Friday, March 30, 2007

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Searching for music to put into my new Ipod, I came across blues singer and guitarist Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945)

Like many other blues legends, Willie Johnsons life was not exactly spent on the sunny side of Pleasant Street: Blinded by his stepmother when he was a child, he would spend most of his life collecting money from singing and preaching on the streets of Beaumont, Texas. In 1945 his house burned down and he had to sleep on a wet bed in the remains. From this he caught pneumonia and reportedly died because a local hospital would not admit a blind man, his death certificate listed the disease was further complicated by syphilis.

Considered to be one the greatest slide guitarist of all time, Blind Willie Johnson's rendition of "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" was included on the special record placed in the Voyager Spacecraft.
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Listen to: The Soul of A man
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Marder III
A group of well-camouflaged Marder's on the eastern front.
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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, March 29, 2007

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Shop til you drop... I am now the proud owner of an Ipod shuffle (handy for those long evenings at the mails)

Maybe I should fill it up with: Peter, Bjorn and John
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I
Nicknamed "Tiki" this Tiger belonged to the 2'nd SS panzer division Das Reich
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

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Blast from the past on YouTube? in the movie Totem, a 1984 documentary about the post-punk subculture in Denmark (in this movie that means: Copenhagen) I believe to see myself in a crowd at a concert, go to time 8:32 and watch for the guy in a grey shirt turning in the background..

I remember attending a concert in Saltlageret (yes, torn down long ago) where it was announced that there would be "filming for use in a movie" When I was there I remember a punk coming through the door (the place was of course loaded with people) and crying out with the most pretentious, hammy, voice he could find: "UUUH, WHEEEERE is the film crew!" parodying how most of us probably felt, but few dared to admit. We all laughed when he said that.

I think this episode is interesting because back then I was living isolated in a small town miles from Copenhagen, and I 'll bet a lot of the other people at the concert came from the various suburbs surrounding Copenhagen, where four or five of them made up the local punk establishment.

Going to a concert was one of the few ways to exist, meaning that if other people saw you, not as a weird dressing freak (a non existence), but as a "normal" person in the sense that you looked and acted like they did, making you socially acceptable.

Getting caught on film meant that you just entered another visual representation besides reality, and by that extended the group of people you could exist with, (meaning the people who would later see the movie)
this was a bit like what sites like YouTube does today - give people a reality to exist in.

- six seconds of fame and a new bike, what a week!

And now, nemesis?...

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What's up at YouTube: Totem
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I
A late version with steel rimmed wheels in a bomb crater in Italy.
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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My new bike! the Batavus Intrada

This is the second time in my life I am the owner of a brand new bicycle, the last time was when I was twelve!

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What's up at YouTube: Johan Holmfred Moto Crossing (yellow rider at the start of the video)
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I
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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, March 26, 2007

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I own a bank.

I invest in a building and construction company.

The company builds houses and apartments.

Someone wants a place to stay (a sensible alternative to sleeping on the streets)

They can buy one of my company's houses.

The houses are expensive.

The can take out a loan in my bank.

If they take a "one hundred years loan" the monthly payments are manageable, even for a young couple or singles.

But they will of course never own their place.

My bank will own their place.

But they will have the responsibilities of owners.

If something needs fixing, they have to get it fixed, and pay for it.

They can always borrow money from my bank.

I own a bank


I am happy.

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/////
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger II
An unusually clear representation of the hard edged "ambush" camouflage scheme painted on Tiger II's from late 1944 and untill the end of WWII.

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Not my people
Not my war

Saturday, March 24, 2007

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Brit Artistes Tim Noble and Sue Webster win a Danish Art award

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~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf F
Note the low height of a StuG, about the size of a man, making it a hard target to spot and hit on the battlefield.
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Not my people
Not my war

Friday, March 23, 2007

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The free (hippie) city of Christiania will give a press conference later today where they will present their final answer to the Danish state's proposal for a "normalization" of Christiania.

Depending on who you talk to this proposal will either save Christiania, or end it...

Of course the total destruction of Ungdomshuset just a few weeks ago has absolutely nothing to do with this, along the lines of "look what happens to people who DON'T cooperate..."

Well, sons and daughters of Policemen (and women) there's new toys on the way - Daddy's got overtime comin' in!

