Echoes of Addiction

With words like a virgin vine,

you wettened my dust covered lips,

to make me speak again,

using words taken right out of your mouth

I asked for more of this magic elexier,

which you browed in a room of your own,

And when I was drunken from all these words,

in a glimpse of a second your gentle fingers lifted a blue vail,

and uncovered the smiling eyes of the prophets only daughter.

But you pretend to be nobody,

who can change the colours of the rainbow,

for the rainbow is a nobody as well.

The sweet words you gave me so plentiful made me addicted for more,

and they fire my imagination of your dark voice that will say them one day.

Metamorphosis behind iron bars — a butterfly turns into a poisson insect

The recent news from Ukraine made me mad.  Mrs. Julia Timoshenko, for whom I still felt some compassion recently, now appeared in a completely new light.  She did not denialed the validity of a You-Tube footage of a telefon conversation, in which she expressed her intention to “shoot Putin with an AK47 in the head, and eradict all Russian people from Ukraine territory by dropping an atom bomb”.  This is horrific, I have to say, and it shows a complete absence of proportionallity.  O.k., what Putin did was a bit of rowdy-like.  Not really gentleman style. But in fact he only changed gouvernmental status. Life wont change for the Crimean people a lot. They lived under a corrupt system before, and they will live under another corrupt system from now on.

But what Mrs. Timoshenko now dreams of is really killing the Russian people and their president. Thats not nice, Julia, and it shows that you turn into a lunatic. A few weeks ago, I was still feeling compassion for you, being kept in prison away from your family since 4 years. And I was wondering why the Ukrainian opposition did not demanded your immediate relaese and gathered behind you. I was even sending posts to social networks asking “Where is Julia”,  when everybody was just talking about Vitaly Klitscho and the other strong man on Kiews Maijdan square.

Now you are free again, and the first statement we heard from you is your dream of shooting Putin and dropping an atom-bomb onto all Russians.  What happened with you, these 4 years in prison ? You underwent a strange metamorphosis, did not you ?  Four years ago, you represented the human and liberal and sophisticate faction of Ukrainian politics. Now your voice turned into a militant and primitive sound.  These 4 years in prison were like a cocoon, where a benign larvea turned into a poisonous insect, armed with a sting to be used against anyone you identify as enemy.

Could it be that being held  in detention, isolated from social contacts at all, triggers a kind of metamorphosis of personality ?  I have to think of Nelson Mandela, whom they kept on the Robben Island prison for half his life. And he also changed a lot. Before this, he was part of the militant ANC fraction Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), not really on the forefront of a liberal and slow conversion of the apartheid regime in South Africa. After the fall of the Botha regime, and he was released from prison and elected new president, he felt committed to build a multi-colour country.  After beeing imprisoned by the white South African regime for half his life,  many expected him to use his new power to take revenge. But exactly the opposite took place:  Mandela was the main force behind a peaceful cohabitation of the former white elite and the coloured South African majority.  Any attempt by former ANC factions to expell the white population he opposed with the power of his popularity.  Nelson Mandela had became a messias of humanity, after being turtured for 27 years in prison.

So there seem to be something specially happening to people if they are kept in isolation, in prison.

I had the “privileg” to spend only 2 days behind iron bars in my life, when in 1989 I was careless enough to take part in the liberal movement against the communist regime in East-Germany, and in my juvenile naivity thought that making some super-8 movies of the brutal East-Berlin police force would be a cool idea. It wasn’t. But at least I experienced something each man should have seen once in his lifetime: Finding himself locked behind bars, alone or – as in my case – with a couple of other “bad guys”.

