Tag: beer

Ich Will Silvaner

I had to look into the diary to be sure that it was only one week ago when we gathered in the Lorenzkirche (Ger., Eng.) in Nuremberg to say farewell to our friend M.B. The pastor said she had expected perhaps 25 souls to turn up, in the end there were more than sixty people in the church and at the following get-together – that of course took place at her favourite spot, the Kaffehaus in the local library (Ger.), her second living-room. I came home late, a bit tipsy.
On Monday the festivities for the Tag der deutschen Einheit, or German Unity Day (Ger., Eng.) took place in Dresden. And of course the “concerned citizens” showed up in all their brutal stupidity, this time top brass could not ignore them. Only one reporter described that the “concerned citizens” not only yelled and hollered at the main political figures of Germany, chancellor, federal president and head of parliament, but also made very tasteful “Affengeräusche”, imitations of ape-sounds (“Ugh ugh ugh !”) when people of colour went over the red carpet towards the main events – GOd, who cares about them nigger ambassadors ?
Nevertheless the Ministerpräsident of Saxony, the host of this event and head honcho of the uncivilised masses over there, later described  the whole ceremony as “well done” & “gelungen”, successful. Maybe he’s glad that Merkel was not hit with a bottle.
One has to accept that racism and neo-nazism has reached a certain part of the German society. I think around 20 percent of the population is more or less openly racist and fascist – that is the average : There are areas in the East of Germany that are nowadays totally brown. Notably in Mecklenburg and Saxony.
This is depressing – I never thought that it would come back. But I am a product of the old Western Germany, a state and a society that do not exist anymore, I was socialised and educated there. Those who yell, march and bomb are young, mostly of East-German origin and today stand in a tradition : They continue what their parents started 25 years ago when they burned houses of refugees, of course with the “niggers” and “Fidschis” still inside.
Today it is the “Arabic” migrant – it is absolutely pointless to start to argument and explain that these humans are not necessarily of Arabic origin or of Muslim faith – for them it’s all the same : Simple explanations rule ! The people of Turkish origin I know do look a bit concerned. It is only a question of time until the first mosque is burned down.
All this nonsense is depressing : the brutality ; the stupidity ; the sheer impertinence of those liars & manipulators who gain political capital from the idiocy of stupid people ; the Verbrechervisagen who all of a sudden show up in German parliaments, from local to the federal level. Of course we see a new nationalism in the whole of Europe, a very dangerous development. BTW those states of the “Vishegrad Group” (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic & notorious Hungary, Ger., Eng.) came up with a new word for cherry picking – they now speak of “flexible Solidarität”, flexible solidarity, what means nothing else but that they take what they like (mostly cash) and refute what they dislike, for example refugees. Because they have “principles” you know, like “holy” “nation” “first” or such crap.
But it cost you only three hundred thousand Euro to become a Hungarian citizen, of the “holy” “nation” : If you invest in this shithole of a country they throw their lousy passport at you. So much for “principles” …
This is not very uplifting, all in all.
I drove my kids around, at least some useful activity, and it pays the rent. Other things happened over the last ten days, mostly nice and positive. But I could not drag meself together and come up with a Sunday Music – the first time since … don’t know when I started this, and I am sorry for this breach or disruption of a long run. I like continuity.
Right now I should do some household chores, but frankly can’t be arsed to do this, Monday’s another day, eh ?!
I find it consoling or comforting to see beauty in the wounderful autumn lights early in the morning, when I drive into the rising sun, and in the late afternoon, when I drive West. All the human stupidity, all the brutality will one day be gone, done away with, there is a chance for development towards the ideal, the enlightened humane human being. And all the beauty I see reminds me of the limitedness of my own existence, the mortality of everything that is. It is autumn, and everything has a blue edge.
Rory GALLAGHER, I’m Not Awake Yet, just so.



