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The trembling table

A stroll through nightly suburb streets made me recall a line by Ingeborg Bachmann (or was it Jelinek? I think it was Bachmann.) about how the cruelest crimes happen behind those middle class suburbian walls. What looks like happy families through the illuminated windows of EdScissorhandian pastel homes turns into gruesome horrors in the corner of the eye. I like how quiet and peaceful it seems. I like the ‘seems’.

Back home I sit down and it suddenly hits me that the table I’m working at is the same table at which I sat for family dinners when I was a child. What comes to my mind is not the food, is not what we talked about, are not the familiar faces of my mother, my sister, my father. What comes to my mind is how the table used to tremble. How I felt the wood trembling under my fingertips, my hands, my arms. The table trembled every couple of weeks when my father tried sobering up and his body fought back. No Upworthy headline could suggest to you the tension that was in the air whenever he did so. No genre could capture what artists my mother and my sister had become in avoiding his eyes and making small-talk, skillfully zig-zagging around him, as if he was a blank, as if he didn’t sit there with us. They circled the most delicate patterns of topics he couldn’t use to start a fight into the icy air surrounding those family dinners. I just sat there scared and angry to my bone, scared of all of them, angry at all of them, wanting to scream: Don’t leave me alone with this tension! I don’t know how to play your games!
It was almost liberating when he exploded nevertheless – of course he did, they were artists, no magicians -, shouting at the top of his lungs what a horrible cook my mother was – which of course she wasn’t -, smashing pot and plate with delicious food on the floor in such big big anger and disgust and the deep longing for a powerful reaction. He stomped off, my mother and sister just shut up for a moment, then chatted on quietly as if nothing had happened. I was stone.

The tension. I haven’t in&exhaled fully until I was 19 and he was dead. It’s a small thing and I tend to forget it but it’s true: I used to never breathe fully. It was my way of making me smaller and if not invisible at least a little bit see-through. If no one sees you breathing, if your chest doesn’t move when you breath you’re not there. Melt into the background. If you do it right he won’t explode unto you. The tension. He was so powerful to me in those years. It was as if he could shoot me to the moon with a snap of his finger if he wasn’t careful. Not that I would have minded. Tiptoeing around the trembling table. Sometimes I think I love living in these suburbs because I need the constant reminder of what could happen if you don’t pay attention. You could end up in some sort of family with people you love and do the same shit to them. But not as long as you manage to keep this table from trembling.

Wish I was a bromoter

My love/hate-moral-fight about hiphop strikes once again. Do I want to put up a show (= provide a platform and sacrifice time, energy, money, emotion – not necessarily in that order) for a rap act who uses ‘bitch’/’hoe’/etc. in their lyrics? Or – as it is just as common standard as half-naked women in advertising – do I bow down to the omnipresence and act as if that makes it okay with me?

If it was the kind of glossy hiphop that is just focussed on getting style and sounds perfect, you know, the kind to whom the sexual stereotyping of women comes as naturally and carelessly to their lyrics as the side-chain effect to their bassline and kicks, my answer was no. If they use it just because it’s en vogue, or even worse: because it’s considered cutting edge, I would say no. A few things would make that decision easy: most prominently the dilettant theory-lover in me that is well aware that language is not just a means of expression but also produces reality and the hair-tearing part of me that still can’t be but a feminist and of course the context in which I put up shows which is ‘culturally romantic’ (aka a leftist non-profit collective structure).

But now my dilemma du jour: Doesn’t it make a difference if it’s an experimental noise hiphop act that doesn’t glamourize the hoe-ification of women but whose music’s point rather is to mirror the ugliness and aggression of the world they are looking at? For me it seems to do, it’s a different kind of use that makes it okay. Or do I kid myself?

Srsly, I sometimes wish I was a nonefuckgiving gutfeelingtrusting businesstype male promoter. A fuck-morals-it’s-about-sound&doesitmakeanymoney… bromoter. If no solution there at least comes the title for this blog entry.

