Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Experiencing Ohio: The Prodigal Son Revisits Dollville

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 16:44

The Experiencing Belgium desk is once again being broadcast to you from abroad. We (me, myself and I) are coming to you from Central Ohio - Revisiting family and enjoying horizonal horizon lines, big sky, hot and mostly dry weather. Observing life wherever I am from my dislocated vantage point on the world I inhabit from the confines of my tricky brain.

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders once sang of going back to Ohio. Given the lyrics of that song she wrote I doubt she returned. Meanwhile we here at the Experiencing Belgium desk on location in Ohio just Wikipedia'd the information on Chrissie Hynde I was refering to and discovered much to my surprise that Rush Limbaugh used this uncanny song on his radio show - not surprisingly without permission for quite some time. Ms Hynde much to my pleasure contributed those settled on profits to PETA. Ethical Treatment of Animals is hard to come by from a part of a world that has no ethical treatments for the land it stole from the indiginous people who once had this land a more civilized place than the USA now is or at this rate ever will be. Ethical Treatment of animals is hard to come by from a state that doesn't really have a good history with ethical treatment of its human inhabitants who are daily fed McDonalds at the greasy fried food feeding stations.

So the Experiencing Belgium Desk has gone back to its old Ohio origins. I am not a rock star with an income that persists off of lyrics I previously wrote or songs I never sang on the road tours I never made. From contracts I never had. So why have I gone back - because I can. Despite my attempts to get stripped of my US citizenship for expressing my dissent and discontent with the state of the states by excercizing my rights to freedom of speech and expression and religion - I did not get stripped of my citizenship in the states. The petty brain dead homeland security thugs who welcomed me at JFK let me back in at the border, so I here I am writing to you from my origin on planet earth. Those very brain dead thugs who do nothing whatsoever to bolster my confidence in the third world quality of US airports and skyway security.

It only took me one trip through a UAE airport on even economical Gulf Air to wake me up that all is not well with the airlines in and out of the US of A. Talk about being ripped off by uncle Sam. Dubai is more of what the American Dream is about than anything you can see from the car or plane when traipsing through JFK or Laguardia. Those two airports look like something left over from the surplusses and excesses of the 1950's and 1960's Doris Day like make believe material worlds of forgotten and discarded American Airline dreams - dreams that went down with Pan Am and Allegheny Airlines or Trans World Airlines - to name but a few.

I am a bit ashamed of what greets tourists coming to the states for the first time to see the American Dream and majestic landscapes that called to them. So I flew back to the states to visit dear old dad. The Homeland Security systems that greeted me went through each and every photo I brought from my travels abroad since home last from the exotic Arabia Felix. The security guy was pleased with himself for taking as much time going through each photo slowly so as to take enough time for me to get bumped off my commuter flight to home in Ohio - and ignoring the rest of my baggage contents. Was any security precaution met by his looking at my personal photos as if I were showing him about travels like I would my family? He certainly saw things he had never seen before and lost his somewhat professional demeanor when cultural curiousity and fascination from an unknown and exotic (to statesiders) land kicked in. Those few non-professional travel photos I made while in Yemen do have a power from their contents. It's not my camera use that has the power captivate it is the beauty of the land from the Prophets that mesmerizes the viewer.

So the Homeland Insecurity Thug who intentionally took his time like an Israeli guard before a citizen of Palestine at an Israeli Occupied Forces Checkpoint did get me delayed enough to get bumped off my Delta connection flight. This is why I despise the American airlines - all of them. This whole system of getting bumped off flights is trickery for greedy airlines - airlines who over price tickets and employ security tactics built on fear of terrorism to exact profits from compliant consumer air travelers. This is not a nation this is one big collective strip mall in a once was born out from statesmanship.

"...Hi, welcome to America, we are on an Orange Alert for terrorism, You have been bumped off your connection from a trans-Atlantic long haul flight because of terrorism - Homeland inSecurity takes time you know - even though your flight hasn't left yet - fifty other people were vying for your seat - and in the interest of our profits we sold it to them - have a nice day and fly Delta/American/United/etc again..." But not on the ticket you bought and paid for abroad at your flight origin...

Now I am no fan of Angloland over there in the USA-UK especially Heathrow - like JFK - is best to be avoided when flying. However upon arriving late in the UK at Heathrow my flight from Bru-town airport in Zaventem, Belgium - (built by Hitler and his henchmen) - was beyond late from such a short flight. And yet the kind folk at Heathrow professionally doing their security and airline work told me to run that my connection (on a big old Jumbo jet no less) was waiting on me and to RUN. I did run and run through that massive airport. It seemed they kept that big ol' plane waiting on me and shut the door behind me. Compared to my third world reception at JFK, Heathrow was delux and we all know Heathrow has been so third-world-esque for quite sometime - ask any Australian traveler.

So at JFK I went back to British Airways to inquire about how to get home as my Delta connection was no longer valid. They could get me on a flight out of Laguardia or I could go the next day if I had friends to stay at in New York City! Compare that to my last 17 hour layover in the UAE where I was put up in a five star hotel in my choice of two - one at the airport or one in the city - I chose the city to see more of the UAE while there. The long taxi drive was worth the views of that strange Emerite in the Arabian Desert. The Hotel nice and the food very good and spicey genuine Pakistani fair and halal! British Airways actually asked me if I had someone I could stay with in New York City - they didn't offer me hotel accomodation because they were all out of hotel vouchers for the day. Not that there weren't empty rooms BA just didn't want to pay for Delta's incompetant standby preferred/bumped off customer flight plan services - the idiots who work at Delta would not make eye contact with me about any of this - so I threw my arms around and called out for someone to please get me on my connection from Belgium to back home. The handsome Seikh guy in the blue turban wouldn't look at me or help - how could he? I am sure he knew my situation because I wasn't the first long haul trans-Atlantic person arriving - within time to ketch their flight - because of getting bumped off the list due to being only slightly delayed at the Israelis Homeland inSecurity at JFK. He was just doing his job by its description - he didn't agree with it but that was how he had to provide customer disservice to ensure his job. Actually all of Delta's personel were of the customer service school you especially get in and around New York City - customer service defined by what the employee cannot do - not by what they can do. Funny though how the feminine types always have such flawlessly manicured extra-long finger nails...

Take my advice if you are a citizen abroad or planning on visiting the US don't do so at this time wait at least a few more decades. Nowadays you will be treated like the criminal you are at the border by Homeland inSecurity Inc. You will thus miss your connection flight and it will be your fault for being a foreigner or a US Citizen who dared go abroad for awhile. If you flew through the UAE you will see what airtravel as defined by the likes of the Americans way back when during the Pan Am age - perfected by amazing airlines like the Emirates or Indonesian and Singapore lines. If you saw those places and airlines then you know that making a US domestic connection is a life risking venture upon third world airways to transport patriotic fat American asses from family styled Casino weekends in Las Vegas.

