Archives for category: Politics

“So what do you want to do?” asked L’Artiste. Mouse took him by the hand and led him to the window. “You know,” she said, “I realised, we have to view the current situation like a plane crash. The world is going down and the oxygen masks are dangling in front of us. We have to grab the mask and put it in our face first before we can help the others”.

“Are you saying we should be more selfish?” asked L’Artiste. “That is so not us!”

“You are right, but if we pass out we can’t help anyone and there are some who can’t help themselves.” Then she explained that the Dedes have to clean up their own act first. She, Mouse, had made the decision to go largely self-sufficient and pointed proudly to her garden.

“You can’t make the decision for our society!” exclaimed L’Artiste appalled. “You can’t tell me what I can do and can’t do, we are not living in a nanny state. Last time I checked, we were living in a democracy.”

“You are right, I can’t” said Mouse. “I said, I have gone largely self-sufficient.  I can make the decision only for myself. Look, I have read so much about food wastage. Did you know that in the European Union about twenty percent of the produced food ends up in the rubbish tip? Food production impacts heavily on the environment. Apart from that, 815 Million people worldwide go hungry while at the same time 650 Million people are overweight…. Wouldn’t you say something is out of kilter?”

“Right” admitted L’Artiste, “but isn’t that subject too big for us? We little no body puppets can’t change anything.”

“That is only the tip of the iceberg” said Mouse “the next thing is that people eat, but don’t nourish themselves. They eat empty calories, become overweight and their ill nourished bodies becomes sick. Then they have to buy expensive medicine… All along someone makes money…”

“C’mon stop this conspiracy theory!” said L’Artiste and held his hands over his ears.

“It is well documented that in America the biggest drug problem is caused by prescription drugs. Just remember the tobacco industry… It is one thing, if one doesn’t know. But knowing and covering it up for profit, that is criminal in my books.” Mouse talked herself into a real rage.

“So what is your solution, do you want to take on the entire world.

“Quite the opposite” said Mouse. “I want to withdraw from the market as much as possible. I am aware that in certain areas I have to depend on others, and I am also no angel, I have a few vices just like the next Dede, but we can do so much more than we are doing at the moment. I am prepared to learn. Are you?”

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The Dedes are the reflection of their Artist and truth be told they struggle. When they first popped up, the Artist was still working and had to deal with different personalities on a daily basis. As an educator it was the Artist’s intention to find win-win situations where possible, or if not possible, at least come to an understanding of the thinking of others.

The puppets provide an excellent tool to investigate any issue in an non-threatening way and from many different angles. Like in human society, different puppets have different opinions derived from their own individual experiences. While these, on scrutiny, often don’t even exclude each other, they often result in major disagreements – even animosities, when everyone stubbornly insists on their own position. The key to understanding is careful and sincere listening. A skill well worth developing.

Then Top Dog showed up in their little society and everything changed. All of a sudden there was this knifing, lying puppet that twisted words and didn’t care about reason, truth or the well-being of others, but only about his own advantage and power. In typical Dede-fashion they took it lightheartedly at first. Sadly, what happened to the Dede-society was mirrored big time in the real world shortly after.  Over night, the Dedes were no longer funny! And the struggle began: The Dedes’ life philosophy was challenged to the core, if not endangered.

Meanwhile, the Artist in her typical fashion is sitting on the fence. Should the Dedes die, or should they come out fighting? While there is no definitive verdict, the Dedes are still potting around on Instagram. So the Artist kept the Dedes alive as she believes coming back from the dead is arguably more difficult than coming back from sick-leave. While the Dedes were convalescing the blog was somewhat neglected. They really should be out of their sick-bed by now.

Well, of course I am the Artist and the Dedes reflect my own struggle. Personally, I am blessed beyond my own belief, and live an extremely rich and fulfilled life (not in the monetary sense, though). I haven’t always, and like everyone else I have my ups and downs. I invented Top Dog, when I had to cope with a bullying work environment. Writing Top Dog’s adventures helped me tremendously externalising the issue. Though in the end the real Top Dog and her antics did grind me down and even worse Top Dogs popped up everywhere in the political world, like mushrooms after a nuclear fall-out.

My solution was to withdraw back into the privacy of my own life and onto a 1.5ha lifestyle block being as self-sufficient as possible. It suits me to a tee, as I always had hermit-style tendencies (hence the first puppet book ‘Hermit’s Web’).

The Dedes on the other hand are public figures, they like an audience and once again, they complain that I am not doing enough for them. They believe they have a message worth hearing. And there we are…

Do they really?

The last week was skills week in the Super Dede Competition and Cool Cat had to present first.

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“I am sick of sharing these dreary old nobody bodies” she said pointing to the black robes they all forced to wear. “When can a pretty girl like me show cleavage? I made this dress so I can stand out from the crowd.”

Well the Artist thought she looks like a housewife from the fifties, though the readers loved the dress. One reader, @spoons_and_friends reminded Cool Cat, that ‘it is not important what you wear or will garner your attention… and if it does, it is really the kind of attention you want?’ That definitely got Cool Cat thinking.