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What's up at YouTube: Slideshow of Christiania
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I
A famous color photo of a Tiger in Italy.
The Tiger did not end up in this position from fighting, but was pushed off the road after the battle by a tractor. This photo has often been used as documentation that panzers were painted with dark grey colour in the last months of WWII. In fact this Tiger is painted overall dark green, but the colour film of the era could not reproduce the colours with 100% accuracy, plus the obvious fact that the colours of military vehicles are always quickly distorted by mud, dust, sunlight, wear and tear.
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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, March 22, 2007

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Unknown pleasures?

Some residents of Nørrebro spotted a bus full of Danish Police who stopped at the place were Ungdomshuset stood. The Police men stepped out of the bus and urinated on the rubble. When informed that what they were doing was illegal since the rubble was now the property of the Christian sect Faderhuset, one of the police men replied: "don't worry, Ruth (the leader of Faderhuset) is a good friend of ours"

Urinating in a public place is illegal in Denmark, they should be reported to the...

And a question, your honor: How can a sect like Faderhuset, with less than fifty members, aford to pay DKR 60,000 a month for renting Ungdomshuset (they did this every month for five years) not to mention the expences of having the house torn down?...

Aw, shucks, I'm thinking again! I must remember to work harder and consume more to get rid of that silly habit.

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/////
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panther turm
A Panther dug into a Berlin street.
Often older Panthers were used in this fashion, but a special design called the Pantherturm also existed which was a complete Panther turret mounted on a concrete box, a surviving example can be seen here
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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Back in 1991 when I bought my first Mac I discovered a quaint little computer game called Glider.

In Glider you had to steer a paper airplane through a series of rooms inside a house. Along the way you could pick up extra power, extra planes, gain points etc.

The cool thing was that the plane got energy from passing over a source of air, usually a ventilation hole in the floor, keeping the plane in the air was the challenge. You also had to avoid landing on tables (then you died) fly into lamps, into falling drops of water, etc.

Glider was an amazingly charming and fun game to play, and one of the things that made it great was the lo-fi black and white artwork of the game (a colour version was later released) The game was written by John Calhoun who was (and still is) a software developer for Apple.

Somehow I had the feeling there was a hidden story underneath it all, books on bookshelves in some of the rooms would have "Wizard of Oz" or "Lewis Carol" written on them, and the rooms would often have somewhat cryptic titles like "What goes up" referring to the problem which had to be solved in order to pass through the room

Well, maybe I was just a confused art student, but in my mind back them, this game was both poetic and philosophical which was an unusual experience for me as most other games I'd played was of the BLAST! K-POW! type where you just blew up stuff and went to the next level (containing more stuff to blow up...)

I was so fascinated by the world of Glider that I created a small cartoon based on it back in 1994, this could be done because Glider came with a built-in editor for creating your own rooms.

- Check out a fan page
- Read an interview with John Calhoun
...or play Glider as a Flash game (this is the later colorized version, not as cool as the original B/W in my opinion)
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/////
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I
Abandoned after the Battle of Berlin, spring 1945.
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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My first recollection of seeing a movie stands clearly in my memory. I was four or five years old and living with my parents in the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidovre. I remember entering the living room, my parents look at me and smile, my dad says something I can't remember because my attention is focused on a box with light emerging from it, the TV.
And something is happening inside the light box: Horses running side by side, they are racing, and some people talking when suddenly a sort of tarpaulin comes crashing down, covering them.

For many years I wanted to find out what is was I had been watching back then. Eventually, using my strong deductive talents (just one of the many positive traits of my character, others are: Humorous, romantic, brainy and in possession of not a small talent for cooking) I came to the conclusion that it had to be A day at the Races by the Marx brothers since scenes like those I remembered appear in the movie and Danish TV aired a lot of Marx brothers films in the seventies.
They have since vanished from the screen, maybe due to something about licensing fees or perhaps they just went out of fashion.

