Some remarkable songs

Herman van Veen – Ein ganz dicker Kuss
Herman van Veen is an outstanding artist and I’ve been listening to his songs ever since my childhood. He plays various instruments, obviously speaks Dutch, German and French (maybe even more languages). He came up with the a Dutch theatre show that was used to create the European Dutch-Japanese kids TV series Alfred Jodokus Kwak, which is a comedy-drama according to wikipedia. The theme song “Warum bin ich so fröhlich” is widely-known – at least in Germany.

Anyways, back to this particular song “Ein ganz dicker Kuss”. It’s a song dedicated to his parents and thoughts about what it would be like once they’re gone.

And it ranges from trivial but poetic “the flea market will lose a regular customer”, “the socialist party will lose a true socialist”, “two bikes will be missing in the shed”, but ends in “The best part of me / will be standing on a picture / with a silver frame / 2 persons at the beach”

Herman van Veen – An eine ferne Prinzessin
A beautiful masterpiece “poem-like” song about a love long gone that has never been “loved”. Lying in bed, when the radio plays just the right music. Makes me a little sad. My thoughts are just about you – after all that time. Where might you be? We were friends – you and I. Would do anything – except for one thing.

Lera Lynn – My least favorite Life
From the TV series True Detective Season 2.
Just. An. Amazing. Amazing. Melancholic. Song. Better watch the True Detective Season 2 first and when you come to this song the whole setting will give you goosebumps – at least that’s what happened to me.

A Christmas sermon. Or: a review of ‘Black Mirror’ Season 1 Episode 2

This episode of the dark utopian technology-critical BBC series showcases the absurdity of capitalism in its essence: it doesn’t matter what you want and who you are – if people like one of your talents, and you practice them, you will become famous. And might have shit loads of money.

The story goes like this: in a future world, people have ‘credits’ like in a computer game. There are fast people which are the bottom class of society. Then there are poor fellows that need to go on spin bikes the whole day (like in the Hamsterrad, the German version of the rat race) in order to ‘earn’ credits. Eating unhealthy consumes a lot of credits, also if you want to skip ads when watching (which is forced! there’s a sensor to check if your eyes are open) anything anywhere, you need to pay with credits.

Then there is this ‘xyzzy got talent’ show. You need to buy a ticket for 15,000,000 credits (which seems a lot) and then you are admitted but might need to wait for over a week until you will eventually get your chance.

One day, the protagonist hears a voice singing while washing his hands in a unisex washroom and find it’s the new girl he saw in the elevator and the spinning club since a couple of days.
She does origami and folds fabulous little penguins from the lunch wrap paper. They start talking and the protagonist offers to gift her a ticket to the talent show. She evidently hesitates but finally accepts it. They go to the show, hold hands for the first time in the elevator, she sings with a stunning voice but since there were enough brilliant singers, they ask her to go into the adult entertainment industry. She cries but accepts.Our protagonist is devastated and since he has almost no credits left, he cannot skip the new ads with his girl in the porn industry. He goes mad, smashing the screens that surround his bed and he finds a big glass splinter.

This event sparks a dedication in him: he does everything to reach 15,000,000 credits again with very hard work and saving credits wherever possible. Once on stage, he does a short dance performance and then pulls out the glass splinter, which he holds to his neck. If anyone would move closer, he’d kill himself. What he wants? He wants people to listen. Then he sums up the state of the world perfectly: the absurdity of spinning to earn credits to spend on things no one needs – everything is artificial. Even the food. Nothing is real. Nothing is authentic. Only feelings. Love. Pain. Anger. Hate.

Then the unimaginable usual happens: they like his voice and his authentic words and say they can imagine him hosting a vlog – twice a week.
The episode ends with his old spinning group where one guy watches our protagonist’s vlog. Then we see the new ‘home’ of our protagonist which shows a sterile but big apartment with a nice artificial view and orange juice – or something that looks like orange juice.
Now what do I think about the show? Well. It’s a gloomy image of a future world. But actually it’s a ‘mirror’ of our world today. The rat race. Buying things that usually we don’t really need. But society, group pressure etc tell us we want it. Or it’s cool to have it. Or whatever. So basically we see our reality in a little futuristic-looking and exaggerated way. Then the summary of capitalism.

