Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 15th, 2019

Melancholy in October .

In the warm country!

On Thursday, I went to the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater. It was the opening night of “All you Want” by  Mathieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière. It was a great night and we enjoyed it very much.

Afterwards, I had arranged to meet someone. He never showed. They tell me he fell sick and has to stay in bed.

On Friday, back in Neubiberg, I have a dinner appointment. It was cancelled. Due to sickness.

On Saturday, in the Neubiberg Cabaret “Platform Three“, my friend Lothar is acting as stage director because the professional who was supposed to do it has cancelled. He caught a cold.

On Sunday, I am scheduled to meet my daughter and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is sick.

So now it has arrived – the evil autumn. And afterwards, the even more ruthless friend winter is waiting to take over. Against climate change.

And I know that, like every year, I, too, will be affected. I will catch cold and suffer from a sore throat more than once.

Why am I stupid enough to stay around? Allegedly, I have freedom to go where I want to go. Nobody forces me to stay. All I would have to do is buy a flight ticket – for instance to La Réunion. Where it is warm and I would still be staying in Europe, even in the EU. My flatrate would be valid and I could pay with Euros and enjoy life.

The French “savoir de vivre“ would really be to my liking. Since, through my taxes, I partly finance this French Paradize, I am actually even entitled to it. And I would not catch a cold. In exchange, my linguistic competence in French would retrieve its old splendour.

All I would have to do is board a flight and then stay in La Réunion for a few months. Until the sun returns to Europe. And then I could return to European Soil in a good mood in April after de-boarding a plane.

I am not going to do it because Barbara wishes to be in Munich for Christmas. With our children and grandchildren. There is no way she can be persuaded to miss it.

To be sure, I know some women who would be quite happy if their husbands were willing to spend the frosty part of their late life in warm climates with them. But those husbands would never come up with the idea.

But you cannot persuade my significant other to go abroad at Christmas. She prefers to suffer – as a just punishment – under my bad mood that was caused by a cold and a sore throat (and by the darkness and the poor weather). But she is quite willing to accept that. I have no chance. And thus, I stay at home.

Perhaps, instead of going to the airport, I should go and see a general practitioner? And maybe I should get a flu vaccination? Except that I do not really believe in such dubious methods.

I would wish to see a clean big data analysis that researches how many of those people who have been vaccinated actually catch the flu. And compare it to an analysis that finds out how many of those without a vaccination caught it. I have been looking for this kind of study intensely, but could not find it.

But probably, due to data security, such an honest study cannot even be considered. And if that is not a hindrance, then the producers of the vaccination material are opposed to it. They are more interested in the mercantile than in the medical results – and (at least so I heard), the former are quite good, thank you very much. I wonder if the same is true for the latter. Or are, perhaps, those results so bad that they would only minimize the sales?

I found a lot of online advertising for the vaccination. And they praised the fact that the new vaccine this year is against four instead of three (1) (1) pathogenes. What a gigantic progress! What a pity that the flu virus mutates with such speed and that there are so many variants.

Perhaps the flu vaccination is a little like the lottery: If, instead of processing three tables in summer, the enthusiastic lottery player will now process four tables in winter, his chances of hitting a jackpot are not really a lot better, are they? Well, those are sad ideas full of autumnal melancholy. Consequently, I am doing really poorly.

And then it gets even worse. Because I remember that the Golf Stream is weakening and might topple at any moment now. Is that good news or bad news? After all, it would mean that local winters get so uncomfortable that my dear wife will immediately be willing to migrate to La Réunion with me.

But then, this is not a hope of mine. Because if it comes to this, it will be too late. Everything at home would lie in ruins. My many wonderful Euros would not help me at all, nobody would be willing to take me in in a nice warm country. And I am not sure if I would wish to flee illegally. I would perhaps remain at home because I would prefer dying of the cold in Germany to drowning in the Mediterranean.

How bad. But now, instead of falling victim to a winter depression, I remain in my autumnal melancholy,

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday September 24th, 2019

Trend Research with Carl

Carl and Gerlinde (# 62)

”Carl – there is a lady who wishes to talk to you“, Gerlinde yelled from the kitchen, before finally, deciding to bring him the telephone into his home office, after all.

”Good morning, this is Cornelia Koch from the Trend Research Institute! I was hoping that you might be willing to let us ask you a few questions?“

Carl took a deep breath and said “yes”!

”Many thanks! After all, we are dependent on people like you if we want to do a fair job.“

”Okay“, said Carl.

”I would now like to ask three questions – and as soon as you have answered them, I will leave a thank-you present for you.“

”Hm“, replied Carl.