So here I am back in what I am now calling Yo-Hio. Yo-dude-Ohio - land of astonishingly over weight people hobbling about on two diabetic and swollen ankled feet. Though there appear to be sidewalks they don't get used as walking is grounds for suspect by Homeland inSecurity services inc. Sidewalks are only used by bicycles with training wheels - those kids who then fall with training wheels in place are naturally selected out of the gene pool when they fly off their childs bicycle into the automotive traffic one meter away.

Actually I am here in yo-Hio for my dear pa Kettle is 80 years old. Back in 1989 the doctors gave him six months to live so don't believe anything your doctors or your health care insurance company or commercial TV ads for prescription drugs have to say. My brother and I believe dad will out live us all. That said I confess I needed some big sky, green fields, delapitated old barns, and a bit less people per square kilometer than what is available in Belgique or even Wallonia.

As I had been set up in a flat in Brussel Sint Joost ten Node (Bruxelles Saint Josse t'Noode) or as I called it Quartier San Jose - which just happens to be one of the smallest quartiers in Bru-town and is the most densely populated part of Belgium with the most varied global community residing there - and all contained on built up narrow streets with less than a meter wide sidewalks. I needed some space. Horizontality. Time to be alone - and yes amigo some monolingualism - and of course the certainty of summer which Belgium does not offer.

So I am here in the badlands of Ohio's tarmac parkinglots and strip malls and fast food fry venues along side freeway lanes of aimless traffic littered with corpses of roadkill deer and racoons. Fortunately if you know where to go you can avoid those places and seek out the remnants of an Ohio that Charles Burchfield once found glorious in its mundanity to paint. Thankfully he did paint so we don't forget what Ohio once was and what it could be. I bet he had no idea that Ohio would get progressively worse and not better.

And Ohio is worse even in these more recent times. I was last in Ohio two years ago. Back then people who had great jobs during the end of the Clinton years had been made redundant and were under employed. Most have now moved on into other accomodation and lost their dreams of home ownership. Or at least become disillusioned by it. Although you don't dare say two words - Inflation - or - Depression - Ohio is looking like the present 21st Century version of those misfortunes. Ironically it was Ohio who tipped the scales for Bush II last but nobody told him or more probably they did and he didn't care having gotten what his daddy wanted.

Yet despite all the obvious visual clues about the economic situation in Ohio there seem to be now more than ever more and more retail shopping strips set behind vast acres of asphalt. More roads for more such shopping places are being built or laid out and possibly, perhaps waiting optimistically for an economic tide to change. It won't be long until there is only one farm left in Ohio - after the Amish country secceeds from Ohio to form their own independent territories of the past within this present depressive Ohio.

I think I woke up one morning in Sint Joost from that zolder/grenier apartment to see another depressing Flanders Sky which never in all those years I spent under it felt anything but foreign. I looked at my two passports and thought the blue one gives me the ability to live in the desert or at the artic circle - along one of two Oceans. Or safely locked away in an inland sea of rolling prairie grasses - or at least what was once an inland sea of rolling hills of prairie grasses. I have changed my sky but my mind is still the same. Summer has begun and the heat rises. The sun dries things out until the rain falls and then a hot sticky humidity sets in to these here southern lowlands of North America on the southern side of the Great Lakes. Autumn in all is majestic colorful foliage will come if Judgement day doesn't preceed it followed by a Winter coldness Flanders hasn't seen in ages. I don't know where I will be when but it doesn't matter now that the internet is everywhere - I can be anywhere - even where I am not where I say I am. Though I am not that interesting to fabric such lies. I am here in Old Ohio to be close to dad - to reaquaint myself with my brother and sister and their families intentional and unintentional that they find themselves in.

Ohio when you are away from the rampant excesses of it's military industrial complex economy is astonishingly beautiful. The sky bigger than I remember. The clouds mesmerizing to glance at. The night sky when away from the rampant light pollution of suburban sprawl is unlike anything Flanders has seen in many, many years. There are better places to be with a blue passport. Arizona or Californian or Nevada deserts. Mountains in the pacific northwest which are really like its own Ecotopia nation. Or southern life in hot and humid climates close along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. There is Appalachia or Rocky Mounain life at high altitudes. Or just getting high and getting by in the interior of Ohio as a metaphor for the whole of the midwest or just a pipe dreaming state of mind.

You can find more out about Experiencing Belgium on experiencing Ohio at

Friday, April 27, 2007

if but only they in Ohio knew

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 17:46

…Just another beautiful day here in Villette la Morte…
The weather has me thinking of spiraea bushes in bloom in Ohio which I think occurs in latter May. When I think of spiraea blooms with their popcorn like blooms on boughs of what also looks like late snow. I think of tall grass, trees with big trunks and huge canopies, wooden houses, porches, rocking chairs and porch swings.
Peeling grey painted porch floor boards where a cigarette pack and a Zippo brand lighter lay abandoned next to a pair of coffee cups (not mugs). Proper cups which sit filled full cooling sweetened with cream and sugar – unintentional café au lait but they didn’t know that then there in the North. That coffee cup resting in its place on a saucer on the porch floor boards along with an elegant and very tarnished silver spoon lying nearby… I remember these familiars to my grandmother and great aunt Ethyl - Ethyl as thin as her sister was fat - whose liver spotted brown hands covered with a transparent skin through which I could see veins and tendons similar to the artwork on the cracked and delicate porcelain coffee wear. Siamese Cats - twins of a sort – named Buttons and Bow's - I don't remember them as two separate cats because they looked alike and were never near each other. Buttons died early so I didn't notice. Buttons and Bow's being in my kid brain one cat who later we called Ms Bow's - a cat called buttons seemed appropriate - cats eye reminding me of buttons blue green tigers eye buttons. I made no association between buttons and bows being sewing items. Bows was like a name that only meant that cat Bows. It didn't refer in my mind to shoe laces or ribbons. Miz Bouwz I suppose was enough. Looking back at my geriatric women hero's from my childhood and seeing that matronly domestic associations for cat names now seems simple minded and pitiful in a way. So I don't choose to remember my dead hero's in that more honest light. I instead think of mystical cat button eyes and the feminist Miz Bouwz with a name without sentimentalist femininity. Miz Bouwz liked to hunt and kill mice for sport and for the sadistic desire to watch her prey suffer for amusement before being disregarded. This is the fierce association I have of the dead women from my Appalachian Irish origin East Ohio Clan.

All of what I remember and miss about Ohio is missed by Ohio herself from beneath the tarmac and stripped mall foundations of concrete and capitalist conspiracies of legislated and legalized greed.

You can never leave anywhere in North America because it all gets paved over while you are gone.

You just must accept the Beast of Capitalism and its familiar of the Concrete Conspiracy and find what’s left which is only a memory of someone else’s forgotten memory anyway. No place is real anymore.

