Relatively unknown artist Duncan Laurence will represent The Netherlands at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with the song ‘Arcade’.
The first Semi-Final will be held May 14, the second Semi-Final on May 16 and the Grand Final on Saturday, May 18. At this point, we don’t know what day Duncan will be performing in the semi-finals. However, a quick look at the Internet says Duncan has a good chance of scoring, as long as he sings with a lot of emotion, which he is prone to doing.
According to Wikipedia, Duncan Laurence (aka Duncan de Moor) started his musical career at the Rock Academy in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant playing in a number of school bands. He graduated from the school in 2017 and participated in the fifth season of The Voice of Holland, under the coaching of Ilse DeLange.
You may know DeLange as one half of The Common Linnets (Waylon was the other singer) who in sang ‘Calm After the Storm’ in 2014 and picked up second place. A downside to this song is that there’s no ‘boom’ or anything at the end, it ends quietly after a mild build up and that usual makes the room quiet.
Listen to the song here yourself and we’ll see how that goes in May.
In July a vegetarian Palestinian restaurant opened its doors on the Weimarstraat in the Hague called Love & Peas.
The pun refers to the fact that the two men running the place hail from opposite sides in a war. The manager, Muawi Shehadeh, is Palestinian and the chef, Yuval Gal, is Israeli.
“When we met three years ago we immediately started cracking politically incorrect jokes about our backgrounds”, Gal told AD, “and that created a bond.”
The paper notes that this isn’t the first joint Palestinian-Israeli restaurant in Europe — London has its Ottolenghi chain.
Ynet quotes the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Haim Divon: “My wife Linda discovered the place on a social network site. The idea of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation got around and became the talk of the day here because everyone likes this new venture. […] It’s truly hard to believe we’re sitting in a restaurant in The Hague. The hummus is really tasty.”
An OESO study has discovered that the Netherlands bucks the trend of the rich getting richer at the expense of those paying for the crisis.
Good news, then? Not really. Z24 points out that the Dutch poor are also getting poorer. The group of people that live below the poverty line has increased from 6.7% in 2007 to 7.8% in 2011. In this study ‘rich’ is defined as belonging to the top 10% in disposable income and poor as the bottom 10%.
The financial news site points out that the poor have lost less income than the rich, which is an interesting mathematical factoid, but otherwise devoid of meaning in my opinion. If the poor lose 1.5% of their income it means they go without food for another five days in a year, while for the rich it means they have to wait five days longer before they can purchase their next luxury car. Not quite the same difference.
A group of people that has done relatively well for themselves during the crisis is the elderly whose income has stayed the same. The group of 18 to 25-year-olds has seen their income drop since 2007 by well over 2%, although those differences are minimal compared to those of the same age groups in other countries such as New Zealand and Israel where the elderly are getting rich at the cost of everybody else.
What if it had been the Frisians who had suffered a holocaust in say, the United States of America? Journalist Joris Luyendijk pondered the possibility in a short alternate history in his book ‘Het zijn net mensen’ (They are almost like people).
The Frisians will have their own state, and what place could be more logical than the ancient home land? Despite protests from the Dutch the United Nations agree to the plan, and from the entire world people of Frisian descent flock towards the new state of Frisia, well sponsored by the Americans.
A peace process follows, and the Dutch get allotted Limburg, a small part of Zeeland and chunks of Noord Brabant. Those regions are not allowed to be called The Netherlands, the country is not allowed to have an army, and the borders are continuously guarded by Frisian troops.
Graphical design student Ruiter Janssen (Willem de Koning Academie) was inspired by this fragment to create the above info graphic—called The Frisian-Dutch Conflict—which was then published by NRC in February of this year.