jeudi, septembre 29, 2005

Urban Legends

A new rant for today!

Not a political one - well, perhaps one about political correctness.
I'll try to explain without going too much in lenght: There is a (german) Forum I write in since ages. I had a lot of fights / reconciliations with a lot of people there. There are some I like, others I dislike toroughly and then the ones I try to avoid because I dislike them without I can describe properly why and others like them. One woman is such a case. I really can't bear her. For one she's terribley squeamish, but that still would be okay. But she has this "I am so much wiser and sensitiver than you, because I've gone trough a lot, but despite of my hard fate, I am still fine spirited and nice" attitude. Of course she isn't wise, she isn't even nice, because she likes to stab people in the back, all softly and subtle. But most of the other writers in that Forum like her.

I bet some of you know the phenomenon.

She always told us that she had to endure such a hard life, without telling WHAT exactly happened. Well, yesterday, she did. She told us a story from her teen years. When she was 15:
The neighbours wife and best friend of her mom had two childern, a baby boy and a little girl. Once, the Girl saw the little boy naked and asked her mom what the little brother had there, between his legs. The mother answered that because of this, the boy cryied so often.
One day the mother went out shopping, leaving the childern alone. The boy cryed and the girl saw a pair of scissors on the table. So she tought that she can make him stop crying by removing the thing that makes him cry. When she saw all the blood, she ran out of the house and hide under the car (!) When the mother came home, she saw the bleeding boy, took him to go to the hospital, jumped in the car and rolled the girl flat dead.

Well, so much for the story. Our Forum mate added "This has influenced me so much. I remember it so well".

I agree, that it is a horrible strory. But...I mean, how comes it that she did know so well what exactly happened? The girl spoke to no one in the time between her deed and her death. The mother, when she came home only saw the bleeding boy. Who assumed what happened? This and other odd facts in that story maked me doubt. I mean, I am usually the one who thinks that a lot is possible. But - excuse me , this is pure bullshit!

So I investigated on sites that lists popular Urban legends. And, what a coincidence, I found that story here. Well, it is in other variations, but it IS the same story. Even the version with the girl overrolled by the car is there.

Of course, I posted the link as an answer in the forum. The Forum admin then agreed that the story may be an urban legend but insisted that we should not pretend that she did lie purposely.
Yeah, of course not. Must be a misunderstanding. Just wonder how a 15 year old girl can misunderstand such a story. It was the neighbour, the best friend of HER mom. In my opinion, there is only two possibilities: Either the story is true or false. And it's obviously false.

Well, I was not in the mood for trouble, So I wrote that I am of course not saying that she is lying. It may be a misunderstanding. I hate myself for this act of political correctness.

Hell, of course I do think that it was a lie on purpose. What fucking else? It matches exactly the impression I had of her since the beginning.
Oh my - what a crap!

dimanche, septembre 18, 2005

The new calendar

Today was under two major assignements! 1: watching the German Elections on TV 2: publishing the Antique White House Calendar 2006 at LULU. 2 involved a lot of work, and 1 was very - odd.

Let's talk about 2.
It took me several months do finish that project, with all the drawing and texts involved. With the help of Mauser*Girl who did the proofread, and the one of Matt and other Eyeskream friends who also proofreaded some texts, it is finally done. I think that the result is pretty well. This calendar is not only very pleasant to look at, it will also give you a deep insight in the culture of AWH - JFK's Kingdom. You can keep track of all major pagan festivals as well as of also the lesser known ones.

Of course: Modern pagans may follow different calendars and so they might not find their observance on the date they are used too. I had to make a choice. It is a subjective choice, also based on what the comic JFK would follow. He is a celtic pagan, but he also follows observances of roman and greek or teutonic origin.

The world of AWH isn't exactly a "pure" ancient world. It is the vision of an almost modern world, where pagan cultures had the time to evolve and mix. I think that this is what would have happen, if paganism survived on a wider level in our world. Especially in Europe, we would have a pan-european mix of the most popular festivals to be the common, major observances, all while keeping the more specific observances regionally.

