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Showing posts with the label Holland

The politics of the floating gay

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The floating gay parade, 80 boats with specific themes sailed along the Prinsengracht/ Amstel river canal with Lady Gaga ruling the airwaves. Cher managed to seep in a little but gone are the days of Madonna and Barbara Streisand. While no doubt an enjoyable spectator sport, there were some troubling trends. For instance, the energy on the boats lay low (my benchmark = NYC and San Francisco gay pride parades). You start to think about the relationship between the parade participants or “actors” and the crowd or the “audience.” Usually, in such parades, the line between the spectator and the spectacle is blurred, with the run of the mill you and I dressing up with stringy pink wigs, rainbow socks, to sometimes a full blown, out-of-the-closet costume. And you cheer...like your life depended on it. Your vocal cords compete with the likes of a newborn baby. Yet, at the Amsterdam parade, there was a sober quality where the audience barely even cheered, let alone waved at the floats that we…

Shut up and watch the game!

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Saying something profound about football is not my forte. Yet, here you have it, I'm in the Netherlands and its the World Cup final between Holland and Spain. As you will soon guess, this is definitely not the blog where you will get insightful commentary about Robben’s missed opportunity to strike a goal or Iniesta's amazing play that won the Spanish it’s world cup; I've barely wrapped my head around the fact that there are defenders, keepers and strikers…that there are referees who play bad cop with no real good cop around. It's a nasty job apparently.

Also, I realize that like any other ritual, there is the core and then, there are the spectators, ready to peripherally engage by following the code. It doesn't take much to learn the code. Wear orange. Wrap your beesies, those little furry creatures that come along with every 15 euro purchase from Albert Heijn around your headband like antennae of Dutch support. Scream "kill...kill...kill," and mumble …