Media (287)


One Busy Week

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
In the early nineteenth century Frank Gilbreth developed the Therbligs, an alphabet of human motions, with which he could visualize every operation that needed to be performed in industrial workplaces and train a workforce that at the time was mostly illiterate and didn’t speak English.  Something similar is going on with Trump.  His advisors have to visualize all the information they want to convey to him, because the president is too lazy to read.  In July Trump’s military advisors produced a slide that showed the decline in the number of US nuclear warheads since the height of the cold war.   When Trump saw the slide in a situation room meeting he was very upset, and told the attendees that he wanted to have at least ten times as many nuclear bombs at his disposal as he had now.  It had to be explained to him that the reductions were the result of treaties the US had entered into over time, and that carpet-bombing North Korea with nukes was not really an option.  For full disclosure Trump was also told that the world can be destroyed only once.  After the president left the meeting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson famously called him a fucking moron, for those still in the room to hear.

The news of Trump’s total lack of understanding of the size and the use of the nuclear arsenal broke just before a week in which the question whether he is too crazy for his job was frequently asked.  Senator Corker said in an interview that Defense Secretary Mattis, Chief of Staff Kelly and Tillerson kept the US from descending into chaos by engaging in a daily struggle to contain the president, and that if it wasn’t for them Trump could easily start WWIII.  When the president subsequently disparaged Corker with a series of tweets the senator was prepared, and responded how sad it is that the White House has become an adult day care center ‘where somebody has missed their shift.’ To create a distraction Trump sent his lapdog Pence to a football game in Indianapolis with the assignment to leave if only one player would not stand for the national anthem, something that was certain to happen.  Pence left the stadium within five minutes, at a $1 million cost to the US taxpayers.  Somewhat surprisingly Steve Bannon entered the conversation, stating that Trump had only a 30% chance to finish his first term because cabinet members might invoke the 25th amendment.

If it was Bannon’s intention to get Trump back to the level of insanity he had reached before Kelly kicked the Chief Strategist out of the White House he was successful.  Trump declared that Puerto Rico was already a mess before hurricane Maria hit, that financial aid would be provided in the form of loans, not grants, and that FEMA and the military could not stay on the island forever.  Images of Puerto Ricans clearing their own roads were deliberately cut out of a  propaganda video, with FEMA taking credit for the clean-up.

Now on a roll, Trump, who had apparently forgotten that he took an oath to defend the Constitution, including the first amendment, called the production of ‘fake news’ by the media ‘disgusting’ and said that ‘somebody’ should look into it and that licenses possibly should be revoked.  Unsurprisingly the president did not know that only stations, not broadcasting corporations, are licensed.

Capping off a busy week, today Trump signed an executive order further undermining Obamacare by eliminating subsidies that guarantee affordable premiums, making healthcare unreachable for at least one million low income Americans, and decertified the Iran deal while Iran is in compliance, turning the US into an unreliable international outcast and passing that problem on to congress.

Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen



Herinneringen aan een marathon-interview

Het zal u waarschijnlijk niet ontgaan zijn, maar vooruit: volgende week donderdag 19 oktober verschijnt de biografie van Jan Wolkers geschreven door Onno Blom. Titel: Het litteken van de dood.
      Die datum is geen toeval, want het is de tiende sterfdag van de schrijver. Blom was toen overigens al met die biografie bezig, want daar was hij in het najaar van 2006 mee begonnen. Hij had toen vooral telefonisch contact met Jan Wolkers, die hem vrijwel dgelijks belde.
      Daarna had hij onder meer veel contact met Karina, Jan's vrouw en kreeg hij inzicht in alle nog niet gepubliceerde dagboeken. In de Volkskrant verschenen met grote regelmaat een soort voorpublicaties.

Op 19 december 1986 hield ik voor de VPRO-Radio een marathon-interview van vijf uur met Jan Wolkers. Ik had mij goed voorbereid. Al zijn boeken nog eens gelezen en een voorgesprek gehad in De Lakenhal te Leiden waar op dat moment een tentoonstelling was van zijn beeldhouwwerken.
      Het werd een zeer geanimeerd gesprek. Op 2 augustus 2000 sprak ik voor de microfoon nog eens een uur met Jan Wolkers, waarin hij diverse malen dat marathon-interview ter sprake bracht. (Foto)

Toen hij de P.C. Hooftprijs in 1989 weigerde sprak hij niet met journalisten. Maar hij maakte een uitzondering voor de VPRO-Radio alweer vanwege dat interview.
      Wim Brands luisterde er in augustus 2009 naar samen met Onno Blom. Zij gaven er commentaar op.

HIER te beluisteren.

