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Le ministre sans ministère de la Transition Ecologique et Solidaire Monsieur Hulot can go on holidays without any problem as he did not even had a real equipped ministry with the necessary powers to overrule the ministry of economy, of agriculture, of housing, name it, powers needed to make any progress with the task given to him by Macron to ‘transition from a wasteful economy into a more ecological society based on solidarity’… his role was nothing more than that of a minister without a ministry, captain on an ocean ship in the form of a canoe.  He was given no capacity to curtail the big business conglomerates in society that push us further and further into an environmental and social disaster.

Nicolas Hulot (1955-), who had started of as a press photographer, became a popular television presenter with an open eye for the need of ecological politics, had been given a post with a well sounding name


by the French president Macron just as a ‘figurehead’ to give a green shine to his cabinet.

It is not just in France that a real super power ministry with such an impressive name should be constructed, a ministry that can overpower the other ministries that are all totally in the grip of national and transnational companies and their affiliates.

Now his leaving is not much more then the comic act of another monsieur Hulot, creation of the French filmmaker Jacques Tati who by his own clumsiness during his holidays manages to destroy his fragile canoe on a calm sea without any waves ….

There is a lot to be said about the career of Nicolas Hulot, who has paired for several decades the ability to communicate the disastrous impact of humans on the earth and the need of  ecological politics, with making his political engagement a source of personal income. One of his projects is Ushusaïa that started as a global travel television program on the privatised TV channel TF1, a program that included – in the margins – questions of bio-diversity and the impact of man on nature. It soon became also a ‘brand name’ that is carried by many products including a magazine, a dedicated tv channel and a shower gel. Several mediatised adventures, action like events with a ecological ting, have been organised by Nicolas Hulot, like a spectacular attempt of crossing the ocean with a zeppelin-like structure with pedal power. Each time he is the man who helps find sponsors, raises money. His own firms and foundations are a tool for all this and it made him a modest millionaire (7,2 million Euro according to Nouvel Obs). He helped charter ecological policy statements for main-stream political parties and has been a welcome advisor and eco-ambassador for the Elysée from Chirac to Hollande…

His own schizophrenic position as a media-entrepeneur and criticaster of environmental unfriendly big business has been criticised on several occasions. EDF the French energy firm that is deeply involved in nuclear energy has been one of the supporters of  his “eco-campaigns’, also l’Oreal and the multinational Véolia, a firm with a wide scope of activities among others the exploitation of water resources, making profit on this primary human need. Till now it has hardly hurt his reputation as “our eco-man”.

Curious enough I discovered a line in his biography that his grandfather, an architect, lived in the same house as the French filmmaker Jacques Tati and the figure of Monsieur Hulot – a  series of popular French holiday movies – has been modelled after the grandfather of the now defunct minister of Ecological Transition and Solidarity. The scene with the canoe that breaks in two is the most emblematic from this movie launched in 1953. A scene I saw and laughed about when I was 9 years old, in the Minerva cinema in the village of Heemstede, the Netherlands. I had already made this picture before I learned this, as I associated the summer holiday dismissal act of Nicolas Hulot – because of his name – with the canoe scene in the Tati movie.


In the picture Nicolas Hulot has just put his index finger in his mouth and holds it up in the air to sense from where the wind blows, to plan his next step with whom he will associate to continue his double quest for a better environment and his personal well being.




Nicolas Hulot presented in 2009 a copy-cat act of marrying political career with environmentalist action by producing a movie intended for mass-consumption of Alan Gore’s 2006 “An inconvenient truth” with the titel “Le syndrome du Titanic”… it’s content and style is somewhat different though: a continuous fading in and out and super-imposed use of film footage of encroachment of human urbanisation on nature and the environmental effects there of, starting of and ending with a pretentious sequence of cosmic creation and the role of man in the universe… (the cinematic esthetics are copied from Godfrey Regio’s movie series ‘Qatsi’ with his montage system of impressive footage of the animal world and the impact of man on the environment, movies dating back to the early eighties and nineties of last century). Nicolas Hulot’s movie is not like Reggio’s products driven by the minimal and continuous music of composer Philip Glass, but by a mishmash of music and sound elements and a super pretentious voice over with semi-poetic-philosophical language quoting – of all persons – President Kennedy as if he was an ecological visionary)…

I will write later on an analysis of such cinematic propaganda for the good cause and the double meaning such movies  have in political practice.

