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.
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.
I’ve arrived at a new stage of parenting. The phase in which I need to reinforce certain core values while Daughter is confronted with kids with a different type of parents. Parents who have interesting ideas about what to bring to school for lunch. In The Netherlands that means sandwiches and cookies. Cookies? Yes, don’t ask me why. Somehow parents feel bad about stuffing their kids with fruit as a mid-morning snack every day, so they revert to ‘healthy’ cookies (still full of sugars and too much salt). Her school advocates two days a week as fruit days. If I were in the education business, I would advocate for five fruit days a week. Seven even, but you can’t have control over weekend days. Nonetheless I should be happy about having two fruit days a week. Daughter’s friend from daycare goes to a different school and they have one fruit day a week.
For snacks we put fruit and vegetables in Daughter’s lunch box. Daughter felt left out in the cookie department. I understood her position. Therefore I started to look for compromises. I looked at voedingscentrum.nl for advice. Dried fruits and nuts are considered healthy snacks. So the Man bought a bag of raisin boxes and extra nuts during his weekly visit to the supermarket. Parental love status repaired. For now.
Beavers became extinct in this country somewhere in the 19th century. Late twentieth century reintroduction programs started and since then the number of beavers living in our country grew. This map shows you sightings of beavers in The Netherlands in the past six months. As you can see, Flevoland, the province where we went for a hike yesterday, is a hot spot for beavers as well. Once we knew what to look for, we saw signs of beaver activity everywhere. Like small trees along the shores that had snapped.
Clearly due to beavers gnawing the tree trunk.
We spotted a lot of beaver sized paths as well. Interesting fact is that the beavers weren’t officially reintroduced in Flevoland, but their presence is the result of some of them escaping Natuurpark Lelystad (which is on the other side of the province). They clearly fare well on this side of the province too.
In Halberstadt, Germany, they take As Slow as Possible seriously. I refer to the piece of music written by John Cage called Organ2/ASLSP. The composer omitted to put a tempo on this piece of music, leaving it to the performer to decide how slow the piece will be played.
Some people decided to make a very unique performance of the piece in Halberstadt. That performance started on September fifth 2001 and is still going on. In fact, it will last until 2640. No, that six is not a typo. Talking about as slow as possible! The organ it is/will be performed on is basically being built along the way. A tone change occurs when pipes are added. Yesterday was one of those days. Two new pipes were added: gis and e’. It was live streamed on Youtube. The big sound change starts at about 3:30
A very fascinating project. No-one will know if the piece will be finished, apart from those robotic creatures that will inhabit the world by then. But I suspect they have no taste for art and despise the inefficiency of this project and will have killed the project around 2320 and will have forgotten about it by the time it’s 2640 in human earth years. In our lifetime we can still enjoy slow art, though. For instance, the next change in sound is scheduled for February fifth 2022. Marked it in my calendar.