Category Archives: miscellaneous Dark Fairy Thoughts

Zipolite: Stormy Weather, Intoxication and Inactivity

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Beach Bumming at Dusk in Zipolite

After a monster journey of more than 24 hours, during which I took a shuttle bus from Xela to San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico and a proper bus from there to Puerto Escondido, I arrived in the beach-bum town of Zipolite, Oaxaca around midday. The sky had been overcast since arriving in Oaxaca and it rained on the way from Puerto Escondido to Zipolite. I had been wondering how the driver of the small bus could actually see the road through the downpour. But in these parts of the world when travelling by public transport, you just have to surrender to the circumstances and/ or pray you arrive in one piece. It had stopped raining when I arrived in Zipolite, but that was only the proverbial silence before the storm.

Mexico Travel and Zipolite: Past and Present

I had visited Zipolite 19 years ago, almost to the month. I travelled with a friend I’ve known from secondary school. We arrived at Houston International Airport in the US from London Gatwick airport on the day that France won the world cup football. I remember it was terribly hot in Houston. We took a bus to the border and travelled for four weeks or so. It was our first time in Latin America and neither of us spoke a word of Spanish. It was a formative trip for me. I still love the colours corn yellow, terracotta and deep blue, which are very popular in the country and I really liked the people and felt rather frustrated I couldn’t communicate with them at the time. After that summer I did several Spanish language courses for about two years.

Of course Zipolite had changed, but the same beach-bum vibe was still there. The posada my friend and I stayed at 19 years ago and the American owner, Daniel, were still there, to my surprise. I was treated to some herbs upon arrival and after doing a tiny bit of work I got intoxicated and did nothing, as one does in Zipolite. The town is slightly off the beaten track about an hour from Puerto Escondido, yet it tends to draw considerable crowds during Holy week and in December and the first half of January. Zipolite was our first experience of tropical beach 19 years ago. The sea was blue and warm and not grey and fresh like the North Sea. The ocean at this part of the Oaxacan coast is wild and tends to have strong under currents, which doesn’t make it very suitable for swimming. When there is good swell surfers and body boarders can be found in the water. Zipolite is also known for having one of the few nude beaches in Mexico, but just like 19 years ago, only a few people bare all, so travelling to Zipolite just for the nude beach would be a bit of a disappointment.

Zipolite: Beach of the Dead

According to some stories Zipolite means beach of the dead due to the sea’s strong and dangerous under current. Besides the under current, Zipolite can also be considered the Beach of Dead due to its invitation to do absolutely nothing. The town is not a party place, yet there is considerable alcohol and drug use and herb consumption is ubiquitous. As much I was attracted to Zipolite again for the sun, sea and herbs, I was also keen to do some work. The latter however, totally didn’t happen for both superficial as well as deep-seated reasons. The day I arrived it was drizzling now and again. The days after, Zipolite and the wider region experienced a proper storm and it was pouring down for days on end. I had no idea so much water could come from the heavens and with considerable winds and thunder, the whole ordeal was terribly dramatic. I changed rooms three times because water was pouring in and electricity was cut several times. When the storm had finally eased off, phone lines were cut, the roads out of town were blocked and the waves and beach were covered in tree trunks, branches, coconut skins and other natural debris. There was considerably damage to some properties and roads, but luckily no casualties. People were drawing comparisons to the hurricane of 1997. It was most peculiar when the sun finally came out, as if the rain, winds and thunder were all just a dream. It might be low season and the place a beach bum location, the community quickly got into action clearing the roads and cleaning the beach, which I found most admirable.

The Action after the Storm

I felt rather annoyed with myself that I didn’t do an awful lot more than nothing in Zipolite. But then, that is Zipolite and perhaps the necessary stage to move to another level, like the period after the storm. Next up is a yoga retreat providing plenty of tools to keep me mentally, spiritually and intellectually entertained.

 

From LaLa Land to a New System

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Chris-Rock-PromoTonight and what will be tomorrow morning for people at my part of the world, the 88th Academy Awards ceremony will take place. It’s a big circus for the film industry and related sectors. This year there has been quite some controversy because no actor of colour was nominated and therefor some actors of colour are boycotting the event. The host for the evening will be Chris Rock who is known for his sharp jokes on race, so it will be most interesting to see, what Mr. Rock will do with the platform he has to his disposal tonight.

