(Land of False Promises)
I was born Dutch and grew up as a Global citizen. Was and am I blessed, .. in many ways yes! Born in the North of Holland and raised in the city of Old Amsterdam. I was a sixties child and coming out of the 2nd world war, Europe was a great place to grow up in. People had suffered enough to have had enough of war. It was a time of rebirth and everybody wanted to build a better future. Dreaming was still allowed and there was space within society for liberated creative free thinkers. We all prospered!
My family and father in particular started working in a hat factory on Amsterdam’s Herengracht (the Gentlemanscanal.) After several years he was able to take over the company when old man Vastenoud died. My father than set out to turn part of the centuries old building into a meeting point for students. With a small bar some pool and ping-pong tables at 1st, the place quickly grew into one of Europe´s most renowned nightclubs in the seventies called the Okshoofd. The place became a regular stop for a big variety of people including Popstars like the ,´Rolling Stones`, the Police and David Bowie. Painters, Fashion designers, Pimps, Dealers, students and lawyers, all were meeting each other in the 3 bars, holding up to 1200 visitors per night. It was the place to be, talk, drink and dance t´ill the early morning.
Because of this, my family financially thrived and I was able to travel and learn a lot. I spoke English, German, Dutch & French before I reached 18. Later adding some Spanish & Portuguese. Over the course of the next 20 years I worked & travelled all over Europe and some of the US and the Caribbean. This all greatly helped me to develop my senses and skills in sports, work and more. I became well in Tennis, Wrestling, Boxing, Karate, Skiing, Archery and Pistol shooting as well as developing technical skills in Carpeting, Plumbing and Electra. In the service industry I worked as a Bartender, Waiter, Cook, Hotel front office manager and worked some doors in security. I even found time to develop my skills in writing, singing, percussion and followed some modern & classical dance courses. I truly felt I was developing into a multi-human and Global citizen.
I was a proud Dutchman. I believed Holland (the Netherlands.) to be a progressive innovative multicultural Democracy. Man, did that turn out to be wrong!
Naïve as I was, I believed Holland to be a role-model to the World in integration and progressive thinking. I did not realize I was only perceiving a thin surface layer, which had only come about because of the growing material wealth of the country. It would only take a few economic and financial crisis for the majority to show their narrow-minded uneducated racist faces again.
I learned from History that many Dutch folks had easily changed sites during the first hours of WW2 and participated in the German occupation. It did not take much for those narrow minded cowards to show their ugly fascist faces. It is my conviction that at present the Dutch mentality does not differ a lot and most would resort to selling out their fellow human beings again if the occasion arose.
I did not get it at first. So in full conviction of the Dutch values I set out and was invited to and participated in debates like the Euro Top debates in the beginning of the nineties in the AT5 local Amsterdam TV studio. When I asked why only economics were discussed and not human rights and values I was frowned upon and my remarks were censored and cut out of the re-runs.
I than set out to organize multicultural Jam-sessions and monthly events in respectively the CafedeDuivel and the Amsterdam milky-way event center. With the aid of many volunteers we created the Meltingpot foundation or M.P.M. And brought together a wealth of people in Arts, Music, Fashion and much more. What we tried to create was the blueprint for live TV shows, depicting the cultural wealth of the city of Amsterdam and Europe. We produced professional sound and camera recordings of all monthly events for close to a year. The happenings clearly showed the potential for selling our concept to a wider audience in the Netherlands & Europe. During that same year 1994, I tried to contact many influential institutions and people like The Mayors office, V/d Ende Special projects and even Miss Vivian reading at the European Union. I asked them to consider this project for investment and/or expansion into TV programs, that could show a way forward in Meltingpot Europe. In the Netherlands I got no response at all and from the European Union I received a letter stating that in no way they would aid in creating a multicultural TV program, as I had suggested to create a European MTV which we could expand to all major European cities. I was baffled and started to lose any confidence in our societies leaders. The daily reality was turning my beloved city from a Worldly City, back into one filled with some small town values. The quick buck ruled and the lack of vision by government & city officials was only too obvious. There was hardly any cultural innovation. Amsterdam’s exterior stayed as beautiful as ever, but behind the façade the spiritual retardation had set in and was expanding rapidly into neo-liberal right wing extremist values. While I kept on growing my general knowledge in all worldly matters and due to the many failed attempts I had made to contribute in a positive way to my hometown and country, I could only come to one conclusion: The Netherlands ( and the Modern World.) was a land of False promises!
