Archives for posts with tag: reflections

“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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serious trio

The Dedes came accidentally  into being in 2012 and Devil was the very first Dede ever. So he is the wise old man and the only one, who is allowed to say what he likes to their Artist without fear of being reprimanded. Mouse is getting on in years as well. She too is one of the first fifteen and has the reputation of being a hard worker and gossip. At the same time everyone knows she is the good soul who holds everything together. L’Artiste arrived a little later on the scene and is naturally very close to their Artist’s heart. But like their real Artist, L’Artiste has the tendency to withdraw into his own little world when it gets too much. And boy, can it get too much with more than 70 Dedes overall. Though most of them keep a low profile, they are nobodies after all. It’s all in their heads.

Well Mouse and Devil always belonged to the management committee along with Detail. Unfortunately sometime last year Detail went missing. And Top Dog… shall I really mention Top Dog, the narcissistic puppet? I guess I have to, as he was the one that threw the Dedeworld into turmoil. Better leave it at this.

So, Mouse and Devil decided they want to get the band back together. With Detail missing, they want to get L’Artiste on board. The Dedes are very big on communication and finding amicable solutions, even though they don’t always succeed. They believe three Dedes make for  better discussions than two – as one will always have to tip the scale.

“Who do you think is interested in our sad little lives?” asked L’Artiste when Mouse approached him with the idea of a new project. “This is not the right question” Devil jumped in, “we have never done things simply to please the readers!”

“Why would we go through all this trouble, if not for the audience and the likes?” said L’Artiste surprised. “You as an artist should know best,” countered Devil, “aren’t you doing your art, to get your head around issues that trouble you?”

“Point taken” said L’Artiste

“I can count on you then!” said Mouse and moved a bit closer.

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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?

It has been a long competition and it would be beneficial to summarise the contestant’s performances. Here is what the contestants did throughout the three weeks of competition:

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In the beginning it didn’t look like Cool Cat would make it into the competition, but when she did and had to talk about herself, she admitted that she is bulimic. She overeats and then she gorges grass to induce vomiting, so she will still look her best. In skills week she presented a self-made dress to look different than all the other Dedes in their dreary black robes. Sadly in the last week, when it was her turn to answer a question, she allowed Top Dog to push her aside and answer instead of her.  Her coolness seems to be just skin deep.

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Push Push, the elephant, revealed in the first week she is a sponsored puppet. She had intended to make her owner proud by showing off her new ballet routine, but the idea was squashed by the tiny stage, and Push Push was in tears. Luckily when asked whether the Dedes will ever make films, she dug out the footage of her old routine and got accolades for it.

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Court Jester, doesn’t take much seriously and laughs about those who can’t laugh about themselves. However, when he was asked how it feels to be poor he got very serious and said feeling rich or poor is primarily a state of mind.

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Skeleton Edeltraut was never entirely sure about her participation. On one hand she believes it would be good to come out of the closet, on the other hand she deems keeping secrets her most valuable skill. Though she was quite happy to blurt out the Dedes’ secret. She revealed they had invented the Artist so they could communicate with humans. And it is by no means the Artist who teaches the Dedes, but rather the Dedes are educating the Artist.

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And finally Monkey, who wants to be a comedian, but sort of failed. In the first week he touted the ‘Artist’s Survival Cookbook’ because he features in it with a banana pancake recipe. His skill of juggling a banana on his nose didn’t float anyone’s boat. In Q&A week he explained the Dedes’ two native languages: ‘Dada’ and ‘No Evil’ and lamented the demise of ‘No Evil’ lately. It seems to be the more difficult language to learn.

And this was it for the competition. The readers had the weekend to vote and Mouse, as always when a big event comes to an end, fell ill. For two days she had to stay in bed and Devil brought her hot cups of tea and bowls of chicken soup.

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And then the winner was announced. Drum roll….

The Super Dede 2018 is PUSH PUSH

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The little elephant couldn’t believe it. There were too many stumbling blocks along the way: first she nearly didn’t make it. Remember, Foxy Lady forfeited her ticket in favour of Push Push.Then the stage was too small and she couldn’t perform her ballet routine she had prepared for skills week. Luckily, someone asked whether the Dedes will ever make films, which gave her the opportunity to present an old performance on tape. One excellent skill Push Push certainly has: perseverance!

