mago

Politisch’ Lied, Garstig’ Lied

It is ridiculous.
The scandal in this “Acosta Incident” is not that the little fuehrer yells at a reporter, and it is not a scandal that his reporter is banned from the White House “in retaliation”. This is low, but the normal today in the USofA. The scandal is that they use a doctored video. This has a Goebbels taste to it.

The little fuehrer has the former “Justizminister” Sessions replaced by a true follower – as things are right now, I can say nothing else about this man, especially when you consider that I am watching all this from Europe. But that this move is clearly aimed against the investigation run by a certain Mr Muller is absolutely clear & undeniable. The Democrats are now in a position to look into the little fuehrer’s shenanigans – and a certain McConnell in advance called this already “presidential meddling” – as if this so called “president” would be untouchable.
Watching & thinking about this, I can only hope that what grandma Pelosi mumbled, something along the line “we must work together”, is forgotten as soon as possible. I think the Democrats still have not understood what they are dealing with : This is not a “normal” “president”, this is not “a politician”. The little fuehrer can not be measured by this scales. There is no “moral”, no “ethos”, fuck “responsibility” – because it’s always other people’s fault.
I think it is an important moment now.
If the Democrats decide to “make (some) peace”, and “work together” with “responsible” Republicans, then they will become what we called in Germany after WWII and the end of the dictatorship “Mitläufer”. The only thing the Democrats have to bank on now is their morale value, after two years of unhinged “Trumpism”. After two years of ongoing erosion of the democratic state, of socio-cultural warfare. Joining in now “for the better” would be nothing else but erbärmlichstes Mitläufertum. (Can’t translate this. Does the word “Quisling” ring a bell ?)
There is no other way but the full disclosure of the little fuehrer’s corruption, make or mar. Anything else means to become guilty.

But all this is in vain.
In the end, all I talk about here is moral, ethos if you like. What we see is an elected moral blank, a nihilist. And those who voted for him, and more so, those who make him possible, enable him, figures like this McConnell, share this nihilism. And as long as it works, it works.
The only thing that can end this, is the next economical crisis. And this will come as sure as next Christmas. Only then things will change. I am in no way learned about economics, so I can say nothing about what will cause what when. All I know is that the US economy runs “on tick”, auf Pump. This is a major vulnerability, and chances are, at least in my humble opinion, that some day in the near future someone (perhaps some really pissed off Chinese ?) triggers something that sends this house of cards down the drain. This will aggravate all the fault lines in the society the little fuehrer banks on, and it will make them break.
This will be ugly and violent.

Sorry, I am no doom monger usually, but I can not share the optimism that comes out of this Midterm’s result. It means, first of all, another two years of the little fuehrer’s more or less unbridled rule ; it means a un-unified Democratic “opposition” ; it does, thirdly, not rule out another six years of scum’s rule. As nice & notable some results may be, in total it is not enough. The next election campaign already started, the public climate is poisoned and will get even more poisoned : The little fuehrer’s answer is clear – more escalation. He publicly lauded violence as means of political “confrontation”.

The little fuehrer needs to be laughed out of office. Laughter is the only thing that can stop this monstrosity.
It is ridiculous.