Less and less I suppose of anything is.

When I remember the media circuiting through our collective propagated electronic thoughts the idea that Bin Laden had masterminded, like a board game, the misplaced and misused events of what we know as Nine-Eleven – when Bin Laden was shown saying in sphinx like cat like elegance or having said with subtitles that American will become a shadow of what it once was. Well, the thing is Bin Laden couldn’t have helped to reduce America to a shadow of itself because America already was a shadow of what it once was. America had reduced itself to a shadow of what it once was. That sad fact is what many cannot bear to admit so better blame been hidin’ too long bin Laden.

Don’t believe me? Then look to the buildings of your county seat if you even know you had one or the state of your state’s statehouse. Look to the streets and avenues of your home place. Only ask yourself where has your once grand High and Main streets gone: Out in the rural squalor to be a tarmac retail snake pit experience.

Every obsessively patriotic American should be required to spend a weeks holiday in downtown old town Detroit City for a reality check. So goes Detroit so goes the Nation.

It took the media sacred events of Nine-Eleven to help American’s just to begin to wake up to the fact that somewhere in the latter half of the twentieth century America became a shadow of what it once was – and worse what it once stood for. Thank the trans-national Military Industrial Complex made up of crooked politicians and even greedier corporate exec’s. Bin Laden just opportunistically took advantage of what already was which we all failed to see since Korea and Viet Nam through to not just one big family trip to Iraq but an ongoing and unending ghastly sequel. And now those events past and present have become a memory of a memory and the original event has been misplaced and forgotten - an event that has become a shadow of what it once was. Like New Orleans has become yet another shadow of what it once was. Like Ohio has been for too long a memory of someone else’s forgotten by old age dementia memory.

Read Jean Baudrilliard if you can of Simulation and Simulacra, incomprehensible at first but much less dangerous to the public than that other French philosopher by the name of Sartre. One Ohio virtue is those two writers don’t get read much there.

Ohio and the present day Ohioans no longer remember what they once were. Hard working, well or at least adequately educated and extremely generous folk who longed for a better life who could fiercely speak out if not all out fight in defiance of any form of legislated cruelty…

What Ohioan remembers their past life as determined and dignified guardians of the only form of Public transportation Ohio has ever known – known as the Underground Railroad? The Ohioans and their Old Ohio history was as colorful as the land of the Ohio Territories (the rowdy old, old west that became east of the commercialized old west we collectively remember as a Warner Brother’s cartoon) - that a slave owning President Jefferson wrote of – like love letters to a southern colored mistress livestock property whom he might have lusted for and nurtured and fucked with consent – and like the forgotten wax recording Empress of the Blue’s Bessie Smith so eloquently tied to remind us – that ain’t nobodies business but their own if they do or if you do. I prefer this image of a memory’s memory for Ohio. A politically incorrect black mammy or interracial colored girl with fair curves under beautiful café au lait skin and passionate mysteries modestly concealed, just barely beneath all that Ohio humidity. Fierce defiance with a thinly veiled tribal aboriginal pagan woodland and prairie people’s past civilization lost magic and ritual for surviving the extreme four season’s weather shifts and temperature disparities.

Where did all Ohio’s green go? Now only found on chemically enhanced suburban lawns upon which chemically enhanced suburban youth ignore. Where have the rolling hills gone? Where did the wetlands go – and the migratory birds that depended upon them? Why did all of that same ecosphere the Ohioans depend upon have to be traded to become accessory building parts for meaningless wars in other places on a different side of the planet?

For wars that were fought
For lies to conceal
The profits we made
By our corporate zeal
To employ the voters back home
Who for the price of their laborers’ careers
Many would have to send their son’s as a sacrifice for
Just to feed the rest of the family

This is how the Ohioans stopped being known as Defiant malcontents.
And this is how the Ohioans became Complicit and thus assimilated to what became in truth the economics of Northern Aggression Inc.

There is not one single war in the history of this planet between men that was ever finished or that ever stopped burning in the hearts of men. Every war in some form or another is still burning somewhere on some part of this planet – thriving on blood – like an Anne Rice virtue-less Vampyre.

The Ohio in the history books is made of up of strong men and women with backbone who had they known their very jobs would have cost them their sons those old Ohioans would have chucked their jobs and their homes to keep their sons out of Viet nam or Iraq.

Ohio has always been a hotbed, a loathsome sore spot for the powers that be. Defiant Ohio could start that fearful spark of a revolution of the grass roots sort that might reshuffle the corporate war hawking military industrial complex… Those incorporated Northerly Aggressors that might sell the products of war for unfortunate places to buy if Ohio would just realize the planet is at present a much more peaceful place than all Ohio will ever willingly admit. No one in Iraq or Afghanistan or Cambodia or North Korea wanted what they got from the American’s and neither did the American’s but nobody in Washington asked the Ohioans – because the Ohioans were too busy finding the trappings of discount shopping in the retail snake pits of this present shadow of what America once was - before Bin Laden that enigmatic Arab pop star shot across the media’s sky and showed us what we Americans couldn’t see before us in our very own back yards.

We have only ourselves to blame for the America that is a shadow of what it once was for our grand parents and great grandparents and all the men from all those wars who died so that we could what? Shop and sit in traffic and set up house in cheap plastic housing?

If we could show todays average Ohioan in their present material lifestyle to any of the real hero’s of the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, The Great War, The Sequel and its ever the moreso hallowed and sacred Holocaust – if we could show to the service men and women who died in those places – what they died for as seen today in any corner in Sleepy Ohio – methinks they would have burned their drafts cars in dignified defiance and run south or north across those arbitrary and insane invisible boundaries that fence off the Majesty of North America into shameless, shameless greed.

If our Ancestors buried under the surfaces of North America could come back and judged us
What would they say?
About what we have done
To what we were given
And what we took
From a people we didn’t even recognize
As our own humanity

I fear if the dead came back like old Ezekiel’s bones are gonna rise again – them bones, them bones, gonna rise again. If they do – I’m running as far as I can from America because they’ll be carrying the weapons of war we produced to kill for profit to judge us with for our misuse of the land we stole to discard as a resource commodity to exploit.

What will the dead say about the grand old buildings they left which we discarded for the plastification and synthetic oil product based lifestyles we built? The dead beneath the soil of North America will ask where the prairies went, where the forests went, where the cut and filled hills and valley’s went. Where rivers and streams now damned for electricity and water went. Where the quiet went – where the night sky and the stars went… Where the firefly’s, crickets and June bugs of Ohio went – not to mention the bee’s much less the swans…

Sometimes North America is too big to grasp – and that is what Ohio is for. It is an example of where we were and where we have gone. Sadly it is a polluted misused sodomized without consent, old and forgotten state with trapped souls inside whose only sense of freedom is the trap of the consequences of commodity making negative freedom as a mass control tactic.

