Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 31st, 2015

Our Civil Law and its Time of Payment for Services

EuroIn March 2012, I wrote about how it  annoyed me that huge concerns insist on the long times of payment for the suppliers of services. After all, our civil law says that services are to be paid directly after they have been rendered.

With good reason:
A supplier who delivered a product can – at least to some extent – have protection through still maintaining ownership. If things go wrong, he can take hold of his product, because as long as it has not been paid, he is still legally the owner.

Of course, someone who delivers a service does not have this option, because as soon as the service has been rendered, there is nothing to take hold of. I learned that as early as during my school days at the Business Grammar School Jakob Fugger in Augsburg in the subject Economic Studies. But it seems that the law is only taken seriously where violations of same are severely punished. Otherwise they are often ignored, as described in my last article.

What “good old times” were the years around 1984 – when we founded InterFace. Siemens was our first customer. And, of course, being a newly installed entrepreneur and managing director, I told the very nice Siemens salesperson all I knew from school. In those days, the time of payment for services was four weeks (!) at Siemens and the salesperson sounded quite convincing to me when he told me how he needs those four weeks for processing and also that Siemens was the most reliable payer in all of Germany.

A short time ago, in a supervisory board meeting, we again discussed that huge customers often have extremely long times of payment. Our business consultant then told us about the law in Poland. If a rendered and approved service is not paid within a short time, the tax benefit is no longer available. And he said that this simple regulation actually works wonders as far as paying morals are concerned.

However, if the competition from Poland delivers to Germany, then this is not much help. He will still have to wait for his money. At least that is what I assume.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture from Wikipedia (common property; upload by Blackfish) (common property; upload by Blackfish)

Roland Dürre
Monday March 30th, 2015

Laws. Sports. Meaning.

“The FC Bayern is one of the world’s most successful soccer clubs.”

What a beautiful superlative.

But if you look really closely, then this statement is rather imprecise, isn’t it? FC Bayern München is a registered club with many members. Additionally, there is an enterprise in the entertainment business also named FC Bayern München AG. As an incorporated company, the FC Bayern München AG  is a subsidiary of the soccer club.

Other shareholders are the concerns Audi, Adidas and Allianz SE. So, basically, the FC Bayern München AG is first and foremost a very normal business enterprise with turnover and profit and consequently it has to do a balance sheet at the end of each year. And for this enterprise, the same legal rules apply as for all others.

Andreas Voglsammer im Spiel gegen Chemnitz 2012

Andreas Voglsammer during the 2012 match against Chemnitz

And like all enterprises, the FC Bayern AG also has and needs employees with varieties of tasks in varieties of roles. Among others, the FCB needs persons who kick a ball – the soccer players.

If an enterprise is looking to employ new people, German law gives them only limited freedom for shaping the contract. Either their new recruits are salaried, then they are employees (long-term or temporary) or they are paid a fee, quasi as service providers. Then they would be freelancers.

Due to our laws, the freelancer concept is an absolute no-go. Even if you would interpret the respective legislation very broad-mindedly, you would have to assume that the soccer players employed as freelancers would be fake self-employed (taking orders, being dependent, etc.).

Consequently, the only alternative is to make the same sort of salaried contract with the soccer players as with all other employees. Actually, the FC Bayern does the same as all other soccer clubs. Consequently, the professional soccer players are employed like all other employees. For many decades, the soccer clubs have been drawing up temporary contracts with their soccer players. Those contracts will then be extended according to need and situation, sometimes to cover more time, sometimes less.

Blick auf die Hauptribüne - da bin ich bei jedem Heimspiel.

View of the grandstand – from where I watch all home matches.

And this is where the problem lies. Because temporary contracts are employee’s contracts with a fixed end! And those underlie strict legal rules as written down in the “part-time and temporary employment act”. It covers all employees, be it craftsmen, engineers, programmers or soccer players. Consequently, the law could not care less about the actual income or the kind of work involved. For temporary contracts, you have laws and those have to be adhered to. NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT! Those rules used to be a lot more restricting than they are today, which means that violations of the law were rather more obvious than they are now!