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mago

Strange Daze

Sometimes time seems to crawl. This afternoon I felt very tired, lay down and nodded off. When I regained consciousness I thought that I’d have slept for an hour or so, but it was less than 15 minutes. I do not complain about this, it is only unusual, and a bit confusing. I had a terrible night, sleep did not want to come or to stay, and this morning I felt exhausted, not refreshed.
I had to see the doctor today, I will see him tomorrow, and then I have to wait for another four days, until, yeah … At least I have no urge to smoke or drink, I stuff frozen vegetables into the microwave, and all is well.
The only problem I have to solve is what to read in the days after the procedure. I have to stay in the hospital for three days afterwards, and I doubt that they will give me sleeping pills for all the time. As I understood this is for observation only, without any follow up “actions”. I do not want to buy things like the use of a tv or internet connection – I was handed a list of (rather expensive) options, all things I do not need & do not want. I just want to have my peace, preferably in silence. But it’s a hospital, not a Carthusian monastery, sadly. I will find a solution. It is not too long, after all I expect to come back home on Frayday next week.
In other news – some readers my remember that we once discussed here the topic of “slavery” in Europe. This became a subject of research (homepage), and a conference will be held at the end of this month (Amanda, where art thou ?) – if you have some time to spend, why not go to Bremen ?
And while you are in the region, visit Hamburg and try to find some traces of early rock’n roll in St.Pauli, its history is described in A Social History of Early Rock‘n’Roll in Germany. Hamburg from Burlesque to The Beatles 1956–69 by Julia SNEERINGER (about) (London 2018, German recension). Prof SNEERINGERs book is not a travel guide, but a learned and well received social history of this subculture. Hamburg was not very careful with this kind of heritage, they created a “Beatles Platz” (Ger., Eng.) in 2008 with figures of the musicians – I’d like to see the “hybrid of drummers Pete Best and Ringo Starr” (Bingo Barr ? Peto Stest ?) – but I think that was it.
As the reviewer of SNEERINGERs book mentioned (and I read about this somewhere else lately) the very large archive of the Hamburgian photographer Günter ZINT (Ger.), who documented “the scene” and St.Pauli since the early sixties, has found no public support in any way. I first saw photographs by ZINT in the early eighties, he documented the resistance against the Atomstaat in Brokdorf – now let me put my left fist down, sorry.
But this is “all history” of a state & a society that does not exist anymore. Today the former (green) “subversives” form coalitions with conservatives in stately parliaments, they usually are the second-strongest political party (behind the conservatives), followed by the new Fascists, while the Sozialdemokraten face political irrelevance & extinction – not only in Germany, but in nearly all European states. The Beatles are musealised, the Stones taxidermied themselves, and Dylan vanished in his own galaxy ages ago – Ms FAITHFULL made a new album, maybe its worth a try ; Joni MITCHELL turned 75, time’s a cruel master, darling. Let’s end this seminostalgic prattlebrabble.
Let’s listen to Pharao Tutankhamun’s trumpets (Eng.), as they were played in 1939, five months before the beginning of WWII. Excuse me, now I’ll crawl back into my bubble.

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books

Books Read

Or looked at, some are photograph collections only. It’s a while since the last book report, in July. Before I put them back into the shelves – maybe you find something here that is interesting for your own reading adventures.

PITTROF, Thomas (Ed.) : Christian GARVE. Über die Moden. Frankfurt / Main , 1. Auflage 1987 (insel taschenbuch 989)
Christian GARVE (1742-1798) (Ger., Eng.) was a philosopher of the late enlightenment (“Spätaufklärung”), and for reasons I can not explain, he got somehow “lost”. If he was / is mentioned he is often called, a little pejorative, a “popular philosopher” / Populärphilosoph – as if he would not necessarily deserve to be taken fully serious.
After all GARVE, seven years older than GOETHE, was a very well known author in his lifetime, had a serious public discussion with KANT, and was several times invited to meet the Prussian king Friedrich II.  So dismissing him as a “popular writer” seems not doing justice to the man in my humble opinion. Perhaps it is because he wrote essays, not “the” book to display his ideas systematically. Something he has in common with LEIBNIZ I think, who of course published (Latin) disputationes, and a monadology, but not a coherent system of his ideas. I do not believe that GARVE could or should be compared to LEIBNIZ.
Thomas PITTROF is ordinarius for Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaft at the University of Eichstätt.

[Anonymous :] Am Wege. Kleines Wander-Lehrbüchlein in 47 Naturaufnahmen. Königstein im Taunus o.J. [1948] (Der eiserne Hammer)
“Publication authorized by Publications Control Branch” – this little booklet was printed while Germany was still divided into zones and Hesse was part of the American zone. It is a collection of 47 b/w photographs showing vistas and “Kleindenkmäler” like Bildstöcke (Ger., Eng.). I simply like these old black-white photographs. The booklet displays some very interesting Franconian examples. While the covers are already dark brown & weak from acid, the pages with the printed photographs are remarkably well preserved.

