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Satachrist is...

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Samuel Shem: Mount Misery
Dr. Helmut Müller: German History

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Saturday, January 10, 2004

  Bissful state of non-existence.

George W. Bush recently withdrew 400 weapons inspectors from Iraq. WMD could not be found. Nobody seems to be particularly surprised. In the meantime Powell has stopped speaking of hidden arsenals and now refers to Saddam's willingness to acquire those weapons. Which would mean that intention alone is enough to justify a war. Therefore I personally advice you to stop thinking bad thoughts this very second.

Sorry. Too late.

It is entirely debatable whether that reason was worth the deaths of 10.000 civilians who died during the bombings. The media remain silent. Mostly. As if those people never existed. As if their former existence was about as annoying as the non-existence of the WMDs.

The bitter taste. After the September 11th attacks an outcry went through the world. People were mourning, everywhere. The date became a symbol. Today the term is omnipresent. After March 5th there was no outcry. Only silence. As if to say the Iraqis do not deserve a September 11th of their own. And no one will cry for them.

Actively ignoring these obvious problems is beneath the dignity of every true democratic state, including the US. Ultimately Washington will have to face some serious accusations and deal with them. Otherwise America's claims of freedom and democracy cannot be taken seriously. And the world would lose more than a symbol.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

  (...)The more conscious a society is of its values, the better it will be able to deal with foreigners.
- Matthias Drobinski, Sueddeutsche Zeitung  

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

  Thought of the day.

In a secular society religion becomes a matter of culture rather than spirituality. Rituals are kept as tradition, providing identity rather than enlightment. There is a definite connection to pragmatism and realism. Even occultism can thus be seen from a historical point of view. Symbolism and conceiled meaning take precedence over spiritual aspects. Over belief.

In order to have a constructive effect, belief needs to be flexible and adaptive. Otherwise it can lead to derealisation. That however are the exact opposite attributes one expects from tradition. Tradition is meant to be stable and unchanging, the safe haven of identity. It can be open to interpretation but must always be in itself untouchable.

The consequence is a secure social norm, combined with a general freedom of thought. This constellation might be considered something of an optimum. It provides us with a civil method of dealing with others while keeping our minds unlimited. Which is the principle of civilisation.  

  Useless Demon Jokes.

A customer demon enters the local Souls R Us.
"Hey. One deluxe edition please."
"Sorry. We're souled out." 

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

  Foreign Politics.

The Guardian published an edited version of the recent Osama Bin Laden speech. And though it is for the most part uneventful, I find the paragraph that refers to Saddam Hussein as the US's "former comrade in treason" very interesting. As cynical as it may sound, it supports the idea that the regime change in Baghdad has actually helped Al Quaida's agenda.

Of course this message should not be taken too seriously. But it sure nurtures the doubts about the competence of the Pentagon.  

Monday, January 05, 2004


This is probably the most difficult piece I ever had to lay mind on. It is conflicting and straining and it is possibly going to be my doom. But it is also a great teacher. In the course of three years I have done 6 major rewrites and countless minor variations. And every failure is a lesson.

Currently I am realising that it is essentially a story about loss. How much can we lose? How much more when seeminly nothing is left? Friends? Family? Love? Life? The world?


There were many moments when I was decided to toss it all in the waste bin and never think about it again. It never worked. I understood that this story will stay with me until I'm dead. And maybe beyond that. Until it is done there is nothing I can do to get rid of it.

So I better get it written quickly. 

  The first Bentley Little story I read was The Pounding Room, a disturbing tale about a shy young man and his new working place at a company that demands rather strange forms of obedience. I remember most of the images vividly, how he was lead into the cellar with the yellowish bulb, seated on a throne to overlook a group of masked men punding rocks on a wooden table, in a slow paced rhythm. It never left me. And the story remains on of my favourites up to this day.

Now I am almost through his anthology The Collection. And even though he sometimes appears disappointingly sane, the vile humour that transcends the stories is omnipresent. Sometimes I get the impression that it's very much a joke to him, though maybe not a funny one. It is possible that I like him so much because I understand him so well. But that is a rather scary thought.

Sadly, after reading the entire book, I still think that The Pounding Room was his best work. Surely the most disturbing. Then again I recently heard someone call Jacob's Ladder ridiculous. So I might be mistaken after all.