So far so good. But then? What is the right thing to do? Find your talent and start making money with it?
Depends on what you want. A lot of people want money. Or the things or ‘freedom’ that comes along with money.

Let’s check an example: A friend of mine that I got to know while playing computer games excessively during teen years, has been writing songs and rapping since more than 20 years now. He mastered his technique, had to overcome massive blows in life and is still struggling.What does he want? Get signed by a label in order to get a steady income and support by professionals? Or does he just want to write songs and share his thoughts with people? Or maybe shake up people’s minds and make them realise what ‘living’, ‘humility’, ‘moral’ and justice mean? Maybe even change the world?

So I guess once again the most important question is: what do YOU want in life? Money? No, what would you buy with the money? Cars? Drugs? Sex? A garden? A well in Africa? Or do you want to be famous? A celebrity that everyone knows and loves. Or hates. With everything that goes along with it? Or do you just want to live your live, have enough but not too much? Maybe a family, maybe not? Kids? An own house? All is possible.

Or do you want to change the world? Then it’s a little more difficult. And it depends on timing, luck and current societal movements.
But whatever your inner desire: you have an impact. On yourself. On your environment: the people you interact with on a daily basis. Doesn’t matter whether it’s eye contact and some friendly words with the lady at the counter in the supermarket. Or whether it’s being there for people who are near. Who are important to you.
Because one thing technology can never (really?) provide: the feeling that you care for someone. That someone cares for you. Is there for you. Listens. Talks. Laughs. Cries.
Some call it love. Whatever. You get it.

A couple of new and old songs

Recently the idea came to my mind to share a couple of songs that I deem good / are important to me. Might even make this a recurring category here. No specific style or genre, just good music that has some meaning (for me).

Here we go:

Gil Scott Heron – I’m new here
I had the wonderful opportunity to get to listen to a live (!!!) concert by Gil Scott-Heron around a decade ago at a the Nova Jazz & Blues Festival in Austria. I went there with friends who happened to be colleagues (ok we met in the office) and I had no idea what to expect, what the line up was etc. So we went to this outdoor festival, had some food and drinks, weather was good. Then some bands played and some clouds came and dusk was setting in. It started raining a bit and the crowd tried to pack under the ‘roof’ to be safe from water. Then an old guy came on stage, sat at the piano, lighted a cigarette and started playing some tunes. And began to speak. Gil. Scott. F***ing Heron. I had no idea who he was and what his role in the history of music was (check out his wiki entry – shame on me I didn’t know him before). Wow. Just wow. The voice. The roughness. The coolness. Absolutely stunning and amazing. And the perfect weather for this. I’ll take care of you was the song he started with and oh my god – I still love this song and showed it to so many people (incl. women of course). Check it out and let me know what you think 🙂 However, since I had some rough months in the past year, I chose the song “I’m new here”, because lyrics:

I did not become someone different
That I did not want to be
But I’m new here
Will you show me around?

No matter how far wrong you’ve gone
You can always turn around

Gil Scott-Heron, I’m new here

Die Orsons – Dear Mozart –
German rap song. Basically asking Mozart what he thinks about German rap and this whole autotune hype. He replies along the lines of ‘chill guys, the music is cool and now autotune is Mozart approved. Bam.
Got to know this song through a friend who happens to be a bartender at my local (favorite pub). Thanks & shout out to Nepo!

Juju – Vermissen
A woman showed that song to me. Juju is a team of the singer of SXTN (female German rapper main focus feminism) and Henning May from Annenmaykantereit.

