Category: mago

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”.

Tired

Thank GOd, the working week came to an end. It became a bit rough at the edges lately, so a two weeks’ brake is very welcome.
Usually I do not write (much) about my day time job, what should I say ? I leave early, pick up kids, bring them safely to a place, and all in return in the late afternoon. My actual co-driver is not a spotless diamond, but I am neither, we get along well. The only “thing” that is bothering me, and sometimes the boys, is that she has the tendency to create a mess by “speeding up” things. Frankly, she sometimes makes a bloody mess with her over-agitated engagement, she definitely lacks, and could use, deep relaxation.
It would be unbearable if she was in a way “wrong” or “dishonest”, she is not. She actually takes good care of the boys, even too much, like a clucking hen, but sometimes she’s simply too pushy. And then she usually uses the phrase “Ich habe einen Termin !” (I have an appointment !) to make things go faster, what usually has the oldest boy and me sighing and taking extra care, because then something may fail.
This last drive started with a little confusion on the yard, it took me a bit longer than usual to reach the point where my vehicle has to stand. The boys boarded reasonably well, we left a little later than usual.
At the first stop my co-driver jumped out with little boy J and marched to the door of the social housing block, just there was no response : Usually dad or mum wait at the front door of the public entrance, but nobody was seen, no answer to the door bell – and my co-driver came back to the car talking a lot I could not understand. She was completely thrown, and simply did not stop blabbing on and on. We had already waited for ten minutes, and it was clear that something had gone wrong there, so I told her to get inside the vehicle with the boy. I phoned the number I was given to reach the parents, but it was useless ; so I tried the additional number, but the man I reached did not get what I wanted. So I said that I’d take boy J with me and be back in roughly an hour or so. I was really running late now.
Driving on these small roads is usually a nice experience, but sadly a lot of people use them as detours and short-cuts between two or three motorway intersections that are found around this lovely Franconian capital. And on this Frayday afternoon before Christmas, when the travelling weekend was officially declared open, it was a bit challenging, simply because all these blokes from all parts of Germany are not used to our narrow roads – and my lack of “respect” against BMWs did not help. I follow more the “move over basted, I drive in the name of the Lord”-attitude.
The usual commute took a bit longer, where I could usually go through with 90 km per hour on the open road, driving in a nicely formed queue with 60 or less had to be enough today.
When I reached the last stop the phone rung and the man I had talked to earlier called back. So I could explain what it was all about, and he said he’d look for mum & dad. It all works, just needs a bit of time.
My co-driver had been very quiet since she had entered the vehicle again, and when we were driving back with boy J alone, she finally complained that we’d be back an hour later as usual on a Frayday. It came out that this time ! she really had an appointment – she did not tell me what it was, just “We women have so much more work to do in these festive times, much more than men ! TA !” – and she had put that date so close to our usual returning time that even a small deviation would be fatal, running late more than an hour of course …
Is the cosmic force trying to tell her something ? Perhaps, but I doubt she’s listening. Am I just mean ? I do not think so – I do not laugh about her, I do not feel “smug”, like “I told yah!” – this is all nonsense. Perhaps I just wrote this text because I do not want to get pushed myself. In fact, every time I witnessed it,  people got angry and did their tasks slower. Not necessarily better, but surely slower.
So when she’ll push the kids the next time with her “Ich habe einen Termin !” I can turn around and say – “Humbug ! Think about what happened the last time when you really had one !” Perhaps with this thinning-the-herd-attitude of the old God … but I’ll fool nobody, I’m soft as baby poo.
And here is some music, just so.