En toen verscheen ook deze recensie van Anne Frid de Vries, een Nederlander, die in Israël woont en daar veel naar Nederlandse podcasts luistert.

Ik begon al bijna te denken dat 5 uur, in alle gevallen teveel van het goede is, maar toen begon ik aan het interview dat Ronald van den Boogaard in 1986 had met Jan Wolkers. Dat begint niet alleen goed, dat wordt ook steeds beter. Zo onvoorstelbaar goed zelfs, dat Cor Galis bij de aankondiging van een volgend uur de heren vraagt of het niet wat minder kan. Waarom zo'n oproep, dat snap ik niet helemaal, maar het is, hoe krom ook, wel een sterke indicatie hoe dit sprankelende radio is, die je aan je oordopjes gekluisterd houdt.

Wat mij geweldig bekoort in het interview is het onverstoorbare zelfbewustzijn van Wolkers. Hij stelt dat hij zich niet voorbereid heeft en zo komt het ook over. En zo gedraagt hij zich impromptu en zo vers van de lever is hij geweldig authentiek en authentiek geweldig. Voeg daarbij dat de interviewer zich uitstekend ingelezen heeft en Wolkers waardeert, zonder te vervallen in ademloze bewondering en de twee heren gaan geanimeerd op pad en laten elkaar niet meer los. Op zeker moment laten ook de radiopauzes (nieuws op het hele uur een een kleine storing) de heren niet meer van hun a propos brengen. Je zit er als stille deelnemer aan het intieme gesprek bij. Wat een delicaat genoegen.

Op de site van de VPRO zijn om stompzinnige redenen alle marathon-interviews verdwenen.
      Maar u kunt wel de podcasts van het betreffende interview tevoorschijn halen.
Ga HIER (16 sept.2009) naar toe.  




A Fucking Moron

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Early this week two Trumps were on display.  On Monday Trump read a prepared text from the teleprompter, meant to express compassion with the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.  The problem with that format is that Trump’s voice becomes flat and without any emotion, next to the fact that his voice is so tainted by the vulgarities he has produced over time that it is hardly a believable vehicle for genuine sorrow.  On Tuesday Trump visited Puerto Rico and made spontaneous remarks, which brought some color back in his voice, but on those occasions what he says usually ranges from nasty to insane.   In an attempt to be humorous he blamed the Puerto Ricans for ‘throwing the United States’ budget a little out of whack’ with their need for financial support in the wake of hurricane Maria, and more seriously compared the number of certified deaths in Puerto Rico, sixteen, with the ‘hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of deaths’ from a ‘real catastrophe’ like Katrina.  At the time large parts of Puerto Rico had not yet been reached by FEMA or other agencies, so the death toll was totally premature and certain to rise.

Trump made those gaffes in a meeting where the participants were expected to praise the federal aid efforts and Trump’s role in particular, giving Trump the opportunity to exhibit his usual self-congratulatory pompousness.  Meeting with a few victims who had lost everything they owned Trump advised them ‘to have a good time,’ and he ended his visit by throwing paper towels into a crowd – something nobody on Puerto Rico had asked for – before he left an hour ahead of schedule because he had run out of empathy.   On Wednesday, while Trump visited Las Vegas without any noticeable incidents, in Washington all hell broke loose because of a report that Rex Tillerson had called Trump a ‘fucking moron.’  The Secretary of State gave a highly unusual press conference in which he expressed his devotion to Trump, but failed to deny having used those terms.  From Las Vegas Trump declared that he was ‘honored’ by Tillerson’s remarks, but according to White House sources he was livid.  Even John Kelly won’t be able to patch up the relationship between Trump and Tillerson, but to avoid total chaos the latter will stay on for a while.

To make things worse, Senator Bob Corker, who has announced that he won’t  run for re-election, said that Defense Secretary Mattis’s, Kelly’s and Tillerson’s presence in the administration is the only hope to keep US foreign policy sane, a direct hit on Trump, who had already undermined Tillerson’s attempt to open a diplomatic channel with North Korea and was about to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, about which Mattis had said that it was in the US national interest.

Intensifying his ongoing war with the press, on Thursday Trump tweeted that Congress should investigate the media’s ‘fake news’ production, basically asking for a violation of the first amendment.  The tweet was probably inspired by news reports about Ivanka’s and Don Jr.’s fraudulent business practices in New York and Ivanka’s and Jared’s continuing use of private email accounts and servers.

What worries Trump the most, however, are the investigations into the connections between his campaign and Russia.   Yesterday it was revealed that Robert Mueller has interviewed former British spy Christopher Steele, who put a damning dossier together that gives Trump every reason to be scared.

Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen





Dick Passchier is overleden. Hij werd 84 jaar.
      In juni 2012 schreef ik dit stukje over hem. 