My Hometown Amsterdam is slowly but surely taken over by what we call the Yuppie generation. These are people that on the exterior look like they lead a conscious alternative lifestyle while actually living and acting like rich & egocentric spoiled brat’s. Those people pay their yearly contribution to some charity causes, deduct these ,’gifts’, from their taxes and than continue to live a furthermore completely shallow consumer based lifestyle. They act and look charming, while they are completely egocentric and cannot be trusted. They are the new capitalists. They pretend to be socially aware and active, while monetary profits and material gain are all that matter to them.
My creative wings were clipped and apart from some shallow enterprising quasi alternative houseparties, everything culturally & creative that had come together in Amsterdam after the war was snowed under by blatant consumerism. Suddenly everything was called a minority!? And all minorities created their own individual clubs & bars. Gone were the days of the most colourful nightlife. The nightclubs full of the most creative individuals were traded in for boring meeting-points for either ; gays or blacks, or Arabs, or Indonesians, or young, or old, or,.. They even stopped playing different music-styles and resorted into playing a certain style for every certain audience, the entire day long. Going out became a rather boring endeavour. It became hard to find some nice mixed places to visit. Just as in the United States people became divided into stereotypes. What mental poverty!
Music and songs no longer dealt with lives topics except for Love, Drugs and Thuglife. To the soul benefit of the corporations everything became categorized in to simple to distribute2, and simple to feed little groups. The service industry became so industrialized that it no longer fulfilled it’s social purposes towards society. It just perpetuated consumerism and increased social tensions & misunderstandings instead of alleviating them.
When cocaine came into play as a nightlife drug, this only increased frustration and created a backlash into society still ongoing at present. In no way whatsoever did it ever positively contribute to modern societies anywhere. Especially those in power in politics, law or other highly responsible functions, all too often became a burden to society by their uninhibited drive for material gain. The number of socio-paths increased immensely as a result of this all.
At present we are facing the results of all this, in Industrialized food, music & entertainment, healthcare and such, losing taste and nutritional values.
It has a major negative influence on our health, environment and the value of a human life in general. We increasingly lack consideration for one another. Politicians have shown not be able to deal with these modern day challenges and are still caught up in their respective National Economic battles rendering their citizens helpless towards the evil practices of multinational corporations and their mentally sick CEO’s. Citizens and consumers are not properly protected against these major modern influences by their Governments and representatives. The sickness has now reached such levels that everybody feels under attack by something or somebody, which can only result in growing fear and chaos in society as we are witnessing already in the original land of these experiments the USA.
My home country the Netherlands, always loved everything that came out of America and has imported all their problems now too. It has become, ‘just as America’, a land of false promises and rising tensions. Gone are the promising years of the sixties! We have squandered our future away for some cheap thrills and short-term fixes. Our children will be left with nothing but some stupid gadgets to give any meaning to their unsustainable lifestyles. They will work and die for false promises in an ever growing polluted environment, left behind by their egocentric ancestors.
I have learned not to trust all these charming people and their empty promises. It is a fact of life, we all have to live with. So stop telling your children to fight for flags, nations or their country. They are lies that will only benefit the greedy and long term will create pollution and chaos for everyone. You are all Humans living on one planet no matter what any leader or religion tells you. Loose your mental chains that have been put around your minds and necks by centuries of greedy elitist power games. These people are no better or different from you, no matter what they say. We have the means and know-how to create a thriving planet for all. We will of-course still be faced with natural disasters and similar challenges. However we need to get rid of these man made problems, created only by a few narrow-minded ones.
As for myself; I feel like I was produced as a Swiss Army-knife only to be used as a simple screwdriver. I still try to inform my fellow Global-citizens as much as I can through my articles & blogs, in order to hopefully one day create a real change. However History has taught us that for a real change to come about we need to reach 30% of the Global population, in their general awareness. The Netherlands as the US have lost their opportunity to be role-models to the World and hopefully other Nations will pick up these challenges.
It can be done. Educate, lose hate and Regenerate!