Tjebbe van Tijen on Fri, 8 May 2009 13:06:49 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Limping Messenger slow delivery of messages, articles and comment

slow delivery of messages, articles and comment by Tjebbe van Tijen

texts mostly in English, some special pages in Dutch.

== a blog launched on May first 2009 ==
The figure of the ?limping messenger? can be traced back at least to  
the 17th century both as a name of a type of popular almanac first  
published in German in Basel, Switzerland in 1677, and as a figure in  
the satirical story by Comenius ?The labyrinth of the world and the  
paradise of the heart? written in 1663. The origin of this  
allegorical figure comes from the way in which the news from the  
battle field reached the public. Comenius compares people flocking  
around a messenger on a sweating horse arriving at the city square  
with the latest news with that of the ?limping messenger? who comes  
much later, but whose message can be better trusted in the chapter  
about ?newsmongers?: ? Many rode swift horses, and there were many  
people who bought from them; others walked on foot, or hopped on  
crutches: and the wise folk bought from these men, saying that their  
goods were more reliable.?  The limping messenger is a former  
soldier, wounded on the battlefield mostly depicted with one amputed  
lower leg and a wooden prothesis; in some pictures his role as  
messenger is emphasized by a wing on his wooden leg, like the god  
Mercurius with his winged feet. He also brings the not so happy and  
glorious news which is mostly depicted by someone crying near him,  
like the little boy in the left hand picture. A snail is in several  
examples part of the emblematic pictures that appeared as front cover  
of these almanacs. In Dutch there is a related expression ?het  
hinkend paard komt achteraan? (the limping horse comes last) as a  
warning against premature gladness. This also points to the horse or  
messenger that goes slow because his message is not going to be well  
received. The English expression ?a lame post? seems to be related  
historically, but its usage now is something said that is not needed  
anymore, superfluous. The French expression ?attendre le  
boiteux? (waiting for the wooden leg) did get the meaning of waiting  
for news that does not come or is late to arrive.


First comments are on the car crashing into a crowd killing and  
wounding several bystanders during a royal parade in Apeldoorn on  
Queens-day 30 of April and the multiple interpretations of what  
happened and the too quick conclusion of Dutch authorities that it  
was a direct assault on the queen and other members of the Dutch  
royal house.

Below the text of two recent posts:
Dutch prime-minister Balkenende claims publicly that there has been a  
planned assault on the royal family, which statement can be seen as  
an unconstitutional act
May 7, 2009 by The Limping Messenger/De Hinkende Bode | Edit
At a most public moment, the opening of the Freedom-Day festival on 5  
of May 2009 in Zwolle , Dutch prime-minister Balkenende claimed that  
the attack on April 30 in Apeldoorn was a an assault on the royal  
family. These are the words of Balkenende  broadcasted on Dutch  
television news on that day:

?This moment also we think back at last week thursday, at our queen  
and the members of the  royal family, because the assault was  
directed at them.?

This is said while several independent official investigations into  
the incident have been announced with the results to be made public  
in June this year. How is it possible that in a constitutional state,  
like the Netherlands, which claims to have independent courts and  
juridical procedures,  a prime minister gives his personal opinion on  
a criminal act (The Karsten T. incident)  at such a public ceremonial  
moment? He has created a situation whereby investigators and judges  
will be hampered in their tasks, because they may be forced to either  
contradict or approve the minister-president of the country on this  
case. The regular behavior in such case by members of the parliament   
is that they say ?I will not? or ?I can not comment on something that  
is still in the hands of the court.? What we observe here is in fact  
unconstitutional behavior of the highest ranking politician of our  
country in a clumsy attempt to strengthen the constitutional  
monarchy. As the incident with Karsten T. can be explained in several  
ways and where doubts exist if it really was an assault on the royal  
family or not, such a statement may in the end weaken the position of  
the royal house and the victimhood which has for political reasons  
been imposed on them.

[video NOS journaal copy place by me on YouTube]

The broadcasted text spoken by Balkenende in Dutch was:

?Ook nu denken wij terug aan vorige week donderdag aan onze koningin  
en de leden van de koninklijke familie, want de aanslag was op hen  

The action of Karst T. ?not an assault, but rather shows the  
characteristics of a public selfmurder?
May 6, 2009 by The Limping Messenger/De Hinkende Bode | Edit
Rifka Weehuizen, a researcher at the University of Maastricht of the  
joint realm of  economy and psychology, published an article today in  
one of the main dailies of the Netherlands De Volkskrant on the  
assault on Queens-day 30 of April 2009 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands,  
by Karsten T. under the headline: ?Of [the like of] Karst T. there  
are hundreds? (Van Karst T. zijn er vele honderden).  The author  
describes the common psychic features of people who do get unemployed  
and points to the fact that suicide of the unemployed is twice as  
high as with regular employed people. ?The aim of a suicide mostly is  
to put an end to what is experienced as unbearable emotional  
suffering without a way out in sight.?  Weehuizen then sums up  
several common known factors in personal life, possibly in  
combination with personality dysfunctions, and rates them against the  
profile of Karsten T.. She also puts this in a wider perspective  
mentioning the effects of economic recession as expressed in an  
increase of unemployment, on mental health and a resulting increase  
of suicide, especially among men. She also points to the secularized  
society of the Netherlands where social contacts ? especially of  
single persons ? are derived primarily from the job circle. When a  
person loses income and has no job anymore it may result in a  
personal social and psychological disaster. Resulting loss of  
identity and meaning in life may lead to anger, aggression, being  
victimized, urge to revenge and loss of self-control. Weehuizen  
continues to argue  that such a dissatisfaction with the economical  
situation or society in general is too abstract for directing strong  
feelings against,  that under such circumstances the royal family   
may have appeared to Karsten as a symbol, not only of  Dutch society,  
but also of people who appear to be rich, happy and loved; having  
everything the perpetrator was lacking. The focus of Weehuizen gets  
back now at the trajectory of the car of Karsten T. that ultimately  
crashed into an iron fence around a stone monument just after the  
moment the royal cortege in their special bus had passed a road with  
joyful bystanders awaiting an historical parade in honnor of the  
queeen. She proposes two interpretations of Karsten?s violent act: 1)  
the victims among the bystanders where just collateral damage  
standing in the way of his royal target; 2) they were part of his  
plan. Weehuizen comes to her end conclusion by stating that it is  
probable that the attack on this royal parade was nothing less and  
nothing more than [what in military terms are called 'targets of  
opportunity' (this is term is added by me here to clarify)] , that  
the objective could as well have been his former school, or former  


Tjebbe van Tijen

Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information
web-blog: The Limping Messenger

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