I’m reading Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History, by Kurt Anderson. He gives an inventory of all the ways (white) Americans have been more prone than Europeans to believe in big dreams, in get-rich-quick schemes, the supernatural, cure-alls, conspiracy theories, UFO sightings and other “alternative facts” from the beginning of white colonization up to the Trump presidency and America’s current “post-factual” society. It’s fascinating, and it confirms that I’m right when I argue with my American husband that UFO sightings are really mostly an American thing. Continue reading
Posted in Amusement Parks, Education, History US, Music, Racism, Recreation, Slavery, Technology
Tagged African-American History, alternative facts, Black America Show, Black History, Confederate history, entertainment, history education, Nate Salsbury, plantations, Racism, Slavery
So let me get this straight:
Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still wear the same costumes.
They can still hand out candy.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and chocolate letters,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you Piet (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (also relatively new).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
Kids and adults can even place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (again, new).
People can still exchange gifts.
Children can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.
The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.
And this is how you react?
(Welcome to the Netherlands, where all cultures are accepted except our own.)
Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?
My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.
Posted in black pete, Cultural Differences, Dutch food, Holland, Language, Mass Communication, Racism, Sinterklaas, Slavery
Tagged black pete, Dutch blackface, Holidays, Netherlands, opinie, Opinion, racial stereotypes, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet
Okay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading
Posted in American flag, black pete, Books, Cultural Differences, Education, Emigration / Immigration, Employment, Holland, Language, Montessori Schools, National Anthem, Nationalism, Pledge of Allegiance, Racism, School Libraries, Sinterklaas, Slavery, University, Violence
Tagged culture, cultuur, immigratie, immigration, Nederland, Netherlands, politics, politiek, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, tolerance, toleratie, Zwarte Piet
Dear Boy Scouts of America (BSA) parents, those of you who were shocked, livid, dismayed, appalled, about Trump’s speech at this year’s National Jamboree,
Tom Horneman probably spoke for a lot of you when he wanted the BSA to apologize: Continue reading
Posted in Government, Open Letters, Psychology, Recreation
Tagged 2017 National Jamboree, Boy Scouts of America, BSA, critical thinking, Ethics, Hitler Youth, independent thought, morality, Opinion, Scout Law, Scout Oath, Trump
A while ago I started playing Forge of Empires. It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten involved in any kind of digital game, at least not since getting addicted to Pong when I should have been studying, back in library school. Continue reading
Posted in Government, History, Recreation, Society, US Politics
Tagged empire, Forge of Empires, military, online games, Opinion, playful, Robin Hood, war, writing prompts
We were driving in southeastern Okalahoma and then into southwestern Arkansas last week, in beautiful, lush green hills, when what did we see?
Yes, so I had to Google this to find out why on earth there was a Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas, USA.
So what were they thinking?
Posted in History, Holland, Recreation
Tagged Arkansas, geschiedenis, history, humor, KCP&G, Koningin Wilhelmina, koningshuis, monarchy, Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Wilhelmina State Park, railroad, royalty, society