Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fame and expression

This is tough business.

If you’re famous, literally every word, every sentence that comes out of your mouth can be jotted down, by anyone. Without the context it belongs in, this can be very dangerous. Or just really annoying. Press companies know this, they live by it. After all, you can sell loads of papers and magazines by even the assumption alone that someone who is regarded highly, has said something hurtfull or stupid.
Goodbye reputation etc. We see it happening all day long to Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Clinton, Beyonce Knowles, Kanye West etc. It’s also usually the kind of things that people don’t really care about, since the topics are not usually that interesting for people not in the same business.

Most celebrities have an agency or a spokesperson, who is properly trained to address the press in times of a scoop or whatever. They know how to avoid answering the actual question, or give a brief statement. Given that it prevents celebrities from having the pressure of coming up with a story -because it’s not just one journalist asking a question, it’s tons of ‘m- this is excellent. Just tell your agent what story you want to be circulating and tadaa: job done. Your reputation doesn’t get ruined by responding to one of the microphones being pushed up your nose like a free piercing up there.

Given the comments I see some of these celebrities make, also about other media, I do wonder: are they aware of the impact their words have, outside their mouths? With some I’m sure that they don’t. Even though for some there is ‘no such thing as bad press’, as press means attention and attention means prolonging of the celebrity status. For someone like Kim Kardashian this is important, given that she’s nothing but a pornstar, just like Katie Price. No taste or talent whatsoever.
But then there’s people like Christine Teigen, Jim Carrey, Kirstie Alley. People who actually try to be taken seriously. Well, at times. I do know they also make a point taking the piss out of someone. Anyway.

I make a sport of it not to trust anything that’s not printed more than once. If someone says something important, it will get printed in/on several news sources, as no big newspaper can afford to be without the scoops. Not just now, this was simply always the case.

I’ve seen several celebrities responding to certain subjects that were close to their hearts. Jim Carrey thought it’d be wise to tell people not to vaccinate their children (whilst he has NO medical background whatsoever, just an ex-girlfriend whose son is autistic and though this usually doesn’t come out until after a few years, a doctor found a way to blame the vaccine), Kirstie Alley backed Jim up there and so it HAD to be true, because two non-doctors who never finished school with that kind of background, said so.

And this is where I come to my point: some of these celebrities don’t really seem to have an idea how their words travel over the world.
Recently, in the Netherlands, we had a woman, Sylvana Simons, who decided she wanted to be part of a political party.
More people do so, not so special. But. She wants to fight racism and discrimination in our country. Finds herself the person to do this, because she feels she’s been a victim of this herself. She found herself sitting in a bar and not knowing what to do with herself. She then bumped into a Turkish Dutchman, part of a very right political party, who asked her:
‘Why don’t you join out political party?’
This woman gained fame by presenting video’s on a music channel.
Of course, one can start out in this way and appear to have far more going for them. Then again, not so much in her case. Not to me anyway. I’ve seen her partly stunned and speechless on several occasions, because others were better prepared than she was. On television. For a bookclub, for instance, or opinion panels. A bit awkward, really. Again, this can happen.

Her point in politics is to make EVERYONE equally important.To everyone. But. She has, since then, only spoken out when a certain race was mistreated. While this happens more often. And, indeed, to everyone.
Then I read how she had taken place on a political show, since she was going to be part of a political party. She was asked to bring along items that bothered her, more or less. Things she thought ‘went just too far’. When I read what she had objected to, I got scared. Because at least one item was made by a cartoonist. A properly settled one at it. His work has been in De Parool for years. A man who knows when to stop, as far as I’m concerned.
Sylvana Simons wants the ‘freedom of opinion’ to be retained. Because she feels some things are just ‘too hurtfull’, and done so on purpose.

I’m not here to deny anyones feelings, first and for all. Everyone has their own feeling. You can’t tell a person they can’t feel a certain thing. You’re not inside their body or their mind. It’s not your call, period. The other person feels what s/he feels and that’s simply it.

I understood she said a cartoon of Joep Bertrams had ‘gone too far’. Because she had been depicted as a lapdog of Erdogan, licking his face. I guess ‘being Erdogan’s bitch’ is taking it too far in text, but that’s what it had come down to. Sylvana Simons was highly offended by that. If it’s up to her, persons like Bertrams don’t get the freedom to put just anything they want into print.
To be honest, that’s exactly what got into print. Erdogan doesn’t want people to say or express how they feel, nor does Ms Simons. In both their cases, it’s because they feel like they’ve been hurt personally.
I think: when you go into politics, that’s what you become: a public figure. You become the subject of cartoonists. If you suggest something that is outrageous, there will be “making fun of you”. That’s pretty much their job!?