Cold Fusion

Making beer the cold way, with the help of the Getreidestein, also known as Zeilithoid – heavens how could I forget?!
I am wading through 19th century natural science literature – those golden days when everything all of a sudden seemed to be possible, when the idea of eternal progress was not only founded, but strengthened by actual inventions, embetterments, ideas … LIEBIG* (Ger., Eng., museum) saw a cow, fulguration set in – and here’s the Brühwürfel (Ger., Eng.): Concentrated cow, just add water, boil and have a soup. So killing and boiling cows gets you honoured with a German university (Ger., Eng.) named after you – ta!
While I worked myself through the bookmines today I came upon the small work of Karl BALLING (1805-1868) (Ger.) about Zeilithoid: Der Getreidestein (Zeilithoid) und seine Anwendung zur Biererzeugung auf kaltem Wege nach den dabei gemachten Erfahrungen erläutert, 2. vermehrte Auflage, Prag 1852.  The first edition Prag 1852 is available as google scan. I could find no actual information about this product, but around 1900 it was still known and had found its way into a well established Conversationslexikon, as lemma “Bierstein”.
So, what is it actually?
It is Bierwürze (Ger., Eng.), condensed and concentrated; throw it into water, add a little yeast (Ger., Eng.), and voilà – have a beer! It will take a bit of time and preparation **, and Herr CARL, the chief of the Apotheke *** in the Juliusspital who tested Zeilithoid in 1853, mentioned that the water used can even be a little bit unclean ****, but after 24 hours latest one should be able to down a cold beer. And because Zeilithoid comes in different variations it can be a Bavarian, a Belgian or an English kind of “brew” you produce in your very own bathtub.
I really wonder whether it still exists as a product.

* There’s a hall of fame for nearly anything on this planet I guess.
** See the (German only) article in the Polytechnisches Journal 27 (1853), 3. Heft, 236 seq.: Ueber Zeilithoid (Getreidestein), um in der kürzesten Zeit Bier zu bereiten. Gutachten, erstattet an den Verwaltungsausschuß des polytechnischen Vereins zu Würzburg, von Hrn. F. CARL, Vorstand der Apotheke des k[öniglichen] Julius-Hospitals.
*** The Apotheke is still there, open one hour in the afternoon, 14:00-15:00, Monday to Friday.
**** Würzburg always was a wine-city, not a beer-dump. It’s built on Silvaner.


What Not to Wear

Using the trains here is normally a not unpleasant experience. The coaches are reasonable new and still in good shape, the ride is not bumpy, the conducteurs are friendly or at least not openly hostile. The crowd is mixed as always. When I travel to the bookmines in the Monday damndarkmorning (coined by Savannah) for two or three stations the waggon is filled with young people who go to their working place or vocational school (Berufsschule), and from their destination Ochsenfurt (Ger., Eng.) onwards its quiet and relaxed (20 minutes). These youngsters are basically tired from their weekend follies and do not talk too much, most of them look into some papers and try to remember what kind of profession they try to learn. There is the optional silent drinker, but again, the emphasis is on silent.
I spent the holiday (Wednesday, 3rd of October, day of unification, oh yeah … Ger., Eng.) at home and used the train this morning as usual. Less youngsters than usual, but to my utter astonishment groups of young men, with the obligatory occasional young lady among them, poured in wearing a kind of uniform: Blue or red chequered shirts, kind of  short leather trouser ending under the knee, woolish jumper; the young ladies wore skirts from the same pattern as the men’s shirts, with aprons (!); all of them, even the ladies, carried with them at least two bottles of beer, some small groups even a crate of beer (that is 20 bottles á 0,5 liter); and they cracked open their bottles and started more or less heavy drinking.
An especially nasty group settled near me and made me leave when one of the pissheads sprayed himself and a part of the waggon with beer, because he was too dumb or drunk to crack open a Kronkorken (Ger., Eng.). Besides they were blubbering out loudly and stupidly, and from Marktbreit (Ger., Eng.) onwards (30 minutes, first beer finished) it became subterranean, unacceptable and unbearable. I found a silent place at the very end of the train – in company of another angry-looking man (a silent drinker), and we must have been impressive, because until Ansbach (Ger., Eng.) (where I left) nobody came near us. I greeted him on exit, he nodded: Cheers, unknown fellow traveller! Ansbach station saw even more of the Halbaffen boarding the train.
I had no idea where these uniformed idiots were heading to until I spoke about it with the bus driver: All these people go to München (no links to the Hauptstadt der Bewegung!) and visit the Oktoberfest (Ger., Eng.). They don their uniform, swig their booze, and behave like arses, in masses. Acting “Bavarian”, like “Bauern”, on the “Volksfest”.
Sometimes this night all these drunkards  are transported back to their stables, where ever this may be, also via train; thankfully I do not have to use a night train in the coming days – said orgy ends coming Sunday.

