Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 11th, 2019

Death of the Cook (Part 2) – Dead Spot Hotel

Oh God – how often have I wished I had never agreed to this unholy affair: all the things that came to light because of my meddling, or rather all the things that remained unsolved, only contributed towards me feeling even more sorry about the loss of my friend Sturmius…

It started with the impossible ”Dead Spot Hotel” in the beech woods of O.R.. No halfway sensible person would ever have set foot into this impenetrable wilderness. But, naturally, Charlotte Burns, this dubious self-appointed guide, had to ‘produce‘ a breakdown near this the world’s absolutely most remote hideout with her minibus, four more persons and a driver. And it had to be exactly on Friday afternoon, on our way to the ‘Musikantenstadl‘ that, allegedly for the first time ever, played in the town W. Of course, the usual suspects were to come: Andreas Gabalier, Andrea Berg, Roland Kaiser and whoever else usually is part of the outfit.

Almost miraculously, there was a sign not far from the place where our breakdown had occurred that said that a ‘Dead Spot Hotel‘ could be found three hundred metres from here. However, as it turned out, said hotel had been out of commission for many years and, with the exception of a retiree who was hard of hearing and occasionally had a watchful eye on it, nobody ever went there.

Well – it is hard to believe, but occasionally, the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, too, was part of the outfit. His purpose – typically for the outcast- was to try special cooking creations about which nobody at all must hear anything in this absolute solitude.

Naturally, only a very small and exclusive circle of persons was in the picture about these sporadic visits of his. Apparently, the mysterious Charlotte Burns was one of them: there is no other explanation for this accidental meeting of this bizarre group of tourists and my friend Sturmius.

I, too, had until then not had any idea that he actually used this place once in a while for diverse adventurous activities.

It seems that a regional TV station also used this ‘ancient place‘ for diverse ghost stories and ‘Tatort‘ recordings.

Still, it stroke me as more than strange that the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, of all people, had been told to go there in order to create a suitable “monster dinner” for a “monster binge at midnight”. Allegedly, the motto had been “the less appetizing, the better“: make it an “abhorriminable TV program“!

As I was told, Sturmius von Suppé was not at all fascinated by the idea of having to execute such a lengthy cooking experiment that might well take several days in such a dilapidated environment. But his arguments were beaten; again and again, strict secrecy policy was given as a reason by the responsible parties!

But perhaps even more important for him was that this break-down tourist group turned up at the ‘dead spot hotel‘ totally unexpectedly late at night.

Was this an accidental? Or was it really this impertinent guide Charlotte Burns who had set a few wheels in motion?

Actually, the members of the tourist group were almost an embarrassment. Besides the alcohol addict Raffaela von Suppé, there was a rather dubious music journalist Dörte Hansemann, along with the two “Hessian Babblers” Ernie and Bert Hesselbach.

And, almost as if a button had been pressed, all of them seemed to suddenly hate the son of a bitch Sturmius. However, they did not take to each other, either: the lesbian couple Charlotte and Raffaela made fun of the lamenting Dörte who, after an alleged violation by Sturmius in the basement of the Dead Spot Hotel, admitted that she had a fifteen-year-old daughter with him. And it seemed that Bert Hesselbach had been cheated by Sturmius when it came to the rights for the phenomenal ‘Noggi Aroma‘. He said that a lot of money had changed hands during that affair.

So it came as no surprise that, under these circumstances, nobody could sleep well at night when Sturmius von Suppé was, on top of everything, accused of cannibalism because he apparently had, in a consciously provocative fashion, processed a bloody female arm – which he had ‘constructed‘ beforehand from pigs’ feet with culinary finesse – as part of his ‘fashion cuisine‘ for the ‘monster dinner‘.

As a consequence, there was an unappetizing argument in the hotel kitchen during which Sturmius, instead of being able to continue with his work, heard for the first time about his illegitimate daughter Katharina whose mother was Dörte Hansemann!

But the situation took a truly dramatic turn when the totally ignorant Ernie Hesselbach just drove the hand blender which Sturmius had demanded and which hung next to her over the kitchen counter into the soup saucepan in which he was busy partitioning the chicken mush for the creep soup with both hands. And since the device was apparently truly very deficient, it triggered an electric short circuit in the soup that was accompanied by a noisily whizzing electric shock in the wake of which Sturmius von Suppé dropped dead! And he was really and truly dead! As they wrote in one of those tabloids.

Well, you can rest assured that nobody had intended this outcome!

With the possible exception of Charlotte Burns who could not escape fast enough, followed by Bert Hesselbach with his totally clueless and confused wife Ernie.

Raffaela, who turned out to be Sturmius’s sister, was probably anything but unhappy about the sudden death of the brother she despised. She definitely did not take long to find consolation in her Schnapps bottle. …

And Dörte Hansemann, who, at long last, got a signal in this dead spot, was able to tell her daughter that she had just turned very, very rich through a substantial inheritance!

Dörte Hansemann was probably also the person who had called the local police. They came surprisingly fast und officially announced Sturmius von Suppé dead. They also sealed the crime scene for the coming securing of evidence. Dörte Hansemann and Raffaela von Suppé gave their statements in the same night, not even demanding to see their rightful lawyers.

Charlotte Burns and the Hesselbach couple were interviewed two days later, but none of these statements brought forth any changes in how the accident was judged!

After an initial ‘light storm‘ in the usual dailies – which was due to the popularity of my friend – it took surprisingly little time for everything to return to normal. I am sure it was partly because none of the concerned parties was interested in pursuing the matter further.

I was the only one who did not really find peace: somehow or other, my journalistic gut feeling told me that there was more to this alleged accident that met the eye. Since, however, I had no tangible proof, my hands were bound and I was left alone with my nightmares and musings for the time being…

K.H.

PS.
Let me express my gratitude to those who helped to shed a little light on the darkness of Sturmius‘ death: in particular, I would like to Christine Bruckmann, Gabi Nelges, Martina Tornow and Detlef Knoll. Irene Weingärtner, however, refused to discuss the matter.

Klaus Hnilica
Saturday March 16th, 2019

Tenerife and its Thieving Magpies

Carl and Gerlinde (instalment # 61)

Honestly – for all normal humans, it is truly an extraordinary delight if they, at long last, can be gleeful without all restraint. At least, this is certainly true for Carl!

And he feels he can enjoy that glee particularly when it is about Tenerife. That island where Gerlinde, a few years ago, had sought refuge for a few weeks when, in a spell of mental incapacitation, she had thought she needed to separate from Carl. But then, what clear-minded woman would ever separate from Carl?

None – at least that is what Carl believes.

And in the end, Gerlinde did not really do it! Because as soon as she had seen what grandiose advantages this miraculous creature of a man had, she had commenced snuggling up to him again after surprisingly little time.