Once Upon a Time

There was a time when I paid close attention the whole event called the Oscars and together with my thespian mates I made prognoses on who would win and we would scrutinise the acceptance speeches for any originality and depth. We knew it wasn’t always about the best performance or piece of work, yet it was important enough to lose sleep over, as we stayed up all night until we knew who had won best picture. With the latest media outcry in regards to the subject of diversity in Hollywood I started wondering: why would any so-called minority want a piece of the mainstream system pie, while that system is intrinsically corrupt and actually doesn’t serve that minority? With the system I’m not just referring to Hollywood’s film industry, but let’s just start with it.

What Hollywood Wants to Tell us

Film, or any other mass medium, is not just entertainment, it is information too. Films are stories told to a mass audience and somewhere, the emperor of Hollywood, whoever that person might be, decides which stories he finds important and these stories then shape the opinions and ideas of those who watch them. If actors, directors and producers tell stories that fit the idea that the emperor of Hollywood has about the world, and the telling of these stories is executed well, these actors, directors and producers are rewarded with work and perhaps even a prestigious awards. Black actors, directors and producers only seemed to win a prize like the Academy Awards if they tell a certain story. These stories are seldom, if ever, about strong, empowering and inspiring black people that could lift up the masses of any colour or creed. Denzel Washington, a very fine actor, played Steve Biko and Malcom X. For both roles he got nominated, but every insider knew he didn’t have a chance in hell, regardless of the competition. More recently British actor David Oyelowo was snubbed at both the Baftas and the Oscars after playing Martin Luther King in the film Selma in exquisite fashion. In 2002 director John Singleton should have won an Oscar for the powerful social drama Boyz in da Hood, if only ‘just’ for the screenplay, for which he was nominated as well. Now, you could argue that other actors and directors where just better and received the nomination or the actual award for that year. Yet, I can’t help but notice that black actors who do win an Academy Award, do so for certain roles and these roles are not of strong, empowering and inspiring characters. These roles are the story of maids (Hattie MacDaniel, Octavia Spencer), slaves (Denzel Washington, Lupita Nyong’o), crazy African dictators (Forest Withaker) crazy tricksters (Whoopi Goldberg), thuggish, corrupt cops (Denzel Washington) or poor downtrodden women (Halle Berry, Mo’nique). All these people told the stories of their characters very well, however, why is that these stories especially received the highest praise? If this ‘system’ only wants to tell these stories when it comes to’ black’ stories, then why exactly would you want to join this system? This question is not only valid for cinema and black people, but applies to all sorts of other pillars of society and other ‘minorities’.

 Diversity My Arse

A lot of liberal lefties cry about diversity within the institutions of media, politics and government, science and academia and finance and banking. Yes, efforts are being made, yet, it comes down to the same stories being told. The story of the patriarchy, the story of white supremacy, the story of western superiority, the story of competition and hierarchy, the story of fear and scarcity and the story of coincidence, rather than conspiracy or divine plan. This is not the fault of the general straight, white, western male, as he is as much a victim as anyone else. I’m just wondering whether we should try to mend a corrupt system from within, or give the finger to it and build are own, where diversity is celebrated as different expression of oneness. Where cooperation rules, ‘cause competition is just so lame. Where government and politics is truly for and by the people. Where media genuinely inform, entertain and uplift us rather than just indoctrinate and scare us. The current system has been built by people who don’t give a shit and these people now and again make just enough adjustment so the dissatisfied don’t riot, but not quite that much that it undermines the corrupt system.
Tomorrow I’ll read online which nominees have won and how Chris Rock rocked the Kodak theatre. I will read it knowing that it’s all bollocks and we all, the Dark Fairy included, should pay far less attention to all the bollocks and far more to the reason behind the bollocks and how we can fix it.

Like Bowie Said: “Let’s Dance”

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Although I was quite in a festive mood in December, the Dark Fairy entrance into the year 2016 was with little ado and even less hype while I refused to make any New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions can be made every day of the year, all year round, expect early January, when some people, instead of returning to some sort or normal, resort to some Spartan routines as if the indulgence and enjoyment of the previous month were a massive sin. Then the 10th day of the New Year is my birthday and I think I am about 170 in Mercury years and a mere toddler in Saturn years, so this age/ aging thing is rather relative. Despite my toddler status in Saturn years, my own mortality seems to get clearer into focus while time- whatever the fuck it is- seems to pass by. The passing of fellow Brixtonian and Capricorn David Bowie- and British acting royalty Alan Rickman- gives the birthday afterglow a melancholic edge. 69 earth years might not be considered very old age, for someone who had access to the best health care his wealth and fame could buy, yet both David Bowie and Mr. Rickman were true artists who seemed to have lived life to the fullest.

