Ich Rieche Blut. And it’s not German.

Basic Instinct 2. The psychiatrist on the right has a drawing on his wall with the title “Ich Rieche Blut” (I smell blood)


The title of this post was not supposed to be the title of an art work on the wall of the psychiatrist in Basic Instinct 2.

The story from that movie revolves around an American writer, Catherine Tramell, who now lives in London.
She writes a book about a psychiatrist, “The Analyst”. He has this drawing on his wall, that is called Ich Rieche Blut.
Because the movie is in English, and because it is located in London, the title Ich Rieche Blut is translated for the viewer, almost casually, as part of a conversation.
Ich Rieche Blut means:
I smell blood.

That was not my initial idea for the title of this blogpost.
I thought it would be:
The people murmur, or The people grumble.
Because that’s what the Dutch are doing.

The dissatisfaction is almost audible, even though we cannot hear each other, obviously. But like a low humming whale sound, the pushback from a majority of the Dutch is becoming louder every week, every day, with every press conference, every change in measures, every relief of restrictions and maybe the murmur or the grumble are just a force that has been created by two years of gaslighting your own population by saying it depends on their individual behavior how the pandemic will unfold (and thereby clearing the measures as “good”, effective and beyond discussion).

So maybe it is no longer any of those identifiable events.
Maybe the murmur and grumble of the people have picked up momentum that have made it impossible to control it.
Like an avalanche or a big rock rolling down the mountain;
It can no longer be stopped.

Where the avalanche or the rock breaking loose, could have been prevented;
That ship has now sailed.
The cat is out of the bag.

The reason I did not choose “The people murmur” as title, is not just because “Ich rieche Blut” is from Basic Instinct 2, and therefor ties in better with the Basic Instinct theme that has been present in my work for a long time.
It is also because I actually, literally, and for the first time this clearly, I detected my desire for blood with regard to Covid measures.

I watched a critical roast of the statistical numbers used in yesterday’s Dutch press conference, and I found the ruthless slaying satisfying

It was like my thirst for blood to have this bullshit press conference where booster vaccination and the once installed as ->TEMPORARY<- measure QR code (a proof of vaccination, that you need to enter cafes, theatres and theme parks – which reopened today after a month of lockdown, where no one could get into those places, with or without code) were defended by numbers everyone in their right mind understood were professional guess work at best;
I longed for that bullshit to be statistically dissected and its remains spread over five different continents. The last part didn’t really happen, but serves as illustration how angry I was feeling.

And I watched a two hour show, an analysis, and it was satisfactory, but only mildly. But I could complement it with an understanding that our government is going to fail spectacularly. Either in a calculated, ego-saving way that will damage-control their election results for the upcoming local elections in March;
Or perhaps I did see things they did not see yet.

Maybe me understanding their QR code will fail, and that they’re probably working towards when it can be cancelled without losing face; Maybe that is a personal observation.
Maybe they don’t see it will fail and they are not preparing an exit strategy behind the scenes.

But even if they choose to keep the QR code, of which they ve capped validity at 9 months after initial vaccination, meaning as of April all those without booster can no longer visit the cafes;
Even then no one is going to buy it.
The Dutch people are not going to get a new vaccination every few months, just to visit a café!

Maybe government manages to keep the once installed as ->TEMPORARY<- measure of QR code [ yes I know I am repeating myself, but this is worth repeating ] thereby effectively continuing their bullying campaign against their own people, into taking vaccinations just to have a social life.
Yes, really, maybe they will find a way to go through with it politically, but the people will just refuse to update their vaccinations.

I m sure of it.

This first booster percentage in The Netherlands is already lower than they expected and although I took my booster, because I was suffering from a martyr complex where I actually thought I had to sacrifice my own body to protect the vulnerable, I love seeing those meager numbers.

I love seeing how the people are saying No to being bullied into vaccination – even the ones who took the vaccination last summer, when it was still a voluntary choice.
Making vaccination practically mandatory with the QR code, has worked against the government.
But the longer they hold on to using the QR code, and the more they cap the duration your vaccination is valid, the stronger the pushback will be.
The louder the mongering will be.

Yet the press conference was full of incorrect statistics but most of all it did not acknowledge that the people are murmuring.
That something has changed.

The press conference and parliamentary debate today, did not acknowledge, that the time has come for change.

Not change because it is safe, not change because it is sensible. Not change because better data are available;
But change as an acknowledgement that change has already begun.

Change, because the rock was set loose and is now rolling downhill.
Change, because the avalanche has already begun.
Change, because the people murmur, the people grumble and monger.
And change because:
The Dutch are not Germans.
The Dutch are not French.
And CHANGE because THAT is information you should keep in mind, somewhere in the front, if you want to do anything EVER again involving rules and regulations in The Netherlands.

