The real Slim Shady!

Yesterday evening, Mr Esther junior and I went to see Eminem perform live in Nijmegen in the east of the Netherlands. My son has been an Eminem fan for about 3 years now and this concert was the gift he got from us for his 17th birthday. He is the only one of his friends who really loves Eminem, so, as they are no fans, I said I’d love to go with him. I’m not a rap or hip hop fan at all but through Es jr’s influence I have started to really like some of Eminem’s songs and found myself excited to be going to this concert as well! Of course, my excitement was no match for Es jr’s excitement.

We got there quite early, in the afternoon. I got Es jr a commemorative concert t-shirt which he absolutely loves…

We walked around, got drinks and something to eat and then secured ourselves a nice little spot. Es jr didn’t want to go up too far in the front, he doesn’t like the pushy crowdy element when close to the stage. It was quite hot, so while waiting and chatting we shielded ourselves from the sun for a bit.

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The evening started with two rap acts to warm up the crowd. Finally, at around 9.20 pm, Eminem started his concert and Es jr was in seventh heaven. This was pretty much our view – good view on the screens and we could see Eminem (encircled in this picture) jumping around and rapping on stage.

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He had an MC/side-kick to help whip up the crowd and sing along with him and it was a great concert! He sounds great live, just like on his recorded music and really gave his all to make the concert a good one. Eminem hasn’t been to the Netherlands in 15 years, so him singing ‘Without me’ where he sings “Guess who’s back? Back again? Shady’s back, tell a friend!” seemed extra topical.

For those who don’t know, Eminem is also nicknamed ‘Slim Shady’…

He sang a lot of great songs, some of his greatest hits…20180712_213524_resized… and Es jr could rap along with pretty much all of them! He was also not shy to stick up his middlefinger together with thousands of others when asked to do so by Eminem.

Eminem has this one song where he does a really quick rap in the song “Rap God”. In fact, I understand that that song is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the hit single which contains the most words.

There was a beautiful section where Eminem sang some duets with Skylar Grey, songs that have been recent hits from his latest album. Skylar Grey really has a great voice! He also did this song with her from 2000 called “Stan” about a stalker fan…

As the sun set, it all looked even more beautiful.20180712_223703_resized

The last song ‘Lose yourself’ (one of my fave Eminem songs) was beautifully lit and beautifully performed, a perfect end to the concert.

It ended with a few fireworks…20180712_225316_resized… and it really was over all too soon. In fact, that may be my only gripe: the concert lasted barely 90 minutes. I’m used to concerts being a little longer than that, would’ve been cool to have a little more. No matter, though, we were very grateful for all that we had seen and heard and Es jr really was very happy! “I can’t believe Eminem is here, so close to us in the flesh!” he beamed at me during the concert. And: “Best birthday gift ever!” he exclaimed afterwards. This concert certainly is a memory to treasure, for Eminem and for sharing that with my son. ūüôā

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American Idiot coming to the UK

So, Trump is coming to the UK and the British are deploying their sense of humour to protest him. First, there’s the big baby Trump balloon that will fly over London…

There is little chance Trump will actually see it because he is avoiding London during his visit, but the man is aware of this, it’s been all over the news, so in my eyes the protest has already succeeded. I read today that there is a petition to also fly the baby balloon near the golf course in Scotland that Trump will be visiting. Ah yes, peaceful protests such as these really make me happy!

What I also love is that there is a campaign going to make the Green Day song “American Idiot” (originally about George W. Bush) number 1 in the UK during the Trump visit.

The song is already climbing the charts, so it’s already working. I don’t know if the song will make it to number one, but just all this talk about it and the surrounding enthusiasm, makes me happy.

Yesterday Richard Armitage tweeted a little protest himself, protesting a¬†US Embassy statement telling Americans to watch out for the British…

RA Twitter protest

In my experience in London and in Europe there is no animosity against Americans in general, there is animosity against such an idiot president! If anything, I always experience great sympathy for Americans who have to deal with such a man as their president. Americans do get questioned on their view on how such a man was elected but I have never known any animosity against Americans just because they are Americans! This US Embassy statement is yet again an example of how divisive this US president and his government are. There are daily examples of how divisive Trump is, yesterday’s NATO summit was another display of Trump’s ignorance and insults.

I really wouldn’t be able to bear meeting such a man because I’d have no hope of a positive outcome for such a meeting. Bullies just can not be reasoned with, is my experience. I truly can’t¬†understand how anyone can support such a man. I know many of the arguments and feelings of why people support him and I understand the underlying concerns, but there is no way in my mind that Trump is an effective answer to any of those concerns.¬†(Note: If you are a Trump supporter please don’t try to convert me in the comments or on Twitter, there is no convincing me that this man is doing any good in his country or the world at all! You won’t convince me and I won’t convince you, so let’s leave it at that).

This evening Mr Esther junior and I are going to an Eminem concert. Eminem is also very anti-Trump…

He’ll be in London the coming weekend, so I wonder if we’ll hear any protest from him when he’s there as well.

Should Trump ever visit The Netherlands, I’ll be there, protesting, because in my eyes the man is a danger to the world. Meanwhile, from behind my laptop, I wholeheartedly support all humourous and peaceful protests against him!

