Sunday Music, Monday Edition

I am very sorry, I am not in the mood for talking much. Last night I watched the news, and the horror began creeping in, from Kiew’ suburbs via Budapest to Alaska (“Trump endorses Palin” proves that the Zombie apocalypse is near).
What keeps me sane is the kitchen, books, and hot water, either in the form of inhalation, or hot baths. “Outside” is where madness reigns, and the virus that makes my colleagues, neighbours & acquaintances drop. Of course masks are now (since 2nd of April) optional, but as for today I saw nobody without in the supermarket. Wearing a mask is mandatory at my work.
There is a picture that hounds me, I will have to say something about it sometime later.
Sunday Music today is pure escapism, I know. The only requirement for Sunday Music is, it must be under four minutes that allows to feel a bit better. Now let’s join Messrs Joe VENUTI and Eddie LANG of Joe Venuti’s Blue Four in the Blue Room. Today I read, at the end of a longer thought, that culture is not what you have, but what you do, and how you do it. Barbarity is always so near, always.

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No Escape

I am sorry. I can not help, I have to put in my two pennies worth. The more I watch this damn war, the more I wonder. I try to use European news outlets, and verified news, simply because there is a lot of propaganda and plain disinformation around.
Putin’s war does not go according to plan. If it is correct what I read in a German news outlet (n-tv) that the Russians already lost close to 200 tanks, then this is a frightening number. I saw pictures of Russian tanks with self made, improvised constructions over the turret. This indicates that they faced Javelin anti tank rockets, pretty modern, sophisticated, and, well, useful. (The idea of this weapon is not to hit a tank frontal, but from above, preferably into the turret, where the fortification is notably weaker.)
Then I saw (and read) about difficulties of the advancing army regarding fuel, and lousy communications.
The fact that Russia agreed to some kind of negotiations implies imho that they need time to regroup, time to pump more weapons and troops into the country. It seems to me that they simply miscalculated how fast they could advance, and – what is more important – did not care in foresight.
They either really thought this would be a kind of promenade to Kiew, or it was simply very bad planning. The Ukrainian forces (I have no idea how large this force is, what they actually have) is basically a remnant of the old Red Army. So these officers know exactly what they face. They should know their enemy very well, and I do not believe that they simply sad idle since 2014, when Vlad grabbed a part of Ukraine. And it is their land. All in all they do a formidable job, and they have a good chance to, at least, stop the invasion. To throw the invaders out is another thing.
The longer this whole stupid war lasts, the worse Vlad’s inner-Russian situation. If what is left of the Russian civil society fully understands what is going on, there may be a chance. Even Vlad can not turn the whole of Russia into a graveyard, he is no Stalin – despite the fact that this is what he craves to be.

There is a right side, and a wrong side – and in few situations in history it was so clear. And those people who cheer for Vlad, be it Serbian nationalists who demonstrated today and yelled support for their hero, be it members of the German parliament (of the fascist party, who else ?, who had the nerve to say that our chancellor would “herbeireden” a new “cold war”, goodness !), or “politicians” of the “Republican” party in the US (who blab about “Biden’s weakness enabling this war”) – those right-wing, and in part openly fascist people, are scum.
And again, I already said it here, I am glad that the former “president” of the US is not at the helm, the guy who said NATO must be abandoned, the guy who kissed Putin’s arse openly, the guy whose election was helped by Russian interference, comrade Trumpsky.
We Europeans have two years to built an European force. We must do this, because the chance is very likely that in two years either the swine returns, or a younger version of the traitor sits in the White House. It is still absolutely correct what MERKEL said – the US are no reliable partner any more. We need a European army that protects our Eastern (and Northern) border. We must make clear to an aggressive Eastern neighbour that any kind of invasion is suicide.
There is no way back, there is no escape.

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What Time Is It ?

