sat 03 dec 2011 09:44:29 witte de withstraat
academia de tango, and other curiosities
i regret that i've been neglecting to write more often in here.
things that happened:
as usual in the autumn, i did a bunch of work for hologic. some of it i even liked.
also this fall i made a movie out of clips i stole from youtube. i called it 'tubular apocalypse'. it was kind of an exploration of my jaw-dropped gazing at, and rising empathy for, the more unusual people i see there.
and i finished the moonaddict film 'nuclear babies'.
i finished reading all the jay atkinson books i'd bought via amazon. corresponded a bit with jay. i think he lives in methuen.
on thursday 24 november, feeling rather grateful, i took about 23 people to dinner at tong ah for thanksgiving, which is one of my only three holidays (i've decided). i thought it would cost more than it did. in addition to close friends and people i know, there were two people i'd never met, and one guy i hadn't even invited.
at the suggestion of nadia chalenska i watched the film 'wojna polsko-russa' on youtube -- with no subtitles so i couldn't quite tell what it was about, but i kinda liked it. one of the actors is actually the woman on whose book the film was based. then i ordered a dvd of it so i could see some english subtitles. that arrived from poland two days ago. (i hate having to buy a piece of plastic in order to buy a film, that seems barbaric.) it's an interesting movie.
last week i started learning to use 'soundtrack pro' software with some sounds i've collected. i'm trying to put myself in a place where, as soon as i have some volunteer actors, i can start creating sound plays. with sound scapes. so far i've written two short scripts, one last year and one the other day. there is a common character -- an unexplained ice cream man in both the scripts i've written so far.
this past wednesday i met hg in leidseplein, and we had dinner at the café stanislavski on the ground floor of the stadsschouwburg theater. henryk said he likes that place because it's big. big, like a bar/restaurant fell into a disused wing of versailles. in a way it reminded me of that huge communist-era restaurant from the film 'bariera'. henryk gave me cookies which helena had baked for me as a gift, they are called piernicki. i also found out that the polish word for 'mortality' is 'smiertelny'. after dinner we went to the cave for a while. and then at henryk's urgent insistence i accompanied him to the 'academia de tango', which happens in a building near café eijlders. i met an interesting small polish lady there. and watched people dance tangos together. short people and tall people. odd collisions. then we left there, and we went and closed eijlders. saw ron the poet. we met a filmmaker there. but then it was closing time. going home i got snacky and ate a febo kroket -- and burned the inside of my mouth, but by then i was a bit anaesthetized so it didn't hurt till morning.
thursday zvez v asked me if i could translate into english the article she had co-written about the effort to find a vanished mass grave on the old dutchbat base at srebrenica. i did my best. i thought it would take days, because it's a long article. but i got it done in about ten hours. not bad, even though i was hung over. they were gonna offer me eur 250 to do it, but i said keep the money, and told z she has to be a voice in one of my sound plays.
last night (friday) i stumbled upon a scholar / anarchist writer named david graeber. i never knew he existed. he got shitcanned from yale university in 2005, now works in london. in the first article i read, i was noticing that his descriptions of anarchy did not make me cringe. i felt like i'd encountered someone who really understands it.
what else is going on. nicole is preparing her new cake shop business. yesterday she finished designing the logo, and i saw it and liked it. very elegant. george from downstairs has been helping her with going and getting stuff, and with painting the interior, and now vincent has been helping her too. i haven't been much help yet.
things i find rather infuriating lately:
apparently women in afghanistan are routinely jailed for being rape victims.
i'm like what the fuck? and this is the *non* taliban govt? i read that karzai recently pardoned one woman who was serving a prison sentence for having been raped by her cousin. but there were many more women in prison for the same thing.
people are arguing about whether zwarte piet is racist. of course it's fucking racist. but there are people getting arrested about it. they stand there silently wearing a t shirt saying 'zwarte piet is racisme' to a place where sinterklaas is supposed to appear, and the police ask them to leave (so as not to disrupt the festive mood?) and when they question why they must leave, the police tackle them to the ground or slam them up against the wall. i'm like what the fuck? actually i've been invited to go to the opera (believe it or not) on monday afternoon, which puts me outdoors at the sinterklaas time, which puts me in danger of encountering a zwarte piet. if i see one, i hope i have a towel to hand him.