Imagine a Ohio that not many remember – not even the Ohio or prairie and woodlands and wetlands that its indigenous tribal civilizations dead remember and long for. That Ohio I long for but can hardly even imagine. Start to imagine the Ohio from before the great automotive age.

Remember wooden or brick houses set along lonely dirt roads. The Ohio sun screened by the natural protection of green leaves. Remember Ohio woodlands in autumn colors. Picture that wooden porch concealed modestly behind Spiraea bushes with a view on one side of tall prairie grass and on the other woodland and wetland contentment. Remember the trees from the virgin forest of North America harvested to make clap boards that would still shelter defiant, loud mouthed, generous, good hearted, contrary, people with barely concealed colorful lives. Lives not confined beneath the hills and valleys with ancestors of more ancient and hospitable hosts who knew how to keep the land free from the likes of us from this present an appalling futurama drama.

Who remembers Ohio this way – sadly too few – if but only they in Ohio knew.
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beyond the Power of Nightmares and into the Trap

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 13:24

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Inscrijvening In Scheveningen

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 13:22

Hey, yeh, hey,

It's another sunny beachful day at the seaside in coastal Western Hollandia.
My meds run out after I take them today so my Flemish Primitive pal Peter will be coming from Villette bringing me the medicine I will need to stay longer. Not that I need to be telling you this just so you know. I confess it is a luxury problem. I almost brought more (meds) when I departed on what was going to be a two night stay but really I thought I would only stay two days and not more... But the quiet in the dunes and the weather have me feeling like I should stay and listen to what the dunes have to say. I would rather stay on here longer getting used to this wickedly strong meds my Villette psychiatrist started me on. I am going along with her plan but am skeptical of starting/needing such strong meds.


The weather is perfect...

So, I don't want to go back to bru-town's inner city air pollution and automotive car corridors unless i have to...


I haven't spent that much money - because the dunes are free so long as you don't break the law here and go off the trails. I don't like fences - because every fence reminds me of Palestine or my sister rotting away in a mid Ohio "Reformatory" for women. Not that I want to forget her - There hasn't been a day in my life in the last 30 years where I have forgotten her. I just don't want to think of the walls of security and control and razor wire and bureaucracy that have her penned in like an animal. Which might explain my sympathies for Palestine and the Palestinians.

I think alot in the dunes here at the beautiful and well preserved coastal eco-systems which Scheveningen (which means leaning - like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy) rests in. These seaside landscapes are like a living Old Dutch Masters painting or so I think when in the protected areas on the barbed wire lined paths - on the other hand it looks and feels like New Mexico. It's more therapeutic than the psychologists therapy sessions my depressive brain requires to keep me functioning in the real world - Perhaps these dunes are doing alot more for alot less money than those psychiatrists and psychologists who know me better than I know me. So being here in Scheveningen is doing me alot of good. I would like to stay through the weekend but not for the weekend masses who will start to arrive tomorrow.

Meanwhile I am having a strange time in my interior life - in my head I mean. I continue with my attempts at no sex (including no solo sex) so I am not confused by other people...

One conclusion I have had in my quiet solo dune time is the realization that we (mart and batt) began building our house together in december '91 - The present physical form is the house that technically rests in Villette which is sadly not in my name at all and never was. I believe we began building that house long before we got married. I still maintain that my inheritance should go into that property investment. Which would help even things out financially though not entirely - but eventually I will be working and could contribute to the household again. So given that my soon to be ex so quickly and freely gave it to someone else hurts more than I can comprehend or articulate.

I am not going to fight it legally either - I am just going to let my material life on this planet evaporate. The fact that my soon to be ex has taken away the our-ness of those bricks and given it so thoughtlessly to someone else by default - is all the betrayal I need to stimulate me to sign divorce papers - an act that will break my heart to do but I will do it. I still believe and will continue to demand for the rest of my life a settlement of some sort - a consolation - not half of the property value but a consolation that takes into account the years from late '91 to early '07.

The fact that my soon to be ex does not want to be included in my inheritance to invest in the property is pure foolishness on their part. I have only pain and sadness about how the virtual side of our house building and homemaking has gone and concluded since we began it at Libby's magical house - (a time and place that has been and will be among some of the happiest times I have known) - I don't expect nor do I want to change anything now - as much as it feels painful to face up to the inevitability of divorce I will run towards it not away from it.

Honestly, I feel betrayed. These feeling are real - deep and valid. I see this is what is going down with the legal edge and say so be it. I will in time accept it and live with it and flourish from and beyond it. But I still believe I am owed some sort of consolation, compensation and settlement of 'x' amount. X being the variable that we choose - but we differ now greatly in everything so now the variable x has to represent each others side of this terrible equation. I think my soon to be ex's rationalizations for for why I get nothing might make sense on some level but I do not approve: It is a matter of ethics and our own personal sense of morality and obligation regarding our private lives together since '91, personal choices and issues that are nobody elses business but our own...

As far as my miserable financial performance these last years in Villette this was something we defaulted into together. Rightly or wrongly and we must share even in that. Now that I am being treated for these defaults we made together as the medical condition they indeed are, that depression illness now only serves to make me feel more violated by our present direction apart. This point of view of ours of late does not include my recovery - which implies we need or perhaps want me sick to impliment another person into our home.

When I think of that home in it's material and non-material sense it feels like it has been stolen and then absentmindedly given to someone else.I know I have been difficult and a handful lately and for too long but I feel betrayed. It is not by having a lover but by giving a lover the part of our life that was not any one of ours - that was only ours and partially mine - to give that to a complete outsider to a 15 year process - this is what I find wrong.This is how I can hold myself up to face a divorce - many times I am sad and lonely and hurt over it all. I know it is equally as difficult the others point of view but as always my soon to be ex has the upper hand, the controlling interest percentage - it never was a completely half and half agreement but that was our decision - choices we made together. If my soon to be ex feels justified because of my quasi religious experience at present - I am sorry - but I had to have some tools to get in touch with myself - time in nature is more effective than time in religion but in brussels, indeed in this part of the world - nature is hard to come by. I needed to reconnect and go full circle with some childhood spiritual and religious community experiences I had to sort out. For me Islam was an ingenios way to do that while making a stand politically against the powers that be in the west.

Despite the contradiction of my life I do very much believe in what Islam is. However this going full circle in a religious sense was important so I wouldn't forget a large portion of my life experience prior to '91 when my life went away with my soon to be ex. It will pass anyway - I am still me - and if anything, I will have accomplished what Allen Ginsberg accomplished politically and personally and artistically in his time and place in history regarding the structures of the world by going all Eastern like. This is easy to understand on an academic level but to grasp this aspect of my interior life is impossible for someone else because neither do I grasp it all and the is the way faith and ritual play out. I must pass through this - I keep telling myself this. Indeed perhaps nothing ruined our home more than getting married. Ironically, for that reason I am all for putting an end to this marriage - to give the freedom and space to sort ourselves out (alone or with someone) I just wish that house and home wouldn't get chucked away to someone else. I never expected things to play out this way. I believe we needed that house as a house to sort out ones self in architecturally and in its precise urban setting of old Brussels vlaams - My soon to be ex's new soulmate I believe is an essential tool for my soon to be ex at this time as is my muslim brothers for me at this time...

