Good articles in German, and Freak Shows

I’ve read some remarkable articles in the German (online-version) magazine “Die Zeit” recently. One of them was “Das rote Sommermärchen”, and it’s about Sahra Wagenknecht’s new “Aufstehen” movement, which is some kind of a think tank for us lefties if you so wish. Interesting, and if you understand German, it’s a recommended reading.

Another article, also in German and in the same publication, is called “In einer Welt der Verbote”, and it’s about freedom in art, which seems to be in danger from the sides of some (even left) mobsters who are loud enough to get others scared enough to think about public displaying of “difficult” stuff.

And that got me thinking about an image I made myself a few days ago. That was a photo of a colleague who changed from smoking tobacco to inhaling fumes from one of these new pocket steam devices, into which you fill some kind of oil to inhale the fumes of it. That gives a whole lot more clouds than tobacco smoking ever did, and it’s also not yet clear if that is any less dangerous than inhaling burnt tobacco leaves.

Anyway, I had asked that colleague to wait with his next inhalation, got ready with my camera, and took a photo of him exhaling.

And he looked like a monster in that photo. Steam coming out of his mouth, his nostrils, totally unreal. Which reminded me of Freak shows, and led me to the question to myself if I would want to participate in something like it (which I don’t, obviously).

So like always, there’s a fine line between what *can* be done, and what *should* be done, and judgements never come easy – at least they shouldn’t. To question yourself is always a good beginning in my opinion, and should you be interested in a bit of self-reflection, it makes all of the articles mentioned above recommended readings.

As always, thanks for reading.

The non-word of 2017

And the “winner” goes to… “alternative facts” (which might be copyrighted by Kellyanne Conway, who knows).

See here (in German), here (in English), and here (in other news).

Let me use a short quote of the English Wikipedia article about something else related to truths:

“The phrase “alternative facts” was claimed to be similar to a phrase used in Trump’s 1987 book, Trump: The Art of the Deal.[23][24][25] In that book, “truthful hyperbole” was described as “an innocent form of exaggeration—and … a very effective form of promotion”.”

Sounds quite a bit Ferengi to me…

So much about (bad) joke figures for today; sorry about the rant.

Bravo, Anastasia!

Look at this article in the British Journal of Photography, which reports about young photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind doing some portraits of dignity in the crimes committed against the Rohingya. Thanks also to Human Rights Watch, and Peter Bouckaert for publishing reports and photos like these.

Other than the pope, we can report about this. We can name their names, and accuse those responsible for it. So we have to. Again, thanks for your good work, Anastasia, BJP, HRW, and others.

The fire and the fury? Wait…

Lately someone wrote a book with that title. It’s about a sad (and bad) joke figure playing a president of a whole nation. But “the fire and the fury” reminds me of the devil in Tom Waits’ “Way down in the hole” (which is where we should keep him). Listen:

Funny that “The Wire”, where this is played as the title melody, is the favourite TV series of some former president named Barack Obama…

“The Lord is a very very busy man…”

Thanks for listening.

Auf Deutsch: Interview mit Sahra Wagenknecht

Ich fand ein sehr lesenswertes Interview, welches telepolis (Heise Verlag) mit Sahra Wagenknecht anläßlich ihres neuen Buches “Reichtum ohne Gier” führte. Es ist sogar interessant für Fotografen – als gutes Gegenbeispiel zu AGs wird unter anderem die Carl Zeiss Stiftung genannt.

Copyright des verwendeten Bildes: konnte ich leider nicht finden; wahrscheinlich aber campus Verlag.

Gefunden bei Heise Online.

About refugees

I can hardly listen to the daily news anymore. Topic #1 of last year was the debt of Greece, then later the same year and up to now the complete 2016 and without foreseeable end it’s about refugees.

First, the facts. Scroll down these pages if you live outside Europe, and haven’t heard much about it.

Second, the constant talk about the number of refugees a “country can accept”. Norbert Preining sets that right (he includes Japan because he lives and works there).

But the worst of all are the right wingers, both here and elsewhere. Look at Norbert’s graphic, guys, and be as ashamed of your talks and actions as I am when I hear and see them. With neighbours like you, I’m definitely not proud of being a European these days.

And while I’m also no big friend (rather a strong opponent) of the current (and past) government(s), in this I’m actually with our chancellor, who claims that “yes, we can!” (original: “Wir schaffen das!”). Is she the only Christian left in her (and their “sister-“) party which carry the word Christianity in their names?

With that being said, let’s now revert to being a bit more human, and let’s welcome those refugees. If you want to fight someone, then fight against those politicians who plan to let the refugees being employed almost for free. Fight capitalism and weapons exports, not those who are suffering because of it.

My 2 (Euro-) Cents…

in German: The big deal

A report by Stephan Stuchlik and Kim Otto about TTIP which was broadcasted in yesterday’s “Monitor” in “Das Erste” (in German):

Thanks Stephan. It’s an honour to know you.