It is SPRING ! All of a sudden I could not bear the faded colours of the former layout anymore. I looked for a new one that comes with a bit of contrast, so that reading is not difficult. Links are (if only thinly) underlined. On my screen the font is pretty large and clear. And I wanted a strong background colour, it is not directly “mago mango”, but more orange. Navigation should be easy. So here it is : Sometimes one really needs to re-decorate !

If there is something in the layout / design that prohibits you from reading, please let me know, I do not want to erect unnecessary obstacles here.

Sunday Music

Sunday Music

I look up from the keyboard and out of the window, and there is a greyish veil over the yellow vineyards. Very fine rain is coming down, the wind blows in Eastern direction, it’s pretty cool outside. Less “golden October”, more autumnal, with a hint of foggy November.
The week was mostly uneventful in real life, while in blogland two long lost bloggers resurfaced, Mr Beast and Ms FirstNations, who nowadays goes by the name of “Steve”.
Serious and touching is the announcement of JON in the comments of his last post. He says farewell and goodbye, his cancer is in an advanced stage, there will be no more posts. Sometimes …
The only antidote to life’s blows is beauty. Today in the form of an HA[E]NDEL (Ger., Eng.) aria titled Tornami a Vagheggiar, from the opera Alcina (Ger., Eng.), performed by the astounding Apollo’s Fire. The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra (Eng.) together with the outstanding soprano Amanda FORSYTHE (Eng.).
I hope you enjoy the music, live healthy & survive the coming week, if possible a little longer. This would be nice, thank you.




Just Jabbering

In some hours Vladimir KLITSCHKO will fight against Antony JOSHUA – one of the very few occasions I regret that I have no tv set to watch an event live. I always was interested in boxing. And can well remember when the brothers KLITSCHKO appeared on the scene. Some commenters were quick to dismiss them as “one punch wonders”, as “generic” boxers, soulless automatons etc. Now Vladimir  (Ger., Eng.) is 41, came a very long road, and after his loss of all titles against the Rummelboxer FURY he faces a critical comeback. The old man has to show that it is still in him, or give up and accept that it is over. I saw a picture of KLITSCHKO, a still taken from an interview, and if it is in any way “true”, poor JOSHUA will get the beating of his life.
A Rummelboxer btw is one of these traveling men, a kind of mercenary of boxing, who goes everywhere if the cash is right. And besides these men, there were boxing spectacles on the Jahrmarkt, the annual fair, also called a “Rummel”, a chaotic heap or pile, a tumult. Here traveling boxing companies presented their shows, and of course sooner or later one poor sod from the audience was ready to join in – he usually had no chance.
Boxing is about muscles, yes, but maybe 80% is about technique. I used to watch heavy weight fights, saw Mr TYSON come out of the corner and deliver an earth shattering bonk to his poor opponent, saw Mr FOREMAN deliver some of his very unspectacular but nevertheless devastating blows that sent men to the ground in agony, saw idiots like SANDERS, and FURY, but never saw another boxer as perfect as Vladimir KLITSCHKO.
Later I discovered the light weight classes, in which it is not about the deadly punch, the “one shot only”-thing, but where it is about speed, eye, movement – it is a dance. A sometimes bloody, always exhausting, always payneful, dance.
And sometimes I like to watch this.
The greatest dancer of all, of course, was ALI. I was removed to a sobbing heap of tears when he finally lighted the Olympian flame in Atlanta in 1996.
BTW, I just read that the house of Rosa PARKS, some older readers may remember the name, is translocated (Ger., Eng.) from Detroit to Berlin ; it is now Wriezenerstraße 19 in Wedding.
Is “history” all about forgetting ? Is “history” all about remembering ?
We see history at work, as a tool, all over Europe. It is even jeopardising the whole idea of “Europe”, replacing this idea with national narratives that draw their justifications from a certain idea of history, an interpretation & explanation that re-writes “history” in a new-national sense, while heavily using age-old stereotypes of everything alien – be it “the Jew”, “the Mohammedan” / “Islam” in general, or “the negro”. On the European periphery being gay is a crime again, and hundreds of gay men are tortured and killed in areas of the former Soviet Union, maybe in Turkey too.
We see the rise of – what ? The pendulum swings back, as it always does, and all of a sudden things like democracy, personal freedom, identity, ach name it ! – the whole grambumble – it all becomes unsafe shattered wonky – the ground we / I stood on feels wobbling.
Enlightenment is a process, yes, every generation has to do it again – I have the feeling we somehow missed the last time ? I look at videos showing young men who volunteered to fight somewhere in the Near East – and I ask myself how goddamn brain dead one can be ? And these dumb dorks were born and raised in Europe, not in the Palestinian slums.
What went wrong ?
“Europe”, this voluntary union of independent states, was a reaction to the brutal history of the most violent 20th century. After all, two worldwars started here, and maybe Germany played a little role in this. This “Europe” is based on values, shared and common, dating back to the French Revolution, later casted in the mold of these “human rights” a lot of potentates like to spit on nowadays, not only “somewhere in the East”, but in places like Poland, Hungary – and possibly France when LE PEN takes over. Oh, and like-mindedness, loyalty and sympathy played a role. Based on a shared history – again this cursed word – a history that shows us all the opposite of these values happening.
And what do I see ?
Idiots who happily abnegate all this. Who negate the “worth” of history, and write their own versions. Who instrumentalise all & everything for their own – and only for their own ! – purposes, who set “nation” as something that is superior to the individual. This rings a bell, it’s the old “Du bist nichts, dein Volk ist Alles !” I see politicians who happily lie, who happily construct “historical” rationales & motivations for their own short-sighted ideas. I see men – and sadly women too – who happily embrace the old paternalistic religious bullshit, all this patriarchal nonsense we thought to have overcome – I see idiots happily choosing unfreedom and bondage, I see praktizierte Dummheit. Self-chosen.
This is all just jabbering, incoherent, of course, of course.
Why not some music at the end ? TRB’S Power in the Darkness would be too pathetic even for me right now … let Jimi take over, no reason to get excited … 