”The first question is: are you married?“

”Why?“

”Well – my first question is about the marital status: are you married?“

”Do you happen to work for a matchmaking agency?“

”No – of course not. We are the Trend Research Institute and the only thing we want to do is find out certain social trends. So let me ask again: are you married?

”Yes and no!“

”What exactly do you mean by that?“

”Yes“, Carl replied spontaneously. He heard Gerlinde’s snicker – apparently, she had her ear on the door …

”Well, so here is the next question: do you own a house?“

”Ah – you work in realty and you are looking for objects to sell on?“

”No – we are the Trend Research Institute and we would appreciate it if you gave concise answers to my questions. So do you own a house?“

”I own several houses”, said Carl.

”How is this?“

”I own several houses!“

”May I ask how many houses you own?“

”Twenty-six!“

”This is not my idea of a good joke? Are you pulling my leg?“

”That is something I would never do without previously having asked for your shoe size!“

“Good – so I will write down twenty-six! So here is the last question: do you live in one of your own houses, or are you renting?“

”I am renting one of my own houses!“ now Carl was really getting a little impatient.

”And why is that?“

”Because my wife insists that I pay rent!“

”Why does your wife take rent from you?“

”Because I told her to demand rent from me …“

“From you?“

“Naturally, because we live together!“

”What kind of sense does that make?“

”It makes a lot of sense, because that is how she has her own money with which to pay the rent that she owes me“!

“You also charge her?“

“Yes, – because that is how I practically live for free?“

“And your wife?“

“She would also live for free, if she were to marry me at long last …“

“Thank you so much for this conversation!“

“So what about the thank-you present?“

“Well, I guess that has become obsolete“!

“This is outrageous“, said Carl in the direction of Gerlinde who suddenly appeared in the open doorway.

“Carl, I think it was really great how you taught that miserable telephone lady a lesson. I am really proud of you“!

Since she then disappeared noiselessly, Carl had no opportunity to tell her that, after this remark, he was going to cut some of the money he paid to her as his rent!

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Friday August 2nd, 2019

It Can Be Done With White – I Know …

Dear Roland,

I understand your desire to promote freedom and your solid belief that this vision of yours must be something we can achieve on this planet (see:  http://if-blog.de/rd/die-teekanne-und-der-frieden/ ), but in my view, the future of the world is white.

Because if our earth were basically white, all would be well. With a little white paint and minimal gen manipulations, this is actually far easier to achieve than, for instance, a removal of the anti-peace testosterone from the male sex.

And the climate change that everybody laments would be practically non-existent, since a white planet would reflect more of the sun’s rays and thus the warming of the earth would be impossible. Moreover, the entire biosphere – i.e. all plants and creatures – would have gotten used to the colour white eons ago. At least in those parts where winter was a matter of course.

But even apart from this, in a white world, all potential conflicts would solve themselves in a white fog: all racism would be obsolete, because all humans would be white. White facial and top hair would further reduce the difference between generations and sexes, especially if everybody wore white clothes.

The number of books would be drastically reduced, because white print on white paper would provide us with totally new perspectives and every man, woman and child would need only one book. Besides, it would be totally irrelevant how many pages such a book has. Except in those cases where you need a particularly thick or thin book in order to stabilize a tilting table.

This aspect would be similarly dramatic in art and photography, thereby reducing the common capitalist intrigues in the art scene to a minimum. And all lamentation that this would mean that such a measure removes the yellow of the egg would be of no consequence, because you would only have the white of the egg. Not to mention the world-wide scourge of humanity: colour blindness. In a single stroke, all humanity would get rid of it once and for all.

Written hate messages would no longer exist in a white world, because if you use white writing on a white surface, you cannot do much and thus you cannot spread hatred. The powerful concerns Appel, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon would have a totally new face in such a world, their stock market value would certainly dwindle to almost nothing or even become zero.

The same would be true for the entire digitalization in general.
And if, in addition, by way of a minimal orthographic reform, the words white and wise were to become synonymous, then this would not only make us all white citizens and voters, but even wise citizens and voters who all would be living in eternal contentment and peace! However, you could not really prove any of this because all white reasoning, even if it were extremely wise, would be invisible on a white background… …

K H
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday March 27th, 2018

Saving Money with WHISKY

Carl and Gerlinde (# 58)

No, Carl did not wish to explain yet another time why he and Gerlinde had originally planned going to Tenerife but had then yet again ended up in Lanzarote, from where they had returned home yesterday night!

Gerlinde did not want to say anything on the matter, either: why had Hannelore and Kurt chosen this early Sunday morning during breakfast to invade their privacy, just because Hannelore, again, found it impossible to wait for the fantastic vacation report from Gerlinde? After all, she was eager to convince her Kurt that the Canaries were where they needed to go.

