In the name of the father


The Current Economic System of the Modern Industrialised World demands victims on a daily basis. Many adults end up as failures in an environment where they, too, wanted to lift their heads and say: “Take me seriously. I also deserve to be treated with respect.”

If you fail as an adult in this world, and you don’t get back on your feet, you will suffer for the rest of your life under financial pressure, and endure disappointments, instances where you must abandon your dignity, hardships which will necessarily be your fate if you don’t have enough money, humiliation, and pride that has to be swallowed.

I realised this thing – that the world gets the better of some adults, that they struggle for all they’re worth, but once the game has turned against you, you will probably never again be on the winning side. I didn’t realise this last year, or in Korea, or when I was at university and my awareness of the world became more sophisticated. I realised it long before I was old enough to understand it properly.

From then on my trousers trembled at the thought that my turn would also come to climb into the ring against the big boys. The same men who floored tough guys and who pushed their wives out of the ring when they wanted to help. My turn would come, I always knew; the day when my name would be called, when the men would look up to see what this “Brand Smit” guy looks like. And when they see it is I, they will look at each other, raise their eyebrows, and smile. Because they will know: “This guy shouldn’t give us too many problems.”

I am the only son among three children. My mother always thought I was a little “special” (in a good sense, but it’s also true that my parents wanted me to be tested at one point for mental retardation), and I was always interested in things of a spiritual nature. Maybe it isn’t that much of a surprise that the idea occurred to me that it may not be “my lot in life” to find work after university, and get married and have children … and then make one mistake and then everything is fucked up for everyone for the rest of their lives.

“Maybe I should be a writer,” I thought. “Isn’t it true that I believe I have a special calling I have to perform!” Meantime I’m just screwed up because nobody told Sonny, that’s not how it always goes in the Big People’s World …

So it came that I’ve been hiding for fourteen years in the Adult World – to which I belong by default because enough time has passed since my birth.

The Bible says that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children. Bruce Springsteen says, “They ain’t gonna do to me what I watched them do to you.” Which is nice and dandy when you end up a millionaire rock star, but what do you do if you’re an unpublished writer in self-imposed exile, and you want to go home?

In the name of the father
Thus will I approach the world