Maybe I’m just a different person. When someone has the ability to make me feel extremely angry, happy or sad, I start thinking why that is. I once had enough of the world, was angry and sad with so many people. I fell out with most of them too. Got so incredibly sad and angry, didn’t understand why everyone was deserting me and so on. Then even my best friend told me ‘I’m sorry, I just don’t find you pleasant anymore, I am done with you’, and it finally hit me: it’s ME that has a problem, not the world around me.
Everyone has their own moment and a different person to give them the slap in the face they need. It mght be more subtle or more heavy for others, but if it’s meant to be, the message will get across. Apparently Joep Bertrams didn’t do it for Sylvana Simons, as she chose to be offended and not to understand what it meant. What it showed.

Cartoonists have a great purpose in our lives. They make that we can put in a perspective what’s happening in the world around us, they make fun of politicians, reflect on the news in general, make fun of it. That’s what they’re (severely under)paid for. And people love it. We live by it, as it makes life just a wee bit more bearable. But for the people cartoonists make fun of, it can be like a reflecting mirror they don’t like the look of. You could ask: ‘should that be the burden of the cartoonist, or the one who is sending out that message?’ And I think we can all agree here, that you shouldn’t blame the messenger, but the one who got the message out in the first place.
That’s not the cartoonist. The one making the cartoon just got inspired by what someone said. Someone who might be unaware of the message they send out. In that case you need training. What do things mean? What does it mean to be a politician? What is it that you say that tickles others to respond to you agressively or politely?

When a settled cartoonist depicts you in a way you don’t like, I would think: wait, is this how my message is getting across? I would be angry at myself. I would think: oh wow, that’s SO not how I meant that?!
I would think about the consequences of my words. I’d think that maybe I’d chosen the wrong words. That I’d need to rephrase, to analyse the probem. I’d want to get my message across properly.
I’d hire a spokesman.
And I’d contact the cartoonist personally. Thanking him for opening my eyes.


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Posted by on July 31, 2016 in Daily life, Humour, Opinion


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Related to someone famous

There are some of you (those who follow me on twitter and regularly interact) who are aware, some not. It really doesn’t matter, for I won’t reveal much more here, but it can be a tad weird at times: to be related to someone who is famous for something.

Reading the news you regularly read how the niece, nephew, cousin, aunt or whoever related to a famous person, got arrested for some kind of misbehaving. It depends on how famous the person is, how many relatives, friends etc are involved in the ‘being important for a news article’. Sometimes the famous person him/herself is barely interesting enough to write anything about, it seems. Most of those people seem to be contestants of talent/reality shows. Not all, but a lot.


The first sign I got of ‘things are happening now’, was when I was home alone. The phone of my parents’ house rang and I answered, since I was naturally born a Secretary of Anything (Un)Important.
Just kidding. I suck at it. I’m not like Bubbles, and still that’s the closest comparison I have at hand. The Ab Fab version, not the Michael Jackson one.

I simply can’t let a phone ring.
It scares the crap out of me to phone anyone, but letting a phone ring is not my natural habitat.

It was someone I didn’t know. This happens. But somehow this was weirder. It wasn’t a telemarketer, which I was used to swear at when that happened. It was someone of some magazine. At first I thought I was being sold something, but I finally got the hint.
It was a journalist.
A friendly woman. As this was my first time, she was very gentle with me, asked me some questions, which I politely answered. Nothing much important. The kind of family the Actual Famous One was part of (big or small? Religious or not? Education background? stuff like that), who I was (and don’t you just LOVE to talk about yourself, you little twat? Yes, you do…oi!) and so on. It was a bit like talking to a therapist. Or filling in one of those forms you have on the internet. When you know the answer to a question, so feel so lured to answer, you can’t help yourself.

After a few questions I realised The Actual Famous One might not appreciate my efforts quite that much and hung up.