Young man!

Yesterday was my son’s 17th birthday. We had dinner with our IL’s and next weekend we have a party with my family (we keep the two worlds and families separate for reasons of sanity). Yesterday, as I was walking behind my two kids after dinner, heading for the ice cream shop to get some good scoops of ice cream for our dessert, I really wondered where the time went. I saw two tall young people walking ahead of me (my daughter is almost my height, my son is almost a head taller than me)…

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… when in my mind¬†my kids are¬†still like this in a way…

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I know it’s a huge clich√©, but time really does fly!

When will they ever learn?

The “land of the free”, former welcomer of refugees, has reached another low point in its history… I see images of refugee children separated from their parents that absolutely break my heart and I wonder what happened to this quote, that is on the Statue of Liberty?

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!‚ÄĚ

I know pro-Trump people are blaming this on the Democrats and Obama, let me just debunk that flat out lie here. Demonizing refugees, whether they try to enter illegally or not, dehumanizing them and calling them ‘vermin’¬† – this is literally Nazi-Germany Adolf Hitler rhetoric! How can 40% of Americans not see this??? This must be stopped as soon as possible! On her blog, Perry has posted a link on how to help.

In his latest tweet, Richard Armitage doesn’t comment outright on this inhumane situation but he does quote¬†The Crucible. I see this tweet as an outrage at the current situation of refugee children being separated from their parents and I am glad he has said something!

RA tweet 20-6-2018

This whole horrible situation makes me scream the line “When will they ever learn?” over and over again in my head, from the song¬†Where Have All The Flowers Gone. Just like¬†The Crucible, the song was written during the McCarthy era in the 1950s¬†by Pete Seeger. It was made famous by Marlene Dietrich during a UNICEF concert in 1962. She sings heartbreakingly in German, with lyrics so poetically translated from English… I found this clip on YouTube, where she speaks in German, French and English about the song before singing it. At the end she says in German,¬†“Thank you for coming. I would like to sing another song, but I believe that after this song, no other song is good enough.”

I so fervently wish that lessons from history could finally be learned… In the meantime, I feel helpless, watch the news with horror and in tears and my heart breaks yet again and I wonder where this policy of hatred and selfishness will end…

No name

My take on the whole ‘No name’ controversy over on Twitter when an EW reporter called Richard Armitage a ‘ forgettable no name’ actor in a tweet… The way she said all that (and prefers Chris Pine??? Nah, I really don’t see that!) was a little disrespectful but she kinda does have a point because, really, when I tell people in real life that I love Richard Armitage, every single person looks at me blankly… and I really have told quite a few people! Some of these people may even¬†remember I have this favourite actor and they¬†repeatedly ask me,¬†“what was his name again?” So yeah, I¬†do kinda get the¬†‘no name’ thing, although I too¬†think¬†her criticism could have¬†been worded more tactfully. As for forgettable –¬†I find other actors far more forgettable than Richard, but that’s¬†a personal preference, I guess. To each their own!

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Personally, I can’t be bothered to get that¬†upset over such a thing, or take it too seriously, but then I am quite an even-tempered person anyhow. I read rude tweets like that, have my own thoughts (as voiced above), and then¬†choose to move on because I know arguing on Twitter rarely solves anything.¬†Part of the Armitage Army couldn’t be so complacement and valiantly¬†jumped to Richard’s defence. While I think¬†it’s great some people called her out on her rudeness,¬†I immediately saw where this was headed…¬†Yes, it got ugly quickly, arguments ensued between said reporter and fans and then fans started calling out other fans on their behaviour. In short, mayhem grew over, in my view, a very silly,¬†rude¬†little tweet that never deserved so much attention. But it’s like watching a train wreck, I couldn’t tear my eyes away…¬† And hey, here I am even blogging about it! Silly me…

Maybe the one good thing to come of all this is that said¬†reporter will at least remember Richard’s name from now on (not forgettable and no name anymore!).

Today, Richard himself has weighed in on Twitter on this whole controversy in the most delightful way!

RA twitter reaction to Dana 01

I love his self-deprecating sense of humour, that man really has been on a roll on Twitter lately! Maybe that’s the best way to respond to rude tweets that can’t be ignored:¬†stay polite, use humour (which can defuse a lot of anger) and move on….

This¬†past weekend, as I watched the drama unfold,¬†I’ve been¬†singing two ‘No name’¬†songs in my head, over and over again. This one…

and this one:

I went on to do a quick YouTube ‘No name’ song search. Apparently Michael Jackson also made a ‘No name’ song. I’d never heard it before…

And there’s someone who sang an own composition called ‘No name’ on Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago, although those actual words are never mentioned in the song itself…

There’s a song that I didn’t know¬†called ‘No name’ by Ed Sheeran which is also used as the title song to a TV series (The Bastard Executioner) that I also don’t know…

And, oh my goodness, 1980s German pop¬†group Modern Talking (I remember a school friend loving them and hating the ‘Nora’ necklace the singer used to wear)¬†has a ‘No name’ song (which isn’t terribly good but fits into this list):

I think I’m done now, engaging myself in the drama, and yep, I’m ready to move on (after responding to possible comments to this post)… ūüôā