Bokmål en Nynorsk.

Noorwegen is tweetalig.

      ‘Hè ’, denkt u nu. ‘Ze spreken daar toch gewoon Noors’.
Ik dacht dat ook. Tot ik in mei 1997 voor het radioprogramma Wereldnet (VPRO/Wereldomroep) sprak met oud-omroepman Dick Passchier.
Dick woonde toen in Fure aan een fjord aan de Westkust van Noorwegen.
Hij had een grote liefde voor dat land ontwikkeld, sprak de taal en had zich verdiept in de cultuur & geschiedenis.

Dick vertelde dat er in Noorwegen officieel twee talen zijn, of eigenlijk twee schrijftalen. Bokmål en Nynorsk. 
      De meeste inwoners gebruikten Bokmål, maar allerlei geschriften en rapporten van de overheid verschenen in twee talen. Dat was verplicht. Beide talen werden natuurlijk geschreven in het Latijnse alfabet, maar daar zijn drie letters aan toegevoegd: æ , ø en å .

Een paar dagen later stuurde Dick mij een voorbeeld van zo’n overheidsfolder. 
      Dat was heel attent van hem.



Dick Passchier was in de tweede helft van de vorige eeuw een zeer populair T.V.presentator. 
      Hij deed vooral grote spelshows als Tweekamp, Zeskamp en Spel zonder grenzen. Ook was hij jarenlang presentator op Koninginnedagen.
Hij kon niet zo goed tegen die bekendheid. 
      Vooral als de mensen ’Hey Dikkie’ gingen roepen kreeg hij het benauwd. 
In Fure had hij daar geen last van, want daar kenden ze hem niet als T.V.-persoonlijkheid. 
      Tegenwoordig woont hij weer in Nederland om dichter bij zijn familie te zijn.

 Hieronder een bladzijde uit de folder in de twee Noorse talen. Heel groot is het verschil opverigens niet.

                     Nynorsk                                                        Bokmål 


Two Blatant Lies

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

It is becoming inevitable to ask yourself every week of Donald Trump’s presidency what the craziest thing is he has done that week, and almost always there are multiple options.  This week Trump produced two lies that are so blatant that according to CNN’s Chris Cillizza he now permanently lives in an alternate universe.  After Mitch McConnell decided not to bring the Graham/Cassidy health care bill up for a vote in the senate, because at least three GOP senators had announced that they were going to vote against, Trump declared at an impromptu Q&A with the press that the votes were there, but that the senate had not been able to vote because one senator was in the hospital.  He announced that a vote would take place at a later time, in January or February, and the only possible explanation for the president’s optimism is that he believes that by that time John McCain will have died and a newly appointed senator from Arizona will turn out to be a yes-vote.  The senator who was supposed to be in the hospital, Cochran, tweeted that he was at home, getting better from a urinary tract infection and going out for a walk.

Trump’s support for the meanest healthcare bill that so far has been produced, about which even Lindsey Graham said that he had no clue what he was doing, was a reminder that he has completely forgotten that he had promised cheaper and better healthcare for all US citizens.  Trump echoed that promise in the announcement of his tax plan, of which he said it was a ‘middle class miracle,’ in spite of the fact that all analyses show that the richest one percent of Americans would benefit disproportionally from the proposed tax cuts, while the lowest tax bracket would go up from ten to twelve percent and very little would change for people with middle incomes, unless they live in states with relatively high state and local taxes like New York and California, in which case their taxes would go up significantly.  Trump emphasized that he would not benefit from the plan, followed by ‘believe me,’ his standard expression when even he knows that he’s lying.  Abolishing the alternative minimum tax could yield him about $1.5 billion, while his children would pocket $4 billion due to the abolishment of the estate tax.

In other areas Trump didn’t fare too well either.  The candidate he supported in the GOP primary for a senate seat in Alabama lost to Roy Moore, who was once removed and once suspended as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of his state for respectively refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments and unconstitutionally enforcing a same-sex marriage ban.  Moore is crazy as a bed bug and may create serious problems for McConnell if he ends up in the senate.

And while Trump was quarreling with the NFL at the beginning of the week over players alledgedly showing disrespect for the American flag and national anthem, American citizens on Puerto Rico were suffering in the aftermath of hurricane Maria.  Congressman John Lewis characterized the federal government’s response as ‘anemic,’ but Trump called it ‘great,’ ‘amazing’ and ‘tremendous.’

Following Trump’s example the acting Secretary of Homeland Security in his administration called Puerto Rico a ‘good news story,’ while the Mayor of San Juan called it a ‘people are dying here’ story.  On Tuesday Trump is going to look for himself, after a weekend of golf, and by that time it will unfortunately be clear that the Mayor was right.

Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen