Secret letter to Shane Macgowan

Dear Shane MacGowan,

I have to say, I’m a little disappointed in you. You were once one of my role models, with your rough and rugged exterior, your gritty and raw lyrics, and your overall rebellious nature. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that perhaps you were not the best person to look up to.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the Dionysian aspect of art, and the idea of letting go and indulging in pleasure from time to time. But there’s a difference between that and simply drinking oneself into a stupor. It’s one thing to embrace the wild and unpredictable nature of life, but it’s another thing entirely to completely stupify ones brain capacity.

Did it never occur to you that the English-Saxon predator has been using the same tactics for centuries to domesticate foreign cultures? By introducing fire water and manipulate disease, (stupidity and fear), they were able to exert control over people and make them more pliable. And while I’m not saying that you were intentionally trying to follow their agenda, the fact is that you were actually following their agenda.

You were one of my rolemodels as a poet, and I thank you for all the wonderful lyrics you have brought to this world. This sort of letter tends to become moralising, so let’s not go there and focus on the poetic aspect of the equation. The Celtic people are one of the most refined cultures in Europe – as Nietzsche put it, evil people know no music: as such, I live in a country where one could question if goodness actually still exists. It more and more resembles a fully automated parking lot next to the North Sea, so I am in awe of the celtic people and love their music and their poetry.

It even inspired me to write a Celtic based collection of poetry called ‘Ginneninne’. I think that’s actually my best book, but I didn’t translate it yet into English. I did translate my latest book, Poetry to Read in the Dark, and I would like to offer it to you fro free, it would be a honor to me if you would read it:

Poetry to Read in the Dark (2022) (3216 downloads )

You will see as you read my book that my message is a serious one, and I hope you can appreciate it. It is time this story is told. And really, you should bring your people back to the original drink: a wonderful cup with brew of the Amanita Muscaria.

That was the drink of Druids, and that is a drink that could even now perhaps reduce your suffering, as
it is a miraculous painkiller as well. I wish you the best, Shane, and once again thanks a million for the beautiful music.

Martijn Benders

Martijn Benders has published twenty-six books, eighteen of which are in Dutch. He has been named one of the greatest talents of his time by critics like Komrij and Gerbrandy. He has also written three philosophical works, one of which is in English about the Amanita Muscaria, the Fly Agaric. Publishing on the international stage of The Philosophical Salon, he has also gained international recognition as one of the most remarkable thinkers from the Netherlands.