About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English. In 2020, I released my debut novel 'Fragmentariërs' (it's written in Dutch, though who knows I may one day make an English translation).

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Progress 101

Recently, I found myself grappling a little with all the new and changed functionalities of PowerPoint in Windows 7. I'd been very familiar with the presentation software in an XP environment, when the dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, but I had plenty of new stuff to learn. So, I decided to use my learning experience for a good cause, and made a presentation that attempts to explain (with examples!):
  • What privilege is
  • How power structures (patriarchy, plutocracy, imperialism and superstition) manifest themselves
  • How people can be both oppressors and the oppressed simultaneously
  • How power structures intersect with one another
  • What typical defense and derail tactics of those power structures entail
I largely made this thing to help explain things to the uninitiated, especially fellow men who often seem to have difficulty grasping some elementary background concepts of social progress. It's a version 0.9, meaning it's still in a sort of bèta phase. I might do a version with voice-over later. Got feedback? Let me know.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Shit on the radio

Commercials on the radio are usually not very good, and grating at worst. There's a few tropes in particular that I would like to see eradicated for good, and frankly I'm quite surprised there's not more protest about them, since commercials are a blight on the radio waves that many people just put up with.

  • All white, all the time: Now, I hear you, making a person 'sound' like they are non-white is likely to be racist. But it could be as simple as the names people use. It's always David, Lien, Kelly and Peter. It's never Mohammed, Fatima or Dieudonné.
  • Catty women: I get that it's often an attempt at portraying a woman as clever and snarky, but it often comes off petty for no good reason, playing up the angle of the vindictive, jealous lady.
  • Defeated men: We can't undermine the patriarchy enough, but really, this trope has long ceased to be creative or original. The defeated man always ends up being some sort of lowest common denominator idiot who can apparently barely function in life without said catty women, and ...
  • Know-it-all kids: Super-irritating and not cute at all.

While we're at it, it would be cool if they also stopped pretending they're folksy and/or middle class by calling each other 'zoeteke'. Especially if it's with that undertone of barely suppressed contempt and stupidity. I know no couple who calls each other that, and if they do, they probably deserve to be kept out of polite society.

I, for one, don't take kindly to being insulted in my intellectual capacities, and neither should anyone else.