(roll of drums)
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What's up at YouTube: A day at the Races
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panther, Ausf G
A group of Russian soldiers examining an abandoned Panther during the Battle of Berlin, spring 1945. Note the complete set of flame damping exhaust covers (visible next to the "balkenkreuz", the black cross national marking painted at the rear end of the panzer)
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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, March 19, 2007

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Let's not forget about Sci-Fi artist: Chris Foss

His work must have provided a big part of the inspiration for software like Bryce
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What's up at YouTube: Christ, The Movie, part 1
Made by legendary anarcho Punk band CRASS
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panther, Ausf D
One of the rarer exmples coated with Zimmerit anti-magnetic paste (a concrete like substance, applied to prevent magnetic charges from being attached to the panzer)
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Not my people
Not my war

Saturday, March 17, 2007

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Finally got round to watching Art school confidential, which unfortunately was a mixed experience. The movie starts well, delivering an insightful and very funny peek into the world of Art schools, and modern Art. But half way through it gets involved with a rather silly plot about some cops looking for a serial killer, plus way too much time is spent on some rather lame talk about love and painting.
Nothing wrong with these subjects, of course, but the movie is so much better when it sticks to the same raw cynicism as the modern Art scene itself, and uses it to slash, well; The modern Art scene...
My favourite scene is when a former student at the Art school, now a big art star, returns to give a lecture at the school. Behaving like a monster asshole he not only openly admits to being a monster asshole, but also explains how that works fine with the ethos of Art: The purpose of a great artist is to be: A great Artist, and by behaving like the a...hole he is, he's simply being honest and we all like the truth don't we?...

Watch the movie for the first half, and then go and read Clowes original cartoon which is much more fun, and if you've already done that, read this interview

Daniel Clowes, another great man ruined by the lure of tinseltown???

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What's up at YouTube: The Tasty clue

Phunn stuff from Blame society films
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger I

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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, March 15, 2007

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It's not me, sitting at the table eating dinner

It's not me, going to my job

It's not me, voting on election day

It's not me, doing the dishes


I'm somebody else.

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*****
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Sdkfz 251/22
A "Pakwagen" left in the Czech Republic after WWII, local metal scavengers have removed parts of the vehicle.
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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There I was, crossing the street, pulling my bike with tree filled shopping bags hanging from the handles.
A guy in white workman's clothes on a moped is behind me, and as he passes me he shouts "get the fuck out of my way you idiot!" I turn and just manage to kick my leg and hit his left blinker.

He stops a few yards from me, turns and get off the moped. I look straight at him, straightening my back, pushing my chest out, feeling nothing.
His eyes are full of hate, he starts shouting at me "don't you fucking kick me!" and I answer "don't you fucking shout at me, I was just crossing the street!"
"Whattaya want! whattaya want!" he begins, stretching out his arms, and again without feeling anything I ask him "what do YOU want?" stretching out my arms too, still looking him straight in the eyes,
He backs off, mounts his moped and drive away.

But what was at play here? did he back off because I was calm, collected, have a muscular body, agreeable features which could be called both rugged and intellectual, a good sense of humour plus a steady job (photographs will be mailed only to serious inquiries: lennardg@hotmail.com)

Or was it that he realised he was a bit out there, I mean: I was pulling a heavy burden on my bike, and as I explained to him, just crossing the street - what was he doing shouting at me like that?

Maybe it was both, or he just realised he didn't want to stir up trouble on some lame Tuesday afternoon on his way home from work.

Hmm, his work...could that have anything to do with it?...

nah...we Danes love to work.

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What's up at YouTube: High noon performed by Frankie Lane
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panther, Ausf G
Blown up in the Czech republic, May 1945.
Dramatic damage like this was more often the result of explosives placed by the Panzer's own crew than actual fighting. When Hungary's oilfields at lake Balaton were occupied by Soviet forces in March 1945, Germany's war machine no longer had access to fuel production based on natural resourses. This meant that many of the panzers still left on the battle fields would run out of fuel and had to be destroyed to avoid capture.
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

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My Casio Exilim came back from repair, groovy baby!

(so you can check out my Flickr account for the latest pictures of Copenhagen suburbs or people drinking beer)
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~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Sturmgeschütz III. Ausf G
Being inspected by Czech civilians.

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Not my people
Not my war

Sunday, March 11, 2007

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Finished my show at Kaisai, great to show on those cheeky red walls opposite the toilet,

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What's up at YouTube: Crumb to Ghostworld
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panzer IV, Ausf G
Photographed after WWII in Czech lands.
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Not my people
Not my war

Saturday, March 10, 2007

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Visited the place where Ungeren stood for the first time after the clearing.
A truly weird experience since I was inside the place having a beer in the bar just a few months ago...

