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donderdag, mei 16, 2024

The Upside Down World

The Upside Down World is not a reference to the alternative dimension in the acclaimed series Stranger Things. But it ís a strange world. And fairly innocent when young children play to be living in it. When adults do, they are called 'wappies'; a Dutch umbrella term for racists, 'Karen's', conspiracy nuts, Trump fans, antivaxxers, climate change know, crazy people.

The term 'wappie' has its roots in the Dutch clubscene from the nineties. To describe someone who - under the influence of alcohol and other drugs - has completely lost it and only speaks gibberish. Perhaps because their 'voice in the head' (in basis the amygdalae) is damaged and they can't distinguish fantasy from reality anymore, nor tell the difference between actual fears and fears they have been talked into believing.

Nowadays it refers to basically any lunatic. Which in turn is a term derived from people who - according to urban legend - went crazy under the full moon: Luna was the ancient Romans' moon goddess.


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For wappies everything is 'upside down': an obvious lie they call 'the absolute truth!', the members of Antifa are 'all fascists!', when they simply parrot the words of some right wing populist, they say: 'I think for myself!' and copying a Facebook message from a conspiracy nut in their world is: 'I do my own research!' 

With: 'I'm afraid of nothing!' they refer to anything they don't understand and are therefore terrified of. From socialism to transgenderism, from science to foreign cultures. 

Since the introduction of sociale media, the number of wappies is on the rise: amplified because they love to live in their own echo chamber. 

During the Brexit* campaign a lot of fake news was being spread to convince gullible British people to leave the European Union. Mostly via questionable media sources, often known hoax-websites. Those media spread other fake news too, not only about 'the EU' and 'the elite!' Hence the percentage of Brits who believe the moon landing was fake rose to an alarming 25%. In comparison: in the USA 'only' 6% of people believe men never went to the moon. Only nazis did. 😐
For wappies that now go: 'Yes, but...!', take a few minutes to listen to some actual science instead of to your favourite conspiracy theorists.

Here's an excerpt of a piece I wrote on Brexit" 2019 the EU anti tax avoidance directive would come into force. Meaning it would become very hard for very rich people to avoid taxes. When they live in the EU. By chance a couple of very, very rich and powerful people funded and supported a Brexit.

"We are in trouble as a species if people refuse to believe in things that they couldn't actually do themselves" a guest in this TV-quiz states. 

I think that takes us to the core of the problem: a growing number of people don't understand the world around them so - like the ancestors of our ancestors did - they make things up and are an easy prey for any demagogue who wants to steer 'the people in a certain direction.

The economic, political and social implications of Brexit were (and are) too complicated for most to understand. So 'the people' voted for politicians 'who tell it like it is!'. Does that make 'the people' stupid? That's debatable. But that they are like children playing they live in The Upside Down World is a certainty. And a problem if we ever want to advance as a species.

How do you propose 'wappies' can be turned (back) into reasonable people?

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