BOHMERT, Friedrich : Hauptsache sauber ? Vom Waschen und Reinigen im Wandel der Zeit. Würzburg 1988
This is a work sponsored by Henkel, based on the contents of the Henkel Werksarchiv und Werksbibliothek. What is not necessarily bad, and disqualifies the work in no way. It makes clear from the start that it is written by someone who works for Henkel, and focuses on the impact Henkel products had on the daily grind of washing clothes and cleaning things. While the praise of Persil is sung, also a lot of useful information about the history of washing clothes of different kind, and of cleaning all kind of things is included, presented in a well readable form with generous use of illustrations – a solid publication.
I could not find more information on Friedrich BOHMERT, he seems to have been a Henkel archivist.

SCHOTT, Rolf : Michelangelo. Der Mensch und sein Werk. Paris o.J.
I am absolutely not sure about the author Rolf SCHOTT (1891-1977) (It.). He is without a doubt a very erudite scholar, has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of Renaissance art in general, Michelangelo’s œvre in particular ; he writes elegant, draws lines, leads the reader to insights – but I can not help, it always feels a bit like SCHOTT writing about SCHOTT, as if he’d use Michelangelo (Ger., Eng.) as a starting point for  showing …  off ?
I may be absolutely wrong, I may be doing harm to this author, but after having finished the book, only two things stuck : Michelangelo very likely formed his madonnas as idealised images of his mother early lost , and SCHOTT knows a lot.
Anyway, if you can get the 1963 English version of this book, give it a chance. I hope the translation is good, because SCHOTTs admirable use of the German language may be hard to reproduce – and a lot of the charm of this text depends in my humble opinion of the author’s ability to form twisting and surprising sentences.

LINDENBERG, Christoph : Rudolf Steiner mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten dargestellt. Reinbek bei Hamburg, Originalausgabe 1992 (rowohlts monographien 500)
No Iron Cross here, but the strange biography of an autodidact. Whatever your thoughts are on STEINERs (Ger., Eng.) philosophy, what no one can deny is his seriousness, and his work ethic. The man literally worked himself up for the development of his “movement”, something that seemingly became an ever faster growing, in the end overwhelming task for him that took him by surprise. What I learned from this short biography, and really surprised me, was how politically active STEINER became through the revolution of 1918/1919, how he actively supported the workers’ movement.
This text gives the outline of the “outer” biography of STEINER, and does not deal deeply with his teachings, of which I know basically nothing. I “know” a little about the Waldorfschulen, but I may be wrong, simply because I never seriously digged into the whole concept.
The author LINDENBERG (1930-1999)  (Ger.) was not only a Waldorflehrer, but worked as teacher at the Seminar für Waldorfpädagogik in Stuttgart, and as historian. I will definitely look for his  book about the pre-history of nazism titled Die Technik des Bösen, Technique of Evil.

VALLIER, Dora : Henrie ROUSSEAU, der Zöllner. Eine Akte.  Bindlach 1994 (zuerst : Vaduz 1991) (Meister der modernen Kunst)
ROUSSEAU (Ger., Eng.) was an outsider, always. The traditionalists, the modernists, all looked at his paintings and basically said the same : Naw … Is he a tragic figure ? Is he a happy fool ? I do not know. This is a nice book about a strange man by an interesting woman (Ger., Fr., about).

ALBRECHT, Herbert : Worpswede. Kunst in der Landschaft. Fischerhude 1981
This is a collection of short essays about the people who lived in Worpswede and formed, more or less, the artists’ colony through the twentieth century. ALBRECHT, about whom I could find sadly no more information on the web, is an opinioned critic, who was involved in the region’s cultural politics since the 1950s, and knew since this time the people he writes about personally. He seems to have been working as journalist for diverse German publications.

GOLDSWORTHY, Andy : Mauer. Storm King Art Center. Mit einem Essay von Kenneth BAKER. Frankfurt / Main, 1. Aufl. 2000
Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Ger., Eng.) has a wall built by other people and Mr Baker (a now retired American art critic) writes an essay about it. Nice photographs.