Naturally, he had been quite happy to have her back: after all, they had really gotten along brilliantly over all these years. And, to this day, he did not understand why she had needed this time-out at the time – and on this stupid island Tenerife to boot! He had never really liked it. And he also had never ever wanted to fly there.

And where he now – for the sake of peace – had flown again with Gerlinde. Just like all those other seven million tourists who spent time here every year. And they were old, fat, from England and Germany and France and even – who would have thought it possible – from Russia…

And Carl had to admit that this “Barceló“ in Puerto Santiago with its four stars was actually not a bad hotel. Even if he felt reluctant about admitting it: this hotel really sat near the black lava coast in such a picturesque way that it reminded you of a crusader. You could imagine starting your voyage at any moment. Directly into the Atlantic Ocean, passing San Sebastian, the Capitol City of Gomera, just like long ago Christopher Columbus who also, just like Carl and Gerlinde, had only the endless blue ocean in front of his nose every day and every night – and the stiff westerly breeze.

Admittedly, the splendid promenade along the small fisher harbour in this small town of Puerto Santiago, too, was not bad. Regardless of the many bad construction sins along the promenade that stretched far into the hinterland, even up the black volcanic slopes.

The lone diver, who was chained to a steel balustrade, looked funny. The contraption was probably meant against thieves and against the strong Kalima that blew from Africa all the time. He had advertisements from a diving school in his breast pocket and both his arms looked surprisingly unhappy as they hung down. And although his left hand had been bitten off – probably by a frustrated terrier –a long time ago, his right hand, wearing a red glove, courageously pointed into the thirty-metre abyss of a black Barancos that flowed into the near ocean directly behind him. Its powerful waves had been rising up and eating into the black lava coast for millions of years day in day out.

To the left behind the diver, you could see the newly built spectacular town fairground that jutted out far into the ocean and at the front end of which stood the statue of a deserving Spaniard. It was surrounded by Guanches that had visibly been treated poorly by the Spaniards, who had not left their work unfinished in the name of Christendom: with the exception of hints in the genes of the current population, nothing was left of them today.

Almost every other day, Carl and Gerlinde strolled along the fairground towards the Arena, enjoying the marvellous view onto the ocean and regularly making their way towards one of the typical pubs, where they would regard the lively atmosphere on the small beaches while sipping their Cortado and Aqua con Gas.

The same was true for this Thursday. Except that, today, the Kalima was blowing even stronger than before, which meant that at noon, when they were again commencing with their stroll, they were quasi surrounded by a permanent coat of sound. Countless tourists made their way through the broad pedestrians’ paths and practically every single pub along the street was firmly in the hands of semi-nude old men who mostly quietly sat behind huge beer glasses with their white-haired wives. However, when they spoke, what they said mostly sounded English, very seldom German and never Spanish.

When, almost in a fearfully good mood, Carl returned with Gerlinde in order to eat their usual portion of grilled sardines with ample rose wine at the Paraiso del Sol, he suddenly got the impression from the sound of the Kalima that something inside his body there was a short vibration. It was not the cell-phone he was carrying in his breast pocket. After the second vibration, he knew that it came from the backpack behind. He quickly turned around and even touched one of the two darkly attired, black-haired women who were far too close behind him but showed not the slightest degree of surprise.

Instead, they passed him without any reaction. All of a sudden, he found himself annoyed at being by himself, took the backpack from his back and unbelievingly stared at the two wide-open compartments of his backpack with the scarves, hats, water-bottle, spectacle container and hairbrush in it. In shock, he called for Gerlinde who had walked a few steps ahead and not noticed anything about the two ladies before her – probably Roma – having intended to steel from him. They probably had not found anything interesting in his backpack.

Still in the process of calling, Carl, besides a paralyzing helplessness, felt an intense anger rise inside and would really have liked to overwhelm those two pick-pockets immediately. However, these two were not even reacting to his calling out to Gerlinde. Instead, they pretended that all this racket had nothing to do with them. In fact, they even positioned themselves next to the chained diver, took a leaflet out of his breast pocket and studied it with interest.

Carl felt that he, too, with his open backpack, had to be there and was there in a few strides. However his study of the leaflets consisted of constantly gazing at the two dark magpies, which they did not even seem to notice.

Suddenly, Gerlinde stood next to him and said: “Carl, I will now go and buy those shoes we saw together yesterday in the shop over there”.

”Okay“, Carl said apathically, without actually knowing what Gerlinde was talking about. He continued staring at the two black ghosts before him…

”But I will need some money from you, I do not carry any money on me. I am sure you have it in the front backpack pocket as usual, don’t you?“

Before Carl could react, she lifted the backpack that Carl had hanging over his arm and miraculously produced four 50-Euro-bills out of the third small backpack compartment that the beasts had not opened and that only contained Aspirin and a few drugs. She then disappeared without another word to the opposite side of the street.

Suddenly, Carl got the impression that the two black misery messengers no longer kept their painfully preserved facade of good temper: they replaced the leaflet back in the diver’s breast pocket with such a jerk that he almost toppled over regardless of his chains. Then they hurried away. As their distance from him grew, the venom they showered each other with increased. At least to Carl it looked like they were accusing each other of having spoiled a huge chance in a truly amateurish way.

And Carl not only realized suddenly why he was so deeply in love with his boisterous Gerlinde, but also and above all felt the heart-warming power of justified glee rising from inside…

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

PS:
In Instalment (XXI)
Hinter Sonnenbrillen vor Gomera
loves Gerlinde her time on Teneriffa!

Roland Dürre
Saturday January 5th, 2019

RADICAL.

Long Live the Radical Heretics!

When Hans Bonfigt’s article was discussed and commented on, the term “radical“ played an important role. This motivated me to become contemplative about the word RADICAL. Because, to me, it seems that being radical is very important.

According to de.Wiktionary.org/wiki/, similar words are either 
[1] hard, ruthless, reckless, stubborn,  or 
[2] clearly, thoroughly, noticeably, definitely, all-encompassing.

{
Laut de.Wiktionary.org/wiki/ sind sinnverwandte Wörter entweder
[1] hart, rücksichtslos, unerbittlich, unnachgiebig
oder
[2] deutlich, gründlich, merkbar, merklich, umfassend
}

I found no useful definition of the word “radical” in (the German) Wikipedia. In the political context, there is a link to radicalism . Sociologically, radicalism is a characteristic of change, see social change.

Well, at least in the German Wikipedia, there is no definition of the often-used word “radical”. This shows clearly how difficult the discussion of the term is. To me, this sounds almost logical, since we humans are famous for having arguments about things the meaning of which we do not know. Simply because we tend to put particular emotional stress on terms that we do not understand or cannot define.

