I don’t want to be old that way

Sometimes you hear about, or talk to people whose parents don’t recognise them any more. That sounds sad. It’s even more sad when it happens to you. Like it did to me today. Dad was talking to me for a while already when suddenly he said, “The other one is coming too.” I asked him whom he was talking about. “Paul. He lives far away, and he has cats.”

Brain malfunctionWhen you hear that, it’s quite a shock. I told him I am that Paul. That surprised him. A little while later he started again about Paul. The one from Cuijk. Something like that makes me think.

Do I want to be old like that? Who does he think I am now? How often did he now know who I was before?

My Dad has been ‘slipping’ for a while already, and sometimes that’s hard to see. I know it’s hard on him as well; I can tell that from the look in his eyes and the pain in his voice. Everything becomes a jumble. Bookkeeping, computers, taxes, the past, the present, everything that once was and… perhaps even what never was? Today he told me, “It’s no good living like this.” He suffers from this too because he often has very clear moments and then he knows that in his head everything’s going wrong.

I don’t want to be old like that. When the time comes I want a dignified end. A good death. That is why I became a member of the Dutch Society for Euthanasia. Because, really, I don’t want to be old that way…

Zo wil ik niet oud zijn

Je hoort wel eens van, en spreekt wel eens mensen die niet meer door hun ouders worden herkend. Dat klinkt heel rot. Nog rotter is als het jezelf overkomt. Zoals mij vandaag. Mijn vader zat al even met me te praten toen hij opeens opmerkte dat ‘die andere’ ook nog zou komen. Ik vroeg hem wie hij bedoelde. “Paul. Die woont ver weg, en die heeft katten.”

Brain malfunctionAls je dat hoort kijk je toch wel even raar op. Ik vertelde hem dat ik die Paul ben. Daar keek hij van op, en even later begon hij weer over Paul. Die uit Cuijk. Zoiets zet je toch aan het denken.

Wil ik zo oud worden? Wie denkt hij dat ik nu ben? Hoevaak is het al gebeurd dat hij niet weet wie ik ben?

Mijn vader is al een tijd aan het ‘wegglijden’ en soms is dat erg moeilijk om aan te zien. Ik weet dat het voor hem ook heel moeilijk is; dat kan ik zien aan zijn ogen en vaak horen in zijn stem. Alles loopt door elkaar. Boekhouden, computers, de belastingen, vroeger, nu, dat wat ooit was en… misschien zelfs dat wat mogelijk nooit geweest is? Hij zei vandaag nog tegen me, “Het is geen leven zo.” Hij lijdt er zelf ook onder want hij heeft nog vaak heldere momenten waarin hij zich realiseert dat het in zijn hoofd helemaal fout gaat.

Zo wil ik niet oud zijn. Ik wil als het er op aankomt een waardig einde. Een goede dood. Daarom ben ik lid geworden van de Nederlandse Verening Voor Euthanasie. Want echt, zo wil ik niet oud zijn.

One world religion

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

This thing from the current pope had the world in shock for a while. Lately you don’t hear much about it any more though. It even had the Vatican in shock (and perhaps still has).

What many people perceive as the new Crusades to make the entire world become Catholic doesn’t seem to be more than a “repositioning” of that faith so it’s more modern. Will this pope succeed? Who knows.

“Some in the Roman Curia” — the Vatican bureaucracy — “say, well, this pope is old so let’s wait a bit, and things will return to the way they were,” said the Rev. Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Argentine Jesuit. (source)

I doubt that ‘the world’ will have to worry immediately. There are many people on this earth, and many of them aren’t Catholic. That’s a healthy thing. Anyone worth their salt should be able to resist the ‘lure’ of Catholicism. I don’t believe the Catholics will start a full-scale war on other religions – there would be too much opposition.

Still, knowing the history of Catholicism, it’s good to keep a watchful eye. Its history is quite filled with bloodshed and torture in the name of their loving god. The power that they hold is something to be aware of, as in January the pope had 178 diplomats from all over the world in his humble abode in the Vatican. Among whom several people who can’t see eye to eye in the halls of the United Nations. (source)

US ambassador AND Iranian ambassador at the same papal party.