In fact, this concept in sports contracts already stroke me as illegal and unjust when I founded the InterFace Connection GmbH in 1983. I never understood why something that is forbidden for normal enterprises should be fine in professional sports. Just like one of the reasons why Wolf and yours truly, when we founded the company in 1984, chose to develop a product because we were not sure how long the system would continue to tolerate the practice of “body leasing”, which clearly violates the AÜG law (fake self-employment).

Und noch mal der Andreas, der jetzt beim FC Heidenheim spielt.

And again Andreas, who is now playing for the FC Heidenheim.

Now we are more than 30 years down the road – and suddenly something happens in the area of “fake self-employment”. Because now, the legal service departments of the huge DAX enterprises (as we know, some of them are shareholders at the FC Bayern AG) have found out that what has been common practice over decades was not always in accordance with the law of employee rental. Now they are looking to protect themselves.

And now, a soccer player actually found out that the contracts of employed soccer players often violate the “part-time and temporary employment act”. It is true that this law is mostly ignored in professional sports. The former major league goal-keeper Heinz Müller – or perhaps some of his cunning counsellors – now had the idea to sue the club at the Mainz Labour Court. The Mainz Labour Court – simply following the clearly written law – allowed the procedure and came down with a favourable judgement. This judgement rules that the prevalent practice of temporary contracts in professional soccer is clearly a violation of the law.

Because the goal-keeper had had a three-year-contract with Mainz between 2009 and 2012. The contract was prolonged by two more years in summer 2012. And that is clearly against the law. After the first contract, Heinz Müller sued for “stating that the temporary contract is now automatically a non-temporary contract” and, naturally, the judgement was in his favour.

Kampf um den Ball im Sportpark

Fighting for the ball in the Sportpark

Mind you, with this article, I do not wish to annoy professional soccer playing or even the great FC Bayern München. Basically, we all know that such an unimportant person as Roland Dürre cannot do so, anyway. But I would like to show what nonsense some laws are. Because they simply no longer meet social reality.
These kinds of laws are then ignored and circumvented by “reasonable contract parties” (like here professional clubs and professional soccer players). Until someone like here Herr Müller violates the secret codes by suing for what is legally possible. And those are situations that, naturally, you do not only get in professional sports, but also in many other sectors.

Being a cunny entrepreneur, I am offering three different ways how to solve the problem. In applying them, you can both meet and circumvent the current legal requirements.

Leased Labour:
In order to satisfy German law, you could solve the problem by calling the phenomenon leased labour. The soccer players would have to be employed as regular employees by an enterprise, for instance the FCB, the German Soccer League (for example BFV). And then they could be leased by the clubs following the leased labour rules.

Legally, this would be a very simple procedure – however, the dismissal protection might cause a future problem for the DFB.

A special labour agreement:
Just like in normal business, they could come up with a special labour agreement between an employees’ organization and an employers’ organization, both of which would have to be created. 
If something like this would be practicable in a system reigned by the FIFA, UEFA and DFB is another question.

Soccer players become managing directors:
If the employer, such as the FC Bayern AG, is an incorporated company, then the problem can be avoided elegantly. All you have to do is make the players managing directors. For them, temporary contracts up to five years are permitted. And on top of this, you would avoid having to pay the social insurance for the placers. This might not be what the law actually intended, but it would be perfectly legal. 
After all, Thomas Müller is certainly qualified to become managing director, isn’t he?

The last three proposals are correct; however, they are not really meant seriously. Yet you can see what absurd ideas a sub-optimal legal situation can give you.

There will be another new law which will affect professional sports – the minimum wages. If you measure the working time correctly, quite a few youngsters among the professionals will end up working more than fifty hours each week (with all the practice, matches, travel times, additional training, coaching, homework).

Incidentally, I know quite a few pupils and students who spend a lot more than fifty hours each week working for their education and future. Yet for them, the minimum wages and working time legislations is not relevant.
But only fifty hours per week makes more than 200 hours each month. That would mean an income of 200 times 8.50 €, which is at least 1,700 €. And I assume that quite a few clubs cannot or do not wish to spend this kind of money. But then, the education of young soccer players or other athletes is already a profound violation of various laws, anyway.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The first picture was taken during a home match of SpVgg Unterhaching against Chemnitz on November, 23th, 2013. The picture was taken by Stefan Kukral in the Sportpark. The other pictures, too, were taken by Stefan. The SpVgg gave permission to publish them in the IF Blog.
With these pictures, I want to remind you that the SpVgg is my club. I also wish to ask as many friends and readers as possible to come and watch the last three home matches of this third-league season in the Sportpark. We need to support the team in its struggle against relegation.

