It is not my usance to make any political comment on this weblog if it is not about crossmedia. Today one of the most provocative advocates of free speech in the Netherlands (probably at this time the only real provocative) Theo van Gogh, has been shot in Amsterdam, after he first brought his son to school. Theo van Gogh was a cineast, writer and television program maker, with a strong opinion about various issues. Besides that he is one of the first cineasts who made creative use of the internet to give his opinion. Because he was not wary of insulting people personally, many media where afraid of working with him, due to large juridical claims. So he used the internet, his own weblog (www.degezonderoker.nl) too give his opinion on various issues. Because he also had difficulty getting his films distributed (he was first of all a cineast) he is one of the first cineasts that uses the internet to distribute his films. He just finished a first cut of ‘ 0605′ a film about the murder on Pim Fortuyn (a murder that caused a political earthquake in this little country). Film distributors refused to publish his previous film “Cool” so he published it on the internet. This film ’0605′ tells about a complot against the rise of Pim Fortuyn, where the AIVD (the Dutch Intelligence Service) was informed about the assult on the life of Pim Fortuyn by Volkert van der Graaf. He had very strong opinions about the radical Islam. He recently made a political short movie called “Submisson” where veiled women with naked bodies covered by transparant material had Koran texts writen on their bodies. The women made statements about abuse and the vulnerable position of battered women in the Islamic community. The film is a pamflet of Ayan Hirshi Ali a Dutch liberal politician. She made the film together with Theo van Gogh. It was seen as very provocative by the Islamic Community in the Netherlands.
Theo van Gogh was a very intelligent man, using his provocations to let people see the borders of their own opinions. In order to let people see other possible views it is important we first understand the borders of our own opinions. We are living in a changing world, today; 2 november is a very important day for the whole world with the final episode in the race for the White House in America. Change is always marked by great resistance of people having to leave their ‘safe’ positions. We have not been carefull enough of people like Theo van Gogh, they are too vulnerable advocates of change.