Beamed out of Berlin, welcome to the blog I've been calling "Post-Google" since 2005.
I don't post too often anymore and the things I do post are written at odd hours or on my morning commute. This is not fine writing, these are in no way essays - just sketches of thoughts. Works for me.
"I'll send you a link."
Friday, November 30, 2007
Post Titled: Stuffed Animal Named Muhammad News has trickled in throughout the day about the British teacher Gillian Gibbons who is jailed in Sudan for allowing her elementary school class to name a stuffed amimal Teddy Bear "Muhammad" Earlier BBC reported that thousands turned out on the streets to protest the light 15-day jail sentance (in some of the worst prison conditions in the world, mind you) in favor of the death penalty by firing squad. The BBC has since backpedalled, and retreated a bit with the story- now saying that only some of the protestors called for the death pennalty, and there were only aproximately a thousand protestors...
This just seems to prove that human beings -as smart as we think we are- are sometimes (err, often) sooooo soooo idiotic.
And I hope this doesn't turn into another retarded and overblown Danish cartoon incident-
speaking of GUT -related bignesses and whatnot: "Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything" and his theory is called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" by Garett Lisi which is related to this, an E8: which, although it appears to be a flag that an old hippie might have hanging on the front porch in solidarity for or against some human rights movement, it is actually a diagram of some 8-dimensional mathematical craziness which I cannot possibly understand, but feel free to give it a go...
Post Titled: ACH! Wie Schööön! Post Subtitled: By the way, blogspace is not rantspace... usually.
I don't ever DELETE things from this blog, what goes in goes in and maybe I add to it but I never delete or take back things I said. Having said that, the other day's post (most recent big crtitcism of Germany) well- that day was one of those days when I was upset and started ranting, one of those days indeed... yesterday and today I feel much better. I walked through the Gendarmenmarkt Weinachtszauber Christmasmarket and thought "Oh, glad the Eintritt booth isn't up yet because it just seems wrong to pay to enter a shopping area... You goofballs, I can't believe they had that many mistakes in their website..." (I did some freelance weeding-out all the Denglischisms from the Germish and removing all the unwitting brutalisims and offensivisms. Some mistakes are still there but I don't really care anymore, they didn't add all my corrections, -their fault.) But seriously, the Weinachtsmarkt is really nice, and I have been to dozens over the years, this one stood out... or maybe I am just extra hungry and have no super quality of life so it seemed like wonderland full of crazy consumer items: wood swords for the kids, thick handmade wool sweaters and all that stuff. The aesthetic stuff... BUT, as I said, I am not alwaaays so charmed with Germany. The main detail missing from my rant regarding Robert's description of Spießigkeit in Stuttgart is the Saturday morning street sweeping - which also happens all over Germany, I believe- (or does it?) "Dude, it is like- atound here- if you don't get up Saturday morning and spend an fucking hour sweeping the street and the sidewalk in front of your house then you are a public disgrace." "Duuuude, I knooow, same thing back in Katzenbach, -who started that anyhow, WHO declared 'OK, every Saturday morning EVERYONE must go out to sweep their part of the street and sidewalk, or ELSE!' Or else you are looked down upon for not being a conformist and a neat-freak."
I always felt that this socially-forced labor was in some way insulting to the human spirit... and just creepy. When we first moved to Germany in 1993, we pretty much thought: "Oh, how nice, the Germans are so neat and tidy and they actually CARE about how clean their neighborhoods are..." but now, although it very well may be all of those things, I just see the activity as an extreme of social programming... do we do similar things? Hmm... I return bottles for money... but that is because I get money back... I recycle... out of guilt... hm. There must be a comparison to the street sweeping thing...
SO, I wouldn't say I have a love-hate relationship with Germany, more like: joyed-annoyed-
Post Titled: Hegdehog. I am hardly awake at work yet when I read this article in SLATE and then this pops up towards the end:
"Fetuses exposed in utero to the products of cigarette smoking showed a depressed function of a gene named desert hedgehog...The hedgehog genes play an important role in directing the development of body structures. They got their nickname because mutant forms of them cause fruit flies to grow up short and hairy. One of the most important of them, the Sonic hedgehog gene, got the rest of his name, in a bit of whimsy, from the video game character. Some clinicians are troubled by humorous or eccentric names. They worry that the frivolity will offend patients with serious illnesses caused by abnormalities in these genes."
Post Titled: Hold Me Closer Tiny Art Show... I have work (finally!) in an art show at PremArts in Kreuzberg, very pleased about this- mainly because over the last year I have been a very lazy artist, not attempting to even make work and definitely not trying to show anything, I guess that is what happens when you are busy trying to survive - but, if all goes well, and hopefully it does, it then travels to a larger gallery in Brno, Czech Rep. Show is called:
SO I wan't just being paranoid about their blatant paranoid afterall. Thought it might've been something my overloaded brain had cooked up. (and: It is important to my personal integrity for me to write: "No, I do NOT read TIME magazine in print OR online. Ever. ok. this was an accidental discovery.")
So, this sort of idea of a "threat" has always raised some questions in my mind, such as: -if you have to create laws to protect culture, how natural is it that that culture is actually prominent and relevant in that time and place? Granted, there is the sports example: sports are very popular, art and theatre are just kind-of popular, so for their survival (in Europe at least) money is set aside and the state supports the arts... but is that natural? Not really. Hmm. More like artificial. Grr- can of worms.
