The one who does not fight, has already lost.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,
First of all thank you for your reply to my extra letter, One of the Boys.
And I think the reason I associate my creative work with leisure and masculinity, is because men seem to have, or “get”, more space and permission to do whatever the fuck they want.
Whereas if you start of as a woman, which biologically I am, you FIRST have to fight for your right to do whatever you want, and be a creator of something no one particularly values or is willing to pay money for.
Permission to do something that does not fall into the category; “But how can you help people?”
Because of that discrepancy, it is extremely unwise to identify with being female, or identifying with being any other minority that burdens you with expectations and limitations you wouldn’t have if you just entirely ignored it, reframed it right in front of their very eyes, or simply state (technically the term might be gaslighting) by saying:
“I m entirely male. I do whatever the fuck I want.”
I did keep my balls since my last email.
But unfortunately, I also had another C. regulation Brave New World meltdown, although this is the first time I was able to identify it as such.
Do you remember when two months ago, we had to reschedule, because I thought I was sick?
It was a Friday.
That Tuesday before that we had our first “in lockdown” press conference, which I had watched.
In hindsight, what I think happened, was that I was watching that press conference and the entire ludicrousy of that first batch of conflicting and non-specific regulations, that gave me a splitting headache.

Our government has kept Tuesday as their bi-weekly (in the sense of every two weeks) conference date, and last Tuesday was one of their last.
I didn’t even watch it.
I was with my mother because we were going to watch an online masterclass, which turned out to be via Skype. We ended up having to watch it on my phone, without proper audio, so we ultimately turned it off.
Well, not ultimately; After 25 minutes.
And it was by accident because I was trying to get it on speaker to get a better sound.

Anyway, the entire shock of being in a meeting with 30 strangers of which some seemed unaware that their cameras and microphones were on;
Of the Skype software not giving “Do you want to leave this meeting” warnings nor confirming that you’ve left the meeting;
AND the chat staying open after you had supposedly left the meeting, resulted in anxiety.

Had our microphone been open?
What had they heard after I logged off?
I knew everything was fine, but the damage had already been done.
And I also knew that in a couple of days I would probably get a better understanding of what had been going on, right at that moment… That my anxiety was probably a response to something that had been felt more subtle.

In the past it was usually that I had felt something going on with my lover, so I thought it was that…
It wasn’t until this weekend, and spending Saturday in bed with a SPLITTING headache- again, a few days after the press conference, just like two months ago- that I was able to trace my migraines back to that Tuesday.
That my headache had not been triggered by all the other events that had happened at the end of that week.
Not by 1- year worth of old paper, that I had put by the street (they collect it monthly, but I had missed for a very long time). Seeing all the old papers up until last summer when everything had still been normal, had made my stomach turn.

Nor was my headache a backlash from a decision one week prior, to quit teaching in person yoga, nor start teaching in the park where I have to register for a spot (!!) nor teach it at the studio. Gyms are allowed to reopen in September, but under strict conditions.
The decision to draw a line at becoming the extension of a government health system, just because I m a service provider, at been a toughy – but no.
That was not the reason of the headache.

Nor the glass of rose wine I had.
Nor the two long phone calls and the hour long conversation with my neighbor, making Friday socially straining.
It wasn’t my daily yoga routine, I started doing on video. It’s so much fun!! But it wasn’t this strain, of having to show up daily.
It wasn’t the nasty, hostile atmosphere in a secondhand store that (again) made me leave feeling sick.
And it wasn’t even the complicated situation with a neighbor cat, that had given me heart complaints last year..
No, what caused an entire Saturday in bed with migraine was watching Tuesday’s press conference.
Or, in this case, NOT watching it.
Since, like I said, my mother and me were setting up shop for attending a masterclass.
But things seeped in.
Bits of information.
It must have been enough or confusing enough though, since it later resulted in me becoming phobic after our Skype connection broke down.
When at the time, I wasn’t even consciously listening.
I remember looking at that screen, and shouting to my mother:
“Oh! It’s press conference time again!”
And her responding:
“Really? I never follow them.”

But in the following days yes…. the information was repeated.
Written out, what the consequences would be for the bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

And in hindsight it had been that information that had given me a splitting headache.
Now, more than ever, it became clear how our “intelligent lockdown” would be dismantled. Without the government exerting any power over its civilians.
Quite the contrary!
We would be allowed to go out again!
So without unpopular measures for civilians – for example prohibit sneezing or coughing in public and fining it. For example making it forbidden to leave the house without a mandatory mobile phone and installed C. software – what did government do to make sure C. wasn’t spread?
They played the ball to the service providers.
Any entrepreneur who relied on real life human interaction was made into an extension of the government.
They could do the dirty work of getting themselves into situations of conflict with their clients, so that the government would not have to take unpopular measures at a personal level.
Did I say we have elections next year?
We have elections next year.
So. What did the service providers do? 
Well, what would you do, if you had been financially bleeding to death for two and a half months?
They took it without question.
Some of them have calculated that under the new rules, they would still be losing money, and are choosing not to reopen June 1. 
But none of them are saying:
“Hey! Just two years ago you made a whole fucking song and dance of us tiny entrepreneurs needing GDPR (Dutch: AVG ) because on occasion I get someone’s address. And now you have me collecting medical information before someone can sit on my terrace? Go do your own dirty work!”
No one.
Because when you’re almost bankrupt you don’t ask questions.
There is a German saying, from Bertold Brecht:
“Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.”
First comes a full stomach, then comes ethics.
There’s a lot of small entrepreneurial stomachs that need filling before anyone is going to call out our government for turning The Netherlands into Brave New World.
Brave New World is an upcoming American science fiction dystopian drama series set to premiere on the NBC Universal streaming service Peacock on July 15, 2020 and Sky One in the UK.

You see, the problem with Huxley’s dystopia, was that it looked like a utopia.
Everybody was programmed from birth to fit into a caste, a layer of society where you would be of use. Your happiness was provided for, because you were conditioned to dislike the elements that would contradict with your layer in society.
Your health was impeccable, there were no sickness, there was no death.
It was a perfect world, where there was government supplied drugs to numb any feelings of discontent.
There was no visible conflict between the civilians and the governments, it was the perfect dictatorship that had used the “right” to happiness and health, as a way to seize control and centralize all power.

Brave New World was a place where C. would never have happened, or it would have been perfectly contained.
And people like me would have been sent to Iceland.
I don’t think I was the only one, Sara, who temporarily lost track of where her balls were in 2020.
It took me four days of mental confusion and a hell of a migraine, before I figured out this press conference and its confusing messages. And its dystopian way of using service providers as their henchmen. 
But it was worth it.

And I m happy as fuck at least I still got my damn balls.
“Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.”
If you fight you might lose, if you don’t you have already lost.
You won’t find me teaching yoga, nor visiting restaurants, in the Brave New World.

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
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