What the Dutch Did with It ‒ Holiday, by Madonna

5. Dames met koffers bij de boot - datum onbekend

All my life, I have been amazed how fellow Dutchmen can butcher well-known songs into the most head-scratching, mind-boggling, cringing covers, translations, mixes, and renditions. Not to mention how successful they often end up being. And as last Friday marked the last day of school here in the Barren North, … Continue reading

About ‘Green Happiness’ and Why “Grease Is the Word” was My Favourite Song This Week


This is the life of illusion Wrapped up in trouble laced with confusion What we doing here? – Frankie Valli, “Grease is the Word” Me, a neurotic perfectionist, being honest A few years ago I started writing an article about the so-called Death of the Author. As of today, I … Continue reading

Willard Libby, Hessel de Vries, and the Poles of Saint Walburga

Lars Hessel de Vries Header

The revelations of an ex-libris I think all buyers of used books know about this: finding an ex-libris or other relics in them, left there by the previous owner. I have found old receipts, notes apologizing for the late return of the book, photographs, and even devotional pictures in old … Continue reading

(A very, very late) 60(/61) Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 6 (10-1): The Best

Slider Ranking the Dutch 6

Dear Eurovision, WHAT THE HELL?! I had been planning to start off the last part of this series with an angry rant regarding Eurovision’s incredibly stupid flag policy that restricted the waving of rainbow flags during Russia’s performance, stating that the flags were “not [to] be used as tool to … Continue reading

About the Dutch National Book Week and the Horrors of an Oral Examination

Lars Bookweek Header 800x500

Yesterday marked the start of the traditional Dutch Book Week, an event to promote buying books. To start things off, all writers of a certain name and fame met for drinks and dances at “The Book Ball”, leaving the ones that were not invited grudging about why they had to … Continue reading

Borys Humeniuk: ‘The Tank of Ukrainian Literature’ in the Netherlands

Borys Humeniuk: 'The Tank of Ukrainian Literature' in the Netherlands

The Ukrainian poet Borys Humeniuk is angry. Angry at the Dutch media. Not because his poetry was badly received, but because he was portrayed as a member of a militia and an art-robber. “I am predominantly a writer and not a fighter,” Humeniuk stated in an interview with the Dutch … Continue reading

60 Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 5 (20-11): The Good(ish)

Slider Ranking the Dutch 5

So, what’s the deal with those semi-finals? Well, it turns out that’s actually quite a complicated story. But let me try to explain it here in the shortest and clearest way possible… When Eurovision started in 1956, seven countries participated (Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany, and Belgium)1. Of … Continue reading

60 Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 4 (30-21): The Inbetweeners

Ranking the Dutch 4 header

Eurovision and the Dutch: let’s talk numbers… As I have already stated over and over in my previous blogs, the Netherlands have eagerly participated in Eurovision since its very start in 1956. Yet there have been 4 years in which we were absent: – In 1985 and 1991, the contest … Continue reading

60 Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 3 (40-31): The ‘Okay’

Slider eurovision 3

… Congratulations Sweden! I loved your act! You definitely are “the heroes of our time”. Can’t wait till next year! So… that was it then. The songs have been sung, the points have been given, the “booh’s” have been yelled, and all I can say is that I enjoyed every … Continue reading

60 Years of Eurovision: Ranking the Dutch – Part 1 (57-51): The Very Bad

Slider - Ranking the Dutch 1 2e versie

The Eurovision Song Contest: love it or hate it, but we Dutch have been there from the start. And as this week marks Eurovision’s 60th anniversary, I decided to rank all Dutch entries from the past 60 years. So over the upcoming 6 days we will be counting down my … Continue reading