Tag: personal

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.

Suebia, eh ?

I realised this morning that one can hear emptiness.
All the usual sounds that can be expected in a large appartement building located in a reasonable quiet neighbourhood, with some green around – even large trees -, and parking spaces over ground, balcony door open, through a bog-normal Wednesday late morning, like water rushing through pipes for whatever use, elevator doors clunking, car doors slamming, trees rushing in a lovely breeze, the occasional toddler yelling a bit – just stand there with eyes closed & listen … the place is empty.
Of course there may be scientific explanations that involve rugs, curtains and pictures on the wall, let’s not forget the lack of ameublement, but this is not what I mean.
It is not about silly sound waves behaving different, is not something missing, it is something else, something additional I can’t name.
To step in routinely like done for ages – “ages” may mean ten years and perhaps a bit more – comes to a halt when the usual choreography of moves stops because there is no more place to put the wallet and the keys – the shoe cabinet in the Diele (it is impossible to translate the name of this little anteroom with “hallway” or “vestibule” – it is a Diele or a Flur ) is gone.
Obviously something changed.
It is easy to say “And of course I am ready to move for this job”, it is easy to plan such a move, and have a look at the different pieces of stuff that surround one. It is a bit more challenging to search for and finally find a new appartement that “fits the bill” in all – or at least all serious – points. It can be a bit of a task to fill boxes with stuff – that seemingly has a life of its own, even after years of culling ; this usually leads to some introspection – and finally “the day” arrives : All is prepared, professionals move in, and within two hours the place is cleared, engines start, and something new begins. This can be a bit upsetting, worrying even.
DOn’t get me wrong, dear reader : This is not about an ending of sorts, a drama, it is about the aftermath of a new beginning.
It is only about a middle-aged man who switches off the hoover in a large empty room, closes his eyes, and listens.

Bommm, Bom-de-lomm, Pom-pom …

Well, dear reader, it may have escaped Your attention – all too understandable I may add – that I was away for some days. Happy days spent in quietness on the countryside, in rural areas of Suebia. Generally nice people live there, if a bit hard to understand because of their unconventional dialect – but what dialect is conventional ?
What was even more relaxing was the loss of internet connection, the web was not missed at all. No newspaper, no radio, bliss.
When I came back and switched on the machine, I wondered if something would have changed, magically – and of course it had not : People kill people, the usual wars, Mr Kim throws missiles around, da Leader’s lies get exposed but as usual nobody sees a need for action … what a world.
Just for fun, a version of 21st Century Schizoid Man (Eng.) by the Guitar Circle of Europe, that sadly ceased to exist in March 2017.



Another Boring Book List

It is been a bit since the last book list, it appeared here in early March I think.
These posts are tagged with “books”, perhaps I should categorise them under “Books”. Now follow in no particular order, just as they come from the heap, books I read since March.

OPPERMANN, Hans : Julius Caesar in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek 1968 (rowohlts monographien, ed. by Kurt KUSENBERG, 135)
I have to admit that this is the first time I read a coherent biography of Julius. The depiction of Julius’ life is broad, not limited on one or two aspects, The author likes his subject, but does not idolize his hero. All the more I was astounded when I learned from the biographical wikipedia article about OPPERMANN (here) that he was a fervent national socialist who worked on a ns-conform classic philology while he was professor at the university of Freiburg until 1944. After the war he was not allowed back in the (west-)German university, but still good enough for teaching at Hamburgian Gymnasien. Given the common tendency in German academia after 1945 to forget & forgive, where after a few years the same old blockheads showed up, and saw to continuity, who were already shouting ex cathedra before 1939, I think it is remarkable to see that this man was shunt off into school teaching – he really was not acceptable any more. Nevertheless, old nazi or not, this biography of Julius is informative, well written, and well readable even after nearly fifty years.

BONER, Georg : Laupersdorf. Unsere Heimat im Wandel der Zeit.
Erster Teil 1968 : Von der Frühzeit bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters
Zweiter Teil 1973 : Vom frühen 16. bis zum ausgehenden 18. Jahrhundert
Dritter Teil [1986] : Von der Revolution von 1798 bis an die Schwelle des 20. Jahrhunderts
A work of love. Laupersdorf (Ger., Eng.) is a small village in Kanton Solothurn. It is mostly Roman-Catholic, belongs to the diocese of Solothurn. The author (1908-1991) (Ger. only) was a Swiss historian and archivist, a prolific writer, long-time collaborator of the Aargauer Staatsarchiv. The community expressed its wish to have a history of the village, and they turned to the man who was best suited to write it. So this “simple” “Dorfgeschichte”, village history, is written lege artis – and well readable too. If you are interested in small Swiss villages …

FABRICIUS, Klaus ; SAUNDERS, Red (editors) : 24 Hours in the Life of Los Angeles. First print, New York June 1984
Another village, another approach : Not the history, but the Now – and this as full as possible. So they sent out a lot of photographers into the “Olympic City ’84”, and out came a portrait of this strange place, fascinating after 33 years.
I could not find more about Mr FABRICIUS, perhaps he is behind this photo blog.

SCHMIDT-Eppendorf, Peter : Sylt. Memoiren einer Insel. Dokumente, Chroniken, Berichte aus 1001 Jahren. Husum 1977
Now I know anything about Keytum, Morsum, Arxum, Westerlant & Rantum what is there to know. Monsignore (Ger., Eng.) SCHMIDT-Eppendorf seems to be a colourful character. Interesting book about a landscape that is totally alien to me : Imagine sand dunes wandering over villages !

HERBERSTEIN, Sigmund v. : Das alte Rußland. Übertragen von Wolfram von den STEINEN. Mit einem Nachwort von Walter LEITSCH. 2. Auflage, Zürich 1985
I wrote about this book and its author already here.

WUNDERLICH, Dieter : Sprachen der Welt. Warum sie so verschieden sind und sich doch alle gleichen. Darmstadt 2015
I doubt that I understood it. WUNDERLICH gives an introduction into the world of “language”, the system to classify & organise this wonderful cosmos, answers a lot of questions around “language”. But finally I have no clue why they are so different. This is surely not the fault of the author Dieter WUNDERLICH (Ger.), who thankfully writes clearly and describes complicated issues in a way that even I can get my buckethead around it.

GÜNTHER, Sonja : Design der Macht. Möbel für Repräsentanten des “Dritten Reiches”. Mit einem Vorwort von Wolfgang Fritz HAUG. Stuttgart 1992
GÜNTHER describes how the “Vereinigte Werkstätten” (Ger.) became the main production place for ameublement the heads of the Third Reich finally had in their representative rooms. Interesting pictures, so you know what not to put into your salon.

PRIESNER, Claus : Chemie. Eine illustrierte Geschichte. Darmstadt 2015
Finally a history of this terrible subject “chemistry” I have a chance to understand. With a lot of colourful pictures too. PRIESNER (Ger.) is a noted historian of science, together with Karin FIGALLA he edited a lexicon of alchemy. Even something so dreadful as “chemistry” can have an interesting history !