To Where You Are

I think this song by Josh Groban fits this sad day. My sincere condolences.

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear
Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are
Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
’cause you are mine
Forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave
Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are
I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

They stole Christmas

There are still about 7 weeks left to Christmas and already I can’t wait for it anymore.

It’s the first time in years that I’m looking forward to Christmas. I haven’t liked that celebration with a religious touch that is completely lost in our modern world for years. Who knows what Christmas is about? The people buying presents for hundreds of euros? The people who run to the shop to exchange the presents they got? The people who associate nothing more to Christmas than the mulled wine? The business people who only see the money they can make?

I would not describe myself as being religious. I know that Christmas is no original Christian event. I’m well aware that Jesus was not born on December 25th. But still, I care about those things being respected in the sense that people understand that Christmas is not about consuming. It is about being together with the people you love. Presents just matter too much in our vision of Christmas. Telling someone you love her or him and are happy to have her/him in your life is considered less important or respectable than buying your child, nephew or god knows who else the newest incarnation of the Play Station.

Quo vadis? (John 13:36)

We are walking into the loneliness of a consumer society. We’re a society that irrevocably runs on the finishing straight towards complete self-destruction.

I’m standing right in the middle. I held my breath for the last few years, Christmas being for me one of the saddest days in the year. And now that I found back the joy of Christmas, it becomes even more clear to me that the celebration which I found so sad during all that time is really bad. There is no Christmas anymore. There are two weeks off school. There are thousands of people drinking bad tasting wine. There are millions of euros spent for things the people who get them don’t want.

Hasn’t anybody ever thought about how sad it is that the first thing people do when they open a present is to think about what they could exchange it for? Why do people still buy presents? I’m convinced the answer is as simple as it is shocking: they have to. Buying expensive presents has become a symbol of social status and society expects us to buy such inflated presents.

There is no Christmas. Not anymore. Who stole it? The shops who start their offensive ads and christmas markets earlier every year? Or the people who fall for it? I should now blame those businessmen who only want to gain money, but I don’t. At least not the most. I blame the people for their stupidity of letting themselves manipulate more and more. And it saddens me, a convinced anarchist, seeing how my vision of a world worth living in is destroyed a bit more every second by those people.

Yet again, I will smile when I see the punks accusing the people on the Christmas market of being stupid capitalists. I accuse them of doing it simply to make fun of the people. But they are still right. The rich will ignore it, but someone has to tell them they are wrong. Why not some people who think they were anarchists and call themselves by a name of which they don’t even know what it originally meant? I know it is a bias, get me one punk who can correctly explain what anarchy is and who can tell the original meaning and origin of the word ‘punk’ and I will change my mind. :-)

At least, this year, I’m looking forward to Christmas to see the friends who really matter in my life.

Thanks for showing me that Christmas can be a joyful day. Even in today’s world. You know you’re meant by this. :-)

I Am David

I’ve just finished watching a movie I didn’t want to watch for a long time: I Am David. Some of you may have heard of this film, or the novel by Anne Holm on which it is based. I read the book some years ago, and, honestly, I didn’t like it. But, I decided to give the story another chance and got the movie.

David is a young boy who has lived in a prison camp in Bulgaria for all his life, until one day, he gets a chance to escape after his friend died a heroic death to save David’s life. With everyone of David’s moves and thoughts, the viewer experiences this world through the eyes of an innocent child who has never seen a lake, a cat, someone who has never eaten warm food, and, somehow, it felt as if I became this child who discovers a world full of mysteries myself.

The movie is very calm, much of it has no dialogs. Paul Feig shows David trying to find his way through the world mostly through fantastic photography and Stewart Copeland underlines this beautiful though often sad scenery with an ingenious soundtrack.

Ben Tibber – whom I’d only known as Tiny Tim out of the Christmas Carol version with Patrick Stewart OBE in 1999 – is an excellent actor. Playing David who gradually becomes more and more human and learns to trust other people while he is still haunted by the trauma of his friend being shot in front of him and while more and more, he finds back memories of his mother, would have been a great challenge for any (child) actor, but Tibber is so convincing that David becomes a person whom you seem to really get to know throughout these ninety minutes.

Jim Caviezel, whom most of you might know as Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion Of The Christ is outstanding as Johann, as well as Joan Plowright, whom I don’t know out of any other film I can think of now, as Sophie.

This film surely is no popcorn movie. It is a masterpiece. It is the way every movie should have to be. Emotional, and yet never pathetic. Serious, and yet never grave.

There are a lot of scenes in this movie that have a much greater story to tell than most action films. The scene where David is lying under the trees and realizes he is now a free person – a concept that had never really existed for him before – is simply enormous. Another scene that struck me was the first time that David woke up by the sea, it is then that he realizes that this world “outside” that he had never known is real and that he is becoming a part of it.

Everyone should have seen this, you will never ask for a banal Spielberg movie like War Of The Worlds again after having seen this movie by Paul Feig, who, in my opinion, is of the same calibre than Lukas Moodysson, one of my favourite directors.

What surprised me a lot during the movie is that I suddenly remembered some scenes, I saw them in front of my inner eyes the way I had imagined them back when I read the book. So, in the end, the book can’t have been that bad. I will certainly re-read it.

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.