Luxury Airlines, Funny Shoe Laces And Constitutions

 

bus vs first class
Left: business class. Right: first class. To which I can only add: my feet are much, much happier on the right than on the left but they are also humble like dodos in spring.

Going for broke. Travel broke. Just one more trip. Trip to take me away. Away from what? Xmas? Responsibility? Btw, this is the first time I’ll be without my better-half on Xmas since she took me in and became my better half twelve years ago. And I’m sad about that. But when families are stretched on both sides of the Atlantic pond where winters can be bard on the heart, I appreciate the tolerance, the compromise, the understanding. Oh, the prices we pay. Compromises for love, for shoe laces. Wait. Get back on subject. I’ll get to shoe laces in a sec. Focus first on travel. §Precisely planned to end where it all started just before the end of the year after which it can all begin again. Where do we go? Home? Which home? Nomatter. Again. Back to subject. §After all these years of travel something really cool happened recently which I tried to capture in the pic above. As you’ll note, my very comfy shoes with the funny laces are in two different places on board a luxurious airliner. The left pic is travel to destination. The right is travel from destination. Left is also business class. Right is one crazy-cool, gnarly, step beyond… First f’n class. Yeah, baby. Finally made it! Of course, these two seating positions have nothing to do with the place I normally sit while traveling. You know what I mean: coach, economy, humble-class, sheople travel. No. These two seats are quite different than what I’m accustomed to. And before I go on, allow me to qualify this a bit. It is not my intention to toot my own horn here. Both these seats were not afforded me by my own hand (which would warrant tooting). No. They were afforded me as a gift–of sorts. Of “sorts” because it was a gift that does not require (re)payment but does require renumeration. But I don’t want to get too deep into the details of how worst-writer gets his seats on luxury airliners–nor do I want to explain the nuances of neo-feudalism–that worst-writer is able to exploit. Also. As I dabble into this/a world of duality, of dichotomy, poles, opposites, republican and democrats, is jet-lag better flying in a easterly or westerly direction, etc., etc., it is worth noting that there is something else out there that shares a commonality with seating arrangements on luxury airliners. After all is worst-said & worst-done, after all the krappy seats on airlines have been tried, it all comes back to one thing. When I end 2015’s travel itinerary it’s time to save again. For there is so much travel planned for 2016–if the neo-feudalists allow it. At least I think there is. Or? I know. I know. I know what you’re thinking, dear worst-reader. Save what? Save for what? You mean save money? For travel? Well, my answer to all your nitpicking, dear worst-reader, is simple: don’t worry your cute little head because if you plan well and you keep smiling and you are not a threat to the neo-feudalists, than travel will come as easy as the money they allow to grow on (my) trees. And in that vein, the vein of funny shoe laces or duality–or the same pair of jeans and shoes and laces on opposing flights–let’s give a bit more worst-writing a go. §While all get hot & bothered over Constitutions and how they are written–not unlike how Deist’s books were written by men from the friggin’ bronze-age–no one sees through what some people do to facilitate misinterpretation of old, old, really old words. And speaking of old words! So the 2nd amendment gets mixed up with the 14th amendment. Or shouldn’t states be able to decide what to do about their–with their–“well regulated Militia”? Again. Nomatter. §This post is a confusion of another kind. For example, instead of addressing the true cause of The Gun Problem (of #americant) change the entire discourse to immigration and terrorists and then all can be swept under the rug. Add to that a complexity of The Donald and an upcoming election that already resembles are farce that must someday be topped… Well, it’s no wonder I decided to seek out a life of luxury airline travel and funny shoe laces. Or maybe not.

Rant on.

Tommi

Gratis = Free Bier

free beer
Sorry for the poor photo skills. Let’s blame it on my ageing smartphone.

