fj: (NL)
Tekenend voor België vind ik het feit dat een aantijging van lichte corruptie en geldsmijterij door de regering kennelijk zo gewoon wordt gevonden door .be Internetters dat de discussie zich toespists op het vraagstuk van het al dan niet bestaan van een beroepsgeheim voor HORECA-medewerkers.

(Mijn Hollands antwoord: Voor minimumloon + fooien? Nee.)
fj: (NL)
Ach, is dit nieuws? Want in the 5e lagere school -- ik ben van voor groepen (maar na de 2e Wereldoorlog, dat nog net wel wel) -- kregen we nog inderdaad een hele serieuse mijnheer langs voor een ochtend om on over sigaretten en drank te vertellen.

Voor zover ik weet, rookte en dronk er nog niemand van ons.
fj: (NL)
...with a YouTube clip.

If all he is getting out of this is a Big Ears joke, he's missing something. So I IM him:

[ profile] fj: You have no idea what is going on there, do you?
[ profile] pinkfish: The subtitles don't seem to quite match up
[ profile] fj: there's 4 layers of joke here
[ profile] pinkfish: okay . . .
[ profile] fj: one, this is Wim de Bie. Together with kees van Kooten they had a satirical Sunday night show of 30 minutes that rand for two or three decades. They were immensely famous and popular
[ profile] pinkfish: Okay - so he is kind of like Dan Rowan or Dick Martin in the US back in the 60's
[ profile] pinkfish: (Laugh-in)
[ profile] fj: except Koot en Bie were extremely political and topical
[ profile] pinkfish: oh!
[ profile] fj: second, he is impersonating Mr Pieter van Vollenhoven here
[ profile] fj:
[ profile] pinkfish: Are those Wim's real ears?
[ profile] pinkfish: No wonder he went into comedy.
[ profile] fj: no, they are not.
[ profile] fj: They are, however, close to Mr van Vollehoven's ears. read the wiki link, btw
[ profile] fj:
[ profile] fj: Pieter van Vollenhoven was a national joke. He is this complete bourgeois guy who married into an equally, at the time, outmoded and old fashioned and anachronistic royal family (Beatrix had not modernised it yet)
[ profile] pinkfish: So, he was just a plain old civil servant before marrying her
[ profile] fj: he is so common he couldn't even be given a title beyond 'Meester' which means 'this man is kinda important but no protocol exists to call him anything else and we don't actually allow people to be made nobility anymore'
[ profile] pinkfish: His kids are called "Prince"
[ profile] fj: yah, he married a pricess.
[ profile] pinkfish: how funny!
[ profile] pinkfish: His noble title is "Meester"
[ profile] pinkfish: That sounds really naff in English
[ profile] fj: it's not better in Dutch
[ profile] pinkfish: ZOMG! He shares my birthday!!
[ profile] fj: Yeah, On Queen's Day he is now actually the only royal who has a birthday on that day.
[ profile] fj: so this gray civil servant from nowhere with big ears marries into this doilies and broccoli royal family of a swamp
[ profile] fj: and suddenly he needs to be important or something
[ profile] fj: they give him this nothing job as the president of the transport safety board, which means every year he has to be in the news when a truck rolls over 7-year-old girl because of blind spot issues or something
[ profile] fj: turns out he like to play piano
[ profile] pinkfish: So, Mr. van Vollehoven is also a pianist
[ profile] fj: so he thinks he is a pianist because he now hangs out with old almost dead celebs
[ profile] pinkfish: one of them is dead
[ profile] pinkfish: also, He is Aide-de-Camp Extraordinary to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.
[ profile] fj: so he makes some charity jazz pianist records with old jazz stars of the Netherlands of the 50s and 60s when there was no media and dutch people didn't know any better than that Dutch white people could sing and play jazz
[ profile] fj: now he thinks he is an accomplished swinging jazz pianist
[ profile] pinkfish: LOL
[ profile] fj: couple this with the insane ability of pre-cable Dutch people to sing and play english lyrics they barely knew
[ profile] pinkfish: This is like the "Learn English" video, isn't it?
[ profile] fj: and I am sure that the year of that youtube clip van vollenhoven and rita reys had just released another charity CD my father gladly snapped up to pop his fingers to, and Wim de Bie decided he could fill 2 nice minutes (because Wim de Bie actually can play, and is smart enough to know he is a white Dutchman so he can make Jazz look stupid)
[ profile] fj: now do you get the joke?
[ profile] fj: oh god, I hadn't noticed the subs at the beginning: mr. P
[ profile] pinkfish: . . . except I can't read the subtitles fast enough. They seem to line up with the lyrics, but not quite
[ profile] fj: probably this is also a commentary on Dutch TV desperately trying to make TV nicer with toning down subtitles
[ profile] pinkfish: I see
[ profile] fj: let's just say the work neuken does not appear in the subtitles, and they should
[ profile] fj: I mean, the second part start off with I want to fuck you in the kitchen and the subs are "a man's love is through his stomach"
[ profile] pinkfish: LOL
[ profile] fj: yeah, 3 paragraphs later you get to the LOL. do you now understand why I refuse to even explain my Dutch entries?
fj: (Default)

