Voor Patricia Paay is het behoorlijk zuur (of zout)

Patricia Paay was gisteravond bij Eva Jinek te gast. Eerstgenoemde is naar eigen zeggen “kapot en leeft in een nachtmerrie”, omdat op internet een filmpje is verschenen waarin te zien is hoe zij zich in de mond laat plassen door haar ex-vriend. Een op zich al onderdanige zo niet vernederende daad, waarvan de beschamende kracht natuurlijk verhonderdvoudigt als die met het grote, veelal van plasseks kokhalzende meute wordt gedeeld. Voor je het weet, raast het als een tsunami over de sociale media, staan de weekendblaadjes er bol van, en heeft naar het schijnt heel Nederland zijn oordeel klaar. Ja, je krijgt ook nogal wat na over je heen.

Paay leeft sinds de onthulling met de gordijnen dicht en durft zich naar eigen zeggen niet meer over straat te begeven. Zo gênant is het nou eenmaal; iets wat we ons allemaal, denk ik, kunnen voorstellen. Maar hoe zit het dan met de beslissing om gisteravond bij Jinek aan te schuiven? De desbetreffende uitzending van het populaire praatprogramma schijnt goed te zijn geweest voor maar liefst 1,4 miljoen kijkers, oftewel 41% van alle kijkers tussen elf en twaalf (het tijdstip wel te verstaan, niet de leeftijd; alhoewel…). Blijkbaar is Paay er desalniettemin toe in staat haar diepgaande schaamte opzij te zetten voor het goede doel: het grote publiek bereiken. Zo veel is er dan ook weer niet veranderd, zou je cynisch kunnen opmerken.

Als daarvoor nog twijfelachtig was hoeveel mensen zich daadwerkelijk interesseren voor de onbezonnen uitspattingen van een BN’er van weleer, wier bekendheid en portemonnee enkel nog gestut worden door het ongegeneerd veilen van het eigen privéleven, dan staat nu toch wel buiten kijf dat het onder een groot publiek er werkelijk nog altijd toe doet. En ja, ook schrijver dezes heeft onbewogen meegekeken, uit sociologisch wetenschappelijk oogpunt natuurlijk.

Bijgestaan door haar advocaat, Johan Langelaar, en tot adviseur benoemde Peter R. de Vries — waarom heb je een adviseur nodig als je al een raadsman hebt? — doet Paay verhaal. Nee, zulke filmpjes maakt ze niet vaker; dit was de eerste keer. De Vries vraagt Jinek of het überhaupt een interessante vraag is. Natuurlijk wel; anders had ze die niet gesteld. Men wil weten of de verfilming op zichzelf staat. Beroepsazijnpisser de Vries heeft het irritant mannetje zijn tot een soort beeldende kunst verheven en wil al te graag aantonen dat hij zijn honorarium voor deelname dubbel en dwars waard is door zich overal in te mengen.

Wist ze dat het werd opgenomen? Ja, dat wist ze wel. Een toch overbodige vraag, want in het filmpje wordt de camera, vermoedelijk een mobieltje, van boven recht naar beneden gericht op de penis van Paays ex-vriend. De filmmaker, kan eigenlijk niet anders worden geconcludeerd, is dus óf die ex-vriend zelf, óf een hoogbegaafd en bijzonder gehoorzaam aapje dat op zijn schouder zit.

Langelaar laat gaandeweg weten dat ze de Telegraaf Media Group, eigenaar van GeenStijl en Dumpert (waar het filmpje voor het eerst is verschenen), minimaal een paar ton gaan proberen los te peuteren, een ongekend hoog bedrag in het nog altijd relatief nuchtere en schoudersophalende Nederland.

Je vraagt je af wie hier nou het meest in de zeik wordt genomen, Paay zelf, de goedgelovige kijker, of straks de rechterlijke macht. We zullen het zien.

Posted in The Netherlands | Leave a comment

Is there life after life?

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

Is there anybody out there?

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Quick, nurse! Pass the defibrillator!

If you are reading this, you are probably lost.

If you are intentionally here, I can’t imagine what brought you.

This blog hasn’t been updated in two and a half years. In that time, the trend of individuals moving material that they once typically would have shared via a home page, blog or something of that nature off the open Internet and behind the impenetrable corporate ramparts of a rotten bunch of wankers collectively known as Facebook has continued apace.

Anyone unwilling to submit to the hegemony of this loathsome company now finds themselves isolated from everything from the narcissistic ramblings of strangers, through the musings and news of friends and family, to perhaps even photos of their own children, placed on-line by their spouse.

The content of the little person has been misappropriated appropriated given away. Talk has never been so cheap, and the transitory has never been so temporary.

That goes some way towards explaining why this blog hasn’t been updated for so long: virtually no-one cares to read it.

That’s only half the explanation, though. No-one cares to write it, either. Specifically, I don’t. I have neither the time nor the inclination to continue to publicly ram my abundant indignation down the world’s throat. I don’t care what you think, I don’t care whether you know what I think, and neither of us is going to convince the other of anything. So, let’s just shut the fuck up, shall we?