Three months:





Well - I would be happy if you'd consider to purchase one. Remember - it makes also a great xmas gift. Get it now and laough at people who run trough the malls in desperation on december 24....

There are two versions of the calendar available:

If you like to see JFK in July all nude

If you want to offer the calendar to Granny

mercredi, septembre 14, 2005

Birthday, follow up

Thank you all very much for your birthday-wishes.
I have a good time today. But I don't know if September 14 is a good day to call ones birtday ;) Thats what yahoo tells me:

On this date:

In 1901, President McKinley died in Buffalo, N.Y., of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.


I am born on a day of a president's asssasination?
aw, sh... at least it's not the assasination of you know who.


In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice, France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of her sports car.


Well, THAT'S realy weird. I mean can you imagine this kind of death?


In 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.


Very symbolic formy life. I try something new and then I crash.

In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before.

A car-crash, again.

In 1982, Lebanon's president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was killed by a bomb.

Dead presidents and deadly cars - my totems?

Birthday

I would have like to forget that it is my birtday today. Honestly, Birthdays are fun when you are under 20.
But since 00:00 AM I receive tons of automated happy-birtday e-mails generated by every obscure Forum I ever registetred. Gasp!
The most useful of that happy-birthday bot was one of the french auction house aucland: They offered me a free listing with special options for today. Well, at least this is an useful present.

dimanche, septembre 11, 2005

Antique White House - the game

A friend of mine is working since - I dunno how much time - on a game playing in the Antique White House. I am of course flattered and I will help him where I can when it comes to design the figures and so on. I just don't know where we will go with this. I am really no game expert.
Yesterday, he sent me a demo and there I could walk trough the rooms and corridors of the Antique White House as he designed them. I admit that it was a thrilling experience. There are almost no furniture yet, only the corridrs and rooms, illuminted by candle light. But there was also the bathing room he designed:



A bottle of champaign floats in the pool, and the pool itself has the presidential seal on the ground:



Pretty cool, isn't it? I jumped into the pool, it splashed and I could swim in. But I couldn't get out of the pool again! As I said, game is far from being finished. I had to save myself from drowning by "exit the game".

Sure this let me want to see more. I will defintely work more on that game when I have finished the current projects.

lundi, septembre 05, 2005

Hollow

First of all, I would like to apologize that I didn't answer all comments with the appropriate deep or answer at all. I feel so weary and strenghtless now, I just don't have the energy. But I want to express how much I apreciated them. I also wuld like to give special thanks to Darc of Codename Hunter, Kyle Miller of Gamecreature, Slim of Albert and Folks of the AREN.org for their warm, supportive mails. It really means a lot to me and I would like to insist one more time, that I would never throw all Americans in the same basket in my turn now.

Thanks also to Marco of Grittie for your comment. My retirement is not meant as a "punishment." I always had great fun, especially at TWCL, but right now I am too sad to bring myswelf in. Its funny how quick things can change. Less than a few days ago, I had tears in my eyes because I laughed so hard in the Gtpoo-thread over this wonderful mad spontaneous jam that goes on. Now I have real tears in my eyes.

So I have to take time just to see clear again. Too many things were broken in the last days, I lost a couple of friends, also mauser*Girl as it seems. I probably have my share in the "who to blame". But I simply have enough of the question "who is too blame" right now.
So just give me some time to redefine me. Of course, updates on the comic will done as usual.

samedi, septembre 03, 2005

Asking the right Questions

Here is a blog where the questions I and many others do have, are expressed.
The martian Anthropologist

Freedom Fries and Lies of Freedom

First, I like to thank to all who participated on the comments (and welcome Bradi). Instead of replying in the comments sections, I will try to pick up some of your points here, in a new post.

Mauser*Girl, I think that YOU missed my point. YOU maybe only "wonder" about Europeans behavior, but in most blogs I read, people are not wondering - they harshly attack - with hateful words, as if WE did send you that hurricane.

I just wished that, instead of supporting this hatered without any difference you would have shown a more balanced view.

What I tryied to explain is, that there is nothing to be wondering about at all. Things just went in their normal way.

I remind very well the Tsunami. Even if it was clear at a much earlier time that it was a real huge catasrophe, calling for private relief and aid only started aproximatively 5 or 6 days after the impact. In fact not any earlier than for Katrina.

The US were critiqued because they (at least the official USA) waited far the longest to show some compassion. And I remember damn well several postings in US-Forums of people who complained that there is American aid at all.
One Jerk even wrote that after all, It were "just worthless Asians" and that the money better should go to supply US-troops in Iraq. That was the reason I left that forum and unfortunately lost a couple of friends.
I am still hurt of that time and that's the reason why I take this issue at heart. I simply cannot understand why in moments of grief, when we all should stand together, Americans, Europeans, Asians and whoever - old hatreds emerge. I simply don't understand that.

But back to Katrina: American ciritizism would have been justified if, even after several weeks the Europeans showed indifference and were unwilling to help. I can't but repeat it: You didn't even give us the time to realize what happened. We were condemned in advance. And without the slightest difference. I have no problem when specific politicians are critizised, such as Trittin, but if you speak of the "Europeans", you mean ME too.
And that offends me, because I think that you should know me at least this good enough that I would never been indifferent to whats happening in America and always feel compassion for battered people.

Even if you think that most European governemnts are a gang of morons, make a difference between individuals. Because generalisation is the poison that leads to hatred and intolerance.

How can you pretend that we were not feel sorry? Did you see in our hearts? You mostly know what you see in your news. Do at least consider that this may be only a part of the truth.

And don't tell me that Americans jump up at every catasrophe somewhere on the globe, desperatly searching for their money to send to charity-organisations within the first minutes.

The freedom-fries thing was real embarassing. I asked myself how much self-comedy one can manage without getting aware that he's making a total fool out of himself. Indeed, French Fries aren't french. The French haute cuisine despises those clumsy, BELGIAN potato sticks deeply. ;-)

However. I really have to be fair and do admit that there acrually also is a LOT of anti-american feelings, especially in France. A lot of french readers of my comic say to me that the comic would be good if I gaven't choosen a "dirty American President" as a hero.
And only one day after 9/11 our post-office employee said that the terrorists did well, because the Americans did also destroy cities at WW2. This makes my exremly sad and I fear the vicious circle. You say "fuck you" to me and I say "fuck you" to you and soon there's nothing but bitter foes.

vendredi, septembre 02, 2005

Neverending Hurricane...

Mauser*Girl wrote her own view of the Hurricane and the Europeans thing. Normally, I would answer her in her own blog but I don't want to offend her again, so I tought I comment some of her statements here. She wrote:

So yes, I'm a little bit sore when I see people elsewhere say things like, "We get storms here and we didn't get care packages from the Americans" -

Sorry, if that made you sore but still, it is simply the truth.

I didn't say that in the meaning of "You didn't help us, so we don't help you" but in the meaning that we usually BOTH don't feel responsible for storms on the other continent. Especially when one has to fight very own problems. As casual notice said, There are still heavy flood damages in Centreal Europe. Some Mountain villages in Switzerland are still without any help and reachable only by helicopter. There are still wildfires severing in Portugal and Spain.

It's also nasty and useless to compare gravity: No one denies that Katrina was worse than Lothar. But like at any catastroph, the level of gravity is revealed only after some time (usually a couple days).

What makes ME upset is that we are blamed for not having recognized the entire dimension of tragedy in the very first minute. We got American hate-mails and blog-posts even before we had a chance to look at things closely. As if we were supposed to watch the US more carefully than the US-government does. Sorry, but I find this fucking arrogant.