Usually I know, or at lest have a vague idea, where the book I find here, comes from. Did I buy it, when, was something connected with it, like a certain idea I was following back then or something else ? But the book I read right now does not ring a bell, it may have been a gift, but I would not know from whom ?
The book in question is by Frederic VESTER (1925-2003 ) (Ger., Eng.), titled Neuland des Denkens. Vom technokratischen zum kybernetischen Zeitalter. A paperback, first edition published in January 1984. The third edition from July 1985 was “durchgesehen und ergänzt”, revised & supplemented. What lies before me is the 12th edition of July 2002, but it is on the stand of 1984. I checked his footnotes and found no literature cited newer than 1982, and this in only marginal doses. I emphasise this, that the status of information is early 1980s, because I found some things that surprised me.
He mentions in the chapter about “Traffic” that the development of hybrid propulsion (“Hybridantriebe”) or electric fuel cell cars (“Elektroautos mit Brennstoffzellen”) was not pushed, or better hindered, because decisions that lead to the domination of the fuel burning engine – and what all hangs on this – were made earlier, and seem to be irreversible.
He mentions “wie überdimensionale Litfaßsäulen aussehende Pariser “Staubsaugertürme” (… ), welche die Straßenluft unten ansaugen und oben wieder gefiltert abgeben”. This would be vacuum cleaners in the form of advertising pillars in Paris – that escaped me ! I never have heard about such installations in Paris, or elsewhere.
So I asked Mr Gargle & friends, and all I could find was a project by a Dutch artist who wanted to install such towers in smog plagued cities like Mumbay in circa 2017 (?). Some years ago a French environmental company published their project of air cleaners in the form of advertising pillars that would use algæ, but I have no idea what came out of this.
I have no idea when the first hybrid cars were offered in Europe or elsewhere (around 2010 ?), or if VESTERs cleaning towers were ever built, but obviously things he mentions as given, are mentioned & sold forty years later as brand new, happened just five or six years ago.
He mentions and cites writers & thinkers, among them Nobel laureates, a tradition dating back to the 19th century, I simply do not know about. I need to look up a few persons.
And when I put this book down, and looked into another one (about Stalin’s foreign forces) just out of curiosity, I saw the following photograph :

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There you have it : He is either immortal or a time traveller, or both.

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Time(s) is strange.

Feeling Imperatorial

Today I found in my letterbox a large envelope sent by the municipal administration. It contained a red envelope, a blue envelope, and three pre-printed forms.
One is a Merkblatt, an instructions leaflet, that explains detailed what I have to do. The second is a long leporello listing forty political parties or groups of people, who want to become members of the European Parliament., while the third is the official Wahlschein, already provided with the official Dienstsiegel of the municipality. This is not “just a stamp”, but the imprint of the official Siegel / seal or sigil, what makes it an official document. It needs additionally my handwritten signature to become fully effective.
Isn’t it fascinating that we still today, in the middle of the digital age, need to sign papers with our own hands to make them legally working ?
In medieval times kings and emperors sometimes had graphic representations of their names at the end of important contracts, charters etc. and it was enough when the man made a scratch with the pen – mostly likely the quill – somewhere : Then he had it signed manu propria, with his own hand, regardless of the fact whether he could write or not.
I, of course, will put there my whole name, by my own hand, in all its grandeur, with a biro.

As already mentioned, the leporello (roughly 95 cm long, so a little short of one meter) lists forty groups of people, who want to become members of the EP (Ger., Eng.).
There are the usual suspects, as the conservatives, the social democrats, the greens, the (so called) liberals, all traditional German mainstream parties. A Bavarian speciality are the “Freie Wähler” and the “Bayernpartei” – that makes six.
At the far right we find old Nazis, new Nazis (twice), and the fascists who camouflage as bourgoise party – makes four. On the left we have old communists, a Marxist-Leninist party (true survivors !), socialists, and the leading left party – adds another four. Then we have a so-called “fun”-party run by a group of satirists, they already have a seat in the EP (!).
The other 25 parties or groups stand for more or less specific interests, like feminists, ecology & animal rights (at least another eight groups), the interests of older people (“Die Grauen”, the Greys, hopefully not from outer space), humanists, common happiness etc. Some seem to be a bit cloudy. I vaguely remember that somewhere in the East (Slovakia ?) a beer-party gained success.
Because it is time consuming (& a bit boring) to work through all the groups’ manifestos, programs etc. I used the “Wahl-O-Mat” of the trusted Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung to help me form my decision.
Now you may be witness to the historical moment, when mago “makes his cross”, sein Kreuzlein macht, and the official document signs – ah, well done : What a signature ! What a cross !
Now my voice is heard, even when it’s just a lousy “Piep”.
The leporello goes into the blue envelope (seal up – slurp ? ; ; ! bah, tastes like paste. Obviously because it is paste). Then the blue envelope goes together with the official Wahlschein (signed !) into the red envelope (not again, gargl …), and the red one goes into the mail, no stamp required.
The deed is done, the sovereign spoke.
On this day, 74 years ago, the Second World War ended. Seventy years ago the Parlamentarische Rat (Ger., Eng.) accepted the Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Ger., Eng., pdf). There is no way back, not for the commies, not for the nazis.
No more war, that’s what the Union is all about, NATO too. All this is the result of the damn bloody twentieth century. One can only hope, and pray, that the dams hold against the waves of abysmal stupidity..