mago, Persons

Cosmic Tipple *

The “festive” days are over, Saturday will be the last day of this strange year 2016. No worries, this will not end in a review of the year’s strange events or a list of the deceased.
I try to keep links to blogs, even when I do not read them regularly any more, or when the blog falls silent. The latter may have different reasons, like a change of the writer’s situation – especially when the blog was used e.g. as an outlet for emotions in a crisis situation, or when, generally speaking, the purpose of the writing is reached. Others simply use interest.
So I sort these links a bit, there is the folder with the daily “round”, another folder with blogs I look at now & then, and one with links to blogs I used to visit, that are silent or on a hiatus. With some blogs one knows that they have come to an end because the author is dead. It is either announced in one way or another, or is very certain, for example when the author was pretty old – a break of perhaps three years then allows the assumption that she or he died.
And then there are some blogs I keep close, visit, and hope that it is not over – and sometimes it rattles a bit, and – bang ! – there we go again. This was the case with the blog of Kabuki Zero, the man who told the world. After a small break of three years he returned to blogging, only to die after some months. This damn year seems firmly determined to kill as many creative, artistic people as possible. And it is not yet finished.

The time “zwischen den Jahren” / “between years” feels very strange this year. It is much too warm outside : When I look out I see greenish vineyards, a grey sky, and have the impression of an early spring day perhaps in March. The birds are confused, sing in the morning, I even saw first buds on a Magnolia. No snow in sight, no silence in reach.
One hears stories about people doing very strange things – not at the end of the world, but in the neighborhood, or within the circle of friends. So Kabuki-san’s surprising and unexpected death in a way “fits in” or “blends in” to this times of strangeness.
Perhaps the wobbly uncertainty & kind of alienation I sense around me, the uneasy outlook, the feeling that a bit more than usual, bizarre things happen on this old earth – perhaps it is a trick of the mind, and nothing changed, except my perception. But the possibility remains that the world in total, and my segment of the cosmos too, became a bit more peculiar than usual, uncertain, less predictable.
One should give attention to the dreams in the twelve nights between Christmas day and Epiphanias, and the strong winds each night seem to confirm the idea of the Wild Hunt passing through the area, blocksbergbound. But for the first time in ages I can sleep through, dreamless and undisturbed, missing out on the opportunity to learn about my future in the coming year – tah !
To make the outlook less gloomy here is some Poudre d’Or, ground by Mr SATIE, applied by Anne QUEFFÉLEC (Eng., about). [And, just for fun, a version played by Pascal ROGÉ (Eng.) for comparison.] I hope you enjoy the music.

I want to thank You for all the good Christmas wishes : Thank You.
I wish You all, my venerated readers, a Happy New Year 2017 !
Live long and prosper !



* Many thanks to MSScarlet for bringing this interesting word to my attention.