I really don't want to forget this one, how the f... could that happen?

And all the political and media bullshit about "...Copenhagen needs a place for these youths who can't fit in"...

Can't fit in where? to me it's just people who party in a different way than the consumer drugged mainstream, creating your own party instead of going to some lame overpriced disco - that makes you a misfit and a treath to society?

Playing your own music instead of buying the useless cardboard dribble thrown at you from every corner of our culture to keep some dinosaur record companies in business, - this makes you a subversive element?

Obviously it does! if our society was mainly about production and consumerism, but OUR society is all about freedom and democracy! and openness, right? and those values are important, right? so important we go to WAR to defend them, right?

And throwing rocks at a large group of uniformed people who are moving in your direction wearing helmets and carrying shields (and sidearms with live ammunition) is not war or self defence, that's terrorism.

And to keep it all real for the good citizens of The Dream Society©™, the recent rioting in the streets has placed Copenhagen higher on the list of "cool places to go" because the riots are good storytelling...

I want that too! - here's my list of places with excellent storytelling:

Hiroshima - Wow, talk about city renewal!
Auschwitz - Maybe it WAS a hoax, I mean; where are all the dead bodies???
Baghdad - Don't buy street food - the street might blow up on you.
Afghanistan - Directions? let's ask the guy next to the crucified musicians, he looks friendly.

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What's up at YouTube? Ungeren is still alive, 9-3-07
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Sdkfz 222
Abandoned in Czech lands, 1945.
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Not my people
Not my war

Friday, March 09, 2007

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What happened? one day I was living in a liberal free minded society based on humanistic values, rational thought and a relaxed attitude to sex and morale issues.

Now it's like I'm living on a highway to a liberal-protestant-conformist nightmare run by nannies from hell!

Hand me those immigration papers, Achmed, and let's get the f... outta here!

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What's up at YouTube? Netto Ghetto
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Tiger II
Being towed to the junkyard, Czech lands 1945.
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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, March 08, 2007

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Women's international day of struggle today.

In Denmark this day was instituted in 1910 in Folket Hus (the people's house), Jagtvej 69.
in 1982, the unused building was taken over by squatters and became Ungdomshuset (a new and larger Folkets Hus had been erected on Vesterbro in 1956)

As you probably know by now the house was sold to the small Christian community Faderhuset who have now removed the building and plan to build a church there.

And If you want a peek into the mindset of self righteous protestant Denmark, check out the homepage of Faderhuset

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What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
retro babe
no panzer, instead you'll get Partizan
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Not my people
Not my war

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

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Most of the people I overhear discussing the clearing of Ungdomshuset talk about how fed up they are with the squatters and how well the Police handled the situation.

People laugh at the fact that the squatters were still asleep when the police arrived at 7 am (that's when most ordinary people are on their feet to put the kids to school, enter their cars to pendle to work, boot up the computer to read the first e-mails, etc, etc)
People laugh at the fact that the Police served food from Mac Donald's to the squatters who were put in detention (the police spokesman stated that there was nothing political about it, they simply served what was available)

Maybe the overworked, overpaid, over housed, overfed, over mortgaged, overstimulated, overpriced, overall Danes are in bad need of a laugh?

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What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panzerjäger 38 (t)
Some Hetzers left behind after the fighting in Czech lands, May 1945.
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Not my people
Not my war

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

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(click for larger version)

Showing some pen and ink drawings at Kaisai, Enghavevej 42 (the basement) and there's a party Saturday.
Look for my stuff right next to the toilets.

Middle aged, moi? (alright, I'm twice the age of most of the other participants)
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What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer vehicledump
Some worn-out war horses in Czech lands after WWII.
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Not my people
Not my war

Monday, March 05, 2007

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The shores at Lumsås, nothern Zeeland

A lovely place.
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What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Panther with 37 mm flak
A rare field modification mounting a 37 mm AA gun on a turretless Panther ausf, A, photographed in Czech lands 1945.
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Not my people
Not my war

Saturday, March 03, 2007

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Well, I can't seem to leave old Ungdomshuset behind just like that, especially since the media is full of pictures and movies of the riots following the clearing.