On that note, I like to remind myself that exactly a year ago I boarded a plane to Latin American lands, where I lived the Dark Fairy lifestyle to the full. Although it was always the plan to return to the Rock, leading a more conventional life after a fabulous adventure was much more of a challenge than previously foreseen and I often think with much fondness and a tat of melancholy of my groovy time in latin lands. Most of us human creatures, we wish, we dream, we plan and we accomplish. It tends to spur us on and keep us sane. Different cultures celebrate their new year on different dates. Gregory XIII decided sometime in the 16th century on a solar year of 365 and a bit days and a start of the New Year on 1 January . As he was the bossman of the time, the whole world did as they were told and generations there after followed suit. People who call themselves Orthodox Christians celebrate their New Year’s on 6 January and the Chinese and other Asian cultures celebrate the (coming) new year in February. Plenty more opportunity for celebration, indulgence and- o, go on then- new year’s resolutions. The Upcoming Chinese year will be the year of the fire monkey, which sounds like fabulous fun and action.

Besides longing for a different lifestyle and different forms of new year, it hasn’t gone  unnoticed that fear mongering is big business. While ending the year with atrocities in Paris, the ‘forces that be’ want to make sure we are tense and fearful, so they bring us stories of perverts molesting women on New Year’s eve in Cologne, Germany, blasts in Istanbul and, boom, some deadly action in Jakarta. O, and then there is tension between arch rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. It seems the fault of phantom organisation ISIS. It could well be a violent Wizard of Oz with serious issues (it probably is). The whole world seems to be bombing them, but like a cat with an infinite amount of lives, there is no ISIS extermination in sight.

But let’s not get bogged down by fear and destruction. Before we retire to seemingly safe cocoons of comfort and familiarity attempting to keep the fear out, let’s make our hearts boss and listen to what they have to say, ‘cause hearts tend to talk truth.

Bread and Games for the Sheeple

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footieIn a day´s time one of what they call the Greatest Shows on Earth will kick off of in the Land of Samba. I’m referring to the World Cup football in Brazil. I’m not following any league, but when it comes to major tournaments I’m sure in for some footie. Major sporting events like the World Cup football are considered a great honour for a country to host, but it seems that some in Brazil don’t quite agree with that. The undergound train system in Sao Paulo, the country´s most populous city, has been on strike for several days and it remains to be seen if strikers, demanding a 12% pay increase and the powers in charge can come to an agreement before kick-off of the very first match of the tournament on Thursday. Besides the strike in Sao Paulo people across the country have been hitting the street out of protest against the nation hosting the Cup. It might be an honour, but whether it is or not, it´s just darn costly. Brazil suffers from a magnitude of social problems and great economic inequality and the argument of many is that the country could have spent the €5 billion + on more pressing matters.

It is indeed the case that a great sporting event can put a city or country on the proverbial map. The 1992 Olympic Games did wonders for the city of Barcelona and the 2010 World Cup football was a big deal for South Africa as the host nation. This World Cup could be a great opportunity for the emerging powerhouse that is Brazil to profile itself. However, there is a strong argument to be made that this particular ‘honour’ might indeed not be worth the costs at this particular time.

These mega-events are predominately paid for by ordinary people in the form of tax-payers’ money. Yet, the great benefits of these events- I’m talking cold, hard cash here- go to FIFA in this instance and Big Business. What exactly does the tax-payer get in return besides some rather overpriced excitement?

I would like to draw a parallel between the World Cup in Brazil and the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, which were held in London. For seven years, from the announcement that London was to host the Games in 2005 until the day of the opening ceremony I had been a ‘bah-humbug’. It was all a big, fat very costly scam I thought. However, those few weeks in the summer for 2012 were such an exciting time. Great Britain was presented as this slightly quirky, highly inclusive nation I felt dead proud to be a part of and British athletes did so well in the medal league tables, it all was a tremendously uplifting experience and I´m not even British!  This was very much needed after the riots the summer before, general economic gloom and doom and rather disappointing weather. But was it really worth the €10 billion or so that was spent on the Greatest Show on Earth? The country remained on a high for several weeks afterwards, but after the Paralympics finished it was very much business as usual including the economic doom and gloom. As there was much talk about the legacy of 2012 in the run up to the event, two years on it has been rather quiet in regards to that legacy and we can seriously wonder if the 2012 legacy hasn’t died a slow and very quiet death and all we are left with is the bill.

When it comes to football, I believe it has been robbed as a sport for the people by the people by big corporations, whose only concern is the moolah and who truly don’t give a shit about the people and their love for the game. Big Business fucks over the ordinary man and woman as if it were its birthright and the sad thing is that the ordinary man and woman let it happen out of love for the game and their club and/or their national team. Sounds like a rather abusive relationship to me.