People ask me all the time. Why Germany? Well, the answer has remained the same for the past quarter century: girls and beer. I know. It sounds kinda lame, especially when one considers my age and desk ridden stamina. I suppose the answer should be: beer. Notwithstanding my waistline. After hearing how long I’ve been living in Germania a few other questions arise. “So do you like it there?” I usually respond: “It’s ok.” “So you speak German then?” “Have you seen any castles?” “Is that guy from the second world war still alive?” “How fast can you drive there?” “Do the girls shave their armpits or not?” And one of my favs is: “Do you still use outhouses?” Nomatter. There’s one question asked of me (and it was asked only once) that resonates when I’m questioned at all. “So have you gone native?” Yeah, that question gets under my skin–and the girls do shave. So let’s get back to beer, shall we? One of the things that I really like about Germania is the beer. And I’m not talking bullshit beer like you have in the US these days. There ain’t no micro-breweries here or bullshit IPA distributors. I call them bullshitters because, well, as far as beer drinking goes, you can make the funky flavoured stuff as much as you want but if you can’t make a basic, simple Pilsner that is as bitter as my third wife then you’re not a beer maker. Indeed. The bitterer, the better(er), baby! I mean, come on. Imagine some smart ass rich guy that inherited money and he’s been bored out of his mind his whole life until one day he wakes up and says to himself and the bottle of Bud resting on his belly blocking the view of his wide screen: this beer really sucks. And most American beer does suck, dear worst-reader. But it doesn’t suck because it tastes like coconut or cherry or banana or aged oak or the fucking bar stool. It sucks because it’s made with rice. It sucks because of its ingredients and the fact that the makers don’t really care. It sucks because it’s all snake-oil. And it also sucks because of its cost. Seriously. I can’t believe what Americans pay for beer. The greatest consumer driven society in the world whose fuel is (in part) beer (the other girls) can’t figure out how to price beer. Indeed. America = way over priced everything. But the worst part of it all when I’m in the US (trip coming soon) and weeping when I have to pay so much for a twelve pack of (whatever) krapp beer is that dimwits are out there buying krapp of another kind for even more money. Hence, you’ll only be able to get me into some dimwit micro-brew dump when I’m limp and even more lifeless than I am now. The only thing worse than über-expensive beer is flavoured beer that is social. With that nonsense in mind, I came across something rather fascinating the other day at my local (North Cologne) beer dealer. An entire palette of “Gratis” beer. Gratis means free, baby. Seriously. I even took two. Good luck beer consuming suckers of the world.

Rant on. -tommi

P.S. Free beer isn’t bitter enough.

