Arrived in China 
Monday, 06 .March, 2006, 17:00 - English Entries, Travel, Photographs

During the last 24 hours or so I travelled from Helsinki via Frankfurt and Beijing to Sanya in Southern China. We have just another meeting here during this week. I hardly slept on the first two flights and when I arrvied in Beijing, I had to wait two hours for the connection flight. So I sat in a restaurant behind secuirty control and watched the people coming in, while drinking a beer. That was around 10.30 local time, a bright morning. Of course in Europe it was 6 or 7 hours earlier and my body was still in that time-zone.

There were a lot of interesting thoughts in my mind, but I could not catch them. I was too tired and had tasted too much of the red wine, that they give you in Lufthansa Economy flights. A thought came by, I milled it through my brain several times and it escaped. What a ridicuoulus thing of a thought to do . I ordered another beer, watched the people and played thought catching. Nothing happend. I ate. The waitress gave me plastic knife and fork, she did not even think I would be able to handle chopsticks. I drank my beer a little further. The red display of the clock shifted to 12.00 and I went to the plane to Sanya.



The seats on that plane made for something else but not for people who are 190cm tall. It did not bother me too much, as I fell asleep right away. Inbetween the sleeping during that four hour flight I finished "Post Office" from Charles Bukowski, which I had started on the plane from Helsinki to Frankfurt. The stewardess gave me a green tea when I ordered a water. I slept again. Woke up again and ordered a beer and hoped I would not end up with engine oil. She handed me a beer and soon after I slept again.

About three hours before landing it was announced that the plane would land soon. Might be it was only 30 minutes before, but it did not seem like 30 minutes. The ususal "be a good passenger" announcements wer given in Mandarin and English and then a female Chinese voice told a childrens story or read the communist manifesto or told us about her last boyfriend - I don't know, but she kept the loudspeaker busy with her words and sounds and emphasises. While she was talking the plane descended throught the dust of the clouds to a landscape of mountains, tropical woods and a blue sea.

The temperature down here has for sure never been reached in Helsinki region. I am not fond of high outside temperatures, but the related thoughts could anyhow not be caught. Whatever. I have to avoid to fall asleep too early, else I will not adjust to the local time. I guess that's why I bother you with this.



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Welcome back to the dark ages - my personal outrage and doubts about religion 
Saturday, 04 .March, 2006, 15:48 - English Entries, Thoughts, Politics, Religion

On September 30th, 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published several cartoons that depicted the islamic prophet Muhammed and made fun of extreme islamic views. These cartoons caused demonstrations of so-called fundamentalist muslims in many Arab but also European countries. Some of these demonstrations caused riots and other forms of brutality. In Europe we had nothing better to do than the question the right for freedom of speech.

The question is, whether we should further restrict our personal freedom in order to not make other people angry. The people who get angry about jokes is the usual fanatic crowd: believers in a super-natural entity that created the world and nowadays obviously cares shit about it. I thought we had enough people in the European past who shut up just to not get killed (for example this guy) - and others who opend their mouth one time too many and were then used as fire wood (as it happend to this person).

I see no reason why I should be tolerant towards a person who believes in something that cannot be proven and who derives actions from this believe. If these people would at least talk with a common voice, but they all have different values and ideas about the perfect world and its maker.

And my dear Christians, this is also true for you. I am sure that your nearly 2000 year old political organization ("the church") will use any weakness of modern society to gain power again and feed people with thoughts of guilt and fear. I do not make any difference here between catholic, orthodox, protestant or whatsoever churches - please note that explicitly. Any believe that teaches about something that cannot be noticed by our senses and that can only be explained by contradicting nearly everything that science found out during the last several thousand years, is either totally crazy or used to keep people stupid. The momentary problem of the church is, that it has a hard time to establish a society as e.g. in Iran or Syria.

Yes, Christianity is all about love and kindness. That sounds good, but actually I do not remember that human rights were derived from the Bible or from any Christian organizations publication. As far as I remember our ancestors had to fight for any of their freedoms and later on some pope or bishop said that they agree to the new liberty and that it is (somehow) in-line with god, the bible and the church.

