I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated with the Netherlands, or more precisely, why it's the source/site/subject of so much of my art/object/image/culture interest. Maybe it's because of New York, which has always felt to me of a piece with Amsterdam in some way. Whatever, maybe the particulars are not that important right now.
But I'd like to see more thinking and writing and reporting like Steven Erlanger's NYT piece on immigration, religious tension, politics and Dutch identity.
The sometimes violent European backlash against Islam and its challenge to national values can be said to have started here, in a country born from Europe's religious wars. After a decade of growing public anger, an aggressively anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim politician, Geert Wilders, leads the third-largest party, which keeps the government in power.Wow, I just re-read the 2010 post I wrote about remembering Laurence Wechsler writing on Vermeer. It's the same things. And you know, maybe these particulars are important right now.