mago Inc.

mago Incorporated was founded in the year two thousand. After years of working as Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft or Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter for low pay and lot of honours the decision was made to form a kind of enterprise. In those years, after the burst of the electronical bubble, and with increasing rates of unemployed people littering the streets, the state found the magical receipe to solve this problem and coughed up a lot of money – Independent Entrepreneurs: That’s good, that helps to clear the statistics, hail to the “free market” which saves and heals all and everything. In Germany all this is closely connected with the name of Peter Hartz, who was a manager of Volkswagen and is now a previously convicted privatier with a criminal record of bribery and corruption. I do not know whether he is still a very close and good friend of the former chancellor Schröder, he surely is a RICH privatier. (The word “pimp” always comes to my mind …)
Calculations were made, a kind of business-plan was drafted (oh fugidaboudit: What a waste of time and brain!), banks were contacted. They smiled, laughed and put our papers in the drawer – we NEVER got our papers back. Finally a man in a Sparkasse said okay and the state-money could be tapped. The deal is simple and good for the bank: A pure state bank (the KfW, which does no private customer business) gives the money to say a Sparkasse, a savings and credit bank for privat people and businesses, for very nice and acceptable conditions, and the Sparkasse gives this – with a little agio for all their sorrow – to the creditor, Kreditnehmer. Of course there is a plan for the re-payment.
We had a project financed by the local Bavarian gouvernment (Bezirksregierung) which included a lot of research in the Staatsarchiv here, and that lasted for some years. When the bureaucratic mills finally started to turn, they promptly payed. Steady income. We finished that project, a kind of book and a database came into being.
I was working on a contract basis for the archives of a local energy supplier (the former Stadtwerke), and it was good work. I was able to participate in two exhibitions and I learned a lot about work inside an archive and museum – a (not so) little collection and exhibition belongs to that historical archive. I had to write a kind of columne in the “intra-magazine” and to care for web-texts – yes, I learned a lot. Especially about the in-fight within such an organization. (I definitly know, and not only from this experience, what I want NOT!)
There were other assignments, projects, like working on texts of very different kind, Lektorat, advertisment, art, and always again genealogical research for the successors of Franconian emigrants to America.
The larger projects ended one by one. I was very busy with genealogical research and did not care for another supporting leg. A real mistake. One research ended and there was no following contract, and the Dollar was just a piece of paper against the Euro.
Other qualifications were acquired, at full cost of money, time and energy: But mediation is a foreign word round here – people want “their goddam’ right”, not solutions.
Mago Inc. went from the “silver aera” to the “times of lead” very fast and one day I awoke in stoneage.
And “security assistant mago” appeared. Had to appear very fast. I had to accept state-money, dole, to make ends meet – and boy, that’s where bureaucracy works in full swing.
The mentioned credit has to be repaied and it will. I managed over the last six months to show the bank person that there is a steady income not below a certain benchmark, and there is the possibility for a simple credit at an acceptable rate. End of March I have to pay a rate for the above mentioned starting credit (KfW, Sparkasse) – and over the years it was always so, that these repayments eat up the small profit that was accumulated in the year before.
Like uroboros, the snake who bites itself in the tail. You could call it also circulus vituosus.

Details will be hammered out on Monday. Basically I heared a “Yes” on the phone. I visited a colleague today and found, that he sits on lots of papers that need examination. If my suspection is right – and if I will be able to proof it – he can sell that convolut for some hundreds, it will not be like “have a tenner and say thank you, that we take it away”.
In three weeks I will meet a man who possesses some fifty or sixty letters by an important scientist, because of a close family connection, and who wants these letters to be published and generally taken care for. I have to see them, examine the material and then I can calculate the efforts of time and brain, the costs. There is a small and fine project lurking. With a book at the end.
And I even managed to finish my job at the Diözesanarchiv today, just one hour, a tiny bill. But very important for the self esteem.
I never was – and never will be – an entrepreneur, a manager. I was and am a Volkskundler and historian. I economically and emotionally survived these last eight years, and I learned about the finiteness of my powers and abilities. I guess the situation is stabilized, but would not wonder about an other crash.
But I know how to stand up. And I can – still.
Basically I am a gambler.

15 thoughts on “mago Inc.

  1. thats a very cool tale of survival and endurance. i hope the thing with the scientific papers pans out for you; and you know of course that if a book does indeed come of it, that I GET A FREE COPY.XX!