Carl was a little irritated when he asked them if they would like a cup of coffee or if they would prefer the champagne and the salmon appetizers he and Gerlinde had eaten at the “Iberostar Lanzarote Park Hotel“ each morning around this time as their brunch.

Oh – you stayed in the same hotel as last year? Hannelore piped. Gerlinde confirmed it with a tired nod while looking for the champagne glasses, because Carl was actually already on his way to fetch the champagne in the basement. Yes, when Hannelore wanted something he was always eager to please!

Come, Gerlinde, tell us how you liked Lanzarote? What was the weather like? Were the people nice and what about the general atmosphere? We want to know everything in detail, don’t we, Kurt?

Kurt gave a short nod and Gerlinde said: Well – yes – on the whole, it was quite nice!

Well – that does not sound too enthusiastic, does it, grumbled Kurt.

But it was – Carl interrupted while he let the champagne corks pop.

Unfortunately, as soon as the first week was over, I started coming down with this terrible cold. I am still not over it, Gerlinde moaned and, to prove her point, she filled two tissues with what had accumulated in her nose.

And I was cold all the time, Carl grinned while pouring the champagne for everyone.
Are you telling me that it was not as warm and spring-like as you had hoped?, asked Hannelore with her raised champagne glass in her hand.

For the many overweight people, it was certainly warm enough, Carl replied. But for the few normal weight humans, like us, it was not! But now cheers. Here is a toast to you and the fact that we are back home safe.

The constantly blowing cold north wind was really a nuisance this time. Gerlinde moaned with a grand suffering expression that Hannelore obstinately chose to ignore.

Great! – This is why you fly 4,000 kilometres in the direction of Africa, was Kurt’s smug comment. He finished his glass in one go and immediately and provocatively placed it again next to the champagne bottle that still contained a few sips.

There was not a single day when it was possible for her to lie in the sun for more than half an hour, because this stupid wind was always blowing. And she only swam in the pool three times in all these two weeks. Her cold, too, was probably because of this, Gerlinde continued lamenting. After all, now she was in lamenting mode and she noticed how this negative report made Hannelore more and more uncomfortable. But, naturally, she had not been the only one suffering from a cold: even early in the morning when everybody came to eat their breakfast, almost the entire room was filled with coughing and sneezing in all musical pitches when they arrived. And the flight back to Frankfurt, too, had been a single load of running and coughing noses.…

Since Carl, to the pleasure of Hannelore, had refilled the glasses with champagne and was now invitingly lifting his glass, Gerlinde had to interrupt her sneezing report for a short time. This gave Hannelore, after she had swallowed a few hasty sips, the chance to quickly ask the question if they had at least enjoyed nice day trips.

Yes, definitely, said Gerlinde after a long pause during which she, who was still wearing her bathrobe, had been swaying her upper body in both directions and taking small sips from her glass!

Immediately after arrival, they had booked this much-recommended and grandiose trip to the fantastic small fisher island ’La Graziosa’ in the north of Lanzarote for Wednesday: it was only 60€ per person and included lunch, the bus transfer from the hotel, the ride to the romantic harbour of Órzola and from there, with a catamaran, through the so-called Rio to the island of La Graziosa!

Unfortunately, however, it rained on this wonderful Wednesday, which scarcely ever happened, moaned Gerlinde. She asked Carl for a refill and also pointed out that the otherwise normal wind had grown into a veritable storm on this day, which meant that they could not stay on deck and that an extra glass bottom boat had to be commissioned to accommodate all the tourists who wanted to stay dry. After the meal on La Graziosa, they decided against another sightseeing tour of the island in the rain and instead cruised around the island with both ships through this deathly swell – after all, there are 6,000 kilometres of Atlantic Ocean directly behind Graziosa. As a result, she had to throw up all the time and even Carl was only just able to walk upright by the end of the tour.

After this short report, Gerlinde needed another glass of champagne and then sank down on her chair in a state of exhaustion. Carl finally took advantage of this opportunity to say something and added that, after this adventure, each of them had stood under the showers for half an hour in order to get a little warm again. Later, thank God, the unexpected happened – which saved the vacation …

And what unexpected event are you talking about? Hannelore eagerly asked with new hope in her eyes.

Well – I am not sure if I should tell? What do you think Gerlinde?
She did not care, muttered Gerlinde, all she wanted was another glass of champagne.

This is the fourth already, Carl noticed with some worry.

So – what?

Well, I was only mentioning it, he said while refilling the glass.

