Who am I? Who is the Witzbold? And what is Witzbold's newsletter?
Je schwerer die Zeit ist, umso mehr Witzbolde müßte es geben.
The harder the times, the more Witzbolds are needed.
Witzbold is an old German word roughly translatable as Joker (Witz means joke). According to Wikipedia (translation mine):
In the 16th century, the term was still understood as Klügling, that is, someone who uses his wit and intellect in a bold manner (in Old High German wizzi means knowledge, reason, understanding, insight, wisdom of consciousness, as opposed to divine wisdom). Only in the 19th century did the meaning change to mocker and joker.
I'd like to think I'm a throwback to the old understanding and not afraid to poke fun (or speak truth) in a confrontational or critical manner. The pandemic years and especially the northern European winters of FEAR, hysteria, and panic have been a very heavy time, so I would like to be a dissident joker in the pack.
In 2021 I became increasingly skeptical and critical of pandemic hysteria and how the response to the perceived crisis. A social contract between state and citizens, and within societies between fellow human beings has perhaps been irreparably fractured for many. The moral, ethical, and legal transgressions of the period must be accounted for in order to allow healing from the trauma that many have suffered. My position on the vaccines is complicated and best summed up by a comment I left on another substack:
The instinctive cry of both the gut-instinctivists and the more logically-inclined has always been "The Covid vaccines are experimental gene therapy with unknowable long-term effects."
You have correctly identified that this natural response was with the wave of a wand and at a state propagandistic level deemed simply inacceptable - a forbidden argument. They furthermore accused any who would make such an argument of that which they themselves are guilty of: being "anti-science". So yes, this has sent so many of us scurrying for scraps of "more scientific/statistical" proof to bolster our entirely legitimate opening argument which was thrown out of court right at the beginning as illegitimate.
=Aside= I literally posed these points to the doctor before I received my first (and last) Covid gene therapy product. He did not even try to deny the point I was making, it was simply deemed mute, superfluous. I kid you not, I felt in that moment in a kind of trance, powerless in the face of an almost magical thinking that had swept across the land. It all seemed somehow inevitable and to my eternal shame I shrugged my shoulders and relented.
After I left the medical surgery it was like a cloud suddenly lifted and I came to my senses. To my horror I realised that what had happened had not been my conscious will but an acquiescence. As soon as I got home I redoubled "do your own research" and never went back.
I sometimes joke I now belong to the select group of long-term single-dosers who chose apostasy early on and remain in a vaxxed, anti-vaxxer limbo, treated with suspicion by all sides ;)
Population-wide mass-vaccination campaigns with experimental vaccines remains, in my opinion, a tremendous mistake. Scientists, public health officials, politicians, and journalists all over-played their hands shamelessly hyping, promoting and pushing these pharmaceutical products without full disclosure or informed consent. At the same time I also remain skeptical of many of the claims by the anti-vaxxer community, so I am equal opportunity skeptic :)
This newsletter features posts primarily about Covid data, most often German Births and Deaths data but also offers some commentary on other happenings in the Covid world. It arose out of my need to articulate some of the thoughts and observations which could no longer find expression in conversations with family, friends, and colleagues. I've done an awful lot of reading over the past couple years and not everyone is willing or able to engage on the details.
Substack was at times a lifeline for me, especially during German winter 2021/22 when I was relegated to a second class citizen and most of my peers didn't see a problem in that or weren't willing to do anything about it. My government turned against me, with politicians, journalists, and other prominent figures openly fanning the flames of discrimination and division. Society lost its way and is yet to re-find it. I will remain forever grateful to the few who supported me and fought for change.
Open discussion on Substack of these divisive issues helped me a great deal, so I hope Witzbold’s Newsletter can also contribute to a greater understanding of these issues and times.