We went up for dinner to our neighbors Vikingur and Eva, both Icelanders, and we were discussing recent shifts in "the music industry" (if you can call it that): "How do musicians make money now?" "Touring? I think..." "I mean everyone can just download their music or burn it for one another..." "Well, yes, that in a way is tragic..." (I actually use Myspace and Youtube and band sites as an ersatz mp3 player now. If I want to listen to some music at work or while I am cooking, I just visit the bands Myspace page and let the 3 or 4 songs play on repeat. Works well, and there is no buying involved- but then again, I would support it if I could... favorites as of late: ZACH CONDON and THE BLOW But see- there ya go, digital WOM right there, which brought me to the next point- "Yet, a lot of people listen for free, but then it is also more democratic- when Ceas first sent me a link to Beirut's site in the Summer of 2006 I just listened to the 2-3 songs available for play almost endlessly, then -coincidentally- a month or so later Nancy had already uploaded/imported the burned cd of Gulag Orkestar her boyfriend had sent her so she gave it to me, and NK and I have burnt it for half a dozen people. Granted, Mr. Cordon has seen none of the money from us pirating his music, BUT we were probably responsable for bringing half a dozen people to the live show who wouldn't've been there otherwise, and I have blogged and told dozens of people about it- just because I think it is damn fine music- so it has a sort of organic WOM user-based marketing sceme and someday I will buy the new album, the Flying Club Cup- but it currently costs €17,99 or something crazy like that which I am just not willing to shell-out yet. But same thing with the Dirty Projectors, who opened for Beirut when we saw them, same damn thing. My point: Quality beaming from small acts has a chance. Why fight for the attention of record labels and then have them tweek and pimp your image, distort it )if you care about integrity) when you could just go throuh other channels now... and finally there is a rival to mass pop, right? Like, in the end highly popular acts like KanYe West are not going to get my money... but I can listen to him on his website as well if want. Hm... Now if only art and publishing could have such a hopeful/smooth transition. We donät exactly hear of lawsuits against people who copy and save images and text to their computer or copying them to blogs- thus LOOKING at them or READING them for free, and there is no money involved in that at all-
Furthermore if you live in Berlin it is HIGHLY reccommended by Vikingur and Eva that you attend The Dorine Chaikin Institute before it closes on Saturday. On that note, I will steal their logo... which becomes an ad:
Post Titled: Edmund Stoiber erklärt die Bahn (or something...) my new favorite politician is former Minister-President of the Bavarian Christian Social Union Party, Edmund "Eddie" Stoiber. As I Twitterd yesterday, he says amazing things like: "if it was like Bavaria everywhere, there wouldn't be any problems. Unfortunately, not everyone in Germany is as intelligent as in Bavaria." (or as wealthy and arrogant). He also goes on long nonsensical loop-de-loop rants such as:
The man is confused. And charmingly xenophobic. So very charming. I Thought: if this guy can get a doctorate, nearly get elected Chancellor of Germany, and father 3 children resulting in a few grandchildren then anyone can. It gives me great hope.
Furthermore, to quote wikipedia: "Stoiber, as a minister in the state of Bavaria, is widely known for advocating a reduction in the number of asylum seekers Germany accepts, something that prompted critics to label him xenophobic, anti-Turkish and anti-Islam. In the late 1990s he criticized the incoming Federal Chancellor Schröder for saying that he would work hard in the interest of Germans and people living in Germany. Stoiber's remarks drew heavy criticism in the press. He is a staunch opponent of Turkey's integration into the European Union, claiming that its non-Christian culture would dilute the Union."
Great guy, that Stoiber.
On Germany. DISCLAIMER: Here is another rant in my neverending series of rants about Germany, it is full of venomous stereotypes that I must spit solely to get them out out out so they donät eat my brain: I spoke with my friend Robert on the phone last night for about an hour- we hadn't talked since he moved to the near of Stuttgart about a month ago. This opens up a can of worms in my brain. First off, let me say that Robert if fully integrated into German society, his is American but speaks German so fluently and naturally that he bascially passes for a native speaker... but, having said that, he also has ever-increasing complaints (and the insider insight to validate these claims) about how things function here, -as do I.
Robert, -who is an expert at pinpointing the fatal flaws in the German Mass Mentality- is even less impressed with the Great Spießer Society of Stuttgart than he was with Berlin. I have a few co-workers from Stuttgart. As far as I can tell, they are: Un-curious. Un-friendly. Un-approachable. Football fans. (Not to be unfair - but this is not being unfair.)
"Hey, so when the moving van pulled up to our new townhouse in Stuttgart with its Berlin license plates everyone just stopped and stared, like, 10 people stopped what they were doing on the street and just stared at us as if we had just landed in a spaceship." he says in disbelief. I don't know what the national obsession is with starting, but it happens on the U-bahn all the time. Some middle-aged fart or fartress looks you up, and dowwwn and up and dowwwn for waaay too long while you pretend not to notice.
What the fuck, seriously: stop staring people.
Their 10 year old is in school with many a well-to-do "spießer" (English equivalent: "uptight/conservative" but somtimes "square/nerds"
Robert goes on to say that "the kids are in this elementary school are idiots- or at least seems so, nothing special, just little spießer robots who follow a very tight schedules and routines. Plaid shirts tucked into khakis and a lot of beige, everywhere beige... And thier parents- when you talk to them- they don't know how to be real. Like, yo meet them, and after a few conversations you start to joke with them a bit and they just don't get it, they donät know how to loosen up and have fun at all, they are stuck in this mode of superficial formality... it sucks."
At this point of you are still reading: I know what the response to such a post might be: "Well, if Germany -or Europe- is so bad, why do you live (t)here?" We are seriously considering moving in 2008, depending on jobs and money and whatnot. Where? No idea But I think I am basically fed up. Germany and even Europe seems so oldschool, thouroughly inflexible and undynamic and it will not change, therefore therefore I can't say it has a good change of survival in the long-term. I thought the same about the states- in fact, I know the United States is a time bomb, I KNOW that- and sure, that ship is going down down down... but it will be one hell of a ride. Europe, on the other hand, might unwittingly extinguish itself without anyone noticing.
In the meantime I am considering designing a poster campaign to call to attention the things that are currently fundamentally wrong with Germany. However, with this plague of apathy, there is no use- actually... it would just be a waste of time and paper.
Just a few thoughts as I mull mull mull this wierd existence.
