Monthly Archives: February 2020

AALST. THE CARNIVAL. THE CITY.

 

A weekend in the city of Aalst, Belgium.  Population, plus eighty-five thousand.
Lieve and I were here to witness the annual Aalst Carnival, a festival that has existed for some one-hundred years.  An anything-goes-no-holds-barred spectacle whose moving caravan displays range from benign satire all the way to degeneracy. Giant fantastically created caricatured heads of Belgian politicians, religious figures and spectacular portrayals of topical subjects of all stripe, slowly wend their way through the city’s angular streets. This year’s event has made the international headlines and is embroiled in controversy over last year’s inclusion in the carnival of comedic portrayals of Hasidic Jews wearing their traditional costumes.

The city of Aalst was informed by the international UN subsidiary UNESCO, that funding for the event would be canceled if a promise to not include such figures was not forthcoming. The mayor of Aalst beat UNESCO to the punch by declaring that the organization could go ahead with their funding cancellation because Aalst had no intention what-so-ever of being a victim of censorship.  Thus, an intriguing scenario was about to unfold before us and the tens of thousands of other spectators in attendance.

As if on cue from the mayor’s proclamation, several carnival participants displayed traditionally-garbed Hasidics cavorting and dancing on caravans while we observed scores of festival onlookers adorned with Hasidic costumes. Some went perhaps an unnecessary step further by wearing large hooked plastic noses, of the type often caricatured in anti-Jewish propaganda. The caricatures, which measured several meters in height and appeared to be constructed of plastic or rubber, were actually impressive works of original art. No doubt better than what is on display in many major museums, where post-modernist garbage has intellectuals, art critics but not the general public, hoodwinked. We spent almost seven hours watching one spectacularly colorful and animated caravan after another. We were lucky to have a table at an Irish Pub, where we watched it all unfold in relative comfort, though loud thumping and formless music, which seems to accompany these types of events, was blaring from inside the crowded interior.

We stayed at the very impressive Astrid Hotel in one of the better sections of Aalst on Saturday evening through Sunday morning. The hotel appeared to have been built in the late-19th century and had a beautiful foyer-check-in and entranceway. The breakfast buffet room was a delight to be in, with its exquisite woodworking and high ceiling.  The buffet offerings were delicious and plentiful. The city of Aalst as a whole is quite another story.  Large swaths of it consist of a drab uninspiring quilt of treeless streets, few of which are routed straight long enough to afford much depth-of-field, as most are truncated by dissecting shorter streets. This arrangement created a certain claustrophobic flatness.  It rained on and off during our stay and I thought the heavy drizzle went well with the concrete and brick greyness of the place and suspected that any sunshine would be wasted here anyway. Sad clowns wear the fakest smiles.  Sad but still impressive classical 19th-century buildings, in need of repair, were too often surrounded by an inferior architectural species. The latter of which proliferated and seemed to define the cityscape. While the city isn’t impressive by any stretch, the people we met were friendly and very helpful when we asked for directions. All who participated in and those who attended the event were jovial and convivial and were enjoying themselves to the max. We witnessed no hatred, violence nor drunkenness during our stay. Of course, that might’ve changed later in the evening, after we had left the city.

I suspect that Aalst is preoccupied with the Carnival to one degree or another the remaining three—hundred-sixty-three days of the year. Everywhere in Aalst garishly and amateurishly painted shop windows that depicted all manner of degeneracy and licentiousness announced the coming spectacle. Many were pornographic. I guess that if publications such as the esteemed Charlie Hebdo can get away with what they define as satirical humor, but which often are slander and defamation, so can the Aalst Carnival. Right, my anti-Christian-anti-white-goyim-defining-deviancy-down-brethren of the big media?  Power-brokers, culture formers and propagandizers, all owned by the You-Know-Who’s?

 

 

SECOND CLASS SALOON

This is the world of the young Jack London.
Based on a photograph posted on Facebook of Wyatt Earp’s
Second-Class Saloon. Nome, Alaska, 1901.

“We were those wandering hordes of ruffians, knife-fighters, drifters, Faro demons and con men with gold dreams, high hopes and low-down liquor and lust in our blood. Law and order came here to this cold place, but it was for them, the coiffured-city-dandies and thinned-skinned tender-foots, not us. Our law was as we wished it to be. Our order is filled at the lacquered pine bar of the Second-Class Saloon. We are forging this wilderness, whipping it, shaping it, cursing it, bending it to fit our will. But never do we run from it.  I would suggest wholeheartedly that that entitles us to our pleasurable indulgences.

We’re land-pirates. Gypsies of the Northland. Cutthroats with crowns. Scoundrels with thrones.  That’s who we are. We comport ourselves with swaggering righteousness. There’s righteousness, then there’s wilderness righteousness. Our woman-folk, both those with their inestimable sacrifices who accompany their husbands and those brave paid ladies, with their voluptuous endowments, have been an elixir to our strife and endeavors. Without them, we’re stir crazy, the lot of us.

Meeting resistance is our specialty. Loss of life or limb in our pursuits are incidentals in our mission. In our collective ambitions, only the stout of mind and body survive. ‘Come hither Darwin lad, and test your thesis! Gold or timber. It doesn’t matter. We’ll subjugate this place – till now an uninhabitable wilderness. We’ll dwell in those regions where the wolves once held sway.

Morality and civilization are such unnatural things. Takes lots of time to make a diamond. It’s more often the ill-timed, ill-advised neutering of Western function, duty, and destiny that besets and quivers discovery, expansion. From wars, disease, and traitors to destiny. Properness and goodness have their place, but not now and not here. Just ballast to be jettisoned, if not appropriate to our desires. We’re diving headlong into the belly of snowy fire and forging our trophies of conquest! If those who follow will polish and preserve it, all will be well. Though likely some bastard do-gooder will come along one day and break it into bits, such as a spoiled-brat-child would. So, let’s all drink, and be ready for any son-of-a-bitch who tries to stop us!”