Blog - Pagina 11 van 27 - Mark Blaisse
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Geen categorie / 15.01.2013

I just read an article by Zadie Smith on the difference between pleasure and joy. What is the difference? Joy, according to Smith, may be 'the intense version of pleasure, arrived at by the same road - you simply have to go a little further down the track.' This thought inspires me to think about my own experience. What gives me pleasure? An article that I wrote and that is published; the car whose engin will start despite the cold; losing a pound or two after Xmas; buying...

Geen categorie / 14.01.2013

How often haven't we heard that the Guantanamo prison will be closed? Presidents Bush and Obama promised; Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell promised. But the facilities are still working and 166 men, many of whom have no other 'default' than being a Muslim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, still wait to be released. As long as the United States is at war with terrorism, or more precisely with Al Qaeda, the law allows Washington to keep...

Geen categorie / 13.01.2013

He was Danton; he was Cyrano de Bergerac; he was Balzac's colonel Chabert; he was and is Obelix. He is the incarnation of French cinema, a superior actor, his former agent Jean-Louis Livi calls him nothing less than a 'genius'. But like so many stars whose success came at an early age (Patrick Dewaere, Romy Schneider, Marilyn Monroe), fame doesn't always mean happiness. Gerard Depardieu seems to show his sadness by challenging his French fans, his country as a whole really. Leaving for Belgium because he can't stand...

Geen categorie / 12.01.2013

Twee keer zoveel Fransen zitten thuis zonder werk als Duitsers (10,5% tegenover 5,4% respectievelijk). Gehoopt wordt dezer dagen op een 'historisch akkoord', waarbij de sterke vakbonden en de onzekere werkgevers het eens moeten worden over ontslagregels. President Hollande kondigde aan koste wat het kost de werkloosheid naar beneden te willen brengen. Maar hoe, dat zei hij niet. Frankrijk praat, debateert, filosofeert, maar economische maatregelen komen er niet. De grote veranderingen in de wereld lijken aan de Fransen voorbij te gaan en hervormingen worden steeds maar uitgesteld. De internationale...

Geen categorie / 11.01.2013

Om maar even met een schoolvoorbeeld van een excellent opgebouwde tentoonstelling te komen (na mijn heftige kritiek op het Teylers Museum in Haarlem en de zo geprezen Rafael expositie): Hopper in het Grand Palais. Ook rijen wachtenden; ook schuifelen langs de tekeningen en doeken. Maar wat een opbouw! Wat een spanning! Je groeit als bezoeker met de kunstenaar mee, via onzekere perioden, naar zelfvertrouwen, zelfs een beetje trots. De kleine Hopper zie je ontwaken en uiteindelijk doorstoten naar het rijk der grootsten. Zoals zo vaak blijkt dat vernieuwers...

Geen categorie / 28.12.2012

Aan de marketing heeft het niet gelegen: de Rafael tentoonstelling in het Teylers Museum in Haarlem heeft alle kranten en veel tv-programma's gehaald. De 'unieke' expositie van werk van de grootmeester is over het algemeen geprezen, soms zelfs bejubeld. Ik vraag mij af of de recensenten wel zelf naar Haarlem zijn afgereisd, want er is bar weinig te bejubelen. Gisteren eerst een half uur in de miezerregen voor de kassa gewacht. Eigen schuld, had ik maar kaartjes onllne moeten bestellen. Toen ik aan de beurt was, kwam een...

Geen categorie / 27.12.2012

The Obama II government has quite a lot of dishes on its Middle East menu these days. After the wars in Irak and Afghanistan, it is certainly not eager to start a new one (with Iran or Syria). Concerning Syria, president Obama has resisted to all pressure, not wanting to intervene, unless chemical weapons get involved. Concerning the Israeli-Palestinian dossier, it is waiting, watching from the shadow as it were. The only very urgent case for Mr. Obama is the one of Iran. The US has tried all...

Geen categorie / 19.12.2012

This week, judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague have acquitted the Congolese rebel leader Mathieu Ngudjolo because the testimony against him was too 'hazy'. The judges said that, although the atrocities suffered by the villagers in Bogoro (Eastern Congo)in February 2003 were real, the evidence against Mr. Ngudjolo was not sufficient. He has been acquitted of all charges, including murder, rape and use of child soldiers. He will go home a free man, leaving the relatives of the many victims in total disarray. Mr. Ngudjolo,...

Geen categorie / 17.12.2012

The island of Islay is the place to go when you are trying to measure the temperature concerning the independency aspirations of Scotland as a whole. People here are used to hard work, under difficult conditions, being helped by no one, including their fellow Scotsmen on the mainland. Here you find the proud and independent men and women for whom London is as far away as, say, New York. Farmers and fishermen who have fought for their existence, adding a few pounds to their tiny income by distilling...

Geen categorie / 06.12.2012

The change is for today, but not in this country! This could be the motto of the Qatari emir, with his good principles about freedom which he has been exporting ever since the start of the Arab Spring. Last Thursday, November 29th, a court in Doha has put a poet behind bars for life. His work is supposed to contain remarks that do not please the emir. The bold writer's name is Mohamad Al-Ajami, a.k.a. Ibn Al-Dhib. He has already been in prison for a year, despite protests...