2002 / january / 30

A Royal PITA, or: how to piss an Amsterdammer off

It has been dominating the headlines in our small country by the sea for a year now (only interrupted briefly, and reluctantly, in september) but if you're from anywhere but the netherlands, i doubt that you've heard of this it. Literally, 'it': that's what it's called here. 'Het Huwelijk.' The royal wedding. This saturday, PWA, heir to the throne, does the vow thing and grand style, and Amsterdam is suffering.
I am pissed off, and judging from the atmosphere on the streets, i'm not alone. Amsterdammers are known to be fiercely independent, and the safety measures are so extreme, that the mood on the streets seems to be, 'what the fuck are they doin?'. All the bike racks have been removed along the route and environs, weeks ago already - a guaranteed way to piss the dutch off. There's lots of police on the street already, looking all important and nervous, in cars or even jeeps, rather than on cycles or on foot. traffic will be totally disrupted for days (no public transport, a rather busy cycle path close), and a special law is in place that makes the places where it all happens a warzone. And a Big Brother-set as well: the police has set up a system of at least hundreds, but more likely around thousand cameras whose stream is recorded. it is so over the top.

Indymedia is buzzing with activity, and the official Republican Society (not our local GOP charter, just in case you were wondering) has a stage along the route where they'll be hosting a full day of anti-royal activities: Het Witte Plein. If i dare go into town - it will be totally swamped with people, i'm afraid - i'll be there.
so far, so good. now about my other main gripe (yes, i am really irritated). The prince, PWA, is a bit of a dumb guy, or maybe just not very sussed. What to do, you can't choose when trusting heritage to come up with an ideal candidate can you? He managed to win over a woman who has the brains to make up for him. From Argentina, with a rather discutable father, minister during the horrendous regime in the 70s. About which she's in denial.
damnit, i can't come to the point. here it is. This maxima is definately sussed - she's worked in NYC for a few years in high finance, citicorp i believe. There are a few pieces of footage from 'before' she hit the spotlight, showing a latin party-animal. Since the couple's gone public though, she's dressed in the kind of characterless, soulless and sexless luxury clothing that are more fitting to a politician's wife in her fifties.
and i think she knew this would happen. she's sussed enough for that. i do not believe that she is another diana, as if that'd be possible after her whole story unfolded anyway. in other words, she knew what she was getting into and i think she likes it.
so, she doesn't mind to sell out. She doesn't mind to play a role the rest of her life - she seems to like it. What is she getting out of it? what is she up to? and that's going to be our next head of state?

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