Wearable tech

I love gadgets. I have lots of them and they love me: I don’t have to buy them, they follow me home.

But… I don’t like the mass of wearable things that are popping up now, especially the ones that can track every little thing you do. Your smartphone is already a walking, talking unit that betrays every move you make. (Cell phone towers that know where you are simply because your phone is on, stores that watch if you walk by or come in (and if you do where you spend most time) through the bluetooth and/or wifi signal on your phone, fun bits like that.)

Aren’t we tracked enough yet, by phone carrier masts, closed circuit cameras, the NSA and their equivalent in whatever country? Why make it even easier for them? Why not then have someone shoot a chip into your body to give them ultimate comfort in tracking you, down to the level of alcohol in your blood when you get in your car?

What is life?

Maybe a silly question. An online search says:

life – lʌɪf/
noun
1. the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

2. the existence of an individual human being or animal.

I wonder about the second one. Oh, not in a physiological sense, but in a humane sense. It’s the second one, the one that doctors have to abide by through their Hippocratic Oath. (Link to PDF.) They basically promise to sustain the human machine (body) and do what they can to keep it going for as long as possible. But… Is that what we want?

I’m convinced that many of us have seen people in hospitals, connected to machines that keep their vital functions going as long as the heart keeps pumping. “Sustaining life.” It is not at all the first definition of life as listed in the beginning of this post. No ‘functional activity‘, no ‘capacity for growth‘.

Of course, this has been addressed in many places, through the years and centuries. I think there has to be a more humane approach to this, a manner in which people can choose to end living when they feel it’s their time.

The world should reconsider these values of life. It won’t be easy due to ethical arguments, but the way ‘life’ is treated now is very often inhuman. Inhumane.

That gun thing again

gun

Everywhere in the United States people get shot by other people who have some score to settle. Like in December 2013, when in Colorado someone shot a group of people because he’d been in a dispute with a librarian and was disciplined. Really, that is the reason to shoot people these days.

As I read that, it occurred to me that this seems to go further and further. The Land of the Free luckily does everything to give their citizens the freedom to buy guns to eradicate other people, in response to which these other people buy guns to protect themselves against the people who want to use guns against them.
This makes sense, right? An eye for an eye and all that. It’s also the easiest and cleanest way to kill people. You can’t expect a civilised person to get their hands dirty while committing such murders. Imagine you’d have to touch someone as you stab a knife into that person’s body. That would make it personal! The mere idea. The more as there still is no decent system of health care in the US of A. Suppose the person you are going to kill will injure you. You’d be facing expensive doctors to get patched up in the worst case!

Also take into account the modern drive for efficiency. Emptying a clip of ammunition on a group of people saves time.

Thinking further on this, it might be a good idea when all this public mass-murdering gets adopted by the government. In that case they can send out the army and lawfully shoot everyone who is against them. That would save a lot of time and money as well.

(I shall now shake my head another time over all this, and hope that this madness will stop before it takes over the world even more.)

De Blije B

Ik ben lid geworden van de Blije B, ook bekend als de United People Foundation.

DBB_LOGO_080813_700

Hoezo bekend? Nooit van gehoord.
Ja, dat kan. Het is een initiatief van een gedreven groep mensen uit de financiële wereld om een nieuw soort bank op te zetten, een die eerlijker met geld omgaat dan wat we nu hebben.

Ja ja, mooie praatjes, dat wordt niks.
Dat kan. Het succes van deze nieuwe bank hangt af van het aantal medestanders, supporters en donateurs. Als je niks probeert dan gebeurt er zeker niks. Daarom heb ik een ELC aangekocht, een Eeuwigdurend Leden Certificaat.

