Delays

I want to write of the stars

but the stars are far away, and complicated

I want to write, of the lovers under the stars

but my mind is somewhere else, and convoluted

I want to create, art, music, text, anything, anything but pointless pixels

but I can’t even come up with a good ending for this poem

Waldspaziergang im Winter

Es war ein sonniger Wintermorgen, als Frieda in den Wald hinaus ging. Am Tag zuvor war ein feiner Pulverschnee gefallen, der nun die Bäume und Wege bedeckte. Außer ihren im Schnee angenehm knirschenden Schritten war fast nichts zu hören, alle Geräusche wurden bald durch die Schneedecke verschluckt. Frieda war nicht vielen Menschen begegnet, und nun war sie auf einem Pfad unterwegs, auf dem noch niemand Spuren hinterlassen hatte. Frieda blieb stehen und Genoss die Stille für ein paar Sekunden. Eine Minute. Fünf Minuten. Mit einem knorrigen Geräusch erwachte ein Baum und fragte Frieda: „Was machst du hier im Wald?“
„Ich entspanne mich nur ein wenig vom Alltag“, antwortete Frieda.
„Der Wald ist Alltag.“ sagte der Baum.
„Ja, für dich ist der Wald Alltag. Du stehst jeden Tag hier und trägst im Winter den Schnee, im Sommer die Vögel.“
„Ich weiß nicht, was du den ganzen Tag machst. Ich weiß gar nicht viel von dem, was wenig entfernt von mir passiert. Meine Wurzeln fühlen die Erde, meine Nadeln fühlen die Luft, die Sonne, den Regen. Meine Zweige fühlen die Tiere, die mich beklettern, beschäftigt und immer in Bewegung, nur selten bleiben sie stehen und schlafen ein bisschen in meinem Geäst. Mein Stamm fühlt das Wasser ihn durchfließen und wie die Zeit ihre Ringe zieht. Eigentlich hätte ich viel Zeit, über all diese Eindrücke nachzudenken und meine kleine Welt zu erkunden. Oder ich könnte die Kunde der Tiere erfragen und so mehr über diese Welt erfahren. Ich könnte den langen Reiseberichten der Vögel lauschen, den abenteuerlichen Fluchtgeschichten der Eichhörnchen, den wilden und strategischen Jagdberichten der Wölfe, den Angebereien der jungen Hirsche, den Eskapaden der Wildschweine in die Gärten der Menschen… Und natürlich den endlosen Dramen der Menschen, die hier spazieren gehen und über alles Nachdenken. Der Wind in meinen Ästen könnte zum Geflüster mit anderen Bäumen werden, die all diese Geschichten und mehr austauschen. Die Weisheit des Waldes, die tausend Jahre alte Eiche, die schon alles gesehen hat…“
„Aber eigentlich ist das alles Klischee“, entgegnete Frieda.
„Ja.“, sagte der Baum, „Eigentlich denke ich über gar nichts nach. Ich kann auch gar nicht hören oder sehen. Ich bin einfach. Im übrigen kann ich auch gar nicht sprechen.“

Langsam wurde es Frieda etwas kalt, so auf einer Stelle zu stehen und auf die schöne Fichte zu starren, die so lebendig wirkte. Sie setzte ihren Spaziergang fort. Der Schnee knirschte angenehm unter den Stiefeln, ihr Atem malte feine Wölkchen in die kalte, klare Luft. Frieda ging noch eine ganze Weile durch den Wald, durch den funkelnden Schnee, die bezaubernde Stille. Sie dachte über vieles nach, und manchmal, wie es beim Spazieren und Wandern beizeiten vorkam, war sie einfach.

My 100th Blog-Post is Some Doomerism Meta Bullshit I Guess

It is impossible to create anything

all of creation is a lie

if I wrote a hundred blog-posts

I would have written a hundred lies

the truth is unspeakable as it is unknowable

faking depth is easy and trivial

just throw words on a screen and make confident, imprecise claims

to do so is not art and contributes nothing

it is impossible to create anything because everything has already been created

even that thought is not original, originality is impossible

we have seen the creation and judged it unworthy

all our dialectical critique didn’t help us

in the afterlife, it is impossible to change the world

books can be written about left wing melancholia

about how the lost fights of the past could be transcended

in the vision of a future utopia, ever approaching

this has been shattered, and no vision retains strength against the force of our reality

the fights of the present are lost already

and the words ring hollow: another world is possible

we do not really believe them

to deep has the inevitability been engrained

our movements are build as desperate struggles

not for a better world

nut only to survive the storms on the horizon

and while preventing the worst necessitates the creation of a new future

such victory is merely an afterthought

while focusing on not drowning in our continuing loss

the self-fulfilling prophecy of inevitability

has chained the masses in their comfort zones

of infinite distractions

they have everything to loose

and have been told there is nothing to be won

only art remains

desperately hiding from the grasp of the content industry

and rich collectors, parasites

impossible to create

merely scavenged from the fragments

Friday Text

Tonight I went on the balcony, and through the light pollution saw the glimmering stars. Cars and Trucks went by the highway near to me. As I tried to ignore their noise, I saw the moon glimmer through the trees.

As I stared at the stars, felt the cool fresh evening air cool my somewhat feverish body, I thought, maybe, this world isn’t so bad after all.

Donnerstagsgedicht

Warum aber, fragt man sich,
gibt es dich für mich,
geb ich mir zu dir,
wird ein ich zum wir

Warum aber, fragt man nicht,
wurden wir zum ich,
sahen wir die wahre Freiheit
nur in unserer Einsamkeit

Warum lernten wir zu überzeugen
oder uns den anderen zu beugen
So dass wir erst vergessen mussten
eh wir uns zu verstehen wussten.

Wednesday Poem

For all of me and all of you
we made a truly mighty stew
and from our pot we drink the brew
to keep the cake and eat it too.

But no-one saw the ice caps thaw
as we burned coal to build our awe,
we knew it well but always tell
of need to quell the hardship of the poor.

Yet poor remain the huddled masses
and though they teach it in the classes
a true improvement rarely passes.

Farewell oh world of things a plenty,
I only need one hat not twenty,
and certainly no virtual ones.

And while we give up many things,
and for the better,
we need to keep those things that matter,
technology that keeps alive and healthy,
those who need it, not just the wealthy,
but everyone who wouldn’t thrive
in a hunter-gatherer life.

So really what we need to do,
is not make more,
but to make due,
we have enough, I’m sure of it,
it’s just that some are full of it,
while others really live like shit
and those between are taught to increase
rather than to find their own peace.

But seriously we (or most of us, at least) desperately need to reflect, re-evaluate and re-think our relationships with things.

Dienstagsgeschichte

Frieda stand auf der Klippe und blickte aufs Meer. Die grauen Wellen schlugen unerbittlich gegen die Felsen, weit unter ihren Füßen. Bald sollten sie die Klippen gänzlich ausgehöhlt haben, so dass auch sie Teil des Ozeans würden. Aber nicht all zu bald, wenn man es in menschlichen Zeitspannen betrachtet, dachte sich Frieda, die den Wind in ihren Haaren genoss. „Welche Kunde bringst du, Wind?“ fragte sie ihn, doch der Wind antwortete wie immer nur mit weißem Rauschen. Man kriegte einfach kein gutes Signal hier oben.

Frieda stand auf der Klippe und blickte aufs Meer. Die grauen Wolken türmten sich am Himmel. Bald sollten sie ins Land ziehen und die Pflanzen mit ihrem Regen beglücken. Ein Teil des Regens würde versickern und zurück ins Meer fließen, so dass er wieder Teil des Ozeans würde. Auch der Rest des Wassers würde irgendwann wieder ins Meer zurück finden. „Ich sollte hinaus segeln“, dachte sich Frieda, die nach Zeichen in den Wolken suchte. Doch die Wolken formten wie immer nur eine amorphe Masse aus winzigsten Wassertröpfchen. Wenn sie doch mal ein Bild zeigten, so war es nur eine Einbildung der Betrachterin. Man kriegte einfach keine objektiven Nachrichten hier oben.

Frieda stand auf der Klippe und blickte aufs Meer. Außer dem Wind, den Wolken, dem Wasser, dem Felsen und ihr selbst gab es hier oben eigentlich nichts. Wenn man es recht betrachtet, ist das allerdings schon eine ganze Menge, dachte sich Frieda, die so langsam anfing zu frieren. „Im Grunde fehlt gar nichts, aber nächstes mal sollte ich Tee mitnehmen“ sagte Frieda zu sich selbst. Als sie sich zum Gehen drehte, setzte der Wind ihr die Kapuze auf. Kurz darauf begann der Regen.

Montagsgedicht

Mehr als nur mein Blick er streift dich
Mehr nur als ein Stift der schrieb dich
Deine Gedanken bohrten sich tief
Gerade als ich wachte, als ich schlief
Alles wird von dir umgeben
Was du sagst bestimmt mein Leben

Versuche doch noch dir zu fliehen
Mich deinem Bann gar zu entziehen
Jedoch wohin mein Blick nur schweift
Du bist es der ihn sich stets greift
Es scheint, der Kampf ist lang verloren
War es schon eh ich geboren

Coronavirus, Climate and Capitalism

The Coronavirus has achieved in the course of a few months what the environmental and climate movement hasn’t been able to do in 80 years. We’ve largely stopped flying, cruises are cancelled, car manufacturers have stopped producing their killing machines and most importantly, both politicians and the majority of the population is actually listening to the advise of scientists and taking a serious situation seriously. We’ve also been quite violently reminded what the important things in live actually are: Food, water, shelter, health and, most apparently, interaction with other people.

All it took was an immediate risk to each individuals well being, governments taking the situation seriously, and media reporting without really considering corporate interest. Reassuringly, we are already seeing some of the media (and billionaires twitters, essentially the same thing) coming back to their senses and pointing out that saving lives is nice and all, but if we have to tank the economy to do it, maybe we should just sacrifice a couple hundred million people and be done with it.

Behind this somewhat revealing mockery of basic human decency stands another truth that Covid19 has brought to the surface: Our current economic system is fundamentally incompatible with the low-consumerism life that has temporarily been forced on us. Essential jobs are still kept working and through this we can see that most jobs, I guess, aren’t essential. But of course, many if not most people are working those jobs, me certainly included. And the simple rule of capitalism seems to be, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. But phrasing it like that is already falling into the trap of allowing capitalist ideology to define what work means. Really, I should say, if you’re not getting paid, you don’t eat. And then we can ask who decides if we get paid. A then we have to ask who is really in power. I guess we will get the answer to that based on weather people are forced to go back to work before it’s safe to do so or not. In the US, in which more than in most other countries, the billionaires are in power, the questions seems legitimately open. In Germany and most of Europe, it seems like states are mostly doing what they are supposed to do, keeping their constituents safe and bailing out the corporations who in times of crisis always rely on the state and at all other times tell it to kindly fuck off and not regulate them or take any of their profits. But at least yes, our states are trying to keep their constituents safe. So maybe our democracy isn’t quite so broken.

This would be good news, except that after the corona-crisis is over, I guess we’ll have some time to make up in producing wonderfully efficient (at killing people either very slowly or very quickly) SUVs, shopping for child-labor-produced fast-fashion to fill our already overflowing wardrobes, time to throw last years collection in the bin, and taking that vacation to the the great Barrier reef while it’s still there, presuming enough airlines have been bailed out since they spent all their profits on stock buybacks instead of saving for hard times because that would be silly if you can be bailed out by taxpayer money. And yes, all these are indirectly examples of consumer blaming and not really helpful. But I’m not trying to be helpful here. I’m just trying to point out what has never been more obvious: If all the consumer blaming actually worked, and people would vote with their wallets and no longer buy or do anything that’s not actually worth the environmental impact it causes, the whole damn system would collapse, just as it is, temporarily, doing right now, because people have to stay inside and can’t do all that consuming right now. So any politician or movement that’s claiming we can fight climate change without fundamentally changing how our economy operates is either not serious about fighting climate change and just trying to appease you, or completely out of touch with reality. In the case of movements, many of the more popular ones are also sort of mincing their words or avoiding the topic in order to not scare off all the people who are, through no fault of their own, incapable of imagining a life beyond capitalism.

Many Economists tell us we just have to price in the carbon and keep everything else the same. Maybe support poor people so they can still afford the necessities. Great, if we really did that, included all industries, and set the price such that it had an actual effect, stuff would get really expensive, we would buy less stuff, companies would go bankrupt, there’d be mass unemployment, the results would be the essentially same as just shutting down or re-purposing the factories directly. The simple truth is, we have to completely stop increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and fast. However we get there, the end result will not be the same economy we have now except with electric cars instead of gas fueled ones and all the coal plants replaced by windmills. That perception is based on the myth that with increases in efficiency, the economy can keep growing without running out of resources. Because capitalism is so great at increasing efficiencies. This appears to have been the answer every time environmentalists have asked in the past how exactly a system dependent on perpetually growing can fit onto a fixed size planet. In the case of climate change, the myth becomes, the economy and material standard of living can stay the same while decreasing resource use because of increase in efficiency through green technology. Because the free market is so great at innovation once you price in carbon emissions it will magically find a solution.

Speaking of Consumer Blaming: I bought a book on Amazon again instead of buying it directly at the small leftist publisher. But Amazon was the only place that had a readily available e-book version and I’m kind of over physical books for practical reasons. In any case, this seemed a fitting place to purchase a book investigating leftism through the lens of the melancholy of it’s failures and it’s art. Amazon may be the most prevalent monument of capitalism of our days and thereby the failures of leftism. A quasi-monopoly, a perfectly efficient machine of consumerism that automates and dehumanizes every aspect of it’s operation. Amazon employees are being constantly monitored and made to follow predefined processes dictated to them by computers as precisely as humanly possible, with very little concessions being made for such annoying bodily needs as having to pee, needing to deal with menstrual hygiene, eating and so on. If a worker dies in a warehouse, the other workers better keep working. After all, the defective piece of the machinery will simply be replaced as soon as the human resource allocation algorithm deems it necessary. Of course, paid sick leave was out of the question wherever governments didn’t enforce it. This wondrous machine is built to a large degree by software engineers like us. It serves to full hundreds of millions of peoples materialist desires, but it’s primary goal appears to be to generatbe wealth for the richest person on the planet. Having supervised the building of this machine of alienation and consumerism, it seems fitting that Bezos, like many of his billionaire silicon valley friends, is worried about AI risk. But that is another blog post.