Die Toten Hosen feat. Wölli – Kein Grund zur Traurigkeit
Since Die Toten Hosen are one of my favorite bands (and my first album was Im Auftrag des Herrn live), I came across this gem. Someone I showed this song to said: Wow the German Johnny Cash! Amazing lyrics… along the lines of “I got blood of you in my heart / that’s all that remains / desire in my heart / still no reason to feel sad”.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside –
Know this song since ages but only since a band of some friends recently played a cover version of this masterpiece I had a look at the lyrics and… yeah… nothing to add to these lines

How long, how long will I slide?
Separate my side, I don’t
I don’t believe it’s bad
A slit in my throat, it’s all I ever
I heard your voice through a photograph
I thought it up and brought up the past
Once you know you can never go back
I’ve got to take it on the otherside

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside

Turning a siri mistake into lovely mashed sweet potatoes

So recently I had some friends over for dinner and I was having a vegetarian week, since I’ve been to Alsace with my dad and there we had enough meat for a month. But that’s a story for another time.
My plan for the dinner was this:

  • My Coriander-Tomato salsa along with some nachos
  • Pimentos de Patron – those lovely mini peppers that you get in Spanish or Portuguese tapas bars
  • Filled bell peppers à la Chakall – grilled and filled with dried onion, usually some bacon pieces (which I left out this time obviously), an egg and some cheese on top
  • Sweet potatoes, half cooked in a pressure cooker, then sliced up, seasoned, put on the grill and then set them on fire with some whiskey etc
  • A nice salad with some vegetables of the current season

So all went good, my friends were enjoying the salsa when I asked my friend ‘Hey man can you set a timer for 10 minute please?’ ’Sure, I’ll let Siri know.’ Then he had a quick chat with Siri but I didn’t really pay attention any more since I was preparing the salad.
Fast-forward 10-15 (or 20?) minutes, I ask my friend ‘Hey what’s left on the timer’ ‘Ehhmm.. Siri how much time is left on the timer?’ ‘You don’t have a timer running at the moment.’
Okay so I take the pressure cooker off the heat, put it on the floor to cool down but think already that they might be well too much cooked through, so no chance of slicing or grilling or setting them on fire.
Once the pressure was gone and I opened the pot, my fears were confirmed: you basically could use your hands to mash the sweet potatoes.
What now?!
Ok I can easily make mashed potatoes.
Spices? Oof, maybe some maple sirup? Salt, pepper? Ah I still have those ‘long pepper’ thingies… why not. And hell, I’m even gonna set this freaking mash on fire! Got some cheap old (not aged, just an old bottle) of scotch. And I set it on fire.
And the result? My friends loved it. The girl said something along the lines of ‘Wow!!!! I need the recipe! And the whisky really added some nice touch to it!!’
Here we go – first sweet potatoes mash of my life.

The talk

I recently came across this and thought I’d share it…

“Hi Pastor”
“Hello Mr. …”
“Hello Mr Smith. You wanted to talk to me?”
“Yea. I wanted to speak with someone who knows life. And death. Do you know life and death Pastor?”
“I don’t know it. But I came in touch with it due to my profession. Do you know life and death?”
“So far my experience with life and death is limited. My grandpa passed away. One of my grannies. A friend from school. And most of the married couples around me have children. I recently became an uncle.”
“So you have experience.”
“A little.”
“But what did you wanna talk to me about?”
“The usual question. Why am I here and what sense does all this make.”
“But I assume you know why you are here. I mean in this clinic.”
“Yes, I do. At least I think I do.”
“Good. Go on.”
“Very early in life someone told me that everyone has their own reality. If you walk – do you move or does the world move around you? Like the holo deck in Star Trek. Or any of those new sophisticated Virtual Reality environments.”
“When I first got internet I also found that in a couple of trillion years, earth will be blown away when the sun collapses. In consequence, all sustainability, all ‘save this rare species of animals’, all is crap.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Well, unless we come up with some space ship Noah’s ark, we’re fucked.”
“But that will all be way beyond our time here on earth.”
“True. But still.”
“Do you believe in god?”
“No. Do you?”
“Well, of course I believe. Everyone needs to believe in something. Even if it’s nothing. Since we don’t know. Do you believe in something Mr. Smith?“
„Yes. Pizza. Beer. Cigarettes.“
„Anything else?“
„Well I try to be a good person. And I try to be nice to most of the people around me all the time. But sometimes I lose it.“
„What happens then?“
„Then I drink too much and tell people things I usually don’t want to tell them.“
„Like what?“
„Depends. I tell good looking women that I wanna sleep with them. I tell good friends all of this crap we talked about.“
„And what happens after you tell them?“
„Well most of the times they don’t want to sleep with me – tough luck for me. But it doesn’t matter.“
„And your friends?“
„They try to convince me otherwise.“
„… but they don’t succeed, do they?“
„Nah… not really.“
„But why did you wanna speak with me then?“
„I’m bored. And I smoke to much. So I figured I will try talking to you. Thank you for your time.“
„Thanks Mr. Smith. And take care.“
„You too, pastor – thank you.”

