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'Why I commemorate? Because I am so afraid of what might happen if we forget.'

I said this to my iPhone a few weeks ago, relatively happy, on my easy chair in the sun in the backyard. I had a glass of white wine within reach and I was enjoying suburban spring - a white, contented man with family, belly and importance in his easy chair, the backyard of his own house in Utrecht. The belly had already come off, by the way, as I even managed to sport the coronacrisis off in recent months. On my square metre, I was a prince.

That was before the CDA in Oegstgeest issued a 'Für Asylbewerber Verboten', before the brown shirts of the FvD launched their new postal 'joke' and Baudet responded to the fuss with the tweet: '"For decades, our opponents have been politicising the War to push mass immigration, European power fantasies and modern art. Now we say: on 5 May, shall we also pause to reflect on the freedoms we lost in 2020/2021? We shouldn't?"

In short, it was before I realised that Bertrand Russel was right when he said, "The universe in unjust. The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible. You must feel it deeply and not brush it aside. You must feel it here" - hitting his breast - "And then you can start feeling happy again." (Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility).

I'll wait for that then. Damn.

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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