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

Emilie and the Freudian Slipper

Slider Lars Freudian slipper

It is a well-known image used to illustrate the conservative atmosphere and traditional gender roles of the 1950’s: the husband of the house arrives home after a day at work, seats himself in his comfortable chair, and waits for his obedient wife to bring him his slippers. A matter of … Continue reading

Henchman on the Sofa ‒ Vyacheslav Menzhinsky: Poet and Hangman

Lars - menzhinski slider

Bolsheviks and poetry are not the most likely combination. Lenin even quit playing the piano because he felt it distracted him too much from the revolutionary cause. When exiled in Siberia in 1897, it seems a poetic mood befell him nevertheless. He started with “In the village of Shushensk, beneath … Continue reading

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

Greens

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

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

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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

A Bit of Peace, a Bit of Love – Ralph Siegel: Eurovision Maniac

Slider Lars Siegel

As the 2016 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is approaching, I sometimes feel like a last Mohican: still naïvely impressed by the brotherhood of European cultures presenting themselves, smiling and waving flags. But in this era of closing borders and nationalist populism, I am not the only one still … Continue reading

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

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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

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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 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