Who Are You People

supreme court justice mercy

Of all the masterful arguments presented by Alan Shore (James Spader) in the American TV show Boston Legal, his argument in front of the Supreme Court in S04E17 has to be one of the best. Btw, I’ve been binge-watching the show for the past two weeks, as I’ve done here and here with other shows. Although I’m sure that the (real) Supremes would not tolerate monologuing as it appears in this episode, something inside me wishes this could/should happen. Shore (Spader) nails it. Calling out the The United States Supreme Court for their ideological bias–especially the conservative majority that has partaken in giving the world #americant–is brilliant. Actually, having never seen the show before, and having missed all of 1990s and 2000s tv programming in the US, I’m very surprised at the level of political and social criticism that takes place in this show–especially as it was produced by ABC, which is not a bastion of liberal/progressive programming. With that in mind, there is something missing in Shore’s speech (monologue) as he criticises the Supremes. Or let me put that another way. If I had written this episode, I would have included a bit about how conservatives have so ingeniously nit-picked their way to power since the 1970s. It wasn’t all Ronald Reagan, you know. There really are masterminds behind the scenes of the GOP and the Republican party. I for one, having seen all this take place from my expat 30k-foot high-seat, have to take my hat off to republicans. What a job they’ve done taking advantage of the stupidity of a nation. I mean. These sleaze-balls are the ones who pander to the lowest common denominator of the voting constituency of The United States of America… with gusto! They most certainly don’t pander to rational thought or rational governing. They do this by wiggling their way around the enormous political structure that is the US. Not only is there three branches to the federal government but each state has their own branches, their own constitutions, their own justices, etc. By attacking (and conquering) these various layers of politics, they have been able to maintain a stranglehold on the nation. It is an extremely successful from-the-bottom-up political strategy. Issues like taxes, big government, abortion, state’s rights, the 2nd Amendment, etc., are all basically the qualifiers of who gets appointed, who gets to run and, ultimately, who controls society. Because the complexity of this activity is too overwhelming for the stupid masses to comprehend, let alone even bother to ponder, the Republican party has pretty much run the show for well over thirty years. They do this by changing voting districts, i.e. gerrymandering. They appoint politically biased justices controlling legislation and even determining presidential elections. Heck! Conservatives have even found a way to circumvent Roe v. Wade. How? Easy, really. Some state legislatures that are run by conservative politicians (republicans) have changed the laws regarding hospital admitting privileges. Hospital admitting privileges are required of doctors who have private practices or clinics that perform invasive and/or surgical procedures. The admitting privilege is about the doctor, if he or she makes a mistake at the clinic, can then call upon a better equipped hospital to take care of any complications that may arise. That means, if a hospital is run by conservative ideologues, they can simply deny the doctor admitting privilege. Without the backup of a hospital but more importantly without adhering to the law that requires admitting privileges, the doctor cannot perform certain procedures at his/her clinic. It goes without saying that a clinic without hospital admitting privileges will not be able to provide certain services. Thousands of clinics have closed because of this. Pretty tricky, eh! But also well thought out. Indeed. Of course, I forgive the writers of S04E17 for not including my thoughts. They made up for it by having Denny Crane, the epitome of Republicanism, fart and make goo-goo eyes at the Supreme Court.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Below is a transcript of my favourite scene, Season 4, Episode 17, Boston Legal. Alan Shore v Supreme Court. Underlined text from me. Enjoy.

Continue reading “Who Are You People”

Und Der Fährt Immer Noch

vw no diesel in america

There is a scene in the satirical movie “Schtonk” where it’s said that Adolf Hitler claimed in his diaries that he invented the Käfer. You know, that cute little German car known as the beetle or bug–not the new plastic krapp copy they’ve got now. And not only did he invent the original bug, but he also invented the company that would make the car: Volkswagen. The people’s car. Fittingly, someone adds later in the film: “And it’s still on the road”–Und der fährt immer noch. The implication is that the car was built so well that it will drive forever. I guess. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Schtonk! is based on a true story. It is about a bunch of gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists who think they have found the Hitler Diaries. As is the case in the true story, it’s all nothing more than a grand hoax. But that hoax had a bit more to it than what we see in the film. One of the reasons Stern magazine was so easily manipulated into this hoax was the fact that Germans were starving for some sort of inner reconciliation regarding their recent past. In the movie the top manager of the magazine that was financing the acquisition of the diaries even says, after hearing the first words that Hitler (supposedly) wrote: “We’ll have to re-write German history, this is sensational, this means that he (Hitler) was a person like you and me.” Indeed. A privileged corporatist claims that a past can be changed as long as a new future can be arranged. Or something like that.

The gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists in Schtonk! are no different than the gaudy, slimy, yellow managers that run corporations today. For it is true, dear worst-reader, that the only way to get by in a world where monopolies and oligarchies and plutocrats rule everything is by hoaxing and manipulating and cheating–and arranging new futures. This is the true face of unabashed, predatory capitalism that is drowning us all. And not just drowning all of us minions. Some of the corporations have to drown, too. But only some.