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 29th, 2015

LOCKED IN THE TIME CAGE.

Eisenkäfig (hier: Florenz, ausgehendes 17. Jahrhundert) als Folterwerkzeug

Iron Cage (here: Florence, late 27th century) as a torture tool.

A short time ago, I wrote the article “Golden Wire” (Goldener Stacheldraht), where I described how enterprises take total control of their employees, thus making those persons totally dependent over the years. And it happens in a totally comfortable, even agreeable way.

This article triggered a number of exciting discussions. The time cage in which most of us – be it as employees or as freelancers – are locked in is another issue worth discussing. After all, we measure everything in terms of time: work, mobility, leisure time. And it robs us of our live time.

How absurd is the concept that you have to provide a certain amount of hours each week, no matter what needs to be done? In a “Tayloristic System”, this might make sense. You stand at the conveyor belt, execute certain motions and get some money for each unit you worked on. But shouldn’t Taylorism be a thing of the past for many of us?

The alternative of this system, which by now seems like a matter of course to us, was the system of task-work, which followed the achievement principle and was certainly not easy to work in, either. In this system, you are not paid according to time, but according to the number of items you produced. In structures based on Kaizen, you find the group task-work system. It has a positive side (team work) and a negative side (group pressure). I cannot really think of any more alternatives.

The so-called brain workers, too (formerly known for their white collars and ties and now by the fact that they prefer turtleneck pullovers) are paid by time. They get a fixed income for which they “work away” a number of hours, which means that they have to spend the time either in or for the enterprise. In addition, they get a variable income which is determined in the target agreement (a modern sort of task-work).

This “concept of working time” is so deeply rooted in our brains that we consider it absolutely normal. In my role as InterFace AG managing director, I made the same experience. On some weekdays, I only spent very few hours in my office. Yet sometimes I achieved something really important during those few hours. On returning home to my children early in the afternoon on days like these, my super-ego kicked in and gave me a bad conscience.

In my new life (neuen Leben) I discover what nonsense that is. I try to shape plans according to my priorities. And I use as much time as I need for successfully finishing the tasks. And I feel a lot freer than I used to.

I know many freelancers who feel absolutely autonomous, yet they are locked in the time cage as a matter of course. Why don’t you try to calculate your income as what you earn per hour or per day?

During one of the aforementioned twitter discussions, one person was wondering why the “freelancers” hate to call themselves by that name. In the internet, they often introduce themselves as senior consultant, expert for something or managing director (of their own one-person company). One of the answers to this question was that maybe “freelance” is often considered synonymous or “potentially jobless”. Which definitely did not have a nice sound to it, did it?

In my opinion, a freelancer is a day labourer – and as I see it, this is a rather honourable and not at all a bad word. Even if it sounds a little like “slave”. But then, aren’t we all slaves when all is said and done? Aren’t we all serving a master, a system or a mania?

But then, one might also imagine other (more modern?) systems for income determination. Gebhard Borck, for instance, in his book Dein Preis proposes a value contract as an alternative. This is not at all stupid and I rather like the concept. Due to many time cages installed all around us, however, these and similar ideas are (still?) utopia or at least hard to realize for freelancers.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture from Wikipedia. It is of an iron cage (Florentine, late 17th century) on display at the Freiburg im Breisgau Torture Museum (Foltermuseum). The copyright is with Flominator. P.S.
Das Bild ist aus Wikipedia, es stellt einen Eisenkäfig (florentinisch, ausgehendes 17. Jahrhundert), der sich im  in  befindet. Der Urheber ist Flominator.

Roland Dürre
Saturday March 28th, 2015

Leadership Wisdom …

Gelegentlich bin ich auch als Speaker unterwegs - hier auf IF-Weihnachtsfeier 2014

Once in a while, I also give presentations – here at the IF 2014 Christmas Party.

During quite a few years of my life, I liked listening to the famous and successful “Motivation Speakers”. I was fascinated with how they can describe and explain the world in such easy terms. And, above all, how convincingly they show their audience the way towards success.