Today, however, is something of a momentary exception, because I do have something important to announce to friends and family and, well, I don’t really have another medium primed to do it.

Without further ado, let me say that the world was made a slightly better place this week by the addition to its ranks of a girl, henceforth to be known as Lidewij Linnea Imogen Saga Macdonald.

Lidewij made her grand entrance at home, attended by her sister, two brothers and, of course, her parents, at 20:59 on 03-03-2014. She weighed in at 3.770 kilos and is thriving, in spite of the chaos she has been born into.

Since Sarah and I have no plans for a fifth child, this could well be the last entry that this blog ever receives.

Posted in Children | 5 Comments

The Holiday Is Over

The summer holiday is over, although one could be forgiven for failing to have noticed that it had ever begun.

Eloïse is back at school, but now a fully fledged eersteklasser. The transition was painless; enjoyable, even. All of the children in the higher years assembled in the eurythymy hall and sang to the new eersteklassers as they entered the room, crossing a symbolic wooden bridge in the process. It was a touching sight and another poignant reminder of the inexorable march of time, those grains of sand slipping ever faster through our fingers, our children growing, ripening, finding their way in a world that is ever more alien, inhospitable and unlikeable to their father. The older they get, the more they learn to cope with and take their world for granted. The older I get, the more out of step I feel with the world I live in, as if this planet and I have deviant orbits, and I am watching myself become ever more tangential to the society I nominally inhabit. Sometimes, my family feel like the only tethers binding me to this earth.

With school come all of the extracurricular activities that fill the weekly calendar, leaving scarcely enough time to do groceries and eat meals. Even finding the time to shave, shit and shower can be a challenge now. At least two of those activities can be deemed non-essential and indefinitely postponed.

Ilias continues to thrive, his incarceration in the hospital now little more than an anecdote that I still recount almost daily to those we haven’t seen since his birth. It’s interesting to gauge the reactions, which run the gamut from those who think the doctors saved his life, to those who think that the integrity of our family was violated by a bunch of arrogant bastards in white coats.

Florence and Mike returned to Providence a week ago. I can’t thank them enough for the support they gave the children and me while Sarah and Ilias were being wrung through the medical mangle. I don’t know how we would have coped without them.

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Ilias’ Saga Draws To A Close

As hoped and anticipated, Ilias was discharged from hospital today.

We delayed going to the hospital to pick him and Sarah up until the afternoon, so that Eloïse and Lucas could attend a clay modelling activity at the VUmc‘s truly amazing Kinderstad facility at 15:00.

Kinderstad has to be seen to be believed. Just about every kind of toy imaginable can be found there, from building blocks to a Nintendo Wii, from football to fancy dress, from finger paint to a gigantic two storey slide, from the cabin of a real aeroplane to a suite of Apple Macs for making movies, from television and Internet to complete DJ suites for mixing records. There is so much to see and do that the children who come here can forget, even if it’s just for a short while, that they’re sick.

Kinderstad isn’t just for sick children, though. Brothers and sisters are welcome, too, which is good, because Eloïse and Lucas can get a lot more out of the place at the moment than young Ilias. Even children returning for out-patient treatment at the polyclinic are welcome.

We didn’t want to deny Eloïse and Lucas their last real opportunity to play there, so we took our time in getting to the hospital. Sarah was in no real rush to leave, anyway. It was her seventh day in residence there and she had grown used to her temporary surroundings, perhaps even enjoying to some degree the peace and quiet of her enforced pseudo-solitary confinement.

After Eloïse and Lucas finished up in Kinderstad, we went to the hospital’s dispensary on the other side of the road to pick up Ilias’ prescription, enough Amoxicillin for another four days of treatment, making for ten in all. He gets it three times a day, orally, via a syringe.

With that in the bag, we left the building and, without looking back, headed home to resume normal family life. The coming days will see us gradually putting this experience behind us, learning whichever valuable lessons we can from it, and retaining whichever peripheral benefits there are to be gleaned, such as the new-found willingness of Eloïse and Lucas to be put to bed by their papa.

The last week has been a stressful, hectic experience. With nary a moment to draw breath, the time has flown by surprisingly quickly. It’s hard to believe this all began last Wednesday. At the same time, I paradoxically feel as if I’ve been making the journey to the hospital for several weeks. Ilias’ sojourn in hospital hangs like a black hole in the firmament of my memory. In time, we’ll look back on the photos of him with a tube stuck in his tiny head, shake our own head and say, ‘Remember that?’

Thank you to everyone who has written with well wishes and kind words over the last few days. Your concern was and still is much appreciated. In particular, I must thank Sarah’s folks, without whom I really don’t know how I would have coped. They fed the family and looked after Ilias’s siblings while I was at the hospital with my baby boy and his mother.

The staff of the VUmc are also due a word of thanks, particularly the nurses (and even more particularly nurse Jansje), who took very good care of Ilias and Sarah while they were somewhat reluctant guests there. They made an awful situation tolerable and we are truly appreciative of that.

And now, back to normal life, whatever that is.

Posted in Children, Life | 1 Comment