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 (a)

Belgium is a land of opposites, and those frequently lead to political tensions. However, a scenario such as what happened to Yugoslavia in the ‘90s is unlikely.

One: Flemings are too cowardly and fat to fight. Two: Walloons are too lazy. Three: Bruxellois are understood and acknowledged by no one. Four: the Eastern Cantons wouldn’t even be allowed to fight, because if German speakers get involved, where’s the fun in having a war?

Flanders and Wallonia share co-guardianship over their little boy, Brussels, which cannot live on his own due to his severe physical deformities. Despite this, Brussels brings in a lot of money for the estranged couple, due to its cabaret work on international fairs and events.


 
Flanders

Belgium’s north, more or less Flanders, is low-lying. Several important rivers cross the Flemish fields and faint hills, such as the Scheldt, the Lys, the Gete, the Nete and the Money River to Wallonia. Flanders’ climate is temperate due to the Gulf Stream that rolls past its coast-line, but it is also unpredictable enough so that Flemings always have something to complain about.

Flanders’ soil makes it an excellent choice to grow liquid fertilizer and self-contentedness. More and more, however, conurbations are taking over the natural landscape. The capital of Flanders is Zuregem, and its national fruit is a lemon. Its heraldic animal is a black lion with well-polished red nails, flowing hair and a naughty tongue, shown on a field of gold.



Wallonia

Belgium’s south, which more or less corresponds to Wallonia, is more hilly and forested, because the Walloons think getting rid of superfluous growths is a sign of submission to patriarchal capitalism.

Rivers such as the Ourthe, the Samber, the Lesse and the Meuse have a great deal of kayakers and tourists aimlessly drifting around, who the Walloons are happy to supply to their rivers every year. Western Wallonia has a dark, volcanic landscape, the east regularly has rains of blood. It used to be a hotbed of coal industry, but today, it is mostly a hotbed of utter misery.

The capital of Wallonia is Bidonville, and its national fruit is the carapillar, an insect that thrives on cheap beer. Its heraldic animal is a rooster, because it’s the only animal that remains upbeat and sings atop a pile of shit.

Our national character

Politically, Belgium is ruled by several dynasties that each have their own baronies and duchies. These include the Michel and Wathelet families from francophone Belgium, the House de Croo and de Crem from Flanders, and the all-encompassing House de Haene.

In as far as Belgian nationalism exists, Belgians prefer to call themselves modest, quiet and diplomatic. It’s a nice way of saying we’re a nation of weaklings and cowards. Belgians also love identifying with the victim role. It took until 1830 for other nations to glom onto the fact that those always-moaning, complaining and whining Belgians weren’t worth suppressing. “It seems like they are waiting to be humiliated and beaten here, so that they might complain,” a Dutch civil servant wrote in 1828.



Culture and music

Culturally speaking, the Burgundian legacy lives on in a numerous amount of pot bellies, dirty teeth, sausage fingers and fantastical photo material for proctologists. The Flemish Primitives were experts in painting salty, dissatisfied bourgeois, and surrealism was big in Belgium as a political current in the 20th century.

In international music competitions, Flanders and French-speaking Belgians have been locked in a tight conflict over who can send the most embarrassing candidate to the Eurovision Song Contest.  The Queen Elisabeth contest is an annual highlight of music for autistic Koreans and severely in-bred Austrians to see who can do better at playing music no one listens to anymore.

Belgium counts as one of the pioneers in electronic music, first by making depression about looming nuclear annihilation somehow worthy to be danced to in black make-up with the likes of Front 242 and then inventing new beat as a way of getting drug addicts out of the gene pool much faster.

Current electronic dance music is a bastardized and walmarted version of the genres mostly invented by Belgian pill poppers. Growth in this sector is almost single-handedly realized by Yves Deruyter’s rebellious mass, which absorbs new DJs every year. With Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Belgium has finally also beaten the Netherlands in terms of suckage by defeating the suckage of DJ Tiësto.

Cross-over musicians 2ManyDJs, aka Soulwax, aka Samantha Fu aka The Sons of Digits and Letters are another noted duo. In rock music, dEUS are the country’s biggest egos. Even their leftovers and trash form bands of their own: from their discarded TVs (Channel Zero), digits (Triggerfinger), pets (Goose), genitalia (Revolting Cocks) and their faeces (Cocaine Piss).

Important rap musicians include a guy who’s pregnant and Baloji, a towering, glowering hunk of Liège syrup.

Flanders has another unique tradition: the schlager, which it shares with the German world.  Schlager-singers are mostly good Catholic boys who look like 40-year-old children and sing the blandest, most aggressively inoffensive and dead-eyed songs loved by every Flemish grandma and a sizeably right-wing part of the electorate.

Toots Thielemans is a jazz icon who unfortunately passed away in 2016 at the age of 194, just on the tail of completing his 88th Very Last Tear-Jerker Tour. However, Belgium’s most beloved musician will always be the late Jacques Brel, who, despite being ugly as sin, managed to have seven families simultaneously, and spawned imitators like Frenchman Serge Gainsbourg in terms of lifestyle and Richard Nixon in terms of sweat production.

Another important thing in Belgium is comic books, called “strips” in Dutch and “bandes-dessinées” in French. Belgian comics have a penchant for featuring tween boys and girls solving crimes. In terms of literature, while the country has produced many excellent authors, its only Nobel Prize winner in this field was Maurice Maeterlinck, a French-speaking Belgian from Dutch-speaking Ghent.

Love and sex

Sexually speaking, Belgium is progressive. This is largely owed to the fact that every family has an unmarried uncle who livens up family gatherings with inappropriate jokes and comments.

To Belgians, sex is just a thing of life and something that is occasionally very enjoyable, ranking just below good food and being able to call your awful house your own.

Few homosexuals are still closeted in Belgium. It was the world’s 2nd country to legalize gay marriage (in 2003). Later Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo would later go on to publicly marry gay celebrities Debby & Nancy.

Unfortunately, successive scandals of paedophile serial killers rocked the nation from the ‘90s through the ‘00s and ‘10s. This unjustly gave our nation an image of a paedo haven, even if inspectors like Maigret, Witse, Maes and the Luxembourg forest rangers do anything to catch them.