Their way of speaking and their charisma enraptured me. The top experts I am referring to are people who literally seem to be surrounded by a special aura. They elude a natural charisma that puts a spell on many persons, me included.

As the years went by, I made the personal acquaintance of some of these people. I saw how easy it is for them to formulate their vision. But I also saw that it is not always quite as easy for them to actually live up to their own standards. Once in a while, it did not look quite as glamorous behind the scenes as it had been looking on the podium. Because it is mostly easier to “teach something” well than to actually do it well yourself.

A short time ago, I met the key-note speaker Carsten Rath. Or, to be more precise: a friend pointed me in his direction. Because he had heard an interview Carsten Rath had given the Bayerischen Rundfunk. And he was so fascinated that he immediately sent it to me.

I do not know Carsten Rath personally, but the BR podcast is definitely worth listening to:

My friend believes this interview with Carsten Rath made it clear to him how a good managers differs from a poor manager. And that he only wanted to work in companies where work-life and work as such is practiced as Carsten Rath demands.

In fact, in this interview, Carsten Rath actually introduces many theses on leadership and management which no rational manager and person can seriously dispute. And his reasoning is both very competent and smooth. He also supports his theories with many small stories. In fact, it is convincing as a whole.

If I were asked to summarize what he says, it would read as follows:

  • “The customer always has to be the focus of what we think and how we act.”
  • “You cannot do a good job without being totally enthusiastic about it.”
  • “Every job is about everything, so you always have to give all your best.”

And then he cites his (created by him) “4Ms” as an abbreviation for:

  • “Man muss Menschen mögen!” (You Need to Like Humans)

The “4MS” are also something I can only approve of. The same is true for his postulating “the central virtue of a leader must be truthfulness”. That fits. Except that I call it “transparency, openness and authenticity”. But Carsten Rath also says that

  • ”consolidation lies in repetition” and “true top achievement usually means a lot of pain”..

Well, I have an easier term for the former: “Practice Makes Perfect”.

I am not quite so sure about the latter. I understand the statement because Mister Rath originated in the hotel business. Except that, for me, for instance “nursing homes for the elderly” are also some kind of hotel. And this is an area where I would think it is more important that all persons in the company consciously bear and share the responsibility for all those elderly persons. I would always wish to reduce the “pain” to what is absolutely necessary.

In order to give more weight to my ideas, I looked for another example from the circle of famous “Management Speakers”. During the Nuremberg 2013 DOAG Conference, I heard the great Peter Kreuz . Later, I made his personal acquaintance at the speaker’s table (well, I am sometimes at it myself ).

His presentation was perfect. On an inter-human level, we understood each other perfectly. “You” (women and men) were left with no alternative but to nod approval. All was great, all was right. He sounded convincing in all points. The only and very reserved criticism I heard was that, perhaps, the show was a little too perfect. Apparently, he and his wife are the perfect couple and enterprise.

These aforementioned speakers and several more can be said to play in a “different league”. Except, although I certainly would never begrudge them their high fees and the usually nice and long applause, I seem to have learned over the years that good leadership is a little more than that. And I do not even have the means to make this understood.

Well, let me try:

It is the many daily small things that might make a “leader” out of a person. There is the mostly constructive brain, an upright mind-set, practiced humanity and the ability to help towards your own and other person’s life getting a chance to flourish in many dimensions. Whenever you manage to make the people you meet look greater, instead of smaller, you might perhaps be a good “leader”. One indicator that you are a good leader might be that people you met feel better after having met you than before and they are also aware of it.

And all those beautiful theses that our top speakers brilliantly present could essentially just be the basic requirements that go without saying for a good enterprise climate. But there is no question that they, too, are terribly important.

But still, even if a “leader” has both the knowledge and competence to do all these things, even if he means ever so well in his job and does everything right, there will occasionally be instances when something goes wrong. Simply because the “leader” is also a human being like everybody else. Be it because he himself made a mistake or because once in a while strange developments make things happen that you simply could not mend – and perhaps you could not have foreseen them, either. Because we are all only human.