Let me make some guesses as to what radical might mean. Or rather, how I understand it. It took several days of contemplation for me to come up with an answer. Then I discovered that, to me, “radical” is particularly important when it comes to thinking. That means we are talking radical ideas. Which, as I see it, Hans Bonfigt time and again does not apply.

To my way of thinking, “radical ideas” mean that our ideas can develop in straight lines without having to consider moral fields. In other words, our ideas should not be influenced by the restriction: “You do not want to think along these lines“.
And I believe that radical ideas will soon make you a heretic. I rather like heretics if they are capable of questioning their own so-called truths.

Let me describe a few theoretical results that can spring from radical ideas.

  • Religions and God were invented by humans. How can a person call something an absolute truth if he himself invented it?
  • Who are those who benefit most from war? The weapons industry. Consequently, the weapons industry needs war. And whenever there is no war, it will see to it that there will soon again be war.
  • First and foremost, I must be considerate of myself. Because only if I love myself, I can also love other people. Consequently, martyrdom is socially detrimental and should not happen – nor should it be glorified.
  • Humans are not evil. If anything, then their actions are evil. Consequently, you should not condemn humans but instead their actions.
    (Rupert Lay once said that Hitler was probably not an evil person, because maybe he mostly followed his conscience. Perhaps his conscience was rather alien, if not pathological. To be sure, Rupert said it during a festive presentation for famous guests of a big German Bank. And legend has it that he was then interrupted by the managing director and escorted from the premises. Because he had broken a taboo – there are things you cannot think, let alone say).

Well, I guess I had better stop writing before someone comes and escorts me from the writing stage.

RMD

Klaus Hnilica
Friday October 26th, 2018

Business Suit or Dirndl Dress?

I often went past this bar. But I never went in. Why should I? I am not a bar frequenter and never will become one.

However, after all these weeks of hot weather, the idea of a cool cola with rum or an ice-cold whisky soda sometimes found its way into my brains when I passed it on my way home. I have to admit it!

Besides, the permanent darkness you saw whenever the entrance door was opened also suggested that it must be quite nice and cool in there. And it opened quite often! Somehow or other, it seemed that the place was open day and night, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks every year! Wasn’t that strange?

Well – and then, last Tuesday in the late afternoon, I actually stood there at the bar of this strange place and finally ordered the long craved whisky and soda on plenty of rocks!

It was probably because the day had again been unbearably hot and I dragged myself home feeling totally drained and depressed after my day in the office. When, suddenly, an elegantly dressed elderly gentleman opened the entrance door to said bar directly before my eyes, I took courage and followed him spontaneously – as far as the bar: I had to do this because in the impenetrable darkness I immediately became totally dis-oriented.

Since, as I said, I ended up at the bar accompanied by this random door opener, I was then left with ample time to get used to the extreme darkness.

This sense of having lots of time was also why the existence of a barkeeper had totally slipped my mind. Only when he asked what I wanted did his youthful dark-skinned face – his white teeth – his totally bald head – and – and – and … register.

His question took me by surprise, so I just said whisky soda, please!
Which whisky brand?

Hm? – I moaned.

Bourbon? Scotch? Blended Malt?

Any of the three – but please with plenty of ice!

The young man possessed too much tact to further prolong my agony. In no time, he put a glass of whisky soda in front of my nose and next to it an extra container with ice cubes and a pincer. I was absolutely thrilled.

After two hefty swallows, I was finally prepared to look around and see where I had ended up: to my right, I saw, indeed, the elderly gentleman I had followed. He was probably a regular, because he talked English with the barkeeper. And to my left, almost at the end of the huge bar, there was a lady wearing a Dirndl Dress. She clutched her drink in both hands and just looked in front of herself rather stiffly.

But something was wrong with this lady.

The very way how she sat on the barstool. Her Dirndl dress, too, had moved upwards in an unseemly manner. The protruding leg looked like a hairy, brown-painted prosthesis and was stuck between the barstool and the counter. Well, and then even I understood! It was not at all a lady sitting there wearing a summer Dirndl dress – no, it was a man!

In fact, it was a rather rough man, too who, for some reason or other, had been pressed into a far too tight Dirndl skin like an oversized meat sausage. Consequently, you now saw not only the brown meat sausages between the blue waistband and the red upper dress, but also how the short sleeves of the white blouse pressed into the meaty upper arms. Not to mention how you saw plenty of black chest hair at the cleavage!
Well, you cannot do any worse, can you? Give me a break!

The fact that this ‘man-woman‘ kept trying to at least pull the light-blue hem of the dress over his right knee did not improve matters at all. To add insult to injury, regardless of the very dim lighting, it was easy to see that this strange in-between creature had not done anything at all to make its face something that might at least shown a tendency towards looking female at all.
On the contrary: some of his long and oily hair actually hung in strands over his forehead and his very brown, rather bawdy face, sported extremely visible black three-day stubbles!

However, when our eyes met because I had been gaping at this hermaphrodite for too long, I was surprised to see a sudden smile on his face. In fact, said smile even looked like an invitation to me, because it was accompanied by a friendly nod of the head.

Regardless of the confusion I felt, I nodded back and took two gulps of my whisky soda in order to regain my inner equilibrium.

The Dirndl-hermaphrodite then ordered a new glass of bourbon from the barkeeper by yelling at him quite loudly before getting up and turning in my direction.

Careful – the man was at least half a head taller than me and looked quite muscular! Not saying anything but moaning and reaching down at his light-blue dirndl dress, he took his place next to me on the bar stool while I bashfully smiled at him and mindlessly refilled my empty whisky glass with ice.

I am sure you are surprised to see my outfit? He said in a surprisingly winning way.

Well, to be perfectly honest, yes, was my terse reply. But I am sure I am not the only one around here who feels this way.

Too true! Was his short reply before he downed his freshly ordered bourbon in one go.

I continued by saying, but then, it is certainly none of my business! After all, this is a free country where everybody can move around as they like.

Correct! Was his reply while he took a gulp of his bourbon.
Let us rejoice in the fact that this is how matters stand in this country, I added.

To be sure, to be sure, were his eager words.

I said nothing because I did not want to appear nosy.

After a short interval, he said, you know, there is a reason for my strange Dirndl dress outfit!

Certainly, we all certainly have our reasons, I replied…
But in my case, my wife is the reason, he interrupted me.
Hm – I grunted.

Yes – she believes I am a drunkard!

How come?

She is convinced that, while she will see the musical later this afternoon in the Congress Centre, I will get hopelessly drunk!
And is she correct?
Definitely not! On the contrary. In fact, I believe she will not at all go to listen to the musical but instead see here lover. She is just afraid I might spy on her …

Which will probably not be an easy job with you wearing the Dirndl dress outfit!

That is also true, but this is because she shamelessly took advantage of the fact that, this time around, we already arrived a day early for the musical and consequently stayed overnight in the Congress Centre Hotel. When, at noon, I went to sleep as usual, she probably got dressed in her ‘small black‘, packed my suit – and disappeared!

