Finishing: school year
It was the end of the school year for The Kids. Playground parties and parent-teacher interviews. For the first time, both kids are in the same school, which is handy. It's a hipster establishment in an area full of "creatives" with families. Kids make their own curriculum and there are no grades. The parent-teacher meeting went well. They always go well. Still not sure whether the system is working or the teachers are clueless.
The Boy used to be at a different school. A typical post-communist working class establishment. Completely different story. It was very strict discipline wise and hard on the kids. They seemed to actively hate kids and try to hold them back. It made life easy for them, and that's what matters, right? That's typical of (post-)communist culture and why I have become quite anti-marxist. (Obviously communism has long died in East Germany, but the culture it spawned remains). Yeah, The Revolution is all well and good, but what happens after it succeeds? You get a highly regulated society where people know they have zero agency but have a job for life, that's what. Absolutely zero fucks were given by anyone, anywhere. Except for the few Apparatchiks who made all the decisions.
The new school is the total opposite. The Girl has only ever been to that school and she flourishes. Hard working and self-motivated. That's the whole point of the "let them make their own rules" approach. But The Boy is not used to all the freedom and struggles a bit. At least that was our reading. But chatting to some of the parents of the kids in The Boy's class, it seems that they struggle too. But didn't in the early years, they flourished just like The Girl. The parents blame puberty. Many think the school should limit the laissez-faire approach to the first few years. Some parents freak out and take their kids out of the school as they become teenagers. It's the reason why there was a place for The Boy to move to that school in the first place. Oh well. Hopefully by the time he's of university age we'll have found a happy medium. We'll see.
Board games are very big in Germany, and we have a few we sometimes play when people come around. We never built the momentum necessary to play them regularly. Which means before each game we have to go through the rules again and lose impetus. And The Kids were terrible losers, which made the whole experience unpleasant. But now they are past the stage when they throw the board in the air in anger, so we can try playing again. To remove the "what were the rules again" obstacle I started playing Catan online. It's kind of soothing. Although it's alarmingly close to playing solitaire. Which seems to be every pensioner on the planet's favourite activity.
Watched: Minions 2
I liked the early movies in the franchise, but they have run out of ideas. It's not terrible, just lame. Even The Boy complained it was full of clichés. It's set in the 70s. I get why the studios put a bit of retro nostalgia in kids movies. They need to entertain the parents who would otherwise bawl their eyes out at yet another fart joke. But are they still doing the 70s? Even I, a late parent who loves disco-funk, started yawning. Isn't it time they start with 90s or even early 00s nostalgia?
Bemused by: Boris
Lots of excitement at Boris Johnsons' departure. Are people sure the next one will be any better? All candidates seem much worse. Some real nutjobs in there. At least Boris' incompetence worked as some sort of safety mechanism.
I always saw BoJo as the harbinger of the Age of Doom. I was flabbergasted when back in the day progressives I knew voted for him as London mayor instead of Red Ken. Who by all accounts had done a decent job (even the famous Boris Bikes were in fact a Livingstone project). What got me was that people didn't know why they voted for him. "Uhm... it's time for a change, I guess" "But you know he's a racist and part of the right wing cabal you always rant against!" "[shrugs]"
Even The Father In Law, a staunch old school Tory who wrote letters to The Times in fountain pen to the day he died, loved the guy. "But the endless string of affairs and out of wedlock children! You guys have fired ministers for less!" "Oh, but he's very very smart, he writes beautifully". "But London had three days of rioting and he refused to cut his holidays short to deal with it! Surely for a Tory that should be inexcusable! Captain sinking with his ship and all that..." "Riots? What riots? [shrugs]"
Obviously his persona was cemented by his appearances in the comedy show, Have I Got News For You. It was like some sort of mass hypnosis. Once he became a TV personality people were unable to judge him by the standards reserved for normal humans. TV reality transcended everything he may have done or said. He may as well have been Kevin the Minion. Weird. And now on to the next nutter. We'll see.
And that is all.