ISSN 1989-4163



Strawberry Fears Forever

Coos Palmboom

Nothing’s real anymore, have you noticed? Life is merely a mirror image of what we held for true until very recently. Social relationships, especially the looser ones, have suffered greatly from people not daring to approach. Tucked behind our masks, all we can give each other is the eye, a fearful, hungry, obedient eye with only a touch of anger mixed in. It’s not enough to make things happen. Neither do we want anything to happen. When things are getting worse, let tomorrow be today. We are going through the motions. We are living in a dream, all of us. With society breaking down under isolation and poverty, we are quickly losing our culture. There are lots of incomprehensible and repulsive laws and regulations imposed everywhere, but what really strikes is that the rule of life has gone. There’s no logic to our existence any longer, no adherence to a guiding principle, be it politics, religion or selfishness, other than fear - fear of disease or fear of repression. We are lost in our private interpretations, deprived of bars and shops and busy streets to monitor our sanity. What we’re left with is an exercise in self-assessment. Howdy, mirror image, do I still look sane? Can I still pretend? ‘Cause that’s what it is about, this so-called new normal. Let’s imagine everything is like it always was, even though nothing is. And see if we can maintain our mental well-being in the face of total madness. Jay Krishnamurti said: it’s no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Yet, we see people everywhere do whatever they can to adapt. Look at me, I can wear a mask, I can stay away from you, I can shame myself, I can even hate myself. How am I doing, overlord?

Following the leader in the face of a great, unknown fear hasn’t turned out to be a very wise tactic, has it? Ten months in and counting, we haven’t got any closer to the end of our ordeal. Rather, people are being told to get used to permanent lockdowns. By the way, the vaccine is not going to save us, the virus has been mutating a lot lately and we can’t guarantee it will be of any use. But take it anyway, you know, it’s new and it’s been paid for. By you. So shut up and lock up and stay put till we tell you to come out again. Don’t blame or sue us for any damages your inactivity may have incurred, we all accept these measures are necessary. Wouldn’t want anybody to die this year, would we? Not in the news, that is. Not from fabled covid, the grand executioner. The silent killer of alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, depression, auto mutilation and suicide is not taken into account. Who cares about losers who can’t cope? The new normal is here for the successfully desensitised.

Pardon my sarcasm, I do understand why people want to follow the official explanation. There are so many stories these days and so many of them are challenged, it’s very difficult to come to some sort of understanding of what’s going on in the world. Besides, we have been conditioned into trusting authority. For thousands of years we used to place our fate in the hands of Gods, and when we had enough of their dictatorial ways there were peers and icons to look up to. Yet, many of us were groomed in a society that had managed to secure certain freedoms for the individual, the most important being the right to be who you were and put faith in your own decisions. Don’t follow leaders, Bob Dylan warned around the time it was becoming clear in certain circles that progress and prosperity could not be shared by everybody on the planet, as our poor mother seemed incapable of carrying such a heavy load, and ideas for serious population reduction began floating. Think for yourself, the reasoning went, make up your own mind. It proved attractive but not easy to realise for many. Now, we have obeyed under threat. As the director of one of Netherland’s leading newspapers recently said (and I’m not straight quoting): since nobody knows what’s going on, we found it wiser not to criticise the government in any capacity. Indeed. Soon, people will start to regret this. Some already have. They understand they have gained nothing with giving up their fundamental civic rights. They realise all this is not going to be over until some hotshot says so, whenever that may be. Perhaps some even see they should have known up front this might happen. This is not the first time a crisis is being used against us, though it certainly is playing out to be the most devastating to date.

It is difficult to pinpoint a precise starting date, but let’s argue things began changing by the end of the last century, somewhere during those comfortable nineties. Little by little, carefree Western consumerswere being lured out of their comfort zone and acquainted with a rougher reality where life is not always as shiny as advertising still would like you to have it, where bad luck and severe consequences are to be accepted as what inevitably will happen to your loved ones. The first big whammy came with 911, which led to a lot of those carefree freedoms getting lost and irritating rules implemented, life having the fun taken out of it to a certain extent. But hey, we were strong, we knew how to persevere, individually, we would come up with practical solutions to our first world predicament. Next, they stole our money, or part of it, with the Wall Street induced worldwide financial contraction whose consequences were placed on the weakest shoulders, as always. That made many people dependent on government largesse,with those who so far had escaped the blade fearing the next round of quantitative tightening. Easing is only there for the already rich. As consequences go, suddenly it wasn’t so thrilling anymore to oppose the official version (poor man bad) as it might get you into trouble with your bank account feeding institutions. Many people kept quiet and accepted they were being skinned by their overlords, who now had them out of peace and out of money. Then came the third blow.

Yes, covid. There’s nothing accidental about it. She was meant to be. It is debatable whether fate interfered with her release or it was all human engineered, but no questions can arise over the abuse authorities are making of her. Highly arbitrary decisions wipe out whole business communities and nobody is thinking any of it. Children are melting away before our eyes.Meanwhile, we are being ridiculed with those facemasks, now compulsory anywhere outside the home in many places, though their influence is close to zero. They tellthat we are sheep, those masks, and it is true. We place enormous trust in a government that tells us we can’t trust ourselves any longer, let alone our neighbours. But we don’t care about such inconsistencies; all we seek is comfort and relief from fear. Let it be over! We have become too weak, too civilised, to see that we are being had. By the time sufficient people understand what’s going on, we will be atomised into our private rooms which we may not leave, hooked on censored internet and regular doses of poison, for our own good. We will be locked out from any physical contact. If that doesn’t kill us, then what will?

Desperate thoughts should not seek their final outcome, so I will try to end on a more positive note. These are revolutionary times. The elite are ahead, as they made the revolution, but they equally grasp for control of the chaos they deliberately created. We know, whenever there has been a chance of change, it was in difficult times. We have failed, so far. We never even came close. Now we are closer to the end of our era, our world, our lives, then ever before. I’m not talking linear time here, but the eb and flow of history. So, can we do it? Can we get rid of this parasitic bunch and create the world of ordinary people, the vast majority in any country, who have come to get to know each other a bit through internet and who have realised that within money differences most citizens around the world live in comparable circumstances? This is our task. This is the enlightenment of the human race. A world without oppressive leadership where people make informed decisions and share as much as they can. In a way, it is the world of Klaus Schwab without Klaus Schwab. Or any other Klaus Schwab. Let them eat cake.





Music to go: strawberry fields




@ 2021