What is the difference between a car made in Germany or a car made in the US? Sure, there are quality differences, maybe even one will last a bit longer than the other. But all in all, they are the same. So how then do you make money if there is nothing to differentiate your product from the next product? Or what do you do if there is no more money out there to buy products? Indeed. You arrange things. In the end, it’s all just corporate bullshit–that has been arranged. With that in mind…

Diesel vs gas = gas wins (in the US)

According to one of the articles I read, 20% of all diesel passenger cars sold in the US are made by VW. That’s fucking huge. Reason? Diesel cars get great mileage–and that whole obsession-thing America has with Germans doesn’t hurt either. Can you say Fahrvergnügen? On the other hand, gas mileage is kinda important to Americans these days, even though Americans don’t really know anything about gas. They most certainly can’t understand why the stuff is such a huge determining factor in their living standard. Seriously. They don’t get it. The wars, empire, failed Texas oilmen elected (twice) to the land’s highest office. Nor can Americans understand that all the money they pay for gasoline, thereby deminishing living standards, goes into the coffers of a few people. That means there are a few gas company execs out there ranting and raving about slimy Europeans encroaching on their turf. And who do the gas companies collude with? Again. A significant # of diesel passenger cars on US roads are made by Europeans. Did no one tell those Europeans that America is gasoline? Diesel is European. And you know what Americans think of the French, right? Freedom fries, baby!

Supply vs demand = supply loses.

They call them recessions and not depressions because the latter is so definitive. They also use the word recession because inherent in the word is the idear of recovery. The western world and the concept of a living standard that permeates it has yet to deal with the fact that there is no difference between depression and recession if there is no recovery. The whole point of Too Big To Fail and bailouts is that corporations don’t have to actually answer to the market. Instead they keep on supplying, i.e. manufacturing, producing, etc., as though nothing has happened. The problem is, there is no such thing as the market. There’s only “growth” which feeds stock prices and open lines of credit. With that in mind, my guess is that VW has simply over-produced. Since there is no recovery insight from this recession (depression) something has to be done with all those unsold cars. But it can’t come out that America’s favourite diesel motor can’t be sold on account there’s no money to buy them. What would Ford or Chrysler say about why their cars are not being bought either? Oh, yeah. They’re all in the same boat.

When multinationals get into trouble this is what they do. They pretend something went wrong. They claim foul from government regulation or foul against a competitor. Or they get government regulators to claim foul against them. They make crony politicians do them favours. Some even hire universities (via grants) to do a study about, gee, I don’t know, …emissions. Next there might even be a study about tire pressures. Are tire manufacturers in dire straits?

Just look at GM’s recent debacle. Didn’t Toyota recently recall a shit load of cars? Does any of this sound familiar? These companies are allowed to get away with what ever they want. They simply push the burden of being unmanageable elsewhere. It’s the slimy, gaudy, yellow thing to do. They arrange (their) futures.

Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Who Let The Dogs Out

dog threat letter
Click to enlarge

A bit more than a rant this morn, dear worst-reader. Perhaps this is a plea. A plea for mercy and the life of my dog. To begin, above is a letter that I recently received from the property administrator of our flat regarding my dog. Here is a translation of the red enclosed area:

“Unfortunately, after numerous warnings, you have failed to abide by your rental agreement regarding your pet. Numerous sightings have shown your Pug runs freely around the courtyard without a dog leash. We have sent you numerous letters that state dogs must be on a leash in the courtyard. Other dog owners have been contacted by phone and agree to this rule. During our telephone call today you failed to agree to the rules which means we are issuing you another formal warning. If your dog is seen running free around the courtyard again we will cancel the dog/pet agreement. That will mean that you must get rid of your dog. In our mutual interests we hope that it will not come to that. With friendly greetings, … “

This letter, and the issue it concerns, literally boils my blood. But it also does more than that. What is not in the letter is what was said in a telephone call with the person that wrote it. So let’s start at the top, shall we:

  1. The letter, in its original German, is typically rude. Living in Europe all these years has thickened my skin somewhat to this. That said, I think the English translation even conveys rudeness. Odd (or maybe not) when you consider that this person is communicating with a customer that doesn’t exactly pay bargain rent.
  2. The property administrator failed to read the rental agreement that we signed prior to moving in to this flat. We did not sign a rental agreement where we are required to have our dog on a leash while in the courtyard. (Side note: perhaps, since we don’t have this in our contract, this fact should be noted to those that move in.)
  3. Not only is the administrator rude and incorrect in his assumption regarding our rental contract but he has the gaul to threaten us that if we don’t comply we have to “get rid of our dog”.
  4. What is not included in the letter is another warning given to us indirectly during a telephone conversation. Using innuendo it was stated to us that if we don’t put our dog on a leash in the courtyard we should be prepared that he will be poisoned. (Do I need to repeat that?)