As I've mentioned yesterday, the mentality of left-wing radicalism is a problem for me, because twenty years ago I was myself in a riot following a demo arranged by people from ungdomshuset which cost me a night in jail. During that night I had the chance to talk to people who were really part of the BZ movement (as squatters were known in Denmark) and to me it was clear that most of them were adrenalin crazed from fighting the police and that was a big part of their involvement.

People who spent years within the movement would disagree and call me a fascist, bourgeois pig, etc, etc but my problem with the whole BZ movement is the fact that if they really wanted to be a revolutionary movement they should make friends with "the people" something all true revolutionaries have stated countless times: The people is the water the revolution swims in.

The sad fact is that a lot of people living in the same neighbourhood as Ungdomshuset are fed up with the rioting, generally don't like people who dress funny, and mainly care about getting their kids safely to and from school and kindergarten. It might make them bourgeois pigs sucking the dick of oppression, but since none of them are starving or being trown in concentration camps for not saluting the flag, do they really need a revolution?!?!?

I saw some good and funny things at Ungdomshuset, rioting skinheads being calmed down by a whole group of people chanting "no violence" (instead of a group of bouncers throwing trouble makers out on the street as would be the normal club or venue procedure) or dancing the can-can to punk rock, or the punk band City-X playing a brilliant revival concert a few years back.

Personally I find it hard to understand that a relatively small group of twenty year olds can't have access to just one worn out old building in Copenhagen especially since they run the whole place entirely by themselves, no expensive social workers, no multi-million restoration and special shower rooms for all ethnic groups represented, etc, etc.

But maybe that's the heart of the matter; Our present society has a big problem handling autonomy like that found at Ungdomshuset, because it could lead to a question: If self-government could actually work - who needs the government?...

I think few governments would want their citizens to ask questions like that, and working examples of how that could be done would have to be removed before they started spreading the idea too far.

Goodbye Ungeren, and if you start a new place somewhere don't help your enemies by acting like idiots, let them them be the idiots, it's their only talent.

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What's up at YouTube
(the views of the poster of the video and the comments are not mine, it just goes to show you can have very different opinions on things, and that's freedom of speech, right? in my opinion the video speaks for itself...)
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Policetruck
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Not my people
Not my war

Friday, March 02, 2007

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Goodbye "Ungeren", the house on Jagtvej 69 which has been a gathering point for punks and left wing radicals for twenty five years was cleared yesterday by the Police.

It's sad to see the place go since I have some fond memories of concerts I saw there in the mid eighties, but I was never a big fan of the rather secteric version of left wing activism dominating the place.
Back in 1984 I was a punk, but I lived in my parents place out in the country.
I was the only punk in town.
Naturally I travelled all the way to the center of punk world™
Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen to meet "my people" - the other punks!
Unfortunately I realised that my self styled approach to looking punk was deemed unsatisfactory by the local hardcore crowd, and I was issued one of the most disgracing labellings available at the time :

"fashion punk"

Sorry, guys and girls (some of them were girls, I think) if I didn't fit the mold and I hope you'll find a new place to promenade the dreadlocks and studded belts and get bands to play for free in support of the revolution (or your overdue electricity bill...)

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What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Sturmmörser Sturmtiger
A group of GI's examining a captured Sturmtiger in Germany 1945. The sturmtiger fired a 360 mm rocket projectile seen lying on the ground.
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Not my people
Not my war

Thursday, March 01, 2007

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Went and saw Jerry Lee Lewis play in Copenhagen. Playing to an almost full house, the seventy one year old Rocker would only spend about fourty minutes on stage, where he did some very eclectic piano playing while going through classics like "great balls of fire" and "whole lotta shaking going on"
I think It's fair to call Jerry Lee Lewis a performer no longer in his prime, but the man could still pump his piano and sing quite well with his trademark sneer and southern twang, and the country and western ballads he also performed were very touching.
A true legend right there in front of you on a wednesday night, cool.

Celeb spot: Fritz Bonfils of Danish 80's band Before...

What's up at YouTube
~~~~~
Retro babe
Panzer Pzkpfw IV, Ausf D
Speeding down a road. Judging from the large amount of storage and spareparts carried on the outside of the Panzer it was probably photographed during the beginning of the invasion of Russia.
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Not my people
Not my war