Tag: mago

19725

Long & boring mid-life-crisis-blah ahead. Better skip it, there’s not even (slightly) interesting music in the links.

*

Not the best of ideas to crawl through youtube with a line of text in one’s head, like “Why don’t you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see, and Baby do you like it?”
I heard variations of it in my head, but it always was Mr Plant calling at me, and finally I identified it as a line from Led Zeppelin’s Misty Mountain Hop. “There you sit, sitting spare like a book on a shelf rustin’ / Ah, not trying to fight it.”
Exactly.
I looked into a mirror, and tried to describe what I see. It is not flattering. Maybe all this greyish non-colour is just a trick of the lightning ? The thinning hair – there is no real translation for the German word schütter that sadly describes it all too good ; the wrinkles under the nose and around the mouth, hewed in with a dull axe – thankfully glasses hide the bags under the eyes.
No, I do not like it.
“Misty Mountains” – ah ja, Flucht, escape. As if there would be a possibility to hide.
Why not go ? EH ?!

For the first time, since a very long gone & unhappy day, I feel alone. Not lonely – there are people, who are near me and to whom I am allowed to be near, people in whose life I am a part, perhaps even an important one – but a daily phone call is not the same like jump into the elevator, walk into the kitchen, cook a meal, spend an evening, living together.
Over time, over the year, über’s Jahr, I will move too. I do not want to stay alone here. Feeling left behind.
So I check websites for jobs in the area, for rooms to rent, try to imagine an other existence in a different place. Why not live in a village, work in the administration there ? What do I want ? What do I need ? What can I afford ?
All I know is that Led Zeppelin’s music does not help me here. I watched interviews with Jimmie Page, and all I could think is : Gosh, darling, you are old and frail – quit it, please. I then trundled to tapes with Waddy Wachtel, and Keith’s X-Pensive Winos – all old white dudes, who hide their bellies behind long black t-shirts, and play music from yesteryear. In Wachtel’s case at least with some furor that has to be admired.
So what has the tragedy of these men to do with me ?
The Stones, The Who, Gentle Giant, of course Steely Dan, achherrjemineh, all this was the soundtrack of my youth, and I wanted it to stay the soundtrack of my adult years. I stuck with this music, never developed a feeling towards Hip’n Hop, found Grunge laughable, like all what was pushed ever since, after Punk and NDW.
There is so much to discover in music – but I always returned to those noisy idiots from the late sixties to the early seventies, basically white dudes with guitars.

I always was too passive, I always allowed things to happen – what is basically not a bad feature – but I never found the “umpf” to make things happen. And that is not good, especially in the long run. Now I am in “the middle of my life”, what is nonsense – I am in my earl fifties, what means that I have, in the best case, another thirty years to live. I can not repeat what I have done, I can not go on repeating how I met situations in my life : I can not go on and react the usual way !
I have to change something. I can not keep on listening to old Stones records and assume it is going on this way, as it clearly never was – I must change.
A friend’s re-construction of life took a little bit more than two years. It was successful, hard and demanding, but successful. What teaches me (a) that such an enterprise is possible, with the correct amount of preparation, and a little luck of course. And (b) that the whole effort is worth it.
I do not want to end like Keith and other heroes of my youth, who seemingly endlessly repeat what they have started forty or more years ago. I can not stay in this dead-end job for the next – what ?! – twenty years ? I can not stay in this appartement that slowly kills me, until I finally succumb to the dust : At one point, not so far away, it will be down to “Breath” or “Books” – and I am not sure who’ll win.
But I know that I can lose.
And, as the last move showed me, I have not the power anymore, my body becomes weak.

Summa summarum : I have to collect my brains together, check out the area I wish to live in, search for a job there, and get rolling. And I have to get rid of old routines : I’m not Keith …

