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Wearing his stiffest plaster, he sat ready in the ‘Evening Show’ to talk about ‘Operarejsen 2’, when he heard the words from inside the studio that scared him.
“Fucking hell, man, I just thought. ‘So what do I have sitting at home? Two potential brain-damaged people?” Frederik Cilius remembers that it flew through his mind.
In front of the rolling camera, specialist doctor Imran Rashid sat and explained that small children become brain damaged by spending too much time in front of screens.
And in the villa in the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidovre sat his own two young sons, aged six and two and a half respectively. Probably buried in each of their tablets.
“I was really worried,” he emphasizes. How concerned, we return to.
First a few words about who Frederik Cilius is when he is not Kirsten Birgit or together with Rasmus Bruun and Allan Gravgaard Madsen traveling around Europe and learning it at opera.
Frederik Cilius in the iconic role of Kirsten Birgit.
Photo: Tobias Kobborg
“Generally speaking, a very contented petty-bourgeois being,” reads his own description of life with his wife, Anne – with whom he has been together for ten years – and their two sons.
“I like being a father. I like having a family. I like being married, having a house and having a car.’
“Yes, it is extremely petty-bourgeois. I admit that 100 percent. I’m not that outspoken. Live a quiet lasagna life,’ he smiles contentedly and laughs at what kind of person he has become after becoming a father.
“I was pushed down the middle-class funnel and ended up on the other side just like everyone else.”
“So now we drive around with our Christiania bikes, pick up and bring kids, fill the load with Føtex bags and fig sticks and feel like huge individuals.”
Behind his satirical facade, Frederik Cilius is a quite satisfied middle-class person.
Photo: Bax Lindhardt
And then the laughter resounds. All the way up to the ceiling.
But it is having children that has really moved something in him. Because – as he flatly acknowledges:
“I had a tendency to go and think that the most important thing in the whole world was what came of satire on DR. But oh my god. It probably all works out,’ says Frederik Cilius and actually does not enjoy being the main character in his own life.
And thus we are back at it with the concern.
Because when he himself grew up, he was a spoiled latecomer who was never really asked for.
So when he became a father himself, his mantra was also that the children should not be paced in any way.
“They themselves know what they need. So I’m not one to force my kids to take up a hobby. Because they have long days and are tired when they get home, so they need not to make a mess.’
“If they want to swamp for a whole weekend, that’s fine with me. We don’t beat them with a cattle prod,’ he laughs.
And swamping usually consists of sitting with a tablet.
But what Imran Rashid explained that night in the studio was that it was harmful to young children.
“For the whole problem is the algorithm, which learns how to satisfy the human brain, and in particular an underdeveloped human brain that cannot see through anything.”
“And the strange thing was that it dawned on me that I had started to stay that way myself. I had also become screen addicted and stupid. I had simply become stupid,’ admits Frederik Cilius, who had lost the ability to concentrate on watching, for example, an entire feature film.
And then comes the trump card:
Recently, Frederik Cilius had to admit that he himself has become so addicted to the screen that he is barely able to concentrate on watching an entire film.
Photo: Bax Lindhardt
“So now we’ve thrown away the screen, gone cold turkey, and I’m in, because I could feel that I was losing content in my life by sitting and staring at that shit,” he says and describes with sarcastic disgust in his voice , how does it look:
“It’s ugly. That under-lit fat face that sits and stares while the brain damage continues, and you get the white cut inside the brain by an algorithm,’ he laughs.
So far, the experiment has been going on for a few weeks.
“The strange thing is that my children are extremely happy about it. They begin to activate themselves. In one way or another they have been in a screen prison. I have also. Been a slave to that screen.’
“Now we have to see if it lasts. I very much hope so,’ he smiles.
Season 2 of ‘The Opera Journey’ can be watched DR TV.