And that is something not even the most expensive and best management seminars and presentations will protect you from.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

The Munich Arcis-Vocalisten are again at it: on Friday, April, 3rd, 2015, they will sing in the Herkulessaal der Residenz München at 6 p.m. Along with the Children’s Choir of the Munich Pestalozzi Grammar School and the Baroque Orchestra »La Banda« and under Thomas Gropper, they will perform the:

Plakat 3.4. Matthäus-Passion

»Great Passion after St. Matthew by Johann Sebastian Bach«

When Johann Sebastian Bach first gave his “St. Matthew’s Passion” in the Leipzig Thomaskirche in 1729, the congregation was overwhelmed. The huge ensemble with soloists, divided chorus and orchestra, the moving power of expressiveness surpassed all that had hitherto been imaginable.

Bach gives a striking narrative of the passion of Jesus Christ. It is one of the heights in our musical history which forms the drama of the passion story as a musical-theological entity.

»Between sentimentally sung arias and drooling turbae choirs: humanity versus injustice and death. With his “Arcis-Vocalisten”, Thomas Gropper wins plastic expressiveness, yet he avoids martial and blaring confessions. The chorals are permitted to stream with beautiful sensuality – this is a way to declare the secret of believing far more effectively.«
(”clear and lyrical “– SZ 4/13)

The soloists are:
Judith Spiesser – Soprano
Diana Schmid – Alto
Christian Zenker – Tenor
Virgil Mischok – Words of Christ
Peter Schöne – Basso

The piece:
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew’s Passion – Oratorio for soloists, double-choir and orchestra BWV 244

Ticket prices 65 | 58 | 53 | 48 | 40 | 33 Euro

IF Blog can offer its readers a few tickets at a discount (20% for advance bookers in all categories). If you are interested, send an email to me!

Enjoy the concert!.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus-Jürgen Grün
Tuesday March 24th, 2015

The Moral Bookkeeper Living Inside Us All.

filitos1

He is not my favourite concept of self.

How we all would like to see ourselves.
Self-confident, humorous, tolerant, spontaneous.

No: he is industrious, stubborn, accurate.

Just what we all want bookkeepers to be like.

Our moral judgement takes the characteristics of the bookkeeper. It compares words and behaviour of others with our values and then assigns consequences. In doing so, we weigh things against each other like in a debit and credit account that have nothing to do with each other. In the book “Christie Malrys Double Bookkeeping”, the author asks how we deal with all the small instances of meanness we are subjected to by others on a daily basis.

This is a question that concerns all of us. He comes up with the idea of starting a life bookkeeping in the form of double accounting. The protagonist, Christie Malrys, writes down everything he experiences under “debit” and “credit”. The slights are debits and must be made up for by corresponding credits, meaning experiences that were nice (for him). For instance, Malrys comes up with the idea of paying back a neighbour who never gives him the time of day by making a scratch mark on his car. A house that he finds offensive gets a thick painted line on its façade.

You think this is over the top? Sure. Pure Fiction? No. Our double accounting wants justice and will not hesitate to apply small or embarrassing ideas. After all, our values, which have been underscored by our sense of justice, are not officially calculable or exchangeable like Euros or Dollars. They exist exclusively in our very personal exchange rate mode. The correct exchange rate lies in our eyes or perhaps in that of our reference group.

So what is the right, appropriate, just “credit” for an Islamist who sees his God exposed to ridicule? What is it for us when we see the Greek Minister of Finances show the finger at Günter Jauch’s show? Public “beheading” by TV? Higher interest and credit rates? Appealing to the public to not spend their next vacation in Greece? As it is, the slights, that is the “debits”, are at a majority in real life, and a balance sheet that is constantly in the red numbers will easily tempt us to become more and more ingenious when it comes to looking for a balance. From the perspective of the others, we get more and more spiteful and unjust. Those who spend all their time looking to balance “old accounts” will miss a lot of life looking for suitable measures.

Wherever the moral bookkeeping is especially conservative, it will not see the accounts balanced. Practicing its balancing justice, it will also demand harsher punishment. Soft or moderate punishment would debase some behaviour. Those who believe in this system think that evil deeds cannot be paid for dearly enough. Conversely, those who criticize conservative bookkeeping look upon those strategies as upvaluation of a misdeed to turn it into a rare commodity. Not everybody is supposed to be able to afford it.