Grinding Halt

“No sound. No people. No clocks. No people. No fine. No people. No me. No people.
Stopped. Short. Grinding halt.
Everything is coming to a griding halt.”
The Cure

See, this morning I could have chosen to wrap myself in silence and hide with endless cups of teas under endless layers of blankets watching endless episodes of Sopranos and wait for this bloody attack of anxiety and sadness to go away. The pure thought of talking with people, of interacting, of functioning as a basic human being, made me sick. Instead of crawling under a stone and hiding, this time I posted my self-pity online though. Thought a second about if it made me more vulnerable to go public with it and if it was like an emotional selfie.
Well, I quickly shoved doubts aside and did – and in this state of mind it’s a bigger step than you might think it is – a little self-pity posting on a social network of choice and somehow the tiny online interaction, resulting chats… just to have chosen not to be silent and invisible until it goes away.. somehow this punched a hole into that bubble of desperation et voilà: now, 5 hours later I feel almost human again. A bit soppy still, very fragile still, but much better.

Still not sure if I will make it out of my flat today but I don’t want to miss the Tiger Magic show. Oh my.

I don’t even know how these attacks come about. Had a nice day yesterday. Last night I was almost satisfied with how a remix I have made for a friend turned out, and also a poster layout for a show I help putting up in December seemed okay to me. Still: the next moment the abyss opens up and all of a sudden I feel down and worthless and lonely and sad etc. I even had a nightmare last night. This hardly ever happens to me. It had zombies. The slow ones. I woke up a couple of times in a kind of numb fear, scared to move and scared to sleep. I seemed to sink back into the same dream again and again. Was glad when it finally was dawn outside.

Anyways. To all of you who know these kind of days or moments: You’re not alone. I guess most of us have them, in all kinds of sizes and degrees. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse.

Oh, and I can’t but end with this fabulous gif:
feelings

Gabriele Kuby – Hetzrednerin gegen Homosexualität und Gleichstellung von Frauen kommt nach Nürnberg

[Sorry - posting this in german as it's about a homophobic anti-feminist Hatemongerer coming to my hometown to spread her vile messages.]

Der Termin rückt so langsam näher und Protestideen nehmen langsam konkretere Gestalt an:

Am 3.11. stellt das CVJM Nürnberg seine Räumlichkeiten für einen Vortrag von Gabriele Kuby zur Verfügung, die bekannt ist für üble Hetzreden gegen Homosexuelle und gegen die Gleichstellung von Frauen. Und gegen Harry Potter. Finden viele nicht so dufte. Wenn es eine andere Religion wäre, hätten bestimmt schon einige von menschenfeindlichem religiösen Extremismus gesprochen.


Anyways – haltet die Augen und Ohren offen, und zeigt dass auch ihr die Hassrednerin in Nürnberg nicht willkommen heißt und es ziemlich uncool vom CVJM findet, dass er solchen Meinungen ein Podium gibt!

Hier noch zwei Artikel, die klar machen, für was sie so steht:
http://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=19956
http://jetzt.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/348365/Jugend-ohne-Sex

Germany, October 2013

Germany, Duisburg, 9th October 2013: Arson attack on a house in which 42 Roma live.
Germany, Güstrow, 12th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation of 120 refugees.
Germany, Gmünden, 18th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation for refugees.
Germany, Wehr, 19th October 2013: Arson attack on accomodation of asylum seekers.
Police apparently in all cases: “nothing suggests political or racist motives”.
Germany, Schneeberg, 19th October 2013: 1500 people join torch rally to protest an accomodation for refugees.

Edit:

One more: Germany, Oldenburg, 20th October 2013: Arson attack on a cultural center of Sinti and Roma.

Lesen:

“brennt die scheiße schon vorher ab!” – Stimmungsmache gegen Flüchtlinge

Fakten gegen Vorurteile

Sissy Bass. Kuedo. Crashed.

As I still hadn’t recovered from a cold I had feared last night’s SISSY BASS would crash me badly but then it hit me all like this: <3

It was wonderful.
Kuedo was a wonderful guest and played such a great daring and inspiring set. Love him for being so uncompromising. What a journey.
Wish I wasn’t so hungover and found more words for it.
Feeling happy and thankful today and love music and the people I share that love with.

kuedonight

#missingwords

Is there already a word for the kind of disappointment that you get when you click on a mysterious link from your favourite artist and it turns out to be just another advertisement screaming “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!” instead of something meaningful, creative, culturally relevant?

Max Tundra, Lindsay Lowend

If a song comes to my mind these days I often am too lazy to go over to my record shelf but search for it online instead. When I listened to Lindsay Lowend’s ‘Wind Fish’ it’s effervescence and sound aesthetic reminded me of Max Tundra‘s ‘Labial’. Haven’t found it online but came across this longforgotten synth fun(k) jewel – “Jump!”. Still sooo good.