Tegen de grote banken kan zo’n clubje toch niks uitrichten!
O nee? Heb je het al eens geprobeerd? Iedereen heeft te maken met banken en geld, en iedereen ziet zijn of haar voorraadje centen verdwijnen als sneeuw voor de zon. Iedereen loopt meer en meer schulden op, en als de regering nieuw geld in de verslindende “economie” stopt zijn dat ook weer meer staatsschulden. En wie mag dat dragen? Juist. Wij. De belastingbetaler. Wij zijn ook schuldhebber.
Iedereen loopt te mauwen over de problemen. Ik doe iets. Mauwen helpt niet.
Wil je meer weten? Kijk eens op http://www.deblijeb.nl of http://unitedpeople-foundation.org.

UPF-LOGO-CIRCULAIR-900

(Logo’s gebruikt met toestemming.)

Politicians.

politics

I wonder if politicians are really stupid or if they receive instructions on acting like that once they’re in some kind of seat of power. You may wonder why I ask this. If you do, you should pay attention to what politicians do and say for a change.

Speed.
A while ago here in the Netherlands they allowed people to drive faster on certain motorways. (US: freeways.) My first thought was: ah, they need more money. How is driving faster getting the government more money? Easy. You drive faster, your car uses more fuel, you get more fuel, and fuel is heavily taxed. Simple when you look at it that way. Another kind of more money comes from the confusion that arose: many people didn’t know where to drive 130km/h, 120km/h and so on, as the signs for that were either not in place or unclear. Result: people drive too fast and get tickets. More money for the government.

So how does this make politicians stupid?
More fuel-consumption in cars produces more exhaust, and that affects the air. Measurements have proven that this indeed happens on the stretches of motorway where the speed limit was raised. After reporting that to the politicians in the government, the ruling was: we’re not lowering the speed limit.

This is of course understandable from their point of view: lowering the speed limit again will anger or annoy many people who like to spend a lot of money on fuel drive fast. It will also show that the politicians didn’t think this through, and of course it would affect the inflow of taxes and the benefits of speeding tickets.

The fact that this rule makes the air worse again is of no concern. Until people get sick of that, go to the doctor for it, and in turn that could well raise the fees for health insurance for everyone as the cost of healthcare go up.

I’m not impressed. Actually politicians fail to impress me more and more over the years. (Note that this is not true for all politicians. Just most of them.)

Your work. Your ball and chain.

As I thought last week:

It’s so dumb that you select an area of work and you’re basically stuck with in, in the modern structure of things. When you have no idea yet of the real world and real life, you’re to make choices that will rivet you to your future. You like numbers? Be an accountant or so. You like computers? Be a programmer. You like colours? Be a painter.

bridezilla-ball-and-chain

Of course you know me, you understand that I’m painting this a bit black and white – to make the impact a bit larger than life. Still, it’s true. You set your sails for graphics design and you’ll probably design graphics for the rest of your life, unless the market for that is so overfed / full / desperately unwanted that you have no choice but to learn something else.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few moments in your life where you have the opportunity to consider where you are and where you want to go from there? Instead of what we have now; a world where the options to change are so limited, considering that work = money = life.

The mistake of Monday. Or: we have to work.

The mistake of Monday is that it stopped being part of the weekend. Same thing with Friday. In other words: weekends are too short. You may not agree, but this is my blog and my opinion.

People in the Netherlands are required to work until they’re 65. Or 67. Or wherever it will end by the time it ends. No excuse that there are many unemployed people who can do a few days of work as well, so the working class can have some more time off. We have to work, work, work, to boost the economy, to grow the export to other countries, to make more money for those who have so much already.

There is no time for a lot of happiness. Money doesn’t believe in happiness, only in more money, and we are the means to get that.

Of course, life now has more weekend than the life of the average peasant in the Dark Ages, but we are also submitted to lots more stress. Did you know that, on average, we now work more and longer than before the industrial revolution? That didn’t bring us much, did it? I sincerely believe that we should have more time to enjoy ourselves. To do something more constructive with our lives than just playing slave to the dollars and the euros.

We could, for instance, ‘live’.