I just don't want to be turn me out like this without some sort of material/capital to work with of our mutual property as a parachute to my own autonomous life. It feel like someone took me in a car outside the city and left me on the side of the road with hardly a penny to my name. I want a divorce - and I want at some point the capital to go abroad and further complete myself in a non-western culture environment. This is what I think to get me through these hard time - to go abroad for a year or so. This will in reality not cost a lot of money.

That old narrow house are is the only home I know. It is my only connection to family and place that I have on this planet and my ex doesn't seem to care that I do have quite a claim on it because we began investing in that property from the moment we lived in a borrowed Libby's house. The fact that not surprizingly my ex see things otherwise I find ethically wrong. Yes, it is technically the law - and the law is not on my side. I can understand and accept that my soon to be ex's point of view and I will take it like a gentleman and end up a better person for it. I am sorry so many years in Brussels were wasted in our mutual life by my depressive condition - but I should have been getting mental help earlier. I needed to get in touch with myself and make myself useful again and sooner than I did. I was a sick parasite. But again I feel we made those choices together perhaps by default. I know my soon to be ex is in a much better situation now and I know this because I see it and also especially I see it in the dogs.

There have been many times this year where I really needed not to be alone and without the dogs and nobody were there. Nobody and I learned I am stronger than we both thought. I want to go abroad and see if i can get teaching work to do and fund a year overseas and find out if that is possible...

I would like to see about higher pay work teaching English in the UAE - and I would really like to bum around Maroc or Egypt for a few weeks here and there somehow in the next year. Given the cost of living in those places is not like it would cost to do that in western Europe. Going abroad, it might really be integral in establishing who I am post me and my ex - post depressive - post gay - post married - post american etc....

Muslim, me.

I know I am asking alot of myself and the world we live in but I believe its not just money here I am asking for help in - I am an anomolly - Like Michael Jackson converting to Islam and living in Arabia disquised in modest womens black layers of veiling fabric - I need some sort of belief from in myself that I know what i am doing. I don't need to wear the clothes of a woman though from any culture thank God but I do like Moroccan mens hooded Jalalyba's or thobes. I still want bru-town to be my home base but for the moment I think it is essential that I am not there so much in the next year. Of course I still have to go see dad pa Kettle in Dollville, Ohio and do some time there - perhaps more frequent but shorter stays. Certainly he will help me with the money to do that or so I naively hope. There have been many times this year where I really needed not to be so alone and I just rolled over and went to sleep and cried in my dreams.

Nobody was.

This is what i have learned not from the dunes.

By sitting there watching the dunes move, grow and erode in geologic time has done me wonders.

Everyone should find a place to do the same. This is what I learned from reading Terry Tempest Williams book RED writing about the soul of the Colorado Plateau that every North American whether from there or not carries in them.

To my soon to be ex - if you only knew that the grass, wind, sand, rocks and trees are saying. To anyone who is willing to listen to earth in on its own slow paced geological clock. There are many ways to kneal down and kiss the earth in humility and awe- as that 13th century Sufi poet once wrote... if we only knew, if we only listened to what the earth was chanting.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Experiencing The Netherlands

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 09:55

It is so weird to read anything from the Anglophone media report of life in Belgium. For example - see the link - there is according to the NYTimes a cult of Medievalism going in Flanders like say Americans with their cult of re-enactments of Civil War scenes. I think daily I obsess over the literal past one walks through there (in Bru-town) and generally I find people (t)/here could care less about the past. In fact they seem to see it as something dirty to wash away. In Brussels I don't think a day goes by where I don't see the old forgotten typically Belgian style antique doors, staircases and windows laying in rennovation dumpsters parrallel parked on the streets - those old beautiful well made fixtures to be replaced by modern international building design show elements. We all know what French doors typically mean but nowadays even the Belgians have forgotten what Belgian or Brussels style doors are and how they differ from French doors. Belgian doors can be found on balconies facades of old town houses. They are three piece doors with the center being larger and wider than the two sides, one side of which is stationary. Then that NYTimes article went on a bit about Belgium going through something of an identity crisis and that whole Flemish nationalist party stuff. Belgium has had an identity crisis since 1830 when some Saxon Couberg however they spelled it was a landless royal in search of a country to keep as a fashion accessory. What a climber.

The New York Times should be paying me to write properly on life in these here southern low lands of Western Europe. I think though the US media is only interested in propagating their own views on places and not interested in really what is going on in the places they appear to be reporting on or rather manufacturing "news" on. Meanwhile, I still don't think New Mexico has been an actual state in the USA for 100 years - yet. So I assume the NYTimes knows even less about New Mexico.

So goes Belgium so goes the EU... Poland is aggressively, shockingly, working against gay rights EU obligations for religious reasons even though it is just now a part of the EU. Latvia has some creepy state initiated (as opposed to a religious ideal) racial and anti-gay rights issues that are being implemented and it's rather shocking but everyone else is like, oh, that's Latvia. Try growing up now-a-days with samesex feelings in Romania now that its part of the EU. Meanwhile, Holland and Denmark are more creepy than the Vlaams Belang Flemish Nationalists and don't get me started on how smug France is being while being no different that BE, NL or Denmark. France just manifests its own racist ideas in smooth suppository Latin like ways by disguising it under the veil of what it means to be French.

The Danish/American couple that were couching surfing through here on the wekend were sooo smug. The Dane was a man who I guess survived heroin addiction and reminded me of a born again AA type, so we talked about BJ in Ohio and how his recovery is hampered by ineptitude of not just the American system but with an ineffectual Ohio system twist. The Dane recovered from heroin because of a remarkable heroin survivors program in Denmark - I wish we could send BJ there. The Dane's woman - the American, Jewess - whom I actually really liked was beyond belief - she aparantly believes in racial theories - so I kept my mouth shut just to hear what foulness she would let out. It was a good tactic on my part - otherwise as you know from my reading my blogette, Experiencing Belgium, that I tend to come across crazed and delusional and all Grey Gardens like - not to mention at times totally illiterate... But the American's racial ideas were a bit over the top as she thinks Israelis are beneath Eastern European Diaspora Jewry - which my old Israeli pal back in Tel-Aviv would just love to set her straight on and put her in her place beneath him - all of which is fine by me but she was just so annoying and Evangelical about her views - meaning her way of seeing the racial pyramid must be spread: Like in some form of hand ringing obsessiveness that if she doesn't get others to believe with her then she might have to admit maybe she is also like Grey Gardens little Edie just plain wackoo...