As for Lindsay Lowend: It’s the solo work of ghetto funk duo Dads On Display‘s Antonio Mendez from Washington DC and it is futurist hiphop goodness with a prog influence that reminds me as well of  wonky stars Rustie and Hudson Mohawke as of the synths aesthetic and humor of game music. The whole
‘Wind Fish’ EP (Symbols Rec.) is tasty. This is the track that brought ‘Labial’ to my mind:

This one is great too and the feminist me has already planned to edit the Lil Wayne(?) sample to say ‘boys in the kitchen’ using bits of Sabrinas ‘Boys Boys Boys’ before playing it out. We’ll see how that goes.

Living in a democracy we should be free to dance with no one watching and not have to act as if no one was

I hate getting all worked up about current politics but sometimes (actually more and more often) it happens even to me. Then I have to start reading up on subjects cause I haven’t regularly read the papers and that confronts me with my ignorance and thus makes me even more grumpy. Not a nice situation. What has made me start this blog entry last night was reading the news, reading how after german Verfassungsschutz (as the NSU case has clearly shown) now the BND also seems to act beyond any constitutional limitations, and they seem to do so without even the slightest care about human lives. Leaking german data of mobile communication to the NSA has been ‘common use’ ever since 2003/2004 for the BND. That might have helped to make US drone strikes a bit more… erm… ‘effective’?! So, Germany, ‘we’ aid ‘targetting’ or rather – (as there aren’t enough inverted commas to go on writing like this): killing people now?! I hope no one believed the BND’s weak claims that those data are not exact enough for targetting when the same technical wizardry works pretty good in GPS routing hundreds of stag doers home safely every week-end when they got too drunk to remember their way.

Just enough to make it still look like democracy

The waves of news about the huge NSA-centered surveillance network have reached a level at which a call for neutral authorities to monitor and judge those secret services is not nearly enough anymore. What we know by now is so far beyond a point at which trust could be restored by transparency that I can’t think of a consequence but the elimination of those institutions and big changes in the government. Which of course won’t happen, I’m not that much of a dreamer. All of our ruling parties either couldn’t stop or helped make way for this, the roots go back in time. The arrogance or pretence naivety – and I hope it is pretence as it seems preferrable to actual cluelessness – with which highest-ranking politicians play around with this subject is unbelievable. As this is happening so close to the next elections in Germany it also discloses in which desolate a condition our democracy is. People shrug lethargically in ‘can’t change anything’ poses and indeed there is no eligible party that stands for data security / privacy (yes, I know… Piraten – ach…). Merkel is on holidays, the opposition protested a bit but has pulled back now as they see it doesn’t work as vote-turner. Steinbrück – there’s the pretence naivety again – now already praises Obama‘s “look we haz made you a transparency website and I did the dishes”-speech. I don’t even want to read up on all the single reactions anymore. I’m tired of waiting for real efforts in clarification instead of all this shuffling around, these power games with everyone dripping with pre-electoral saliva. The only thing that they seem to be busy trying to control is the effect those leaks have on their citizens. Let’s keep things stable, motivate people to use their right to vote, but don’t get too political when doing so. Just enough to make it still look like democracy. Funny thing is, that while losing more and more trust in democracy I still feel a much bigger yet unexplainable urge to go and use my vote this time than at the last elections. Guess all this talk about secret files makes me go all Mulder, in a ‘I want to believe’ way.

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This is not about a single country though, it is about as international as it gets because after all it is about how our lives are interwoven with our magic interwebz, and smartphones, etc. From pictures of cats (I knew I’d find a reason make embedding a cat picture relevant even for this text!) to random communication with strangers from all over the globe, from music streams (why has nobody told me yet that Airhead‘s ‘For Years’ album is such a good summer soundtrack?) to viral videos, from big news networks to obscure blogs, from Grindr to Geocaching, from silly twitter puns to deep discussions, from skype to snapchat, from shopping and banking to the nostalgia of facepalming over getting farmville request from friends, family, bosses on facebook. Of course you leave a certain level of privacy behind as soon as you click around or post something on the web or even when you just travel with your smartphone in your pocket but you do each of those things in a certain context and decide in that context if you want to put that information there or not. What makes this whole NSA surveillance thing so scary is that someone collects all of those tiny traces and is able to connect them.  Geez, I don’t even use payback cards. I have little doubt that there will be or are data collections with which they even can do so years from now. The act of connecting the dots might not be perfect now – *oi, amazon, are you really recommending me dat because I read dis?!* – but algorhythms will get better and this kind of future is getting a bit too dystopic for my taste. I do not care which countries’ governments’ surveillance it is that does so, I don’t want anyone to have that possibility. No one can tell in which hands these data and possibilities will end up years from now. Still, here we go, stripped of fundamental rights and feeling helpless about it.

