A young Dutch woman, Nathalie Lubbe Bakker, having lived for some time in Antwerp, moved recently to New York to study acting and theater. She makes her living by working as a waitress, as of recently in a bar owned by a Belgian, and she shares an apartment with another student of performing arts. She lives from tips as usual... fix income for people waiting in US restaurants and bars is subminimal if not non-existent... all waiters live on tips, something we don't quite know in this lovable country of ours!
Oh, yes, our lassie keeps a blog. She posts all sorts of news from her daily life in the city of cities. Unfortunately her blogs are written in Dutch... they are fun to read if you master the language.
A 'non-event' that she recently blogged about made her an instant celebrity. Was about the visit at the bar by our Defense Minister (see above) 'on mission' in New York. Nathalie sez that his Excellence was pissed drunk as he came in. Far less appetizing though was her short dialog with him, if you believe what she reported. His meeting was canceled, he said because all important folks were in Geneva instead. So, why did he come to NY at all then? Well, there's not much to do in Brussels nowadays, so why not come to Big Apple? Never been there before anyway! That's the point she makes then... whereas the world is in crisis and people lose jobs and fall into poverty everywhere, his Excellence decided to have a good time midtown Big Apple at our Belgian taxpayers' cost...
Well... that's not news! I mean, if we had to report each and every anomaly (abuse) performed by the scores of family clans that are occupying the Belgian political scenery (well known fact: Belgium is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet, based on recent statistics), then there wouldn't be any space left to report anything else. The real news is what followed when the Minister came back home, short after the incident. This is what the Belgian joke is all about:
Last Friday, His Excellence discusses the 'non-event' incident at a hearing in the Parliament, where among others he sez:
I'd like to take this opportunity and use this 'non-event' to signal a dangerous phenomenon in our Society. We are living in a spirit of the times where everyone is free, according to his beliefs and without responsibility to post blogs. This is worse than throwing mud. And, together with you Mr. President, the rest of you my colleagues of the Parliament and colleagues from the Government, I recognize that it is almost impossible to defend ourtselves against this (phenomenon). Everybody among you, colleagues, Mr. President, colleagues of the Parliament and colleagues of the Government, is a potential victim. And I am asking you all to collectively examine this (followed by applause of members of his Party fraction and of a few from the Opposition parties)
Now tell me... there's two things anyone paying taxes in this country can do about news like this. Either weep or burst into laughter... Good thing that the Minister sobered up by the time he appeared in the House on Friday, otherwise he'd spoil the joke if he said what he said under influence...
Oh, BTW, Nathalie was fired soon after someone from the Minister's entourage called the bar owner in New York to complain about the gal's post!