The demise of Music

As a teenager I pledged that I would accept the musical taste of my children and would not be like the older generation in my family, who constantly criticized my choice of music. Although in my ‘humble’ opinion they were utterly clueless, and frankly most of them were.

Music is by far my biggest passion and it has an important part in my life.However now I have children of my own I feel like I have slightly been reneging on my pledge to accept their music, or have I?

After doing my own research, and note it is not scientific just my own opinion, I discovered that the music that is produced nowadays is really of poor standards. It really feels like vocals and instruments  have been thrown into a big blender and turned into soulless songs, zombie versions of music so to speak.

My question though was “When did all of this happen?” And soon I thought I had found the answer, without a shadow of a doubt I knew it was due to the fact of the X factors’ the Pop Idols etc i.e. Simon Cowell and cohorts. Mystery solved I thought.

However these ‘Talent’ shows only started in the 21st century, and the music had be going down the swanny way before that.

The answer came via the radio. I was listening to an oldies radio station when the song “You spin me around” by Dead or Alive came up, and then it dawned on me, SAW, Stock Aitken and Waterman.

This trio first came to the scene in 1984, initially they actually started off with reasonably talented musicians and singers but as time went on things deteriorated. We had gone from sex and drugs and rock n roll to the inoffensive,non-controversial,political correct,sickening sweet brand of music by the terrible threesome. From that era of music it was only a simple step to talentless boybands.So basically 1984 is the year when music died, maybe Orson Welles was right after all.

Luckily every now and then some talents still emerge in this ocean of blandness ,Adele,John Legend. Ed Sheeran and Dragonforce to name a few.

Just a reminder of how music used to be

To this (anyone who knows me knows how painful it is for me to even listen to this for more then 1 nano second)

MH17

On July 17th 2014 Flight MH17 was cowardly brought down near Torez in the Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine, approximately 25 miles from the Russian border.

Thus far no one has claimed responsibility for this crime. One of the things I find really disturbing is the way some people are dismissing this as if it was an accident, it wasn’t it was a crime carried out by cowards.

Although there is no concrete evidence as such everything is pointing to Russia.

Bellingcat, a citizen journalism group, says it has identified up to 100 Russian soldiers from a Kursk-based air defence unit who may have knowledge of the movements of the missile launcher that destroyed the Boeing 777 on July 17, 2014.

About 20 of those individuals would “likely have had direct involvement” in the deployment to east Ukraine that led to the shoot down and  298 civilian deaths.

The fact that Russia has vetoed a full investigation in to this attack, doesn’t , in my opinion, put them in a great light.That said the Ukranian government also has a lot to answer for.

My aim is not to put the blame to anyone, my aim is for justice to be done for the victims. I’d written a poem for the victims and have pledged to regularly post this poem on several social media outlets to make sure the victims aren’t forgotten.

298 a number that we always will remember
298 lives that have been lost
298 of friends and family members.
298 souls eternally loved

 

298 ambitions and dreams cut short
298 innocent moments in time
298 families that need our support
298 victims of 1 brutal crime

 

298 new stars in the sky
298 reasons to pray
298 tears to cry
298 respects to pay

MH17

 

Holocaust remembered

Today  marks the 72nd anniversary of  the liberation of Auschwitz. The 27th of January  was declared by the UN as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

More and more I hear people say” Why should we remember? Why not leave bygones be bygones?”  and this at the time where we are at risk of creating, and even scarier ignoring another  holocaust.

It is a fact that history repeats itself ,but it is our duty as human beings to make sure this bit of history is not repeated. If it is ,we will have failed as a human race. The difference this time around we can not blame a political movement or a single nation, this time we are all to blame because we let it happen again.

We have all seen the graphic and horrific pictures which were taken by allied troops in camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau,Dachau,Sobibor and the so many other pictures. We have all seen pictures from the ghetto’s. There is no need for me to repeat these horrific images. In fact what I am going to do is worse, I will show pictures that will stay in your mind not because they are graphic but because they make you realize it could have been anyone, your grandparents,parents or even you or your child.

This pictures shows the scratch marks of fingernails from inside one of the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

nailmarks2

A picture of shoes found in one of the camps, the sheer volume of them says it all

imgID21962382

The fear in the eyes of the little boy ,at the front holding up is hands, is heartbreaking.

holocaust-survivors-390x285

The worst words in history.

ArbeitMachtFreiGate1945_150126102625

The answer to when we should stop remembering the Holocaust is never.