Post Titled: Emma Clarke Tube Message Spoof Officialy Declared "Pretty Awesome" by Post-Google... ripped from REUTERS: "LONDON (Reuters) - An official announcer for London's Tube system has been sacked after making spoof messages mocking American tourists, peeping Toms and sweaty commuters.
Voiceover artist Emma Clarke, 36, recorded the announcements in the same smooth tones that have warned millions of passengers to "Mind The Gap" and posted them on her Web site.
The messages include:
* "We would like to remind our American tourist friends that you are almost certainly talking too loudly."
* "Would the passenger in the red shirt pretending to read the paper but who is actually staring at that woman's chest please stop. You are not fooling anyone, you filthy pervert.""
Post Titled: Millennium Falcon. I apologise for the lack of posts but I am very busy at work. Anyhow, do you know how hard it is to draw the Millenium Falcon? Really hard. do you know how detailed it is? Really detailed. For a small upcoming group show here in town I am doing a few draw-paintings which include STAR WARS fighters (and freighters, I suppose) but they are so insanely detailed and worn-looking, mine seem elementary. Not sure whether to even bother with detail of just leave them fairly simplified... Here is a study for the Falcon:
Post Titled: The Amino Acid Acid Test. I accidentally ate a few little flecks of ham which were hidden in a carbonara sauce last night and ended up witht he most insane, lucid hypperrealistic and whacked-out dreams I#ve had in years. Is it possible that my vegetarian brain has been starved for some of these essential amino acids found in meat, and coming into contact with them for the first time in nearly 5 years of vegetarianism, it simply freaked-out? I can think of no other reason why I would've suddenly dreamt so endlessly and insanely all night long, can't think of another cause...
Last month I had a small speaking role as an American CIA agent in the television series "TATORT" (meaning "Crime Scene") a half day of shooting, getting used to having a camera in my face and acting naturally in front of it- it was a wierd but fun challenge, actually something which I really didn't think that much about- until I read this today:
"Sunday evening, 8:15 pm in the German-speaking world. You call a friend: "Are you crazy? Do you know what time it is?" The others you try don't even pick up the phone or, maybe worse, answer with an arid politeness worthy of superintendent Borowski: "I'm listening."
Nine million people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland retreat each week to their sofas to watch the crime series Tatort (crime scene). Swiss journal du investigates a collective cult phenomenon, "this last collective feeling of community which otherwise can only be experienced during the World Cup".
What is it that lures whole nations Sunday after Sunday, for thirty-seven years now, to watch good chasing evil, to see good win and evil lose? The authors in the issue find in Tatort a certain amount of "Heimatkunde (local history), social and geographical studies of the authentic German." It is a "Sunday outing to the provinces", or even "social-liberal enlightenment in the manner of the 1980s". Tatort as "collective therapy for a whole nation – or just some fun you can share with others: it all comes down to 'family'"."
Nine million viewers? It now makes sense that every German I mentioned this to said "WHAT?!? Your're in Tatort!?" Nuts, I donät even know when the episode is airing, sometime in Dec. or January- nor can I remember what it was called.
Post Titled: To each their own... at first I was really scared of this video... then I thought: "well, I guess it is just like anything else which might gain a following..." I guess. eeek, (from SLATE:
Post Titled: TRANCE SEND DENTAL HIP FLOP I finally downloaded designer, friend and ELECTROPEASANT co-founder Paul Diddy's Podcast titled "TRANCE SEND DENTAL - Ambient Environmentally Circuitous Children's Music" from his site and was really exited to hear the album as a whole- it is an orchestrated sort of loopy audio tour of europe and berlin, and I was also very suprised to find the Galaga recording I did somewher about 18 minutes in. Paul's other download-able album on the site, titled "Did He? Cultivated Incompetence" is a favorite and I have been listening to it for months now. Try 'em out-! (p.s. they are in the "MUSIC" section of his site- poke around a bit, the colláges are excellent)
Post Titled: Obama-Wan REVISITED I technorati'd "Obama-Wan" and discovered that a lot of people have blogged using the phrase... I don't want to say that I coined it, but it is possible... (Update, scratch that- Las Vegas Gleaner beat me on that one) anyhow,I thought about making the head normal size, originally it was huge, but I think I kinda like it just how it is... here's a reload: See Original Obama-Wan post HERE
Post Titled: Waaay effing Lost in Internet Translation- I keep reading THIS story, which was a small scandal earlier this month, about the Israeli Journalists which sent a message to the Dutch Foreign minister which read:
"Helloh bud, Enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian, and on relational Israel Holland,... What in your opinion needs to do opposite the awful the Iranian of Israel... Why we did not heard on mutual visits of main the states of Israel and Holland, this is in the country of this... bandages of the knitted domes"
Post Titled: By the way, you are reading an Elementary-level Blog. Like: kid's stuff. I was shocked and delighted and appalled and thouroughly amused this morning to see that Helen had posted an entry in Paperpools called "Never trust a widget" which -using said untrustworthy widget- rated, well, appropriately- her blog on a Post-Grad level and mine on an Elementary School level, which I can totally understand. (Note, upon closer inspection I relaised that it says the "Level of education required to read" is Elementary... maybe that is true-)I mean, if some formula is combing the blog for big words or intellectual subject matter, honestly- those things are few and far between here at Post-Google, and even when they are here they are probably misspelled or misunderstood or dumbed-down to an elementary level... and it took me 4 tried to correctly spell "Plastic Bag" yesterday- (I can scan the Post-it to prove it) so, perhaps that "Elementary" rating could/would be totally fair afterall. The majority of this blog is written in quick snippets when I have a few spare seconds throughout the work day. Ocassionally I do put in time on a post, but usually not- and I do not fancy myself to be much of academic or intellectual, unless you count the "whoh, that is crazy" factor of comeing across new information adn then (re)appropriating it, or just pondering things out-loud in black and white here...But the system is clearly bunk because Mithridates and his blogs "Greek Geek" and "Night Hauling" ALSO get an elementary rating- so, what exactly is the basis of this widget's evaluation? Terribly curious to know...