But still, what I write here has no base in todays reality. It is clear that we are here in the free world, uninfluenced by strange believes, and some countries in the middle- and far-east are under the dictatorship of religous fanatics. Is it so? Read the newspapers!

Today I had to read that Tony Stupid Blair said, that it was Gods decision to send British troops to Iraq. Oh sorry Tony, I missed that part of modern history. Maybe the creator just visited your flat when no camera was present. Maybe he let a fart and you mis-interpreted it. Maybe you were drunk. Whatever the reason was - you should have been wise enough to keep your mouth shut about it.

We already know that ex-alcoholic George W. Bush believes, that his mission in Iraq (and Afgahnisatan) is in-line with the will of the holy trinity, that nobody can understand and therefore you just have to believe in.

Wow! We are again in an age of religious wars. I do not doubt a second that George and Tony are true believers and that at least part of their statements are true. They believe in god and at least as much in their mission. Isn't that cool? We most likely never left the age of crusades.

Welcome back to the dark ages! If you saw some light during the last years, it was just a moral irritation.

And then again: I am doubtful by how this all teaches me that I am not as tolerant that I have thought. During this last month somebody stepped on the accelerator and lots of others were willing to speed up as well. Maybe we run towards a conflict, I don't know, I don't want to make any stupid prophecy. But I am concerned that it is so easy to take a clear position in this dispute - and how hard it is to understand the other side. I am surprised how strong I believe that our society is better to live in than any other currently existing or that ever existed before. I would like to doubt myself, but it does not work, the moment I hear something from any religous camp I can at best just shake my head.

In the end it is about belief. There is no right and wrong without belief. Some people say, they feel that there is a higher order in this world, there must be a meaning behind all this. I do not think so. I think, whoever searches for a bigger meaning is taking him- or herself too important. We are not important. All that is here was caused by chance and accident and we are just one product of a long serious of meaningless happenings. Our problem is, that we look up in the sky and want to explain what we see. That's how we came up with flash-throwing gods that transform into animals and make love to innocent princesses. But more and more we find out, that we can explain the mysteries by scientific means and that we find no reason why the things are as they are. We find constants, numbers, formulas, but no guidance how to live our lifes. And if you ask 100 people what is right, you will get at least 150 opinions.

A religion is a man made system that tries to give guidance. But we are walking faster than religion can adjust its rules. We are asking questions to which ancient books cannot give answers. We experience daily that there is no right or wrong, that there are only possiblities and taking them or leaving them will change our future. That's why I think religion is wrong - because it prentends to have answers, that do not exist. Because it takes away one of the true wonders that humans can experience: the doubt over something that they are able to do.

And that is finally why I think we should not be too friendly and too tolerant towards any kind of religous outburst either here or somewhere else. It is important to stay grounded on the few facts we have about our existence and not to start flying into metaphysical spheres. It is not that we have to teach others our view of the world, but we have to protect our freedom. That might sound militant or aggressive to some. It is not. Look again who started the violence and point out the one person, that did not have a religious background.


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Die Botschaft in Miesbach 
Saturday, 25 .February, 2006, 03:55 - Deutsche Einträge, Music

So lange ist das noch nicht her, da hatte mein Herkunftsort Miesbach noch eine eigene Botschaft. Eine recht musikalische. Die Botschaft nannte sich selbst "Bar - Longue - Club" und die zugehörige Website existiert immer noch, das gleichnamige Lokal leider nicht mehr. Dort, im Miesbacher Sudhaus, befindet sich jetzt eine Rockdisco, die auch nicht zu verachten ist. Aber die Botschaft war schon a bissl was b'sonders. Und das wage ich zu beurteilen, obwohl ich nicht oft dort war.

Am 10. Juli 2004 war ich zum erstenmal dort und am Abend darauf habe ich einen kleinen Gästebucheintrag verfasst, der mir immer noch gut gefällt und den ich hier - vielleicht mehr als Nachruf - wiedergebe.