The mantra of the meek of heart: “It doesn’t surprise me” and “I got nothing to hide”

What could make it worse? Yes, of course: People. People peopling. To be more exact: People’s apathy about it. People’s notion that it doesn’t really concern them, people hypnotizingly humming the mantra of the meek of heart: “It doesn’t surprise me” and “I got nothing to hide“. Hey, it should surprise you! Am I the only one that hasn’t been informed when our basic rights got thrown over board? I reject being told I’m the naive one here. I don’t want to type this with the feeling of someone looking over my shoulder. I don’t want the Telekom to track everything I do with my phone. I don’t want to start thinking twice before I type certain words in certain contexts. I don’t want to catch me thinking, ‘oh, well, if I were to chose my artist name today I might not pick ‘eve massacre’ even if it’s just a nod to a chapter in a great Irvine Welsh novel. These are bits of freedom and innocence lost. I also don’t want to learn how to encrypt, Mr. Friedrich and Mr. Applebaum. Oh, and maximum LOLs to the ‘email made in germany’ joke. Good one. Almost as good as the antivirus software ad with the slogan ‘good against secret services’. After the secure email services Lavabit and Silent Circle shut down deleting all their customers mails without warning Lavabit maker, Ladar Levison, said in an interview: “I’m taking a break from email. If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either” – well, that doesn’t even encourage to start looking for secure alternatives. Phil Zimmermann (Silent Circle, inventor of PGP) also says in an interview for Gigaom: “The surveillance landscape is far worse than it has ever been and I feel like everything we do is now observable. (…) I don’t think any of this can be fixed merely by the application of cryptography.” If you feel like doing so anyways, you might like to check prism-break.org. I thought about it, as well as about listening to friends who said they’d use the web less from now on, but that just feels like hiding or retreating. It somehow feels as an equally wrong move as twitter silence in the face of rape threats. I agree with Friedemann Karig: “What should protect you from spying is laws, not encryption. Else cryptography will soon turn into cryptonite for the idea of informational self-determination - and thus for web freedom.” (clumsy translation by me, full text here). Living in a democracy we should be free to dance with no one watching and not have to act as if no one was.

This is to democractic liberties what that Thicke song is to feminism

The only upside of this whole surveillance nightmare is that it gave me a new trust in at least some journalists’ and bloggers’ integrity and the power of critical journalism and blogging. The Guardian - just last night with a new article - and many others have done and are doing a brilliant job in giving us all the information in bits and pieces and commentary we can understand and which helps us reflect it all. This is why can’t but keep this blog posting brimming of links – yay, journos & bloggers! And of course: yay, leakers!
That The Guardian has not shed all the leaks at once but did and keeps doing so in little doses gave us time inbetween the disclosures to see how people in charge react. No matter if in the USA or Germany or wherever else, it seems to be the same: a) denial of knowing anything, b) when it gets revealed as lie they belittle it and shroud in vague replies, putting real explanations off, c) they claim it is all for our good (Terrorists! They hid under your bed! Stay under your cozy blankets! Oh, and by the way: Be happy you still have blankets! It’s just because of us! Because of our german economagic powers! While other countries economies crumble like this cookie! Look, more cookies for you! So hush now!)… erm… where was I? …. ah, yes: How the responsible people deal with it and how it hopefully won’t end: d) They let the disclosures go on, add vague policital candy-promises here and there to bounce it off their backs until the disclosures get too many or too complex and it drags on for too long to keep people’s attention so finally it all turns into blurred lines and no one cares anymore. “You know you want it”. See, this is to democractic liberties what that Thicke song is to feminism. And there is an awful lot of people humming along to that song this summer, so be afraid.

ORCHID – stonewall was a riot

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I totally forgot to post this here. It was a good one. Audience a bit different from usually but lots of fun and lots of friends. I love those summer K4 nights when the street in front of the house becomes kind of a second party area. I’m also glad the deco stuff worked out as I had planned it. Here’s some pictures:


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