Next day Skeleton Edeltraut had to come up on stage. Poor thing, having lived in the closet for such a long time she was a bit confused.

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“What is a skill” she asked Devil. “Something you are good at” he replied and shoved her into the lights without further ado. There she stood like a little possum and couldn’t move. “We don’t have all day” reminded Devil impatiently.

“I think I am best in keeping secrets” the skeleton said finally and quickly slinked off the stage.

Some readers felt sorry for Skeleton Edeltraut that she had been pushed into the limelight, while others confirmed that she has a valid skill indeed. @theblanche reminded us that ‘loose lips sink ships’ and commended Skeleton on her talent.

Monkey of course has no problems with being centre of attention and showing off.

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“Look” he said “I can balance a banana on my nose…. oops” and it fell off.

Devil shook his head “There are skills and there are useful skills” he sighed “where on earth did we find these contestants?”

The real skill here, and some of the readers agreed, is that Monkey can make others laugh, right?

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Court Jester seems to have a very similar skill as Monkey. He came on stage and proclaimed “I have the skill of making fun of everything.” Devil of course couldn’t withhold his comment: “That is not a skill, that is a nuisance!” Court Jester wasn’t flustered at all “I totally disagree,” he said with his trademark smile “Nothing is more rewarding than to see people laugh about themselves!”

The readers were divided on this one. One said both Dedes spoke the truth, while others said he should keep up the good work. It shows that everything has two sides.

Last, but not least Push Push had to show her skill. She has been practising for month, if not years. Ever since she took part in another talent show and failed.

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She swooned onto the stage donning a tutu and… started crying inconsolably. “I worked so hard on my ballet routine, but the stage is too small for me.”

Isn’t the management committee disorganised this time round? Push Push had in fact complained about the size of the stage last week, but nobody took notice. We are missing Detail so much.

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And then Devil realised they stuffed up big time. They had forgotten to tell the readers that next week is Q&A week. Mouse looked bedazzled. “I never though I would say that,” she admitted “I really miss Detail. With her in the management team this never would have happened!”

To be continued next week….

 

Well, it should have been all easy peasy. But you would not believe what happened last week. As usual, the readers voted who will take part in this year’s Super Dede competition.  To give all contestants the same chance, voting closed on Tuesday, two days after the last contestant was introduced. Unfortunately the management committee gave an example on how someone could still affect the temporary result.  If someone wants Eve L. gone, they could leave a comment on Cool Cats post. NOT COOL at all. Sure enough two people followed that ‘advice’ and left a comment on the cats post, with the result that Cool Cat passed Eve L.

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Of course Eve L was not taking it lying down. As we already know he was working on a complaint but miraculously he also got a comment from St Petersburg, Russia. (Truly, I could not have made this up!)

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No idea what it says**, but nifty as Eve L is, he figured out the rules mention comments but don’t stipulate the language or whether the comment makes sense.

The next day Mouse, the organiser, wanted to chuck it all in after she looked the the revised vote count.

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“This competition is such a mess.” she said. “Now Cool Cat and Eve L. both wiggled their way into the competition and they pushed Push Push, the elephant out. ”

Devil had enough of the kerfuffle “I am making an executive decision here” he said firmly “Eve L is under suspicion of colluding with a foreign power and should be barred from this year’s competition!” Does anyone dare to disagree with Devil?

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Meanwhile Push Push was so anxious whether she gets in this time, that she did her own recount and had to find out that Foxy Lady did better than her as well. Honest as she is, she admitted the fact to Foxy Lady “nobody seemed to have noticed that you have a point more than I as well.” Luckily, Foxy Lady absolutely hates talent shows and patted the elephant sisterly on the back while she replied: “And we won’t tell anyone either. With your colourful circus personality you will do so much better than I. I am just a cranky old liberal academic. No one seriously wants to see me in a talent show!”

Well, she hadn’t reckoned with our readers. Sure enough someone said “I do!” But by then voting had closed.

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Finally the group picture of the five contestants was released. Not a particularly happy bunch, I must say. Who can blame them. After these two chaotic weeks, they were totally exhausted and they were allowed to go off for a weekend of golfing to get a good break before the competition starts in all seriousness today.

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Problem is, the Dedes can’t play golf at all. Gifting them a golfing weekend just sounded good. So, how do the Dedes relax? They went to a spa anyway. Sitting in a hot tub is no good either, as they are not water tight. To make the best of it Cool Cat treated herself to a massage by Chance. Pity the Dedes have no bodies and a massage is somewhat wasted on them too.

…To be continued next week.

**PS: We tried to find out from enders_production what their comment meant. While they responded, they didn’t engage with our request. It happens that we have Russian friends of our own and even though we did not get a direct translation from them either, we were told it is a word of encouragement. And we opted to believe it.

 

Last week the remaining contestants were introduced.

