Sad as it is, the Joran van der Sloot and Natalee Holloway case has a funny side to it. And the mobile phone plays a big role in it. More than half of the Dutch population watched the program by Peter R. de Vries on Sunday the 3rd of Februari 2008 about the confessions Joran van der Sloot made in front of hidden cameras. Shortly after the broadcast, SMS messages started circulating:
‘Lig hier op het strand met een wijf te ketsen maar in één keer deed ze niks meer! Kan je ff komen met een boot, een echte vriend doet dat toch? Mag jij mijn nieuwe gympen!’
which translates into something like:
I am on the beach humping this chick, all of a sudden she stops moving! Can you come over with a boat, a real friend would do such a thing? You can have my new sneakers!
Free newspaper De Pers quotes this joke from a barkeeper from The Hague. Another free newspaper Metro quotes the exact same joke from young people in Amsterdam. In trying to come up with a snappy answer, people refer in a similar vein to the show everybody has seen:
Sorry, geen tijd, zit op Aruba. Bel anders Daury ff.
(Sorry, no time, I am on Aruba. Call Daury.)
According to De Pers, one of the largest operators in the Netherlands Vodafone reports a remarkable increase in text messages after the Peter R. de Vries show.
Interestingly, broadcast mass media content (which still is able to reach the largest number of people) seeps into ‘narrowcast’ communication media like the mobile phone. Yet the mobile phone too is used in a chain-like broadcast medium. People send a message like this on to multiple other people.
Also, the mobile phone has become part of the repertoire of media people have to express themselves in a joking way. It has typical connotations of being non-serious and playful (especially amongst young people).[Interesting by the way that Wikipedia.org automatically forwards the entry “Joran van der Sloot” to “Natalee Holloway”… What politics are behind that choice?]