This episode by Reply All is well worth your time: #166 Country of Liars. It tries to unravel the secret of Q’s identity. As I’m seeing more and more thinned versions of Q’s ideas pop up in Dutch culture, I’m trying to understand this phenomenon a bit better. After listening to this episode, I’m even more appalled how these ideas find fertile soil in Europe as well.
A very interesting thing happened in NL this week. Several people with a lot of followers, mostly in the younger adult age group, started posting stuff under a Dutch hashtag which roughly translates to ‘I’m out’. They expressed their discontent with government rules to keep covid-19 at bay. They seemed to want to say, I don’t believe it anymore. I’m done with keeping my distance. Sure, the number of infections are rising, but numbers in hospitals are still low. I’m young. Covid-19 is not life threatening for me. I’m done with all the rules.
The story goes that these people were first brought together in a chat group (using whatsapp) by someone who is the founder of a small but vocal group of anti-government rules. He gathered people in his chat group that have a serious amount of followers and started to convince them of his arguments against government covid-19 rules. These influencers clearly were influenced and in an orchestrated manner started influencing their followers by posting messages of doubt.
After publishing a storm of critique followed. From average Jane to the Minister, people warned them of their influence on their audience. Right at a time when the number of infectious people is rising rapidly and hospitalizations doubling every week, these messages of doubt are not helpful to prevent further restrictions in the (very) near future. Several of the influencers doubled down and retracted their message from whatever social platform they’re active on. Ironically, they started to downplay their role as influencers. I hope their clients heard this message. They’re worth less than advertisers think.
Het moment dat Dochter keihard moet lachen om afleveringen van Buurman en Buurman.
I watched this short documentary on how two parents raise their child gender neutral. By the end of the film, their child celebrates their first birthday. I didn’t go as far as using a different pronoun for Daughter, but I avoided buying her gender stereotyped clothes and toys. I was able to maintain that until she was between two and three years old. It’s when she started noticing differences between boys and girls in daycare. She now prefers to wear dresses and pink is her favourite colour. It’s fine. It’s her choice. The Man and I keep stimulating her in all sorts of ways and sometimes we have to remind her there is no such thing as boys and girls play. Some boys play wild, but her best (girl)friend does so too. Some boys like to play with dolls, she does not. Peers and teachers are a strong force to deal with as parents. The parents in this documentary will discover that soon enough. And that is fine too.
Daughter’s teachers had two ‘studiedagen’, days during which the teachers work, but not teach. Don’t ask me what they do during those days. School’s all still a mystery to me. Two school free days gave us the opportunity to plan a long weekend just the three of us. This summer we had plenty of fun trips, but it involved other family members. Lots of interaction, little quiet time. Therefore I loved they idea of spending a few days with just us three. A friend of ours owns a holiday home just outside Maastricht, on the Belgian side of the border and we rented that for three nights. As the weather was terrific (around 24ºC in the afternoon) we went hiking.
Last week I bought Daughter proper hiking shoes and she walked almost all of it by herself (except for a tiny speck when her parents kept pushing her to keep on walking, but she burst into tears. In hindsight she had a fever, as she came down with a cold). On our Valkenburg hike my watch clocked about 10KM. I applaud Daughter’s stamina.
The south of Limburg is a fantastic area for hiking. Hills, specks of forest mixed with fields, castles and old well kept farms. It is completely the opposite of the area I live in (or grew up in). If work would allow it, this is an area I’d gladly move to.