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: Splorts

Belgians are mostly world champions in sports that enjoy almost no international recognition, such as pigeon sport, three-cushioning and field cycling.

Yet, there are some achievements by Belgian sport professionals that have been etched into the collective national memory:

The interbellum giants: at the Antwerp Summer Olympics (1920), Belgian athletes achieve 36 gold medals, all in archery and clay pigeon shooting. All winners were former military police and army officers who had had ample opportunities to practice their trade in the trenches and on striking miners.

The cycling emperors Rik I and II: after WW2, Rik I Van Steenbergen rules cycling with an iron fist.  Rik II Van Looy then becomes an especially cruel and pitiless tyrant, who, by his own admission, wanted “to kill everything in sight”. The Rik dynasty only abdicates when Rik I is caught playing a role in a porno movie in 1968.

Steeple chasing: during a police control in 1963, liquor salesman Gaston Roelants wants to prove his produce has no influence on athletic achievements and reaction time. He puts on a pair of running shoes and 9 minutes later, covers a 3km distance with hurdles and water puddles. A legend is born.

Rivals forever: Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck. Merckx becomes an international cycling celebrity and wins pretty much everything there is to win on nothing but a diet of sandwiches. Roger De Vlaeminck would later rival this achievement, but then in womanizing.

The Silver Generation of Mexico ’86: although Belgium came 4th in the FIFA World Cup, the country celebrates as though it has won the Cup because it had defeated the Netherlands.

The discovery of Jean-Michel Saive: Saive discovers that pulling up his table tennis shorts to just under his armpits gives him a huge advantage, and thus humiliates millions of Chinese. The IOC rewards Saive for this achievement with a quadrennial ticket to the Olympics until he turns 82.

Big in Japan: in the ‘80s, Judo men Robert Van De Walle and Ingmar Berghmans make major strides to international fame. Later, ultra-liberal Jean-Marie Dedecker cashes in on these spectacular achievements by training an entire generation of female bodyguards for Muammar Qaddafi.

God on la Redoute: Frank Vandenbroucke goes stratospheric and wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège, just as he predicted. Everyone goes insane, most of all VDB himself. He soon takes over the Ministry of Education and shoots at his colleagues with a hunting rifle.

Tennis on the edge: JuJu vs Kim. Young Kim Clijsters reaches the upper echelons of female tennis in the early ‘00s. As a consequence of Belgian ‘waffle iron’ politics, a Walloon player is guided to the top as well: Justine Hénin. Both women compete with one another in titanic battles, fired up by enflamed crowds of fans. Justine is now being kept alive artificially, whereas Kim is now quadriplegic and can’t eat on her own anymore.

The Golden Generation of ’18: Belgium comes in 3rd in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, defeating Brazil and defeating England twice just for the sake of getting England to shut up about their faded glory.