So I know I told you there would be a fantabulous interview with the one and only Maan Leo coming up soon on The Wooden Shoe Diaries, but Maan is a Totally Famous and Therefore Busy Person, so as you can imagine, I'm still waiting for her to get back to me (Maan, if you’re reading this, no pressure). So this post is a bit like elevator music. It’s here purely to fill up what would otherwise be an awkward silence between us. Because I never want awkward silences between us, folks. I rather like you all.
But I suppose I do actually have to say something instead of just continuing to blather on in this prefatory kind of way, so let me say how disappointed I am with Middelburg’s take on Christmas decorations. Because what Middelburg sees as “decorations” I see as thousands of gazillion-watt incandescent light bulbs making my local neighbourhood look less like a charmingly-preserved heritage area and more like a large open-air interrogation room.
And Middelburg is not the only town to have gotten it wrong. The bloggers over at 24 Oranges alerted me to the fact that Rotterdam put a design firm called M.E.S.T. in charge of their Christmas light display. “Mest” in Dutch means “manure.”
As if this wasn't bad enough, M.E.S.T. then settled on a display they called “It’s a Jerry, Jerry Christmas,” which features strings of multi-coloured jerrycans. It’s Christmas, only with connotations of poop, Nazi Germany and Vietnam thrown in.
|I love the smell of frankincense and myrrh in the morning. Photo from kerstverlichtingrotterdam.com|
Here’s what someone behind the project said (on the website of the Rotterdam kerstverlichting initiative): “The unconventional, out of the ordinary lighting in the streets puts the public space in a different light.”
Yes, that is most certainly true.
The quote continued: “[The display] enables a public space for discussion and demonstrates the commitment of the Dutchman with his or her city.”
Wow. I usually just plug in a string of lights and think “Christmas lights. How pretty.” All these years I've been missing out on an opportunity for an extended meditation on national identity.
Come on Holland. Get your festive act together.
 Don't email me to tell me "have gotten" is "incorrect," because (a) I already know that some people get upset about this North American conjugation. These people need a HOBBY; and (b) I'm using it anyway.