The Netherlands’ largest attraction park Walibi has just opened its latest extreme rollercoaster: Lost Gravity.
I helped with the ride’s background story and wrote the texts for the short films meant to entertain those waiting in line for their one-minute of heart attack.
I also resurrected my nemesis Tad Waterson to play the anchorman. I had killed him off years ago in a tragic hammock accident after I began resenting the fact that this half-assed alter-ego of mine began to get more Facebook friends than my own carefully nurtured and calibrated personal brand. Boy, did I hate Tad. But I’ve done some growing up in recent times and have now decided to take the high road and let bygones are bygones… And thanks to the audio-visual artistry of Arjan Beurskens of This is Taped and creative consulting from J-PECH, Tad is actually looking pretty darn good.
Anyway… The films will apparently be playing on a loop for the next 10-15 years — but not being made available online. So I made a short comic book summary below. Put on your seat belts and enjoy. Continue Reading…
Until recently, they called me Dr Africa Love. Sure, the title was usually spoken with a mocking tone… But still, being editor for Love Matters Kenya was rewarding work. Plus, it was a part-time gig. So I still had plenty of time to nurture other alter egos, such as Mr Canadian Peckerhead, Captain Cuddles of the Cosmos, Steve, etc.
A HOLE IN THE MARKET Once upon a time, it all began in India – the land of the Kama Sutra. But it’s also where ‘how to kiss’ is the number one Google search – a situation both adorable and tragic.
The causes: 1) overly shy parents who aren’t sharing the basic facts of life with their kids, and 2) overly zealous politicians who actively pass laws to suppress the flow of these basic facts. But by 2009, most of the info-starved Indian youth had a mobile phone. They could now discretely pump in all their burning questions – on, for example, how to avoid the burning sensations brought on by sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately, these questions invariably landed them on porn sites – titillating perhaps, but not always fact-bound.
So what happens if you set up a website that answers all your basic questions and more? A website that is mobile-friendly, interactive, non-judgmental, non-preachy and based on the oddly radical idea that sex is pleasurable. And since sex is fun, people will naturally engage in the bouncy-bouncy. And if people do the bouncy-bouncy, they have the right to know the basics of bounce. And if people want to explore other bouncy urges that are perhaps considered ‘outside the norm’, they should also know the basics around these urges – before bouncing in half-cocked (as it were).
The result was Love Matters, an online platform ‘about love, sex, relationships and everything in between’ that indeed offered the basic facts, along with daily-published stories to jumpstart conversations on social media. Backed by RNW Media (the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide) and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it became a huge success.
I learned very many things thanks to my weekly column ‘Sex in the Press’. And as the column inches towards its 200th edition, I still feel that I have very much more to learn. Yes: sex ed should be considered a lifetime undertaking.
The column collects global news stories related to affairs of the heart and the loins. So for me to stay, um, atop of these issues, I have to, um, insert ‘sex’ into Google News almost every day. Sure, I also appreciate getting sex-related links from friends and colleagues. But Google usually beats them to the punch. Thanks Google! You’re a true perv. Respect.
Sex in the Press appears on the acclaimed sex&relationships platform Love Matters (for more on LM and my role as editor, go HERE). Every week, the column is published on the India and Kenya websites, before being bounced to spark conversations with the millions of LM followers on Facebook. It’s also regularly translated into Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Hindi for the other LM websites. It’s also often picked up by other media such as Youth Ki Awaaz (India), This is Africa, Kenya Buzz and Kenya’s major print newspaper The Star.
Welcome to the fourth dimension. Time. Now take a deep breath. And release…
Over the years, I’ve gotten some strange gigs from the inspired ‘experience architects’ WINK. For example, they once asked me to write and narrate a washroom soundtrack around the concept of ‘time’.
The result ended up unifying two distinct genres: ‘meditation tape’ and ‘fart joke’. And thanks to the audio artistry of Arjan Beurskens of This Is Taped, it actually worked out quite, um, tastefully.
This recording was broadcast as a loop in the VIP bathrooms during Berlin’s music and street fashion festival Bread&Butter. The event took place in Tempelhof Airport which was originally built by brown-shirted Nazis. Coincidence?
For a time afterward, I fantasised about finally specialising and focusing solely on writing fart jokes for a living – with me providing the brown nouns, and Arjan providing the brown sounds. But diversification remains key since this market proved limited. However if you hear of anything, please let us know! We’re still available for weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs!
Anyway, I will let you get to the washroom to give this a full and attentive listen – and please do listen to the very, very end…
My contribution to the ‘picture and caption’ issue of Dark&Stormy, the inspired ‘zine from graphic designers/writers Bart de Baets and Rustan Söderling. Check out a digital version HERE before rushing to the excellent Amsterdam art bookshop San Serriffe to see if they still have any hardcopies left.
