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.

The gladness of making friends

Just a wise man’s thought about our ever-changing lifes:

“Jetzt sind die guten alten Zeiten, nach denen wir uns in zehn Jahren zur├╝cksehnen.” – Peter Ustinov

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.

The sadness of losing friends

It’s a weird day. I don’t really know what keeps my thoughts turning round in circles, without seeming to have a particular goal, they simply do. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit tired. Not in a physical sense. My soul’s tired, which, in a sense, doesn’t surprise me. Before I see anyone of you making an emergency call and sending an ambulance over to my home: I’m not tired of life in the sense that I’d end it. I’m in a melancholic, nostalgic mood.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I went to my elementary school – not because I wanted to, but because I had to: it’s where the polling-station was at the last city election. Going back there, to a place in my village where I haven’t been for some time, a place where after all I passed seven years of my life, including kindergarten, was a literal trip back through time. I suddenly remembered things long forgotten, games I used to play with friends – some of which I have lost sight with over the years – and people I forgot over the years.

Maybe it’s because of university and friends who are spread throughout the whole continent. Mayhap it’s because I know I won’t see some of them ever again, at least not till a class reunion in ten or twenty years. Some of them might decide to go on living in a foreign country and those who return won’t be the same people that left. They won’t be less friendly or have a worse character, they will simply be different. What I wish for in this moment is to have the good ol’times return. I know they won’t. It drives me crazy. I have become a perfect specimen of Pirandello’s theory. And now, after having been aware of it for some time now, I finally begin to accept the wind of change which Gilles noticed some time ago, too.

My circle of friends is changing. To be aware of this, to conciously see how some lose and others gain importance in my life is strange. I don’t want it to happen. I didn’t make it happen. It simply does. And it’s natural, which makes me even more sad. I don’t want the people I have spent so many years and such great moments with to lose importance now. But most of them are gone to universities far away, and even though there’s the possibility of keeping in touch with them via email, IM and VoIP, it’s almost scary how much physical presence still matters in our world where VR has become most important. Everyday life goes on without old friends, sending an email every once in a while doesn’t help in keeping them a part of it. Still it’s interesting that my knot of friends basicly remains the same, I still talk to them regularly, exchange experiences about university or have a talk about god knows what else, although some are hundreds of kilometers away and I won’t see them till Christmas. Even with those who are still here, it’s different than I imagined. There is no sitting around in our once favourite pub, there is no being together with them on Friday afternoons anymore. Some have switched school and have met new people, others have a timetable which allows them to leave school already at 11.30 a.m. on Fridays and they don’t remain in town till 16 o’clock. Some simply have disappeared and I don’t really know where they have gone.

It’s like I already stated before, the world won’t stop turning, no matter what happens. Perchance, the solution to it all is considering all these old friends as inner companions, just as I try to do with her. People that influenced my life could continue to be a part of it in becoming a part of myself. Keeping the good old times in memory may help to confront myself to the future, which, at least for now, is not so uncertain as it was a few months ago. Memories are the most precious thing a human has. It’s the one thing that nobody can take away. Through memories, people long gone can still influence us, in good or bad terms.

So should I simply be lucky to have so many memories, saved not only in my mind, but also on pictures and videos? To be honest, I haven’t the feeling it would suffice. The melancholy still hasn’t gone. You may consider it a weakness being a nostalgic, but, thinking about it, I’m proud of being one. No memory will ever lose importance, no good friend will ever be forgotten. And even if it’s hard confronting myself to the fact that life goes on without having them around every day, it is in fact this difficulty that proves me how important these people were, and still are.

I ought to take it by the words of Frank Sinatra: you’ll never walk alone. But the fragrance of chrysanthemum has almost completely gone.

And now, Hollywood?

It’s a fan film. Yet another. But not quite. It’s the first Finnish full-length sci-fi parody. It’s an ingenious movie that took seven years of work before it was finished a few weeks ago. It’s an ambitious project. Its goal: to become the most watched Finnish movie ever. It’s been downloaded over 700’000 times within the first days. It’s the end of a movie industrie that doesn’t satisfy the demand of its audience. Have you seen Michael Herbig’s ‘Traumschiff Surprise’? It was crap. It lacked everything which it claimed to be: a good sci-fi parody. It wasn’t even a good popcorn movie. This movie is pure gold. I love it. It’s an inspired parody with so many quotations and cross-references it’s hard work to keep following. It’s hilarious. The special effects are enormous, you wouldn’t think it’s a low-budget near zero-budget movie. (In fact, it took nearly five years to render all the CGI, some frames taking 10 hours to be rendered, using only home computers.)

It’s not only a parody of the series (Star Trek and Babylon 5) themselves, it makes fun of the franchises. Discussions about whether Star Trek or Babylon 5 is the better series can be found all over the internet. In this movie, the evil Trek characters actually fight the good Babylon 5 characters. It’s surprising how much love they put into choosing the characters’ names. Names like Captain Pirk which obviously relates to Captain Kirk, Captain Sherrypie (actually Sheridan) or Dwarf (Worf) show they had quite some ideas.

The film demands a certain amount of knowledge about both franchises. You’ll still understand what it’s all about without ever having heard of Susan Ivanova or Data, but you’ll miss most of the fun.

Watch the teaser, the trailer and then the movie. They even make fun of Bush jr. Oh, and by the way, the movie’s called Star Wreck – In The Pirkinning.

The official site with the free download (BitTorrent or direct download) is here: StarWreck.com. Be sure to download the subtitles, too.

Enjoy the movie.