The same Americans who claim this position are often excessively proud patriots. Well, I cannot say that I am an overmeasured patriot - but I do have some European, patriotic feelings, tough. And these are hurt when I am confronted with such annoying attacks. But of course, THAT doesn't count.

She also wrote:

Some sit there and say, "Sure, we'll give you aid - if you grovel and beg for it. Go ahead. Ask. Ask nicely. Or we won't bother."

Actually nobody said "beg for it".
But insulting Europeans before they even CAN realize what's up isn't a good idea for getting their help.
And on avery practical level, It is simply a fact that a country cannot fly its troops (even helping troops) in another country without being asked for.

In a German Forum I write, Somebody said that we really shouldn't help Americans but "let them drawn in their own arrogance and self-righteous shit".
I fight such repulsive statements with all passion, but I admit that *some* Americans really aren't a help on that purpose.

The devil's advocate

Another post that will lower my poularity, I guess. I await the first anthrax-filled letter in the mail every day, now ;)
So if you are not in the mood to accept a different view, don't read this post. It will make you upset.

Hurricane Katrina is at the top-topic in almost every blog. Be sure that I have a lot of compassion. Louisina was always one of my favorite corners in the USA, a place I wanted to see since ever. It hurts me deeply to see all the misery, all those desperate people, all this terrible destruction. The people there need help and quickly.

Most blogs actually rant about the fact that Europeans didn't help.


I instantly think of the weeks without electricity we spend in our houses in first days of 2000, when cyclone "Lothar" severed Lorraine. The entire electricity network was broken, the forests devasted, houses destroyed. Our roof was completly damaged. Towns like Saint-Die-des-Vosges looked like after an air-raid.

We were in the dark and all we had was candle-light and the old radio that worked on batteries to listen the progress of the help.

Did America help? Not to my knowledge. At least, I didn't receive a care-parcel nor was there an US-Soldier to shove away fallen trees.

Well, I wouldn't have think one single minute to blame the US for that.

Europe is a rich country. I expected help from the other european states, tough. And there was. German, Italian, spanish and British soldiers and engineers of the THW came to help the french engineers to rebuild the houses, the streets and the electric poles. Even tough that southern Germany was also striken by Lothar. We helped eachother, because neihgbours do so.

Correct me if I'm wrong:

But isn't Louisina ONE state in a BIG union of States, called USA? Other states that are all part of a BIG AND RICH country? So you may excuse us Europeans, if in the first instance, we somehow thought that the "mightiest country in the world" is able to manage a hurricane-disaster all alone.
After all, Hurricanes are not really rare in this part of the USA. It was not an unexpected catastrophe like the Tsunami in Asia.

Okay. Now it turns out that It was maybe the worst hurricane ever. So terrible that the USA indeed need help from the outside. I am all for giving it, of course. In this minute I hear at the radio that "the USA now accepts help from foreign countries". "now accepts?" Does that mean that help was offered but - DENIED?

Okay. I don't want to discuss if our media or the US media lies. It does not matter anyway. What matters is that help comes quickly now.

But please, stop blame us for not being your babysitters. Yes, it took us some days to get aware on how dramatic the sitation is really. pardon us, but we don't live next door. All we have are images on TV, okay?
Getting aware early of the situation would have been the job of your President - whom a lot of you who rant in your blogs are of course never questioning. Not even now. Its so much easier to blame Europeans.

And as for what Juergen Trittin said: He was clumsy to say it, the way he did and to say it now. It weas heartless and self-righteous.
But in the matter itself - he IS right. Just read the statistics! Or what insurances say (sorry link is in German)Real terrible storms have constantly increased in number since the 60ties.
Remember the movie "the day after tomorrow?" a fiction that has partly become true now. And you still don't see the evidence?

Not only Trittin putted it to the point, also Robert F. Kennedy jr.

You can close your eyes any longer, als you please. But I assure you: Katrina was not the last hurricane, nor was it the worst to come...