Memory Waiting
"Memory Waiting", Nokia N73, Amsterdam, 2008

fj: (Default)
Waarom hoor ik alleen maar Nederlands in de winkelstraten van Düsseldorf?

Posted with AutoPostBot
fj: (NL)
10 jaar lang wel Patty Brard en Patricia Paay uitzenden op de buis, maar 17 minuten compilatie van eerder uitgezonden materiaal kan er niet door?

Wie wordt er nou voor wat beschermd?
fj: (NL)
Fitna was released tonight. The format is a montage of news clips and newspaper headlines of terrorism and murder done in the name of Islam, ending with a spoken polemic.

First viewing by Dutch lawmakers says it stays within the boundaries of Dutch anti-discrimination laws.
fj: (NL)
...that the country is building up a hype that will make Danish Cartoons About Mohamed look like some kind of Richard Scarry moment.

So at the turn of the millennium some culture critic wrote an article in a major newspaper about The Multicultural Drama and how integration in the Netherlands had failed, this failure creating enclaves of Muslim immigrants who had not become part of general Dutch society and were in danger of becoming a permanent underclass, much because state had kept too much distance. The discussion then went bad because a large part of the white Dutch middle-class thought it was finally ok to crudely voice their thoughts about Islamic terrorism and headcoverings and those people not speaking Dutch and Moroccan teens snatching cellphones as all one big connected thing, leaving many Dutch Muslims wondering when they had become responsible for 9/11 and stolen cellphones just because they prayed five times a day, or not had parents who did. A Somali-born Dutch politician, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, always pointing out how bad Islamic culture and countries treat women and minorities, worked together with a Dutch low-budget provocative director, Theo van Gogh, to make a short movie denouncing the treatment of women under Islam. The director got knifed to death one morning by an Islamic fundamentalist, the politician went in hiding and now lives in DC working for some thinktank.

The discussion about integration did not get any better since. Everybody is getting publicity voicing feeling insulted and marginalized, the previous minister of Immigration decided to become mega-popular by becoming an integration hardliner and shoving as many refugees out of the country as she could, and one guy from the conservative/libertarian party, Geert Wilders, started demanding so much attention during question time and in the media for the, oh god what all did he not call it, violent, racist, women-hating, Christian-hating, sharia-striving, untrustworthy, etc, etc religion of Islam, mostly by pointing at Iran and Saudi and going through the Koran, that his party threw him out and he is now a one-man party in parliament. His previous media-coup was claiming that for the same reasons Dutch law outlawed "Mein Kampf", Hitler's manifesto, from being printed and sold, the Koran should be too, as he started pointing to passages in which all non-believers should be killed and the results of Islamic revolutions.

Ok, here comes the good part: for the last couple of months, Mr. Wilders, borrowing a page from Hirsi-Ali, has announced he is making a movie about how violent Islam and the Koran are. Over the weeks information has dribbled out: I believe it will be like 15 minutes. He will post it on YouTube. He is making it, although that gets reported in such a way it is unclear to me if he is actually writing, directing, producing, or just bankrolling it. The man has been so vocally denigrating to Islam he has been living in hiding under protection for years now, so he is doing this while lving somewhere else every few weeks, appearing in parliament, and doing his media-ops.

Islamic countries are already not reacting well to the news a Dutch movie that is "insulting to Islam" will appear on YouTube soon, I believe supermarkets in Bahrein or something are now boycotting Dutch and Danish product already. The prime minister has had a discussion with Mr. Wilders in which he points out what damage to international relations -- being a small country NL actually cares about things like that -- and danger for Dutch people in foreign countries this movie could create; Mr Wilders wasted about the time it took to walk to the nearest gaggle of reporters with cameras before crying, incensed of course, that this was "pure intimidation" while the Prime Monster said he was just pointing out responsibilities and consequences, and in other words nobody got anything out of this except more media-ops. Dutch Islamic politicians are telling Wilders he is marginalizing whole groups of people, Wilders says they should become apostates of this bloody ideology that contrasts with everything that is good about Western civilization.

