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.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

State of Failure: Luxembourg

Introduction

The heavily forested, pleasantly warm province of Luxembourg seems like a utopia at first sight, with its charming villages made of natural rock, its picturesque provincial towns and its old castles. However, for over 180 years, the province has been living in a cold war with its independent eastern neighbour, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

A demilitarized zone of 10km across both borders should prevent the blood-thirsty Grand Duke from risking a surprise attack to annex the province and subjecting it to his tyrannical regime of bankers and stock exchange traders.

Important facts


While being one of the largest provinces, Luxembourg is also Belgium’s most sparsely populated. People who want to live in Luxembourg are carefully vetted and checked first for potential hidden loyalties to Germany, France or the dastardly Grand Duke.

By local law, Luxembourgians are also required to at least pass two evenings in a local bar drinking abbey beer, and attending at least three barbecues each summer to check on what the neighbours are doing.

Every October, paedophiles are set loose in the forests to be hunted by amateur hunters for sport. They display their collection of scalped moustaches and brown-tinted glasses on their belts as trophies.

Home swine home
The Ardennes forest covers most of the province in all of its leafy, rocky and riverly glory. Yet, the province has not as much trouble as its neighbours have with bored Flemish tourists. This is because Flemings have a psychotic fear of encountering large animals that aren’t catatonic and haven’t been put behind electrified fences.

The south of Luxembourg has the Belgian Lorraine and Gaume areas, the terror of every geography student in secondary school.

The ranger’s ballad

When the Belgian Revolution broke out in 1830, the revolutionaries also declared it was the will of the Luxembourgians to escape the Dutch yoke. That was a rather gratuitous statement, because there was almost no one in Luxembourg, let alone someone who could lay claim to that will or knew what was going on in Brussels.

Liègeois and Namurian forest rangers joined forces to secretly move border posts to the east every day, until the Grand Duke, a loyal vassal of the Dutch king, got wind of it and sent his own rangers on the war path.

Soon, a status quo emerged which has caused both Luxembourgs to exist in a state of cold war, despite all attempts of mediation by the UN. Some families of wild boars have been separated for generations because of this.


 
To see and visit in Luxembourg
Arlon
In any other province, Arlon would have shared the fate of provincial towns full of regressive simpletons such as Eeklo, Jambes or Hamont-Achel. But, for lack of a better alternative, Arlon was turned into the province’s capital. The city’s history purportedly dates back to the Roman era, but what use is that to its present-day inmates?

Belgian Lorraine
The Belgian Lorraine area prides itself on its micro-climate. The region has a strong showing in statistics of forest fires, skin cancers and death by over-heating, even beating the Kempen. The Red Cross regularly sets up shop during summers to distribute bags of Orval.

Bastogne

Bastogne rose to world fame during WW2 when Nazi general von Rundsted’s troops were unable to cut through the thick walls of Ardennes ham, cheese and sausage. This event is commemorated every year during the Liège-Bastogne-Liège festival with thick, oversized sandwiches.

Bouillon

The town of Bouillon became part of history thanks to its Godfried. In the 11th century, he built a castle and got so insane with boredom in the middle of nowhere that he travelled to Jerusalem and clobbered everyone to death on the way.

Today, Bouillon, just like Bastogne, is mainly the theatre of ‘reenactors’, who, dressed up in Mediaeval or Nazi gear, try to give their sex life a new dimension.

Virton

Virton is marked as the only town whose football club refused a promotion to the Belgian Premier League. Its Rangers couldn’t guarantee the men’s safety if they would travel beyond the province borders.

Durbuy

With its misleading title as “the smallest city in the world”, Durbuy annually convinces thousands of tourists and naive Flemish television presenters to heap praise on a place that has nothing on offer except a bland mini-golf course.

Few people know Durbuy owes its title to it being founded by leprechauns, who went extinct by the 18th century.

In His Majesty’s Secret Service

Every Luxembourgian is enrolled in the Belgian Secret Services to help the fight against infiltrators from the evil Grand Duke. Barring that, many Luxembourgian men, grown buff and strong through lumberjacking, swine wrestling and rock climbing, find employ in the German porn industry. Their Ardennes sausages are the stuff of legend in pornography.

Eating shit and drinking piss

With genocidal crusades going out of vogue somewhere near the 15th century, Luxembourgians have come up with elaborate folk traditions that differ from village to village. These include bizarre wedding rituals such as attempting to peek up the skirt of the bride, or drinking senior citizens’ urine for good luck.

Another typical Luxembourgian pastime is the shit lottery, where the village’s most obese person shits in a field, and the person who was allotted this square of land in a secret ballot has to eat all the shit. The neighbouring Grand Duchy has a similar game, but with cocaine.