  2. AustereThank You, das ist ein großes Lob, das ich nicht verdiene. At the moment I am just a very tired man.First NationsSurvival is the game’s name. As YOU know very well.By the way: What about Your book? Is it in existence, printed?Austere is in a book, FirstNations is in a book, Lily S. is in a book, Amanda was selling books, Savannah is overwhelmed by books, Proxima IS her own book, Leah studied the book, MJ send me a book … women, books, it’s all there .. at the end of the tunnel, Elvis und Oma … ja, better sleep now.

  3. I can’t write a book or check out facts. The only history I really know about is the last 70 years, Thats how far back my memories go. If I was to write about some of the strange things that have happened I could probably give people a few laughs.I agree you are a good man with great skills that are not always given the value they are due.

  4. I believe it was Kenny Rogers who once said “<>you got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em<>“, and I have no reason to doubt him.You are obviously a very bright guy with excellent survivor instincts. It’s all part of the big picture innit?We took our sweet, bloody, time (forever) developing a big enough ‘brain’ to get our over-exposed asses off of the African Savannah. Then we buggered off to conquer the rest of the world.It took us another 5,000 years before a few realised that information is the most valuable resource…many are still standing on the sidelines scratching their heads (and their balls) but you are riding the crest of the Next Tofflerian Wave.Awesome..awesome..awesome.Hang 10 Big Kahuna.

  5. Interesting post, Thank you for the insight. *flattered* by your comment. I was just on a rant yesterday about a man who calls himself an “artist”. He tears up good books (not mass market piecemeal/formula crap) to express what? His childlike abandon and stupidity? It is now on display at a nearby museum. If he sells it for millions, will the author get any royalties? Couldn’t one say that deconstructing and recontructing somebody else’s book, the Writer and Illustrators work, is still a form of plagarism (if not vandalism)?This man says it is <>just<> glue and paper and ink. He is releasing the words into another form. To me, this is like killing a human body to ___?____ the soul within. Those who argue it is not the same, are not Writers.I take my huff and go for now.Prx

  6. You are decent indeed.Oh and are you a footie fan btw? (I am a mad footie fan but never blog it cos I dont think one of my readers are remotely interested in football.)Keep up the good fight Mago.xx.

  7. JoyceAnd what a change we saw in the last 70 years!My skills are not too great, but I’d like to get a little more money for them. Something will work!Old KnudsenThe baroque idea of fate, the wheel, and the picture of Fortuna as a blind woman must intrigue you!MJI’ll pinch him in the mud with my large “Wampe” and make him wince!Donnn CoppensExactly, information is it and the knowledge we create from it. One of the most valuable goods of our times, and throughout our history.Is Alvin still with us? I have to check that out and maybe re-read some of his articles.ProximaDestroying BOOKS?! As ART? In Seattle? So the heaps of books summer 1933 were “a happening”? Naja … You’re into structuralism? I tried to follow but found Eco and other semioticians (is that right?) in a way more “user-friendly”. I do not know whther theere are these smallest possible “Bausteine” particles that are used to form the structure, sometimes I doubt whther there is such an hypthetical structure – and even if it were there, what would we gain from finding it? We just could put it into a museum – and so kill it. I think we should look at the changes, at the life-forces, living forces, man uses to adapt – somewhere there is the possibility to understand, create and maybe look a little into the future. I always have to return to Ortega y Gasset and Blumenberg. Toffler and Popper were the ones who had an open view on the changes and had an idea of what digitalization could mean. Maybe this sketch and thin trail of thought could be worked out a little better in some time.AmandaBare bodkins too … :)SavannahDearest, I’ll do! Good to see that a long sleep helped you. Don’t overdo now, stay on the sofa – and why not read “The Big Sleep” again?KahlessMy dictionary gives “decent” as “anständig”, “ehrbar” und “schicklich”. These are very old words, and I really love them, especially “anständig” and “Anstand” – it’s a way to behave, to encounter the fellow human as human in “anständiger Weise”. That is exactly what I try to do. Sadly I have to confess that my hoard or supply of “Menschenliebe”, what is absolutely necessary for this attitude, is limited.Football? The American “game” that Savannah is so “toll” about? Sorry I have no idea about this kind of brawl. Or do you mean soccer, European Fußball, as in kick and rush? Once in the year or so I like to see a game, but I do not follow the rankings or the different leagues. I saw Gascoigne at his best and was fascinated. And I hate Bayern München, arrogant assholes who spoiled the game. I have some “sympathy” for the only Franconian club, Nürnberg – but my masochistic streak is not too developed, they’re bloody loosers.MJYou did not complain about my extended foot-massage, so it must have been satisfying.

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