I went to the beach today first to the protected dunes which I find such contentment in as I learned how to do from reading Terry Tempest Williams. I like this seaside enviroment here because - I figured it out today - if you didn't hear the ocean it looks alot like Colorado Plateau New Mexico. I prefer the more quieter desert but the seaside air is perhaps even better. Of course today is a holiday and I swear some Dutchlings share the same DNA as a more bovine species such as their forefathers used to chase the tails of to make a living making cheese... I found some little used old brick path probably left over from the war and sat on the side of that. That was the closest to having some space to myself. It was strange that no one else saw this path because I just turned off a busy bicycle pedestrian trail - actually it's more a non-automotive super highway with three lanes - thus, yay - no cars! Just horses, bicycles, pedestrians... then there was this little path but nobody was using it and it lead to some really beautiful natural places of rolling hills of scrubs and shrubs... it doesn't just look like NM but it looks like a flat version of San Francisco around Mount Tam... just as magical and if I could just find some place to be comfortable I would sit there for hours... There was not, however, the smell of sage brush or juniper. In fact there really wasn't any smell at all - just the sense of sea saltiness.

Meanwhile, most of the nature area paths were overrun by idiot people in such an evocative and thoughtful and peaceful landscape yahoo's yakking loudly on gsm's or dangerously riding bicycles in gaggles of lycra clad Eddie Merckx style pro-cyclist types, like it's some bicyclist petit tour de France in spandex on bicycle paths chocked full of bovine family idiots on bicycles... get me out of here - so I did by finding that path less taken - no wonder here people fall into compulsive sexual encounters in the dunes given the stress of these hoards of noisy people....

On the other hand lots of youngsters though were learning how to ride their bicycles without training wheels which I liked seeing. I can remember learning how to ride a bicycle like it were yesterday. Learning how to ride was the easy part. Learning how to make turns and stop was frightful... I remember where I got the hang of it and when: Next to a big old Juniper shrub on a corner which I fell into. I love the smell of prickly juniper to this day from growing up in a synthetic suburban cantonment like Worthington Estates was... or is... who knows, who cares...?

Meanwhile, my beard is only like one centimeter long, meaning it is very short and it still gets alot of attention because of its saffron or roux color. Some woman pointed to me and said I had a Flemish cut beard. Like I am sorry, Ik spreek ook Nederlands, and I was right there - do these people think they live in some Matrix program and that I am not human? ...to quote Clare from Six Feet Under to her brother Nate with the kid and that annoying wife - from an episode I saw ages ago... or maybe, do I just look deaf - ?

Most of the people I see here though look like they could do with a broader gene pool to play in -I should know.............. from my own family tree or rather twisted weather ravaged Juniper family bush (no not that Bush bush family but a twisted and tangled family vine not a family tree if you will) not quite a healthy family tree experience. Yes, that was my portal experience into the trapping of this mortal coil.

Some Indonesian fluff chic of a middle aged gay male accosted me at the seaside today. Slightly bearded as (s)/he was with his/(her) hair in a pony tail the size of a fist on the back of his head - except given the way his hair is naturally it was a black puff the size of a tennis ball - which if you looked at him square on the face you didn't see. I was laying in the dunes to keep out of the wind (in my clothes) though some guys were totally naked and it's just not warm enough for that, yet. When this guy with the black tennis ball poof on the back of his head approached me, again those angular movements of walking like from the Todd Haynes movie SAFE - this because of the soft sand of the dunes makes walking difficult. But I was obviously not interested. The look he gave me though: Eyes looking over these silly glasses giving me the impression of a woman while holding some towel over his naked chest... Square cut bathing suit worn ridiculously high... Womanly movements and yet simultaneously man. Transexual? Perhaps, who knows. It was probably Jan Morris... (the author of Trieste: The Capital of Nowhere - great read by the way). I am all for people like that having rights and indeed I'd even hang out with them if there was a chemisty of some sort. I used to do my grocery shopping in German Village, Columbus, Ohio, back in my Dollville days with a handsome yet pre-op Vietnamese young man. I liked looking like a straight opposite sex couple happily going shopping because that was what people wanted to see us as and not for what we really were. But this "two spirit" guy/gal in these Dutch dunes was all sordid and silly at the same time. I mean I was looking at a physical man and yet seeing the spirit of a woman vaguely obscured by the masculinity of a male physique.
To each his own.

Meanwhile, I found an image in one of the magazines here in this little quaint Dutch house I am staying in - sadly no step gable roofline - of a woman I liked - yes that way - opposite sex attraction way. I am struggling with opposite sex attractions and feelings it is so humiliating. It started again from perusing some mag like Arena or Squeeze with fashionably clothed models strewn about in lascivious socially decadent ways, that the more I see these magazine advertisements, the more appalling I find them. It seems worse than porn like, somehow. I mean at least porn knows what it is and knows its limits and the viewer knows it is porn and that's that. But these fashion mags are more deviant than porn because they pretend not to be using porny situations to sell us things we don't need by making us feel inferior to the models and the sets they pretend to be living in ... so anyway - I got a boner over this vague image of a woman somehow exposed and clothed at the same time... I blame having to fuck Bart into oblivion all those years when he was tired of me and was in his "do me" phase - so I was saying, I blame Bart for this new bi or opposite sex curiosity. I still haven't had sex with a woman and it's about time... Maybe I am saving myself for opposite sex marriage because in that regard I am rather technically still a virgin. I just feel sort of guilty about it. I mean I'm not supposed to want this, right? Which isn't to say I didn't like eating my Algerian pals hot young bitch bubble butt asshole all night even if he couldn't be fucked hard or long enough because if I do it the way he wants he usually hits me afterwards with this reflex of getting pissed off for fucking him so hard. Naturally, I liked that and found it irresistable and totally adorable - even if I got a black eye from it. I like how he then would as quickly as he reacts physically suddenly apologize so profusely, instantly afterwards... But why am I digressing into this sort of sordid filth that dare not speak its name? I haven't been naughty like that for quite sometime. And really it is time I set aside things like that in my life and also in my writing. So my apologies there 'bout that. My soul is still not yet unhooked from my human flesh and bones with natural and unnatural animal desires.

I still have no clue about going home to Dollville to see the dad...

I think I will look for a cheap flight from Paris non-stop to Detroit and get one of my nephews to fetch me there after I tour Muslim land in the motor city. I am curious to see how Islamic Detroit compares to say Islamic Brussels - as I find those cities rather similar - gutted and destroyed by post WWII capitalism eating itself and yet somehow still clinging to life. In both cases if it weren't for Muslims those cities would just become desertified post urban squallor. So I find this parallel of a tale of two gutted cities interesting. Naturally, I want to explore it. I guess I will have to rent a car there though since there is no more public transportation worth its weight in Detroit... Or perhaps my Dollville friend Chris will meet me there as he too likes exploring post city spaces, plus he knows Detroit already. He likes driving and roadtripping and we get along while we pretty much agree on nothing but architecture and urban planning or rather disintigration.