Which means you are practically incarcerated in your hotel room until she returns! I finished for him, feeling as sharp-witted as a master detective.

Correct – by the way, I am Hilmar!

Okay Hilmar! I said and gave him my name – which I do not wish to tell you here – and raised my glass to him.

In any case, I continued, it seems to me that your lady is a smart creature, if you allow me to say so. And she definitely reminds me of my ex wife…

In other words, we are both burnt children, Hilmar summarized the situation.

Or else horned idiots who have deserved no better, I said before again raising my glass to him and, like him, emptying same glass.

Hilmar nodded thoughtfully and ordered two new drinks for us.

Then he said that, at long last, he wanted to fight back and consequently he wanted to propose something – among friends!

What kind of proposition are we talking? I asked.

How about, Hilmar said hesitantly, if you were to – quasi on an honorary basis, lend me your suit for a few short hours and in return wear my Dirndl dress?

That was definitely something I had not seen coming!

I quickly felt how both my blood pressure and the frequency of my sitting pulse went up in a rush and, supported with my right hand, gave him a gesture that suggested he might not be quite right in the head?

But Hilmar seemed to have anticipated this: he remained unperturbed and said that it would definitely not be detrimental for me because money was something he swam in!

After a longish pause, during which we silently stared at each other, I said: forget about your money, Hilmar! You know, your proposal is so beyond rational that it is coming out almost attractive at the opposite end. That – and because my ex-wife was similar in type to yours – I will help you. I will do it!

Hilmar embraced me very emotionally and we both disappeared to the toilets!

Of course, now all the diverse mouths in the surprised faces of the bar visitors opened again when, suddenly, ‘I‘ was a ‘Dirndl Dress Monster‘ while Hilmar looked the gentleman wearing my dark-blue summer suit!

Since he was more muscular than I, the jacket and the trousers were just as undersized for him as earlier the Dirndl dress had been, while I had no problem at all wearing the clothes that belonged to his wife. But Hilmar was definitely very happy with his new outfit!

He was visibly happy when he swallowed his newly ordered whisky. Then he consulted his watch, looked straight into my eyes and said with feeling that he will be back in no more than two hours.

Before I had a chance to reply – he was gone and I was left all by myself on the stage: at least this is what it felt like when all the guests in the pub suddenly stared at me.

I probably turned purple and spontaneously turned towards the counter with a feeling of inner emptiness. In a reflex movement, I looked for my glass and rather desperately poured the rest of my whisky soda down my throat.

To be sure, I signalled to the bar keeper that I want another one, but at the same time I already toyed with the idea of going home and hiding in my nearby flat.

But before I could think this idea through, a spectacular not-very-young lady suddenly made her way through the bar room entrance.

Besides her perfectly made-up face, she was much more remarkable because she wore a much too big trouser suit. However, this did in no way minimize her elegance!

She was around my height, had short black hair and perhaps a nose that was slightly too long. To make up for it, however, she had a fascinating smile. On her stiletto heels, she marched towards the counter without hesitation.

Even before the bar keeper had a chance to ask her what she wanted, she twittered self-determinedly: I want the same as the lady who wears my Dirndl dress!

That would be a whisky soda, stated the bar keeper soberly.

Well – you should know!

Of course, I, the moving Dirndl dress monster, realized immediately how my knees got softer and softer. But I was even more impressed at the speed and precision with which this newcomer had analysed the situation in this dimly-lit bar.

I hardly managed a short Good Evening and certainly nothing else, because the feeling that I, again, had to play a game in front of the aggressive audience robbed me of all my strength.

On the ‘trouser suit lady‘, however, the situation seemed to have a totally different effect. With a provocative glance, she said: or are you telling me that the clothes you wear are not mine?

I do not now, my lady, I stuttered.

But I know!

And why do you wear this much too large man’s trouser suit, since you claim that this Dirndl dress is yours, I enquired with sharp male logic?
Because you are wearing it – dear Sir! Or have you ever seen two persons wearing one Dirndl dress?

No – certainly not! Was my soft reply while I downed my glass in one go in my desperation.

Since the bar keeper had, by that time, already served her drink, she took it and raised her glass to me: here is to you, dear Sir, she said in such a loud voice that nobody at the nearby tables could have missed it.

And she whispered in my ear that her name is Elsa!
Hilmar’s Elsa? I asked without real surprise.

No – your Elsa, if that is what you want!

Oh my God – now that did surprise me. Or maybe surprise does not really come close to it? I was overrun and caught up by a tsunami of undefinable emotions in such a way that I said nothing for several seconds.

Since apparently Elsa noticed how I felt and all my colour had probably drained from my face, she said: but, naturally, this is only if you give me back my Dirndl dress!

With pleasure – but what will your Hilmar have to say about it?
Forget Hilmar – and come to the toilet with me – but quick – otherwise I might change my mind.

When, after having given the bar keeper a brief update, we disappeared and shortly afterwards returned to the counter with swapped clothes. We were, of course, still on stage, but we had become far less interesting. After all, a lady wearing a Dirndl dress and a gentleman wearing a suit were not really special enough to warrant hours of fascination.

And when, finally, we lay next to each other in the nude at my home, Elsa confessed that Hilmar had no idea how lucky he had been today: today of all days, her boss, the rat, had disappointed her and sent his secretary into the musical as a replacement. Hilmar was probably at this very moment sitting next to her – after the interval!

Yes, and because of this scandal, she was upset enough to wish for revenge in the form of wanting to surprise Hilmar in his ‘booze bar‘ – which she had known a long time about – by wearing his own suit. Because seeing Hilmar in her Dirndl dress was exactly what her thus humiliated soul had needed! But unfortunately, due to my un-reflected saving manoeuvre, this scenario did not materialize, said she with an evil smile before she took a painful bite into my left nipple – which, as she felt, stood far too provocatively.

Since, after an hour of lusty moaning and the return to this earth, Elsa had probably recovered from the misery that was brought upon her but could not decide what to wear – suit or Dirndl dress? – I dressed in her Dirndl dress and sent her back to Hilmar in his suit!

Hilmar already stood at the counter when I entered the bar!

He gave me a very friendly hug and for the bar visitors the show went on…

But he was rather in a hurry. After all, Hilmar was extremely happy about the entire affair having been only a terrible misunderstanding between himself and his beloved Elsa. Now he urgently had to go and see her in the hotel, he said, and make amends for his shabby mistrust in her by inviting her to a festive dinner in a ‘star restaurant‘!
He hoped that this plan would come to fruitition, because Elsa’s girl-friend in the musical had told him that Elsa had unfortunately been forced to leave the wonderful event during the interval as she had suffered from circulation problems.

