Category Archives: Personal

Did you see that?


Television. Don’t we all know it? Of course. We grew up with it (at least the people of my generation and later, which makes for a lot of people). Still it’s hard for many folks to understand that I don’t watch television. I tell them, they nod, and they don’t get it. I don’t watch television. I do watch some episodes of a few series that I find online, I watch DVDs and Blurays, but not television. I disconnected the television receiver long time ago and I put away in a plastic bag so it won’t get dusty, but why would I have such a thing connected and in the room and using up a few watts of electricity when I don’t use it?

I haven’t watched television in over 8 years, and my time in front of the tube was quite limited before that. And no, I’m not bored. I have lots of things to do, like read, listen to music, make music, and write books.

But how do you get your news, that important life line of information where they tell you every hour on the hour how many people died, where the wars are, how many people got fired, how sad the economy’s doing and how Wall Street and the Han Seng Index are doing? For that I have some RSS feeds. I’ll read that when I feel like it.

And how do you hear about new products and how great they are and where you can buy them, because did you see that latest Coca Cola ad that was so great, or the ad on TV for the new Mercedes/Audi/Volkswagen? Uhm, actually I don’t. I don’t drink soft drinks anyway, and I don’t like Mercedes. I don’t see all those wonderful things that you must have in order to be happy, and so I am happy without them.

But all the great series on TV? And all the great films/movies? And all the sports? Yes, I don’t know them. I’ll read about that online. When and if I want to. Sport? Something I rather do than watch. Series? Most of what I watch (we’re talking about 3 series at the moment) isn’t broadcast here or happens at a time I don’t want to watch. I refuse to be told by a broadcasting company that I have to sit on the couch at 9pm because then they will show what I want to see. I’ll buy the DVD. Or for Game of Thrones the Blurays. I’m also going to bed before their broadcast is over.

Did you see that? No. I didn’t. Because I don’t watch television.

What is life?

Maybe a silly question. An online search says:

life – lʌɪf/
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.

Pictures from along the road

Early February 2014, and gorgeous weather, and no work to go to. A reason to grab the camera, the bike and a good coat (sunshine but +5C / 38F).
After a bike ride along this path I reached a small creek/brook called “Lage Raam”

This is the Lage Raam. Translated it’s nonsense: low window. The creek is a typical low land creek, that’s why there is ‘low’ in its name.

Onwards towards this little place which is a part of a village called Haps, which in turn is part of Cuijk.

I walked along this trail. It was very soggy. I left the bike at the ‘road’ which was hardly more than a sandy path with pebbles.

This image made the soggy walk worth it.

Reflections by a bit of water. I saw this on the way back to the bike, and I see my bike in this image.

This road
This road is called Graafsedijk. It’s long. It’s about 6 miles long. In a car it might not be too much, but riding it on a bike, and running along it as I sometimes do, it is very long. The scenery hardly changes, you barely see where you’re going…

Other end of this road
…so the bloody thing doesn’t seem to end. It’s a good training in mental stability. This picture is the other side of where I stood, you can tell because of the shadows on the road.

It was a great trip out on the bike.

The modern way, or: how not to do it.

Every year again, and perhaps even stronger every year, I see how humanity is doing the wrong thing when the darkness of nature comes along. Autumn, Winter, the seasons where nature slows down, settles inside itself to rest for a new period of bloom when Spring and Summer come. And what does modern man do? The same thing as usual. Running around as fast as possible, working harder and harder, lighting up the darkness with even more lights. Everything to pretend that there is no wheel of life, that there are no seasons and – most importantly – that they are absolutely not a part of this nature thing.

Many people I know will say that this is natural, that it’s always been like that. Well, that’s wrong. Before the flooding out of darkness with big lights, people lived in sync with nature, going fast in the light and slowing down in the winter. A natural pace.

It’s in a way understandable that modern man doesn’t want (or worse: isn’t allowed) to follow that rhythm. Modern man has to obey the laws of work, the company, and most certainly the money-machine that demands labour regardless of moment. All that because the most important things in life have been eradicated for the greater good of – … consumerism? Work? The boss? Your country? Does all that mad running around make you happier, or a better person? No. Say yes all you want, I don’t believe the word of it.

Money has taken over the world.
I say: let’s take the world back. Let’s take life back.