There is a general disagreement about how a balancing between good and evil should be accomplished. But there is agreement that there should be some redress. Either by revenge or by mercy, but justice must be done. You have to pay back if you overbalanced on your account.

While in financial bookkeeping we have strategies for minimizing double accounting, we get an overflow when it comes to moral bookkeeping with double standards. A moralist will certainly deny ever being calculating. This would weaken his moral position. He will not even admit that human behaviour and moral values can be measured at all.

And instead of laying open the criteria for his measuring and retribution, he simply will deny having any such strategy. Behind the moral judgement is a mental concept which transports a calculation of weighing good against evil. Yet at the same time it camouflages this background concept. Moral bookkeeping will camouflage that it is bookkeeping at all.

What humans say instead was stated by George Lakoff in his disarming book “Auf leisen Sohlen ins Gehirn“ (voyage into the brain on soft shoes) like this: “I am totally aware of what I think. It is exclusively my own decision what I think and which conclusions I draw. All persons can think in the same way. And in thinking, I understand objective truths as they are found in the world. All things have a basic meaning and can thus be mentally followed as they exist. This is why I, like all other persons, can think and speak objectively.”

Well, I wish that were how it is.

kjg
(Translated by EG)

AutobahnkleeblattThis morning, I read in the SZ under “rural district” that the costs of an individual motorway project – the necessity of which, incidentally, I also cannot understand – will rise by 19 million Euros from the originally planned to 44.3 Million Euros.

In the end, it will probably be even more than that.

Let me cite from the SZ, district of Munich, of March, 24th, 2015:

Cost Explosion at A 99

The re-positioning of the exit Aschheim/Ismaning on the motorway A99 from Highway B 471 to District Road M3 will cost significantly more than has been estimated so far. This is what district chief executive Christoph Göbel (CSU) told the audience during a district council meeting in the Pullach Bürgerhaus on Monday afternoon. It is said that the Motorway Administrative Board South Bavaria informed the district administration that the construction works will cost a total of 44.3 million Euros. Initially, it had been assumed that the cost would be more than 25 million Euros. When the construction work started in summer 2013, they already talked 29 million Euros. The new exit on the crossroads of motorway A99 and District Road M 3 will be built as a full four-leaf clover.  The old exit of M 3 onto Highway B 471 will become a circuit with an underpass for the passing traffic.

I am particularly impressed by the second citation in this article. District Chief Executive Göbel just states:

“We have to assume an additional increase of general costs by 15 per cent.”

I can easily imagine that. Except that I keep hearing we have too little inflation.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture „AK-Detail“ from Wikoli at deutschsprachige Wikipedia. It is licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0 through Wikimedia Commons.

Roland Dürre
Saturday March 21st, 2015

Kickoff of AktMob and AktMobCmp

actmobcmp_100-300x86

On Tuesday, March, 24th, 2015, the organizational team of AktMobCmp (the first Active Mobility barcamp in Germany) will meet. Some persons sympathetic to the idea who support AktMob will also be present.

We will meet at 5.30 p.m. as guests of the InterFace AG at Unterhaching in a nice circle – and then we will convene for about two hours.

It is a kind of “constitutional meeting”, regardless of the fact that we certainly do not aim at becoming an institution. Instead, we wish to remain a free movement…

We are well ahead of schedule, because the first AktMobCmp is to take place during the first two weekdays before January, 6th, 2016. For more information on the meeting, click here:

Kick-Off-Meeting and Agenda.

I look forward to meeting all those great people who promised to come and become part of the movement. If there are more persons out there who are interested in becoming part of the movement but so far have not had any contact, do not hesitate to send an email.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Theater & InterFace AG

torturmtheaterThe team of TORTURMTHEATER SOMMERHAUSEN were again the guests of InterFace AG at Unterhaching until Tuesday, March, 17th. They rehearsed a new work in the “KreatIF” (that is the brainstorming room in the basement of our building).

On Wednesday, they moved to Sommerhausen. Until the debut performance on Wednesday, March, 25th, at 8 p.m., they will work on the final subtleties. Because that is when the debut performance of the piece written for the Turturmtheater by Fitzgerald Kusz

SagNixIIISag nix! – Liebesdialoge is scheduled.