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In 2013, 5 years ago, I made this map and statement to visualise and made understood the extreme sound nuisance produced by the street stages that are part of the Gay Pride manifestation. There is hardly any effect of all the protests (especially by the inhabitants of the inner town of Amsterdam against the street stages with blasing sound systems during three days in a town with a refined structure of working and housing. The Amsterdam city authority are deaf for these protest and favour the Gay Pride use of public space which has developed into a party-industry. There is NO respect for the inhabitants of Amsterdam. The only difference is that we do have this year – 2018 – 21 hours of sound blasting from street stages as compared to 27 hours in 2013. Here we see 5 main street clusters with sound producing stages. In 2018 we count 10 place (in three clusters). [see my article and map on Gay Pride 2018]

but before and after another 27 hours of too loud sound? NO!

Gay pride 2013 offers pleasure and fun for many who all say they LOVE Amsterdam as a tolerant city BUT do they love its inhabitants?

Why is it that we who live close to none less than 5 different outdoor stages near the Amstel river have to flee our houses, because during 3 days there is 27 hours of blasting sound with sub-sonic bass sounds that make our windows vibrate. NO consideration for those who live here, those who have helped to make it a tolerant town, which is now exploited commercially up to the limit making our living habitat into an industrial party zone.

Neither the city of Amsterdam nor the Gay pride organisers seem to be aware of the fact that the quality of Amsterdam is that the inner town has a great mix of functions, one being housing for a very mixed population, from the very rich, to middle classes and even low income housing that has escaped the gentrification process.

JUST THE CANAL PARADE and parties during 1 DAY OK! but 3 days of super loud outdoor events is TOO MUCH

Some of us ask themselves if the industrial booming sounds is the only thing Gay Culture has to offer to our city… The boat parade over the years has developed from a pleasure parade for the eyes into a horror flotilla for the ears.


Can we be embraced in a more positive way next year by the local, national and international gay community?


We are made into UNEQUAL AND UNWILLING PARTICIPANTS by this form of Gay Pride… many living near the open air stages have fled their homes by now… and think about those who can NOT move from their houses because they have no money to go somewhere else, are ill or bound to their house in other ways.

I am about to leave to return only after midnight…. and have to leave again on Sunday from midday to late in teh evening because there is that third day of open air loud music and shouting once more.

Tjebbe van Tijen Saturday August 3. 2013 living very close to the Blauwe Brug over the Amstel river.

PS you should know that the maximum noise levels set by the authorities for the Gay pride (and similar festivals) are constantly broken by the DJs who do not give “a fuck” about anybody else than their fans. Also the specific structure of the city with its canals and the Amstel river and the location of the 5 stages from Amstelveld, Rembrandtplein, Paardenstraat and near the Munt, makes that through reflection and interference the sound produced by the huge loudspeakers travels over the water much further than in other circumstances, it even gets louder at times when two waves of sound combine.

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— by an audience reflecting on how to judge themselves —

“Today and moving forward, I plan to focus much more on my behaviors and actions with all women. This includes women both young and old, to be sure no woman ever feels uncomfortable ever again, especially women that I work with in my profession in classical music. I am truly sorry.”

Gatti cited in the Washington Post of August 2. 2018 in an article that starts thus:

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, considered by some to be the leading orchestra in the world, announced Thursday that it is terminating its relationship with its chief conductor, Daniele Gatti.

“On 26 July, The Washington Post published an article in which Gatti was accused of inappropriate behavior,” the orchestra said in a statement. “These accusations and Gatti’s reactions with this respect have caused a lot of commotion among both musicians and staff, as well as stakeholders both at home and abroad.