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Contestant No 7: Rob D Light. With Devil’s supportive words, Rob D Light mustered all his courage to enter the competition. He has a bit of a handicap, as he has a dust allergy and has to wear a kerchief in front of his mouth at all times. Because of this, he is currently unemployed and with no fixed abode. He is desperately looking for a job, though. In the meantime he has volunteered to help Devil building the stage for the competition. He really hopes he will get into the competition and people will change their minds about him.

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Contestant No 8: Skeleton Edeltraut. She simply believes it is a liberating move for every Skeleton to come out of the closet at one stage. Nothing much is known about her, but that is the nature of things. Isn’t it?

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Contestant No 9: Eve L. He wants to be part of the Super Dede Competition as he believes every show must have a nasty character and he certainly can fill this position very nicely, thank you. The big question is, could a nasty puppet become Super Dede?

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Then Lapdog had difficulties deciding on the last contestant. He went to seek advice by the management committee. His dilemma was that Top Dog wants to be part of the competition as he is convinced he is the best Dede ever. However, Lapdog who has the job of canvassing the contestants, can’t stand the narcissist and doesn’t want to give him a change. Luckily Foxy Lady, (who already tried to kill Top Dog once by pushing him of a shelf) stepped up. While she despises talent shows she offered to step up, just to sidestep Top Dog. Lapdog wondered if this approach was ethical. But the committee left the decision up to him.

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Contestant No 10: Foxy Lady. Well as we know, she is not a fan of talent shows, but she strongly believes that the likes of Top Dog need to be stopped. For the benefit of all, she had to snatch the last free space from the narcissist.

 

In the last competition, there was a complaint at the end of the canvassing procedure. Top Dog strongly believed he didn’t make it into the competition because he was last to be introduced. ‘Fair point’, said the management committee and changed the rules. This time the viewers have until Tuesday to get behind their contestant and for now they published the preliminary results only for everyone to see where the contestants stand at this point in time.

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Until Tuesday the readers can add comments to their preferred contestants and by doing so add points to their tally. Every comment counts 5 points. For example, if you want to push Eve L out of the competition, add a comment to Cool Cat and Eve L is a ‘goner’. Unless of course someone else enters a comment to Eve L.

Well, the committee should not have given this strategic example. Miraculously Cool Cat got two more comments over night and left Eve L. in the dust.IMG_4881

Sure enough, this morning Top Dog and Eve L were seen huddled together over pieces of paper writing up complaints.

To be continued next Monday…

 

 

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Top Dog had the feeling the Dedes had returned to their daily routine and sort of forgotten about him. This of course is not allowed to happen. Today he came up with a new scheme. “I want to have all the presents” said Top Dog “Let’s cancel Christmas and have Top Dog Day on the 28th of December instead.”

“Wise move” confirmed Norman T Newbie III “then you can collect everything they will buy at the Boxing Day Sales as well”

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Finally the birds managed somehow to peck Cash Cow’s tummy. This gave her a big fright. “That hurts, you silly things,”  shouted Cash Cow angrily, while she let go of them and they could escpae. “And you also  ruined my ear drum.”

“What were you thinking?” asked Nitpicker who also has a rather large beak.

“What’s it to you?” asked Cash Cow dismissively “they are not even Dedes!”

“Only because you have Cash to your name, doesn’t give you the right to use whatever or whoever you want!”

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Oops, I am a bit behind with the storyline here on the blog. When I wanted to post last night, we had a power cut and it didn’t come back until sometime in the middle of the night.

So Deutsch Fraulein did indeed make her cinnamon short bread. But Rob D Light wasn’t impressed, he doesn’t feel like short bread, instead he lamented: “I need no Christmas cake. I need a house and a job.”

“I’ll build you one” offered L’Artiste in the spirit of Christmas and grabbed a few pieces of short bread. At first Rob was terribly excited that someone would care so much about him, to actually help him. But then when he saw the result he said disappointedly “very artistic.” We all know what that means, don’t we?

Yesterday, the Dedes decided they have to do a bit more for a proper Christmas mood and they dug out their rendition of “Twelve Days of Christmas” they did last year as their first project on Instagram. The performance is strictly for tone deaf people only.

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And sure enough, Cash Cow, who is really stressed out with the Christmas season was driven bonkers by the singing. She looked everywhere for ear plugs, but all she could find where these two birds, with good sized beaks. They, on the other hand, weren’t too happy to help, really! But what can you do when Cash Cow is strangling you?

 

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The Dedes live in New Zealand and summer is in full swing. For most of them their spirits are up, except for poor Deutsch Fraulein who is smiling through gritted teeth. She misses the cold and darkness in the weeks leading up to, what she thinks is a proper, Christmas so much. This is a throwback to a year when the Dedes could still afford Christmas cakes. No such thing this year. So Deutsch Fraulein really got a double whammy.

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“That puppet is such a loser!” said Harvey, the gambling buck rabbit pointing in the direction Scardy Pants had wandered off. The rabbit knows a thing or two about soldering on after losing everything. “Calling him a loser doesn’t help,” said Court Jester. “He is exactly the kind of puppet we have to engage with. He might turn around when we show him more respect.”