Incidentally, after the successful trip, their general state had been rather similar to the state Gerlinde was now in, Carl said to Hannelore and Kurt. And without further thought, they had then drunk all the four small bottles of Whisky from the mini-bar in order to sink into their beds with a minimum degree of content.…

However, the rude awakening came on the next morning when they discovered that the price for every one of those minuscule 5cl bottles of Whisky was 9.90€. This means that those four ridiculous bottles of Whisky – none contained more than what you could swallow with four mouthfuls – cost – 39.60 €! Well, this was certainly something you needed to give time to sink in, he moaned.

This is certainly not a bad profit for the hotel, Kurt – suddenly wide awake – commented!
And Gerlinde also moaned in her chair. However, her renewed call for champagne was no longer satisfied.

Instead, Carl told Hannelore that, naturally, nobody was going to treat him to such fraudulent rip-off. A short visit to the supermarket clarified the Whisky situation: the 75cl bottle of exactly the same brand was 15.85 €.

Even Kurt knew immediately what needed to be done. Consequently, he nodded when Carl, not without a certain degree of pathos, declared that he and Gerlinde spent the remaining 10 days of their vacation consuming 10 bottles of Whisky. Which meant that, after deduction of the acquisition costs, they had actually generated a plus of no less than 1,325.- € – as you could easily calculate yourself!

Ahhhh – Hannelore suddenly giggled, now it dawned on her: so that is what Gerlinde meant when she said that, all in all, you had been quite satisfied with your vacation!
Yes, that was probably what she meant, Carl confirmed since Gerlinde by then had gone to sleep in her chair. Apparently, the champagne had done its job!

And maybe the champagne had also helped Kurt who, without sounding any louder at all and with an air of self-evidence, suddenly said that, if such a potential for economizing was apparent, he could easily imagine spending a vacation on the Canary Islands.…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 12th, 2017

Failed Emancipation

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #54)

“Waiter – please bring a double cognac as fast as possible …!“,  Carl cried out excitedly while he was literally gulping air …

“Under way”, groaned the waiter while hurrying along his table. Thick drops of perspiration were building on his broad forehead.

“Whatever is the matter with you, Carl? Is it really necessary that you start filling up on cognac this early in the morning, when morning has hardly broken?”, Gerlinde irritably asked while taking a small sip of her freshly pressed orange juice with a worried expression on her face.

“Fear thee not, Gerlinde, I only need something really stiff to digest the news I am just reading in the paper here!“

“So – what sort of news is it?“ Gerlinde asked with raised eyebrows.

“Just imagine, the king of Saudi-Arabia and his very ambitions sun Mohamed bin Salam actually now, in the 21st century, want to allow women to drive cars!“

“How come?“

“Well – starting on June 2018 – women in Saudi-Arabia will be permitted behind the wheel of a car even without the consent of their husbands. Isn’t that absolutely maniac?“.

“Great! But as I know these brothers, there will certainly be some foul exhortation idea behind the deal… “

“Perhaps – but before you judge them too quickly, my dear, maybe we should remember that in Germany, too, the husband had the exclusive right to say what his wife and children should do until 1958.“

“Hm – great! But at least the women did not have to wear veils, did they“?

“No, they did not have to do that – but even if men allowed their wives to work, they were the ones who decided what happened with the incomes!“

“Super – that is what pimps still do for their sidewalk birds, isn’t it? “.

“Correct. The world is still as it should be in this patriarchal milieu!“

“It seems to me that you really need more cognac, Carl! If you are under the influence of alcohol, you definitely do not talk quite as much nonsense …“

“Yes, but only because I mostly go to sleep immediately! But where is this incompetent waiter now with my medicine?“

“Perhaps the waitress is quicker”, said Gerlinde. She jumped up and set a not-bad-looking young waitress onto the path of the dreamy waiter.

“And besides, if their husbands had not consented”, Carl, who obviously now knew no peace, continued, “women were not allowed to open their own bank accounts until 1962. How does that strike you?“

“There you see, my dear Carl, that is exactly why I absolutely do not wish to marry. I certainly would not want that to happen to me!“

“However, my dearest Gerlinde, this precaution is not necessary, because ever since 1969, every married woman in Germany is fully contractually capable.“

“Wow – that means everything really went at breath-taking speed with respect to the emancipation of the females – I am sure the CSU was the absolute pacemaker …“

“You mocker”, Carl smirked. He was still waiting for his cognac and getting more and more impatient …

“You are really poorly off with your cognac, Carl! In the meantime, would you like to take a sip of my orange juice? …“

“Excuse me! Has the day come when we men can no longer even drink our own cognac ?…“

“Carl, I will soon break out in tears“!