Allow me to go on another tangent (of course you don’t have much of a choice since I’m the author and presenter of this piece). Spending a Sunday at home, letting my brain get fried by an algorithm owned by the biggest Surveillance Capitalist out there, I recently came upon an Episode of environmentalist kids-tv show „Löwenzahn“. The main character makes a startling realization of how much trash he produces. He then goes to a supermarket and attempts to buy stuff using his own reusable containers, which is of course unsuccessful. In the end he ends up buying stuff at the good old market. While at the supermarket, he explains quite well the purpose of packaging: Since these modern stores no longer have people that recommend and sell you things, they are self service, the packaging has to sell the product for you. So the purpose of the packaging is to reduce to amount of labor needed in the store, since nobody has to weigh and calculate prices with a prepackaged product, but also it is advertisement! Remarkably, the episodes cartoon short film expands on this topic. In what is somewhat an homage to Alice in Wonderland, a little girl accompanying her mother while grocery shopping gets sucked into the world of advertisement. This is, not very subtly, called „Lying-Land“. All the characters there are just repeating hollow advertisement slogans, until Alice gets seemingly offered candy, only to learn that, of course, nothing is free and she has to pay. As she refuses, a factory shaped like the stereotypical top-hat wearing capitalist tells her that she must consume, otherwise his chimneys will stop smoking and he won’t make any profit! She refuses, he cries, she is back in the real world with her mother who promptly offers to buy her a chocolate bar, which she refuses. What a wonderful episode teaching kids about advertisement, capitalism and how they could change their consumer behavior to use less packaging. A few days before I had seen an episode from another German children’s programming educating about trash – hence the recommendation, I suppose. Good to know that there’s this kind of stuff on the TV, teaching the next generation about environmental issues. I’m sure once they grow up they’ll do something about it.

Both these shows where from the 80s. That was almost forty years ago. Nothing has fundamentally changed except that there are now zero waste stores in larger cities in which a select few can spent a bit more effort and money for a better conscience. So essentially the same thing you could always do by buying at a market except in those stores you get dried goods as well.
So when I now read opinion pieces of leftists or environmentalists or both talking about how the Coronacrisis is showing us that change is possible, I can not help but to remain pessimistic. Yes, hundreds of millions of people are now seeing that a lot of rules where fairly arbitrary to begin with. If the government wants, it can totally just give everyone money, at least for a while. All these socialist reforms the left wants are completely feasible even under conservative governments if it’s necessary to keep the majority people from dying or worse, going bankrupt and henceforth being unable to consume. If we want, we can just work remotely and don’t have to commute, saving god knows how many car trips. Even the police in Philadelphia is now only arresting people that „pose a threat to public safety“. Nice to have them acknowledge that most arrests aren’t actually for that purpose. Ah and of course, rent appears to be kind of optional as well.
But none of that stuff is sustainable. It’s not designed to be. I’m quite sure that this crisis will pass and we’ll go right back to how things where. Only with a number of people dead, a lot of people even more destitute than they where before, a lot of small businesses and lower & middle class existences ruined, and a few billionaires with a lower number that’s still so big that the change in their wealth is essentially meaningless in all practical measures (such as how many yachts or luxury houses they can afford). And of course, with bigger government deficits – which make a great argument to cut back on social programs because clearly we can’t afford them.

Ah and climate change? We’re already doing everything we can about it. We’re shutting down coal in 10 years! What more can we do.

No virus will safe us. No NGO or Social Startup. No Bernie Sanders or Greta Thurnberg. Once this is over, please join the Rebellion. Join Extinction Rebellion, it’s a good organization for people new to activism. Join Ende Gelände. Support your local Antifa. It’s all the same fight. Many of you are already activists, you know what to do, just keep going.
We’ll go back to the status quo after this crisis, more or less. But the status quo is going to kill us – albeit much slower than Corona. The time has come to stir things up. I don’t really expect it will happen. I’m depressed. I’m weak and I don’t manage to do much in the sense of activism. Sometimes I sit on the street anyways. I’d like to not sit there alone. I’ve had enough of being alone for a while.

Cyber

Cyberpunk, Memes sind d a n k,
bunte Haare, Cyberpunk,
Stecker im Kopf, Cyberhand.

Musik aus Computern, Cyberfun,
Sexroboter, cyberkrank,
wähl‘ dich ein mit Cyberband.

Neongrün die Cyberbank,
Cybercars am Straßenrand,
Selbstfahrend durchs Cyberland.

Postquantum dank cypherpunk,
verschlüsselt lies‘ den Cyberkant,
Plastikmüll am Cyberstrand.