18 January 2015

Silent Sunday, so good/so bad

Gasonline rainbow

Gasonline rainbow
 Gasonline rainbow
 Gasonline rainbow
 Gasonline rainbow


14 January 2015


The senseless attack of Charlie Hebdo in Paris brings back the Mohammad crisis, and once again I am shocked that such a violent response can be triggered by a cartoon. In Denmark we are back to discussing: what is appropriate? Some argue that it is a senseless provocation, and that just because we can, we shouldn’t draw the prophet. But the point is, we can’t, which is the very reason we must. As long as a cartoonist in Denmark for ten years running, need police protection over a single drawing, we all have a problem.

To make matters worse, the politicians seize the opportunity to implement total surveillance, stripping us of our privacy. And, since this is election year, they further promise to tighten the screw on immigrants. It is all very counterproductive. Manipulators thrive on fear and division, it works for big corporations and politicians and it works for terrorists. Unfortunately for them, it comes with a backlash: I now feel increased compassion for the majority of Muslims, who simply want to coexist, and whose lives have been made more difficult by the extremists.

On the subject of satire, I recently found a Copenhagen magazine “Punch”, from 1887. Mocking men, women, children, politicians, poets and preachers. By the pen, animals take the place of people, and politicians take the shape of children. Some of the points are hard to decipher, the language and spelling have changed over time, and some puns are lost, as the story the tell are long since forgotten. Others are sadly relevant today (scene below from outside the restaurant in the Danish Parliament).

(For the Danes:) Det stakkels Dyr af Kulde og Nød * Forvist vil faa en ynkelig Død, *Saa man vil begravet det finde; *For det vil en morderlig Tid vist ta’e, * Forinden de Herrer kan faa snakket a’, *Som sidde og vrøvle derinde.

(Reads:) The poor animal cold and in need of help is left to die, one will find it buried, as it will surely take the babbling gentlemen a murderous time to come up with a solution. 

Others mock the church:

Don’t ask me what is going on here, something to do with alcohol. Keep in mind this was the year 1887, long before Hitler hijacked the 12.000 year old symbol of the sun. The original point of the cartoon is not clear, but today 127 years later it resurfaces with another: nothing and no one is above ridicule. Not then, not now, not ever.


05 January 2015

A fools game

It dawned on me today. Not at first, of course. At first, I spotted a whisper of pink in the sky, as the sun was about to set on the lakes. Watching the saturation increase, until it almost exploded. Whoa, I was wondering if people were even seeing this? What a terrible thing to miss!


Pointing and shooting, fiddling with the settings, framing, watching the small screen...


It was right there that it dawned on me: in my attempt to catch it, I just missed the whole thing. I felt like apologizing to the sky. This is what we look like, during a breathtaking display of beauty, our eyes fixed on the small screen in our hands.


We are blind fools...

...but at least we have the pretty pictures to prove it.


03 January 2015

Help wanted

The cosiest part of New Years Eve is when everyone gathers in the streets, by the lakes and on the bridge, to watch the fireworks. It's the part I miss the most, when I am not celebrating it on Nørrebro. The vibe is friendly and happy, it's the one time a year when we talk to strangers without the awkwardness. This time I tried catching it with my phone.

The downside to this tradition, is that the lake birds get freaked out by the fireworks (still haven't figured out where they go, and if all of them return), and the vandalism. Here's a scene from the bridge, a little after midnight, as I went to inspect the ninja wrapped statue of the Young People Sitting

They were close to invisible. I was almost thinking that maybe I was just being overprotective... until I inspected the aftermath. 

Worse than ever. I can't find the words to properly express how furious this makes me. Look at the trees!

I have tried googling graffiti removal on trees: baking soda, gentle scrubbing and heavy rinsing. But no one cleans graffiti off trees here. And, once it spreads, more people will start thinking it is okay. Knowing how this part of the tree is the most vital and also most vulnerable, I am wondering if I should try my hand at paint removal. Who are these people? UGH!

So, am I glad I decided to cover up the statues, you wonder? Yesyeyesyesyes! So happy.

This and a single sticker was the extent of the damage, and I can't even say for sure, if the tag was not there before I covered them up. Looking at the mayhem, I am convinced it would have looked a lot worse without the guerrilla guard.

I don't understand why someone are not preventing this from happening, surely a lot of people witnessed this vandalism? I have no problem with graffiti as such. I even think that it belongs in a healthy city, but it all comes down to the canvas. Respect the landmarks, nature and statues. Know your canvas, people. This is not it! 

Those of you reading from other parts of the world, I am curios if you have the same problem where you live? Good advice on how to turn this around, would be greatly appreciated.