I do not care if someone wants to get drunk in the early morning or wants to visit said infernal pandemonium in Munich. But why do these people feel the need to wear a uniform? I seriously do not understand it: Maybe the leather trousers are pee- and vomit-friendly?!
They masquerade themselves as “Bavarians” with a “national costume” (Tracht, Ger., Eng.), invented in the 19th century – as are so many other things, the late great Eric HOBSBAWM (1917-1912) (Ger., Eng.) showed some in  The Invention of tradition (1983) (Ger., Eng.). I know about the power of costume, I act differently when in full regalia (three-piece suit with Schlips, Querbinder or foulard; good shoes – they are so important! The right accessories, men carry few, but they must be well worth it – ah vanitas rises its ugly head …); people acted different towards me when I was wearing the “security”-costume, but I will never again wear such a kind of Clownerie, GOtt sei mir gnädig! It is fun to disguise, and of course the mask gives freedom – but the people I saw today used the mask to act just uncivilized and unworthily.
But who am I to criticize, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, the next time I see one of these cheap ugly chequered shirts I stand up and leave, immediately. 
What the hell is so difficult about getting drunk in style?

In the Post Today

“Pro dolor, sunt sat multi, qui mira progressione artium abnormiter capti, latinitatis studia et alias id genus disciplinas repellere uel coercere sibi sumant, ut quam maxime calculis et rationibus dediti et machinatores nouae aetatis sint ciues. Hac ipsa impellente necessitate, contrarium prosequendum iter esse putamus. Cum prorsus in animo id insideat, quod magis natura et dignitate hominis dignum sit, ardentius acquirendum est id quod animum colat et ornet, ne miseri mortales similiter ac eae, quas fabricantur, machinae, algidi, duri et amoris expertes exsistant.”
Ioannes PP. XXIII. (1)

Aetate nostra, qua gentes magis magisque coalescunt et orbis terrarum uidetur contrahi, magni momenti est latinitate uti et frui uinculo unitatis ecclesia praeeunte, quae iam pridem omnes nationes complexu suo contineat (2).  Sermo latinus natura uniuersali, firma, non uulgari inter omnes excellit sermones (3).  Latinitas cum studiis humanitatis deditis, praesertim eis, qui rebus sacris, historicis, antiquis studeant, lingua sit domestica (4) et instrumentum ad disputandum praestans (5), quasi magnifica uestis (6) oportet indui rebus peruestigatis cognitisque. Nos igitur, quibus latinitatem, cui tempora nostra minus fauere uideantur (7), multum in diebus nostris posse persuasum est, omnium professionum uniuersitatiumque latinae linguae peritos inuitantes, in Campo Santo Teutonico a basilica Vaticana opacato apud Institutum Romanum Societatis Goerresianae dies latinitatis uiuae (24./25. 3. 2012), quibus diebus sermo Latinus in usum doctrinae et humanitatis recipiendus uigeat, celebrabimus. In conuiuio uersantibus et excursionem facientibus facultas colloquendi dabitur, quaestiones lectionibus positae disputentur. Lectores horae tertiam aut sextam partem quaestiones, quibus studeant, tractabunt latine. Praesertim cum de theologia et de rebus historicis et de eis materiis agatur, quibus monumenta ueterum et sapientiam in Graecorum Romanorumque inclusam litteris cognoscamus (8), tamen lectores aliorum professionum et artium peritos admittentur. In animo habemus lectiones litteris mandare. Vos rogamus, ut usque ad 31. 12. anni currentis uel electronice uel per cursorem publicum ad inscriptionem infra memoratam (tempus orationis desideratum indicantes) propositiones uestras mittatis, quibus curriculum uitae et commentarium orationis (ccc fere uerborum) latine conscriptum apponatis. Merita eorum, qui latinitatem lectionibus suis alant et augeant, praemeditantes, eis omnibus iam maximas agimus gratias.

(1) Ioannes XXIII, Allocutio ad eos, qui Romae primum Ciceronianum Conuentum ex omnibus nationibus egerunt, 7. Apr. 1959, AAS (1959), 301-302, spec. 302.
(2) Pius XI, epist. ap. Officiorum omnium, 1. Aug. 1922, AAS 14 (1922), 449-458, spec. 452.
(3) Cf. e.g. ibid. Pius XI, Motu Proprio Litterarum Latinarum, 20. Okt. 1924, AAS 16 (1924), 417-420, spec. 417. Ioannes XXIII, const. ap. Veterum Sapientia, AAS 54 (1962), 129-135, spec. 130-131. Benedictus XVI, ex. ap. Sacramentum Caritatis, AAS 94 (2007), 105-180, spec. § 62.
(4) Benedicti XVI Allocutio, Latinitas 54 (2006), 19.
(5) Ibid.
(6) Cf. Litterarum Latinarum, l.c.
(7) Ioannes Paulus II, Quid nos Vergilius doceat, Latinitas 30 (1982) , 3-6, §8.
(8) Cf. Veterum Sapientia, l.c., spec. 129.