usProat: Listening –

Listening carefully is an art. At home I sometimes get thrown around the ears that I can hear well but listen very poorly. And frankly, that’s true. I do get almost everything with me, but do something with it, oh well. Then my mind is on something else. It’s not malicious, it just happens.

You can also listen to music. In the last six months we have been able to celebrate the necessary parties with pleasure. Drinking, singing, dancing and catching up until the wee hours. Well, catch up? You better call it screaming. It may have to do with my age, I won’t deny. But it strikes me that the music is simply loud. I then have to listen carefully to get some more from a conversation. You really have to chatter in each other’s ear to make yourself understood. As a result, a few days later my voice is still not fully back. For my environment nice and quiet of course.

Take the Maarkels Feest, for example. Very pleasant but not good for the voice. Even if you are on the bar shift, it is impossible to immediately understand what is being ordered. After a few times you think you know. You put the order down. Turns out no rosé beer was ordered but rosé wine. Still not well understood.

Now there is a limit to the sound of 103 decibels, but that is still very loud. Fortunately, they want to do something about it. Namely, making it mandatory that earplugs are present at a party or concert. And then it is the visitors’ own responsibility to use those caps. That’s the world upside down. So it is admitted that the sound is too loud but the volume knob is not turned back. Do you still get it?

In the Kösterskoele we had a DJ on the last evening this year. He was spinning in the farm. And that was tough! He was asked a few times to turn the music down a bit. But he didn’t listen to anything. Probably too much hearing damage. According to him, it had to be this volume otherwise the music wouldn’t come through properly. As a result, half of the people went outside to be able to talk a little more. I don’t think that’s the point of such a party.

The people who are supposed to run our country have certainly suffered hearing damage at some point. Because they can’t or don’t want to listen. A lot has been promised on Budget Day, but confidence in this cabinet is still declining. They receive a historically low score because they do not listen to practice. When I used to come home with a 4, the advice was: better watch out! That is exactly what the ladies and gentlemen in government should do. Go into the country once. Gauge the mood of your voters. Listen to your supporters. And do something with it!

And if that all gets too complicated, I do have some free advice for this cabinet: pack your things, get out. In that regard, they have already practiced well this week by walking away en masse from a debate. If they don’t want to listen to anything I would say: please go do something else. The jobs are up for grabs. Everyone deserves a second chance, but how many second chances do you want? How nice it would be if they would listen to this simple Maarkelse columnist.

Nice weekend,


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