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In a 'funny' way this is about tolerance. I'm in a funny mood. If it makes you smile, 10 points for you and me. If it makes you laugh you are too intelligent. If it makes you angry, go back to bed. If you want to read it you know where to go to, ( http://paulbakker.id.au/ ) if you don't I cannot help you. But again, be warned, it might be about sex. It might be about art. It is not about me, for once.

 

This is Holland's most famous painting done by the world's most famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn. Son of a miller. Done in 1642 and huge, 3.53 x 4.73 m. It was painted in an era where everything was dandy. Safe as can be and no disruptive element. No Jews or Catholics, no people of colour in this painting and the girl with the goose was Rembrandt's girlfriend. Most men wanted the girl for her goose. All PP's, Pink Protestants.

 

The tall man pointing his finger was in fact angry with Rembrandt because he wasn't the first to be painted. In fact they are a motley group. Seven alcoholics, five gays and seven closet queens. One dwarf and the rest very middle class, except the drummer on the right. And one scared dog.

All were absolutely dying for a pee as it took much longer for Rembrandt to paint his picture than they had anticipated. Shit, they were thinking: When is this over! We must go to our club for a gin and tonic, sell a few more slaves and scold the housekeeper and go to church this Sunday or all heaven will break lose....

 

No dentists, no deodorants, no thin cotton underpants but thick woollen knitted itchy things. No fast food outlets and no airplanes.

 

Gosh, I'm thankful I live in 2012.

 

The world might be ending, again, soon with global gas fumes or we'll be running out of trees but better than the 17th Century! I can wake up and know I am not a German, walk the dogs with Clemens. And find a few more golden necklaces or plastic toys but the park has been mown, the dustbins have been emptied and The Queen has sent me my pension!

 

I know I'm trying to be funny about something that is so true. I often think how lucky I am we don't live in Uganda or the USA. As I have written before,

I lived in Indonesia, Iran, Holland, Portugal and now Australia.

I have an eternal love affair with Holland (OK, The Netherlands) and the Dutch language although I get my genders mixed up. 'De huis' or 'het huis'. Who cares, as long as you haven't got a Southern accent because then you are automatically a Catholic.(Sorry Henny) or drop your H's, 'cause then you are common. You must like football or pull your finger out of the dyke and run to Australia where the ball isn't even round.

Walk to the left, drive on the right and say: 'Dank U' when given something. But that means 'up your bum' in French, so be careful because in Belgium they speak both French and a kind of Dutch called Flemish. A bit like Afrikaans in South Africa!

 

So Holland is in Europe. The most rich and tolerant continent in the world. And now again I'm repeating myself:Except the Swiss are boring, the Germans are you know what, the Belgians are a little slow, the French are arrogant, the Italians eat spaghetti, Spaniards kill bulls, the English have body odour, the Irish are bloody tikes and the Icelanders are bankrupt! East Europe doesn't count because they speak Russian or something like that and the Greeks are lovely because we all love their pretty islands to go for a holiday. Parros for some, Micanos for others.

 

In other words: I am the most tolerant person on Earth, ask Rembrandt van Rijn!

 

And here our most famous painting of the 20th C. Guernica by our most famous painter Pablo Picasso.

A very very tolerant time, or not? Somehow it looks a little like The Nightwatch.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso