I woke up this morning (well, this afternoon, actually) and felt totally complacent. I was hung-over, though I had slept it off as far as possible, but I felt good. I mean I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about getting completely sauced the night before. I didn’t feel bad about wasting my time watching stupid movies, playing stupid games, gorging myself on food and wine the whole night. I felt no remorse for not having written a single word, for poisoning myself with alcohol, for dithering away yet another night as if the end wasn’t nigh. I was utterly… complacent. I knew it was alright. Good feeling, that. Odd, too.
I’ve decided to take a break from blogging (my spell-checker just asked me if I really wanted to type flogging, which brings self-flagellation to mind, which makes me think of Freudian slips, if you get my drift), until the next year has popped up it’s ugly little noggin, so here’s wishing all and sundry a happy Christmas and a merry New Year.

End of the Rope

Or tether. Ever come to the end of your tether? Life is hell, really, no shit, and you just don’t know how you are going to get through one more minute of it. And you gasp and waver… because it hurts inside. It’s a physical feeling, I know. You feel like a prize-fighter who’s playing the ropes, and you’ve been hit once too often, and you’re not quite sure if you’ll survive the fight. That moment of doubt… and at that moment you get one full in the face. You’d like to lie down and die, but you force yourself to stand. You’ll win yet, you say to yourself.
Thomas Jefferson said, if you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on, but I say: there is always more rope, so cut yourself some slack. Let some more rope out, for Christ’s sake… give yourself some room. Give the poor horse some reign. Go get drunk. Scream. Sob. Go out in the middle of the night, lie down on the sidewalk, and observe the fucking stars. Most likely, no one will even notice it, and if they do, what the hell.
A while back I got so drunk at a party of distant neighbors that I subsequently, on the way home, threw down one of the big caution signs surrounding the road work on the corner of my street. Four big signs, anchored with huge weights… I had a great old time rocking them back and forth until one cracked to the ground. I cut myself some big time slack there. Do you think anyone noticed or cared?
If anyone did notice they probably said: crazy American, he’s up to no good, as we said he would be when he moved here twenty years ago; and now, just when we though he might fit in after all… never did like the bastard, aye. Ah, well, never mind. Gertrud, bring me another bier, would you? Or something to that effect.
It wasn’t my fault, really… factor one: too many shots of tequila (with salt and slices of lemon, urged on me by the neighbors nice little wife), factor two: my girlfriend at the time (she wasn’t there, but her influence was –the perceptive neighbors wife noticed it, she saw my need– see this entry, factor three: … me. I guess it was my fault after all. But hey, I was just cutting me some slack bro, ya gotta unnerstan’ that.
A society that can’t tolerate you cutting yourself some big time slack when you need it is not a society that is worth living in.
So, you see, the rope has no end. It just keeps on getting worse, haha!


At first I thought: heya, write a blog entry! But, as I opened the file, I yawned cavernously. Not out of boredom, oh no…! I just sort of realized I am far more tired and drunk than I thought. And I heard the clock ticking, and I thought: you gotta work tomorrow, you poor little fuck. But to hell with it. I can sleep when I am dead. Unfortunately I can not work when I am dead. That would be pretty cool, I could tell my boss that I will finish all that stuff when I die… being dead, I will then need no sleep or food and can work 24/7! That would appeal to him, I am sure. And when I die, I can say: fuck off, I ain’t workin’, watcha gonna do about it, kill me?! But, no go. I just barely avoided spilling a bunch of wine on my keyboard, but that is not what I wanted to write about. Unfortunately I have, in the process of almost spilling a bunch of wine on my keyboard, forgotten what it was I actually wanted to write about. Damn.
It was something important, I am sure.
Well then, I will talk about what I am eating. Better than the weather at least. I am eating Norwegian crackers with Pfefferknacker. Pfefferknacker, aka Pfefferbeißer, for those not in the know, are wonderful. Leave it to the Germans to make wonderful Pfefferknacker. To die for. The perfect thing for a descendant of Czech Jews.
What’s a Czech Jew doing in Germany, you may ask? The same things as anybody else: eating wonderful German wurst, drinking wonderful German beer… uh, Sicilian wine, actually… eating delicious Norwegian crackers… the wurst is gone, now I’ve switched to an excellent French cheese.
And that reflects the reality of life: a mixture. My great grand-dad was a Czech Jew, which doesn’t mean a damn thing to me except that I am interested in history and culture… in me flows the blood of Frenchmen, of Englishmen, of Czechs, of American Indians, among others… a mixed breed if there ever was such a thing.
And, if we are to believe the scientists, which I generally do, though not always, than we are all black men. Racism is simply stupid, because we are all descended from the same stock from Africa, and in any case mixed again and again, one tribe with another, diaspora, exodus, genetic upheavals which make any comparison and measuring of genetic viability utterly laughable. And that is on a statistical level. Don’t get me going on the individual level.
The individual level is pure stochastic. Insanity, chaos. The variation is so incredible that one might believe individuals belong to completely different species though they be brother and sister. And where does that leave us? It leaves us with the wonderful freedom to to take people as we find them, each one individually, each one unique, each and every one of them a beautiful one-time-only creation of nature, to be taken as they are, not as we expect them to be because they are German, or Indonesian, or Korean, or one of these horrible crass Americans one keeps hearing about, or whatever.
Listening to Golden Brown from The Stranglers. From far away.

