In the Netherlands on the 6th of april we’re having a referendum on the association treaty between the EU and Ukraine. I plan to write a few pieces on this topic and have in the past few months done a bit of research.
22th of March some of the student associations in Leiden organized a debate between two of our politicians (Renske Leijten and Kees Verhoeven) and a journalist (Arno Wellens).
At the event I was allowed to record the debate and am allowed to upload it.
It is in Dutch, but for the not so few of you who speak the language, I have uploaded it and embedded it below:
Apologies for the suboptimal quality of the Audio.
I didn’t know my country (the Netherlands) originally discovered, the weird thing in the Arctic ocean, I always see before finding Iceland.
Well maybe I did. I vaguely remember, talking about it with my dad and one of my friends, before said friend went on vacation to the Island. But I’m not sure, my mind has been playing tricks on me lately, and it might be a false memory it created to make sense of the new information I found… You’re not really in the mood to help me anymore or are you subconscious… *insert funny voice* No! You’ve neglected me for far too long, ask me again when I’m not angry at you anymore in a decade.
When I saw this I thought wait what. How is the plurality of people, all of whom found me trough Facebook, of today’s visitors from Australia. Than I looked at the numbers and saw the plurality only consists of 2 people.
I gave this workshop somewhere in 2015 and probably should have uploaded it somewhere sooner. Underneath you’ll find the presentation and a link to the google drive where you should be able to download it (the red link underneath the embedded thing has the notes/remarks as powerpoint notes and the embedded presentation has them as separate slides).
I didn’t really change much to the text besides add some slides with text I said/ meant to say, but I think it will be useful to some. I remember that I was rather nervous and tired when I gave this presentation so the text version is probably strictly better than the one I gave in person…
I had a really nice evening yesterday. I went to one of the regular evenings of my debating society. I think the debates were some of the best I’ve ever seen. But that might also be because my mental state was perfect for watching a debate and thinking about it yesterday.
Despite this, or perhaps because of this, I did feel kind of weird. When I was talking to Robin and Takenori (two of my friends) at the bar, I wondered: how is it that everyone else seems to always be in this state of mind, where you can truly listen and bring truly great ideas to the table? Whereas I am only on rare occasions in such a mental state. I’m not sure to what extent this perception of mine was true or merely a skewed view I had of things.
Whether my perception was accurate or not it did make me feel a bit like the main character in “Children Are Bored on Sundays” by Jean Stafford. The main character, Emma (one of the people present at the debating evening is also called Emma), is a very smart woman who thinks she’s not smart.
The reason I recognized that feeling within myself, is perhaps not only caused by the debating evening itself, but also my own reminiscing of primary school. When I was always the kid with by far the most spelling errors, and humiliatingly had to put my hand down last when numbers of spelling errors were asked for in class.
My general state of being doesn’t help either. I’ve, unlike Emma, not finished any degrees. I’ve only ever come close. And I, probably also unlike Emma, am still far ways away from making any real money off off my intellect. Sure I’ve taught physics and math a bit to highschool kids but those aren’t my ideas, and as far as ideas of other people go, also not the most challenging.
But enough about me below here is the short story in podcast form. For the one in writing I think you need an subscription.
I usually try to avoid writing these kinds of posts, overly emotional ones about politics, but my current emotional state really created the desire to write this -and some of the stuff I wrote elsewhere, about the subject of politics- in me. I think this kind of emotional reasoning most of the time leads to the wrong conclusion. But here it goes:
I’m not that sure I really am a @SenSanders supporter anymore. Over the past weeks I’ve seen he’s wrong on too many issues. @HillaryClinton seems wrong on a lot of issues too, but I never suspected her to be right on that many things. I did from Bernie. At least my seaside neighbour has @jeremycorbyn. He seems to be the real deal… Hope I don’t find out similar stuff about him, and that the stuff I already found out isn’t going to have a harsher impact on me later. Rationally I understand I can’t really expect a candidate to be perfect, there’s too many compromises that are required to be an effective politician and people disagree without that too. But I really want one of them to be perfect right now. So we can have a shining beacon of hope to guard away the darkness of corruption and the stench of reality itself. My own state of mind is probably playing a large role in this as well. Seeing death so close by really opened me up to the suffering of others. And it made me very emotional about it as well.