I think that hosting the Cup and the Olympic Games, which Rio will be hosting in two years´ time could be very good for Brazil and Rio respectively. I have to agree, however, that the country and Rio in particular have too many issues to deal with in terms of social injustice and crime that it would’ve been better if the time and funds spent on these major sporting events would´ve been spent on bettering the life of ordinary Brazilians and Cariocas (inhabitants of Rio).

I think that it’s high time that those who benefit the most from major sporting events should be the ones who pay for it. I think it’s high time that the man and woman in the street – and their governments- say: “that´s just great, thanks a bunch for the ‘the honour’ but we sure ain’t paying for it”. If FIFA or UEFA or the IOC want a funky tournament they and the sponsors should pay for it themselves. It’s not that they lack the money. And if no country wishes to host the Greatest Show on Earth at their expense, then it´s FIFA or UEFA or the IOC who has a problem, not ordinary people and their governments.

If the bidding for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics is anything to go by, we might be off to a good start. From the eight initial bidding cities five have withdrawn their bid as the people of these particular cities realise that the honour is not quite worth the hassle and the money.

In the meantime, I do hope Brazil will pull off a good show, which I’ll surely enjoy and that the country will address it’s issues so it will be that powerhouse to the pride and benefit of every Brazilian.

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Adventure and the Womb

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pirateI am by no means considered an elderly person, but although I am a five-year-old at heart I am no spring chicken either. As I am settling in a dwelling of my own, enjoying sea view as both the sea as well as my workplace are literally a stone throw away, I feel truly blessed I’m able to embark on a new adventure despite my non-spring-chicken status. The majority of people who came into the world at the same time as me are seriously building careers, families or both and starting a new life in a new country might seem a far less straight-forward affair. Prior to the move into my current place of residence I was residing in temporary accommodation near a marina, where I met and befriended some pirates, sailors and other unconventional folk. These people have fabulous stories of adventure and exploration and my inner five-year old is truly inspired and entertained. These folk all happen to be men, just like the vast majority of great pioneers and adventurers, who went down in history. As we know history is a story mainly written by and about men. Not only might many a female adventurer not have made it to be recorded in the history books, it is also the case that women were and still are bound to one adventure in particular; that of wife- and motherhood. As the social science of history is not terribly interested in the adventures of motherhood, does that mean that the creation and rearing of offspring is a significant obstruction to those great adventures that do go down in history? And if that is the case, where does that leave the Dark Fairy Adventurer of past, present and future?

My dear friend Moona from Lowlands country has just given birth to her first child, a girl. She is what is known in the country of my birth as a consciously single mother as she wasn’t in a relationship and had the very strong desire to be a mother. As the fertility clock was ticking after a lot of contemplation she decided to take the ballsy step to go for it alone and conceived with the help of a sperm donor. I guess like me, she has certainly chosen her adventure, it just one of a different order.

There are plenty of women who have and will go down in history as adventurers and pioneers along side their motherhood: Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst, Hillary Clinton, Tina Turner, Margaret Thatcher to name just a few. There are also a fair amount of adventurous and pioneering women, like Rosa Parks, Simone de Beauvoir, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton and Billie Jean King, who- consciously or not- choose other adventures over motherhood. Unlike Moona, I never had the strong desire to create offspring. Although I think kids are cool and I am a proud aunty to my nephews I’ve always considered having one’s own children as an obstruction to freedom and -therefore- adventure. But what if motherhood is not an obstruction to adventure, but just like it is for Moona an adventure in itself. I guess my issue with Project Motherhood is that it does have a shelf life and once executed it is irreversible.

As I am discussing motherhood as an obstruction to adventure or an adventure in itself I don’t mean to imply that fatherhood has no impact on men whatsoever.  However, most men, if they stick around in the first place, tend to continue their adventures and projects while the mothers of their offspring are predominantly concerned with the care of their children.

Whether I’ll embark on the adventure of motherhood, either through the natural way or by means of adoption, remains to be seen. In the mean time I’m thoroughly enjoying my current project and I wish Moona and her newborn daughter all the best in the world for their upcoming adventure(s).

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Bollocks to May

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imagesIn a month in which the weather has massively disappointed yet again, conservatism and religious extremism have reared their ugly heads. The latter in the form of attacks by extremist zealots in both London and Paris on individuals serving in the army. The soldier attacked in London in broad daylight for everyone to see, died on the scene. The attacker gave his reasons for his actions to a camera phone and the clip went viral. Much stranger than fiction. Returning to Gaul where, legend has it, one small village remained free under the Roman occupation due to some brave lads with funky moustaches and a magic drug making them invincible, it seems that modern Gaul remains rather stuck in Roman times. Not only does the country, where 10 to 20 per cent of the people vote for the extreme right, suffer from structural racist tendencies, it’s seems rather homophobic as well. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets to voice their opposition against the bill that recently has made gay marriage legal. This might just be me, but I find opposing gay marriage a bit like opposing inter racial or inter religious marriages; It’s terribly 1950s and makes you look like an utter twat who’s horribly stuck in times.

