Trumf

overcombIk was nog maar net naar beneden gesukkeld, half wakker en mij ook van geen aanslag op de mensheid bewust, toen mijn vrouw mij er ernstig op attendeerde: “Kun je dat geloven: Trump heeft gewonnen!”  Ik vreesde natuurlijk het allerergste (fatalistisch als ik ben), maar het viel echt reuze mee: er was zelfs nog koffie.

De kinderen waren ook bezorgd: “Papa, Trump heeft gewonnen!” en ik zei zoiets van “Remco, wij wonen nog altijd in België en dat is Amerika. De mensen in Amerika hebben gestemd en Trump heeft gewonnen, maar er is nog nooit een president geweest die Amerika helemaal heeft kunnen veranderen.”

Gisteren belde ik met m’n moeder om een bezoekje te regelen en ze zei: “Ja, goed dat ge belt, ik was nog maar zjuust terug van winkel, want we waren zo laat opgestaan. Ik kon weer ni slapen, naar de verkiezingen in Amerika gekeken, hebt ge dat gezien van dieje… euh… Trumf? Ik ben onze pa nog gaan oproepen want die sliep al…”

Neen, ik had het niet gezien. Ik lees geen kranten en kijk geen nieuws meer, maar het is duidelijk dat zelfs zo er geen ontsnappen aan is. Het is ook niet correct: ik lees en kijk wel, maar enkel in meta-modus: niet om te kijken wat er gebeurd is, maar om te zien hoe er bericht wordt.  Vooral dat vond ik net zo angstaanjagend: de absolute éénstemmigheid in de afkeuring van een presidentskandidaat zowel in Europa en US, bij democraten en zelfs bij veel republikeinen, ter linker en ter rechter zijde, door oud en jong, in mainstream – en sociale media…

In het postmoderne discours maakt de connotatie niets meer uit: of je iemand ophemelt of uitscheldt maakt niet zoveel meer uit.  Het is minder belangrijk wat er over je gezegd en geschreven wordt dan hoeveel er over je wordt bericht.

De beste beschrijving lijkt mij: This presidential election had ‘Trump’ written all over it — no wonder that this was the name that came out of the ballot box.

Back in the USSR, Part II — Roadburn/013 revisited

roadburn01

Well, it seems Van Den Brand has a somewhat misconstrued conception of American society and ‘art.’  The US Government does still subsidize it, it just considers popular art an “intellectual curiosity” not worth giving any money to.  All popular music that came from America, and I’m sure both Jurgen and the author of above piece will agree, came about a climate where the state didn’t subsidize it at all.  One could even say that the real roots of American music is the illegal liquor circuit of the 30’s They only give money to what one tends to call ‘high art,’ but maybe there is something to be said about keeping great pieces of historical art available to the public.

The above opinion piece is addressing the issue from the typical left wing hippie perspective…. are the corporate powers going to take over the music business? Sadly, it takes this question nowhere: we cannot help it, maybe it isn’t such a big thing, maybe it’s even productive. All these are correct observations, but kind of superfluous.  It starts out be relevantly showing how without commercials on radio station, popular music wouldn’t even have existed in the form we know today.  The article is critical of corporate business influence on music, hardly something new, but makes no mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin s of the state corporate influence and impact on the cultural scene in central Europe.  This is something entirely new and is never written about in local press… and for a very good reason.  It cannot be examined in the space of Gonzo Circus either, for the very same reason.

It is Van Den Brand’s opinion, that US government has gradually stepped back from funding popular art, but that in Europa this hasn’t happened yet.  I think this is absolutely wrong: the state has never sponsored or funded popular music in any way, anywhere. It’s been an evolution in Belgium, and maybe in the Netherlands too, of the government to take complete control of the cultural scene.  Not because they want to sell an ideology (who cares about ideology?), but because of the business interest involved.  They are programming cool stuff alright, but they are leaving no space individual initiative, or real grass root art (just a band playing in a pub, for example)…

Who is Jurgen? Can he live off Roadburn, a broadly marketed and popular niche concert series?

