Last night I spoke with an old time buddy. A very experienced medical specialist, erudite, also active as an administrator in his field, gifted speaker at conferences in comfortable places, developed therapy, wrote successful booklets. I quoted him earlier, three years ago, about the vaccinations: "They know what they're doing." A year ago: "If there was so much excess mortality, we would have known about it". Yesterday evening, the subject of excess mortality came up again, despite the fact that we managed to converse around it for a long time. But excess mortality, no, it was unknown to him.
"Is there excess mortality? I don't know."
"Yes, but I'll explain it anyway."
"Well, I don't know."
Notice what people—especially doctors—mean when they say, "I don't know" after getting new information. By that, they mean that they don't see you as a reliable source. After all, they reject the information, and do not ask for explanations or sources. That's not worth it, because they do consult the NRC and the Volkskrant if they want to see how things really stand. So I said:
"I'm telling you now, right? It's not so much about whether you know something or not, is it?"
He accepted: "How much excess mortality are we talking about?"
Where was I supposed to start? If I made it too complicated, I would lose it immediately. So I mention an excess mortality of ten percent. I can prove that, two years structurally. Even European. I was stunned by his euphemizing response:
"10% excess mortality? That doesn't scare me. That also includes margins and so on."
Or is it trivializing? He added even more: the aging population, the surplus of octogenarians, people are getting way too old, half of the healthcare budget is spent on the last half year of life of people who can no longer be saved, etc. etc. When I tell him that it's not just about octogenarians anymore, he doesn't really believe it, I can see on his face.
His wife joined him at that moment and cut the conversation short, perhaps for the best. We had already talked about this before and didn't have to start all over again and, moreover, she was of the opinion that the lockdowns in particular had indeed had an effect, which she then began to explain in detail as 'not so much an effect on the infections but on the consciousness of the people'. (She is a member of the PVDA and for that you have to have great confidence in the functioning of governments). I pointed out to her that she did not want to talk about this any more and did not pursue it further. Conviviality is also important. So back to the small talk. All in all a very enjoyable evening.
But: it did make me think. How "bad" is 10% excess mortality really? Is he downplaying it or am I exaggerating? Is the mitigating interpretation justified or is it a euphemism for what is seen as a disaster in my bubble? Even if that extra mortality could be purely iatrogenic and easily preventable, you apparently have to shrug it off. Isn't that amazing? Contrary to duty of care, doctor's oath, etc., but let's take those trump cards out of the game for a moment. These are set pieces, not actual barriers or objectives.
Totalitarian states are right after all: take good care of the state and the elite and let the people drop dead. Literal. If at some point more die than usual: what's the problem? Especially if they don't even notice it themselves, let it go. So don't put it big in the newspaper. There are really enough of them, there are millions of them, they all only have to contribute a little bit to pay for a beneficent infrastructure for awarding experts and politicians throwing billions around, and for the rest... Oh well, they'll get by. Keep the people ignorant and the elite happy, that's what it's all about. Involve the elite in the governance of the country and you kill two birds with one stone, especially if you have the media in the bag and together you also finance your common cover: science. Why is that "bad" at all? Why is fascism bad? Because that is what it is, of course: the joint action of big industry, government, science and media to play the population in such a way that they keep quiet and still continue to yield returns so that the privileged can continue to function nicely.
Is that a bad thing? It makes life hard and shabby for a lot of people, of course. It causes a lot of individual misery. But then again, to what extent is that a bad thing, as long as it doesn't lead to civil wars? A flood is a humanitarian disaster. But people don't even notice this if you don't have it in the newspaper. How is that a bad thing?
Maybe not at all. Not even if people are forced to get a shot that kills them. Eventually we all die, some a little earlier than others and society continues to run anyway. And if the weaker ones fall first, it does not cause any net damage, on the contrary, it saves pensions, benefits and a lot of healthcare budget.
So what's "bad"? Yes, an accident is bad, we agree on that. Something sudden with a bang and fire, or when a bus with 50 Dutch tourists falls into an abyss, or a plane with dozens of Dutch passengers crashes: that is considered "bad". This can lead to national mourning. Then even Rutte puts on a serious face and Timmermans tries to spin yarn with it. These are the usual ritual dances, the circular patterns of vultures above a cadaver.
But structural excess mortality is of a different order. It's too gradual. It's not sudden enough for everyday perception. So it is not judged as "bad". In fact, good money is being made from it, the infrastructure is proving its worth and the media has its hands extra full with the campaigns.
