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2010-10-19 21:23

Why do dead people like arpeggios so much?

One theory, which we just made up, is that arpeggios enact a kind of harmonic autopsy on music.

I suppose another theory would be about the role of harps in Christian iconography of the afterlife, but the idea that an eternity of harp music could possibly a good thing is frankly too repulsive to contemplate.

2010-10-17 21:29

And so it begins

A minister in the new Dutch government has dual (Swedish) nationality. Nasty Geert Wilders and his fellow travellers at the Telegraaf are outraged by this outrageous outrage:

Premier Rutte wil zich vooralsnog niet mengen in de ophef die is ontstaan over de dubbele nationaliteit van staatssecretaris Veldhuijzen (Volksgezondheid). Vanochtend onthulde De Telegraaf dat de kersverse bewindsvrouw naast een Nederlands, ook een Zweeds paspoort heeft.

Prime-minister Rutte has so far declined to co-stir in the teacup-storm that we are attempting to whip up about this, for shame!

Wilders has form of course: in the last parliament he demanded that Maroccan and Turkish passport-holding secretaries of state renounce their additional nationalities (which is of course not even possible in the Maroccan case). At the time he insisted he would do the same if it was a blonde person with a Zwedish passport, and so he is.

Our Varied Dutchophone Reader may or may not wish to be demoralised by the many Telegraaf commentators who have chosen to share his charmlessly tribal view of the matter.


2010-10-16 19:56

Still dull, but no longer always in a good way

The excellent Simon Kuper has a subdued elegy for the Netherlands:

I grew up in the Netherlands in the 1970s and 1980s, and not much happened. Almost the whole country ate dinner at home at 6pm (generally meat and potatoes), and voted for boring technocrats. People kept their curtains open so that you could look inside as you cycled past, but it was seldom worth it.

For what it's worth, we mostly eat our dinner at 17:30, although it isn't always meat and potatoes.

Political stability had evaporated a while ago, though: although Jan-Peter Balkenende led the last four(4) cabinets, none of them lasted a full term and there were more people than us who didn't much like him.

The next four(4) years are likely to be much worse, however.

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