was making real money and after a while I could perform in my job with very little MENTAL effort, it was all about using your hands NOT your brain which suited a daydreamer like me perfectly.

After some time my supervisor picked me for the special team which did in-depth cleaning, an unexpected treat! - most of the guys working there were my own age, 18-20 yrs, and we worked in groups of two to four people.

The hospital would shut down an entire ward and we would have two weeks to clean everything, from top to bottom, inside out. The thing was that we could usually do the job in maybe five days...so the remaining time was basically "party time".
Some guys would go off to a remote part of the hospital and sleep for a couple of hours, other like me and my team would go out on the balconies and look at the girls form the nursing school next to the hospital, or just sit around and listen to music. We were alowed to bring radios along with us when we worked, and it was during this time that I discovered Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" and the early albums of Lou Reed, courtesy of my workmate Flemming who was a former Mod and a big alternative rock fan (I usually met him every time the Ramones played in Copenhagen)

Despite the boredom of our job we actually had a lot of fun together, but after about a year my supervisor moved me to the replacement team and I was back to working alone again.
I pledged to be put back with my mates from the team, but my supervisor ignored it, I was needed elsewhere, or maybe she just didn't like the idea that people could have a good time at work.

A few years later the department of cleaning was closed down due to expense cuts, and today the hospital have their cleaning done by a private company which has won several awards for security, efficiency and quality-control.

Watch the video of me using the water-hoover...
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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, May 11, 2006

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Well, still working on the podcasting...
if you're using iTunes, or a similar player - the URL for my podcast (or Vodcast, since it's video's I'm casting) is here: http://www.manufaktur.dk/podcast-1.xml

...Let one thousand flowers bloom...

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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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Click to see video

I'm trying to get some Pod-casting going...

(and for your RSS - feeders out there, this site now uses feedburner)

http://feeds.feedburner.com/DontAskMeIJustWorkHere
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Not my people
Not my war
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A photo of the first place I lived in when I moved to Copenhagen in the spring of 1988.
This is Spaniensgade no. 20, and the apartment belonged to a friend of mine, so I was "the roomie".
A few days after my arrival I went to the nearby shopping center Amager Centret, and found two LP's with the Ramones on sale at a mainstream Radio shop (Rocket to Russia and The Ramones Leave Home), life was good.

My friend was working at The National School of Theatre, but I was on unemployment benefits and spend most of the days bicycling around Amager or sitting in the parks eating ice cream. Sometimes friends from Roskilde would come to visit, and we would all get high, listen to music and talk about our plans for the future, or go to Christiania to get high, listen to music and talk about our plans for the future.

Back then me and my friend shared a common dream of becoming film makers, and I often acted as cameraman or handled the lights on some of his early experiments.
Later on I turned my attention to the visual arts and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1991, my friend eventually became a maker of short films.

One day my friend asked me if I could, perhaps, be somewhere else for the evening...
he had a date and wanted some time alone with her in the apartment. I knew that one of my classmates from highschool lived at a dormitory nearby and went and visited her.
She was friendly, but surprised, when I suddently showed up (we hadn't really seen eachother since our graduation in 85') I stayed for about a hours worth of smalltalk and awkwardness. After that I walked the streets for some time until it was quite late, and I decided to return to the apartment. My friend's date had left, and I think he was asleep, I found my bed (a mattress on the floor, actually) and went to sleep.

Later on I got my own apartment, and a real bed.

And CD versions of the Ramones albums.
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

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May 9, 61'st anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet People over the Hitlerite murderers in The Great Patriotic War.

This event always had special meaning to me...the Russians winning the war against the Nazi Armies of Hitler. It usually brings out tears when I see the famous photographs from the war by Baltermans and others; the destroyed villages, the crying mothers, the Red Army soldiers riding on their T-34's, the happy soldiers dancing in the streets of Berlin after the battle.

To me it's a vision of great heroism, and when I see these images I see a nation of humble people; peasants, mothers, factory workers, confronting an army of satanic mechanized robots led by a gang of arrogant elitist criminals. This Army comes not as invaders but as colonizers who aim to exterminate and destroy what they see as inferior sub-humans, in order to secure their own survival and expansion as a race and people.

Of course the Soviet propaganda of what was officially the worker's and peasant's paradise helped a lot to create the heroic image, and the term The Great Patriotic War appeared in the newspaper Pravda the day after The Nazi invasion. But the term did not represent the usual bombastic rhetoric of Communism, rather it signaled a call for a patriotism similar to that which had stopped Napoleon from conquering Russia in 1812, a patriotism coming from a deep love in the Russian people for Russia itself (as compared to an increasing lack of enthusiasm for the Soviet State) Now that the fields and villages were being burned, the ancient towns bombed and the people machine gunned on sight, it was time to fight, but not for uncle Joe; for Mother Russia.