Advertisements

Looking At My Omphalos

Morpheus is a cheater. I wonder whether the Ancients knew of a goddess called Insomnia, or whether it is a neologism, an academic word creation, perhaps of the 19th century.
I became very tired and dutifully went to bet to rest my aching bones shortly before 01:00. Friendly sleep embraced me, I can not remember any dreams, as I prefer – and at 02:30 I woke up : This was it.
The air in my room seemed to be thick, the blanket tried to suffocate me, I kicked the garotting entity away. I pulled the curtain aside, grey light greeted me. Cool air outside, but it refused to flood in. So I opened the door to the balcony & laid down again, only to feel the rush of cool air over my aching joints and the first sneeze approaching.
I thought of sheep, but very fast I thought about shooting sheep with a large gun to bits, these animals should not be allowed to roam around freely in one’s head.
Image followed image, one association happily held hand with the next one, pulling it in the roundel dance of an unstoppable swirl. Next time I looked outside the sky was blueish, some birds started to converse over the latest gossip, what a neighbourhood. The first dog of the day felt the need to tell the world that he was still in existence, good for you, doggy ; good doggy ; oh shut up, will ya …
I heard the first jogger stomping over the gravelled path down the hill, maybe he wore a light on a headband. Slowly the first more technical sounds arose, like trucks on the distant autobahn rushing by, a train coming through, the first cars started to leave the village, going to work.
This reminded me of a morning maybe forty years ago. I was still a pupil, the Große Ferien, summer holidays, had started. I lay in my bed and watched sunbeams slowly coming in, I even remember the curtains’ design, and listened to the sounds of the awakening city. Single cars first, workers going through the narrow street to the works, the first bus, early clangs from the train yard, people’s noises in the house, a victorious sun finally coming up, chasing away all the night’s webs. Myself getting up and happily jumping down the stairs, feeling strong, going places. Later touring through the inner city, picking up my mother from work, a coffee and a fag, returning home around midday, all easy and carefree.
I hated to get up early, it always was a problem through school, but I conditioned meself, a mug of brew as reward, later a cup and a fag, and we coughed away over the kitchen table. This table I threw out only recently. My parents bought that thing when we finally all together moved to the city in 1969 ; it stood at the same place until I had to clear that appartement after my father’s death. I ate at it, drunk at it, slept at it, fell under it. Finally this plasticed piece of pressboard ended up on my balcony, until I could see it not any more.
It is not like abandoning a piece of “history”. It had a meaning for some time, was a reminder I did not want to miss, but things should not be overcharged with “meaning”, after all they are – and stay – things. Nevertheless I can not make myself part with the lousy kitchen table of my motherly grandmother, made from cheapest wood, in the thirties. Not yet, at least. If I had to get rid of it, I would like to burn it. I feel that this would be adequate.
I learned to like the early morning since I do this driving job. There is no rush, enough time to settle into things. Walking through the village to my vehicle I meet the regulars, now after two years (two years ! Herrgottsakrament …) one has a little chat, notices when the newspaper-man is a bit late, greets and gets greeted and noticed – a gentle routine. Very different from what I had years earlier when I returned from work in the early morning half dead after a night that was either spirit-killing boring, or filled with stupidity that resulted in unwanted & (un-)avoidable action. But there is always alcohol and bad intent. And an idiot called “security”.
Getting up recuperated after a good night’s sleep is a gift I learned to appreciate, but no such thing today. When I was ready to throw the towel in and get up, I miraculously fell asleep ; and slept and slept, through the whole morning, past midday. When I regained consciousness it was clearly after 12:00. Dazed & confused I searched for coffee, remembered that I had some tasks scheduled, and finally got going. Slowly.
I think it is not necessary to emphasise that my cellar spent the day undisturbed.

Buch, Buch und nochmal Buch …

Time to clean up and tidy the appartement. But it is soo damn humid that even walking from the desk to the fridge leaves me dripping from sweat. I hear rumble in the distance, hopefully a little thunder & lightning will clean the atmosphere. No action with the vacuum cleaner, tomorrow is another day.
But the heap of books – this can be done without any suffering. So here is a little list of books I’ve read since the last one from end of May.

PÜTTER, Conrad : Deutsche Emigranten und britische Propaganda. Zur Tätigkeit deutscher Emigranten bei britischen Geheimsendern. In : Exil in Großbritannien. Zur Emigration aus dem nationalsozialistischen Deutschland. Edited by Gerhard HIRSCHFELD (Publications of the German Historical Institute London, 14), 1. Aufl., Stuttgart 1983, 106-137
Very informative. Gives an interesting glimpse into the organisation of the British secret radio operations during WWII, be it white, grey or black propaganda. PÜTTER, about whom I could find no additional information, specialised in the topic. He edited a handbook about German-speaking radio activities through WWII (Rundfunk gegen das „Dritte Reich“. Deutschsprachige Rundfunkaktivitäten im Exil 1933–1945. Ein Handbuch (Rundfunkstudien, 3), München u. a. 1986) and contributed to other on-topic publications.

CASSOU, Jean : Picasso. (Aus dem Französischen von Ute GARROTE), Paris 1958
Jean CASSOU (1897-1986) (Ger., Eng., Fr.) had something like the archetypical life of a French intellectual in the 20th century. After WWII he became the first director of the newly found Musée National d’Art Moderne (Ger., Eng.) (until 1965), and he should have something to say about Picasso. He had, he did, the result is this little essay.

SWIFT, Jonathan : Satiren. Mit einem Essay von Martin WALSER (insel taschenbuch, 131), 1. Aufl., Frankfurt / Main 1975
Should read the original, really.

Mittelalterezeption. Texte zur Aufnahme altdeutscher Litertaur in der Romantik. Herausgegeben, eingeleitet und mit einer weiterführenden Bibliographie versehen von Gerard KOZIELEK (Deutsche Texte, 47), 1. Aufl., Tübingen 1977
As we know, the idea, the image of the “Middle Ages”, is a product of romanticism, as are the “sciences” “History” and “Germanistik” / “Germanistic studies” (and in between them, their wayward bastard, Deutsche Volkskunde). But who received or adapted what ? This little volume collects the most important texts by TIECK, SCHLEGEL, von ARNIM, GÖRRES, W. & J. GRIMM, and UHLAND, from 1803 to 1831.
About KOZIELEK I could not find much information. He is a “Germanist”, born in Breslau perhaps in 1928. At least he received a “Festschrift” for his 65th birthday in 1993, but I could not find a biographical article online.
I should have read this twenty-five years earlier.