Thankfully, at least I remembered the necessary clothes swapping when Hilmar’s burning heart became eager to see his Elsa, while the bar keeper reminded us of the six not yet paid-for whiskies which, naturally in his joyous enthusiasm, Hilmar gladly paid, including a more than generous tip.

And I was happy to be allowed to roll home at long last, wearing my own clothes and feeling the sound of 500 Euros in the breast pocket that Hilmar had hidden there. This was proof that the last few hours had not been a dream, but that Elsa might actually – perhaps? – again bite me next Tuesday…

KH
(Translated by EG)

hy are you here? What is your goal?

That is the question you will almost always hear if you attend a personality-promoting seminar.

And, once, I heard the following reply.

“Power, Money, Women“.

To me, that sounded honest. At least as far as men are concerned, it seems to be the normal motivator. So it does not come as a surprise that, in such seminars, I almost exclusively meet men. In fact, it is also a match for our #metoo world. When all is said and done, everything will be as it will be.

I also heard many other answers to the question. They sounded nice. Mostly, however, they sounded like lies to me. Let me relate the following story.


You need to know that, like many other managers and consultants, I attended quite a few seminars and training camps on “promotion/building of personality for leaders and managers” during my active career. Initially, when I started my professional career with Siemens, I was more the engineering type person and was totally opposed to such seminars. I never volunteered to attend.

Roland on his way from the Jena Akademie-Hotel to the stadium (Carl-Zeiss).

When I moved on to the Softlab GmbH, my attitude changed. When I was around thirty, I attended a TPM (Training Psychologische Management) seminar. It was mandatory if you wanted to “move on”.

I was very sceptical when I went there – and returned enthusiastic. From then on, I was always the first to volunteer when a seminar “beyond the technological boundaries” was advertised. This is also how I first met Rupert Lay, who was going to become very important in my life. The same is true for other mentors.

The times when I was a newbie were not the only times when I witnessed that the coaches first asked the participants about their expectations. “Why have you come?“, or something like it is typically the first question asked at a seminar.

Today, I use this question whenever I open a seminar session, because I believe it makes a lot of sense. You get to know the seminarists and you can hear what their interests and needs are. If you are the coach, you can modify your own expectations to fit reality if they were too lofty. The question will definitely motivate people to think and it can also be used well towards introducing the really important issues that move us and that the participants are supposed to discuss.

During one of my first seminars under a famous coach, I heard the following answers to this central question:

… I am full of imperfections and want to improve on some of them. …

… I have a number of talents that I would like to give myself a chance to develop …

… at long last, I want to make that decisive step in my career I have been waiting for for such a long time. …

… I want clarity in my life and bring structure to same. …

… I strive towards an independent and responsible occupation because in my current job I am dependent on a systemic concern, which makes me unhappy. …

When questioned more persistently by the coach, some of the participants described in great detail what a great person they are and what a super position they hold. And that they want to climb up the ladder a bit more. And that, now, they want to learn how one can become even better and more important.

Well, that annoyed me a little. Everything was rather surreal, artificial and synthetic. Before I started, a gentleman (of course) spoke. Even his outward appearance seemed to radiate success. He also seemed absolutely charismatic.

His introduction was quite short:

I want more success!

When the coach asked back what exactly his definition of success was, his reply came immediately:

Success? For him, that was more power, more money and more women – in no particular order.

Wow! That was it. To me, this statement sounded somehow a lot more honest than what the men before him had said. Now they all looked like hypocrites to me. Perhaps this hypocrisy had annoyed him just as much as it had annoyed me?

I was the last to introduce myself. Prudently, I decided to say that

… I had not really given the question any thought and wanted to see what the seminar was going to do for me …

This statement was not really honest either. Instead, it was a carefully made statement that caused quite a few condescending looks from other participants. I read some incomprehension in those looks. How can anybody attend such an expensive seminar without having a goal at all?

These looks came especially from the hypocrites. Well, it was no surprise, because at the time I was by far the youngest participant and the only one who wore jeans and a polo neck sweater. None of the exclusive twine that the nobility wore. But I had learned: it is all about power, money, sex. It became clear to me at the time. And this insight is certainly something worth thinking about. Not just because of #MeToo.

After all, what is power? As I see it, power develops if you have special personal characteristics or if you have a special position or wealth. In our society, it is probably best if you have all three of them:

  • Personal characteristics
    On the plus side, this might include your good looks, your well-modulated voice, your height, elegant and suitable clothes, grace and authenticity, a good education, a pleasing personality, good manners and natural authority. People with these characteristics will certainly find it easier to get a good position than others.
  • Position

    Important positions in the state or in important institutions will “give you power”. The power of the office will transfer itself to the person. System agents pretend that the power of the system they represent is their own power.
  • Wealth
    Wealth gives you power. Others want a share of your wealth and consequently subordinate themselves. Incidentally, it was on purpose that I wrote wealth, instead of property. Because nobody is interested in whether or not the imperium has stability. The only thing that matters is its splendour. So what our protagonist wanted was more power (i.e., personality, position and wealth). But he also wanted that funny stuff.  Which is synonymous for money. Which brings us back to power.

In our society, only one basic right is important: the preservation of your achievements. We also have a mantra of faith: “If you have money, then there is nothing you cannot buy”. That includes power. You only need enough of it. This is how money and power become synonyms.

But our protagonist also wanted sex. Because in his (or in our general) concept, you can assume that there is nothing you cannot get if you have enough power and money.  Including all women.

Perhaps our successful protagonist just saw it as a good joke. Just like they do when they sell realty. They have three central criteria:
Location, location, location.
And perhaps all he wanted to say was that power, money and sex, in our #MeToo world, are synonymous anyway?

I fear that this is what characterizes our society. It polarizes. Money makes power – and – power makes money. And if you have both, you have everything. This is how our society and our planet will collapse.

And what is our reaction? We get upset about sexism. Perhaps even rightly so. But it would be better if, just because of a little sexism, we would not totally forget the other catastrophe that ruins our world (money and power…).

Incidentally, if you work as a mentor, the question is also a good warming-up strategy. For instance, I often ask new mentées what they would wish to achieve as a result of our mentoring in the future. I often hear quite appealing replies.

At one time, a young man answered that it is his goal in life to fight extravagance. Because he detested “waste“. And that this was actually the reason why they selected me as his mentor! Because everybody knows that I, too, detest “waste“!

That is true. And it made my day. We started our work. And it turned out well!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday November 9th, 2017

Get Yourself a Beer…

Miriam was a minx!

Everybody knew it – so Hermann, too, knew it.

But, being the youngest, the farm was going to fall to him. It was the biggest farm in Erleinsbach, but it was rather run-down and indebted!

