Monarchy vs. Presidency. What would be better?
After having celebrated a crazy Koninginne/Konings dag (Queen’s Day, now King’s Day in Holland), I realized in what a well off country I lived in.
Because it was Queen’s Day, me and one of my roommates (roommate X) decided to do something special. As you might’ve guessed, reading from previous posts, I have a free supply of magic mushrooms coming my way every week. They’re mostly just sitting there, so because it was a special day, I thought fuck it, why not: let’s celebrate something! I picked 4-5 biggest mushrooms, and I put them on a plate and starting munching them. I was getting all excited anyway because I was wearing my morphsuit (in a fitting orange colour :P) and my plan was to go crazy and do something with my poi, maybe give a little street performance. One of my other roommates (roommate Y) went out with his friends do get drunk, so I did my own thing since alcohol and shrooms don’t mix well. Roommate X was left, and he didn’t have any plans so I told him “why don’t you come shroom with me? It’ll be a good Queen’s Day memory.” I had an extra one left because I was full, and grabbed him another one. He wasn’t sure at first because he’d never tried shrooms, but he thought “fuck it, once in a lifetime.” And so it began…
I started to feel the effects way earlier than he did because I started earlier. I felt very energetic already because of the excitement of Queen’s Day, and going crazy, and celebrating, and the shrooms were just amplifying that feeling. I suggested we brought some stuff: a longboard, a bike (for roommate X to ride on), a guitar, some poi and some water, then headed into town towards Kralingse plas. As we were biking, I felt really mellow. I had a huge grin on my face as everyone passed by, but I did notice that a lot of people had this low-tone energy, and were just not feeling it. I felt like I was in a complete other world, which I probably was… I was likely one of the few people in a morphsuit, on a longboard, on shrooms. I was going so fast as well. When we got near Kralingse plas, there were all these cars lined up on the side: Mercedes, BMWs, Audis. You name it. All these high-performance German car brands basically. I raced passed them with my longboard, and it felt as though I was in a competition, or some kind of display of speed or performance or something. That feeling was amazing. I was doing Kung Fu shouts with some of the hard pushes I made to gain a tonne of speed, quickly go into a speed tuck, and glide past these bikers like a downhill ninja. There’s nothing like this.
We found a nice place to park our stuff, and I started playing around with my poi. It was amazing. It felt amazing. So smooth and natural as well. Like second nature. I didn’t even need to think about the moves I was doing, it just flowed. Roommate X was amazed. Like he was jaw dropped amazed and I loved the energy he gave me for that. That was priceless.
Shortly after, I noticed something was wrong. Roommate X looked a bit pale, and said he needed to go home and sleep for a bit. I suggest, since we just got to the place, that he close his eyes with his back to the tree and play a little guitar or something. He wasn’t up for guitar, but I was worried, so I sat down with him and was going to attempt to play some guitar myself. Before I even tuned it, he started to get really uncomfortable looks on his face and I started to get really worried. Not before long, he said he needed sugar: he was a diabetic, so the shrooms in his body were reacting on him differently than a non-diabetic person probably. Me and him also had different body types, different diets, and so the shrooms were doing different things in his body than in mine.
I sprinted to the nearby cafe and bought a coke, then came sprinting back and felt like I was treating a disabled person. Like he was actually disabled. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t do anything, except for sit, and hope for the best. When he said “I need to call my doctor” I was like ‘oh shit’.
‘What’s your doctor’s number?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know. But just call 112.’
112. The last time I remember anyone calling that was when I was in Italy with my parents and there was a para-sail crash in the mountain we were hiking on, and a helicopter came to pick the guy up (who probably broke his legs). But that’s another story…
I dialed 112 and asked for an ambulance. They then asked for my location, and forgetting the exact address I started imagining the place on a map, and telling her we were on the South-West side of the lake. The lady I talked to said that was not sufficient and I was getting frustrated because I figured she should’ve just had a computer with Google Maps, check out the South West of Kralingse plas, noticed a parking place and have used that information…
“Can’t you track this cellphone or something??” I asked getting annoyed at her incompetence.
“No sir, we don’t have that kind of technology.”
I was running to the cafe while talking and asked the nearest employee what the address was here… she mumbled something and I was like ‘O_o’ and handed her the phone. I told her what happened, and she raised an eyebrow after I mentioned shrooms. After she had all the information, she was still talking to the lady, so I glanced back in the direction of roommate X and saw him shaking, so I sprinted over to him to see if he was still good and not having a fit or anything. I talked to him to make sure he stayed conscious and alright. When the lady came over with my phone, she told me they were not going to come, unless we would call a second time. I was like, ‘ok’. She gave him a Mars bar to make sure that he stayed supplied on sugar, and then talked to us a bit about ethics and responsibility, and gave roommate X some tasks to do so he stayed fit. She knew what she was doing because she’d done a degree in healthcare and education. That girl was a smart cookie.
When she left, roommate X started to go bad again. I had no idea what to do, and was getting really annoyed at the guy for being such a douche and keeping me occupied with his version of Queen’s Day. But he was my friend, and I knew I was partly responsible for his situation, so I was like “Just tell me what you want.”
‘Call 112 again’ he answered back.
“I don’t want to talk to that lady on the phone again”
‘I don’t care just fucking do it!’ he exclaimed back.
I dialed 112 and sprinted to the girl who worked at the cafe again to help me out. She smiled and grabbed the phone when I came over. ‘They’re on their way’. She said when she gave it back.