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The next thing was to draw and notify the lucky winners of the cookbook. Mouse still isn’t quite recovered from her after-event depression and while they were packaging the cookbooks she asked Devil: “Now that this is done, what’s next?”

“What do I know” he answered and shrugged his shoulders, “We have to answer this lazy Artist!”

“Mhm, we no longer can blame the Artist for our demise” Mouse pointed out “since Skeleton Edeltraut revealed she is only in our imagination. We do have to find another scapegoat!”

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.

 

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We are still alive and kicking, but much has happened since Christmas the year before last, when Top Dog in our last post tried to steal all the Christmas presents. He has in fact stolen not only the presents but also the Dedes’ innocence and lightness of being.

But from the beginning: As you might have figured the Dedes are dye-in-the-wool liberals They found it more and more difficult to cope with the rise of the autocrats all over the world. What use to be funny, when they were only a sideshow, it no longer funny and so the Dedes lost their voice and became speechless.

The Artist of the Dedes decided in the meantime to leave the of hustle and bustle of big town Auckland behind, like so many others, and moved to the sunny Bay of Islands in New Zealand’s Far North. Well, looking out the window today. It’s all but sunny. Anyway, along the way she was homeless for three month. Not homeless as in ‘no future’ as you can see increasingly on the streets of our big cities, rather homeless as in shake off the old and and clear your mind for the exciting change to come. She spend the time sailing around the Hauraki Gulf and Great Barrier on a little 26-foot catamaran, together with her soulmate and three traveler Dedes. It is documented on the Instagram account @dedepuppets that continued throughout the journey. Then they went for a month to Melbourne housesitting. But after the sailing stint it was clear, citylife is no longer an option.

In July the Dedes moved on an 1.5 ha lifestyle block with a delapidated house and are renovating ever since, digging trenches, planting out vegetables, cutting down trees and and and. Life has never been busier, but at the same time it has never been happier either. Though there is a clear mental battle going on. Taking the easy route and happily withdraw into the privacy of a little bubble, or continue to make public statements and give a small group of readers something to smile about.

Unfortunately for the Dedes, the happier, the quieter they are. Well, on Instagram the Artist had suggested, once the Dedes drop below 700 followers they will die. There was a little outcry amongst our handful of diehard followers. And so we continue. To be honest, the amount of followers is not important to us. On instagram they come and go like flies anyway. For the Artist the Dedes are really there to make sense of her world und understand human behaviour. And there is still so much more to understand. We can’t go back to where we were, but we can’t continue towards the abyss with open eyes. So for now we soldier on without a solution! Maybe it will be around the next corner…

It was always in the back of our mind to revive the blog once we are sort of settled in our new environment. And we feel really back to have it neglected for over a year. Thanks to our puppeteer friend in Australia who missed the blog, here we are…

On instagram the Dedes are preparing to embark on yet another Super Dede Competition. The ones in 2013 and in 2016 were definitely the highlights of their career and they hope they can repeat their success, proving to their Artist that there is still live in them. The Artist is suspicious, as well, she doesn’t want to flogg it to death.

The blog will be different, but how we don’t know yet :)

I hope there are still a few followers out there, who are happy to see us back.

Go, Dedes, go

 

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Deutsch Fraulein started reading the same night and she couldn’t put the artist’s diary down until she was finished. Top Dog had given her the one written when the artist travelled to New Zealand for the first time. It wasn’t an outstanding work in the sense of literature, but Deutsch Fraulein found it very insightful and loved the honesty. Something she misses when she is reading posts on her mobile phone.

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The next day Deutsch Fraulein had to seek advice from her friend Socialite. “I don’t know what to do” she said. “I read one of the Artist’s diaries and Top Dog asked me to tell him some juicy bits. I don’t want to disclose secrets, but you know, I can’t say NO to a Dede.”

Socialite might not have been the right Dede to ask for advice. She was as curious about the content as Top Dog. “Don’t worry” she appeased Deutsch Fraulein “for us Dedes the artist is a person of public interest, so she doesn’t have the same privacy rights as a normal person!” she explained.