Today a front-page page-wide footer ad in a very large Dutch newspaper was placed by a private person, Harry de Winter, producer and TV presenter with the text:
"Als Wilders hetzelfde over Joden (en het Oude Testament) gezegd zou hebben als wat hij nu over Moslims (en de Koran) uitkraamt, dan was hij allang afgeserveerd en veroordeeld wegens antisemitisme'

If Wilders had said the same about Jews (and the Old Testament) as what he is bleating now about Muslims (and the Koran), he would have ages ago been swept away and found guilty of anti-semitism.
A true point, for it doesn't take much time going through the Torah to find plenty of violent passages, utter xenophobia towards non-believers, and some really women-unfriendly talk. In further interviews Mr. de Winter accused Mr. Wilders of creating the same kind of discussion about Islam in The Netherlands as existed about Judaism in Weimar. (Alas, Mr. de Winter bought it not in the most widely-read popular newspaper, but in one of the middle-class aspirational ones. Still big though, but not on-target IMHO, like he wanted to play safe. I consider it chickening-out.)

So, here we all sit and wait for ten minutes of YouTube, wondering if Hamas will start shooting rockets up north now, and Pakistan will take over YouTube globally yet again and fill it with Bollywood clips only. Here's the thing I am wondering about though: I knew this already, but reading a couple of blogs here and there ([ profile] zodmicrobe, [ profile] zombietruckstop, [ profile] popebuck1) I know that even making a low-budget indie let's-max-out-the-credit-cards film is a) hard work b) takes so many people a crew of twenty is considered "small". So who is actually shooting this movie? Who is holding a camera, who is the DoP, where is the catering coming from ("Oh man, shoarma again? Is this irony or something?"), where is it being shot, who is doing the make-up, who the hell is in it? This many people cannot keep a secret, especially of something so newsworthy. If this movie is being made, there must be leaks about production circumstances, if only about the people making it striving to stay anon because they are so scared. Are they shooting by a script written by Mr. Wilders? Is he actually directing? Who is editing this footage together into something watchable and interesting, a very valuable and specific skill, even if this is just a Ken Burns style pan-and-zoom over texts and images while Mr. Wilders narrates?

I am starting to think logistics prevents this movie from even existing. And if it does, it will most likely not incense anyone, because it will be so awfully made nobody can get through the first minute.
fj: (NL)
"Nee, dat is geen Amerikaans accent, ik praat altijd zo bekakt."

Recruiter zocht een Senior UX [User eXperience] (spreek uit "uks") voor Nederland. Ik meldde dat ik toch echt net in Londen zat, dus dat ik hier wou zoeken. Maar vanuit deze kutkamer waar ik nu met de Engelese reisplanner aan het hannessen ben en regenachtige gloriedagen als forens in mijn toekomst zie en geen flat in het vooruitzicht, is het even wel heel verleidelijk om met de koffers de Ryanair in te stappen.
fj: (NL)
Laurie Anderson's "Oh Superman" was #1 on the pop charts in The Netherlands when it came out for what seemed like forever.

I hated the song because I couldn't hear the music in it. That changed as I grew up. I hadn't thought about it in a while, and heard it today again. The lyrics are kinda different now.

And it turns out there isn't always Mom.
fj: (travel)

It's Been A Dry October
"It's Been A Dry October", Nokia N73, Gelderland, 2007

Also part of a set. These were pics I took when my Dad was driving us from the weekend bungalow park back home. Now, I didn't grow up in the house he lives in now, but it is (almost) in the same town, so some of these shots are places I visit in my dreams still.
fj: (Default)

Fluffy Dutch Cloud
"Fluffy Dutch Cloud", Nokia N73, Schiphol, 2007

fj: (Default)

This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave
"This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave", Nokia N73, Eerbeek, 2007

This picture is part of a set of images that are what I am trying to capture of designs and objects that instill utter drearyness in me. They are stock shapes and proportions, used in every day things.
fj: (NL)
Two minor stories right now, but on the front pages of Dutch news websites.

  • Bearforce1 huge overnight success on YouTube.

