That is what Amanda’s fine shark-kidden reminded me of.
It is by Franquin, the creator of Gaston Lagaffe, from an album “Schwarze Gedanken / Idées Noires“. The german wikipedia-article is not bad. Sorrily I found no examples of his “black thoughts” available on the web.


As it can be

Yesterday was for a long time the first “real” sunday! A beautiful autumn-day with clear-blue sky, fresh but not cold air. I lie down on a blanket in a meadow and the sun gently burns my face. Later in the afternoon I went to a concert in a nearby village, pianist and singer, and I heared an impressive mezzo-soprano: This lady has unbelievable power in her voice, she gave some funny and friendly songs and two very sad and touching Mahler-Lieder. The pianist is a friend, she allowed herself to freak out with Chopin, just let go – it was a pleasure that made people frenetically applauding. The audience was small due to the fine weather and the bad promotion. It was a kind of test too. They will bring their programm to the city, larger places – I wish them luck and success, they deserve it!
And now for work.


Little Man

Time for a new catch. We faced a kind of mass murder here in Germany some time ago, six blokes were shot outside a pizzeria. It has to do with the calabrian branch of organized crime (OC), a family feud. In older times this existed in the american branch of OC too, but then some younger blokes came up and changed the “mustache-pete-organization” and made it a business.
Mr. Lucania, Mr. Costello, Mr. Bonanno – to name just a few, randomly – and some others did what had to be done.
Lucania was a talented young man, who learned his trade from Rothstein – a very underestimated old-timer. He died from a heart-attack on an Italian airport as he was on his way back to the USA 1962.
A remarkable man, who made corruption a fine art, is Frank Costello. He really knew anything about man’s weakness and how to use it. His most powerful weapon was a cheque-book. A cunning strategist. He died in bed 1973.
Joseph Bonanno was the last “real” capo. He let his own family for decades. He held tradition up, saw himself as a true oumo di honore and wrote a stunning autobiography. For short articles on these men look for example on this site – I think it is no longer maintained.

And there was a little man, who perhaps was the greatest of them all … Meyer Lansky was an entrepreneur, his business was gambling. He was good with numbers. He knew some big guys, big guys knew him – and he was trusted: His capital was his honesty. He never killed a man. If a student wants to learn something about the real meaning of the word “auctoritas“, he should study the life and times of Meyer Lansky. A true sign of authority is, when people listen. And that is, what Lucania told his men: Listen to him.

The catch of the week is the Meyer Lansky Memorabilia Museum. The site is a little tricky to navigate, but there are pictures, texts, even films that show Meyer and Teddy Lansky on various occasions.
He died 1983 from cancer.



Yesterday I visited a small rural town in Franconia. It is the residence of a bishop, has a unique old town-center and, of course, a large church in its middle, a cathedral. I was told to look for the architecture of the “Altstadt” and it is a marvel: Undestroyed, well kept (you look at situations that were formed in the 18th century), and has a beautiful geographical situation in a fine and (hopefully) undisturbed river-valley. Catholic to the bone. I stood in front of the Dom’s northern side-entrance and admired the mason-works: Saints to the left, worldly figures to the right, still in their original color, it is at least recognizable. It is an 18th and 19th century myth, that medieval art and architecture would be gray or monochrome, and the classics plain white: It was colorful, quietschbunt!
I stepped in and the first thing I saw was a monument for a bishop. This Dom is smaller as the one in Wuerzburg, which is famous for its bishop-monuments: Every single “shepherd” has at least a picture in his cathedral, mostly at the pilars that organize the large space and form the ships of the room: In more than thousand years a lot of bishops come together.

In this church they tried to get it right. Four or five of them. And it went totally wrong. In the end it is a large country-church, of course with marmor and good imported stone-work and all: It was not meant to be a large Dom, a cathedral. It is just the wrong stage. The Dom zu Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg cathedral, was meant to be what it is: A very large, throughout baroque stage for the representation of the catholic church and its shepherds here, a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk, amazingly put together over generations and centuries. In Eichstaett they tried and did not reach the goal: A “Kaltblut” is no “Araber” …

The most touching room for devotion I encountered was in a monastery in the Tauber-valley. The monastery was/is a pretty large collection of buildings, founded as Cisterce, later taken over by Augustines, today Franciscans may be there, I am not sure. A thundering baroque church, gothic building of course with breathtaking space and rich painting, masonry, glass-works, especial the “Chorgestühl” is an impressive work of art. I saw the grounds more than 20 years ago used as brewery and hay was stored in the church. Now it is renovated, restored to its lavish baroque grandeur.
When you go around the church, de-climb a staircase to the basement and follow the sign to the “Andachtsraum” you finally enter a kind of semi-subterranean room with columns, broken stone-plates on the floor, a simple altar and collected chairs; someone put flowers in glasses; an old carpet to the altar; it is quiet there, some window-glasses are colorful; no “chains” around the altar …

I do not campaign for the catholic church here, or the protestant, or any other christian denomination. I want to speak about the directness of a feeling, a belief, maybe a truth.
And stages. Acting, directing, putting on a play, finding and fulfilling a role, expecting and anticipating expectations and stereotypes, braking them, extemporizing and method acting: The job is to divide the real from the unreal, to find oneself under the rubble of outside expectations, images, projections.
There is the simple need to establish a stable basis, simply stop turning around, running, considerating other people’s needs .. time to play one own, to be self. And to act out than.

To be present, besides all the wobbling.

Welcome, A.

And kick my arse for being patronizing, I deserve it.