On Sundays, when everybody – except Hermann who stopped going there a long time ago – met in the surrounding pubs for their regulars, the state this farm was in was simply commented with “yes, Hermann does not have an easy life!” – if you were lucky. More often than not, these words were then accompanied by either a sleazy grin or embarrassed silence. There were even some who actually spat on the ground whenever the farm was mentioned.

Hermann’s brothers and sisters were only too happy that, after having been hesitant for many years, he had agreed to be the heir of the farm. None of them would have wanted to burden himself with it. His older brother Korbinian preferred working as a carpenter in the neighbouring village of Kopfing and Annegret had married into a respectable and profitable farm when she was very young. For farmer Leitner, Annegret was a stroke of luck: she might not be the most attractive and snugly person, in fact, she was perhaps even a little frog-eyed, but she was as industrious as a honey bee. Her mother-in-law herself said so with pride whenever she wanted to show off in front of the neighbouring farmers. Annegret could work like no other. No haystack was too heavy for her, no tractor too big, no manure spreader too smelly – and even when she was round with a baby inside, she milked all the cows and cleaned the stalls.

My old lady is a true ’working animal’, the red-cheeked farmer Leitner would often contentedly say to the regulars at the pub before toasting his friends around the table with a full stein of beer.

But Miriam – she was not a ’working animal’!

Regardless, Hermann married her! Actually, he married her even though she was no longer the freshest fruit on the market and came with a fatherless child. Said child, however, was well cared for in Grieskirchen by Miriam’s aunt. So it was not much of s surprise that, under these circumstances, it was not easy for Miriam to find someone to marry in the vicinity of her home place Natternbach, where everyone knew everyone. Hermann actually fit the bill quite well!

Luckily, Miriam only saw her offspring Paula at funerals and marriage ceremonies. That was more than enough! Because whenever she laid eyes on Paula, Miriam was disappointed and angry to notice that her daughter looked just as unattractive and worn-down as her father who, as always, was still working as a butcher in Wels: why had Paula not inherited at least a little bit from her mother?

Yes, she knew how you made yourself up to look sexy and how you turned men’s heads with a high bosom and a steep bottom. Every one of the farmers turned his head when she appeared. But Paula? Perhaps a blind man would turn if she called something friendly after him …

Hermann rather liked Miriam’s Paula!

He had occasionally seen her at family gatherings and he had also once in a while pinched her well-rounded bottom! It was all, of course, in a very friendly manner – which meant her only reply was a laugh. He also knew Paula’s less-than-elegant father Josef. And, as opposed to all the others, Hermann was truly proud of her mother Miriam!

Yes – as proud as a peacock!

He would never ever have dreamed that such a ’nice lady’ would want him for a husband: him, who did not know how to behave, never looked very attractive and never had enough money. What could he offer to a lady like her?
Well – a farm – and a lot of dirty work along with it. From morning to night!
Miriam came from a family of craftsmen!

Her father had been a roofer. Her mother had always been particular about there always being a good meal and two bottles of beer on the table when he came home after a hard day’s work. But still, she could not prevent his death, one morning when it rained and he fell from one of the steep church roofs. Cervical dislocation – and a multiple broken spine!

Subsequently, Miriam’s mother had had to feed herself and her daughter, who more and more grew into a beautiful, well-rounded thing, by cleaning and cooking for others. Small wonder that said Miriam swore to herself that she was absolutely going to marry a man who could offer her more than her clumsy father had offered to her mother. Or than this fat Josef who had given her Paula in a state of total alcohol stupor but could barely pay the alimonies for her.

And it was absolutely out of the question that she would one day clean after others as her mother now had to do all the year round. That was not for her. No, she would rather remain by herself and dry out slowly – as her mother had predicted!
Perhaps Miriam looked so attractive to Hermann because she neither looked like a farmer’s wife nor ever wanted to become one?

Hermann had always had a certain tendency towards wanting to feel superior to others. Even at school. Korbinian and Annegret had shown the same tendency and had often been ostracized by the other farmers.

Above all, Hermann admired Miriam’s satiny, light skin! Her face never showed the frost bite marks that shone when you danced and were so common for farmers’ wives. She knew how to dress and would not have looked out of place as a salesperson in Linz.

While he kept telling his siblings and other stupid folks that he certainly could not have cared less about this ’roofer’s daughter Miriam’, Hermann – regardless of some warnings – probably was less than alert when the decisive moment came: it came as a total surprise to everybody when, one day, and in the middle of harvest time at that, he stood in front of the altar with Miriam at his side.

From day one she made it clear to a not really surprised Hermann that there was no way she was going to play farmer’s wife and, perhaps, later even wipe his bottom.

Miriam had other plans and saw to it that she was immediately entered into the register for Hermann’s farm in order to, at long last, get the loan from the Grieskirchen bank she needed for fulfilling her life’s dream: opening a bar in Wels!

Her counsellor at the bank had, during very personal conversations, drawn a very rosy picture of the goldmine that was sitting here waiting for her if she was willing to approach the affair with him and the right power, provided she did not allow the always tired little Hermann to interfere.
The farm as a security made everything possible, the industrious gentleman from the bank assured her. And Miriam, outfitted in her nice Dirndl dresses, did her best to keep him in line!

However, the initial euphoria did not last long: to be sure, the Dirndl dresses were still looking pretty good, since she mostly worked only wearing her underwear or even less, but the bar dream had become pure fiction and she had received quite a few not too nice ’scars’. Thanks to her youth, however, said scars were still something one could camouflage if nicely dressed and wearing full war paint.

Besides, Miriam was not stupid. From her bank consultant, she had learned between all the cuddling, sweaty moaning and the occasional slab in the face how, even through heavy waters, you could find a safe haven for your nest-egg in various tax paradises.

And, soon after the strange bank guy, Dario, whom she had first met in the Linz ’Rosenstüberl’ showed her all the things she could do with her nest-egg in Southern Spain.

Since Hermann’s shabby farm had never brought the profit he had predicted, it was only fair that he now remained back having to deal with the debt!
When Dario gave her an ultimatum about delivering and eloping with him, she called to Hermann that, for her, time was definitely too precious to waste her best years with his kind.

Looking at how he, Hermann, ran his farm and made one mistake after the other, she was sure that, even in a hundred years, he was not going to make a success of this ’pigsty of a farm’ – those were the words she hissed at him as she stood in the front door wearing her red pantsuit. Meanwhile, Hermann was busy on the farm throwing the freshly produced dung in ever higher arcs onto the dung- heap – and, as always, he said nothing!

“Why don’t you throw yourself after the dung right into the dung-heap, Hermann? After all, that would be the right place for a loser like you”, she screeched hysterically before driving out of the farm in his old Mercedes. All that was now left on the farm were three pigs, two old cows, one sheep and some remaining straw that also already started getting mouldy; all other income had been sold immediately after the harvest in order to at least pay the most pressing parts of the debt to the bank.