“Yes, please do – because otherwise I will have to do it”, Carl moaned.

“But there is truly no reason for you to do that, my dear Carl – with the exception that your cognac does not arrive, you men have no reason at all to lament, do you?“

“Oh – oh – and what about the ’Female Federal Chancellor Forever’; she is not only Honecker’s Late Revenge but also the Revenge of all Women Against Men for suffered wrongs!“

“As always, you are exaggerating, Carl!“

“I am not exaggerating at all, because the ’Female Federal Chancellor Forever’ would even be elected by all the women and elderly persons if she were ’a mounted specimen’  …“

“You know, instead of talking such nonsense, you probably had better get your own house in order “!

“Why is that..?“

“Why don’t you look at all the ’male specimens’ – for example the wonderful Herrn Schulz – or the kissing Herrn Junker – or the divine Mr. Trump – along with the grinning Kim Jong Un – or the eternal Bavarian drooling Herrn Seehofer… or – or – or … compared to those honourable gentlemen, even a ’preserved specimen of the Female Chancellor’ looks like an improvement to me …“

“Well, unfortunately, and as an exception to the rule – and very reluctantly – I have to agree with you, dear Gerlinde: the guild of men currently active is really a unique example for the word pitiful!“

“There you see, Carl …“! – when Gerlinde said this she had enough tact to suppress all display of triumph!

“But still, God has mercy on us men, Gerlinde: because at long last, my very dearly craved cognac is arriving!“

In fact, the friendly waitress suddenly came scuffling from nowhere and placed a huge brandy balloon – into which Carl might actually have jumped directly – in front of him under a thousand apologies and manoeuvres for the endless waiting time. And before Gerlinde could look around properly, his head actually already hung in the balloon up to his neck…

This was the only possible explanation for the fact that Carl, immediately after the cute waitress had vanished as picturesquely as a gazelle, could come up with the dry statement that, regardless of all currently felt superiority of the females, nobody could seriously doubt that even this lovely waitress was still moving on a pair of ’waiting upper legs’  …so why would we need a superiority complex? When all was said and done, women were, like in all times, basically just ’a piece cut out of man’, weren’t they?

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 17th, 2017

“Don Carl“ – or: the Heroic Fight for the Underpants

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #52)

Rarely had Carl stepped into his underpants more enthusiastically in recent years. It was this great feeling of ’being embedded’ and ’being protected’ that he enjoyed.

It was a pleasure he made himself aware of several times each day these days – and the feeling was strangely enhanced whenever, during the day, he allowed himself to re-position the private parts hidden therein by discreetly re-arranging his trousers!

Yes – it was “allowed himself to” – not “had to” – as he formerly used to look upon it!

Because ever since, apparently, a movement that originated in Southern Germany – headed by the usual suspects /1/ – had started discrediting men’s underpants – which, incidentally, had been establishing an excellent tradition in the Christian culture over almost three hundred years – with Bavarian relish, Carl had become alarmed for more than one reason!

Yes – it was really a ’shock with an aura’ that found its way to Carl when, on this 13th day of August in 2017, he came upon said IF blog /1/ in the social networks. In this article, the author talked about a world-wide underpants-free future for all men: a world where, from one day to the next, wearing underpants by men was abolished. As a reason, it was stated that, apparently, all chafing, uncomfortable itching, disgusting tickling and virility-threatening clamping between razor-sharp zippers was now ignored, denied or hidden under a ’caftan ’.

A ’caftan’ that allegedly was only invented to give more freedom – that is, freedom for the ’unrestrained dangling of the male privates’ and consequently freedom to enjoy the ’so-called feeling of comfort’ that went along with it!

Of course, this had unimaginable consequences for the body – life – health – morals – society and economy! Not just for Germany and the European Union, but, when all was said and done, also for the entire Christian Occident and thousands of underpants-producing workers.

And was the time really chosen at random?

Had not just a few months ago Putin forbidden all activities around ladies’ underwear for the entire Eurasian Economic Zone, which had had disastrous consequences for TRIGA?

Maybe this was the balance against the male half of creation that was necessary due to gender-equality, after the first hit had devastated the female half of creation?

And was it really totally by accident that this campaign started in Bavaria of all regions? Or was it perhaps part of a long-planned conspiracy by Putin and Seehofer?

But when Carl, a few days ago when they had a meeting to discuss the ’development of new market strategies’ at TRIGA, mentioned these aspects, he was appalled to notice how his colleagues could not have cared less. Bernie – i.e. Dr. Osterkorn –, who was the head of the hosiery sector at TRIGA, in particular, did not seem to understand the impact of this event at all. As often before, he, again, lacked the antennae for trends in fashion and society!

