Freitag, 20. März 2015

Allegory of Winter - Sebastian Vrancx

Disclaimer: I am not educated in art, art history or whatever. So I might make mistakes and definitely not use the right terminology. Yet I'm pretty happy with my conclusions and would like to share them / put them up for debate.

The Painting

I stumbled over it in a tweet. 
It was painted by dutch painter Sebastian Vrancx. It can be viewed in high resolution HERE.
The number 1608 on the box below the pan suggests that is was painted in that year.
It shows the season "winter" as an intricate allegory and I think I decoded some of it.

The Still Life

The assorted items arranged on the floor of the damaged hut all represent aspects of winter and winter activities. They are arranged in some sort of timeline, starting on the left with the last vegetable of the year in late autumn / early winter (also the wood, coal that should be gathered before winter truly starts. Above those a couple seems to slaughter an animal for winter supply) and ending with lesser celandine and crocus flowers on the right that herald the spring. Lesser celandine used to be the first green thing people were able to gather and eat in spring. It thus was known to cure scurvy. It was of great importance to people back then. (Though you can only eat it before it starts blooming, but in this case painting the blooming plant makes sense as an artistic choice.)
The candle and the "Duivekater" in the middle of the still life represent the sinter claas / christmas / 12 holy days celebration in winter. Lighting candles in those days is still a living tradition. I am not aware of the meaning of the crowned hat.The ugly child in the background also wears one of those.
The dice that lie below the mask and clothes represent carnival. Gambling with dice was banned in the Netherlands, the ban was only lifted during carnival. The masks also point in that direction.
It should be noted that the clothes on the floor are seemingly identical to those that the masked man in the background wears. Also note that the old man, no doubt being the human representation of winter, seems to wear red below the respectable black coat.

I wonder what the slip of paper below the "Duivekater" is. 

All in all I lack the background in Dutch culture to make sense of many of the things. So no doubt I miss a lot of things here. Without help I would never have identified the loaf as a "Duivekater", though I suspected it to be some sort of festival loaf.

And, also very interesting, the dice sides don't seem to be arbitrary and don't match conventional dice design. I suspect the numbers (11  and 4) have some meaning. No idea what.

Edit: The riddle of the box was solved! It was used to warm your feet!

The three masked people

Very weird figures indeed!
The  man wears a bright red shirt and brown trousers with a quite prominent codpiece. He seems to be young, agile and has muscled legs that he proudly shows off.
Male legs were back then very important for male attractiveness and still are in alpine regions. Showing off legs and the codpiece like that indicates sexuality, fertility. He apparently wears a necklace made of sausages eggs, which could hint to carnival and again fertility. The broom... no idea. Could also be carnival related or be about spring cleaning? Thus I think this young man is an allegory for spring. He is the new spring that will follow the winter, hence the similarity in clothes and the cast-off "spring" dress in the hut of the old man. The new spring is masked, since he hasn't arrived yet. He hasn't yet shown his face, the future is obscure. He also wears a black pouch, like winter, hinting that in the start of the year the end of it already is implicated. Like the red hat of the dying Winter implicates that start of a new spring.
The masked woman next to him also wears sausages around her neck. She also wears a sort of sun hat. He holds her hand while seeming to walk in front of her. While he strides, she seems to walk more slowly. I think she is summer.
The completely veiled woman that follows them seems to be older, she's not walking as straight. She has to be autumn. Though I have no idea why she carries the white sheets. Maybe an analogy to Mother Hulda bringing snow from her down pillows and blankets? Maybe burial shrouds for the dying year? No idea.
Both wear veils because, like the next spring, they symbolize the future, which we can't know until it arrives.

So, that's it.
I don't expect many people to stumble over this or ask the same questions. But if you do and you can help me understand the dice or the hat-crowns, please leave a comment and help me out! Thank you!

Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

Number games

 Dear Ickesians, dear vaccination alarmists in general,

I know many of you are too far out there to even consider the facts and numbers I am going to present now. Nevertheless I will try to show you some things that you can easily verify for yourself.

 Let's have a look at this image macro. Aside of the typo "2113", which we assume means "2013", the numbers seem to be pretty self-evident on the first glance. But is that so? Let's expand this minimalistic time line Icke presents here.

1983: US autism rate is 1 in 10,000. Autistics usually are people with severe mental inabilities, completely unable to live alone, work or communicate properly.

1994: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) gets changed to version IV. In DSM IV the diagnosis criteria for autism got drastically broadened. Some of you might be familiar with the term "Asperger syndrome". "Aspies" have a light version of autism and were not diagnosed as autistics before this change was applied. So naturally many, many more people were diagnosed as autistic. Most of them able to live their life without problems. Only about 1 in 10,000 being so severely autistic that he or she would have been diagnosed as autistic in 1983.

2008: US autism rate has "skyrocket" up to 1 in 150. Icke deliberately hushes up the changes in the definition of the diagnosis. Asperger autism is now a fashionable diagnosis for people who wonder why their kids don't act like those on TV. Some of them have problems finding friends, others just love to play alone. But in the age of kindergarten kids learning Chinese in order to be prepared for their later careers, this deviation from the media propagated norm is frightening to many parents.

May 2013: DSM version 5 is released. Again broadening the definition of autism. You sometimes like being alone? You have a hobby you like to focus on? You are no virtuoso with words? According to DSM 5 you might be autistic!

End of 2013: US autism rate in children is 1 in 88. If this would be the diagnosis criteria from 1983, this would mean about every 5th kid is severely disabled and depending on care for as long as it lives. Just take a step outside your house to see that this is not the case.

If someone presents you a simple A->B relation like this, you need to make sure that there is no factor C that influences the huge changes in B. Changes in definition of an illness are a quite gargantuan factor C with enormous influences on the numbers. Ignoring that or even hushing it up is more than dishonest, it is actively misleading fellow human beings.  If that person at the same time claims there are reptile aliens from Saturn (Which is a gas planet! No surface! No life!) that pretend to be humans and are to blame for all bad things, that should be another clue for you.

The child mortality rate in the US sank from 200 dead children per 1000 life births (about 1/5. Means: The kids you now fear could get light autism would be the number of kids that died back then) in the 1880s to less than 10 dead children per 1000 life births in the 1980s. 2000% less dead kids. And vaccinations play a big role there. You can easily prove that by looking at child mortality numbers and causes in todays 3rd world countries. The correlation between increases in vaccination and decreases of child mortality rates can be tracked. So can the efficiency.

This is how childhood looked before vaccinations:

And this is how the childhood of a vaccinated kid with diagnosed light autism looks:

(pic broken: Duck as a smiling baby)

Note how I do fixate the eyes. Note how I am able to express myself. Note how I am smiling. (Note my enormous bald head!)
Note that today I have university degrees, a job, a happy and healthy marriage, friends, sufficient social skills and a good life. I like how I am and wouldn't want to change a thing. I am happy and healthy.
I am alive.
Now, again, remember that there is no scientific proof that vaccinations cause autism.
But there is ample scientific proof for the fact that not vaccinating your children can cause their death or severe disabilities.
If you don't want to dismiss the baseless hypothesis that vaccinations cause autism, fine. Then still look at the two pictures and ask yourself which one of those two options you want to risk for your child.
And now choose wisely.