After the states I want to go either back to Yemen or to Morocco or Egypt as I haven't been to anywhere African. I still want to make it to Namibia and Mali one day before the teaching program I want to do starts in the autumn in Villette. I want to look for teaching work abroad, if nothing comes up then I will do the program in Bru-town. If I do find work abroad then I will save the Bru-town program for the next school year.

I am seriously very interested in working as a short term (one year) contract English teacher in the UAE - in particular Sharjah the really conservative town near Dubai. Nobody wants to work in that conservative environment as westerners drawn to that part of the world want Dubai so they can maintain their decadent Western ways - the very ways I want to unlearn and unhook in myself. Sharjah is where you have to start if you want to work in Dubai now. Actually I think Sharjah would be fun for a year - I really don't want to work in Dubai - but I would like to see it in some context that I could afford to see it in as it has gotten shamelessly expensive. I just didn't know about the place when it was affordable. Dubai is what we here at the Experiencing Belgium desk call the Inter-Galactic New Las Vegas in Arabia. I mean I really believe that Dubai is the New Las Vegas and better yet totally inter-galactic at that! Las Vegas (Nevada - the gambling town) has devolved into a family values theme park experience. Dubai ironically has replaced the old neon Vegas in a science fiction like way. Despite the social problems in the labor of building Dubai - not to mention the environmental ones - I still find Dubai to be unlike anything imaginable - and thus I really must start up the Experiencing Dubai desk there - soon! Plus the pay is way better for teaching English than in Yemen as well. Does anyone out there know if the UAE needs a professional blogger to build up and export virtually the image of Dubai as the Inter-Galactic New Las Vegas of Arabia? Well then, please write me here and make my dreams of Dubai come true!

The computer here at this present Experiencing The Netherlands desk is next to a window - I keep seeing middle aged and aging Neanderthal Nederlanders (the Dutch in Holland if you have a short attention span) who were out in the sun and got beet red stumbling around with large cans of beer in their hands. The younger ones looks like Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson home video wanna beez like my nieces and nephews. Looking like they just got back from a porn set or a gym or both.

thats all for now...

From this from this here present Experiencing Belgium desk now temporarily installed as the Experiencing The Netherlands desk in Scheveningen at the seaside longing to be the Experiencing The U.A.E. desk in Dubai.
Sunday, April 08, 2007

Memories of Suburban Tears

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 10:23

Yesterday I went riding on the non-automotive bicycle pedestrian path here in Scheveningen (Google earth it if you need more information on the place) north into the dunes - the wilderness is protected so you can't go crawling into the dunes themselves but then who needs to? Not everywhere is Fire Island - though on the beach side here it is just that... didn't go there though. The light reflected off the dune grass looks velvetee green. I can stop looking at it.
For two days in a row now I saw some young woman of non European origin in camouflage clothes with a camera who seemed more interested in shamelessly voyeuristically photographing the people in the wilderness trails place though she simultaneously seemed to be projecting the image of a bird/nature photographer. Whenever I looked at her - her camera was pointed on me. She had strange movements - like the main character from the Todd Haynes film SAFE who near the end moved strangely, angularly, across a rural New Mexico landscape. That same movement was captured in the affische poster for the film. It's an image I cant get over as if it means something else that I just cant put my finger on. Then I went up these old wooden stairs to a small lookout point with one bench and was watching the sun on one of the many ponds behind the seaside. So many birds and fresh air... and most importantly that quiet from non-automotive areas... then along came an annoying Dutch couple who didn't speak to me upon entering a tiny public space - their arrival breaking my solo meditative nature observation meditative moment then they were followed by the creepy photographer woman - who in this strange little space of a lookout point seemed more like a shamelessly voyeuristic Mossad agent except such an agent would never be as silly or as bumbling as she.
So I left...
...continued north and found another lookout point. Sat just outside the legal area on a soft mossy dune side - and then an annoying UK family of three arrived making so much noise just as I was getting all nature quiet contemplative like. Again what those people had to photograph I don't know what but when they arrived they didn't bother to speak to me either even though they sat down less than one meter away. Then I heard the camera click and again when I look its pointed at me despite all the other amazing scenery to photograph...
...then they left.
It felt creepy like - on the one hand - impolite and unwanted almost sexual overture like and on the other hand it felt like idiot undercover Euro pol international police... Which given the proximity of a military training facility in the dunes I figure they are part of some international military police academy the sequel training facility for working incognito.
...And so after the annoying UK family-ette left I dissolved into the landscape and enjoyed the moment of aloneness very much. Then bicycled home very fast to where I am staying for the exercise. Made some tea and ate two bananas, some very good dates I bought here imported from Iran but from a Turkish shop - had tea and dates with fresh yogurt, toast with jam... The dates being so good like confiture on a pit or stone.
For the moment I am alone. I can hear the music of the next door neighbors computer playing anything from Phil Collins Miami Vice theme to Italianate Operettas. I am not annoyed by this in fact it stave's off falling into feeling too alone.
In Schreveningen it seems the church bells go throughout the night marking the hour and half hour. I haven't heard this in Belgium. I like church bells like I like minarettes. There are many silent minarets nearby in Den Haag/De Hague. Church bells make me think of Poe's For Whom The Bells Toll... or is it Bell Tolls...? Everytime I hear church bells I am somehow happy to be reminded that I am mortal and that we all die - it makes me thankful to be alive at that moment so it is not depressing.
The bicycle trails here though remind me of growing up in Worthington (Ohio) with the bicycle trails along the Olentangy River - I would go there back home in Dollville a lot and sit on the bench next to that polluted morass - smelling the diesel of state route 315 and the noise of that across the river beyond a chain link prison like fence - not to mention the helicopters and planes from that small air field out there. There is a Fishing Access off Wilson Bridge Road between the bridge and the entrance to the office park on the north side - where the access is. My father had alot to do with the idea of a little space there being set aside probably 40 years ago as a fishing access. Some town planner knew my dad and it was dads suggestion that perhaps made the river park there possible. That parkinglot access for fishing was still there the last time I was in Worthington though now it is has evolved more into a public recreation and sports access - occassionally there are still fisherman using the place as it was originally intended. At the bottom of the fishing access is a car park if you walk along the trails south from there to state route 161 or on to Antrim lake - that was where I used to go to be alone and find some solace in the fake man made environment there. If you go there and find a bench perhaps I sat there too back when I used to be really depressed with chronic depression and fatigue and would go be alone there and often times I would just cry and then feel better looking at the nature remnants. Memories of Suburban Tears.... I actually would wonder about what woodland Native people lived there - I would think about the old farm that had been rendered obsolete by real estate developers in the 1960's. No wonder I grew up a depressive lost kid a condition which still dictates much of my lifes current limitations.
Ok enough of that... I received a short note about a blog in a comment section of my Experiencing Belgium blogette which I am posting here for you - the link not the comment.
I liked the essay at that blog about the shock of moving to Atlanta - interesting though all the same - to use the cliche from Gertrude Stein about Oakland, California at the turn of the last century - "There is no there, there" which now applies to most North American cities. The essay about Belgian Waffles was worth reading too especially if you want to know more about Brussels.
Back to coastal Holland - I really do like the scenery here in the nature area - and honestly it is better than the Prozac effect. the sense of clean seaside air. I really am thankful to be this much farther away from my ex and all that discarded amputated gangrene bodily limb that has been festering away for five or more years...
Or maybe Siamese twins being cut apart would be a more accurate description of my state of being human at present.
...but i don't want to default into isolation and the loneliness of bachelorhood that so many men and even women know so intimately. It is sort of raw like - and I admire those who are accustomed to being alone with dignity and a humor.
...but i don't much like Dutchlings in public park spaces.
...even as strangers on the streets here...
In that sense all this here makes me appreciate Sint Joost/San Josse in Belgium and it's anarchic linguistic melange but me thinks I should spend more time in nature...
That will be my new albeit late new years resolution.
By the way - there is a ground floor apartment beneath this space small and cozy Dutch house - it must be tiny - and there are sometimes two or three annoying low life Dutchlings who are often there - total Dutch white trash - which there is no shortage of. Sorry but it takes one to know one and so I am an expert on this... Appa-inbred-lay-shia-an as I am... (Appalachian - wikipedia it if you don't understand the difference between white trash and redneck or hillbilly).
...the house I am staying in is not so far from a tiny version of a found object art museum of a house. In fact my host Tijs while on the beach saw what I thought was a pile of garbage consisting of ropes and plastic strings mixed up with dried seaweeds and I thought he was going to be a good Protestant Dutchling and chuck it in the trash can at the beach entrance, but no, he took it home and threw it in a heep on the floor next to the fireplace. After he departed for Paris I hung it on the wall on a lonesome nail above the eating table... Now a huge pile of sand sits on the floor boards where that thing lay.
There is a Pathe cinema nearby in a disguisting casino like coastal strip of concrete conspiracy such that you could be anywhere and nowhere at the same time. But you cannot eve see the sea behind those buildings. What kind of idiotic developers do this - so I may go there to the cinema solo after Easter to avoid people. I haven't seen a movie in ages or a DVD - don't even know what to see or whats on or worth the trouble.
I want to become the ultimate tourist and travel back in time to see places I visit as they were intended prior to the petroleum automotive age destruction we live in. Schrevening when it was a seaside village had as a the tallest monument the church which still standing after two world wars has been rendered obsolete by being dwarfed and hidden from the sea by the Concrete Conspiracy.
My host in Schreveningen who I have hosted many times back in Villette is charming and sweet towards me and honestly I don't understand him at all - I admire him very much and perhaps even envy him - anyway his partner lives in a fab house in De vague Hague. So Tijs divides his time between here and there - it is just that I am not sure what he thinks or is passionate about in general. I know he is passionate about the ecosphere human life depends on but it is more like I do not comprehend how northwestern Europeans express or live out their interior passions.
At least here in Holland the keyboard I use us a qwerty board lol I am so tired of Belgian azerty keyboards.
See you around the bend where hearts can heal and souls can mend
as the Baghdad Burning blog goes.
Which the bend I guess being referred to there is the Tigris and Euphrates river bends for which there are many bends. I like the idea of a bend or wrinkle in time as that great children's book by L' Engle was titled.
See you around the bend in time where hearts can heal and souls can mend. I need such a place along such rivers. Unfortunately of late for Iraq and Baghdad the river bend tends to be the mythical river Styx that separates the underworld from the realm of the living. Whether we all know it or not we are all longing for the area around the Tigris and Euphrates to be healed after the global military industrial complex ruined such a historical place for corporate profit.
Saturday, April 07, 2007

