Long gone and forgotten

Exactly eight months. It isn’t even a year. We have forgotten her already. The media doesn’t cover the story anymore. Other news became more interesting. More important. More present.

Do you remember the woman who fought against death? Do you remember President Bush jr changing laws to save her life? Do you remember a family fighting for their daughter’s right to live? What was her name? Do you remember?

Some people certainly won’t remember. CNN and other news channels have filled their heads with other news. Whether they are more important or not remains to be seen.

What about the big scandal? People screaming out their belief that nobody should ever have the right to kill another human being, and certainly not on the untrustworthy basis of a still-husband who’s had an affair for years. What about webpages going online every day to ensure she survives? What about almost the whole internet suffering a quake when hundreds of weblogs wrote about a woman in coma who became a discussion a whole country had to deal with? Has the problem of active and passive euthanasia ever been solved? It’s a discussion that has never been finished, the woman died and the case was closed.

I know, the whole has been treated by the media to such a large extent that nobody could know what really happened. Both parties claimed her version to be the truth, and nobody could possibly find his way through the jungle of contradictorious informations. There just weren’t any reliable sources.

Or hasn’t she been forgotten after-all? Is there anybody who still thinks about the problem behind this scandal? Even months after her death? Actually, yes, there is. A community which everyone of you has heard of or is perhaps even a part of: Wikipedia. The main article about the woman fighting against death and losing against a court is one of the longest I have seen on Wikipedia. She will be remembered. What was her name again?

Theresa Marie Schiavo
3.12.1963 – 31.3.2005
Requiescat In Pace

Ben’s 20th

Friday October 28th. That was quite an evening. Who would have thought one could have so much fun with people one doesn’t know very well? Actually, I was a bit sceptical going to a party where I didn’t even know if there were any people I knew, beside Ben of course. But it was his 20th birthday. A special (birth)day in my opinion. And a person’s birthday who once was there to help when I needed someone to talk to. A conversation I’m still thankful today.

I hadn’t passed such an enjoyable evening for some time, I can’t think of any second where there wasn’t anyone laughing. My face’s muscles hurted from the continuous laughing. But it was an agreable hurt, I didn’t even think about it, there was just no time, before you could calm down and breath some air the next joke came in and made you laugh even more.

Laughing is one of the most important and oldest human skills, it has evolved all over the human evolution. It expresses that one feels comfortable and trusts the people around. I certainly felt comfortable during those hours. Most surely it was also the pleasure of seeing a friend again who I hadn’t seen in a long time – talking about losing friends.

What surprises me is that I took so few pictures. I who usually take flash photographs one after an other faster than Lucky Luke shoots his shadow…

Again, all the best for your 20th birthday Ben! May there follow many more decades.

The video with Ben playing his djembe can be found here (1.5 MB, H.264, QuickTime 7 required).

And here are a few impressions:

Ben gets a djembe


A historical moment: Alain stands up to get some more Tiramis├╣


no comment :-)

Check that out

There are many blogs that aren’t even worth the few kilobytes the HTML pages take up. But a few minutes ago, I found a blog that’s worth every bit and byte of space and of reading every single entry:

BildBlog.de.

Yes, it’s about the famous German newspaper – if you dare call it a ‘newspaper’. No, it’s no blog which makes even more propaganda for the stories that are made-up most of the time. Actually, they take the most stupid articles – you guess right, there’s a lot of them! – list them and explain what Bild did wrong this time. You can actually learn something reading that blog, I’d never have known that a strong wind has to be a 118 km/h fast to be called ‘hurricane’.

The watchblog got this year’s Grimme Online Award and is written by four mediajournalists (who use pseudonyms).

That’s a blog you have got to check out. I’ve already bookmarked the feed in my browser. :-)

Have fun.

Best of the blogs

This weblog was started with the goal of creating a weblog that is different and does not simply function as a banal diary for its authors. Coincidentally, I’ve now discovered that there is already an award which is dedicated to the most outstanding weblogs out there, there even is a category for RWB (Reporters Without Borders, find out more about them on the corresponding Wikipedia article).

I haven’t checked out all of the nominees yet, but there seem to be some quite interesting sites among them. Got to make sure Thoughts will never be nominated, I don’t want this blog to become mainstream.

So the blogosphere seems to have its idols, too. Social structures, reflected in weblogs – which in some way are the mirror of our society? It certainly looks that way. And I’m comforted that my favourite blog isn’t among the nominees. It’s reassuring my tastes are still a bit outside of the mainstream.

Check out the nominees at the following address: TheBobs.com.

Mass versus individual

One of my favourite quotes:

“(…) We are all explorers, driven to know what’s over the horizon, what’s beyond our own shores. And yet, the more I’ve experienced, the more I’ve learned that – no matter how far we travel or how fast we get there – the most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star. They’re within us, woven into the threads that bind us – all of us – to each other. (…)” – Jonathan Archer

Just like a pill

There are songs that are known to everyone, songs where most of the time we can’t even name the singer or band who sung it, and yet could sing the song – or at least the chorus – without thinking about it. And there are those songs that have a special importance to us. Songs that we know by heart, songs that are burned deep into our mind and connected so strongly to a memory we can’t possibly ignore them. These songs exist for us personally or even for a whole group or society. Everybody connects Enya’s Only Time to 9/11.

One of these songs that is strongly connected to a memory of mine is Just like a pill by Pink. Honestly, I don’t even know why. But everytime I hear the song, a memory comes back to my mind, of which I couldn’t even tell the year it happened if it wasn’t by the date that the song was released. It was one of those evenings at the funfair. Paul had just won some more tickets at that basketball game, got himself a bottle of cheap champagne and we – Paul, Gilles and I – left the fair. We sat in front of a tourist office emptying that bottle, and at some point came onto speaking about Pink’s then newly released song Just like a pill. I don’t know why that memory got so important to me, or so strongly connected to that song, but it did.

Peradventure, it is only because back then in 2002, life was a lot simpler. I still had all of the chances that I’ve missed by now. The future looked bright and I still had the possibility to realize the dreams that today are nothing more than a memory about which I don’t want to think because they sadden me. That memory, some sort of personification for a luckier life? Mayhap.

Now, three years later I heard that song again coincidentally. It’s been the first time since months. And still I felt like Proust dipping his madeleine into his coffee and, without being able to explain it, found back the lost time for a single moment.

Apologies

Some functions of the site might be unavailable within the next days, or the whole page might look kind of chaotic and without a real layout. This is due to the fact that I’m currently working on my own design for the blog and am replacing and testing the template files over the next days.

I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your understanding.

The Drama

It’s amazing how many good bands are out there without ever anyone noticing them, or at least, without having the mainstream absorb it as it does with nearly everything. In most cases bands are better as long as they don’t belong to the pop culture, often they get standardized as soon as they have a big label who just sees the millions of dollars to gain instead of the extraordinary music their bands once created. I hope this band never becomes a part of the mainstream. They are A Perfect Circle before anyone having known them. Well, who knows A Perfect Circle anyway? In fact I only know of one person. (Greetz Yves :-)) But then, thinking about it, they already were on the soundtrack of Constantine, so they can’t be that unknown in the States.

The Drama play fresh, new good old real rock. They’ve been around in the underground scene for some time now, and as most bands they hope to become a part of that oh so great mainstream, which I, honestly, would find a shame seeing such a good band as The Drama being played on every radio station.

Now that 10 Years has become a part of the pop culture, at least in the US, and may lose their uniqueness, becoming just another rock band that’s as bad as any other band in the mainstream, all my hope lies with The Drama at this time. :-) But, perchance, 10 Years might survive the big labels’ greed…

For those of you who’d like to get a sample of The Drama’s music, the iTunes Music Store has got some of their songs, even if it aren’t the best ones, they are still fun to listen to. To head over to The Drama’s songs on Apple’s iTMS, simply click here.

Their official website can be found at TheDrama.co.uk, where they’ve also got some other great songs to listen to, which, personally, I like a lot more than those featured on the music store.

Individual versus Mass

Yesterday evening I read some old emails I exchanged with a good friend of mine some weeks ago. We had discussed the fact that sometimes we feel like aliens in our own world. Nothing special about that, I guess most people have experienced this. But when I was sitting in the bus today, I decided to give it a try and provoke that feeling. Curiously, I succeeded. Feeling as a complete stranger in an environment that is so familiar is amazing.

There is however something more I wanted to achieve this time: to become conscious of every single person that was sitting in that bus, to become aware that every person who shared the same place in our space-time continuum as me, was an individual with problems, hopes, dreams and fears. It felt as if I was part of a collective, a hive, where everyone is on himself and yet dependent on and bound to all the others.

I will do it again.

It gave me an all new look on our postmodern world, where everybody feels so left alone. Our world, a place where we need stability now more than ever before. A moment in time in which we reject everything that seems absolute, even moral values. Yet, we desperately seek something that is not relative to give us a hold.

So many people were sitting around me whose names I knew. Mayhap there were people who knew mine. People I have never talked to and probably never will. I don’t dislike them. I simply don’t feel any particular interest in talking to them. I had, for these few seconds though. If only all humans would experience this daily, if it was a part of our very nature, if we walked around and were totally aware of all our fellow beings, peradventure, this world would be much more bearable, for all of us.

But, in the end, humans prefer to stay anonymous. We drown ourselves in the bottomless lake of self-pity for being alone. When it comes down to meeting new people, we prefer the impersonal alternative, where we are nothing more than an avatar and don’t have to leave the safety of our small office at home. The old saying ‘no risk no fun’ gets an all new meaning in this context. Today, most already consider it a risk coming out behind their firewall, stepping out of the front door and talking to real-life people. Nobody wants to leave his VR, where we just feel too comfortable.

The world is waiting to be filled with discussions, opinions, chit-chats. What do we do? We keep leaving it crest-fallen.