Deep in his heart, Hermann actually shared Miriam’s analysis, although seeing her leave in such a shabby way cut right into his heart.
Without much thought, Hermann simply tried to continue as before after this disaster with Miriam: during the day, he moonlighted for some people he knew in the neighbouring villages as a mason, and in the evenings, he crawled through the shabby remainders of his farm with little enthusiasm and in an even worse mood.

Once in a while, at least his sister Annegret came for a visit. She did his laundry, cleaned his kitchen and, twice a year, cleaned the windows in his bedroom and the big living room. Without her, he would have drowned in his own dirt.

The only light at the end of the tunnel of this sad existence for Hermann was – Miriam’s Paula – who, for some strange reason had taken to him. Or maybe she simply wanted to make her stupid mother angry!

Fact was, Dear Paula, as he called her, still appeared on his front door in Grieskirchen every few months and stayed either a short while or a little longer, depending on how she liked it. And grumpy Hermann would always suddenly feel better: he even shaved, washed himself, wore a clean shirt and one of the two pairs of jeans he owned and drove to Natternbach with Dear Paula to go shopping. After all, she would always cook something delicious for him in the evening and afterwards sit with him over beer and egg liquor.

She also merrily told him about her work as a hairdresser, asked extensive questions about his ailments and watched whatever nonsense he wanted to see on TV.

And three times a year, she even persuaded him to have his hair cut by her – a procedure that always ended with terrible fuss and laughter, especially when, regardless of his most intense opposition, she relished in treating the abundance of hair in his ears and nose.

She also tamed the wilderness above his eyes! And as far as his sparse top hair was concerned, there were literally the most violent discussions and rounds of giggling about the appropriate length of every individual string of hair. And when, afterwards, his eyelids fell down from sheer exhaustion, she guided him into his smelly bedroom next to the big living room before taking her seat in her car and again making herself scarce …

They never talked about her mother – that was an unspoken, silent agreement that was strictly adhered to, no matter how much they had imbibed.
 
But then, after what felt like a hundred years – on a November evening – Miriam suddenly appeared in the big living room! She looked as bent as an old wardrobe and as dry as her already dead mother …

Hesitantly, she said:

“A good day to you, Hermann!“

The no longer slim Hermann – with a damaged hip and a hurting knee – lay on the sofa in front of the TV set in a strangely contorted way, glanced briefly at her, took a huge gulp from the beer bottle that sat within easy reach on the floor next to the sofa and kept looking exclusively at the TV screen…

“Do you no longer know me, Hermann?“

“Oh yes, I know you!“

“And you have nothing to say?“

“Naa…“!

“May I sit down …?“

“Take the stool near the oven.“

“Thank you, Hermann.“

“And help yourself to a beer!“

“I no longer drink beer, Hermann!“

“All of a sudden?“

“Aren’t you not going to ask why?“

“Well, I guess you will tell me!“

“I! – I – I – have cancer …!“

“Is that also my fault?“

“Naa – it is not why I am here …“

“Then why?“

“Because I do not know where to go?“

“Why?“

“Because I am ashamed – because of all I did!“

“Hark, hark …“!

“Well, you know, I am really ashamed, Hermann.“

“Before whom?“

“Before your siblings – and Paula – and all the others.“

“And not before me?“

“No, Hermann, not before you!“

“Aha.“

“Well, it is the truth …“

“Well, if that is how you feel?

“Yes, that is how I feel …“

“You do not look too well!

“I know, Hermann!“

“Are you hungry …?“

“No – I cannot eat normal food any more.“

“Where is the problem?“

“The intestines …!“

“Hm – I understand…“

“I no longer have any strength …“

“Me neither!“

“Stupid – with me, this is really true …“

“With me, too …“

“Are you going to send me away?“

“Naa – you can make up your bed in our bedroom, if that is what you want!“

“Thank you, Hermann“.

“I assume you know where to find everything?“

“Yes – Hermann…“

“I can help you if you want me to …?“

“Not necessary, go ahead and drink you beer …“

“Okay“…

When Miriam had made her half of the shared marital bed, she lay down in it, pushed the cover over her head and after this day never rose again.

And when, on Christmas Eve, she kept moaning and crying out loud with pain, Hermann patted her with his rough hands – until she became very still …

KH
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Tuesday January 31st, 2017

Heuchler, Lügner und Claqueure:

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday May 14th, 2016

Letterbox Companies and More of the Same … (Series) #4

Come and work for me – make me rich!

The following experience of mine is one I consider a display of particularly bold behaviour. It will be the last article of my series (Serie) on corruption for the time being. But it was definitely a very attractive offer and it was by no means easy to say no.

What happened did not happen as long ago as what I related in the other three articles. My memory is of it happening early or in the middle of the 1990ies.

At the time, we were a respected and also well-known supplier of support and service for products of the best hardware and software producers. We provided service and support their customers in the name of the producers. As a general rule, both parties behaved like good partners, which made for nice “win-win” situations.

During those days, new enterprises with special software solutions in the service and security fields grew like comets, both in the USA and other countries. And, of course, it was our goal to service different producers and all varieties of technologies. After all, we wanted to have a broad range of products on the market and thus remain independent from individual producers.

One day, as a total surprise, a famous and very successful technology provider called us, asking if we were interested in servicing exclusively their products in huge parts of DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

Es ist immer schön, wenn das Bargeld in der Kasse klimpert.

It is always nice to hear money jangling in the box.

Of course, this sounded fantastic. Today, I know that you always want to be sceptical if you get this kind of offer, because in entrepreneurial reality, miracles just do not happen (or if, then very, very rarely). And if they happen, there is (always) something (very much) wrong. As a meeting point – surprise, surprise – they proposed the lobby of an airport hotel.

We were curious and wanted to test the chance by all accounts. So we agreed to the appointment. And it was all true. The Europe support head of the enterprise welcomed us very kindly and hospitably and told us convincingly why he had chosen our enterprise as a candidate for a future partnership. He offered to hand us the service for his products and customers exclusively for a very attractive region. The necessary training of our colleagues for his products was offered for free, we only had to provide the time. It all sounded like a new and wonderful partnership.

Then came the glitch. Our business partner pointed out that, with such a model, we would have no sales costs and could still realize excellent prices. After all, all the orders would come directly from and be paid for by his enterprise. Consequently, it would be only fair and in no way against our interests if we paid a 10 per cent sales fee for all the turnover with our new customer. We would get invoiced at regular intervals from a sales enterprise in Switzerland and all we would have to do is pay on time.

We asked for time to consider and drove back home. And then, with a heavy heart, because the turnover we missed was absolutely relevant, we rejected the offer. Incidentally, the company in Switzerland was also some sort of letterbox company. Who knows where the money ended up.