Indulge in Munich

When you miss Dubai or just want to have a great day and don’t mind spending some €, check out this plan:
Book yourself a room in the Hilton Munich City, close to Rosenheimer Platz which offers good value for money and has good access to public transport.
You can start off your day with a nice breakfast, e.g. at The Victorian House at Viktualienmarkt or go for a proper brunch at one of the 5 star hotels in Munich (e.g. Jazz Brunch at the Bayrischer Hof which is “only” 49€ but not including alcoholic beverages except for 1 aperitif).
After strolling around the city center and the Isar river you might want to relax a little. Again there are different options: a spa of one of the 5 star hotels (day pass is 60€ – Mon-Fri, 75€ on weekends/public holidays, at the spa of Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten) or you can opt for a public swimming pool – and not those boring swim-only ugly ones. Take the Müllersches Volksbad which has a spectacular Jugendstil architecture and offers not only swimming but also sauna and a massage facility (appointments must be scheduled upfront). One hour classical massage is 55€, 4 hours sauna 18,90€).
In case you want to skip the spa, you can go for the perfect apéro for pre-dinner drinks: the rooftop bar of the Mandarin Oriental. There’s a pool, you can sip a nice glass of white wine and just relax.
All relaxed and ready for the evening, you can chose from various high class restaurants:
  • Rue des Halles – a French brasserie which has a great seafood selection
  • Tantris. Most famous restaurant of Munich – booking required
  • Neni München – exceptional interior. middle eastern restaurant and bar close to central station
What follows after dinner depends on your personal preference… Some options:
  • enjoy a classical concert at Gasteig, e.g. the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
  • go clubbing at Harry Klein – the best techno night club in Munich. Was earlier close to Ostbahnhof but they moved to the city center some years back
  • listen to some jazz tunes at Unterfahrt
The most important thing which you cannot omit: the Feierabendbier. Suggested locations: Flaschenöffner bar at Fraunhoferstrasse or the Kiosk at the Reichenbachbrücke.

By accident or rather evolution and genetic diversification, self awareness happened to be tried out. What perfected it was a layer of several interconnected neural networks linked with a couple of sensors and interesting algorithms.


Consultants can _do_ everything with powerpoint *slides*. Most of those​ douchebag monkeyass newbies in life and the universe could also prepare another set of freaking powerpoint slides for me on the topic: how can human kind achieve the much needed same respect for every form of life, i.e. women, men, transgenders, animals, artificial intelligence, aliens, the environment (not only the planet Earth but yeah right the whole effing universe and all the parallel universes). (1)

#writing #thoughts #businesspunkmag-germany-mighthavelikeditbutiguesstheyrenotonello(yet?)

(1) btw this respect includes equal pay for all genders but explicitly excludes gender neutral writing in German (Schüler*innen)


Epic battle
In the end it all boils down to the same two fucking questions​: who got bigger balls and whose dick is longer.
In other, more consultant-and-gender-neutral words: we need to understand our market position and compare our lever with the one of our negotiation partner.

Good or bad. Your choice.
In serendipity we trust.