Incidentally, the same was true for Gerlinde during their breakfast in the morning!

She, too, only had a laugh for him …

And – almost sympathetically – called him, Carl, a maniac who, once again, was chasing ghosts. And when Carl reacted offended and left the breakfast table without having drunk all of the morning coffee she always brewed for him with special love and care, she cried after him that she was not going to believe in the threat to occidental culture before Horst Seehofer appeared wearing a ’Caftan’ for the next Political Ash-Wednesday in Vilshofen!

Luckily, Carl knew what needed to be done in such catastrophic situations when everything was in danger of tumbling down: ’nothing’!

Now that was one aspect where, as always, he found himself in the best company with the others …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 25th, 2016

Winter Time & Summer Time – As Useless as Cancerous Growth

P1070194Now you will read my personal opinion!

On October, 30th, the day will again have come: all clocks will stand still for one hour at 2 a.m.. After that one hour, they can continue ticking away. Or else you just turn them back one hour in the morning. So if it was eight o’clock a minute ago, it will now suddenly be seven o’clock. In the evening it is suddenly dark far too soon…

For me, that will again mean between three and five days of not really being myself. Somehow or other, this “homeopathic” time change by one hour is worse for my system than a proper jet lag of several  hours.

The accident statistics, too – both for traffic and household accidents – peaks around the time of the change. Occasionally, people probably die because of the time change. And on March, 26th, 2017, the reverse process comes again.

They originally said this manoeuvre was introduced to save energy. Except that I have no idea how that is supposed to work. If at all, the only energy that, in theory, could be saved is electric energy for illumination. But how? After all, all activities of humans are just pushed back by one hour? If you turn off the light one hour earlier and then turn it on one hour later, this sounds a lot like a pure zero sum game to me…

As most people I know, I think this entire time change theatre is total nonsense. For me, it is another example for our hopeless political situation: a Bavarian solo would probably cause serious conflict in Berlin. A German solo is not possible because of EU laws. And it sounds more and more unlikely to me that the EU will ever decide something that makes sense.

Consequently, we will probably have to continue living with this nonsense for many years to come. Until this EU will finally break up.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I almost cannot mention that Putin actually ended this nonsense in Russia. After all, he is an autocratic dictator who was never elected by his people. Incidentally, he decided to have winter time all the year round, while I would recommend summer time all the year round. Because this is a better fit for us.

This is where I would like to thank all the Wallonians for countering the growth and efficiency mania of a lobby structure that is totally dominated by late capitalism.
Whenever humaneness and solidarity are discussed, I like thinking globally. But when they try to give huge concerns total freedom, I prefer the local approach. And that means I wish for regional protective mechanisms, rather than a declaration of bankruptcy and the abandonment of all self-determination.

Even if there is a risk of being seen as the evil guy if you have this opinion. Especially by all those people in this world who are named  Gabriel and Schulz.

Everyone talks digitalization. So do I.

I even give presentations about it. Because I get the impression that there is a lot of confusion around. Although the topic is not really news.

For me, even the very term “digitalisation” is not a good choice. Here are the terms I consider relevant: communication, networks and information.

Information exchange means you generate information by thinking and then you exchange the information through saying out loud what you thought. There is an analogy with language. You can put language into written words – then it is “digital”. That is trivial. The relevant factor is how fast and how intense the spreading and exchange of information takes place. And this is where technology and its development start playing a role.
Let us just look at the latest development of humans:

After several attempts, the “humanoids” managed to walk upright about two million years ago. That was the requirement for the “humanoids” turning into “homines sapientes” around 200,000 years ago. Still being hunters and gatherers, the humans had their creative phase and started to leave Africa around 125,000 years ago. 60,000 years ago, homo sapiens really got under way and developed language until 10,000 years ago.

The spoken word is volatile. Whatever someone said could be heard only once. Consequently, they invented stories and handed them on by word of mouth. They included redundancies in order to reduce errors during the transmission process. There were attempts at drawing pictures along with the messages, but that was only a partial success. Consequently, it was only logical that, a few thousand years after the spoken word, the written word came. And this is how, about 7,000 years ago, they invented script.

In old Egypt, they told stories in temples using a symbol language that strongly reminds me of images. They were carved into sand stone and coloured out. Later, lighter materials, such as papyrus and paper, came. Along with technologies such as the printing press and the forcing set. And later, the information technology, like all technologies – was made electronic. Initially, they used copper (cables) and wireless technology.