I rang to my dad after that, telling him:
‘It has started now, I was just phoned by some magazine to give an interview about The Famous One’, which made him laugh very loud and say:
‘Goodness! Well, let’s see how it turns out then!’
After that, I texted The Actual Famous One. Who was less pleased I answered questions, but chose the polite way of telling me: ‘hey sweetie, I don’t blame you, but next time please don’t tell anything anymore’.
Woops. Noted!

Ever since, I’ve seen The Actual Famous One (who claims ‘I’m not famous at ALL, what are you on about?!’) getting photographed with all kinds of fans and being called ‘sexy!!’ on the internet and so on.
It’s weird, but fun. To observe.
When The Actual Famous One was expecting a baby, I jokingly said: ‘I haven’t seen anything in the gossip sections of the newspapers yet?!’ and I was assurred, again: ‘I’m not that kind of famous!’ so I thought ‘OK’.
Only to see the message had gotten through after all, just a wee bit late. A few weeks before the due date, the gossip news found out. Then there was the moment that The Actual Famous one posted a pic on Instagram. This was picked up by several news sites aswell. Which The Actual Famous One was even less pleased about.

On the plus side: I’ve never been asked for any information about The Actual Famous One ┬ásince that particular interview by phone.

In fact, the other day when there was a birthdaybash at The Actual Famous Ones’ home, some other Famous Colleagues came by. Being part of a bigger ‘nest’ of kids, someone did ask me:
‘So, who are you?’ and given that we had never met, I introduced myself, telling I was a sibling.
‘There’s ANOTHER sibling? I’ve never heard about your existence?’

Yup. My life in a nutshell. Oh well. It’s still good fun. Really. It is.

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Posted by on July 10, 2016 in Daily life


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Broadchurch (review)

Proper police series, just like Happy Valley, though setting and storyline are quite different. The things that it has in common are good recognisable actors and the adrenaline kicks it provides you while watching it. Plus, as happens with Happy Valley: cliffhangers that make you long for more. Every episode.

The story is about a police force who are investigating the murder of an 11-year-old boy. Ellie Miller (played by Olivia Colman, who I’m sure I recognise from something, but even IMdB doesn’t help me here), who has just been on a leave, finds herself not in the job she thought was reserved for her. This has gone to Alec Hardy (played by David Tennant, a wellknown figure for Dr Who or Harry Potter fans) who knows how to make himself quite unpopular very soon.
I might be a bit biased, I happen to like to recognise actors whom I’ve seen before. Well, if they played well.
The mother of the boy, Beth Latimer is played by Jodie Whittaker, who I’d only seen in Venus where she plays a deeply bored teen, so this was quite something else, and so incredibly powerful! She doesn’t look old enough to have a boy that age, exactly what’s meant to happen.
Then there’s Jack Marshall, the man who sells newspapers. He is played by David Bradley, another Harry Potter figure who pops up in a very different persona. You truly feel sorry for what he goes through. You just wanna hug him, pour him a cuppa, tell ‘m it’s gonna be alright.

Further more, the story does get a bit of a slow vibe to it when it comes to Alec Hardy’s background. That keeps coming back in a way that does nothing but to slow down the story. Since it doesn’t give any hints at all -you simply see him get dizzy and nearly passing out- I wondered why it was necessary to put so many of those scenes in it. For minutes. It bores quite quickly, that stuff.
Also, there’s hints being given that in the end, you still don’t know what the person did with it. And there’s of course the spoiler alert that shows itself at one point. Without telling what that is, I did think to myself: ‘OK, now I know’. Too bad, that one. I am not a very intelligent woman, so I’m sure that if I noticed that hint, anybody else will.
Another thing about this series, that I’ve noticed in a different one too (The Missing, also on Netflix): journalists are bastards. Everyone knows this, but I seem to discover it every time again. They really have no conscience in any way whatsoever. If they can have their day in the paper, they will sell their soul if necessary. Even if it is just for a stupid shag. Yes, it really is that simple. It makes you hate Piers Morgan even more. Driving around in expensive cars, pretending he is there to protect children, while everyone still knows very well that it were his actions that actually did quite the opposite. Journalists in investigations could be ace, if they weren’t so keen on selling a story. Because to sell more papers, you are gonna have to twist the truth. The truth doesn’t sell. Gossip does.

Anyways, back to the series. It’s a proper watch. It will kick you up the balls at times, but to me, that is quite a good sign.

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Posted by on July 1, 2016 in Opinion, series


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