Heilbronn anno dazumal. Mit sämtlichen Stadtteilen. Fotos von 1858-1944. Heilbronn 1974 (Kleine Schriftenreihe des Archivs der Stadt Heilbronn, 6)
It is the catalogue of an exhibition held in autumn 1974 in the local Kunsthalle. This is only interesting for people who have a connection, however shallow, to the places shown. I lived there for some years. Now & then I travel through this town by train, but have no urge to get out and visit, this simply was.

Staatsklugheit und Frömmigkeit. Herzog Julius zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg, ein norddeutscher Landesherr des 16. Jahrhunderts. Wölfenbüttel 1989 (Ausstellungskatalog der Herzog August Bibliothek, 61)
As you may have noticed, venerated reader, I always come back to this magical place called Herzog August Bibliothek. They had an exhibition about Duke Julius (Ger., Eng.) there in 1989/1990, and this is the catalogue. It contains some learned essays about different aspects of the duke’s reign, his personality and hence the state he was running. Julius is a strong personality, important for the history of his house, and always fighting against his father. An interesting man who was accidentally confronted with the task to reign (his older brothers both died in another stupid war), he solved the given task with merit.

KENGEL, Rainer (O.S.B.) : Die Benediktinerabtei Münsterschwarzach. Münsterschwarzach 1952
Good readable short history of the abbey Münsterschwarzach (Ger., Eng.) in Lower Franconia. Nice place.

DETTELBACHER, Werner : Denk- und merkwürdige Kriminalfälle wie sie sich zugetragen in fränkischen Landen. Würzburg 1982
A popular written collection of historical crimes in Franconia, collected from the sources by the teacher and local historian DETTELBACHER (1926-2007), a prolific author of Franconica. He covers the span from the late 15th to the early 20th century.

DRECZKO, Werner : Teppiche Europas. Recklinghausen 1962
Expert DRECZKO explains how a rug is made, what one has to watch for when buying a European rug – very practical, a real good manual for anyone who wants to learn something about European rugs. He published a book about Oriental rugs too, and a lady with the same family name wrote a dissertation about rugs in the eighties.  A family business.

This is it. Looks more than it actually was, most of these “books” are “booklets”. Perhaps you find something inspirational, motivating for own reading among these titles.

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Aside, mago

Dies und Das

The boxer Graciano “Rocky” ROCCHIGIANI (Ger., Eng.) died some days ago. For those of my readers who are not interested in European boxing, Rocky was one of the few German world champions, regardless now of what “federation” ; he won two championships in middle weight. ROCCHIGIANI was one of those guys who fought his way up, only to lose it all, and manage to come back. He blew his money, spent time in jail – the full circle. A terrible loudmouth sometimes.
But one thing no one could ever deny – he was always himself. What all these “personality consultants” tell their (seemingly un-authentic) clients and call “authenticity” – Rocky had enough of this : Not the cleverest or smartest boxer who ever graced a ring, but always Rocky. You should think that one needs a tank to run this guy over to make sure that he does not come back, but he was run over and killed by a person driving a SMART.

Some weeks ago Mr Inexplicable DeVice brought a list of some videos he “most recently watched courtesy of YouTube” “for no reason other than I thought they were quite a diverse selection”. Included was one with the divine Annie LENNOX. Mr Eroswings took the chance to list in the comments to the mentioned post a list of “top recently viewed” videos (that contain nice ladies). This made Mr LẌ put together and post his own list of “top ten videos”.
All this made me think about videos, stuff on youtube and other video platforms – I could not name five favourites. I remembered scenes from films I liked and did not forget despite the fact that I saw them maybe forty years ago for the first time. Like the picture of this canon in Mr KEATONs (Ger., Eng.) The General (Ger., Eng.)  Or what Jacques TATI (Ger., Eng.) did in all his films (just a scene). And then there were some short films that impressed me – I think La Cabina (Ger., Eng.) comes to mind first. Do not read about it, watch it here, 34 minutes. It is of archeological value, because only humans of a certain age know what a “telephon box” / “Telephonzelle” actually was.

Such a holiday in the middle of the week is a nice invention. But generally a week of four working days would be a nice idea, worth a try. I think some company in New Zealand is introducing it. But hey, they stand on their heads there and live in the future …

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