I thanked her, then ran back to roommate X to make sure he didn’t pass out or something. I was kind of scared, because I had no idea how shrooms would react in his body, considering his condition. I was half thinking he was going to die, half thinking that he needed to pull himself together and stop being a douche. He was getting very cold, probably because he wasn’t moving, so I gave him my sweater as a blanket, and I had to hug him from behind for body warmth. I felt like 2 homos in a park. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that I don’t usually hug a grown man from behind while he’s rubbing himself up against me to stay warm in the middle of the day.
When the paramedic finally arrived on his flashy BMW motorbike (it was a really nice bike), he took care of the situation. Really cool guy. Very professional and really good guy to converse with. He told us that he didn’t blame us at all for trying shrooms, remembering his own good old days, but just advised roommate X to stick to marijuana or alcohol in the future. I was worried I was going to get fined or worse for supplying my roommate with shrooms in the first place. He said he wasn’t a cop and told me that healthcare and police were separated, telling me his job is just to take care of the people. I started feeling better already.
There was nothing serious to worry about I realized when I saw how the paramedic acted in the situation, getting these toddlers to pose on his motorbike wearing his helmet, and taking pictures while roommate X was sitting on the ground, wrapped in this gold/silver foil for warmth. It was a very contrasting and weird situation. Not to mention I was on shrooms, which made it all the more interesting.
When backup arrived with an ambulance to take him to the hospital, I said goodbye to roommate X and all the paramedics: I didn’t ride with him because I still needed to carry all my shit home (guitar, longboard, bike etc.) so I told him I’d see him later. ‘Thank god that’s over.’ I thought as the ambulance drove away.
I was left in the park and started walking to some people with familiar faces. Halfway through, I got stopped by people asking me wtf happened. I told them we were on shrooms and my friend had a bad trip, and that’s how our conversation started. I chilled with these guys for a long while, talking about shrooms, music, longboarding, poi, flashmobs, jamming, rapping and all this other cool stuff. They were a bunch of cool kids. Very tight knit, but definitely open to outsiders as well.
I called roommate X after this to see if he was ok, and he told me he was having the time of his life in the hospital laughing his ass off at everything. Bad trip turned good. They wouldn’t release him though until a sober person picked him up so he told me to stay put. Ok by me.
I talked to the cool kids a bit more, some German people I knew from school, the lady who helped me with the phone, some stoners in a watchtower and then decided to call it a day and make my way home to cool off the shrooms.
Once home, I unloaded all the ideas I generated for the day on pieces of paper. I filled the rest of my notepad that day, with color coding and everything. The amount of ideas I had were just flowing out of my head on paper. It was amazing. It felt amazing. I was supposed to watch Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to cool off for a bit but my mind would just not settle, and ideas popped out left and right. And one of these ideas is what I started to write about at the start of this blog… that I lived in a country that was really well off, and that it was perhaps to thank for the fact that we live in a constitutional monarchy. Let me explain…
In a constitutional monarchy, a king or queen (monarch) rules the country. Ofcourse there is a prime minister, but the monarch still has influence by the weekly or bi-weekly meetings they have with the prime minister on a 1-to-1 basis. They have the privacy to discuss anything they want… and that’s powerful.
Another part is that the monarch is not easily influenced by money… they have a shitload already, and anything they want, they can pretty much get (at least, that’s how I see it). What I’m saying is, that they’re more human beings than a president because a president is just a puppet for the cabinet they’re standing on. The monarch is independent of this, and therefore big pharma and other multinational corporate organizations don’t have such a big pull here as they have in, for example, the United States as they can’t ‘lobby’ for things as easily.
This is just a theory I’ve come up with. My proposition is therefore:
H1: Ceremonial monarchies have a more humanitarian culture than presidencies.
But perhaps the influence of the United States is unyielding, and some prime ministers may also be drawn to the greed of capitalism (Thaksin in Thailand for example). However, a monarch is able to prevent civil war, and minimize damage in coup d’états and protests as we’ve seen the King of Thailand do on several occasions. Thailand is a relatively politically stable country if we count the number of coup d’états it’s been through in half a century, and if we then consider the relative economic stability.
And from what I’ve described before, constitutional monarchies have one of the best healthcare and education systems in the world. Take Scandinavia. It’s all free, and I think Finland was rated once the highest in public education… and Holland is pretty up there as well as we’ve seen from my story. The ambulance was there no problem, police weren’t notified about drug use (preventing wasted energy), standard issue insurance took care of minimizing the costs, and everything worked smoothly and efficiently like the German manufactured bikes and ambulances they were driving. I’m not sure if I could say the same about any presidency. Although the rest of presidential Europe is not the worst country to be in for school and education, there could be a reason why we have so many German applicants at our dutch universities and not so much vice versa…
Students in the USA, for example, have to take on a massive debt just to get a bachelor’s degree which is absurd. It puts them in the workforce with a massive weight on their shoulders that is only going to get bigger if their goal isn’t to make lots of money.
We should stop paying for degrees to prevent us from getting into this way of thinking.
The shit I learned in university I could’ve just as easily learned in a cheaper, faster, easier, more fun way. By leveraging technology, we can put so much knowledge out there for free and in an open source format. The stuff you learn from Wikipedia is incredible. And don’t forget your TED talks, YouTube, Vimeos and social media which keep you connected to real time knowledge and discoveries. The internet gives people a sense of interest and direction. Everything you do on your computer translates into who you are to some extent.
If you play a lot of a certain type of game, for example, that way of thinking (the thinking that is necessary to win the game) may take over your mind. You see social interaction and the world through the lens that you surround yourself with, which goes beyond just what you do on your computer, but translates into your whole lifestyle actually.
What we need to focus on is living with a lifestyle that’s sustainable and focus on goals that actually make us happy. A university degree is nice to have, and having experienced university life is definitely a good experience, but not at the cost of being a slave to debt for the rest of your life. Change the system. It starts with yourself.