Author: 63mago

Sunny Suebia

I use a friend’s computer in Suebia. I came here on Sunday and my friend greeted me sniffling & coughing. It was a good decision to skip work on Monday and Tuesday. So I went for errands, bought food & cooked healthy things like a vegetable+noodle+egg-soup, and generally spread positive happiness – “No, darling, I don’t think it’s a sign of cancer, it’s just the pickles fighting the yogurth in your stomach, all will be good !”
This morning my friend had to leave for work, there is an important meeting looming that needs some preparation, and next week is already stuffed to the brim with dates for this & that. I think I’ll stay here in my role as good Samaritan & housewife until Sunday, the engine of my vehicle starts Monday morning again.
It is a bit strange in Suebia. Today is Ash Wednesday, and usually people would stagger into the next church, get their ashen cross on the forehead, go home and sleep it off. Especially the Chapel of Our Lady of the Stripey Pants enjoys a large clientele. Or, if they must, people drag themselves into work, fake it and go home as soon as possible. But around here I don’t even know where to get an ashen cross – they don’t do these things in the holy land here, those Protestants & Pietists. You can’t even find an open church on a normal work day, something that astonishes me every time again.
Faschingsdienstag, Fat Tuesday, is a normal working day here ! In Franconia, and other civilised regions, everything shuts down on midday of said Tuesday, and nobody is expected back before Ash Wednesday’s late morning or Thursday, when it’s all back to normal just without smoking – or whatever else you give up for Lent.
Of course I caricature a bit, but on last Sunday people in costumes were on the bus and on the streets in Franconia, even in small towns I passed through with the train. Nothing like this after the border to Suebia. Here they wear grey and the streets are clean.
And now for something completely different : If you partied hard over the last few days, you probably need some brake and a little treatment for well-being and general recovery. Maybe one of the following treatments is the one for you ? Sadly there is no mention of the classic arsenic-butter-stick-treatment by MsScarlet and The Infomaniac House of Beauty.

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Sunday Music

When I looked outside this morning all I saw was white. White ground, white grass, white trees, white roads, white wineyards, white air, white sky. Thick wet snowflakes kept falling down.
Now I see dark patches where the white is disturbed by regular structures, the wineyards, and I see dark rectangle sections between these structures where bushes grow. Also the trees on the horizon and in the foreground are black now, as are the roads. It is a thin snow now, mixed with rain.
I took some photographs this morning with an old analogue camera. It was handed to me by a friend. It is a very simple machine, effectively one can only press one button, it makes “click”, and then the film transport motor rumours. Nothing at all one could fiddle with. Other than the “Lomo” my camera has optics made from real glass. At least the original “Lomos” had “optics” made from plastic, I do not know what the cameras sold under this label nowadays actually are made from.
My camera is filled with a run-of-the-mill Ilford black/white film, I think there are only a few shots left. The development of the film is in the price included, but one can not have a contact sheet : It is simply not done anymore. I will have the film developed and then I’ll scan it. I like the idea to have a real piece of film, an unaltered original, silver salt on pvc. Anything else will be electronic, digital, hence endlessly reproducible and alterable.
Now for something completely different. This Sunday Music is titled Chingisu and comes from the album Shonentachi e no Chikyusanka by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. Geino Yamashirogumi (Eng.) is not a single person but a collective founded by Tsutomu OHASHI (Ger., Eng.), who seems to be a polymath, a Japanese Renaissance man, uomo universale. Open your ears for less than three minutes of difference – I hope you enjoy the music.
May we all have a peaceful week ahead.

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Meanwhile

While I slept, worked & tried to get rid of unwanted memories, the world kept on turning. Strange things happened.
I did not follow the speech of The Leader, the usual melange of spin, half-truths & plain lies, but two things found me scratching my head. The remark about Northern Korea, some idiocy about a “bloody nose” – does Donny Dipstick really want to start a war ? He’s sick enough for this.
The second thing was the whole enactment, the stage production. I am not familiar with these speeches about “the Uniom”, so I do not know whether this is the regular proceeding, but I found it pretty disgusting : Especially when The Leader generously waved at his pack of sycophants and allowed them to rise for the standing ovation. Way to go, Donny : In 30s Berlin and today’s Pyongyang they jump(ed) up when da leadah was / is only looking at them. I think at least one person did not get up – and thus surely learned what it means to be different. The hype about this “memo” is just nonsense, it is a smokescreen. The only thing it proves is that The Leader really has something to hide, and is ready to use any means to save his lousy arse. Possibly even a war.
Regarding war : In occupied Poland Germany erected extermination camps. The actual Polish gouvernement just passed a law that prohibits to speak of “Polish camps”. What at first glance seems to be a legitimate thing is sadly a part of the national-conservative rulers’ (so far succesful) attempt to re-write history. This is the reason for historians from Israel to oppose this law. The leaders of the PiS-party simply want to establish that the Poles were all innocent victims of the German aggression and had nothing to do with the extermination, with the holocaust. What is simply wrong. Poland had & has a history of antisemitism. Through the second world war there was collaboration – not only in Poland, but in any country we invaded – and there were  (of course !) Polish individuals who became guilty as Kain. There was not “only” Jedwabne (1941), but Kielce (1946) too (see). But PiS is re-writing history – and of course yells for compensation for the damages of the war, happily ignoring international treaties that already have solved anything in this regard. It is pretty sickening.
Sickening too is what happened in the German parliament some days ago. A member of the neonazi party gave a speech concerning his party’s ideas about the reunion of refugees’ families. It was stuffed with nazi formulations and showed nothing but a concept of man Himmler would have approved. The head of the Green Party finally had enough and yelled at the fascist. The President of the Parliament did nothing. When questioned he said something along the line that “it must come out”. He meant that those brown swine shall expose themselves. I only hope that his trust in the stability of the German democracy is justified, but, frankly, I have some doubts about this. The nazis are elected, they are now, while the Social Democrats form together with the Conservatives the ruling coalition again, left as the largest opposition party. This does not show me the fears & angst of the electorate, to me it shows its barbaric dumbness and aggression.
And sadly enough, dumbness, aggression & ruthlessness is what these three depicted situations have in common. We live in an age of shamelessness – and I do not mean naked skin or presented tools of procreation. On the contrary, there seems to develop a new kind of prudery when pictures of breasts are not allowed on so called “social” media, when museums unhang paintings (!), and a breastfeeding woman is looked at as a monster.
But you can shamelessly belie like a president, shamelessly lie about historical truths like a Pole, and shamelessly use nazi-speak about human beings like a German “politician”. If 2018 continues this way it will be remembered as
“The Year of the Shameless Swine”.