Post Titled: DENGLISCH REVISITED mit stylisher bikini... -a few thoughts and no conclusions on signs of an endangered language... HERE, die WELT Online takes a moent today to criticize Denglisch, that's right-sweet sweet Denglisch- but, reading this article I realized that their understanding -or- theory on / idea of Denglisch (and what it does (or pollutes) is quite different from what I thought it was. I thought Denglisch was just a mix of German and English, fund and harmless, like- what we speak at home -basically, when you have two opposing native speakers and your brain gets tired so it all gets garbled and sometimes you forget what language you are even speaking but there is information being communicated trotzdem -but- according to this article in die Welt, Denglisch seems to be the English-ization of the German language which just results in crappy impure debased Denglischized-German, How did I miss that? Denglisch can also be illustrated with pictures of torsos in bikinis because this is a German newspaper and such a dull topic might need a bit of extra help in attracting readers... the article is even titled "Warum Denglisch Sprachmüll ist" or "Why Denglisch is Language-trash" or even "Warum dEnglisch Sprach-trash ist." Why does this happen to German? (or any European language for that matter?) Repeatedly- or constantly? They are always under-fire, aren't they? Err- Why do English words -or Englishized German hybrid words- just become integrated? Is it purely seduction and globalisation and the prominence of American products and media? Yea, probably. I know French has (or had? or has had) xenophobic-like laws regarding English use in the media and integration into the language, and other languages attempt to invent new words altogether rather than integrate foreign ones, -which is noble- Talking with Vikingur last week I asked him about the Icelander's practice of actually inventing new icelandic words when needed, like when new technologies come along and I was pleasantly surprised when he said that the word for computer was "Well, a mix- of two other words, -of something like a woman who can see the future and ..." (somthing else- I have to ask again)
Indeed, in German, words like "kneipe" have been relpaced by "bar", "schönheit" with "beauty" -and words like "downgeloadet" have been born out of necessity or integrated by pure volume of use, and I donät know if that is really bad... well, then again, I'm not the one having my language over-run by foreign words... and I do appreciate evolution and flexibility.
On the other hand, what of the other changes spoken German is perhaps undertaking? As in the Türkish-Deutsch, which does not always to bother (or sometimes even use) articles at all? Germany has an ever-increasing and ever-isolated immigrant population, who are speaking their own incarnation of the German language, and what of that? As I have written about before: in the recent National Integrationsplan there was a call for all foreigners to learn how to speak German, but -honestly- without mandatory free classes I just donät see it happening, the language is too complex and the immigrants do nto get enough long-term exposure to native speakers, because of these rifts in society.
When I get angry and frustrated with German, especially around NK- who is an impatient teacher- I often like to say things like "German just isn't user-friendly! and you know what people DO with things that aren't user-friendly?! They STOP using them!" Bad- I know.
Ironically, just after writing this I almost ran into one of my German co-wokers coming out of the restroom, and the only word out of his mouth: "Sorry!" FOOTNOTE: Upon request, this post has been tinkered-with and re-posted at ELECTROPEASANT ;p
Post Titled: "Big Red Button" Nearing the end of the day ...and I couldn't even process THIS
Furthermore: Pros and Cons of Socialized Medicine and a trip to St. Hedwig Krankenhaus. Pros: it cost €10 total to go to the doctor who referred me to the Orthopedic Specialist who sent me to the Radiologist, I could've never afforded that in the States, which is why my foot is still effed-up. Cons: they tax 30% of my income, I had to wait a month for an appointment with the Radiologist and now who knows how long it will be until the next appointment?
The facility I went to the other day to get my foot scanned was insane. It is in the St. Hedwig Krankenhaus smack in the middle of Hackesisher Markt, -looks like something straight outta Harry Potter. (other fotos here) - essentiall ya massive brick fortress surrounding a fountained couryard, which -you can just imagine at multiple points in history- was packed full of bleeding people on cots screaming. After a few hours of flipping through every Spiegel magazine in the lobby I finally got to strip down to my underwear, wait in a tiny room and then go in one of those huge Siemens dounut scanner things, which are actually really loud (loud enough for ear-protection) and these two girls working there almost scanned the wrong foot, had to remind them. They took at least 60 cross-section scans of my foot, looking at them was like: "Ok, ok, ok looks good- ja, good, oh- shit, what is that-? That looks shattered...hmm... I have been walking on that for almost 2 years..." But, then again, I am no expert...
Post Titled: (none yet) Post Subtitled: Double-Pronged weekend-o-failure ahead whcih I am not aware of at the time I am writing this... I am soo soo tired, like delusionally tired, like seeing-shit tired because I spent all night keeping the fire going, and alternating between writing the book (which has now gone back to being called "FORCEFIELD") and watching Battlestar Gallactica - season one. Yesterday WIRED had an article titled : "Internet Porn: Worse than Crack?", BUT, dear readers, I would venture to say that in actuality TV on DVD is the True New Crack. (and if I had a really / real / fast internet connection adn a computer that wasn't an old man river then the New Crack might easily be TV on the Internet, but noooöö it is still TV on DVD) I rarely get ahold of quality sh*t, (i.e. shows I can get sucked into) but when I do- well, it is a binge. I just could not stop watching the humans vs. the Cylons... the badass handheld camerawork, the ridiculous characters, and the fact that they are in such a much much harder place in their lives than I, what with fighting to save hunamity from extinction and all - it's all very comforting, epic and thouroughly addictive, especially when it is freezing cold outside.
Anyhow, YACHT plays tonight at West Germany, I am not sure whether or not I will go- but his performance at the David Shrigley's "Worried Noodles" show was hilarious. He is a one-man band with a laptop, really Sesame Street meets- Prince and the Sex Pistols or early Muppet Nine Inch Nails or something, and I would definitely go if I know he would have a similar multimedia intro (letÄs see if I can find that online somewhere... ...nope) Including the rapid-fire witty and absurd Q&A. It is like "This is me, see, ok, let's go and- and - whAAAaaagh!!!" transparency. Reminds me a bit of Hawny Troof, but helful rather than vulgar.