Please note that I live in a fairly posh, restored farm house  or Hofanlage that used to house horses and farming equipment. It has since been rebuilt with multi-level flats of varying sizes and styles. All the flats are connected to a courtyard that is shut off from the main road and the village. Because of the design of the facility, my flat’s terrace and main entrance are side-by-side within the courtyard. Not all flats have this same configuration as most have separate entrances that are outside the courtyard. This seemed very accommodating and appealing to us as dog owners–it’s like we have a little backyard connected to our flat. Obviously we are not alone in how this  appeals to dog owners. The courtyard is shared with a male Frenchie and a blonde female Lab. Needless to say, our dog neighbours dig each other. The only problem is my dog was here first. He and the new male Frenchie are in a constant “marking” contest. Of course, I have told all of my neighbours that I will clean up whatever mess he makes. I also added that this shouldn’t go on forever because the dogs will eventually get used to each other and not have to prove who owns what.

My dog’s name is Beckett. He’s named after Samuel Beckett. I often tell people I wanted to name him Godot but it would be odd yelling that name in public. My dog is spoiled. He’s also loved by the children who play in the courtyard, they often come to our terrace and ask for him by name. They also ask if they can give him snacks because they enjoy commanding him to “sit” before giving him the snack. Children’s faces glow and shine at these moments. But I suppose the shine isn’t for everyone. Over the years this has had a somewhat negative effect on Beckett. He runs around with the children in the courtyard. He’s always in search of  someone’s feet to lick or if anyone has a snack at hand. But I suppose all good things must come to an end. Someone, somewhere must ruin the fun. In Germany this level of negativity is called Kleinbürgertum–and it is a national past-time.

cropped-pug-and-books.jpg

The letter we received has since been retracted and we also have received a formal apology from the property administrator. Yet I feel somewhat inconsolable regarding the threatening nature of the whole situation. This goes beyond facts not being checked, contracts not being read, the potential for legal fees and horrific bureaucracy. Not only were we threatened about the livelihood of our dog but were indirectly threatened by the fact that dogs in Germany are regularly poisoned because of situations just like this. I find that type of dialogue in this situation very, very disturbing!

It’s not easy being a dog owner in Germany. I feel as though I’m constantly being watched and checked. Did I bring enough poop bags to pick up his shit when I take him for walks? Is he peeing in the wrong place? I never let him pee on car tyres for fear that someone will attack me with a sharpened elbow. Sometimes I can see it in the eyes of pedestrians we pass their disgust for my little Pug and his laboured breathing and Rottweiler attitude. Their contempt for me shines as bright as the sun–but not as bright as the joy from the children that played with my dog over the years. Heck, I’ve even been called a Tierquäler (animal cruelty) because I have a Pug–because someone who has never had one thinks s/he knows the pedigree. Worst of all, I stopped letting my dog run free when I reach the open areas outside our village where I take him for long walks. I do that because a few dogs died this year from poisoning. I have since learned why so many owners have their beautiful, playful Labs muzzled when they take them for walks. It’s not to prevent the dog from attacking anyone. It’s to save the dogs life because a dog cannot read the true nature of some people who leave pieces of meet laced with rat poison or they buy dog snacks and put pins and needles in them. Indeed. We were “reminded” of this by a property administrator who is obviously in charge of posh living.

Yes. We have been warned.

Rant on. -t

Links to (German) articles regarding cruelty to animals:

Notes From Underhuman

underground dostoyevsky

Thoughts this morn about Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground. I’ve been enjoying the taste, feel and smell of this 1972 paperback for the past few weeks. I think I acquired it while visiting London in 1995. Obviously it’s not dealing with age and dryness but neither am I. Funny thing is, I’ve already gone through three or four rubber-bands to keep it together. Looks like I won’t be reading The Double anytime soon. Oh well.