roadburn02

Not only does he manage ‘Roadburn Production,’ which is a non-profit organization with almost no employees, he has his own record label, but more importantly, is working for the city of Den Haag as a sport reporter since late 2012.  Nevertheless, the rest of his cv doesn’t show any proof of studies or experience in this field. Of course, a lot of young people in Den Haag would love this job, but that is something which you will have to arrange with most important political party in that city.  Let’s have a quick look:

roadburn03

Pvda is the mainstream socialist party in the Netherlands. But the Roadburn festival is housed in the cultural center (city property) of Tilburg, that’s another city.  For the heck of it, let’s check political majority there:

roadburn03

 My point: 15 years ago these niche concerts already existed, but they would take place in a tent of forest, done by volunteers, very small scale. You would pay €5 a ticket a day, beer would be cheap and the guys taking the effort to organize it would actually make some money on the beer sale to support the whole thing.  Nowadays, going to a metal meeting like this would be the same, except that it takes place in a multi-million euro culture temple. This temple is leased by the socialist politicians to their Roadburn friends (while still providing business to their friends through catering contracts), who pay full price, but charge this to the metal schwarzkopf hippies:

roburnticket

4 days of rock is in itself insane, especially when it’s in the middle of a very nice an clean Catholic town as Tilburg.  And sadly, also ticketservice is allowed to make a buck for a concert that has a few thousand visitors.  Let’s hope a commercial company such as Red Bull takes over sponsorship of Roadburn, I bet they would love to, prices would drop radically, but tell me … do you want to be backed by a commercial brand or the Dutch socialist party. That’s the choice we have.

Still, Popdium 013 Tilburg is a commercial buy cheap celexa venture — today they play 80’s & 90’s music for an entrance fee of €10. If you would go to a bar you could have 5 beers for that money, and get the crappy music for free. Next Tuesday however, the rock is really on:

whitesnakes

Whitesnakes play 013’s Jupiler Room (2000 capacity) — ticket prices is €54 (+ charges), i.e. a little over $72, while today you can see them in Croatia for €26.66, that’s less than half the price and you keep sleep in the next day…

whitesnacroatia

 

Of course the people in Croatia don’t have a much money to spend to rock concert, and the venue is in fact an ice hockey stadium.  The point is that I do not think that a professional rock band such as WhiteSnake steps away with less money from the Croatia concert.  But let’s have a look at the prices of the next WhiteSnake gig in the US.

whitesnakeus

 

In Tilburg, you would pay almost €60 to get into the gig, held in a government owned cultural center and not even get a seat.  In comparison, the US venue is owned by a private gas and electricity firm, DTE Energy.  This is not quite Red Bull yet, but does it matter?

Before anybody mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin s Ethias Arena in Hasselt, please check the history of the Ethias, a formerly insurance company owned by the city and towns, hence heavily politically affiliated.

The result seems to be that kids can get into the concert for as ‘little’ as €18, less than a third of the price.  But it is even less, if you consider that everybody working at the US WhiteSnake concert that night is getting paid for his or her work.  This may seem a ludicrous point to mention generic antibiotics purchase cipro online cheap ciprofloxacin , until you understand that the bar staff at these socialist, governmental-owned, are volunteers.  The banners on the front page (not the main color of the website), make it perfectly.  Do you want to work for 013?

013wannawork

 

While in fact they mean: do you want to work for free? do you want to be a slave?

013work4free

Surely, they don’t mean you get nothing in return? Well, no real money (which you don’t need if you are a student and you are young anyways).  We will pay you you with experiences, a social networkconnections to people…. but we expect you to work at least 3 nights a month for us, e.g. serving beer from 18pm – 2am.  Some of the regular slaves have been slaving there for 10 years, and it looks as if you have to do dirty work for a year or 5 before you can even work at the bar…

013_workwork

 

So, we Europeans, pay 3 times as much taxes for the government to invest in cultural centres where you pay 3 times the prices of a rock concert and double for a cheap beer that almost gets thrown in your face by that 21 year old blonde volunteer bitch behind the bar because by now she’s realized that the only way to advance her career in cultural journalism is on her knees in the manager’s office…

Still, I should add that they do serve Southern Comfort at 013 – in effing cheap plastic cups for an amount that escaped me due to the coin system.

I can only pray that WhiteSnake, any of the Roadburn metal bands or either of them hardbodied blondes will take this te wrong way… somebody is walking away with a lot of money in terms of investments, and it isn’t either of them.

gonzo_necessary_evil

If the younger generation is more aware of modern corporate marketing, that’s all too well, but more importantly, both they and the author are absolutely blind to what’s really going on.  If Roadburn is making a deal with Scion A/V than it is thanks to and to the advantage of political connections.  Sure there are private investors involved in all these projects, but they are all only politically selected.

Some people think I have something against any form government funding. I don’t think anybody in their right mind want to close down their national museums.  This is about the government not funding anything at all, but investing tax money to have commercial friends reap the fruits while, relying on volunteer work and charging top prices for tickets and drinks.

And they control the programming…

Now you got what you want — do you want more?

ZJ