War: It's all about growing potatoes

War: It's all about growing potatoes

So here’s the thing: I am a non-expat writing columns as said non-expat, for expats. And here I am thinking: “What the hell? The Dutch are cool, right? Relaxed, laid back, and used to different nationalities because we used to bolt price tags in their earlobe.” And now there’s this.

Oh, there is a war! Brilliantly deduced Watson, but did you think about the reason why? “He’s a psychopath.” Guess what, a**hole: so was your mom when you got bad grades. Did anyone ask why? It’s just one simple word: “Why?”

Did you hear about what America has done? Did you hear about that in the news? Anyone?

Double standards?

But hey, we open the news sites: we read the news. And we read everything that is fed to us, bit by bit. Some DJ on the radio (who incidentally got his fame by being blown on the radio by a sex worker) (errrrrr… barbarian), adds his two cents into the mix, and a random truck driver (no offence random truck driver) fans the flames by having an opinion about this current war in the world.

That’s really nice. I mean, it’s good to have an opinion - but my opinion follows suit, and it goes: where were you and your opinion for the last 2.000 years when everyone else decided that the Middle East should be deemed a place of eternal conflict? I don’t judge but seems a bit strange for there to be public outrage while all that’s happened is we (as mankind) decided to shift our geopolitical tussle a bit to the north.

Remember MH-17? Ah, ye olde salon activist, with an SUV, a degree in “managing some transport-style thing from somewhere in the world” (a.k.a. globalism “hooray new sneakers!”): you are now actively (well, actively if you pay taxes, which you know full well how to avoid, but let’s save that for later) contributing to the delivery of the same weapons that were used to shoot that plane down.

And now we’re also joining the drone club. “Shooting people online” would be a correct analogy.  Never mind that we had that whole referendum to kick out / not let Ukraine into the...erm...I guess it was NATO? No worries: the kid who didn’t get invited to the prom is back with a free pass cause they’re bullied. Alright. I can live with that.

The Dutch view on violence

What I have more trouble with is my opinion that people are stupid. Let me elaborate on that before everybody tries to hit me with their car (I hope it’s electric, by the way, as gas prices are through the roof, or so I hear. Maybe we shouldn’t have sold our gas reserves back in the seventies. Ah well, hindsight is 20-20, right?): people tend to react to the fad of the moment and support the underdog.

And then we do what irks me the most: we glorify ourselves by publicly sharing what good we as a person have done. I went to the border with my fries cart. To help. Knowing Dutch history I wouldn’t be surprised if you hid the board with (handwritten) prices on it for the photo. We bring a blonde, lesbian, 50-year-old milf (cabaret = singing comedian with opinion) on TV to say she has two refugees in her house. Wow, I’m impressed!

But that little sparkle of someone doing good quickly dissipates in my world when I hear people who take in refugees and impose strict house rules on those refugees. So, aren’t you then providing safety for people who ran from oppression by oppressing them by imposing said rules? I mean: rules are ok, like flushing after a number two is mandatory. I get that.

But let’s continue: why is it ok for two Ukrainians who are suspected human traffickers under arrest, awaiting trial, to be released to “fight the oppressor”? Our infallible justice system says, “Hey you shouldn’t hurt people, Imma punish you for that, but you know what? You can go and hurt other people now, but you have to promise to come back for your punishment!” Before I’m pegged as pro-Russian, (besides the fact that I couldn’t care less if you do peg me as such, I just think war is pretty f*cking stupid, period) let me recap this last fact in bullets:

  1. People of a certain nationality are charged with human trafficking (probably not nice people)
  2. We go: you are bad because you did fellow hoomans wrong, that will not stand
  3. War breaks out (this one is a World War, I noticed - the other ones between WWII and now were just skirmishes, I guess. Sorry Middle-East, sorry Africa, you just didn’t make the cut. A for effort, though!)
  4. Bad people on trial are let go to do bad things (i.e. shoot people of a certain nationality)

So, imagine being on trial for hurting people, and your defence is that now you will only hurt specific people, people who until like I dunno, three months ago you were fine with seeing and buying their natural reserves to heat your home. But now both sides deserve a bullet, and I hear the equivalent of a “Hetze” on the radio. What’s the f*cking point?

Pro leave me the hell alone

You’re still aiding and abetting hurting people in a variety of forms over something which could easily be distributed evenly amongst us, were it not for the fact that we drew a line on an atlas at some point in time and said: “This is mine.” It seems silly to argue about that. So no: I’m not pro anybody; I’m pro “leave me the hell alone.” But you can call me whatever you want for that opinion.

I’m still curious why our Facebook (sorry: Meta, “your soooooo meta, Mark”) overlord Zuckerberg allows incitement to aggression based on nationality but bans you when you flash a nipple. Life tip: ever been the target of a witch hunt on Facebook (sorry, Meta)? If so: just flash a nipple, upload and *poof* - the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that nipples didn’t exist. Guess he’s not mammalian.

I could go on, about the monetary issues for example (ask the lawyers in their shiny offices), but I’m getting bored, and I don’t want you to think I am taking sides. I’m just appalled by the ease with which we set up a campaign to help the underdog we previously vilified. Just like buying your peace of mind in church on Sunday, and being an a**hole during the week.

“It’s all about growing potatoes”

But after this lengthy rant, and hearing lots and lots of opinions on this matter, I heard a refreshing remark. It goes like this: “It’s all about growing potatoes.”

To summarise: War(s) is / are nothing more than me saying “I don’t want to share my piece of land with you because I feel I have more right to potatoes than you.” And while we could resolve that amongst ourselves, now the whole schoolyard has a newly found profound love for potatoes.

Pretty silly, right? Oh and the lady who said that? She’s Russian.

Sharing potatoes is easy: we call them fries everywhere.

Haroen comic war Ukraine IamExpat

Haroen T. Lemmers


Haroen T. Lemmers

HI! I am Haroen. Named after an Arabian sheik Harun-Al-Rasjid. I dunno. I was three when I left and have lived in the Lowlands for all my life. My...

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