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[Nettime-nl] De Hinkende Bode/The Limping Messenger slow delivery of mes
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Fri, 8 May 2009 00:11:01 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] De Hinkende Bode/The Limping Messenger slow delivery of messages, articles and comment

slow delivery of messages, articles and comment by Tjebbe van Tijen

texts mostly in English, some special pages in Dutch

Ook een speciale Nederlandse pagina waarin geprobeerd wordt het Apeldoorn drama in een historische context te plaatsen en de rol van het oranjedom in Nederland te verklaren.


== a blog launched on May first 2009 ==
The figure of the ‘limping messenger’ can be traced back at least to the 17th century both as a name of a type of popular almanac first published in German in Basel, Switzerland in 1677, and as a figure in the satirical story by Comenius “The labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart” written in 1663. The origin of this allegorical figure comes from the way in which the news from the battle field reached the public. Comenius compares people flocking around a messenger on a sweating horse arriving at the city square with the latest news with that of the ‘limping messenger’ who comes much later, but whose message can be better trusted in the chapter about “newsmongers”: ” Many rode swift horses, and there were many people who bought from them; others walked on foot, or hopped on crutches: and the wise folk bought from these men, saying that their goods were more reliable.” The limping messenger is a former soldier, wounded on the battlefield mostly depicted with one amputed lower leg and a wooden prothesis; in some pictures his role as messenger is emphasized by a wing on his wooden leg, like the god Mercurius with his winged feet. He also brings the not so happy and glorious news which is mostly depicted by someone crying near him, like the little boy in the left hand picture. A snail is in several examples part of the emblematic pictures that appeared as front cover of these almanacs. In Dutch there is a related expression “het hinkend paard komt achteraan” (the limping horse comes last) as a warning against premature gladness. This also points to the horse or messenger that goes slow because his message is not going to be well received. The English expression “a lame post” seems to be related historically, but its usage now is something said that is not needed anymore, superfluous. The French expression “attendre le boiteux” (waiting for the wooden leg) did get the meaning of waiting for news that does not come or is late to arrive.


First comments are on the car crashing into a crowd killing and wounding several bystanders during a royal parade in Apeldoorn on Queens-day 30 of April and the multiple interpretations of what happened and the too quick conclusion of Dutch authorities that it was a direct assault on the queen and other members of the Dutch royal house.

Below the text of two recent posts:
Dutch prime-minister Balkenende claims publicly that there has been a planned assault on the royal family, which statement can be seen as an unconstitutional act
May 7, 2009 by The Limping Messenger/De Hinkende Bode | Edit
At a most public moment, the opening of the Freedom-Day festival on 5 of May 2009 in Zwolle , Dutch prime-minister Balkenende claimed that the attack on April 30 in Apeldoorn was a an assault on the royal family. These are the words of Balkenende broadcasted on Dutch television news on that day:

“This moment also we think back at last week thursday, at our queen and the members of the royal family, because the assault was directed at them.”

This is said while several independent official investigations into the incident have been announced with the results to be made public in June this year. How is it possible that in a constitutional state, like the Netherlands, which claims to have independent courts and juridical procedures, a prime minister gives his personal opinion on a criminal act (The Karsten T. incident) at such a public ceremonial moment? He has created a situation whereby investigators and judges will be hampered in their tasks, because they may be forced to either contradict or approve the minister-president of the country on this case. The regular behavior in such case by members of the parliament is that they say “I will not” or “I can not comment on something that is still in the hands of the court.” What we observe here is in fact unconstitutional behavior of the highest ranking politician of our country in a clumsy attempt to strengthen the constitutional monarchy. As the incident with Karsten T. can be explained in several ways and where doubts exist if it really was an assault on the royal family or not, such a statement may in the end weaken the position of the royal house and the victimhood which has for political reasons been imposed on them.

[video NOS journaal copy place by me on YouTube]

The broadcasted text spoken by Balkenende in Dutch was:

“Ook nu denken wij terug aan vorige week donderdag aan onze koningin en de leden van de koninklijke familie, want de aanslag was op hen gericht.”

The action of Karst T. “not an assault, but rather shows the characteristics of a public selfmurder”
May 6, 2009 by The Limping Messenger/De Hinkende Bode | Edit
Rifka Weehuizen, a researcher at the University of Maastricht of the joint realm of economy and psychology, published an article today in one of the main dailies of the Netherlands De Volkskrant on the assault on Queens-day 30 of April 2009 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, by Karsten T. under the headline: “Of [the like of] Karst T. there are hundreds” (Van Karst T. zijn er vele honderden). The author describes the common psychic features of people who do get unemployed and points to the fact that suicide of the unemployed is twice as high as with regular employed people. “The aim of a suicide mostly is to put an end to what is experienced as unbearable emotional suffering without a way out in sight.” Weehuizen then sums up several common known factors in personal life, possibly in combination with personality dysfunctions, and rates them against the profile of Karsten T.. She also puts this in a wider perspective mentioning the effects of economic recession as expressed in an increase of unemployment, on mental health and a resulting increase of suicide, especially among men. She also points to the secularized society of the Netherlands where social contacts – especially of single persons – are derived primarily from the job circle. When a person loses income and has no job anymore it may result in a personal social and psychological disaster. Resulting loss of identity and meaning in life may lead to anger, aggression, being victimized, urge to revenge and loss of self-control. Weehuizen continues to argue that such a dissatisfaction with the economical situation or society in general is too abstract for directing strong feelings against, that under such circumstances the royal family may have appeared to Karsten as a symbol, not only of Dutch society, but also of people who appear to be rich, happy and loved; having everything the perpetrator was lacking. The focus of Weehuizen gets back now at the trajectory of the car of Karsten T. that ultimately crashed into an iron fence around a stone monument just after the moment the royal cortege in their special bus had passed a road with joyful bystanders awaiting an historical parade in honnor of the queeen. She proposes two interpretations of Karsten’s violent act: 1) the victims among the bystanders where just collateral damage standing in the way of his royal target; 2) they were part of his plan. Weehuizen comes to her end conclusion by stating that it is probable that the attack on this royal parade was nothing less and nothing more than [what in military terms are called 'targets of opportunity' (this is term is added by me here to clarify)] , that the objective could as well have been his former school, or former workplace.


Tjebbe van Tijen

Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information
web-blog: The Limping Messenger

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