Bio on his site starts: "Jona Bechtolt is a technological multi talent: his band, YACHT, is an amalgamation of self-taught dance moves and anthemic electro-power jams all played backwards and covered in cherry cola. YACHT shows are uncluttered, inspiring sessions of improbable dancing and synchronized crowd-waving; the songs shudder happily into the air, and any preconceived notions of what makes an energetic performance are shattered by Bechtolt's own strain of shamanistic bombast." Q&A in Anacortes, WA:
(and then think, imagine, and plop this into another context: the German audience really did not know how to react to this sort of playful Q&A, well- neither did I, especially since it is inbetween loud erratic song and dance)
SCHEISSE! Monday follow up titled: Double-Prongued Failure Note: don' depend on technology. plz. Because we switched internet and phone service at home I was conveniently Firewalled out of my own internet connection all weekend. No rhyme or reason to it, but I missed the email reply from Yacht agreeing to an interview for Electropeasant AND couldn't figure out where the gallery is where I was supposed to meet people because I am shoing work there in late December... because the addres was in my email... connection was cutting in and out - so, hah! Idiotic. Would be so helpless if communications technology were to actually go down. So helpless.
Post Titled: Advertisements for Themselves I am always accosted by the prostitutes in Hackischer Markt, (who all seem to now have dawned lace-up bodices OVER their winter jackets as a sort of identifier) but literally they jump in front of my path as I try to walk by, usually using a conversation- stater such as "hey, do you have some time?!" or "Where are you going" and I usually awkwardly tell them why I donät need their services as they tag along for half a block, pushy really- nice girls, but so damn pushy- AH- but last night I had a breakthrough: "hey, do you have some time?!" "No, actually, I am late- do you know where King Kong is?" "Ahmmm.. you mean Bang Bang? Right there?" "No, Kong Kong- must be around here somwhere- well, thanks anyhow..." ah-hah! Just ask them directons! Sweet relief! I don't know why I have so much difficulty with this matter, or why I get approached half a dozen times every time I enter Hackischer Markt without fail, do I look that desparate-? Jeez.
POST PART 2
Post Titled: Ich KRIEG ÄRGER Almost forgot that mere minutes before the subtle harrassment by the prostitutes (see previous post) I was harrasseed by the effing Church of Scientology. In the freezing cold they had their table set up after 10pm in the middle of the Alexanderplatz square right as one leaves the U-and S-Bahn station. I was not in a good mood, and the conversation went as such: (dopey bald guy running up to me (in German) "Hello, would you like to take a stress test?" "Uhh... everyone has stress, why bother testing for it?" "Well, perhaps you have bad stress levels, it's free---" "Dude, man..." I Walk on... Ok, it wasn't half a block away before I was pissed at myself for not impersonalting a mumbling dumbass piece of white eurotrash and giving them a really hard time before stealing one of those precios... devices... forgot what they're called. Shit,.. (google) oh yea- the E-Meter... well, maybe next time.
Post Titled: THE RZA in WIRED I couldn't remember when or where I had posted the post about Wu-Tang with the fake bar graph, but the amazing WIRED article this morning full of the RZA's little audio clips and the exact soundbyte references to the Kung FU films from which he samples reminded me, so... lik eI said, I couln't remember what YEAR I had even made that Wu-Tang Graphic so I attempted to google "TAR ART RAT WU-TANG" and on the results page I found myself in the middle of a gibberish blog: "Rela! xation shrek 3 geraldineneumann United States Treasury James Wilkie Muzzaker Shah nashvillegreenways Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 你所不知道的Google success built to last hey hey my my despair. Bine bekele search trend optimization os x 10.5 leopard gravure Microsoft Xbox Barnomsorg oxfam autofellatio Bible Sunday scout-niblett mobile usability yousuck Prostate Treatments. Statement of assets liabilities and net worth manual/ litigation settlement hitcher facial expressions Voices SW radio enfant soldat professional content roi measurement mid evil anti-capitalist hitch. Hell sub flygtrafik brakni broken boy soldiers jaune heroes lost house md dresden file tv party season five eating out with kids Rock bands website discovery. Science religion rattner Conway telephone/ test design sing song CNNMoney constituency labour party fossil record nona tv3 hotel playa del carmen company culture Out Hell excerpts preis. Red peppers Brentwood committed baking recipes fivestar 攝影 xe ! sirius radio czuga McGill Watermarks recenzja. Enterprise secu! rity man agement Associated Content ugo networks Nuclear War msie6 eau, motionmaker program Sheen Lee gas?language=it dezinerfolio. The Badge colt brennan swing set DC protest rubber shoes Tar Art Rat Foundation IGCC webmastertools mordhot Behind the walls of Ward 54. church hierarchy director business skip wireless_and_mobile docom yuki. F210 critical race theory lightforce hispano Saint-Ouen selling sunglasses alumni Patarkatsishvili letter bsnl Ryan Giggs Topical Search black plants standard time rooster. The Flying Karamazovs retro games ferrat the life keith aldrich фотографии AMC distinguish press release traffic CityCenter Pen World Voices Festival baby-boomers digital rights. Alex bartlett foreclosure sales CDs of the month designer of purses biella WM Recordings Polistes fuscatus how-to Drug eBay Blogs guest service SGAE hunting dogs Tom McCarthy Zitat. Pattie boyd psychologie cognitive demo outils collaboratifs 17 inch Hilali x509 Public Building Commission spam muros Wrap party chicago sun times. Rowena zongolica cnrs Ungdomsvåld i USA tea swap bugfixes Teleserye Paco Rabanne bill shannon work and life. Serene Christian child abuse lordbrowne lan pc channel maiking Twister twin beds X.400 cycling humor elegy. SteveWozniak panwapa"
The relation such junk has to cut-up beat stuff has always been a source of great irony to me... robotic beat poetry which we go to great lengths to ignore adn which is designed for the soul purpose of tricking spam filters and... I just remembered that Paul Diddy made t-shirts based on this gibberish which read: "EXTREME DADAISM"
Post Titled: Sad Truth From the LA Times: "President Bush on Tuesday vetoed an appropriations bill for the first time, rejecting $150.7 billion in spending for school aid, healthcare and other domestic programs.