During my rather long professional career, I witnessed quite a few very definite kick-back transactions. Mostly, persons from the middle management of rather famous and also German enterprises expected a “little back” from their service providers – and received it, too. Mostly, this was also done through letterbox companies. But I never knew such a bold procedure as the one I just told you about.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture from Wikipedia. 
About bank notes: Hermann Eidenbenz for the Deutsche Bundesbank. Coins by various artists for the German Federal Republic – bank notes: edited by the Deutsche Bundesbank. Coins: edited by the Federal Republic of Germany, PD-Amtliches Werk.

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 7th, 2016

Doing Evil – Punish Evil?

#WEAPON TERRORISM

Barack Obama himself said it a short time ago: more than 30,000 persons die every year due to the use of firearms in the USA (in fact, the exact number is probably more than 31,000). That is more than ten times the number of fatal traffic victims in Germany each year. Obama also understands that both weapons privately and publicly owned are a huge threat to all.

Now that the end of his presidency nears, he wants to do something beneficial for all and improve the US weapons legislation a little. Regardless of the fact that the US constitution sets a clear standard. Consequently, everybody who wants to “banish” weapons in the USA quickly becomes an “enemy of the constitution”.

Colt Model 1873 Single Action, Werksgravur 1893 von Cuno Helfricht

Colt Model 1873 Single Action, engraving 1893 by Cuno Helfricht

Obama has too many enemies who object to all modifications of the right “to own and carry weapons” in the strongest possible terms. They are not only to be found among the ranks of the Republicans – who still follow the strange definition of freedom as initially established by their long-time chief philosopher Ayn Rand. Reading what this lady wrote, you will soon discover that she has never been a philosopher of any standing. In fact, she was more a “Polemoph”. Her texts, after all, are full of shallow polemics and easily refutable.

Another early mind thinking about American rights and conservative power is Wayne LaPierre. He is still alive. A short time ago, I heard parts of a speech by him in the Bavarian Radio. He said:

“The only thing that can stop an evil man with a weapon is a good man with a weapon“.

Here is a “Zeit”- article  on this sentence:
Less than a week after the Newtown massacre, Wayne LaPierre, who has been the voice of the NRA since 1991, stood before the camera. He accused the press and video game producers of being responsible for behaviour such as that seen in Adam Lanza. His speech culminated in the statement that schools, since they are weapon-free areas, basically invited these kinds of attacks. “The only thing that can stop an evil man with a weapon is a good man with a weapon”, LaPierre declared. He offered to have NRA volunteers patrol schools – of course fully armed.

(Note: the 20-year old Adam Lanza killed 26 persons during his attack on a Newton/Connecticut primary school in December 2012, among the victims were 20 children. At the time, it seemed like harsher weapons legislation might be an option. The NRA (National Rifle Association in Wikipedia), however, immediately showed its power and it looks like it is unbeatable since then.

And consequently, the discussion continues. And what is always part of it is
#EVIL and the #EVIL PERSONS

All is their fault and consequently they must be removed and punished. This is the only way to create an ideal world. That is how it sounds, but it is decidedly not as easy as that. To be sure, there are persons who do evil. And you can certainly punish them. But what exactly is good and evil? Do they really exist, the good and bad persons? Meaning the bad persons who come with their weapons and threaten the others? And the good persons who protect the others with their weapons.

And will the world be a better place if the others can protect themselves with weapons against the evil ones? How many persons die in the USA due to firearm use by the evil persons who actually wanted to act evilly because they are evil?

Jesus said: “If you are free of fault, then throw the first stone!” Do these good persons really exist? Isn’t it more like very few people actually want to do evil deeds? And is there anybody who in his or her life never was out of control and thus only the good luck of not having a weapon at hand saved him or her?

The victims of acts of violence have deserved our sympathy and help. But as far as the origin of this violence is concerned, it is not about punishing the evil persons. Instead, we try to better cope with the act and its consequences by bringing revenge to the culprits. You demand that they be hanged because you need to compensate all the misery they caused. More often than not, the society as a replacement commits an act of revenge, thus murdering collectively for greed and revenge.

In the USA, you do not only have the right to own weapons – in a number of states you also still have the death penalty. And to me, this seems to be a particularly unhealthy combination. After all, the death penalty is exactly what I talked about above: murder for revenge. It certainly cannot be a deterrent, neither can it have any educational effect.

Why not force the evil persons to work in camps? Unfortunately, however, I am not only opposed to the death penalty, but also to forced work or service. After all, I suffered under such a thing for 18 months of my life. …

So what to do? We probably should view the “culpableness of humans” in a more differentiated way. Just like brain research teaches it. Because humans are much more complex than has been taught to us so far. And it is basically not at all as easy as it sounds when it comes to responsibility and culpability.

And I continue to dream of a utopia of the “penalty-free society”. And now I will look at the fight of the US president against (weapon) terrorism (BARACK – NRA). However, it is not going to be an exciting match. I already know the result.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The Wikipedia picture (Revolver) is by Hmaag – own work, 2007.

There is a constant flow of new legislation. From the EU, the Federal Government, the State. They have become a flood. Many of them do not seem to make sense at all. More often than not, you cannot see what effect exactly they are supposed to have or why they have been passed. Neither is it clear why you should actually abide by them.

Simultaneously, courts of law come up with sentences. For instance one week ago on safe harbor. This may well be a good idea in some way, yet there is no direct positive effect. Because it simply is not practicable.

And it has almost been forgotten already, regardless of the great ado that has been made about it not too long ago. Consequently, I am sure that, soon, nobody will be interested at all to hear what the “safe harbour judgement” was all about. And why should anybody? You want to bet?

One might start assuming that people in this country will take laws less and less seriously in the future, which would mean there is an end to our constitutional democracy. Which, indeed, might be a huge threat to our democracy.

I do not happen to share this fear. To be sure, as I perceive it, law and order are no longer taken as seriously as they used to be. But it seems to me that this is only true for all those many administrative regulations.

Let me call it the “extrinsic morals“ as given from the outside. And that is something that gets more and more absurd, which means you actually cannot really take it seriously.

To make up for it, it seems to me that the “intrinsic morals” develop more and more into something most people agree upon. It is about what you do and what you do not do, which I find rather appealing.

Said intrinsic morals come from inside a person, regardless of the nonsense the legislative and judicative conveyor belts of the EU, as well as its countries and states pour over us.

I do not wish to sound the warning bells that letting the “extrinsic morals” dwindle might threaten our constitutional democracy. After all, the “intrinsic morals” might actually be more important for survival than the “extrinsic morals”.

We saw quite frequently that countries with rule of justice toppled and became rules of injustice, yet they were all based on “justice”. Just like the Third Reich, too, made laws and installed courts of law that brutally executed the verdicts. Which means that this unholy system actually was based on law and order, except that the assumptions it was based on were truly something to give me pause.

RMD
(Translated by EG)