Russel Brand now has 5 million followers, and Wim Hof something similar. These are numbers you can hardly comprehend. A single person who has more viewers than all the television channels of an entire country put together. I don’t really have such ambitions – a while back I decided to stop putting my energy into social media and to focus mainly on this website. Yesterday, this resulted in two hundred visitors, a number that you quickly take for granted, but then I think to myself, hey, that’s about eight full school classes on one day. Whoever is not disgusted by what Russel Brand shows in this film is, I think, long lost to any cause:
In a gang society you can’t post something like this because it wouldn’t have the right gang colour. We are red, and they are blue, and the fact that the blue one says the moon is round means that you must think the moon is square. That is pretty much the sad mechanism that you will always see. Those who have no interest in belonging to one or other gang are out of luck: scarecrows immediately claim every reasonable viewpoint, and all that remains for you as an outsider is to keep quiet. A cleverly devised construction.
Meanwhile, the EU forbids me to read the RT.com website. No really, outright censorship. Even providers would have to block the site. To be honest, I don’t appreciate this at all, and I am glad that the Dutch association for journalism dares to agree with me. They still can.
Yesterday I had the honour of getting to know three new poets. When Gerrit Komrij wrote that I was one of the most important new talents and I told my parents that, and I got ‘who is Gerrit Komrij’ as an answer, nihilism was of course staring me right in the face, and I therefore think that there are few people left who know how to get to know new poets as opposed to buying a random collection out of obligation.
Yet another litmus test of nihilism: the difference between the two positions is, in fact, huge. And the problem is that the group that buys collections out of a sense of obligation is enormous; I think it comprises at least 96% of the buying public. And it mainly concerns purchases under social pressure – at performances after a chat with the poet himself. Knowing how rare the true devotee is these days, I am happy that the rather expensive ‘Traktaat van de Zon’ still managed to find sixty people. Reviews don’t generate any sales these days – that market has been thoroughly ruined by the carpet bombardment of positivism over the past twenty years. My decision not to send any more books to review sites will make no difference to sales, and will save me from being annoyed by the quality, which could easily degenerate into a kind of masochism I’d rather nip in the bud. No reviews, excellent. I’ve had enough reviews already.
No, I’d rather pick new bars. My book on the Amanita Muscaria will be a real gem, just as the host chair itself is a gem. My latest collection contains a kind of creation story in which the mushroom plays a leading role, a poem set in the Giant Mountains in Poland. In my forthcoming book, I will elaborate on this and show that the mushroom actually played a major role in the evolution of man. While working on the book, I used the same scrying method that I often use when writing poetry. This time I came across the American poet Edna St Vincent Millay, from whom I am translating an interesting poem about silence – the book contains a lot of poetry, of course, and this feminist poet is almost a textbook example of an amanita poet-avant-la-lettre.