But as he complained about the cost of that bill, which would have increased spending on these programs by 4.3% over last year, Bush signed a $471-billion defense appropriations bill that pushed up military spending by more than 9.5%."
NOTE ON THE TEXT: the Joker video has been repaired/replaced from two posts previous and the last few posts have been expanded adn spell-chezcked and p.s. the first Season of Battlestar Gallactica is on sale at Media Markt for €19 if you donät mind losing that time out of your life adn are prepared for a long cold winter...
Post Titled: Grabbing the BullllSH*T BY THE HORNS Dumb Post Title: Mating and Dating POST Title: OTHER: Tasty Humans.
I keep coming across articles online in publications which I actually tolerate or respect, which, I feel, are trying to brainwash the way I view...well, US. I mean, (only slightly related: "HUBBA HUBBA HUBBA MONEY MONEY MONEY -WHODOYA TRUST?"
Post Titled: Just give me simple sentances this morning, like: "Nobody calls my dog a faggot." Post Subtitled:This post is long and full of text with a side of Monday Morning Venom I love the clock radio, I just figured out how to program it to be my alarm and instead the screeching of my mobile phone I awoke to Radiohead's High and Dry thinking "High and Dry, -is it really that bad, warm in bed high and dry- like, if there was a flood- and you were on a big rock, safe, or... OR is that the problem, that you are on a big rock stuck in the middle of a flood..." some radio stations here are actually good, like, I can flip through and there is piano´/classic then some live daft punk remix from some club then some ABBA or (blanking out here that band Stevie Nicks was in... Mc... So.. Mc.. whatever, it will come soon.) If that .. well, variety is what you are looking for. although I do gravitate back to NPR - listened to almost all of Car Talk yesterday... waste of a perfectly good 50 minutes. I should write them. In a half-sleep state I thought Warren Ulney said "Lawmakers in most states, however, are trying to surpress their childhood memories..." Disclaimer: skip the followin paragraphs where I rant and sorry to my German readers but I just have to vent now and then, nothing personal- ok:. Dad and I got into a discussion about the German TV/Radio/Internet tax bill I got in the mail- "How can I prove that I am a full luddite? can I send a signed manifesto and a video of the apartment where i tour and show how I benefit from none of their services-? Oh but then that would be video... already well we'll see. I mean I donät want to just throw money at this thing whic I don't believe in / have no say in, it isn't like they are supporting MY unsolicited creatively with monthly payments, now are they-? I know, a bit childish... I guess the only nice thing (when we had tv briefly) was the lack of advertising (in comparison to American TV) and the kids - like, how they aren't being marketed to constantly and therefore you don't see them screaming for things they want as nearly as much as is apparent in the states-" "But they are being taught how to think." "Oh, shit, yea, there is that creepy conformist-robotic aspect of it all..." Why is it that the Germans are always seeking the perfectly ordered society? Am I just paranoid? Seems like the über-goal is everything and everyone in its right place, everything clockwork and anything that doesn't fit into that... well... dunno... it defies explanation. I prefer a healthy amount of chaos... Chance, risk, uncertainty, possibility, danger. (Maybe this country has seen too much of that-? And this is the backlash?) Dunno. Ironically, the chaos here is also extremely controlled. Let#s take the insanely complex bureaucratic chaos for example, you could've PLANNED that better if you tried. and, it definitely defies explanation... it IS and it MUST BE and is and must be andand and
The lying liar Weather lady on the radio this morning lied, she said that the air we breathed out of our lungs outside this morning today would turn instantly into frozen ice crystals, which it did not.AH-. Fleetwood Mac! I was too late to take the U-Bahn so I hopped on NK's girly-ass Ossi-Commie bike (it is sky-blue with big chopper-cruiser handlebars and rainbow and silver stars, like a poor man's My Little Pony) and rode along the canals of our fair city with my masculinity in-tact... THis is something I would've never worried about before I moved here, but somehowww (whether it is the territorial feeling I get from the young men in and around our neighborhood or just NK being old-school crazy about gender roles and sticking to them) ugh. Neanderthal dorfmeister shit. Nevertheless, in the back of my mind I am somehow now a bit concerned about masculinity these days, or the idea and illusion of it here in this more primal environment... and it is annoying, but, the longer we are here, it is growing rather than lessening. mhmf. I definitely like saying 'Canals of our City' because it is a Beirut song -and what else are they but canals of our city...? I keep watching Berlin Berlin and it keeps getting more and more ridiculous... there is most likely more complaining to be done but--- it can wait.
Regarding masculinity: Last night I went upstairs and crossed my fingers that I might help our neighbor Vikingur with his oven (to heat the apartment) -I brought some of our compressed sawdust wood and paired that with matches, small chopped-up pieces of wood and newspaper and low-and-behold 20-30 minutes later we were able to get the coal going on top of all that. I was a bit surprised because Vikingur is from Iceland and I just figured that anyone from the cold cold north would know more about this stuff than I, but then I remembered that Iceland gets its head from thermo-whatever-harnessed volcanic heat and whatnot, so actually the concept of building a fire to keep warm must be farm more obsolete to him than me, even. Winter warmth is just something we take for granted... However, my inner Boy Scout has been let out just a bit, finally coming in handy.
oh, and somehow, over the weekend as I was trying-out this new half-ass hardly checking internet luddite-ness, effing Norman Mailer died. from SLATE by Christpoher Hitchens which includes the Mailer quote "Nobody calls my dog a faggot."