Famous Irony, Infamous Idiocy

If I should ever become famous –God forbid– what would people make of my offhand ironical statements? Or, to put it the other way around: how many statements made by famous people are simply ironical offhand blahs that we take far too seriously? I am struck again and again by idiotic quotes from famous people. I can, at times, only suppose that they didn’t mean it seriously. They say something on the spur of the moment –it might even have made sense in the context in which it was stated– which, taken alone, is a crock of bloody shit. Likely as not, they just wanted to fuck with some poor interviewers head at the time. I know I’d be tempted to do so.
Or was it all just plain true idiocy, stupidity from people many consider somehow better? I am inclined to believe that the skills necessary to become famous are not congruent with those required to be a person I could like very much, much less consider per se better in any way.


When will it end?  If I were asked to define the word catharsis, I would say a relatively short instance of… let us say: turmoil, in which one’s beliefs are called in to question, whether in a matter of love, or conscience, or religion, mores, honor, or what-the-hell, and when it’s done you come out stronger, cleaner.
Sometimes you ask yourself: when will my catharsis end? It hasn’t destroyed me, so when will I come out clean and strong, better for the experience? Is it just me? Am I sort of sandbagging my catharsis? Is it not a real catharsis at all, but just the usual everyday bullshit? Or just a sort of little test-catharsis, to see if I’m up to the real thing? Is life just one huge never-ending catharsis? Yadayadayada.
Maybe you just need more time. Time to stem the curse of the Gods, and forget the damage done. No light task, as any fool would admit.
Listening to Goin’ Out West from Tom Waits.

Intellectual Fascism

I once spoke to my father about how some people aren’t that intelligent. That’s probably thirty years ago, so forgive me, dad, if I don’t remember exactly what you said. I’ll bet you don’t remember a damned thing about it. The gist of it was, though, that I, young whippersnapper that I was at the time, said, more or less –my God, what a sentence– that those who couldn’t keep up intellectually, well, damn them… tough tits and all.
To which he said: that is intellectual fascism. And he was right. Even then I knew he was right, he had misunderstood me, which was forgivable, because at the sweet tender age of 17 I did not express myself very well, or I expressed myself all too well, with intent: rile the old bastard, just for the hell of it.
The point being? I know very well, and knew it then, that there are countless people who can look down on me from olympian heights when it comes to intellect (in the sense of pure thinking capacity). And I know too that that is not the most important thing about being… well, what shall I call it? About being a good person. A good human being. Intellect is important to me, but it isn’t crucial. I’ve met plenty of wonderful people who couldn’t hold a candle even to my humble intellect. I once fell in love with someone who, well… just didn’t get it. And why? Because she was a wonderful person. A beautiful human being. Perfect, in her way.
She, just like so many people, had other capabilities. For example she knew how I felt, even though I didn’t. There are times when my smart-ass brain convinces me of God knows what, for example that I am feeling fine, though things aren’t quite right. But she would notice that immediately. And then she would ask me, perfectly innocent, if everything is okay…? She knew it wasn’t.
How did she know? It escapes me. Somehow she knew what I was feeling, and this is a capability I do not possess, generally. Of course I notice when people feel uncomfortable with a situation, and all that, but she knew, though I didn’t even feel uncomfortable yet. She saw it coming, before it even had the chance to become a thought you could nail down on an intellectual level. Gad, what a capability. I envy her for that to this day, though she hardly understood a fucking thing I said. Not only that, she had lovely eyes. She drove me crazy with her intuition. Drove me to drink, in the end. They all do.

Right or Wrong

There is an author who I haven’t read in twenty years, but who’s quotes recently „came under my nose“, as the Germans say, and I find them very appropriate, by the gods. Dostoyevsky; oh yeah baby, we are talking classics here. Mark Twain defined a classic as „a book which everyone praises but no one reads.“ Well. I have read Dostoyevsky at least, though it seems an age ago, so I don’t feel myself entirely incapable of talking about what he wrote.
In any case, there are things he wrote or said that appeal to my sense of craziness. Among it all is the sentence: „Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.“ Fyodor, you hit it on the nose.
Now, I won’t tell you what I broke (it isn’t the frail Moroccan table, that is past history, and it wasn’t on purpose), but you should know that I enjoyed it very much.