January 18, 2012

Beating up paramedics, the latest trend in senseless violence

Filed under: Film,General by Orangemaster @ 1:15 pm

This public service announcement is in English with Dutch subtitles, and when I saw it, I think I responded to it the way the makers intended. However, I did mentally note that the ‘scooter kiddies’ harassing the paramedics at the end were probably not Caucasian, fitting the standard profile of these petty criminals at least in the big cities.

We’ve talked about this kind of advert before and it’s not news, but it is a form of violence that seems to mystify people. The bits I’ve read tend to say that certain ethnic groups do not like being told what to do by paramedics and associate them with the police telling them what to do, but that sounds more like an excuse.

Two weeks ago, the film ‘Doodslag’ (‘Manslaughter’) premiered in Eindhoven, starring stand-up comedian Theo Maassen as a paramedic. He swats ones of these annoying kids blocking his ambulance with a dying baby in it, but then a bit too hard. The big question is: does this make him a criminal too?

The film’s opening shot highlights ‘rude behaviour’ using Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s epic sample of ‘You get real man! Boy oh boy!’ as he answered a typically street-level right-wing quip of ‘Get real, man!’ in Parliament. The Prime Minister’s remarks basically confirmed to the entire country that street language is now commonplace, which sparked much debate and is ironic considering that the big letters at the start of the film quote the PM as saying that ‘we need to take back the country from those ‘jerks’, implying that jerks are running the country. But Maassen says he is convinced that the film will change the way the Netherlands thinks. “It is an exciting, cool film with guns and sex,” he adds.

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl)

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August 8, 2007

Dutch comedians hit Edinburgh

Filed under: General,Shows by Orangemaster @ 11:12 am
Hans Teeuwen

The Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective, a brotherhood of stand-up comedians (there are no women in the group, even though the Guardian talks about every “stand-up in the country”), whose heavy hitters includes Theo Maassen and Hans Teeuwen (shown here), will be performing at the Assembly in the Edinburgh Comedy Room until August 26.

And now I gladly quote the Guardian:

According to Maassen, and as those familiar with Holland’s sex and drug laws might expect, there are few boundaries to Dutch humour, and a veto on kowtowing to audience tastes. The members of this profit-sharing collective (which seems to include practically every stand-up in the country) “push each other to go further, to ‘fuck the audience’,” says their manager, Xander Wassenaar. The British attitude to crowd-pleasing confuses them. “People tell us, ‘At Edinburgh, make sure you make some jokes about the English, because Scottish people like that.'” Wassenaar looks disgusted. “That doesn’t happen here.”

So much for the cultural differences. What of the linguistic ones? The Dutch speak impeccable English, but stand-up is nothing if not idiomatic, and I wonder whether Maassen has had to adapt his act for a UK crowd. “More than half of my material is not translatable,” he says. “When I say it in English, it’s not funny any more.”

Give us an example. “I have a joke in Dutch,” he says. “The muscle in your anus …” The sphincter? “Yes. In Dutch, it’s called the circle muscle. So I make this joke, ‘I don’t understand: my anus is a circle muscle so why are there stripes in my underpants?'” Maassen and Wassenaar fall about laughing. Then, collecting himself, Maassen says: “In English, it isn’t called the circle muscle, so it wouldn’t be quite as funny.” Quite.

My two cents: I once saw Hans Teeuwen run to get on the tram downtown Amsterdam and try to pay with a EUR 50 bill, which should be perfectly possible, but pissed off the cashier. Non-crowd pleasing again.

(Link: Guardian, via Onze taal)

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