September 10, 2012

Amnesia

If you are living outside of the Netherlands you may be (blissfully) unaware of this, but we are experiencing stress. This Wednesday there will parliamentary elections, and things are heating up the last few days.
At least, in the media....

I'm not sure what your image is of this country, but until a decade ago the mere mention of my country of origin would in large parts of the world raise a smile, - or at least a grin. Apparently Holland was associated with a range of 'civil liberties' which were seen by many as desirable, if not - in some occasions - craved for. Besides these liberties we Dutch were praised for our tolerance, and particularly of other cultures.
I am sorry to have to report this, but we Dutch have thrown all this out of the window. Instead we have adopted the narrowmindedness (if not 'closedmindness') and xenophobia of which until recently we were prone to accuse other countries.

Politically this has gone hand in hand with parties with "freedom" somewhere in their name. And with these it is like mobile phones: a "smart" phone does not refer to what it gives, but what it takes away. Subsequent governments have over the last decade done little for many and a lot for few. Key word in this reverse Robin Hood campaign has been "The Economy". Numbers, statistics, predictions and self-proclaimed experts have conjured up an entity bigger and more powerful than any pagan idol in history.
And the 'few'? One only has to look at what has happened to those who left politics, - often under the pretense of withdrawing from the hectic rush of 'public life'. Cushy jobs with large accountancy firms, in international banking. Member of this board, or advisor to that. And not just one of these, but preferably a few ... nothing too arduous though.

I am sure this phenomenon is not limited to this country. In the age of networking the 'old boys' have found their niche. And what used to be blatantly "our thing" has now been cunningly relabelled to "economic necessity" and similar compelling catchwords.

With the help of the media the electorate is soporificated, sedated into accepting the choice between 'old boys A' and 'old boys B'. Brainwashed, the voters will again vote for the parties that will rescue The Economy, - and in doing so will continue relieving them of their liberties. It will take a few years for the voters to emerge from this state of amnesia, but when they do there will be new elections. And the cycle will begin again.....

As a tribute to the tolerant past of this country, I would like to share this album by the late (he died in 2008 - see this article and this wiki) Nigerian highlife star Orlando Owoh. The "Part II" would suggest a part one, but I have personally never seen it (but this discography assures me that it does exist).

Although I have to admit that Owoh's voice may lead to a state of soporification, in my experience this has only had a beneficial result. I would even go as far as to recommend this album as an acute remedy against any form of amnesia!

SOS 126

15 comments:

LolaRadio said...

As a fellow-frogswamp inhabitant i fully agree. 85% of the voters do not trust politicians and 100% of the politicians don't trust us, the "onderdanen".

I will vote for the animal-rights party. They are the only one who want change their principels the day after elections.

I'm ready for amnesia

LolaRadio said...

i mean "who won't change their principles"
Freudian slip?

reservatory said...

Since news of the rest of the world registers hardly a blip here in the US, I had no idea you were following our bad habits to such a ruinous degree. Anyway, uh, thanks for this little bit of soul.

calumbinho said...

Same thing over here in Spain - but since we don't have any long-standing history of open-mindedness anyway, I guess it's a smaller loss in our case :). In any case, and more importantly: THANKS FOR THE OWOH !!!!!!

Feq'wah said...

Oh, don't you know? it's international copy and paste. The right? Our Magical Economy, saviour and provider of...ehm,all *cough* must sustain. If not, what a power such nightmare must have. Here vote this, it's good for us, slaves of the rhythm.
Too bad it ain't music...

Feq'wah said...

Thanks for the music though :)

African Music Recycler said...

you are not alone.
we here in austria have the same problems with the right-wings.
...
danke für die musik!!

greetings from from Vienna/Austria/Europe

recyler

jf said...

Yes, same in the UK, if not worse with the rich boys destroying our communities and lives. People, to use the old cliché, who kmow the cost of everything and the value of nothing...

Roger said...

First off, let me thank you for your rather eloquent blog as well as the great music - I'd like to chime in from the American South (South Louisiana) if just to echo what "reservatory" said - you're not alone, this is a worldwide epidemic - Thanks again for your words and the fine music

david said...

Same thing going on over here in the US, can't fathom how any reasonably educated person could see any appeal in the policies of the tea party or Mitt Romney's forever backwards republican party. One has to think the hatred of Obama is in some part racially motivated. Still we have beautiful music like this to cheer us up, when the politics of the world try and drag us down! Thanks for shedding some light on the situation in the netherlands, at least we all know that we are suffering culturally not only in the US now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping the legacy of "Le Grand Maitre Franco" and OK Jazz alive.

Since Mobutu declared 4 days of mourning at the time, has October 12th ever been declared a national holiday in the DRC?

tubeworms said...

Thank you for always great insights and great music!

Btw, here's a pic of the first vol.!

http://www.popsike.eu/pix/20051028/4786031206.jpg

WrldServ said...

@tubeworms: Thank you!

-=estrella=- said...

Helaas hebben de meeste kiezers niet begrepen wat ze aan het doen zijn en hebben we iets waar we trots op zouden moeten zijn overboord gegooid als ballast; multiculturele tolerantie, vrijheid van meningsuiting en solidariteit met minder bedeelden in deze wereld.
De Politici en domkoppen moeten eens op een Salsa Party komen kijken, dat is pas integratie en tolerantie zonder vooroordelen... gelukkig doet muziek en dansen dat voor grote groepen mensen!
Het geeft mij in ieder geval het gevoel van vrijheid!

Keep listening to your ears :-)

Sorry for those who do not understand dutch but this post is meant for the Dutch voters who threw away a lot of our values.

David said...

What a fine record - the time just slips by. Thank you: a joy!