30 August 2005

Holiday in the South

My friend Shane, all the way from Dublin, came over last week. We had a great time in Helsinki and also went to Tallinn which was good fun. Here is few holiday shots.

For me Estonia has always been a bit problematic. Unlike most Finns who have been there several times I only had my third visit this weekend. I first went there 1987, which obviously was the soviet time. Only things I remember from that trip was my dad bribing everybody with chewing gum, which they did not have in Soviet Union, and that it was freezing cold. That was an Easter weekend then. Second visit was new year’s day 2004. It was very cold then as well and now, well a bit of a rain but generally fantastic weather and experience as a whole.

The reasons why I have been boycotting our southern neighbours has never been me disliking them. Quite the opposite. Finns in general look down on Estonians like Swedish people look down on Finns or Estonians Russians and I have always been a bit ashamed of this whole cycle. Other thing, mostly in 90s and early 2000 was the Finns misbehaving in Estonia, getting an awful and arrogant reputation and buying only cheap alcohol and pirated goods. I just felt a bit left out of that as well, but now I feel like I could go there every weekend. Really enjoyable and extremely affordable town. The only threat seems to be the EasyJet which ships the British tourists in with next-to-nothing prices. No offence my British friends but you behave even worse with alcohol than we do. And I thought it was impossible.

I do not claim to be an expert when it comes to Estonian culture, history or politics but I still find it rather interesting. I have lots of love for the country but I am saddened to see the speed that they are heading to complete free market economy (yes, the one where consumer has no rights but still spends). This seems to be quite a common thing in the former eastern bloc countries. The trouble is that very few people ended up making lot of money and the gap between poor and rich is relatively wide. I suppose the changes happened so quickly and the people were excited about the newfound possibilities that this was hard to avoid. They should have looked for the answers from the north, not the west.

21 August 2005

One shockjock and thousands of disciples

The Howard Stern film ”Private Parts” was on television the other night. I have seen it before but seeing parts of it reminded me on some important matters. One of them is that Stern has some brilliant visions on radio although his moral values are screwed up to say the least. My opinion on him is irrelevant so I will not talk about it more. I feel that he understood something more important than what is considered funny or what crosses the line and I think that many radio presenters fail to get the most important of his messages. If anything, being yourself is funny, listeners can relate to you only when you are being honest and talking about things as you would to anyone of your friends and most of all, and this I would like to emphasise, copying someone else, like Stern, is rather lame and boring thing to do.

I cannot believe how many of my former colleagues have been impressed by all the crazy stuff happening in the film or in his show in general and not many of them realise that there is nothing particularly cool about it, especially if that is not what you stand for in life. I thought all these things were obvious.

Few plane tickets, plenty of music and hours of radio

Lot of things have happened since I last posted and in the future I might try to be a bit more consistent with my efforts in writing. I cannot promise but I try. I have been busy getting a lot of new music and quite frankly the trouble with the quantities are that when do I have the time to listen to it all. I remember the days when I was young geezer and once I got new tape, LP or even CD I listened to it until I knew the lyrics and all the small tricks hidden in. Now I can only dream of that but I suppose it is the times that are changing. I have also spend most of my sleepless nights listening to the Air America radio’s archives. And what a wonderful resource that is.


I have now heard all the episodes from the “On the Real” by Chuck D and Gia Garell. Great informative show with a nice mixture of jokes and hard truth. I have also listened to some of the old “Unfiltered” episodes which I highly recommend as well.

The whole podcasting thing seems to be taking off big style and at some point I felt a bit left behind but now, although not receiving the shows on my MP3 library, I do plenty of downloading of shows. It is odd that people listen to some of that stuff at the first place because very often it is just people chatting rubbish but I must warn that it is also very addictive. I suppose it is the whole eavesdropping aspect of it. Cannot blame the ones who get addicted to Big Brother and rest of it reality nonsense on telly. Or maybe I can and I should. The bad news is that Big Brother starts now also in Finland. This is a sad moment in the history of my country.

I have also bought my flight tickets to Cape Town and I cannot really wait until I get to start my job at the Bush Radio (name by the way is not indicating to the W. I hope). I still need to fix few practicalities but other than that I am set to go.

Before my trip over there, which starts 6th of October, I still get to go to Bulgaria. That should be good fun. I am going there with my family. It should be a trip to celebrate the hard times that we recently overcome as I went through the cancer. Not fun that one but equally it is all good in the end, isn’t it. Also a small weekend trip to Tallinn with my Irish friend Shane who is coming next week. I am busy travelling and that is exactly the way I want to live my life.