What can you get for 20 cents these days? Nothing. Wel, almost, I bought the above photo at the T.A.C. Fleamarket (Treptow Art Center Troedelmarkt) yesterday for exactly 20 cents. it is not much more that 2 x 2 inches and has the word "Tristese" penciled in immaculate handwriting on the back... NOTE to ALL READERS: always write information on the back of your photos, you never know who will buy them in 50 years at a flea market... Other than that all I have done in the past 36 hours is sleep, go on short single-purpose outings, (i.e. videostore, or to buy toothpaste) drink juice or drink beer, eat, nap, dream lots of weird epic dreams. It is still snowing, I think i am allowed to do these things, make tea and build the fire up. Continue insulating the cracks in the doors and windows... I watched Die Hard 4.0 (which I think is called something else in the stateside version- like Live long and Die Hard or something, but it German it is "Stirb Langsam 4.0 (aka "Die Slowly" but also main title in English is Die Hard 4.0- go figure.) Also watched Another boring Chinese epic with flying swords and Gong Li which put me to sleep... and a lot of Berlin Berlin - which is essentially the German equivalent of “Dawson”s Creek”)
I can't remember who I was talking to the other day but we came to the conclusion that a fourth part in a series is awkward- like, "Will they make a Spider-Man 4?" Hard to say. Batman "4" of the contemporary Batman series, for example, was unnecessary (what was it called? The one with Arnold Schwarzenneger?... granted, with the Batman movies of 1989-1997 they did change up directors (twice?)). Superman 4 also, "The Quest for Peace" did absolutely nothing for the franchise- it was bad. HOwever the 5th of both contemporary Batman and Superman (respectively: Batman Begins and Superman Returns) the filmmakers distanced themselves from the previous films creating a new "cool"er version of the story and heroes, a total makeover really, more gritty, less canned, more "realistic" (if you can even apply that word to a comicbooks superhero adaptation-)... BUT given the fact that there is now a Die Hard 4 and an Indiana Jones 4 on the way one might say that it seems to be ok to make a 4th if you give the series 15-20 years to cool down, and sink into the collective mind of pop culture as a sort of legend/icon, the revitalize it- playing heavily off the earlier films no doubt- and openly emphasizing the "I'm too old for this"-ness of Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford. Is this a new Hollywood plan of attack? Or just saving money on cultural recycling? Note: this also happened with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles recently, three live-action films, then a CGI film 15 years later... there are probably more examples which I am not aware of...
Post Titled:Fightin' Words. Post Subtitled:Unintended behind-the-scene horrors of bureaucracy.
For the second time in the past month NK and I got into a horrible fight over a problem which turned out to be a humman error on the part of some Beamter (Civil Servant) and it is so deeply depressing because these horrible issues created were not of our own doing... If there is a piece of paper missing or a incorrect appointment or a wrong bit of information you do not usually assume that it is the mistake of the Civil Servant or their office's organisational failure. First-off you blame the person whom you are filing those papers with with for the error... I.E.:"I SENT that already. No, seriously, I SENT that. They HAVE it!"
Now, after two mistakes I am going to be very careful- as I said, all this paperwork- physical paperwork- (just like the Post) I no longer trust. It can be lost, destroyed, misplaced, damaged, filed and forgotten and that is exactly what has happened. Dear Ausländerbehörde und Arbeitsamt: learn how to use a fucking computer please.
Post Titled: Facebook LIES I made a Facebook account today, just to spite the news that they have finally sold out to the complex and symbiotic world of internet advertising. I really wanted to call my account "Photoshopped Mark Zuckerberg" or something but before I could even get that far I was blocked by dirty FAcebook LIES! (Note "Everybody can join Facebook"):
Post Titled:Politics of YouTube and a School Shooting in Finland...
I read in the Guardian that the Finnish teenager currently accused of being the gunman in the school shooting in Finland initially posted a video on YouTube titled 'Jokela High School Massacre - 11/7/2007', under the username called Sturmgeist89. Of course, that accont has been suspended and the video deleted, which I find to be a bit... well, unfair on YouTube's part... mainly because it is a part of the story, and it has been yanked- or supressed, essentially. I am sure they have good (or just legal) intentions or concerns with their actions in this matter. Anyhow, here is a screenshot of tthe types of videos uploaded by Sturmgeist89, they have been deleted:
Post Titled:RADIOHEAD LIMITED EDITION 7 ALBUM USB STICK - 10 DEC Post Subtitled: free marketing for radiohead here: "Strictly limited edition 4Gb USB stick shaped in Radiohead's iconic "bear" image and housed in a bespoke deluxe box. Contains all seven Parlophone albums (including one live album) available as CD quality WAV audio files. Also contains digital artwork for each album."
Post Titled: Google Phone announced ripped from the WSJ: "Google Inc. announced today an ambitious alliance with 33 handset makers, wireless carriers and other technology companies to create low-cost mobile phones based on "open" technology standards."
Post Titled:David Shrigley's "Worried Noodles" a benefit for Amnesty International featuring the music of Yacht, the Dirty Projectors, Scarlet's Well, and Psapp Dj-ing before, betweeen, and after performances. Post Subtitled:Post-Post Modern SomethingOrOther
Post Titled: cute. Damn, there is no better way to advertise that using baby animals. This is on Joost, and I could watch it if my computer could actually handle the Joost software. Crap. Note: Before you get caught-up and totally lost in the cuteness, remember that panda bears are not actually bears, they are related to mean nasty raccoons. 'coons!
