The Netherlands’2016 Eurovision Entry
These boys provide me with surprising intelligence. Apparently Amsterdam isn’t nearly laid back enough. Amsterdam desperately needs to mellow out. To support this suggestion, they record a video in which the industrious people are Amsterdam are speeded up a bit.
You’ll observe that speeded up traffic looks a lot less threatening when everybody’s riding bicycles.
Now I’m sorry – but even artificially speeded up – Amsterdam still looks pretty relaxed to me. The Amsterdam rat race appears considerably less ratty than anyone else’s. I think these boys are having a laugh.
As a statement from the Dutch people, this song seems to be saying the following.
“Your rat race is rattier than ours and pray God it always will be. No matter how slow and ambient our “coffee” bars might look – we can (and should) slow things down even further. Our quest for supreme relaxation knows no bounds. The truth is – our only sense of urgency involves our urgent quest to be less urgent. We cannot afford to be complacent about our quest to remove the few remaining sources of stress from our lives. For sure, Amsterdam might just be the most laid back city on earth (and the theme from Van der Valk is playing in our collective heads right now), but for how long? If we just rest on our supremely restful laurels, then before you know it – Stockholm or Copenhagen will sneak in and out-languid us. The price of slowness is constant vigilance.”
The Netherlands’ entry is structured around this central paradox. And it’s an admirable agenda. I might even vote for it, assuming I can summon up the energy and urgency to actually pick up a phone.
At one point the guitar player does something a bit exciting – he grabs someone’s beer bottle and does that cool slide thing with it for its solo – before (I note) returning it unspilled to its rightful owner. In some European cities you could start a fight by doing that. But this is Amsterdam.
It’s a nice tune, and it is strummed in a pleasantry desultory fashion and sung by a nice young man with a slightly glazed expression on his face. He looks kind of slow, but clearly he can go a lot slower.
In the meantime, here’s Croatia
Here’s Austria by the way…