To begin, here’s the intro from the author where he, for whatever (literary) reason, feels the need to qualify his work.

“The author of these Notes, and the Notes themselves, are both, of course, imaginary. All the same, if we take into consideration the conditions that have shaped our society, people like the writer not only may, but must, exist in that society. I have tried to present to the public in a more striking from than is usual a character belonging to the very recent past, a representative figure from a generation still surviving. In the chapter entitled ‘The Underground’ this personage introduces himself and his outlook on life, and tries, as it were, to elucidate the causes that brought about, inevitably brought about, his appearance in our midst. In the second section we follow this personage’s memoirs of some of the happenings in his life.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What’s the saying about Russian novels? If you’re happy–don’t read one. As far as this worst-reader goes, since happiness is over-rated, you’d think the likes of Dostoyevsky would be for me. But the truth is, after reading The Idiot so many years ago, I’ve spent more time staring at my old copy of The Brothers Karamazov than reading it. (Ok. I’ve read parts of it and plan on reading it whole. Someday. Maybe.) Like most of Dostoyevsky’s work, the biggest hurdle is not his subject matter or its depth but instead the winded, drivelling, unending sentences, not excluding multiple page single paragraphs. I mean, come on, you gotta be smart to read this guy–or?

When I can get through the sentences, two things happen (in my worst-mind) while doing so. First. If aliens ever come down to visit and they want to know what it is to be human, they should read Dostoyevsky (or Gogol). Second. After Dostoyevsky, and living in #eurowasteland for so long, I’ve concluded that no one knows The European better than the big D. Yeah, baby. That’s right. The only way to understand The European is to read depressing Russian novels of yesteryore. And what is The European, you ask. How ’bout this. Bureaucracy. Greed. War. Clans. Fascism. Authoritarianism. Genocide. Etc., etc. All the industry, farmers, cheese, booze, classical music, cars, art and architecture, theatre, etc., etc., pale in comparison  to the death, destruction and human waste The European has given humanity. Seriously. All of the world’s problems stem out of the inhumane death and greed culture that is The European. And before you attack me regarding America–heed this. America is not just bluejeans and Hollywood, war and money, different kinds of cheese, art and fascism, and let’s not forget, the new world and the land of the free (to be stupid). That’s just a front, a story, a narrative. America is The European thru and thru. In fact, it is The European version 2.0. Did I mention how we all need to be so thankful to The European for imperialism?

It was/is The European mindset that slaughtered the Indians of North America. It was that mindset that fought the silly clan war known as the American Civil War, igniting it all because The European needed slaves to build its new world. It was that mindset that perverted capitalism and turned the northern hemisphere into a cult of self perpetuating greed and death. Indeed, dear worst-reader. When I read Dostoyevsky that’s what I get out of his writing. And it feels kinda good to read it these days, as though something inside me is vindicated, as though, after all these years in Europe, among these The Europeans, I can finally read him. Yeah. Maybe it is time to get on with Karamazov. Or maybe not.

Notes From the Underground is short novel about the narrator who can’t control his anger and frustration while trying to exist in the blossoming automaton world of late 19th century (far eastern) Europe. I’ve read on the Interwebnets that some think this work is the beginning of existentialism–but I have no idear what that is supposed to mean. All I know is, if you could bring the narrator of this story to life, you could put him right in the middle of the corporate world; he’d fit perfectly. Even though there is a huge amount of anger and confusion rolled up inside him, he is docile and weak on the outside; he seems to stand for nothing except musings about Russian soil. His ego is so overblown that when he argues with comrades and ends up challenging one to a duel, no one even shows up for it. Instead they all go about their meaningless, automaton lives in the(ir) bureaucracies, the(ir) cafés, the(ir) dinning halls of sloth and gluttony. And just like the automatons in the corporate world, the narrator  himself is fluff and meaninglessness–all on the verge of sissy tears–just like all those soccer “men” who fall down on the field like gurly-girls in order to find an advantage. Yet, does the narrator find meaning in his search? The question hasn’t changed since the late 19th century. The automatons find meaning in what ever they deem fit. They find it in their arrogance. They find it in that other great European pastime that is the opposite of humility–misbegotten pride. They find it in their nationalism, tribalism, clans.

