Category Archives: Society

Zwarte Piet : Putting Him Into Perspective, Again!

 

zwarte piet again

Image: cnn.com

 

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 hand out candy.
They can still wear the same costumes.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and kruidnoten,
and taai-taai,
and suikerbeesten,
and amandelstaven,
and chocolate letters,
and marzipan,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Music Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you (also a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (again, a relatively new phenomenon).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
People can still exchange gifts.
Everyone 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?

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(Welcome in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)

Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?

 

My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.

When I was a Kid : Showing my Age

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When I was a kid my mother was against school uniforms.

When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.

When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine. Continue reading

Propaganda’s for Chumps

trump shooting on 5th ave.

Image: Snopes.com

“I love the poorly educated,” said Trump when he won the primary election in Nevada. He consistently lies about everything factual, but as far as his character and attitudes are concerned, he’s also consistently an open book. I’m sure he does love the poorly educated, in that he can make them believe anything, that they will let him get away with anything. “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” That right there tells you what he thinks of his voters. They’re schmucks, useful idiots. Continue reading

The Thanksgiving Gremlins

Halloween wreathIn her book Daring Greatly, self-help guru Brené Brown talks about gremlins as being the voices in our heads that tell us we must do this, we must behave so, we should have done that, etc. The gremlins are the critics–our parents, society, or our own (unrealistic) expectations for ourselves. The idea is to identify those gremlins and then basically tell them to shut up. There’s a little more to it than that, but that’ll do for the purpose of this post. Continue reading

The Zwarte Piet Debacle From the Outside, Again

zwarte clownOkay, 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

The November 4 Demonstration

20171104_132226Well, there was supposed to be a November 4 demonstration calling to impeach Trump and Pence at Republic Square Park today from 1 – 5 pm, but I was there from 12:45 to about 2:30 and there was pretty much nobody. One guy with a sign, everyone else could have just been there because it was a park. Continue reading

Fascism in America 11: Conclusion

dutch police homeless

Image: funnz.nl

Most of you Americans on the left were gobsmacked when Trump won the election. You did not see it coming at all; you thought that common sense would prevail in the end, but it didn’t. You completely underestimated the allure of Trump. Continue reading