(removed piece about vaccine as a bioweapon, that went a bit far on second thought)
In the Netherlands, vaccinations allow you to help a few touring cars full of Dutch people around the corner every week and no one cares because: they are not all in a touring car! Eye-catching deportations are a thing of the past.
Currently, about 250 people a week are being evacuated. Parents, siblings, children, friends, colleagues. "Einsteigen!!" Scattered here and there across the country and because people are always dying, it is not even very noticeable.
CBS puts a dampening spin on it every time. It looks like "euphemizing" but actually it's just not a bad thing. After all, vaccinations save lives.
I'd better get used to it, it would make life a lot more bearable. I just can't seem to do it.
Euphemisms: Adolf and vaccination terror
A well-known scene of Jiskefet is the interview with the protagonist of the film "Adolf". He joins a talk show, hosted by Herman Koch. First, the trailer of "Adolf" is shown: four minutes without dialogue, with German general's suits, a windy bunker and clacking boots. The strings swell menacingly and the camera zooms in on the face of the Führer himself (played by Cees Prins).
Then we're back in the studio with the talk show host:
"Yes... We are watching a fragment of "Adolf", one of the last great monster productions about this well-known German politician..."
The audience laughs, of course. Characterizing Adolf Hitler as "a well-known German politician" is hilarious. Euphemisms can make you laugh. Euphemization is a trope with which Jiskefet regularly pushed the edges. Just like magnifying something normal, normalizing something terrible can be a lot of fun. There are conditions attached to this, such as that the incident in question must have taken place long enough ago and that it is now quoted in a recognizably satirical setting. Otherwise, you'll soon be a holocaust denier or simply being unnecessarily hurtful.
If, on the other hand, it is something that people have experienced themselves, it is not done. Then that trivialization can even be belittling or misleading. If it happens on a serious stage, or in science, then it is almost criminal: denying a serious event. Seriousness and humour don't go well together.
Wrong time, wrong place
Ernst Kuipers also euphemizes. Unfortunately, the subject of his euphemism is far from being a laugh. We are still in the middle of the film of manipulation, coercion, deception and violation of human rights that he has downplayed. We all remember too well what "Neighborhood by neighborhood, door by door, arm by arm" and what that sounded like to those who did not intend to be injected with a rubbish product rashly.
They were threatening words. Even behind your own front door you were not safe, that was made clear. The people who threatened the population and punished doctors who closely followed science are still at large, even in politics. Their attitude is still defended to this day, by a minister of all people.
A ministerial post should not be the place to whitewash such a series of blunders. It really doesn't show good taste, let alone a sense of humour, to bend the truth in the House of Representatives. That's misinformation, that's misleading, that's disinformation.
Imagine Herman Koch reading this text in Jiskefet. [I imagine an amused audience]:
"First of all, with regard to 'we go from door to door, arm to arm'. I think that a compliment is appropriate for all those employees who worked on this at the time. "
[smothered giggles from the audience]
“They really made an effort to provide people with good information [laughter] and, if those people then wanted to be vaccinated, to offer that vaccine.“
“I have seen that myself. I have seen how people were visited at home, including by the GP."
[Hilarity all around, well found, for that 'door-to-door' with patrolling boas and mobile vaccination sites while the GP was completely sidelined].
“I've seen how in certain markets there were people standing for long periods of time not just once, not twice, but week in, week out."
[The room calms down a bit. OK, that probably has to do with the neighborhood-by-neighborhood phrase, but who are these "people" who stood there for long periods of time? And those 'certain markets', which one does he mean: the vaccine market? The concern? The job market? Everyone is waiting... Where does he want to go with this... And then, as a well-timed closer:]
[Free laughter, joyful applause]Minister Ernst Kuipers in the House of Representatives
So we can only hope that Ernst Kuipers' explanation is well remembered. We may find his speech baffling now, but a future cabaret can take over the text in its entirety, should there ever be room for a program that can make fun of the government.
In 70 years' time, people will be able to laugh at such a speech, just as we laugh at "this well-known German politician" today. Using a response to a lethal coercive regime to erase the misleading propaganda about protection and transmission with one swipe, pretend that deadly side effects do not exist and also know nothing about GPs who had to go to court or threatened to lose their jobs because they had integrity and tried to provide correct information.
People were imprisoned, discriminated against, antisocialized: "There's a compliment due" and "Chapeau!" What a cabaret. If it wasn't for whining...
Below is the Jiskefet documentary "Adolf the film", the starting point is the last shot of the trailer: