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Heroes Of Identity

Here we are now. Uncertain times, and Marvel providing us with heroes. Why are we so obsessed with Iron Man and Captain America?

Editorial

From Cologne With Love

Honest content for on the go
Linked together as a seamless flow
No comments, just direct conversation 

Get food for thought

Borders Of Identity

We’re missing a global identity. And some of us do find it in outdated places. Why is that?

Get food for thought

Buying Identity

Beside national and global identity, there is a third way to get a new identity. Just buy one.

Get background knowledge

Identifying Details

Our affiliation to our social class is determined by capital. By several ones. Pierre Bourdieu explained them all.

Listen & relax

An Ode To Details

Nicolas Guerlain is a bodyguard and a master of observation. But he couldn’t protect his love. A reading.

Listen & relax

An Ode To Waves

Moving water. Blue body, white crowns sparkling in the sun. Follow some observations of waves.

Get inspired

The Beauty Of Waves

Santiago Calatrava is capable of bestowing immortality to waves. And enriching our surroundings. 

Get inspired

Pure Beauty

Being asked for „The Sports Car“, there are three answers. But just one is the right one. The Ferrari 288 GTO.

Get thrilled

Pure Racing

Overpowered Cars. Exceptional Drivers. Different Surfaces. This is Rally Cross. A video of appreciation.

Get thrilled

Genius Of Racing

The worlds most exceptional drivers are to be found in rally sport. Walter Röhrl for example. 

Get introduced

Genius Of Rock

Talking about genius. Maybe you don’t know his name. For sure you’ve heard his work. Jon Lord.

Get introduced

Immersive Rock

Unlike any other art, music can draw you in and leave room for thoughts. Like with Archive. Dive in.

Get food for thought

Immersive Climax

Sex can be the purest of enjoyment. So why has it become a technical sport? Thoughts about digital categories.

Get perspectives

Once Upon A Climax

This movie is not about sex at all. Still, it is about climax. Once upon a time in the West. An eye on waiting eyes.

Get background knowledge

Once Upon A Coin

Money ruled the West. And rules our world. But how? Maybe Georg Simmel has some answers for us.

Get food for thought

Coining A Free Life

Digitalization is erasing jobs – so we, the state, have to pay unemployment benefits. Any better ideas?

Read & relax

Joys Of Life

A short story about an older woman cooking Coq Au Vin. Originally meant to be a receipt.

Get inspired

Joyful Art

New ideas arise from combining existing things. Enjoy some inspiration by architect and designer Federico Babina.

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Heroes Of
Identity

Here we are now. The globe’s been globalized, our times are of uncertainty. And Marvel made a huge comeback presenting us their mighty superheroes. Why are we so obsessed with Captain America and Iron Man? Is there a kind of desire for heroes right now? And if so, why? Maybe it’s worth taking a brief look back into history.

2:20 min

We watch Marvel heroes. Superheroes with unearthly powers, coming to rescue us. The success of Marvel seems like a countermovement to the missing heroes in reality. Of course we know they don’t exist. But at least for two or three hours we can feel like having someone to look up to. A simulation of what it felt like when we had leaders. A simulation of identity.

The success of Marvel seems to counter the missing of heroes in reality.

What is it like to be a citizen of the world? Well, Marvel is telling us a story: We fight together with people from all over the world. We put our hearts into achieving a better future for us all.

But still, the whole bunch of superheroes seem to be thrown together by random. They don’t obtain a common identity – and they don’t provide one. Maybe „Avengers“ was a good try (and maybe that’s one reason for it braking box office records). But if we’re honest, we don’t want to be avengers. We don’t want our identity build on taking revenge. Maybe it was necessary to take revenge on leaders destroying our future. But when it’s done, we should look out for a new idea.

This seems to be the most important task ahead. We won’t get a new hero leading us into the new and uncertain. No Captain Kirk. Not even a Captain Picard. For the first time in history of mankind we need to figure this out on our own.

We need to think on our own. We need to communicate, listen and explain.

We need to cooperate.

And by the way, this is what contemporary globalized work and economy is all about: Leveraging the power of everyone. Together.

Maybe we are a world society and together we are more than just the sum of us. 8 billion people, thinking and working together. Co-creating a new sense of identity. I’d say, this body of global society would be my new hero.

Still, there are some borders left. 

Borders Of Identity

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Borders Of
Identity

8 billion people working together to come up with an idea of a global identity? Sounds like a dream. Back in reality, we are still missing an identity. And some of us do find it in well known places.

A widespread answer to identity is nationalism. While the idea of nationalism is pretty old, it is astonishing to see its comeback today. The world getting closer, globalization ripping apart the idea of national identity, it seems pretty silly to get back to it. So … why is nationalism hip again? Let’s step back and take a look onto the reasons for having a nation in the first place.

 

A nation establishes a controllable space.

Borders define an area in which certain rules apply. These rules enable the society within to live a happy life (or at least a safe one). Social and legal rules provide the do’s and don’ts, being enforced by socialization and law enforcement. With some luck you’re living in a nation that is based on democratic principles, so laws and powers are defined by the people themselves.

Nations do have something in common with identity. Identity is also based on borders. Without borders there is no telling about what belongs to the identity and what doesn’t. Identity needs separation. Separation from something other. Without being able to say what I am not, I can’t say what I am.

Our body is clearly separated from its surrounding, the skin marking its outer border. Everything inside my skin is me. Everything else is not me. Mouth, eyes and ears help interacting with the outer world. And in processing what we take in, we transform it into something of us. Of our identity.

I am what's inside.

The same principle applies to nations, defined by their borders. Border crossings make sure we have control over what gets inside. And by processing the things that get inside, assimilating the incoming to our national identity, we transform „strangers“ into „ones of us“.

But here comes the deal. Over time we invented things like telephones, TVs and the internet. These communication tools don’t stop at borders. And they can’t be assimilated. Some nations try to control „the internet“, but you can’t stop data completely. Digitalized data made communication so easy, it even produced globalization. The economy made extensive use of it.

"It's the economy, stupid."

The globalized economy pressured nations into softening borders and rules, so they were able to attract interesting enterprises who’ll provide jobs and taxes (OK, the latter one being a bot of a fairy tale). Today, people work for companies from different nations (as if companies would still care for something like nationality), working with people from all over the world. Due to their everyday experience, something like a national identity has lost its meaning. The concept of a nation went from being the root of our identity to a kind of corporate division. It provides just a small fraction of identity („I’m German“ is as important as „I’m in accounting“). The nation you are a citizen of doesn’t matter anymore as the key root of your identity.

 

National identity has been relativized.

Well, actually this just applies for one part of society. The other part are people who don’t experience global cooperation, or suffer from it. People who just don’t profit from globalization or people who even lost their jobs due to „foreign“ competitors with less minimum wage or less strict social laws.

Everyone is sensing the loss of meaning of nations and national identity. But if you can’t see any advantage in globalization, this loss creates a void. And the globe is not the answer. Instead, it seems to be the problem.

As mentioned in the chapter before, there is nothing to fill that void. If it doesn’t matter to which nation I belong to, if the bonds of society weaken, if people do individualize even more – where do I belong to? What am I?

Am I a German?

A European (which by the way would’t work as there is no convincing idea nor founding myth people could gather around …)? And if I’m a global citizen, where are the borders of this global identity? What is NOT global? Where are the borders which divide what is us from what is not us? What could that be, the „not us“? The universe?

In that situation the idea of nationalism offers a tempting and relieving answer. It has worked before and it would solve my problems. Why shouldn’t nationalism work again? Why don’t we take back our Deutsche Mark? Why don’t we build walls at the Mexican border? And because you know that this is politically incorrect, you have to fight political correctness. Fight globalization. And ignore reality. The reward would be a save haven. Make America great again.

Again. Because it once was. The mistake is in the why it is not anymore. Globalization is there for a reason. Fighting globalization is fighting the symptom, not the cause. And the cause is digitalization. So the only way to reinstate the state before globalization is to kill digitalization. To get rid of computers, software and the internet. Good luck with that.

 

Maybe it is smarter to start a global discussion, even thought it seems to be impossible. A discussion about how we want to define ourself in a globalized society.

Because there is a second key to identity. And that is common ground. Common ground, not common land. If we talk about what makes us being people of the world, if we figure out what we all have in common, what could be a new root of identity, we wouldn’t need nationalism anymore.

If we are to find and define a border, if we want us, the world society, to differentiate from something else, we simply could try to be logical.

Our border is the atmosphere.

Everything behind the border of our atmosphere is „the other“. Our identity as a globalized society could be based on differentiating from the outer space. And funny enough, we then could have a real Space Force … just not only for the US, but for the whole world. Which obviously would make more sense … because, if I would be an alien, what would I care about the borders on this planet? Really?

We are the world. Not the universe. I can imagine some signage like a flag or an anthem to symbolize the new identity. And the founding myth would already be there: From the first bacteria to the revolution of global cooperation … to take care of our world hand in hand. What a story to be proud of.

Or … we just buy one.

Buying Identity

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Buying
Identity

Beside national and global, there of course is a third way of getting a new identity. We could just buy one.

Yes, we can buy identity. Pierre Bourdieu once noted, that identity is something we build up. It is the result of using something to show what we are about and what differentiates us from others. Like our university degree, our books at home, our car. We create a picture of us. With wearing a Nike shirt we’d like to be seen as someone sporty. We use the brand identity of Nike to enhance our own identity. Here’s why.

2:37 min

Buying brands is an easy way to widen and strengthen my identity.

It’s less effort as to obtain cultural knowledge or character. It’s much faster than learning languages or doing trainings. You just need money to buy your relevant brands.

And maybe it’s a bit of cheating. On the other hand it could foster existing character traits and make them more visible. Or you can highlight certain traits in favor of others. In any case, we can’t avoid the effect. No matter if we do buy brands for that reason, whatever we wear, drive, use … it adds to our identity, at least from the others point of view. So we can just as well use the effect to our benefit.

This effect of image transfer from brands to persons is pretty fascinating. Brands are a kind of capital we can own and make use of. But there are others, too … let’s see what Bourdieu has to say about it.

Identifying Details

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Identifying
Details

We use capital to work for us. And not just one. And Pierre Bourdieu described them all.

Bourdieu was, let’s say, the other kind of sociologist. Basically there are two sorts of sociologists. There are the ones who do quantitative research, acquire numbers about society and doing math with it. Bourdieu belongs to the other ones, the observers. They just observe social interactions and derive insights from it. Plain and precise math against hermeneutic thinking. It has been (and still is) a long fight between those two camps.

No matter what you prefer, Bourdieu is a very interesting read. He came up with a lot of thoughts, one of them being the idea of different sorts of capitals used for distinction. He explained them 1979 in his book „La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement“. If you like reading inspiring texts, just get one copy, it’s worth it (see below for more information).

Within his book he describes four sorts of capital: The social capital, the economic capital, the cultural capital and the symbolic capital. And all of these capitals play a major role in defining which position we have in society. They define our identity. So it’s very interesting to see what these four capitals are all about and how they interact. How they produce my social identity.

Social
Capital

Let’s begin with social capital. Social capital is the sum of all relations I do have with others. This could be the groups I belong to, the network I maintain or the contacts I go to when I need something. It’s the family as well as my friends and the people I know from school, from work or from leisure time. To develop my social capital I constantly need to do relationship work. I have to do things for others to gain social capital which I then can spend in form of getting support from others. In this way social capital also helps getting more economic capital. But I can rise my position in society just by extending my network and its quality, without having to have big money or huge cultural knowledge.

Economic
Capital

Still, it would help to have economic capital. Economic capital basically is money. It enables me to buy relationships, education or image symbols. It even is a symbolic capital in itself, when I show off my economic capital as a symbol of my power.

Cultural
Capital

The third sort of capital is the cultural one. Cultural capital is Education, knowledge and intelligence. It’s important to know that cultural capital is not of the same relevance throughout all classes or groups of society. There are some educations that are more important in lower classes and some that are more in higher classes. But the „higher“ I get in society, the more cultural capital I need – and it has to be of higher quality.

Symbolic
Capital

The fourth and last sort of capital is the symbolic capital. It is a kind of parent sort to the other three sorts of capital. Symbolic capital is what I can show. It’s about my titles and degrees. The symbols I use to show my social, economic and cultural capital. The Porsche in front of my villa. All those impressive paintings, books and furniture in my living room. My symbolic capital directly translates into my ability to exercise power. The better it is, the more I can create and achieve just by using words. It’s the reputation I have that others are willing to accept.

So by using these four sorts of capital I define my position in society, the layer in society I belong to. And this is where things get interesting. Because, as we learned in the brand chapter, it is all about knowing the meaning of symbols. And different symbols do have different meanings depending on which class you are in.

Driving a VW Golf GTI once was something I gained reputation for in lower classes of society. But not so much in the upper class. To be part of the upper class I need to know the codes and symbols they are using to identify themselves as upper class. And be careful, it’s not always the codes you think they are.

Of course a Rolls Royce is a common symbol for wealth and upperclassiness. But there are other codes, more subtle and „unknown“ outside the upper class.

And it’s important that these codes are unknown to lower classes. Because otherwise everyone could obtain and use them. These codes would lose their ability to create distinction. And that is their main task: Drawing a line of demarcation. A border wall to the classes below. So it is of essential relevance that some codes are just known within a certain class. Sometimes these codes even seem to be ugly or offensive to members of other classes – which empowers those codes even more to create distinction.

If you like to know more, take a quick look at Wikipedia:
Theory of capital and class distinction (Wikipedia)

Pierre Bourdieu was a great observer and interpreter. Maybe this is something very French. Like with Benjamin Cors, who is at least half French. But a full master of observation – and telling stories about it.

An Ode To Details

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An Ode
To Details

Nicolas Guerlain might be the alter ego of Benjamin Cors. At least both seem to share their dedication to the art of observation. Benjamin Cors invented Nicolas Guerlain as the hero of his series of stories about a bodyguard (who doesn’t like to be called that way) and the loss of his love who he couldn’t guard good enough. Guerlain observes details in every place and situation. And it’s very nice to follow him on his way of finding his love again.

Let’s hear some lines of „Strandgut“, the first book about Nicolas Guerlain.
Unfortunately in German.

6:18 min

If you like it, why not get the book:
Benjamin Cors: Strandgut (Deutsch)
© 2015 dtv Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, München

An Ode To Waves

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An Ode
To Waves

4:11 min

The Beauty Of Waves

Please use a mobile device to enjoy this article about a master of architecture, Santiago Calatrava.

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The Beauty 
Of Waves

As waves are vanishing, it is comforting to know there is someone who is capable of bestowing immortality to them. Santiago Calatrava is one of the most recognizable architects in the world – because of his answer to the following question: What is more important for architecture, to follow the function of a building – or to enrich its surrounding with pure beauty? Calatrava opts for the second one. And man does he opt in.

Born in 1951 in Valencia, his architecture is a fascinating contribution to places we are living in. His work makes our world look better. He doesn’t simply provide space for functions, he also provides beauty to the surrounding of his buildings. Like a sculptor he defines an object sitting in a space. Yes, it does fulfill its functional purpose. But it’s not thought out of this purpose.

He creates icons from scratch.

His work seems to be the antithesis to bauhaus. Yet, it is not the opposite of form follows function. It’s more like he merges form and function. His buildings, his structures do work very well (at least not worse than others). But on top of that they add something to the city they are living in. They add beauty and inspiration to our lives.

Architecture forms what is inevitable for us. We all need a roof and some walls to keep us warm in winter, dry in rain, shady in sun. We need spaces for work, for arts and for science. But these spaces don’t have to be square. Bast huts are round, igloos are round. But it took an engineer from the city of paella to reinvent the idea of mathematically straight walls. Maybe because some engineering was necessary to defy gravity.