“Really?” Deutsch Fraulein wasn’t convinced and decided to get a second opinion.

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Next she asked Foxy Lady: “You are a girl, what would you do?”

“Give ’em the sanitised version, like people do on social networks nowadays. Leave out the bad bits, pretend doubting never happened” the vixen advised.

“But I found the problems were the interesting part. It was so comforting to read about the ups and downs. That made her so human and made me realise I am not a nutcase with all my doubts.”

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Then Alien, who always seems to be on a different planet, entered the discussion. “Why all the drama?” he asked Foxy Lady. “Everyone knows you have to travel on your own to find yourself. And to make sense of your impressions its best to write an honest diary on the way. I do it too. If you want, you can publish my diaries!”

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Esta Blished said they should talk to the followers of Top Dog. Luckily Alien is a friendly chap and curious by nature, so he went straight to work and made a list of Dedes he has to talk to. First up was Mr Vague. He looks a little bit like a bear and Alien thought he might find some more clues from him. He ask outright, “why are you following Top Dog?”

Mr Vague hung his head and admitted “I find life very confusing and I am intimidated by all this information that is thrown at me. I have to make decisions here, there and everywhere, when all I want is to be left in peace. It is simply too much. Someone who knows better has to tell me what’s good or bad.”

Alien just listened and took notes, but reserved judgement.

The next one on the list was Bossman. But gee did he get a different reception here.

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Bossman is struggling to keep his business afloat.

“Expletive, I expletive don’t expletive talk expletive to expletive aliens” he screamed. Alien didn’t understand what he said as there were too many filler words, but he got the message. He turned round quickly, and with a big smile and shaking knees he said: “you don’t expect me to take you seriously, do you?”

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Monkey, who is very worried because he belongs to a minority everyone laughs about, went to see Court Jester. He was upset and asked “Why didn’t you say outright they shouldn’t vote for that idiot?” 

“It is against the Jesters’ code of honour. Jesters don’t tell anyone what to do, instead they try to open your eyes.”

“But you know exactly where we are heading if this idiot comes to power.”

“There is only one thing I know exactly” said Court Jester now, “if you call someone an idiot, he is no longer prepared to listen. Believe you me, my profession has hundreds of years of experience. Being confrontational doesn’t get us anywhere. We have to remove the heat and approach the situation with a cooler head.”

Then he gave Monkey a big hug and said: “Trust me.”

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Court Jester went to discuss the result of yesterday’s questionnaire with the benevolent King. Turns out only three Dedes considered themselves weird. Strangely enough Top Dog wasn’t one of them. But fifty Dedes thought the others were weird. That was exactly the point Court Jester wanted to make: the weird ones are always the others! And herein lies the problem according to the jester.
Unfortunately, this morning the Dedes were also told that the majority of readers reckoned they were indeed weird. Though in the sense of wonderfully different and excitingly strange. They valued their weirdness as a positive attribute.  You should have seen the upheaval that revelation caused. Now they all wanted to do the questionnaire again. And this time, all of them ticked yes for the first question. Weird, indeed!

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“You are so right,” said Nosy Neighbour to Mr Vague, who was totally taken aback by Mouses response yesterday. Mr Vague is very intimidated by Rob who is simply hanging around. “We don’t want to be confronted with these jobless ones. You and I are good citizens. You sit on the fence and I watch from behind the curtain. We don’t harm anyone!”

Mr Vague felt understood and said, “yeah, when Top Dog is in power all these do-no-good Dedes have to go. Then we won’t have to look at them anymore.”

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“Actually,” said Ms Sm, who lives opposite Nosy Neighbour, “I feel very intimidated because you watch my every move from behind your curtains.” She thought she could be open because – remember – only recently Nosy Neighbour had been prepared to pose with her for the “Embrace Diversity” project.

Now he had a different tack. “In the privacy of my home I have the right to do whatever I want,” he said.

“So do I,” replied Ms Sm.

“But I have to watch you so you don’t do any evil” Nosy Neighbour said now.

“For all I know, you could be evil,” countered Ms Sm.

“Don’t be absurd!”