Concrete Conspiracy

Posted by Matthew Crouch at 13:01

The Experiencing Belgium Desk is temporarily being brought to you from the seaside of Western Holland. The threat of spring time summer like weather sent me fleeing from Bru-towns Villette to a friends little dutch brick couch sharing dot com's house not far from Den Haag/De Hague. Having nearly fully recovered from a Brussels bicycle automotive collision I am now walking and bicycling again - meandering aimlessly like I do through life through the very well preserved coastal dunes of Nederland/The Netherlands. I am astonished at how clean and fresh feeling the air is here after too long in Bru-town's Sint Joost ten Node/Saint Josse te Noode/or as I call it San Jose, Belgium.

The negative ion charged seaside salty air is great for modern day urban based asthma sufferers like me. The sprawling sand dunes and grasses of the Dutch gold non-stoner type, the bushes (of the non-first dysfunctional family variety from that other side of the Atlantic which everyone, everywhere is totally fatigued by) and on, and on to the scrubs which give way to the larger shrubs and then to small trees. The small trees then yield to the bigger trees and to the ponds and meadows that can be found somewhat inland behind the dunes which are a pleasant last stand of wildernesse from this part of old Europa still preserved by such a remarkable people. One must thank this lowland nation for its heroic stab at wilderness protection. The seaside quiet found in these dunes is better for finding mental relaxation and fresh air to breath than most wealthy nations will tolerate for their people in this age of the concrete conspiracy.

The concrete conspiracy? What is this Concrete Conspiracy you say? It is anything concrete - from buildings to parking garages to walls around the remnants of old and new Palestine, to the roads and bridges of control we let our taxes pay for. I am convinced there is a Capitalistic based Concrete Conspiracy going on in this age of war mongering Plastification. Concrete condominium corriders at the beachside are what define most lands sea boards. But here in some places in Holland you find that someone, somehow, held back the concrete conspiracy to allow for an ecological island of what once was the rampant and common wilderness between civilized village life islands. Now like everywhere there is an inversion - all those Dutch little villages which were once in hind sight now probably utopian places we can only long for - surrounded with a huge and dangerous and life threatening wilderness to pass between; like Little Red Riding Hood making her way to grandma's house in the next village over - a long healthy walk away - or quick bicyle ride - or now sadly a stay on the automotive parking lot of a concrete and tarmac freeway that costs us our soul - this is the beast or wolf with big bad Bush Vampire like fangs - who feed upon the innocents - those Bush like fangs which are all the better to eat our fairy tale characters of our family life that still inhabit our at present varied and personal mythologies of life and hope from our retail like roadkill lives in a global dictatorship played out by a relentless form of Capitalism based in a Zionist like concrete, oil and plastic Beast of our Apocalyptic Age...

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