rummelsburg-KnastThese two days spend in detention changed my attitude quite a lot.  Before this, I thought that being kept in a prison might be a good way to escape the daily noise and indoctrination of daily life, and be in perfect isolation with ones own thoughts and phantasies.  But in fact, it is exactly the other way around. In prison, you can never be sure if a guard or any of the other inmates wants to humilate you. There is simply no escape. And you have no rights. An even if you would have the right to complain (maybe bacause of violations of the UN human rights standards:  What a fun), you can not simply grab a telefon, let alone writing e-mail or a blog post. Nothing of this. Being held in prison is not so much an issue of not moving around, not being allowed  to go for a walk to the park or attending a party, but in prison they try to keep you in intellectual and in social isolation. But this isolation is only one-directional: Whereas they can put a wall around you that blocks every exchange of ideas between you and outer world, at the same time they are allowed to humilate you or allow other prison inmates to humilate you.  Although in my case it was only a two-days detention in the rediculous Rummelsburg jail, I can imagine what people in the Evin prison have to go through. If you have any more questions, read “Kissing the Sword” by Shahrnush Parsipur.  To make a short story, even shorter:  Every day you spend in prison is a wasted day of your life.  If you want to find some quiet time to contemplate, book yourself a hotel in a remote place out of season. If you want to have some time to read a good book, go to a library or a large book-store where you can sit and read a whole day. If you want to write a blog post or an article, wait till late night, when the family sleeps. If you want to play some music, meet with some friends in a garage and jam the whole night through.  But don’t think that the isolation in a prison cell can turn you into a better skilled or enlightened person.

Happy New Year – سال نو مبارک

Haft Sheen: The 7 S…, a set of objects all starting with the persian letter Sheen
People in and from Iran, Kurdistan and Afghanistan celebrate the beginning of their new year today. Using a very sophisticated astronomical calculation it will start in about 5 minutes, precisely at 17:57:07 GMT.  Astronomers have calculated that at this very minute the duration of day and night is equal (vernal equinox) and – most practically- (since this is defined by the position of the earth on its orbit around the sun) it is universal for the whole world (simply converting GMT to your local time zone). So unlike western new year, which “roles” around the globe within 24 hours from the far east (Tuvalu) to the farest west (Hawai), Nowruz can be instantaneously celebrated by the entire mankind in one and the same second. Really global, really monumental.
For today, I’d only like to wish all Iranian people a happy Nowruz, hoping that 2573 will bring freedom, peace, happiness and prosperity.
Seven things one might manage to do in 5 minutes left:
1) Polish an Apple
2) Grinding a Garlic
3) Cuting some Barley shots
4) Nail a Pudding on the wall
5) Light a Fire
6) Look into the Mirror
7) Fill a glas with Vinegar

 

 

Books of the week: Crimea changed sides

In 2010 I had the pleasure to visit Crimea, on the occasion of a genetics conference in Alushta. What a magical landscape, I thought, and I met Russians there and some Ukrainians and many Tartars. The Tartars invited me to a after-wedding brunch in their own restaurant at the beach, when the shops and cafes run by Russians or Ukrainians were clossed at this out-of-season time of late October. Later I visited Bakhchisaray, the old palace of the Crimean Khans. Aside of the muslim study rooms and the paradise and rose gardens and the turkish bath, Alexander Pushkin was commemorated there where a dripping spring inspired him for his poem “The Fountain of Bakchisaray”.

Who could have imagine, that now, just three years later, another kind of books might become useful again to understand what is going on there at this beautiful peninsula, that was once the melting pot of Russian, Greek, Jewish, Tartar and other people. 

Reaching for the Stars

Dear Michael,
last weekend we saw a nice movie with mom and with Shafagh. The movie is a Danish/German/Swedish co-production, but the plot is set up in Iran and also filmed there. “Sepideh – Reaching for the Stars” is about a young girl from a middle-class Teheran family who becomes fascinated by astronomy. Together with friends she goes out to a self made, improvised observatory to watch the stars. When they were celebrating a large meteor of the Leonides shower, I had to remember when we went out in August 2010 to watch the Persides in Munich, and how sceptical I had been initially, until I saw this really impressive head-on meteor.  Mom liked the story about my own first star watching night.

Here is more about the movie, that was awarded a price at the sundance festival.

 

In a rural village far from Tehran, the night sky glows brilliantly, unimpeded by light pollution, and a teenage girl named Sepideh dreams of becoming a renowned astronomer. Lugging a telescope as tall as herself, Sepideh spends her nights stargazing, inspired by Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian in space. But achieving such a lofty ambition is easier said than done for an Iranian girl. Her uncle threatens something rash if Sepideh persists in her unladylike behavior, and her widowed mother warns that she cannot pay for the necessary schooling. Unphased, Sepideh composes impassioned missives to Albert Einstein and keeps her eyes on the prize. Yet when she’s passed over for a university scholarship and suitors come knocking at the door, her determination is seriously tested.