Staying with ugly conservatism, in the UK there is this tribe of Eurosceptics who retardedly believe the UK would be better off outside the European Union and are bullying the Prime Minister to have a referendum on EU membership before the general elections in 2015. The Prime Minister is playing delaying tactics by aiming to renegotiate the country’s relationship with the Union and based on the outcome of that hold a referendum somewhere in 2017. The exact points to be renegotiated remain rather vague, but that seems besides the point for the Eurosceptics. They want a referendum and they want it now. Or within the next two years at least. I don’t trust the voice of the people. As a mass we can do wonderful things like overthrow despotic leaders. Or we can be rather stupid by voting those same despots  into power or voting ourselves out of an economic and political union of which the benefits by far outway the costs. Since I have no sound alternative for democracy I do believe the people’s voice should be heard. And should the people decide on a divorce I might not stay to apply for a British passport and witness the demise of these Isles, especially if the weather remains as abysmal as it is . But this all might be hollow Dark Fairy toughness I’m displaying here.

Crap weather, twisted news diets and ugly conservatism make me wonder where the magic has gone. Where is the good, the glorious and the fabulous? O yeah, it lies in the little things, but in these weird times I have a rather desperate need for the magic, the good and the fabulous to slap me in the face, like Tango did back in the days in their commercial before it got banned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kji8qIo8h4I.

But that probably went  out of fashion too. So in this economic and climatological waste land I am looking for those pots of gold. I know they’re out there. So I keep on searching.

On the other hand…. bollocks randomness.

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Pedal Power and the Art of Resilience

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Although I might sound like I was reared in the Sexy South of our fabulous town, when it comes to my daily commute and getting around in general I wear my Dutchness on my sleeve; think bike all the way, come rain come shine, day or night. Besides it being quick it appeals to my occasionally stingy nature as public transport is not only a bore, it cost far more than pedal power. The sky needs to fall on our heads – or roads not having been gritted at sub-zero temperature and being dangerously icy and/or slushy- for me to resort to public transport. But yesterday I just had it. Half way through my daily commute the strong icy, wind touched a certain nerve. I abandoned the road, parked my two-wheeled monster and continued the journey by public transport.

Winter is rather reluctant to make way for more spring-like weather as half the nation is emerged in snow and most areas suffer from what feels like sub-zero temperatures. It has been three years since I spent winter at the African Med and the notion of a winter with temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius has been squatting my mindset ever since and has little inclination of vacating. I’m telling you, I’m truly suffering. I was wondering whether not being willing to pedal come rain- come shine anymore has something to do with ‘growing up’, like you might get fed up with the backpacking experience after a certain age. Or maybe I can no longer ignore what effect the weather has on my constitution. As human animals we bear the sun and warmth scarcity of winter as there is the promise of waxing light and increasing temperatures a few months later. We no longer expect politicians to put their money where their pre-election mouth is, but if nature fails to deliver on its promises I, as a Dark Fairy creature, am quite at loss. Nature seems rather spooked out and global weather patterns are going cuckoo all over the place. Am I truly supposed to remain unaffected?

Then there is the economic climate which affects some more than others. Despite having limited my news diet considerably it’s not always easy to escape the economic doom and gloom.

Adversity, minor or major, is a pain in the ass to say the least. Within most belief system it is taken as true that adversity is to strengthen us and make us better people.

For quite a while I have had the desire to spend winter in warmer climates. This desire was reinforced when I got a taste of pleasant winter weather during my time at the Med. In the meantime ‘life got in the way’ while I didn’t stop whining about naff winters and unconvincing springs and summers.  Yet, if my pedal power and especially my mental resilience can no longer beat the weather it’s a sign that enough is enough. Something’s gotta give, something needs to change. I am to stop whining and work on Project Winter Escape. From this Project I am to draw energy and resilience; while I might be suffering now I am working on a brighter future which I am soon to enjoy. Adversity might be in our lives to strengthen us, it also might gives us that extra push for change. By lack of sunshine, warmer temperatures and upbeat economic news let us make provisions and practice resilience. Devise your own escape plan, either physically or mentally and let’s pedal on.

Project Winter Escapefiets bikini

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