  • Hugo Chaves, President of Venezuela, has announced he thinks the Venezuelan border probably stretches 200 sea miles up the coast. This would include 6 islands of the Netherlands Antilles. The islands didn't like that.

Will the new Falklands war be fought and won by hairy men in pastel polo-shirts?
fj: (Default)
Well, first I wanted to blog that Dolores Gray's look in The Opposite Sex must have been the start and end of where Amanda Lepore gets her inspiration from for her face, but I couldn't find a very good still of the movie to do the comparison with. Movie's terrible, btw, nobody needs a remake of The Women that includes Leslie Nielsen in the cast, has stiff and young Joan Collins as a showgirl, and allows June Allyson to have the lead role in which she is uncapable of showing us why we should care her frumpy boring ass gets dumped.

Ook had ik leuk iets willen schrijven over de column in Anil Ramdas in 'nrc de week', waarin hij opent, onder het mom 'duidelijkheid', met groepen mensen benamingen aan te meten waar van hij expliciet meldt dat de mensen in die groepen er helemaal niet van gediend zijn, maar ja, Anil kan niet anders. Dat dat op zijn minst onbeleefd is, zoniet onbeschoft, en dat groepen mensen zo te schofferen nog nooit iets heeft bijgerdagen aan welke discussie ooit, zit Anil blijkbaar niet mee; hij vat mensen samen zoals hij dat wil want anders zou hij zich nog eens met niet-achterhaalde nuance bezig moeten houden zeg! Waarna hij zijn bespreking over groepen in Nederland, die hij dus onmiddelijk op scherp heeft gezet, eindigt met het recept "Geef ze goede opleiding en goede banen". Als hij nou zijn eigen krant zou hebben gelezen zou hij geweten kunnen hebben dat de kids het te druk hebben met 50 Cent na te doen om hun goede opleiding af te maken, en het is algemeen bekend dat teveel het VMBO niet eens aan schijnen te kunnen. Maar het is misschien teveel gevraagd van een schrijver om te weten dat in de normale wereld een goede baan niet gegeven wordt, want er moet geproduccerd worden, maar dat een goede baan wordt verdiend, met het afmaken van een opleiding of het goed afhandelen van een niet zo goede baan. En als Anil nou niet zo gefixeerd zou zijn op simplificatie dan had hij misschien kunnen weten dat een goede baan hebben niets betekent als je omgeving zoveel vooroordelen over je heeft dat je die baan niet goed kunt uitvoeren, want weinig goede banen gebeuren helemaal alleen in je eentje. Kip, ei, kip, ei, maar niet voor Anil, voor Anil is het duidelijk dat het met wat weggeefertjes het allemaal wel terecht komt. Maar ja, het is nu de krant van vorige week, dus niet meer aktueel.

So, failure as a blogger, today.
fj: (NL)
"Hildebrand Nawijn, minister zonder portefeuille voor vreemdelingenbeleid en integratie viert nu triomfen in het karaoke-circuit."

-- Harm van den Berg en Tom Kreeling in nrc de week, "Lijst Pim Fortuyn: in vijf jaar van iets naar niets"


May. 23rd, 2007 03:03 pm
fj: (NL)
BTW, we are aware that a gorilla jumped an unjumpable moat of the Gorilla enclosure of the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, went on a rampage, bit and dragged a woman around briefly leaving a trail of blood (100 bites, 4 broken bones, shattered hand, she is out of the ICU), went to the restaurant where people had barricaded themselves to safety, was drawn into the restaurant after everyone had been evacuated through other doors, and tranquilized by handlers once inside and probably munching, right?

One of the visitors that day is trying to sue for emotional damage suffered. Her 3-year-old still isn't sleeping right and is still anxious. I didn't know you could even sue for that back home.

Somewhere around the 2:05 mark one of his keepers informs us that putting him back with his females after his night in isolation "went well, he's already even mounted, so he is picking up right where he left off."
fj: (NL)
...laugh hysterically at two suits being cross-file right now. The first suit is filed by the lawyer of the family of a deceased astrologer against one of the most notorious businesswomen in the Netherlands. The businesswoman is famous for a dot-com era ISP that she led and IPOed with great insider stock perks for herself and friends, which she cashed out on big-time, and whose shares then almost immediately tanked in a new-economy disaster. The lawyer for the family of the deceased astrologer claims that upon her death she sent her bodyguard to ransack the home in search of the tapes the astrologer made of his conversations, and he is suing her for that. The lawyer is claiming the businesswoman, up to now known as a shrewd shark of a certain age in pink power suits and Aquanet helmet hair, would be on the phone with the astrologer for hours, four or sometimes eight, almost every day, and wouldn't even leave the house without his counsel. Supposedly she detested him when she found out he started keeping tapes, and even on his deathbed was trying to get the tapes from him. The counter-suit is claiming slander and libel for this account, and opposing council is saying the bodyguard was there to guard the house after the death to keep the tapes safe.

