Saturday, March 25, 2006

What the Bleep?

van augustina

We were having a light snack with my friend

who lives on the third, fourth, and fifth floors

of number something or another

at Concertgebouw Plein,

just a few blocks away from the American Embassy

and the Van Gogh Museum.

The wet shimmering view to the north from his spacious,

and thoroughly modern home

reveals a brightly lit Concert Hall, bounded by trolley tracks,

with The Rijksmuseum Park just behind.

We are eating and drinking and talking about the United States,

about Europe,

about the strength, (or weakness) of the dollar,

about the debt of America vs. the debt of Europe.

We talked about the rather grand military expenditures of the US,

in comparison to the rather modest expenditures of Europe.

We talked about the percentages of the US budget that come from

Income Taxes,

from Corporate Taxes (all time low),

and from the money that is borrowed from Payroll Taxes.

We mused how the US government runs a 1/2 trillion dollar shortfall,

every year.

We talked about Bush.

And our host wonderered how long such leadership could continue?

He is no radical.

No, he is a modestly wealthy international businessman,

who invests in real estate in Europe and the US.

The art on the walls is well chosen.

His kitchen feels more like a small restaurant kitchen.

The giant gold lighting fixture over the circular marble dining room table

could just as well be in some chic lobby of the most boutique of hotels.

My Dutch friend's mother joined us as we drank good French Wine

and savored two types of fish, and perhaps five cheeses.

She was a grand lady, I think he said that she was 83.

She had lived all over the world and traveled over more of it

than most of us will likely ever have the chance to.

With a charmingly fluent english voice,

she offered that perhaps it was very wrong for the Americans

to spend so much money on war.

She thought that it would be better if the money was applied

to helping the poorer nations of the world to help themselves.

She said that when her generation helped put an end to the

Second War,

that they hoped with all their hearts that such a calamity

would not befall their own children.

Then, after her son tried to explain why the Americans

must have a war machine in order to execute their will

with the World's economy,

She offered that her favorite movie was

What the Bleep Do We Know?

Have you seen it? she said.

Soon afterwards,

she graciously excused herself,

And we made our way down to the Taxi,

and back to the center of a town

where bicycles, cars, people, trams, and buses

move freely and efficiently and

almost anything goes.

What the bleep do they know?


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Blogger Gloria said...

A propos of What the bleep...?, its sequel, Down the Rabbit Hole, will screen in San Marcos on March 30 and in Austin on May 10 (details here).

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were either of these films shown at the recent SXSW?

10:08 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

no, what the bleep is a couple of years old now. the rabbit hole should be fun though. thanks muse and FM

8:43 AM  

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