Dear Internet Diary,
I read an article today about a new immigration policy in The Netherlands. Part of the test requires immigrants to watch a film showing gay men kissing and bare-breasted women. The intent seems to be to educate immigrants that Dutch culture is liberal, and that they have to accept that to live in the country. It doesn't say you have to agree with those things--you just have to buy and watch the film.
So far, so good.
However, according to the article, not only is the Iranian version edited and censored, but Americans are exempt.
Do the Dutch have illusions about what Americans are like? Have they not heard about the national fury over the wardrobe malfunction of Janet Jackson? Do they know about the "War on Drugs" and the FCC with its bogus standards of decency? Have they never heard of Pat Robertson, TBN, or the Republican Party? Has the immigration minister ever heard of someone called George W Bush?
They might need to rethink their American exemption. Better think about the Canadian exemption too.
But I'll have to pas on this one. I know that fundamentalists are making life in Holland harder, but I don't think more government regulations will help much. After all, if the Netherlands didn't have a government, Muslims couldn't affect its policies, could they? Sorry, Sharia.
The Netherlands doesn't exist in a vacuum. That's like saying the state of Washington isn't affected by Oregon, Idaho, or California. But I can't blame them. The film reminds me of a travel brochure, more than immigration policy. Instead of advertising their tolerance for other religions, they should advertise what people really go to the Netherlands for: drugs, prostitution, windmills and Anne Frank. Get all of that on some posters, and you'll get the immigrants you really want, Holland.
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Oh, and the whole St Patrick's Day thing. How did YOU contribute to being Irish, and are you really a Catholic? And what's so bad about snakes?