Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Specifically, they have an opinion over the fact that Obama's popularity is down to a 46% approval rating.

As can be seen by their comments underneath this article:
[De Telegraaf, January 12, 2010: 'Populariteit Obama op dieptepunt']

One hundred and thirty eight comments.
Their opinions are all across the board.


This is not surprising - the Dutch ALWAYS have opinions, even if they don't know what they're talking about.
Especially if they don't know what they're talking about.
And it would've taken a miracle to keep them from flocking to an article so temptingly entitled "Populariteit Obama op dieptepunt" ('popularity of Obama at lowest ebb'). Such an article inevitably taunts their senses - it's about America and Americans, and it's political. No, they can not claim any great knowledge about either of those subjects - but evenso they have an opinion!
Many opinions!
About America and Americans, and about politics!

[Any article that mentions America will receive a multitude of comments - America is the conversational glue that keeps the Dutch together. Or so it seems at times. They all know so much about America and Americans, honest! It's as if they've all been here and are acquainted with hundreds of us (though deliberately somewhat distantly, and always at arms length).
This is due to the fact that all of them have watched Dallas, Bay Watch, Friends, Bonanza, and Kojak. Many have also seen the movie Borat.]

Sit up and listen, dammit! Their opinions are important!

Denkt men nu echt dat een donker iemand ooit eerlijk de verkiezingen zou kunnen winnen in dat rechtse amerika?
[Does anyone really think that a dark person could honestly win the elections in that rightwing America?]

Wat heeft de man gedaan behalve het land financieel nog verder naar de klote geholpen en de internationale geloofwaardigheid van Amerika na een na-oorlogs dieptepunt gebracht...
[What has that man done other than helping the country even further financially towards the testicles (idiomatic expression: down the tubes) and taking the believability of America to a post-war low...]

Wat had je anders verwacht van een volk die hun herseninhoud laat plaatsmaken voor hamburgers en dietcoke?
[What else do you expect from a population that allows their brain content to be replaced by hamburgers and diet-coke?]

De arrogante Amerikaanse burgers ...
[The arrogant American citizens ...]

De meeste Amerikaanse presidenten willen heersen over de hele wereld]
[Most American presidents want to rule the world.]

Misschien is het een goed idee dat de Amerikanen eens leren dat er meer is in de wereld dan alleen Amerika????
[Maybe its a good idea that the Americans finally learn that there is more in the world than just America?]

Tja hij moet nog veel puin ruimen...Zo snel gaat dat niet. Maar dat snappen de amerikanen toch niet.
[Well, he's still gotta clean up a lot of mess.... that doesn't happen overnight. But those Americans don't understand that anyhow.]

Die Amerikanen....
[Those Americans....]

Obama is een nog slechtere president als Bush.
[Obama is an even worse president than Bush.]

Amerikanen zijn net als Nederlanders. Nooit tevreden met hun regering. Alhoewel het Nederlandse volk wel erg veel zeiken.
[Americans are just like the Dutch. Never satisfied with their government. Although the Dutch populace does bellyache a frightful lot.]


Sometimes I wish that the Dutch didn't have opinions. That they could actually be happy with themselves without venting all of their half-formed thoughts.
But perhaps that is impossible - in the Netherlands, having an opinion is a sign that one is alive, and a way of establishing that one is an individual who is not to be trifled with. One's opinion, no matter how half-baked, is one's blazoon to the world.
If an Englishman's home is his castle, a Dutchman's opinion is his machine gun nest.
Usually conversation with other Dutch speakers can best be understood as trench-warfare.

But that is just an opinion.
And as an American, I am not supposed to have such a thing.


Anonymous said...

the Dutch ALWAYS have opinions, even if they don't know what they're talking about.

Wow, that makes them just like Americans!

Anonymous said...

"What else do you expect from a population that allows their brain content to be replaced by hamburgers and diet-coke?"

Ok you have to admit, that one was funny.


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