Mein erster Abend in der Botschaft war für mich die Ausuferung von Zuständen, die sich seit Jahren in Miesbach im Geheimen abzeichneten, jedoch niemals mit derartiger Übermacht zu Tage traten. Über dreißig Jahre, nahezu die von Shy besungenen "35 Sommer", habe ich mich im Nabel des Landkreises aufgehalten und die Ufer waren immer hoch genug. Wir mussten schon in die Schlierach steigen, um uns nass zu machen - wir taten es auch, wenn auch nur stockbesoffen und nach einem Bad im Michaelsbrunnen, einem freiwilligen, auch wenn ich immer noch glaube die Stadt unterliegt einem Irrtum und es handelt sich bei dem Herrn um den anderen Drachentöter.

Endlich hat Miesbach eine Botschaft für ganz Oberbayern. Die bekannten Gesichter passen da ebenso hin wie die unbekannten, die Musik sehnt sich manchmal nach ein wenig mehr Strangeness und Schmutz, wabert aber trotzdem in Spähren hinein, in denen der Kleinstadtgeist leise verendet, niemand geizt, schon gar nicht mit Reizen und ein Gespräch kann vom tiefsten Dialekt ins Englische und wieder zurückkippen.

Was habt IHR da bloss angestellt? Und wie? Ihr ward sicher nicht bekifft, sonst wäre was mit E-Gitarren rausgekommen und das Kellergewölbe würde mit Blumenbildnisskitschattacken auf die Seele drücken. Hat Euch denn die Botschaft wirklich ereilt?

Ihr Fotografen und Werbetexter, Gardarobenmenschen und Baranoiker, Organisatösen und alle anderen Bösen - macht die Botschaft weiterhin zu einem Statement. Ich werde immer wieder mal vorbeikommen, wenn es Zeit und Raum erlauben, und mich in Eurer Aussagekraft baden.

Kippis!
Georg


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A good reason not to learn the Finish language 
Thursday, 23 .February, 2006, 09:19 - English Entries, Finland, Thoughts

"Why do you not learn the Finish language?"

Up till now I only had excuses, when somebody asked this question. My answers sounded like: "I am too often away from Finland, I cannot attend a regular course" or "In my old age it is terrible hard to learn a new language" or "Finns anyhow talk English to you when they hear that your Finish is not perfect - because they are friendly". But let's admit it: if I would put some effort into it, I might at one day learn it. I am just too lazy (surprise surprise).

But then - when you live in Finland, you come across these words that you have no idea what they mean and they just sound great. They sound even - I dare to say it - poetic. Once you speak a language you forget the sound of the words (or can you tell me a well-sounding word in English without first thinking half an hour about it? See!). So the only way to preserve the poetry of a language is to NOT learn it.

Once you arrive in Helsinki, you will hear people talking abuot "Lentoasema" and "Rautatietori" and (one of my favourites) "Elielinaukio". English speakers, I am sorry for you, you cannot pronounce that right from reading it. Germans can, as Finns and Germans pronounce the letters in the same way (with few exceptions).

Nowadays I know what the before mentioned words mean. But there are constantly new ones. Last time I was in Finland I read this on the bus and I could just get wild about its sound - without having a clue what it means: "Valipalapatukka". I assume it is not an isult, as it was part of an advertisement. But even if it would be - I would be glad to be insulted in this well-sounding way.

Valipalapatukka - wow! Who wants to know what this is? You just listen to it, for several hours, again and again. That's for sure much more healthy than yoga!

As a disputed person once said: "It is not necessary to understand. It is enough to adore."


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About: Roger Cohen - "From Islam to Irving: A perfect moral storm" 
Wednesday, 22 .February, 2006, 09:06 - English Entries, Politics, Religion

Todays issue (Wednesday, February 22, 2006) of the International Herald Tribune has a very good summary of some of the currently ongoing events on page two. If you have the chance read Roger Cohens "From Islam to Irving: A perfect moral storm" you should definitly do that.

Unfortunately the International Herald Tribune does not publish this article for free on the web. So, they do not deserve a linke from here (I am sure, that makes them re-think their policy :) ).

Edited Monday, 3rd of April 2006: Finally I found this article online. It is available here.


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