February 28, 2013


Even for someone with a fundamentally positive outlook on life it is getting increasingly hard to see the bright side of things. For one there is the depressing news from a country which was for centuries seen as a source, if not fountain, of culture and higher matters, that there has been not just one, but a veritable horde of mentally defective and/or brainwashed voters who have given in the outrageous bribes by a certain politician with a preference for under-age females. And in writing this down I realise how totally absurd and almost fictional the situation in Italy must be for those who have not lost their minds.

But I am sorry to have to report that things in the Netherlands are hardly any better. Three of the four major Dutch banks have had to be 'rescued' by the state, after those in control have made a total mess of it. The old set of 'old boys' responsible for the gross mismanagement are being replaced by a fresh set of 'old boys'. Instead of seizing this opportunity to put an end to the ridiculous remunerations which have become common in banking management circles, and apparently and demonstrably bear no relation whatsoever to the accountability which was the excuse to introduce these in the first place, the prime minister has defended the top salary of the replacements by pointing out that the salary is 'in line with the market'. In the meantime the tax payer is presented with the bill for this financial fiasco. The same sorry sod tax payer who has been conned by previous governments, in times when the economy - in retrospect of course - was booming, into moderate to zero pay rises, under the pretext that - and I quote - "after the sour will come the sweet". Instead of the sweet we are now being forced into accepting the bitter...

All this immoral behaviour has not led to any self-examining or even modesty. On the contrary: the vice prime minister instead has seized the moment to start pointing at the immorality of those bl**dy foreigners immigrants! He has demanded that immigrants should sign a participation contract, - the objective being that immigrants agree on the basic principles of 'our society'. I, as an embarrassed native, would never sign such a contract, unless those who are consistently and persistently demonstrating their total lack of respect for any principles do so first. The net effect of measures like this are exactly the opposite of what they should be, - at least in the words of the politician who proposed this. Instead of ending tendencies towards homophobia and repression of women within immigrant communities it will, once more, acknowledge and legitimise the already not so latent tendencies towards racism and xenophobia within (apparently) large groups of the native community.

And the weather has been crap too.

So to end this easily forgettable month I would like to share with you this third volume of the "El Sonero de Africa" series by Laba Sosseh (and the great Dexter Johnson).
While I recognise this is not the best record vinylwise, and the recordings certainly don't measure up to the modern-day 'basic principles', I just love the unpretentiousness, the imperfection, the down-to-earthness, the no hassles* fun, - which to me make and have made these records (volume 1, volume 2) into evergreens over the last twenty-five or so years.

I'm going to lie down and sing along with these tunes now....

MAG 104

* líos = hassles


Chris Albertyn said...

I really hope that spring brings a better summer for all Stefan. Your Italian reference might also apply in my country of birth. Added to that the ridiculous levels of violence and rape ... I too am going to lie down and listen to your offerings, thank you. We must believe in Spring. cheers

Anonymous said...

thank you for your good music.
I believe that we are born in heaven and as we get older grow towards hell, and it only will get worse. I try to grasp on to the wonders that still exist. I am in doubt should I tell others of the beauty I know or should I keep it to myself. when I tel about the beauty, someone somewhere in the line will try to destroy it, and if I do not tell it, it will die with me or someone unknowingly will destroy it accidently.
Yes this is a filosophy from my own , for someone who has experienced little, "alles is erg".

thank you for your time, and I just love EVERY post you did the last two years.

Anonymous said...

I know only too well what you mean, living in Belgium and often in Holland .. grey skies and storm clouds .. BUT you have shed rays of sun with your posts, most lately the Mapfumo. Crazy that we should be looking at Zimbabwe of all places for some cheering up, but it does cheer us up, so thanks for the sunlight! Keep rockin' despite the weather and cheers, Dave Sez.

Anonymous said...

Thank you stefan for enlightening me that the UK is not the only country that supports it's banks through the tax payer. Our banks continue to make a loss but still set aside £600 million for bonuses! When told they must lend more they don't so are then given extra money to do so. Instead though they divert this money so that they no longer need to pay high interest on accounts because they don't need to attract the money anymore. Meanwhile the government says the only way out of our economic woes is a "were all in it together" austerity but I never saw anyone except the poor sufferring from austerity. Hands up in horror at this point. Thank the stars that the musics so good here.