There is no need to introduce Fitzgerald Kusz. After all, he is often called the “poet of the Franconians”. He became famous through his work Schweig Bub!

Let me cite from the announcement:

“The love dialogues start – you would not expect anything else, would you? – with pure tenderness. Quasi in alphabetical order the fantasy of endearments pours out with words like: angel, eye-catcher, lovey, piggy and sugar-pie. Later on, you get other dialogues, such as:

Woman: sometimes I get the impression that I am air for you.    
Man: you know – you cannot live without air.
In between, you get cosy assurances of love and well-meant lies, unscrupulous discussions and endless hatred tirades, evil silence and melancholy memories.

With “say nought”, Fitzgerald Kusz may not describe the dialect, but still he describes a common day in married life from A to Z through a wonderful, inimitable language melody, with tight-lipped Franconian briefness and acid comic. You get all the stages between pining and ending the affair. Perhaps just like you find it behind many doors. A delightful persiflage, dazzlingly comic and yet subtle and melancholic!”

sagnixIX

The actors are Dorina Pascu and Konrad Adams, Oliver Zimmer is the producer. You can watch Sag nix between March, 25th and May, 30th, 2015 on all Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. On Saturdays, performances are at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
For tickets and information, dial 09333-268 on performance days after 4 p.m., or send an email to kartenbestellung@torturmtheater.de
Barbara and I will go and watch the show on April, 1st. That is the Wednesday before Maundy Thursday. I already look forward to the nice trip to Sommerhausen – including a delicious dinner at the “Ritter” and a nice overnight stay, for instance at the “Sonnenhöfle”.

And I would be very delighted to see a few familiar faces in the theatre. Sommerhausen is a beautiful place –  ideal for a little honeymooning! And the wine, too, will make it worth the trip. So why don’t you come?

And here is another piece of advice for getting there:    
You will want to take the DB Regio to Winterhausen – and then you hike a little less than one kilometre over the river Main until you reach Sommerhausen on the opposite shore!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Security and Data Storage

Now I have been back from Cuba for a few days and also started “Audio” listening again. I came across a Man who has an arch-angel’s name. One of those politicians/functionaries who never worked anywhere except education, unions, party, politics, schools or universities – if you discount his time as SaZ2 in an airborne unit of the German Armed Forces and a secondary job as a night porter in a hotel in Göttingen when he was a student.
I heard him saying:

“And as I see it, we are currently experiencing that the world has become a rather dangerous place and that the threats are imported to us from other parts of the world.”

StopThis annoyed me, because it is utter nonsense. All you have to do is take a history book, such as Die Verwandlung der Zeit by Osterhammel and do a little reading. And then you will know how dangerous life was in former times.

Or you can make it even less complicated – by just thinking. The most dangerous hazard in Germany and world-wide (with the exception of household and work-place accidents) is perhaps our participation in individualized traffic. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates around 1.2 million fatal traffic accidents round the globe. In Germany, the fatal accidents were drastically reduced in the last decades. We “only” have about ten each day.

Deceases, too, did not really get more dangerous in Germany and the world. Regardless of bird flu, Ebola and currently again the measles.

😉 I also cannot see what hazards we import. Actually, to me it seems more like we (the FRG) are exporting dangerous material.

vorratsdatenspeicherungOn the other hand, it is also possible that this sentence was just something thoughtlessly uttered. This would be even more annoying, because the politician takes this thoughtless blabbering as a justification for demanding data storage!

He does this regardless of the fact that the experts I know all believe that data storage will take us another step closer to total control (totalen Überwachung). Incidentally, this is also what Sascha Lobo, writes in the Spiegel. And he is no less than the person speaking on the IT summit organized by our Federal Chancellor.

Incidentally, the man I mean is Sigmar Gabriel. He is the Federal Minister for Economy and Energy, the designated substitute for our Federal Chancellor and SPD party director (!).

Shortly after demanding data storage, he started his Trip to Moscow (Reise ins gefährliche Moskau), where he is meeting old friends. And what friends.

So who is surprised at hearing that the wise German voters no longer want to give their vote to the SPD and that the just as wise young German voters no longer go to the elections at all?

And those are the times when I wish I had stayed in Cuba.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The picture is from “Stoppt die Vorratsdatenspeicherung!“.