About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English.

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

State of Failure: the Land at Large (b)

Political structure

Belgium is infamous for its many governments and administrative structures, because why do things the easy way if you can do them in the worst way possible? The federal government currently comprises a right-wing, two centre-right parties and a party of martyred Christians who have perfected the art of turning the other butt cheek time and again.

Desperate to outdo the 500+ days without government and the immobilism under the Di Rupo administration, the Michel administration is doing everything it can to be a disaster in almost all policy areas.

Meet our government:
  • Charles Michel (MR): PM and a character from the popular board game ‘Who is it?’
  • Jack Ham (N-VA): Minister of the Interior and Imaginary Dance Parties
  • Didier Reynders (MR): Minister of Foreign Affairs and ventriloquist doll for Big Finance
  • Kris Peeters (CD&V): Minister of Employment and Blandness
  • Alexander De Croo (Open Vld): Minister of Telecom and the 9th Earl of the Crooland
  • Denis Ducarme (MR): Minister of the Middle Class, who has steadily been melting away into a puddle
  • Sophie Wilmès (MR): Minister of Budget, currently resides in a shantytown with no electricity
  • Marie-Christine Marghem (MR): Minister of Burn-Outs
  • François Bellot (MR): Minister of Immobility and Endless Traffic Jams
  • Daniel Bacquelaine (MR): Minister of Old People and Benefits for MPs
  • Steven Vandeput (N-VA): Minister of Defence – also illiterate, thus unable to read reports
  • Johan Van Overtvelt (N-VA): Minister of Fraud – can’t do basic math
  • Koen Geens (CD&V): High Priest of Justice, regularly defuses tension with his Christian demureness
  • Maggie De Ronde (Open Vld): Minister of Health
  • Theo Francken (N-VA): Secretary against Migration, noted for his absence of eyebrows and scruples
  • Zuhal Demir (N-VA): Secretary against Equal Rights
  • Pieter De Crem (CD&V): Secretary for Foreign Dining
  • Philippe De Backer (Open Vld): Secretary of Privacy, the North Sea and Peepshows
  • Darth De Wever (N-VA): The government’s mother-in-law, Sith Lord and Antwerp’s God-Emperor
  • Pol Van Den Driessche (N-VA): The government’s creepy uncle
The government of Flanders and the Dutch-speaking Community are led by MinPres Geert Burgerman (N-VA), the first wax statue to ever rise to this position in the region. Wallonia’s MinPres is Willy Borsus (MR), a fiscal construct that thrives in darkness. Wallonia’s rule also extends to the East Cantons.

The German-speaking Community’s MinPres is Oliver Paasch (PRO.DG), a person no one gives a particular shit about and who holds so little power he even has to ask Borsus permission to visit the toilet.

Brussels’ MinPres is Rudi Vervoort (PS), one of the less corrupt politicians from the PS and thus hated by most people in his own party. Furthermore, Flanders/Dutch-speaking Community as well as the French-speaking Community each hold a stake in the Brussels government as well, parachuting incompetent imbeciles into admin jobs by way of social employment.

To combat other forms of unemployment, a position for MinPres of the French-speaking Community was co-created by Wallonia and Brussels, and this is Rudy the Moth (PS), a giant insect with a receding hairline.

Cuisine and food

In terms of cuisine, Belgium enjoys worldwide renown. Most of its food stuffs originated as food for poor people – fries, mussels, battered fish, cold stew and several fruit syrups. It is often said that Belgian cuisine offers French quality in German quantities. This is probably true, judging by the prevalence of obese middle-aged and old people to whom restaurant visits are observed with religious zeal.

“Staying together for the kids” is American, “staying together to complain about bad food and service” is 100% Belgian.

Every town quarter in Belgium – and in its neighbouring cities – has at least one frietkot/friterie. In these places, class, race, language, age and gender don’t matter. Everyone is there for their love of fries. While the death penalty doesn’t exist in Belgium, people who don’t like frites are shunned by civilized society. More and more, traditional frietkoten/friteries are hosted by immigrant Chinese, Turkish or Moroccan people. Belgians absolutely do not mind as long as the quality of their products is good.

While Belgians may be racist from time to time, they are not racist when it comes down to foreign cuisines. Thai, American, Chinese, Turkish, Irish, Hungarian, Moroccan, Indian, Mexican, Indonesian, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Japanese food have all found broad acceptance in Belgium.

The only exception is Dutch cuisine, which is universally regarded as a crime against humanity. Flemings and Walloons are unified in this particular kind of distaste, which ensures that Belgium will never split up and Flanders would never, ever join the Netherlands. Sorry Geert.

Belgium is a beer country. This tradition originated from monks and peasants who wanted to forget the misery of being ruled by foreign powers. Nowadays, many Belgians also drink wine or spirits, but the goal remains the same: to forget one’s own deplorable life condition, working for some faceless multinational company or having no prospect on a life partner beyond the truly desperate.