The camera is everywhere we want it to be in this magical documentary—charting the strained, yet devoted, relationship between daughter and mother and capturing unexpected moments that will change Sepideh’s life forever. Shots of breathtaking constellations are windows into Sepideh’s interior world and the vast universe that enthralls her. (from Sundance Festivals Homepage).

I could imagine that you like the movie. If you watch it, tell me what you think of it.

take care

/ghazal

 

 

 

 

 

Timeless Dream

Woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m., with a jet-lag related insomnia causing this asynchronity between my internal neuro-biological pace-maker and the local time. I had a dream that initially appeared strange to me, because what I saw there did not seem to make sense at all. More than a year after we stopped exchanging e-mails, you suddenly came to meet me. You were not alone, but accompanied by your family and Shavagh and some close friends. When I entered the room, you started to shout at me, accusing me of being just another ignorant coward, and that you now see clearly that all my promises were just standard lies from a “How to successfully carress a girl and get away with it ” textbook. For the first time I saw you driven by natural human emotions, a type of pain that broke out of your mind in an eruption of uncontroled anger. After one year that you apparently had accepted my silence, you now decided that the time had come for a fierce attack.
At this moment, when you lost all your social self-censoreship it suddenly became obvious that under the surface of your pride and not masked by your pursue for respect and self-control, there is still a hidden sensitivity for this classical feeling of pain after a personal Loss, like the phantom pain after a limb amputation.
If this expression of anger would have been only driven by an assault of your female pride, it would have ultimately distract me for a long time. But understanding that against all predictions you were occasionally waiting for some written words from me, and that you considered this sudden stop of our 3 year lasting conversation a violation of a given promise, this could change the image I have of you. I say “could”, since clearly it was just a dream. But dreams are perhaps manifestations of a hidden truth, like alternative realities that happen in a parallel universe.
Despite my dedication to reason and logic, I have to admit that this dream has changed my view on you. Although you might manage your entire life to hide this other side of your personality from the world, I will always believe that it exists. Somewhere, hidden behind a smooth and controlled facade.
There is no doubt that this dream not only revealed some previously unknown features of your complex personality, but most likely it tells even more of how I always wanted you to be: less concerned about the image that people have of you, more confident of your very own values and desires, and not afraid to use your own voice.
Not sure if it was only the 8 hours jet-lag after the flight from Japan back to Munich that triggered this dream, or the movie I was watching on board: “Ghost World” with Steve Buscemi and Thora Birch.

Berlin Groove

Who says that cool moves come only from the teens and twens ? BS, I say, not only after we accompanied our son to its dance-lesson-exam ball, and were shocked that all of his generation stood shy and helpless along the walls, whereas their parents like us were dancing the whole night through.

But here comes the ultimate proof: A local Berlin entertainer, with not so juvenile shape and some silver in his hair is doing the ultimate groove on the streets of East Berlin. The places between the Prenzlauer Berg and the Barn-Quatier in Mitte have not so much changed, since I went home there a quater century ago.

Solumun

(Solomun: “Kackvogel” featuring Friedrich Liechtenstein)

I think it’s a pitty that they have not revealed who was behind this Bear mask. It would be cool if Mr.Liechtenstein ripps off the mask and discovers the face of the red dressed girl who was dancing on the opposite of the road before.

Blogs I recommend to de-follow immediately

Hi Michael, You know my main access to the social media world is by Facebook. But through your blog and the various links on it, I also got used to read what people post on their own blogs. Some of them are really unique and inspiring, others are boring.

Therefore I set up my top 8 list of Blogs I used to de-follow sooner or later:

  • Blogs that talk about cooking and show endless rows of pictures with dishes, which would probably cause me nausea only by their smell . Because I know that most of them are inedible and I can cook better than 99% of people who write blogs about it.
  • Blogs which only write about traveling and show the 12.839.431st image of the Sangra Familia cathedral in Barcelona or  this special pub in Dublin.  Because if I want to see these places, I’ll go there by myself. And I think it is a sign of intellectual deficiency if people are not able to find inspiration to write a post while at home.
  • Blogs that intends to teach you how to do things right.  This is for sure one of the worst and proliferating pests not only on the book market, but in internet blogs as well.  They should be made legally responsible for anybody who is silly enough to follow them and fails.  Like financial advisers can be made liable if you lose an invesment by following their recommendations,  these “super-intelligent gurus” in the social media should be stoned in front of a public web-cam, each time  they publish another “8 ways to successfully change your leadership potential” or “12 questions one should never  ask his lover after a one night stand” etc etc).    People who still follow posts like this or even link and further recommend such sites should not forget the following:  These “super-intelligent gurus” are not inventing their 100% success proven recommendations out of pure altruism.  They make money with it, and this just goes by increasing web-traffic and placing ad-banners somewhere on their pages.  In fact, they don’t give a damn on any problem you want to solve.
  • Blogs which are set-up by girls and boys to present their latest fashion purchases. If I want to see something really inspiring in this sense, I better follow the bill-boards of Desigual or H&M along my daily bicycle ride to work.       
  • Blogs which are set up by girls to present their latest attempts as make-up artists and describe in detail how much work it is and how much it costs at the cosmetics store to look really overpainted, rediculous and awful.
  • Blogs which cite the daily news and add their own short comment in a style as “I hate this man” or “Funny new information” or “I was not aware of this”. The plain news is usually informative enough without your extra phrase.
  • Blog which attempt to spread religious or national surpremacy, whether it is on a christian, muslim or buddhist background. Honestly, sometimes I enjoy such blogs for some minutes, for the absurdity that really makes me laughter.  But in general, I think for any people who don’t have my senseof humour, such religious blogs are doing more harm than fun.
  • Blogs which want me to belief that a particular national minority would do much better after achieving independence, and that they would do even better after gaining indenpendence if they could expel any other minority, or at least deprive them of their equal rights. Sorry for all bloggers from Catalunia, telling me again and again how superior their province is compared to the rest of spain, sorry also for bloggers from Croatia describing how much more civilized and culturally developed they are as compared to the other Balkan countries (sorry, but you are still a Balkan country), sorry also for the Walloon and Flemish blogs proposing independence, but not a single word of excuse for de-following any Hungarian nationalistic blog. They should simply be blocked from any web-presence. I know that you fit much better into the European Front of National Freedom Fighters than in the internet.

I hope that this very decisive list that is now posted here does not qualifies your blog itself for category 3 (“list for things I recommend to do”)

Take good care

/Ghazal

Blue Knockouts rock Seeon

Our first concert took place in a remote place called Seeon. I guess it is the German spelling for Zion.

How could we ever understand each other ?

Platon wrote that a man and woman who really love each other are like two halfs of an apple, which were cut apart but only together form an ideal entirety again. What a nice, typical Platonian view of an ideal world, and clearly related to his obsession with ideal forms.

At least in our knowledge about relationships we made some progress since the ancient Greek philosopher wrote down his ideas, and we now consider that a mutual understanding is crucial for a lasting and prospering relationship. But I am wondering how mutual understanding is possible, if the main issue of a relationship between men and woman remains enigmatic to both sides:  A man will never understand why his girl fell in love with him, and vice versa can the girl never understand why the boy she loves so much wanted her.

Because the man in general loves the feminine features, and the girl loves masculine characters, so neither of both can really understand the emotions which drive the others side. It is like in game theory, where one player can only guess what are the intentions of the other player. In game theory each player tries to maximize its profit, without taking into account the opponents losses or gains. That seems to work quite well, if the game is a finite one and we have a fixed date to count our profit.

In privat relationships, however, the ideal is still the eternal love, so we have to find a way to really understand our partners emotions. Thats a funny thing: I still don’t really know why my wife loves me so much. I don’t have shiny, long hair, I don’t have nice long legs, I don’t have a soft voice, and I don’t have full, fruity lips, and I don’t have long eye-lashes and bowed eye-brows. So what the hell she finds in me ?

In theory, if mutual understanding is the key for a stable relationship, in fact two gay or lesbian lovers would have the best chances to live together in a long-lasting harmony. They can understand each other perfectly, because they share the same feelings towards others. If to gays watch a handsome man, they both feel equally attracted, what could rarely happen to a heterosexual couple.

But somehow, this theory is not reality-proven. In reality, gay or lesbian relationships exhibit anything else than a long duration. So common desire and shared taste not neccessarily guarantee a long-lasting and prospering relationship. It is more likely that a mutual interest, driven by couriosity into a very different personality is a much stronger glue for two people than the apodictic certainty that the two knows everything from each other, and nothing remains secret or enigmatic.

Don’t we say “crazy for love”, and does not this implies that one loves much more what on sees as crazy, but not as logical (according to its own standards) ?