Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers

I first watched this band 3 weeks ago in New Orleans at a private party at the The House of Blues.  They were playing in the upstairs room at the back and I ‘chanced’ upon them and stayed all evening.  I checked their website when I cam back to Holland and saw that they were playing in Zwolle (of all fucking places) last night.  So K and I went with our neighbor friends to the Blues Night at the Odeon Theatre.  The first 2 acts were ok, nothing special but then these guys came on.  AMAZING!!!!!!    I haven’t had as much fun watching live music since Talking Heads.  Extremely different music but holy christ do these guys have energy, presence, power and just fantastic music.

If you ever, ever get the chance to see them, do not hesitate they will blow you away.  We all agreed that if the opportunity arises the 4 of us will take a holiday to the US just to see them in concert.  They are that good!

(the sound quality of this clip is not great but you will get sense of how good they are)

The future of Extreme Bullshit

Bullshit comes in many forms and in various quantities.  There can be the small incidental piece of bullshit spun by a friend or colleague.  There is considerable amounts of bullshit being offered up as “informed opinion” on television and in newspapers, there is even larger amounts of bullshit being paraded as political discourse, however at the conference in New Orleans I had the dubious pleasure of listening to someone who elevated pure, unadulterated bullshit into an art form.  For 60 minutes some 2,000 people slid into an almost catatonic state of disbelief listening to one Dr. James Canton expound on his view of the “Extreme Future”.

What is even more astounding is this man has built what would seem to be a very succesful business – a think tank titled “The Institute of Global Futures” which claims to have many of the worlds largest companies and governments as clients.  In my many years, I don’t believe that I have been treated to such pure, unadulterated, generalised, self-serving bullshit as I did in that 60 minutes.  You instinctively knew you were in trouble when the idiot repeatedly refers to himself as ‘Dr Canton’.

Afterwards I thought about it and realised that at one level the man is reasonably clever.  There are not many other ways of generating considerable revenues via speaking fees, engagements, etc on a subject that is so far in the future that neither you, your children or your children’s children could ever be held accountable for the utter shite you are expounding and better still your content and delivery is so unforgettable that no-one would even remember to hold you accountable.  That takes a special skill!

To get a small insight into this clever ruse, here is an excerpt from one of his websites;

Greetings Journalists – Welcome to The Extreme Future!

This website was designed for you, the journalist. It offers you a web location full of relevant information about my new book that has just come out, The Extreme Future. You will find excerpts, chapters, top ten trends lists, visual maps, videos, blogs and Podcasts – all about the book. We are trying to re-invent publishing by offering you parts of my new book. Also, there are special, just-for-journalists insights into my book and my mind. The idea is to creatively encourage you to review the book, or interview me about my new book. The shameless truth comes out.

You have to admit – as far as pure, ballsy bullshit, its pretty good!

Dutch pragmatisim

One of the reasons that I really enjoy living in Holland is that you cannot beat Dutch pragmatisim.  Following is an excerpt of an article in the local press –

Utrecht city council wants to set up its own marijuana growing service to supply the city’s cannabis cafes, the NRC reports.

While selling small amounts of marijuana is tolerated, large-scale cultivation is illegal, creating a grey area between demand and supply.

In addition, there is no quality control with the current system and a risk of contamination, council officials say.

Grow your own

So the city wants to experiment with a new sort of coffee shop – the name for cannabis cafes – which would be members only and grow its own plants.

By law, the police turn a blind eye if people have up to five plants for personal use. So if each member of the coffee shop grows those five plants in the same greenhouse, the problem would be solved, the council argues.

The fine details still have to be worked out, but the city has said it will not operate the coffee shop or be in charge of weed production.

A Compliment, Sex or Food?

Last week I read a very entertaining article regarding the way in which young people now perceive themselves in the scheme of things.  An article in the New York Times recently reported some research that found that American college students would rather receive a compliment than eat their favourite food or have sex!

Other little nuggets;

94% of college professors believe they have above average teaching skills.  70% of high school students believe they have above-average leadership skills.  High percentages of college students agree with the statement “I am easy to like” and most believe that American students are world leaders in doing really well at math, which is not supported by the evidence.

The one that I think summarises it all – 80% of high school seniors said that they were “a very important person”, up from an average of 12% in the 1950’s.

Given the quality of American political discourse and their ability to focus on the really important problems within their economy, I think that there is a very high likelihood that in the not too distant future the long lines outside the unemployment offices will be filled by “very important people” unable to calculate how much they will need in order to purchase the 7 loaves of bread they will need to last over the following 14 days.