Sunday Music

Here I sit in my dusty and cold book repository. Dusty because I simply did not get meself to hoover the rooms for some time, what I regret now, because I do not want to have silly small “things” on the soles of my feet when I go to bed. Cold because I switched off the heating sometime last week when it became over 15° C and more outside, I forgot to turn that thing on again. Over the next days we will see the temperature drop to the freezing point again. I felt pretty cold & damp when I came back home this evening. Of course I had been travelling to Suebia again.
A quick glance in the fridge showed me cold white emptiness, such must be Canada on a bad day. With the notable exception of a piece of cheese that was heroically stinking against all and everything – I never thought that a piece of run-of-the-mill-brie would develop such a personality.
Among tons of nonsensical emails was one that made all too much sense. My old professor sent me the draft for an obituary on his colleague. We came in contact some weeks ago since he had recovered from a severe illness, and this necrology is overdue.
I studied under the deceased, and now helped to piece together this part of the institute’s history, name old colleagues etc. And en passant opened a can of worms of memories. Memories I do not want to have, things I want to forget, images of persons I am not in contact with anymore, and – GOd ! – a long list of people I knew and who already have died.
Sometime in this week I will walk over to the institute and simply drop by. There is a new head now, a new ruler, I do not know much about her. I only hope that she wants to stay, and make the whole operation her own, regardless of her scientific or philosophical position – these are things to be discussed – , but what the whole thing needs is another long streak of continuity. As it was under my old prof for 25 years, and his predecessor for nearly the same long stretch. After the master’s retirement people came and went, it was no good.
In one case I went out in anger, literally fuming, I made no secret about my feelings. Not that this had any “impact”, I never was in a position to have any “impact”. But … well … The guy, who caused this, already drunk himself to death. Again successors fumbled on and off : It is time for a new Queen Now !
And no – I am not speculating on a position at the new court, seriously not !
Madame scientia (pretty much like her sister fortuna) is a damn – insert your curse word of choice for an alcoholic lady with dubious moral settings. I learned some time ago that I am not fit for this. “This is what losers say” you may mumble, and perhaps you are right. But honestly, the kind of infight I watched among “civilised” people in academia was enough to drive me away. I do not regret this, even when the other things I tried were not as successful as I had wished and hoped for.
What counts even more : The university I studied at, and where the seniorissimus and the deceased were employed at and spent their academic lives – this university is dead. After 1989 something happened here – I speak about the Western Germany university, even the whole educational system. The whole system changed.
It is not precisely explained with the slogan “Bologna Process” and what is connected with this, it is more. I have only a faint idea about this, and I seriously do not want to think about it now. It may be connected to my observation that I’m kinda “out of time” now, I do not fit in any more. In earlier times I could vanish in the herd, simply go unseen, this is nowadays at least more complicated than it was. But there is always the possibility that I am just plainly mad.
Anyway, the obit the seniorissimus sent me needs some touches – some wording & phrases are too strong. There shines something through I’d not want to be shown. Of course I know that he never shied away from confrontation, but I also liked the man who brought me into this science, and under whose guidance I finally reached my academic grade. And yes, I am proud of this grade.
It is an irony of history that a) nobody nowadays really knows what this grade means (hey, after all i received an official document from the philosophical faculty where they describe what they think of me & what I am possibly capable of, with seal & all !), that b) there is basically just one institute left (this one here !) that still carries the name of the science or field in its name, and that c) a nearly ninety year old man and a bus driver write the obituary of a philosopher who more or less by accident slipped into a unique role at a German university’s institute.

Strange days. Now I’ll gulp down a strange beer, a “Nordic Porter” by Störtebeker (with 9.1 % alcohol), and then fall into my bed. Tomorrow in the not so early ddm* (Copyright by Savannah) it’s job-as-usual. Sooner or later it will be necessary to Break On Through, here in a version by Mark ZITTI e I Fratelli COLTELLI – I hope you enjoy the music. Let’s hope for a quiet and peaceful week. And let me tell you – avoid philosophical faculties, it’s been the ruin of many a good man …

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*damndarkmorning