A field report from the paintball culture wars. Dateline: Bonn.


I don’t even know where that whole “Dateline: whatever” thing comes from, but this is a link to an old friend of mine’s travel blog. He’s one of those “longtime Wolseley resident” types. You know the type. They dress straight, but more like one of them university types than like a normal person. Sometimes they just look like straight-up hippies, other times they look like they’re hiding their hippieness. They’re all freaks in that part of town, really.

And freaks from Wolseley do freaky things. In the case of my friend (who I haven’t seen use his real name in the blog, that I recall, so I will refer to him as The Voyager), he’s chosen, at an age where he certainly should know better, to attempt to pilot an old boat down some godforsaken river in Europe somewhere, like some kind of postmodern Heart of Darkness.

Now, if it were up to me, I would hire Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski to accompany him: Kinski would sit in a corner of the cabin, glaring at The Voyager and eating pistachios. Several times a day, he would get up, walk over to the helm where The Voyager struggles to keep the rickety boat above water on a second-by-second basis (large wakes from barges that hate him and his boat), and scream in his ear in Lithuanian about his various personal shortcomings.

Herzog, of course, would film a documentary about the whole affair – ostensibly, the documentary would be about the rust patterns at the waterlines of the barges, and all of Herzog’s voiceover would be strictly related to Redox. However, between the careful, macro-focused shots of “Oxidic blossoms of lush and delicate corruption” on the barges, we would catch glimpses of the real drama being played out between the lines: Kinski bouncing pistachio shells off The Voyager’s head. Kinski ripping The Voyager’s hands off the helm, causing the craft to veer almost lethally close to one of the aforementioned barges while Herzog calmly chuckles at his scampish antics behind the camera. Kinski jamming a broomstick up his ass while reciting The Lord’s Prayer in Arabic. All of this, of course, only glimpsed in moments when Herzog was between the ten minute handheld “static” shots of rust blooms.

Luckily for The Voyager, I have no money to hire people for my art projects. Anyways, give the blog a look – I’ve known him about twenty years now, and he’s a pretty interesting dude.


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