Death of a friend: Will Tinnemans 1959-2014

Will Tinnemans, portret
My very dear friend and writer Will Tinnemans (1959) has passed away on October 28 while on vacation in France. A week earlier, he had a cardiac arrest and he never came out of the ensuing coma.

The son of a blue-collar worker, as a writer, he focused on immigrants and on people at the bottom of the labor market. He denounced the neoliberal system with its self-enriching managers and shareholders and showed how the Free Market has introduced what we – in the Netherlands – until recently always considered a US phenomenon: that of the working poor. In this country of 17 million people, 250,000 to 300,000 men and women have a job but cannot live on their salary. Will was a strong advocate for a fairer society with chances for all.

He was also a great companion: between the early 1980s and 2007, we travelled five continents, culminating in our common project ‘Bureaucratics’.
During the three decades of very intimate and turbulent friendship, we must have talked for thousands of hours, turning society and ourselves inside out. Will was a man of unrelenting honesty, no matter the consequences. Yes, he could be pedantic and pushy, and always had to have the last word. But more than that, he was eager, charismatic, humorous, hyperintelligent, lively, and incredibly loyal. I loved him.

The autumn cold creeps up through the earth, the leaves are falling and soon, the rains will be pooring down. The world is a sadder place.

To see and hear Will:
Boeken met Brands:
De Wereld Draait Door (from 1:29)