Coding was also improved, for instance with the use to simple alphabets and digits. “Algorithms” and “technologies” for processing language and all sorts of information into the digital form were developed all the time. It is quite simple to show that all symbols can be represented digitally. This fact was an important requirement for computer developers, because, basically, the easiest way for them to work is using zeroes and ones. But that was a totally normal technological development.

Incidentally, written symbols and thus written language for transporting information was initially used for “business purposes”. Consequently, it seems to me that business is the “mother of all things and inventions”, rather than “father war”. War is just a special kind of “business” – and a very despicable one at that.

Written language makes knowledge available over time and space and creates networks. The rare books of Galileo Galilei travelled Europe and met the ideas of Kepler. Progress and technology was developed in cities. Because that is where the various disciplines met. Later, the cities started building networks and progress gathered momentum. And then the entire world became a network. Initially through letters, books and magazines. Later, newspapers and books were replaced by IT technology, just like oil lamps and the tallow candle were replaced by electricity and the light bulb.

Information networks brought us the so-called “industrial revolution”. And “digitalization” is only the continuation of this development. Both the speed of networks and the amount of knowledge have increased and continue to increase, which means that the process gets faster and faster. It is all part of the Anthrozopän (the era of humans – Anthrozopän). They do not really know when to define its beginning, neither can anybody tell where it will end and what will come after.

Eine Satellitenaufnahme der Erde gibt anhand der sichtbar gemachten Lichtverschmutzung einen Eindruck der Größenordnung menschlichen Einflusses auf die Umwelt

Satellitenaufnahme der Erde mit sichtbar gemachter Lichtverschmutzung.
Satellite image of the earth with light pollution made visible. You can see what a huge influence humans have on our planet (picture taken from Wikipedia).

I would prefer if we characterized the current phase of humanity using terms such as networks and information. Digitalization is a weak metaphor for what is currently developing. But “digitalization” is “in” and terms such as “information era” are “out”.

And everybody wants to be a front-runner in order not to be left behind. In Bavaria, for instance, we have a Zentrum-Digitalisierung.Bayern (ZD.B), other German states already start introducing similar institutions.

And you can read endless numbers of pamphlets on digitalization (mostly with nonsense written in them) and attend many events. As a general rule, neither is any use to you. A short time ago, I attended the TechDays in the Munich Tonhalle. It was truly a festival of speculations and I am sure that, if anything, it increased the prevailing degree of confusion..

In the German Wikipedia version, I can recommend the article on Digitale Transformation (Digitale Transformation). It gives a concise summary of the current state of affairs. There are also some contributions, such as Computerisierung, Informationszeitalter or even Digitale Revolution (Computerisierung, Informationszeitalter, Digitale Revolution), all of which are “nice to have”, but basically you do not need them. There is also an “English” „digital business transformation“ article – I hope they will soon change it to become a feasible “digitalization in public offices and in business” article or something similar.

Let us just consider “digitalization” as the continuation of “industrialization” and as part of the evolution on our planet in the time of Anthrozopän. Incidentally, there is now a Special Exhibition (Sonderausstellung) in the Deutsches Museum with a few things absolutely worth seeing. But you should be careful about getting a guide who will not punish the group by telling them half-truths and voicing personal opinions.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday March 10th, 2016

Castle on the River – or: Schinkel’s Stag

Here is another interpretation of the famous painting “Castle on the River “(1820) by
Karl Friedrich Schinkel

ZZZZKarl_Friedrich_Schinkel_-_Schloß_am_Strom_-_Google_Art_Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Almost unnoticed, it appears,
beside the tree, our stag, and rears,

it lacks aggression, makes no sound,

takes in the castle, looks around!

And yet, it was the reason why,
when morning grass was not yet dry

the ranger met his sudden death:
the shot stopped everybody’s breath!

It happened at the time in anger,

too furious was the righteous ranger,

Instead of going through the head,

it was the knee the bullet met,

The one who cried was not the deer,

but the castellan from the rear:

“Be damned, stupid, blind marauder

and take payback in swiftest order!“

The man was dead, his friends so sad,
but nobody a memory had

of who shot whom and where and why?
They just said: people should not cry!

The mourning phase was deep and grey
castellan was still not too gay.
The coffin went by waterway
and people duly came to pray.

KH
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The picture was taken from Google

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday February 12th, 2015

To Pee Standing Up – or: The Emancipated Man

Carl and Gerlinde (XL)

Recently, when, as day was dawning, a ruling by the Düsseldorf Court flew into his house by way of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine”, Carl felt so much joy he would have liked to not only run down the street calling out to everybody, but also embrace every individual toilet bowl in every house in the neighbourhood!