‘Dancing Forest’, Curonian Spit, Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad – the city-formerly-known-as-Königsberg – is a dislocated blob of Russia in the heart of the EU. In days of yore, it was a favoured hang-out for Teutonic Knights. During the Cold War, it was the most militarised zone on the planet. Today, this Baltic region offers visitors unspoiled beaches and drunken pine trees. Depending on who you talk to, the twisted appearance of the trees that form the ‘Dancing Forest’ is caused by microbes, unstable soil or ‘polarized energy fields’. (Steve Korver)
A while back I spent a delightful Sunday as the self-appointed band psychologist for N.E.E. – a band made of two top producing duos: Arling & Cameron and David Schreurs & Jan van Wieringen (Caro Emerald). But alas, I was of little help. The boys were just too far gone…
But I did come up with this text. As you read it, it may just seem like more of my smart-ass malarky. But alas, it’s all freakishly true. Irony dies the second you say NOOOOO!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, negativity has never sounded so easy (albeit with dark and deeply funky sub-tones). Listen to their EP HERE.
Our award-winning film ‘Yuri on the Phone’ directed by Rene Nuijens is now online! Watch it above! With killer animations by stellar Celia Rosa and design studio Addikt! Edited by pulsar Will Judge!
In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Every man wanted to be him. Every woman wanted to be his wife. Now 55 years later, one lady’s passion for Yuri is as strong as ever…
Featuring Serbian film diva Rada Đuričin, ‘Yuri on the Phone’ shows us that space has enough place for all our hearts. It’s a story about love without borders. How obsession can be triggered by a single smile. How enduring passion can fill all voids.
(If you don’t have the attention span for this 6-minute movie, watch the trailer HERE– for which I did my very best ‘voice of God’ voice-over impersonation.)
- Nominated at the BARCELONA PLANET FILM FESTIVAL, Feb 2016, Barcelona (ESP).
- WINNING AWARD at FILM FESTIVAL CINEVANA ISTANBUL 2016, Istanbul (TRK).
- Official selection for the TEXAS ULTIMATE SHORTS, January 2016 (USA).
- Official selection for the HOLLYWOOD SKY FILM FESTIVAL, 2016 (USA).
- Official selection for the BROKEN KNUCKLE FILM FEST 2015 (USA).
- WINNER MIAMI INDEPENDENT SHORT FILM FESTIVAL August & September 2015 (USA).
- Official selection for BLOW UP, CHICAGO’S INTERNATIONAL ARTHOUSE FILMFEST (USA).
- Official selection for the KINOLIT FILMFESTIVAL, 2015, St. Petersburg (RUS).
- Official selection for LINEA D’OMBRO, FESTIVAL CULTURA GIOVANI, Salerno (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 DC SHORT, Washington (USA).
- Official selection for the 2015 LOS ANGELES CINEFEST, LA (USA).
- Film looping at: FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA 2015 at MUSEUM REGGIO EMILIA (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 FMK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Pordenone (IT)
- Official selection for the 2015 ROMA CINEMA DOC, Rome (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 REGINA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Regina (CAN)
I was asked to write the story of Dyneema®. As world’s strongest, lightest fiber, this plastic works to stop bullets, moor oil rigs and repair human joints. It’s also been behind some of the more iconic images of recent times: upturning the stranded cruise ship Costa Concordia in Italy, placing the crown on the Freedom Tower in NYC, and the tethering of satellites in outer space.
As I talked to the various players behind its decades-long march to market, I discovered that chemistry can be a very rock’n'roll game: “involving multiple co-inventors, dismissive managers, happy accidents, quantum technological leaps, commercial innovations and a few experiments that under current regulations would be considered safety violations.”
One killer quote: “One Saturday I remember asking someone to go get us some coffees but he couldn’t walk because the rubber of his shoes had partially dissolved and he was glued to the floor.”
Another killer quote: “Excuse me, could you please tell me what the value is of a cooked soldier?”
And a third: “It’s funny to think it all just started with some stirring in a pot.”
Last year I was asked to write a piece for the ‘City Hotels’ exhibition at Amsterdam’s architecture centre Arcam. My story ended up being about Andaz Amsterdam from Dutch design icon Marcel Wanders. But I also managed to slip in references to being a doorman, eel-pulling, lion shit and being snotty about fringes…
“The Dutch artist and designer Joep van Lieshout – founder of Atelier van Lieshout – brought the world fully-realized ‘Free States’, slave camps and rectum bars. Now he’s just come out with a line of unisex handbags. Is he undermining his past work, playing with people or just being funny? Actually, he’s following his chaotic mind…”
Read the PDF of the interview I did for Code magazine with Joep van Lieshout here.
Photography by Bianca Pilet.