The king summarized King’s Day 2021 at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. He said: “This was a King’s Day never to be forgotten and never to be repeated.” Almost correct. Of course he should have said “a King’s Day to forget quickly”, if only to put a heel on that pedantic screaming mayor of Eindhoven. John Jorritsma (VVD) with his casual two-day beard and his High Tech Campus. “Eindhoven Brainport” and “clubbing the rigging of the ledge out of the city”, we will remember him later.
The king and his family were publicly punished for all they did wrong in Corona time, and we, the mob, were allowed to join in from the couch. They got with the whip on their bare backs. Play balls that made them do the craziest things in the name of progress. The king arrived in his own 1950s DAF. Immediately Guus Meeuwis, then you know that you are in Brabant. Making virtual talks with “special Eindhoven residents”. Decorating burgers. Yes really, decorate burgers. As if they were the new employees of a restaurant run by people with blemishes. Our king, leader of the nation in need, humbly asked if ‘the hat’ could already be put on the sandwiches. Meanwhile, his wife Máxima looked at a 3D-printed cookie as if she had a new brooch in her hands.
In between activities, continuous unsolicited communication that the hearts of the majesties went out to everyone who has been or has been affected by the pandemic. They formed a heart with their hands for people in healthcare. Highlight for fans of the human deficit: a quiz. Team Van Oranje against Team Stedelijkgebied Eindhoven, Team A2 municipalities, Team de Peel and Team de Kempen, all of which could be admired in a kind of homely environment – because corona. My ancestors come from the Kempen, they had this boring affair with questions such as “how many inhabitants does Son en Breugel have on 1 January 2021?” not served. Of course, the carefully selected model burgers are. To be fair, I did hope that the Van Oranje team won. Not for that family, but for us; it doesn’t feel good to bring millions every year to a family even more stupid than the actors of Team de Peel.
The question that lingered was who this North Korean huddle of artists, officials, citizens and presenters to please the royal family was actually intended for. For us? Then leave it next time. As if we were shot back to the past with high tech. Painful for everyone involved. Except for Mayor John Jorritsma of Eindhoven, who really thought it was great.
Marcel van Roosmalen writes an exchange column with Ellen Deckwitz at this place.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad of April 28, 2021
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of April 28, 2021