The commemoration of war victims provides a measure of closure for the pain of war. It may not feel that way, but it forms an important part of war itself. Rather than eliminating memorial days, Schwartz argues for the extension of mourning to cover all victims of war, down to enemy, civilian and psychological casualties. Such a practice would aggravate rather than ease the emotional burden of war, bringing it closer to the point where it becomes unbearable.
The last of 274 columns that first appeared in Dutch, in Loekie Schwartz’s translation, in Het Financieele Dagblad. Schwartz and his Loekie discover together the ancient feast of Epicurus and decide to celebrate it from now on. Epicurus was a champion of moderate pleasure as a way to find peace.
Bureaucratic bloodymindedness has no place in the arts. Schwartz cites and chides a particularly abrasive example, further philosophizing about art and bureaucracy. Continue reading “270 Un crocodile pourpre”
On 1 June 2005, the people of the Netherlands are being asked to vote Yes or No in a referendum on the proposed constitution of the European Union. The document claims that it is inspired by the culture of Europe, but the tone and quality of the text belies this. Schwartz sends the Framers back to the drawing board with a copy of the Constitution of the United States as a model for a new draft. Continue reading “234 Inspired by the culture of Europe”
This morning I picked up a few rolls of film I shot in the past few weeks. The photos were taken in Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Amsterdam, Moscow and Archangelskoye. What’s the use of pretending that I am together enough to write a normal column? I don’t have the distance. The distance has me. The best I can do is ponder the most memorable things I saw in each place.