During my stay at Chios I once considered to swim to Turkey. Nearby, sea nice and calm. Purely as a thought experiment – I could swim well, but I hate swimming. Looks like I would have been successful.
Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, from Sestos to Abydos, this in 1810. Be it as a historical-cultural challenge, not merely a simple bet with himself. The name sounds creepy: Hell’s bridge.
From the perspective of today’s asylum seeker, who wants to enter Europe, this is in the wrong direction. Byron was a Romantic exotist – someone seeking the secrets of ‘the Orient’. He was about to escape Europe, especially his own cold, Puritan England which at that time did not like him.
He wrote a famous poem on his exploit:
For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I’ve done a feat today.
Byron being bisexual, fat chance that he could practice his sexual orientation in The East more pleasantly than in purist Britannia.
How the world is changed. Panta rheï as the classicists say. Meanwhile, the masses are crossing the narrow stretches of sea between Turkey and the Greek islands. Most of them cannot even swim and must cope with dubious rafts and dinghies, supplied to them by murky profit hunters.
Occasionally there is a gay amongst them, who then ends up in, God help him, Heumensoord near Holland’s town of Nijmegen. There he is attacked by what he himself called ‘Arabs’, and what we call Islamists – men who start to abuse and to threaten him, the Koran in their hands. Camp not good. Kill gay.
He longs, so he claims, for a safe place and many Dutch wish him this heartily. Not however the Conservative-Liberal Party VDD, nor the Labour Party which after all is a supporter of our VVD Prime Minister Rutte.
No – what they want is ‘to prevent false signals’. A ‘wrong signal’ would be to ‘set apart’ the beleaguered gay and lesbians. I hear them already using the word ‘role reinforcement’.
What a ‘good signal’ is, Attje Kuik, the Labour MP explains: “Setting them apart. That’s the wrong signal. The people who are guilty of harassment, its them we must punish – and deport.”[Volkskrant 9.2.16]
Such a statement, certainly for Attje, will be considered a ‘good signal’ all in itself, however crazy it may be. Who are those them? Knowing that more or less 98% of the refugees are Muslim – only a handful of them threatening our own academic staff for whose jobs they will surely be hunting – and you know that for gays virtually the entire population of these ‘refugee reception centers’ can become uncomfortable.
This may be the intent of VVD and PvdA. With their argument you may send them back all together and all at once…
How tired one gets from this display of politically correct flags, of this the semaphore of the dumbbells.
Those who flag with them must feel so good. “Jeffrey”, in Heumensoord, remains ‘the dick’, as the Dutchies have it. He must be crazy in the future to point out them, ‘those who are guilty of harassment’.