BRÜHL, Georg : Vertiko und Chaiselongue. Deutsche Möbel der Gründerzeit. Leipzig 1992
This little volume collects designs for ameublement chosen & collected from a “Musterbuch” (Ger.) of the 19th century. These designs belong to what is called “Historismus” (Ger., Eng.). The little book reproduces drafts and gives a little text about each. Nice. What is depicted is all that stuff the next generation (those “Lebensreformers” and “Wandervögel” of 1900) will happily throw out ; the next generation that will venerate clear rectangular forms, clear colours, filigree designs preferably from metal and abhors dark wooden monster pieces, windows covered in thick curtains, everything pseudo-folksy – you get the idea.
BRÜHL (Ger.) was an important art historian, museologist and collector in the GDR.

HAFFMANNS, Gerd (Ed.) : Über William Faulkner (Diogenes Taschenbuch, 14), Zürich 1973
Material collection about FAULKNER. What had writers to say about his work, and about single texts. Contains his Nobel speech, a lengthy interview from 1957, timetable. Interesting to see what colleagues had to say about him, what he had to say about writing.

STEVENSON, Robert Louis : Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes and An Inland Voyage. Köln 1997
Grab a small bag, and march off. Avoid to sleep under cork oaks, there are rats. Remember, the Cevennen (Ger., Eng.) can be rough. If you want to follow Mr STEVENSON, look here.

That’s it. Perhaps a title is an invitation for you for further exploration.

Off Hand

I’m tired.
Thankfully it has become cooler outside – and most importantly – less humid. Yesterday was terrible, sitting meant dripping, driving meant dripping from sweat, and to avoid suicidal idiots in charge of vehicles. I brought my boys home and returned in one piece, what I regard as small victory.
The evening brought a nice thunderstorm, the cell moved rapidly over the village in Easter direction, and I stood for quite a time on the balcony watching impressive lightning at the North-Eastern horizon. The rain did not bring the desired chill, but turned the area in a nice little sauna ; it was a very warm night, a warm morning, only since the late afternoon it becomes better step by step.
I am disappointed.
The state of the Union is bad. This date, the 20th of July 2017, marks a bad day for Europe, because the Polish state stopped to be a democracy. Today the parliament in Warszawa – the majority there that belongs to the PiS party (Ger., Eng.) – accepted a law that ends the independence of the iurisdictio in the whole country.
All judges, and it means all, are now out of job, and need to be re-installed by the Justizminister, the secretary or minister of justice. Effectively the separation of powers has ended, the jurisdiction (“Judikative”) is now controlled by the legislation (“Legislative”) – what is the parliament controlled by PiS. I only wonder if judges and attorneys will have to take an oath on this little wanna-be-leader (Ger., Eng.) …
In fact Poland, the Polish State, is no democracy anymore. I can not believe it, and this will take some time until the effects are realised everywhere in the EU. This should end Polonia’s membership in the EU. They just betrayed the basic principle of a democratic state, and spat on the values of this Union : Obviously they do not share them, as they already showed in the so-called “refugee crisis”. They followed the Hungarian blueprint, even more successful, because the little goulash-Adolf there did not come through 100 %. At least my last level of information is that the highest court is still independent in Budapest. In Warsaw not anymore.
I was wrong when I thought that Poland would share the principles and values of  the European Union. I really believed that shared history, common cultural & historical heritage would be stronger than small-minded & short-sighted nationalism. But – I just need to look towards the German East, to places like Saxony & Thuringia, where the reaction marches on the streets, where a new nazism is cultivated and already reached “the middle of society” – I should have known better. The same mechanisms, the same conceitedness, the same longing for “the good ol’ times” when everything was simpler, more understandable – backward backward, lets ignore actual problems, a strong “leader” is what we need, and for fuck’s sake : DO not think for yerself !
It’s disenchanting, to say the least.
I had a vision this afternoon.
When I read somewhere that the American Leader “warned” or strongly advised the investigators against poking their noses into the money affairs of the Leader’s family. Yeah, exactly, this is where the stink comes from. It is the complex of Deutsche Bank, Bank of Cyprus, and anything and anyone connected with this from roughly ten years ago. The Bank of Cyprus was nothing else but a giant money laundering facility, closely connected to Deutsche Bank. It was a tool for Russian oligarchs to bring their worthless rubles out and turn them into dollares, or something else that is accepted in the civilised world. Best way to filter money through to someone who is in need because of the ongoing housing bust (“Immobilienkrise”).
It will be found out, I have no doubt about this. And this will end the lousy charade we see in Washington, not the so-called “Russian collusion”, the tinkering with the election process. It is a capitalist system after all, and as we already see, money trumps democratic principles.
I only hope that there will be a real new start, that there will be a fundamental cleaning and that all those creatures the Leader allowed in will be flushed out : Once and for all.
But … there is always a “but”.
I am not very hopeful. The Leader is only a symptom. A very disgusting mushroom will be cut off, but the underlying mycelium will not necessarily be rooted out.

I am reading about FAULKNER lately, no idea why. Perhaps the Leader is but a born Snopes.