Sorry that I don’t fill in the details of why I feel this way, but this way the emotional message seems clearer to me. Maybe the details will spill out in a future chapter or a second draft.
I feel kind of guilty again. This feeling feels very much the same as the last post I did about it. However, it’s slightly different this time. I kind of feel that I shouldn’t take anything good away from Daphne’s death. That it should just be a terrible tragedy instead of also something “good.” But I am taking something good away from her death. The sadness I feel fills me with motivation to write things down. Now I’m even writing a very weird kind of book, because of it and in part about it. It might not be a book, it might become a game or visual novel or walking simulator. (This probably also means the post I promised will be the end of that novel or game. So you’ll have to wait for that one for quiet some time.) At least it’s going to be something, instead of the sadness and tragedy I almost feel that this should be. I’m wrong about that of course. Sure death is sad, but we are always allowed to make something good out of it. I’m not sure if Daphne would have wanted this to happen, and I think I want to talk to her parents about this and some other things, but it is happening. It’s the way I’m going to deal with this sadness.
I also kind of feel like I don’t deserve to be sad. That because I haven’t seen her in 12, 13 or maybe even 14 years. I don’t deserve to be sad about her passing. That I can’t honour her memory because I didn’t really know her anymore. This is wrong too of course. Lots of people, which I actually know in real life, I know to the same degree as I know her. Those people and her I know more as almost an idea of a person than a person in and of themselves. And I bet that many people I know, now know me that way too. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be sad if I die or that I shouldn’t be sad if they die.
Today you’re getting a different post than I expected to give you. When I heard about the death of Daphne I did write quite a lot. Posts to the Facebook group I found out about her death from, a private message to Daphne her facebook profile, the post that went up that day, but also I half finished a post filled with poetic metaphor and yesterday and today I found a way to refine the central metaphor even more and link it back to my own thoughts and actions even more. However today I don’t have the energy to put in that kind of intellectual work. I’m tired from the emotional chaos of the weekend, and feel I should take a bit of a quit day to myself. Eat some food (I ate almost nothing yesterday) watch some Youtube, read some fiction and rest.
Creating fiction out of my real life experiences can wait a little longer.
Don’t get me wrong I think it is probably one of my better posts, but I have weird feelings about the way it got successful.
My previous post got that many views because I actually promoted it. I didn’t really promote it for the sake of it getting a lot of views. I promoted it because I needed to talk to people about it so I shared it on my social media. I had some nice conversations with some people, and those people got to know some things about me they didn’t know before. But this whole post has been building up to it hasn’t it? It feels very wrong to “use” the death of someone I cared for, even if I didn’t really know her anymore, to “launch” some sort of internet succes. These are unfortunately feeling I haven’t found the exact cause for so I can’t “rationalise them away”… I think this post is going to do worse anyway, since I’m not in the mood to “market” this post beyond a simple twitter and perhaps facebook share. That’s maybe for the best…
She died a few months ago but I didn’t see the facebook posts until today. I never really saw her after primary school, although I did think of her often. I didn’t have her on facebook jet, since I didn’t know her last name and I didn’t have facebook until I was almost at the end of highschool. I looked up her profile today and she was really beautiful. Her hair colour changed and of course she had become older too. She looked happy in lots of the photos, but the people who posted about her death think she might have committed suicide.
A few years ago I made a few attempts to do so myself. I wanted to jump off a tall building, but there was a small wall on the upper floor so it prevented me from going through with it.
I’m kind of sad, but I never get that devastated by the death of people I know. I kind of want to visit her grave, but I don’t know where it is. I think I’d like to pray, even though I don’t believe in supernatural entities. Not all aspects of religion depend on you actually believing they’re true.
I sent a message to her facebook profile. Of course she’s not going to see it, but I thought it might be therapeutic for me to do so. I really miss her now, even though I’ve not seen her in about 13 years.
I think I’ll keep this post short, but I really want to talk to people, so maybe leave a comment.