Was probably the most depressing day of my life. It also happened to be my birthday, but that wasn't the reason I was depressed.
Something died in me that day, and I haven't recovered. I doubt I ever will, but I hope it will happen. All hope about this country turning out fine slipped away that day, and it hasn't come back so far.
I doubt it ever will.
The event of that day wasn't exactly surprising, but to see it actually happen is a whole different thing. It's like knowing about the apocalypse and actually seeing it.
The country was in turmoil, for weeks, politicians were unable to respond, mosques, schools and churches were attacked. My local muslim school (why do these things get tax payer money anyway?), 200 yards away, was actually bombed, although damage was minor.
People suddenly realised the enemy was among us. Born here, educated here, unlike the 19 of 911, local produce. But just as crazy, intolerant and backward, stuck in the Arabian desert of 14 centuries ago, with an all consuming hatred for someone who didn't do anything but express his opinion.
He had been threatened before, called a pig, a fascist and a racist, but he laughed it all off, saying that nobody would ever attack the town fool. Citing a fatwa by ayatollah Khomeini, he called his enemies a "fifth column of goat fuckers", rude but so fitting to their view of life.
On the second of November, 2004, a young son was robbed of his father, because the father expressed what he believed in: freedom, a certain decadence and a disdain towards mass movements and their instinctive intolerance towards those who disagree.
He has left a legacy of movies, for that was what he really was: not just a man with an opinion, but a prolific director. He left his website, an oasis of liberty in a country that is suspicious of dissent and has no First Amendment right to free speech. And he left his books, compilations of rants, columns and whatever he had to get off his chest, published in various newspapers and for his website, for he was routinely fired for not conforming to the level of newspaper political correctness. He was one of the first to express, that the emperor, multiculturalism, was not only nude but highly dangerous to a society that values cohesion.
And he left Submission, a scathing attack on the treatment of women in Islamic societies, a short, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so controversial it hasn't been aired since.
On the second of November, 2004, Theo van Gogh, relative of the great artist, was shot and killed, as he cycled to his studio to finish his movie about that other murdered Dutch polemicist, Pim Fortuyn.
I'll talk about the depressing aftermath later.