From chapter 9 of Not Just a Guide-Dog.

Chapter 9 Strange Fruit

 

 

The remainder of our trip through France was uneventful. The second we reached the Belgian border our eyes were met with a very disturbing sight.

There were bodies hanging in trees lining the motorway, according to Sophie they appeared to be the bodies from coloured people, going by the clothing they were more than likely Muslims.

I couldn’t help but thinking of that haunting Billie Holiday song “Strange Fruit”

 

“Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”

It became apparent that the population of Belgium had turned to vigilante justice and had adopted the mob lynch executions so often portrayed in stories and movies about some southern states of the US.

It was true that the Islamic state had spread the disease, but this group of barbaric fundamentalist only represented a tiny percentage of the Islam.

Muslims all over the world had become victims like everyone else on the planet.

 

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/not-just-a-guide-dog

 

Deutschland 83

rtl_deutschland83_teaser

One of my favourite TV shows and I was delighted to find out there will be a second season called Deutschland 86, because it is set 3 years later.

I only lived literally a walking distance from Germany in 1983 and in fact most of my life. Growing up as a kid I didn’t really think anything of it but in hindsight it was kinda bizarre.

Little did I know then, that we were really not that far away from the ‘battlegrounds’ of the cold war, even though the fact there were plenty of staff of the AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe Netherlands) in town and surrounding cities. One of the former coal mines was actually used as part of their HQ.

afcent-hq-brunssum

And surely the AWACS planes (a Boeing 707 type plane with a radar dish on top of it) should have been a give away.

nato-e-3-awacs

 

Oblivious I just went about my business without a care in the world. Naively I felt quite safe where I lived, because often I had seen American Marines marching between Geleen and Heerlen(two municipalities in the south of the Netherlands), chanting stuff like “I like working for Uncle Sam” In fact I thought it was cool, and in a way it was I suppose.

Not realizing those very soldiers were there to assist the Dutch army in case of a potetntial WW3 breaking out.

The Germans though were a funny bunch particularly when it came to their music. From the 50’s to the early 80’s there music was really Schlagers, it can only be described as German folk music I suppose, I would call it crap but it is still very popular with some people who I don’t want to offend.

At the start of the 80’s though a new direction of German music emerged, it was called ‘die Neue Deutsche Welle, New German wave and it brought a few great bands and songs to the front. Bands like Nena,Trio,Bap and indeed Peter Schilling whose song Major Tom is used as the theme for Deutschland 83

 

One of my favorites of the NDW is a Cologne band called BAP , the song is about the Kristal Nacht (in english known as the night of broken glass) from a dark period in German history. The band sings in the local Cologne dialect which is very similar to the Limburg dialect. I will leave it with that. I hope you enjoy this little peace of history. Enjoy the song.

 

Forgotten history-Battlefield Geleen

I was born in a small town in Limburg, the most southern province of the Netherlands.

The name of the town is Geleen, it was a mining town until 1967. In 1967 the mine Maurits,which was the biggest in the country and up to 1958 the biggest 2 shaft mine in the world, closed. However that is not what the forgotten history is about.

On October 5 1942 approximately 30 bombers of the RAF carried out a bombing raid between 21:55 and 23:10, killing 83 and severely injuring 22 other. Leaving about 3000 people homeless.

The intended target had been Aken just over the border in Germany.

Due to bad weather those 30 bombers which were part of a squadron of 257 bombers had deviated from their direction thus resulting in the bombing of Geleen. Killing 83, wiping out 57 houses, severely damaging 227 more house and causing further damage to another 1728 homes.

A further 13 coal miners were killed in the raid, the Maurits was heavily damaged and it took fire crews from several cities to help extinguish the fires caused by the bombing. There were even fire crews which came from Rotterdam which is about 200 KM away from the mine to help with the fires.

The Maurits was mistaken for the mine Anna, which was near Aken.

Ironically more damage was done by the allies then was done by the Germans during WW2, in Geleen.

Political Correctness

In this PC world people will eventually get what they wish for, just to find out that it wasn’t actually what they wanted but it will be too late then.

It bothers me when people defend some criminals and thugs by saying “they had a bad childhood. Or that they had no opportunities or anywhere to play when they were growing op”

This is an argument I have heard even being used for those who have left Europe to joins the likes of ISIS.

Well guess what? My childhood wasn’t a bed of roses either and as for “play”opportunities! This was my play ground, A chemical plant.

DSM

At the end of it all we are all responsible for our own actions. We decide to be a victim or a victor.