Anybody who wants anything done, either in Dutch organizations, or from Dutch citizens, should immediately and preferably thoroughly, cleanse themselves of any megalomaniac ideas about becoming the Napoleon or Der Fuhrer of the Lowlands.

Yes, we can be conquered.
Yes, our defenses suck.
But Dutch passive aggressiveness where we do exactly what you ask, but nothing more?
Do not underestimate how effective that can be.

A population who no longer attends theaters, cafes, and events, and starts an underground economy in people’s living rooms and private spaces?
Or who takes their shots exactly on the margin of their QR code, but abandon all not legally enforced measures, such as testing, quarantine, social distancing?

Good luck fighting your pandemic with that.

There is a lot to do about people who do not take their vaccinations, or who protest, and about the threat of real violence;
But in my opinion that visible and sometimes scary side of resistance are not the threat to public health, or the undermining force to Covid measures.
These people bother to show up and speak up, and that is a very important difference to murmuring and grumbling; because those people are not, nor have they ever, showed up for the conversation.
Myself included.

In the press conference and the parliamentary debate, government frequently pointed to France and Germany, as examples on rules, regulations, but also QR code.
But it wasn’t until today, that I realized how absolutely CRUCIAL this is, in understanding why they keep missing the mark in communication with the Dutch people.

Because in France and Germany?
Then keeping your eye on the extremes is enough to measure public compliance.
Keeping your eye on the visible, let’s say “official”  resistance in France and Germany, the part that officially rallies against the rules, is enough to indicate the chances of success of your policies.
And Germany has a history of having a population that is way too compliant, ending up with the whole country having to take the fall for both 1st and 2nd WW; And France on the other hand has a history of the people overturning their government.

But The Netherlands?
The Netherlands have neither.
And in our history, and this is really common knowledge for anyone who has studied our political and cultural background, our allies and our foes, which apparently our government has not –
In our history we have never sided with Germany nor with France.

We side with England.

With: No-more-Covid-measures, Brexit-mayhem, Boris-Johnson-party gate, England.

Our Dutch minister of health, pointing to France and Germany as examples, illustrations, or countries to learn from in any way, on how a country should measure a pandemic, goes against common sense and it goes against history. And it’s a vast overestimation of how important the Dutch anti-vax movement is, and a glorious underestimation of normal people no longer feeling part of the problem nor the solution.

It is a glorious underestimation of the people murmuring and by now taking pleasure in the statistics of your national press conference being roasted.

Thinking you can get away with QR codes in The Netherlands, because we don’t have the French resistance and assuming we have the German compliance, is underestimating the people who will do nothing and watch you meet your political doom.

In the Netherlands, we have stopped caring about our government. We don’t even care enough to resist, because we know it will fall apart from passive aggressiveness way faster than it will by resisting it.

There is a saying in Dutch:
“If it doesn’t go the way it must, it must go the way it does.” 

The QR code marked the moment when all those Dutch who had taken their vaccination out of solidarity, felt betrayed.
The government overplayed their hand, when from a situation where over 80% of the population had taken a vaccine without asking anything in return, they tried to “make” the remaining part take it, by making vaccination mandatory to get a QR code to attend cafes, theatres, cinemas.
I think that move lost more ground in fighting the pandemic, than it gained.

I think that move, making vaccination almost mandatory, by QR code, as well as holding on to that measure even when the pandemic situations are January 2022 entirely different than October last year-
that’s the biggest mistake our government has made.

We’re no longer complying, because we are not German.
We are not openly rebelling because we are not French.
Murmuring Dutch are not a sign a revolution is at hand.
The smell of blood I sense, is metaphorical; It is not literal.

The avalanche, the rock that is rolling down the hill, the murmuring of the people, the grumbling, the mongering;
They are a sign that
if things don’t go the way they must?
Then they must go the way they do.

In England murmuring plays a crucial role in parliamentary debates.
The country of Churchill, the only European country who successfully resisted Nazi Germany, and they have relieved all Covid measures.
On a side note: The other European country that did not resist Germany but was very effective in protecting their citizens and gave their Jewish population an opportunity to escape to Sweden, was Denmark: Also, a country where they have relieved all Covid measures.

England and Denmark had the best tactics in the second word war, and from the two The Netherlands has the strongest ties to England.  

So if the Dutch want to come out of the pandemic stronger, bolder, and with their head held high?
It must run away at the smell of blood, unless we want to risk a second Bastille Day.
We must stop looking to Germany, unless…. unless you want to risk making their mistakes.

The Netherlands must do what it has always done:
We must side with


An unexamined life is not worth living

post-script 28 January 2022:
After this post, for the first time ever, I ve decided to start following Dutch Covid politics.
I will Tweet about this from January 2022 to March after our local elections, describing political choices and how they impact the dynamics between people and government.


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