The earth knows no noses higher than those noses in Europe. (-tommi)

This is a quaint story to read. I rather enjoyed it–long sentences or not. I felt a kinship with the narrator–or was it empathy? Nomatter. The important thing to keep in mind about it is that there is contempt between “the author of these notes” and “the notes themselves” (see quote at beginning of post). Dostoyevsky is obviously extremely judgemental of his surroundings yet he never quite reveals why. There is something naive about how he writes this. Or maybe it’s carelessness. I don’t mean his prose, though. His ability to transcribe the mind’s eye is flawless. It’s just the subject matter he’s addressing that gets me. It’s as though he created the narrater in order to just mock everything about the world he’s forced to live in–The European world. Either way he is judging society by portraying its components and how they interact in the most banal of all settings.

“We Russians, generally speaking, have never been stupid transcendental romantics of the German, or especially the French, kind, who are not affected by anything; the earth may crack under their feet, all France may perish on the barricades, but they remain the same, they won’t make the slightest change even for the sake of decency, but still go on singing their transcendental hymns right up, one might say, to the grave, because they are fools. But here, on Russian soil, there are not fools, as everybody knows: that is what distinguishes us from all the other, Germanic, countries.” -Notes From Underground, FD

There is something eerily profound about what Dostoyevsky is getting at in this short novel–that I may be confusing with my own worst-prejudices. And. As usual. I’m not sure I understand any of anything I read. But he makes me think of the wave of revolution that preoccupied Europe before and after Dostoyevsky. Before Dostoyevsky I’m referring, of course, to the French Revolution. In its essence wasn’t the French Revolution not just an attempt break the chains of feudalism and monarchy, but also an attempt to subvert The European? In a lesser attempt, the Russian revolution–which emulated the French–tried to do the same thing. Is there no irony in the fact that both those revolutions lost and who was the winner? In Russia, The European turned to authoritarian communism embodied by Stalin and the Soviets. In western Europe, The European turned to predatory capitalism disguised in the bullshit called socialism. I couldn’t help but feel that Dostoyevsky was alluding to this level of human failure that could only come from the mindset that is The European. The people he argued with, the female he so clumsily fell in love with, the servant he couldn’t stand up to, etc. They all represent The European. And like all Europeans, the story just reaches the last page. Or something like that.

Rant on. -Tommi

Where The Trains Run Late

muster visa

Pic: what the visas used to look like. Just a bunch of heavy stickers and stamps in my passport. You know what happens after having stamps in your passport for twenty years and then they suddenly change to little ID cards that you have to carry around along side your passport? That’s right. I lose them. In fact, since last year I’ve lost two German Electronic Visa cards. Every friggin time I travel and re-enter Germania the lovely customs and immigration Volk have a whale of time with me.

Immigration Grunt: But misser Stewg, it sai heer dut yuv got uh div-er-rent karte zen zis vun.

Moi: Yeah, brother. Chill. Not as efficient as you. (Looking at his monitor where he shows me a list of cards I’ve been issued.) I lost that one. (Pointing.) Lost that one, too.

Can you believe it, dear worst-reader? After almost two months I finally received notice that my new (3rd in two years) visa (for Germania) has been extended for another three years. Had to renew it because my US passport expired. The German card is only valid as my passport is valid. Oh well. Now I just have to wait another month for the driver’s license size ID card to arrive where I then have to pick it up. And to think I only had to wait ten days to get my new US passport in March–where the whole renewal process was done by mail! Did I mention that the US can deliver such an important document/papers in 10 days? Have to wait almost three months for the Germans. And the trains always run late in Germania, too!

Livin’ in perpetual limbo rules, baby.

Rant on. -Tommi