ZZZSTimg164Because, at long last, justice had been done to him as a man by the German Legal System! It was the kind of justice he – and countless others of his species – had stopped believing in after all the ostracising and degradation they had been suffering from in this country which since ancient times had now been ruled and guided into a doubtful future by a too powerful, joyless woman …

And then – this unexpected gift of the heavens early in the morning, which left Gerlinde totally unmoved: she remained absolutely relaxed in her bed whispering something or other while all augury stood in favour of a final emancipation of men!

Of course, Carl asked himself how this was suddenly possible! What had happened? Was there something like justice in this country, after all? Perhaps a balancing power saw to it that, according to the law of entropy minimization, all injustice was minimized?

If so, then the nondescript message of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine” on this Friday morning might well have been a first sign! A sign indicating that there was actually hope for a better future, both for the human species and the subspecies “man” – while Gerlinde kept snoring.…

For Carl, however, said future crashed into his like a gunshot; after all, it was the official statement by the Düsseldorf judge Stefan Hank,

„….that nobody can forbid a man to pee standing up!“

It had the immediate effect that Carl suddenly not only defined himself anew as a human being, but in particular as a man! Meaning as a man who, at long last, was permitted to shed his water at home standing up! And that nobody could forbid it! Neither a mother, nor a wife, nor a significant other, nor the cleaning lady…

Naturally, this meant without the slightest doubt or room for interpretation that the still sleeping Gerlinde, too, had to take notice of the fact that he – Carl – just like all male creatures of this world – was entitled to pee standing up before the bathroom toilet!

As is often the case with great events, this totally new legal situation early in the 21st century, the clarification of which Gerlinde slept through without having the slightest idea, came in a totally inconspicuous way in the form of two simple sentences written by judge Hank. Those sentences were:

“Regardless of the increasing domestication of the man in this regard (that is: the man-woman relation), man who pee standing up are still quite a common occurance. Those who still practice this formerly frequent habit will still have to expect frequent arguments with – particularly female – flatmates, yet they need not fear that the marble floor in their bathroom or guest toilet will be vitriolised“. (see: legal document number: 42 c 10583/14)

Well, so it was perfectly clear! – If a marble floor did not get vitriolised, then the same was true for ceramic tiles on the floor. And if those were not vitriolised, then neither was the toilet bowl. This was a totally simple inductive conclusion even Gerlinde, should she ever wake from her sleep, would have to see – although, being a woman, access to logic thinking was not always a foregone conclusion with her.

Which stood in total contrast to Carl, who actually would not tolerate any attempt at domestication as mentioned by the judge. After all, you can never domesticate a man, can you? Let alone if you are a woman!

Well, this was certainly absolutely out of the question!

On the contrary; now when, at long last, he had it black on white in a court-ordered document that he was permitted to be totally man both in the bathroom and the toilet, he was absolutely determined to practice and relish this act of emancipation at all costs. And he was definitely not going to let himself be restricted by domestication or anything else.

Let his slumbering Gerlinde stand upside down (which was something she did when practicing yoga, anyway): he, Carl, was not willing to forego his right – to be totally man!

And he was going to really rub the new peeing situation in for his perky Gerlinde! He already knew it was not going to happen without intense words being thrown back and forth! It was as plain as a pikestaff, but it was worth the effort, Carl told himself. And he was rather proud of the serene and objective way he saw everything even before his first cup of coffee this morning.…

Well – and since Gerlinde was probably going to wake up soon, it might be a smart and prudent idea to make sure that the discussion was going to run without a glitch by not overwhelming her with the court-ordered facts before her breakfast egg. Instead, he was going to wait a little while and then, depending on how things were going to develop in general today, with a glass of champagne and the newspaper in his hand, present the new court-ordered ’ peeing situation’ …

Yes, that was definitely a better way to go about it! Even the much better way!

And on second thought – so Carl thought – basically there was the question why to confront Gerlinde with this issue at all? After all, she did not stand guard next to him when he was doing his business in the bathroom, did she? So why make much ado about it and talk endlessly?

”Hey – where do we live?“, he said to himself aloud before putting the “Frankfurter Allgemeine“ away and quickly again slipping back under the warm bedcover after this spontaneous intuition.…

After all, when using the toilet, he could do what he liked to do: if he decided to pee standing up, then he was going to stand up. And if he decided to sit down as he had always done in the past, then this was also just as well. On top of him then also obeying Gerlinde’s strict rules!

The important thing was only that he did not chicken out but took a clear position! And that is exactly what he was doing now in light of all this newly won freedom that gave him all the options: he could approach the toilet bowl standing up or sitting down!

Now, wasn’t that a great masculine feeling: not to be in the situation of the Federal Chancellor who always had “no alternatives”…

KH