Post Titled: Ethics, Cost and Coziness We have compressed sawdust logs for heating this year, much better than last year’s coal- ick! dirty dusty poisionous coal, and granted burning wood is still not the most environmentally friendly heating fuel, BUT in reading recent news of “skyrocketing” oil prices I can’t help but be thankful that heating oil isn’t an issue, not to mention the fact that it is probably pretty environmentally unfriendly, al those liters of oil- where do they go? Burning sawdust id kind-of like recycling… gas might be best, but who knows how long before that is too pricey as well-
Post Titled: Platform I decided to finally write another book. This month. Like, NOW. From Nov. 2-30th. Partially inspired by the whateveritscalled November Novel month, but bascially for the next 27 days I want to write frantically, which may mean that the blog doesn't get so much attention. I build a platform- kind-of like a stage- in front of the bay window in the Project Room of the apartmetn and put a table and chair on it, and somehow that highter elevation seems to have increased productivity, not to mention it is more difficult to leave the chair since it is slightly precariously perched on a foot or so off the ground. It cost me all of €8 to build, carting the materials home on the petal of my new commie bicycle through the rain, sawing adn drilling and gluing it was complete in less that an hour, and thus far since working on the platform I have almost 9,000 words down... I need at least 50,000.
I need to work under pressure. I needed a platform for that- and a clock ticking. Just need to work period. running title is:
...or, originally; FORCEfield. (or) FORCE FIELD.
grrr. blogger keeps crashing my firefox.
Post that wasn't posted last night because on my writing platform I (purposefully) get no WLAN connection:
BEARDS AND ROBES On my bikeride home last night as I neared Kottbusser Tor the air was suddenly sharply acrid and stinging to the nostrils & lungs. The closer I got, the smokier and then the firetrucks started pulling up right to the driveway next to the Mevlana Mosque there on Skalitzer Straße. Apparently the apartment building behind the mosque was burning and everyone was evacuated, including the Friday eveing Mosque crowd, so the streets and sidewalks were packed with bearded and robed men, amongs young hip germans, businessmen on bicycles and Turkish slicksters chewing toothpicks and gearing up for a night of mischief on the townit was like a scene out of a bible story. We all stood around and watched but there wasn't much to see since the fire was in the hinterhof, blocked by the apartments in front. Still, all the way home I was dodging guys in beards and robes clogging the sidewalks and bike paths, it was kind of surreal. Even more surreal are the building plans directly across the street for a super-mosque community center, looks like something Disney would build.
Apparently the Fire was 3 burnig cars: "Brennende Autos in Kreuzberger Parkhaus
Post Titled: Black people in Business suits stolen from the NY TImes: Upon seeing this image in the NY Times today, I realised that after over a year in Berlin I have seen exactly TWO black / ethnically african people in business suits here... in over a YEAR. This might be because of many different reasons: Part of which may have to do with the fact that blacks are a miniscule percent of the overall population here, OR that minorities don't make it into the university-track system, or... simple discrimination, which is entirely possible. Would be interesting to look into... more accurately, however, here is how many Turks make it into the university system and higher-paying jobs.
awesome, actually. Kinda takes balls to admit that on national television when your're running for president of the United States of America... In the X-Files Agent Mulner had this poster in his office, and in High School I also had it in my bedroom:
"I hadn't been back to Berlin since its reunification, and I worried that its smoky, feverishly-doomed evocative nature might have disappeared along with the Wall.
In several visits since then, I've found I had little reason for concern. The place is spiffed up and modernized, but it is still plenty noir! Yesterday it was Berlin as I imagined and remembered it: raw, overcast, pouring rain, the noontime sun very low in the sky as it headed toward twilight at 4:30 and pitch blackness at 5. As we walked through the rain and wind and blear on Unter den Linden, I was thinking: This is so atmospheric! My wife, the reality-based member of our household, was thinking and finally came out and said: This is so miserable!"
FULL POST HERE Lovat that Nazi propaganda imagery, really great stuff. No, really, Iäm not kidding, I like that painting. And I like the way Mr. Fallows sees Berlin, I think that is the way I used to see it- a mysterious place hooveing between ruin and excitement. Now, that I am in the daily routine of things here, is is just where I live... damn, I should start finding new bike routes.
Post Titled: Un-Halloween: Teil 2 Halloween came and went again, I saw a record-breaking 4 trick-or-treaters total. Cowboy, Batman, princessballerina(?) and something unidentifiable like... a sweatsuitsuperhero? At 7:19 pm with 41 minutes before all grocery stores closed I broke down and went in search of a pumpkin to carve. I went up and down Kotbusser Damm looking for a stereotypical fat Kürbis (pumpkin) because the rustic French gourmet one I got last year just wasn't going to cut it. After hitting up 2 Turkish places and AND Karstadt I came up with nil- just those French gourmet ones (which look surreal and delicious, but NOT like a round orange pumpkin, they are more brown (SEE last year's post HERE) I got cash and went down the street adn voila´ the Turkish Spätkauf market still had pumpkins- I got a Hokaiddokürbis! as the guy weighted it he -very seriously- said "You know, you must eat this right away-!" "Noo" I responded "I have to put a face on it first."
Pumpkin turned our fine. All the batteries in the apartment are dead so I donät have a photo. Put in on the front step, half-expecting a mob to form to carry us pagan-christian-satan worshippers off into the night and burn or behead us (unwittingly very much in the Halloween spirit), but it didn't happen... there is always a quiet tension (? is it even a tension) between myself and the neighbors... and the guys who are always hanging out down on the street below. I think they know that I#m not German,... but donät really know much more that that. When I am locking my bike up and pass through their little circle as they smoke a joint I usually say "Hallo Jungs!" and they are more or less friendly back. But other than that there is no real neighborly relationship... I wonder if we will ever get to the point of nodding or saying hi as we go by-
My bet with NK was that IF the pumpkin is still there in the morning (which I think it will be) then we get to do whatever I want for a whole day, if not then she wins and we do whatever she wants- "This is Berlin, honey- they'll steal it of course-" We shall see... fell aseep watching AbFab on DVD. I actually SCORED at the library in terms of DVDs yesterday: Double DVD of the old and new Cape Fear movies The Last Emperor BERLIN BERLIN 2. Staffel complete some Japanese erotic movie called "The Girl with Red Hair" and old Warren Beatty movie called Blood.. something and a few others...
sharp like play-doh...
This blog began in Seattle in 2005 and relocated to Berlin in 2006 where we still are to this very day.
QUOTES OF THE FORTNIGHT:"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain