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Showing posts from 2004

MCluhan and Computer Games

Society has become so accelerated now that any real-world experience is exploited almost immediately, given the commercial imperative ...

This sentence set me thinking. It would set anyone thinking, especially after two weeks of intensive dissection of the highly esoteric texts of one Marshall MCLuhan, one of the most famous media critics and philosophers that the sixties have brought forth- ut my private surveys on the Berlin U and S bahn have shown that, even though people seem to be fundamentally aware of what he has said (the medium is the message...), no-one seems to actually kow the man. Which is fine by me.

The two weeks I spent with marshall were very interesting. They forced me to actually dig very deep into his texts to understand what the man was writing, but once I had understood what he had written, it became a process of reaffirming my position on this planet and towards other people, the media and the world in general.

During that time, I held a short talk about onli…

Caram Alan

The other day, I was overjoyed while listening to the radio. The BBC, to be more precise. Amongst all the wars and explosions and job losses and elections and SpacshipOne winning the Ansari X-Prize, a name that was like unto music to my egocentric nervous system was uttered.

"and now our corresponent Karam (i suppose, for that is how you would usually spell the name) Allan reports from...." I was piqued, especially when hearing a woman reporting. Now Caram is one of those strange names like Dominique that can be applied to both the male and the female of the species, but to that day I had yet to hear of a woman bearing it.

So thank you, BBC, for expanding my cultural horizon more than you already have, and giving me the opportunity to reconsider my position in the world as is related to my name.

"Are you American?"

Recently, on a cinema outing to the Potsdamer Platz, a friend of mine and myself came accross a most heartening form of rebellion. Several temporary stands had been set up at various locations around the Plaza, in the Cinemas and the adjacent mall.

The were manned and womaned by anti-Bush campaigners who were trying to get American Expats living in Berlin (of which there must be about ten- 15 thousand) to register for their voice to be heard in the upcoming presidential elections from across the Atlantic. Very motivated and very energetic, passers- by who fit the profile of a possible American (which is everyone) whether they had regiostered to vote.

Their problem in this case was not voter apathy, for the stands were rather well visited (though not as well as the MOMA exhibition, which we had gone to before), but the lack of Americans attending. I counted many Germans with an interest in getting rid of George Dubya, quite a few tourists (some of them were American, but they vote in t…

Rain.

Purple rain. The Rain in Spain falls mainly in the Plain. Let it Rain. I'm Singing in the Rain. Raindrops are falling on my head. I'm only happy when it rains. Rain Of Tears. Rain on me. Raindrops from heaven. Anyone who wishes to add to this ridiculously short list of rain titles, feel free to do so. The best entries will be published here and this competition is open 'till april next year, when we hope to see the sun again after all the rain.

Autumn hath descended upon us. The skies, gray before, now have the glint of steel particular to clouds that know that they'll be here for a while. The rain bombards the pavements with permanent and powerful conviction.Mornings are awful, as when you creep out of your carfully heated cave consisting of a quilt and an extra blankey that you've been warming all night with your body heat (okay, it is slightly nuts to sleep with the window open...), you cant't help but feel the chill of winter sloly creep into your bone marr…

A week before University

Well, here we are again, at the start of yet another semester.

For a change things seem to be going smoothly. After having waited for the schedules to be published for about a month, an amount of times Star Wars fans will be familliar with, after having made almost dialy trips to the next town, which is where I study to find out why I didn't know what courses to take yet, after a lot of cigs and fags and smokes, it hath fianally come to pass.

It's always exciting, this feeling, going somewhere to get stuff pushed and pressed into your head by benevolent tutors. Some of them induce a state of hypnotism, so that their droning will hopefuly fade into you subbconcioussness (and stay there for the next few years), other are more practical, and the ocasional limb is put on the line for the sake of art. And the students go, limbless and well- rested, to have drink afterwards.

Prussian Thermae

Ave, oh co- citizens of this planet. Anyone who has read the rest of this blog will know of my constant ranting against my current employers, the fitness company, the autumnal Berlin weather and humanity in general.

Well, here's an anecdote that did warm my heart, and later on, heated my body, unclogged my pores and made me sweat profusely and from the depths of my corpus.

A little flashback: a while back, maybe in May, I had read an article that suggested that, should one be strapped for cash (as I am) and in need of some enjoyable employment (which I lack), one should consider applying as a product tester or a lab-rat consumer (which I did). A few months passed.

A week ago now, I was walking down the street thinking how nice it would be to have a refreshing swim to find out if I could still stay afloat, not to mention do a decent breast stroke. Walking through the streets on this sunny day, it seemed like all I would need to attain perfect harmony with my inner self and my surro…

More on work

On a sunny day in berlin, I sit here with my dysfunctional space tab and think.

I was working alone yesterday, a dangerous thing. It gives you time to think and observe what you are doing. I observed this.

A couple is kissing passionately on the street, they are so deeply into it that the surrounding street does not exist. "Hello, do you want to take part in our competition?"

Another couple, deep in arguement. "Hello, do you want to take part in our competition?"

A group of people walking down the street in what I can only assume to be a highly intellectual discussion. "Hello, do you want to take part in our competition?"

A poor guy, walking and thinking his own thoughts. The perfect example of what a promoter would like to have and woo into taking part. "Take part in our competition or I'll sing!"

(if you think this is material that might work in cartoon strip form, please let me know. I don't think it has mass appeal, but it would be…

Money

Does anyone remember the Nine Inch Nails song on Money, Trent Reznor starting out with the lines "God Money, I'll do Anything for you..." Of, course, the punctuation is unclear, but the sentiment echoes mine very nicely.

The situation: Germany is on the brink of economic collapse, even if there is an IPO forcast that the GDP will grow up by 3.5 per cent next year. About eleven per cent of the country is officialy unemployed, most of those in the former GDR. Berlin is a borderline case, it has always been. But whichever half of the city you live in, it is still hard to find decent work.

The work I do is definitly not decent in the sense that it is honest. It is hard labour, and every time you enter into the Mode, you have to force yourself to do so. About one- two thousand people a day end up being asked "Do you want to win three months in a fitness studio for free" or words to that effect. It takes a lot of self control and discipline not to tell these people t…

Rain and the Trabrennbahn

Rain- so many countries complain that they don't get enough rain. So many people die because of droughts, lack of water... well people, come to Berlin- it's all here.

It has been raining incessantly for two days now. The city is covered in a thick film of leftover rainwater that is slowly running down the streets into the sewers where a natural cylcle of life can continue for the water. The cities cyclists are all covered by multicolored and multishaped rain protection gear while sitting on their bikes, braving the flood that is breaking down upon us from above, making sure that no patch of dry stays untouched.

I used to love rain when we lived in Cairo, because it rained maybe two or three times a year. Here in Germany, a country that is not so famous for having the best weather in the world, I grew to understand why people walk around with faces all the way to the ground sometimes. It's a gray country, this one, and it pours when it rains. It makes for a very monotonous…

First entry

For a while now, I have been hearing about this blog thing. The first time must have been on the Beeb, to which I listen in frequently, telling the story of how some persons' bloig had helped save the day. Weblog. It sounded so much like something out of Star Trek that I just had to try it at some point....

Well here we are, three months later, me having discovered this site through accident and adrants informing the intersted public that Quentin Tarantino ( whether it is him or not doesn't matter.) now has his own blog. Jealousy immediatly siezed hold of my youthful fingers, urging them to click the links and Follow them, until, about five minutes later- voila! Instant Blog!

So here it is, to anyone who reads this:

Hello! And welcome to this rather arbitrarily named page. The reason, as you may figure is that I currently live in Berlin, Germany (not one of the 23 plus Berlins the States call their own), it is post 2k3 and the world is still turning, even though the German Eco…