“Besides this,” it continued, “since the publication of the article in The Washington Post, a number of female colleagues of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra reported experiences with Gatti, which are inappropriate considering his position as chief conductor. This has irreparably damaged the relationship of trust between the orchestra and its chief conductor.”

Music may express desire & pleasure ‘on stage’, expressing it ‘off stage’ is regarded as a crime.

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First published on my Flickr site on April 17. 2014. it had 4.536 views.


giant metal plate sculptures in Qatar desert designed by the American artist Richard Serra, commissioned by the Qatar Museum Authority, were unveiled by Sheikha Al-Mayassa, April the 9th 2014. (2) It brings the genius that fulfils wishes from the Aladdin tale into mind.

Once the magic lamp has been rubbed the being “made of smokeless fire”, the djinn (jinn, الجني al-jinnī) appears in the form of natural gas from the subsoil of the Qatar desert and sea, dissipating milliards of cash. Cash generated by the export of this ‘smokeless fire’ in a liquid form, by huge steel plated tankers, to an energy hungry world.

It seems like a fairy tale, though it lacks any moral, as countless poor Aladdins flocking from the poor nations in the wide region around the small state of Qatar, do in no way benefit from this wonder. Even worse they run the risk of not receiving their promised humble wages or die, because of the endemic lack of safety measures during the construction of this new fairy land, circumstances which the art loving Sheikha Al-Mayassa, who seems to have no limits when it comes to buying or commissioning art, refuses to face and act upon.

(1) “The jinn (also djinn or genies, Arabic: الجن‎ al-jinn, singular الجني al-jinnī) are supernatural creatures in Islamic and Arabic folklore. They are mentioned frequently in the Qur’an (the 72nd sura is titled Sūrat al-Jinn) and other Islamic texts and inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. The Qur’an mentions that the jinn are made of a smokeless and “scorching fire”,but are also physical in nature, being able to interfere physically with people and objects and likewise be acted upon.
The word genie in English is derived from Latin genius, meant a sort of tutelary or guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at their birth. English borrowed the French descendant of this word, génie; its earliest written attestation in English, in 1655, is a plural spelled “genyes.” The French translators of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights used génie as a translation of jinnī because it was similar to the Arabic word in sound and in meaning. This use was also adopted in English and has since become dominant.”

“Aladdin (Arabic: علاء الدين‎, ʻAlāʼ ad-Dīn, IPA: [ʕalaːʔ adˈdiːn]) is a Middle Eastern folk tale. It is one of the tales in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (“The Arabian Nights”), and one of the best known, although it was actually added to the collection in the 18th century by Frenchman Antoine Galland.
Aladdin is an impoverished young ne’er-do-well in a Chinese town. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin’s late father Mustapha the tailor, convincing Aladdin and his mother of his goodwill by apparently making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. The sorcerer’s real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave. After the sorcerer attempts to double-cross him, Aladdin finds himself trapped in the cave. Fortunately, Aladdin retains a magic ring lent to him by the sorcerer as protection. When he rubs his hands in despair, he inadvertently rubs the ring, and a jinn, or “genie”, appears, who takes him home to his mother. Aladdin is still carrying the lamp, and when his mother tries to clean it, a second, far more powerful genie appears, who is bound to do the bidding of the person holding the lamp.
With the aid of the genie of the lamp, Aladdin becomes rich and powerful and marries Princess Badroulbadour, the Emperor’s daughter (after magically foiling her marriage to the vizier’s son). The genie builds Aladdin a wonderful palace – a far more magnificent one than that of the Emperor himself.”

(2) “The unveiling of ‘East-West/West-East’ by American artist Richard Serra in Qatar’s Brouq Nature Reserve. Under the patronage of H. E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani QMA Chairperson, Qatar Museums Authority is proud to announce the unveiling of a major landscape commission,East-West/West-East, by American artist Richard Serra for the Brouq Nature Reserve, near Zekreet in western Qatar, approximately 60 kilometres from the capital Doha,GPS: N25o 31.019’E050o51.948’”

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