For many years after WWII ended, the cold war blurred the events on both sides of the iron curtain. The Soviets never mentioned how important it had been to receive hundred and thousands of trucks, tanks, airplanes and other vital materials from the USA through the Lend Lease Act, and post war Hollywood kept churning out blockbuster movies about the African, Italian, Pacific and Normandy campaigns, but conveniently stayed quiet about the fact that some of the largest land battles in recorded history were fought in Russia during WWII, resulting in over 20.000.000 civilian and military deaths.

Well, the ranks grow thinner every year at the annual parades of Russian veterans with chests full of medals, and soon these events will just be words in the history books, ready for revision to fit the changing political climates of the World.


LONG LIVE THE GREAT VICTORY!
LONG LIVE THE BRAVE RUSSIAN PEOPLE!
URRAH!
URRAH!
URRAH!


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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, May 08, 2006

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May 8, "Victory in Europe-day", official day of surrender of Nazi controlled forces to the Western allies, 61 years ago.

View the Statistics of Civilian and military Deaths in WWII

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Not my people
Not my war

Friday, May 05, 2006

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May 5, and Denmark was liberated from Nazi occupation 61 years ago.

"The five cursed years" as the occupation is referred to by those who were there, and when the liberation finally came, the score on how the Danes had dealt with the occupation could to be settled:

If you had joined the resistance from day one...
-you were a hero!

If you had joined the resistance on may 5...
- you were a hero!

If you had joined the resistance from day one, but belonged to the communist party...
-you were rotting away in a concentration camp, courtesy of the Danish police who had supplied the German police with lists of known Danish communists.

If you belonged to the Danish Police....
-you were ALSO rotting away in a concentration camp....when things get tough, even the friendliest occupying Army can't have locals running around armed.

If you had joined the SS to fight the Bolschevik barbarians in Soviet Russia...
-you got a jail sentence (if you had somehow survived the war)

If joined the SS to fight the Bolschevik barbarians in Soviet Russia, but were highly decorated and escaping murder charges in Denmark...
-You got a hideaway in Bavaria.

If you had joined one of the special (and especially brutal) police units who collaborated with the German Gestapo....
-you got shot on sight, or went to court and received a death sentence (the death penalty was abolished in Denmark in 1933 but on popular demand it was re-activated for crimes done under the occupation)

If you were a woman or girl who had dated German soldiers...
-You got beaten up, had your head shaved and were paraded around town.

If you had been part of the Danish government who had agreed to do trade with Nazi Germany, let Danes go and work in Nazi Germany, let Danes join German Armed forces to go to war for Nazi Germany...
-you stayed in office.

If you belonged to the 99% majority of Danes who for five years took things as the came and stayed out of trouble...
-you went out in the streets to celebrate...

(If you were an artist or writer who couldn't keep his mouth shut...
-you paid a fisherman a heap of money to sail you to neutral Sweden and stayed there in exile until the occupation was over)


(applause)
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

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I don't know when this picture was done, maybe in the seventies.
If one could imagine a version done today it would probably have all the little fish scattered far from eachother looking into computerscreens, and the big fish casually eating them one by one.
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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, May 01, 2006

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May 1 - International Workers Day!

The world's favorite popularity-meter, Google, usually create a customized version of their logo on special dates, like Earthday, St. Patricks Day, Mozart's birthday, etc.

not so on May 1...

apparently this day isn't special to the good folks at the Google/Yahoo/Time/Warner/CIA/Shell/Maersk/Fox/Bush/Lockheed- corporation
(or whoever owns Google now, or own those who own those who own it)

...and, besides, in our world of today there aren't really any "workers" anymore, only "employees" and we don't need old fashioned bullshit coming from some fat arsed union! like Johnny Q. Public here:
- I work for a small company, we're just ten people and our boss, if you can even call him that! - he's more like an older brother than a boss, hell, he even borrowed my Limp Bizkit CD last week! well, anyhow - I don't have more time for talk now, I have to prepare some stuff I'm taking home tonight to work on, uh-oh, those deadlines, they can really get tight sometimes...but this time my boss promised me I can drive his Countach to the Mcdrive if I do a good job...

well done, Johnny-boy, and remember to wipe your mouth and rinse afterwards, gotta stay hygienic, you know!

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Not my people
Not my war