Monday, November 28, 2005

DutchVlog 1 - Is it cool to vlog in Amsterdam

DutchVlog 1 - Is it cool to vlog (In Amsterdam)?
3 min 53 secs

Precisely two weeks ago I suddenly became chronically digitally aroused after watching a short news item on the Dutch RTL4 TV channel. It featured this fresh new stuff from New York called vlogging and a few clips from RocketBoom. I was astounded. So I immediately got into my mouse and googled as fast as I could to RocketBoom and before you could say “digital cut” I was watching his vlogselency Mr Verdi. It got very late that night – and every night since then. (so if I am incoherent now and again I’m sure you’ll forgive me). But I have to face it ; I’m hooked! Thank God - I mean Bill Gates – that there is also this Yahoo group where I can openly ventilate my overindulgence without feeling ashamed! (Steve Garfield also has bags under his eyes now and again so I don’t feel so isolated – but in his case it ‘s well worth it because he makes really funky stuff – thanks Steve). I would have thought by now, after two weeks, that the vlogmap of this microscopic marsh, called Holland, would be completely red with vlog balloons when considering the raw statistics;- The Netherlands has the second highest relative density of domestic broadband connections in the world after South-Korea – and the general level of computer literacy is also extremely high. But it does not seem to be the case. Strange! The number of vloggers in the whole country can still be counted on three hands. In my opinion vlogging and the vlogger are the best thing since sliced bread. Dutch television is so abominably bad it makes my stomach turn and it's only going te get worse. The complete media landscape here is going to undergo comprehensive overhaul very soon – naturally for the worse – so TV in Holland is as good as dead! It has always been a sickly child since it's inception. Thank God – I mean Bill Gates – that we have cable so channels from Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Italy are spuwed into our living rooms. The lack of vlogging her must change! So I have decided to hang a website onto this vlog to try and encourage a bit more activity over here. The Dutch could use it! Eventually it will also be in Dutch simply explaining that the vlogoshere exists, how to get around and directing them to Freevlog as a start.
This stuff needs exposure. It should not be kept from the world for one second longer than necessary! Comments welcome!

SailVlog - Sail o5 Amsterdam

Sailo5 Amsterdam - Tall Ship Festival

click to start video

Sometimes a city is momentarily transformed, leaving it’s daily metropolitan struggle and strife to focus on and celebrate its roots. Such was the case in last August in Amsterdam. I live in the transformed and revitalised harbour area on the eastern side of the central city, on a group of islands called Zeeburg and surrounded by water. This location is often the stage for the four yearly Tall Ship Festival - this year it was Sail o5. All the famous operational Tall Ships from all the great seafaring nations of the world – from Chilli to Iceland - gathered here, just around the corner from my house, to show themselves proudly to Europe. Within the space of four days more than three million visitors came to see the unbelievably spectacular event. For these four days Amsterdam was momentarily released from the stranglehold of the blanket of shock, disbelief and shame of an event the year before that changed the city for good - and from which Amsterdam has not yet recovered. In these for days Amsterdam was imbued with some of the magic that drew me to this city in the first place many years ago, and there was a true and tangible sense of civil pride. You could see and feel what an incredible place The Port of Amsterdam must have been a hundred year ago and more, when those elegant, slender masts still adorned the waterfront, beckoning young men to adventure in far off places. History was truly alive and kicking. Just around the corner from my house in the other direction, now just over a year ago, another event took place in a very dull and ordinary shopping street around nine in the morning when everybody was on their way to work. Theo van Gogh, the director, filmmaker and criticaster was ritually slaughtered by a radical Moslem in the middle of the street. After shooting him several times the assassin calmly attempted to ritually decapitate Van Gogh with a ceremonial knife but ceased his efforts due to lack of progress and calmly walked away commenting “he had it coming to him” in perfect Dutch to an astounded onlooker. The trail has gripped the nation for the past year as the unimaginable details became public bit by bit. These were indeed truly difficult parts of reality to deal with. But for those four days Amsterdam again acquired the frivolous innocence for which it was famous.