I know this is old hat if you lived through the Reagan years, but still, imagine Leona Helmsley and her lawyers actually embroiled in lawsuits over astrology consults. It's that stupid and good.


For some reason last night I thought a lot about my seven years of being a student in Amsterdam, remembering both the Room With A View -- a private-enterprise dorm-room -- which was ten square meters or a hundred square feet, and when I moved into the apartment my sister vacated, which the Internet named My Beautiful Kitchenette, and got to eb able to host dinner parties. And what I considered the outrageous amounts of money my dad payed in rent for those. I can't remember why, but I think it was reading about the rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan, LA, and SF on the Curbed network of sites. I am addicted to those blogs.

When I compare my mortgage and HOA rates against those numbers, it all become absurd. Ignoring inflation, and keeping current currency valuations, am I really enjoying The Loft five times more that My Beautiful Kitchenette? Well. Hmm. Not currently, but just wait until I put in the final wardrobes and can properly organize all my clothes and then fuck yeah I am baby! Almost never a fog-covered bone-cold headlight-pierced morning again? I am signed up!
fj: (NL)
...follow the continuing saga of The Netherland's most famous divorced royalty couple, complete with a princess and her husband selling stories to the press how her aunt and Queen of The Netherlands is a drunk, the couple divorcing, the princess retracting the story, the ex-husband pimping himself to the media with less and less success, the princess safely retreating in the cozy embrace of her royal family to maintain media silence, the ex-husband having to vacate the chateau in France, and the ongoing custody battle over the dog. The dog. Right now someone is holding the other's furniture hostage or something. enthralled by the semi-symmetry of marriage controversies in Belgium and The Netherlands. In The Netherlands, parliament is grappling with a clause in the statement of intent of the new new Christian-Socialist cabinet that civil servants specializing marriages who have a religious crisis of conscience over marrying same-sex couples should be able to excuse themselves from such weddings, something I find out of control stupid since the service they perform is purely civil and has no religious implications. Meanwhile, in Belgium they got their first black civil servant for marriages -- his background from Ghana -- and, in protest against some Belgian couples not wanting a black guy to preside over their marriage (an action the prime minister of Belgium has called 'archaic / retarded / backwards' racism), around six hundred couples have signed up to be married symbolically by him as a show of support and protest against racism, tonight, in a mass ceremony. Weather sucks, though, so we shall see. Edit: around 700 couples showed up.

...shake your head at the continuing Dutch showbizz obsession with quackery. So this big-tittied singer of some disco hits in the early eighties married this owner of a chain of record stores and what not, thus ascended into nouveau riche royalty, adopted god knows how many children she now has feuds with, and (co-)started and is the very worked-on face of a private clinic for minor cosmetic surgery like Botox and puffing up wrinkles with silicone fillers, that also sells all kinds of elixirs to keep you healthy, including some soybean drink that needs to be taken daily and costs 80 bucks per shot bottle and 'strengthens your immune system'. The Diva sent a case of this some months ago to a Dutch Actress famous in the sixties, seventies, and eighties (this means she can't act, but acts that she acts, because that's how they all did that in her generation) who had just been diagnosed with brain tumors. The Actress just went on TV last week -- in a respected news show no less - to protest how she felt that during her disease she was being roped into being a spokesperson for quackery without her consent. The nouveau riche Botox Diva just did an interview that she was stunned and saddened to hear this, she sent the case with the best intentions and never meant for the Actress to become a spokesperson at all when she told everyone she sent the case.

...marvel at a Belgian family feud, specifically the father and uncle of Princess Mathilde, that includes the two gentlemen bickering over being cheated out of inheritances, accusations of being violent and murderous, and one of them having been recalled from his job as Mayor of a town over having misused the position to declare a house of the other as uninhabitable. Princess Mathilde is married to the crown prince of Belgium.
fj: (NL)
Volgens Wilders mag ik geen staatssecretaris of minister zijn. Dat jullie 't maar weten.

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