„For an engineer, gravity is what colors are for a painter.“

Structures of Calatrava appear to be out of this world. They contradict what we know, what we believe about architecture. We don’t expect an auditorium to be covered by a leaf. We don’t expect a bridge to be a sinewy body, nearly vibrating by the visible strength and power that it has. We don’t expect to see the skeletons of a railway station.

And still they are not repulsive. They are strange, maybe even exotic. And fascinating. But they also are of unseen elegance. The bows have perfect angles. Precise and mathematical – and at the same time organic and natural. The longer you watch his buildings, the more their forms become inevitable. They had to be that way. How could we ever think them in another way?

His perfection is natural. His buildings are gifts of beauty to those who go by, who visit them, who use them. To Valencia, Dubai, New York, Rio or Tenerife. I envy the people that live in cities where Calatrava is part of their everyday life. And I wish there would be more architects of his kind, merging function and beauty and not preferring one over the other. Making the world a better place to live in. Making it more beautiful.

If you want to see more of his work:
Website of Santiago Calatrava

Pure Beauty

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Pure
Beauty

When being asked for „The Sports Car“, there are basically three answers.

You could go for the engineering one, the Porsche 911. Timeless shape, flawless driving. Even though the great Walter Röhrl had his fingers (and Popo) in the development of the last Porsches, they still are a bit boring. I mean, of course they are fast, they are precise and do have power. But they are engineering cars. A little bit too perfect. Seeing a Porsche with rally dirt on his fenders always seems to be wrong.

Second option would be the Ford Mustang. Raw power, raw shape. An endless bonnet, some very muscular hips and a machine roaring for dominance. It is wild, aggressive and a thrill to move. It was the perfect tool for Nicolas Cage to be gone on 60 seconds. Maybe the Dodge Charger is even faster, more furious. But the Mustang had both, power and beauty. Especially the ones from 1970: Classic coke bottle form, in a more puristic way.

And there is a third answer. The only right answer. 

If I had to choose for „The Sports Car“, without a doubt I’d vote for the Ferrari 288 GTO.

The GTO is the first of all super sport cars. It was build as a homologation model for Ferrari to be able to take part in rally sport. At that time, mid 80ies, the Group B rally cars like Audi S1, Lancia Delta or Peugeot Turbo were cars with way too much power to be handled safely. Some deadly crashes later the series was stopped. Drivers of that period still get a beaming smile remembering those two years of Group B, because it was that fascinating. And pretty short.

It was just a second late. The moment the Ferrari 288 GTO was ready to start, the series was over. But like the Porsche, I wouldn’t want to see a dirty GTO anyway. But as the Porsche appears to be too technical to get dirty, the Ferrari is too beautiful to be full of mud.

Basically, the GTO was a 308. But totally new. The shape still was the one Sergio Pininfarina designed for the 308. But the GTO was a racing car. Maybe a bit too extreme, as 25% of all GTOs burned down due to unfit fuel lines. But that just adds to the fascination around this masterpiece.

The GTO was fast. Faster than any Mustang and even faster than the Porsche Turbo. It was a pure driving machine, breathtaking for its power and its aesthetics. La Bella Macchina. Loud, wild, nearly not manageable. But with such an elegance, nobody could blame it.

Learning to drive is something I’d like to do in a 911. With a Mustang I’d like to do some fun stuff on a parking space.

But with the GTO, I fall in love.

No matter from where you look at it, the pure beauty makes you wanna cry. There is NO other car in this world that has these perfect proportions, these perfect swings and bows and muscles and … beauty. I keep repeating, I know.

Look at the start of the car, the front bumper. It’s like a rocket nose, merciless dividing the air ahead. The front even seems to smile while cutting through the wind. It is the kind of smile an Italian aristocrat would put on when being challenged by some German or American upstart. Yes, the Ferrari is the royal within the bunch of sports cars.

Starting right at front, there is one of most intriguing parts of the GTO, its fender. Like chubby cheeks they slowly, but decisively rise over the wheel arch, performing a dance move around. I’d like to lick them as they might be as tasty as ice cream. Probably hot cherry, I’d think.

Shortly after the fender is crossing the wheel, it goes down a bit, framing the steering tires with the same dynamic bend that they produce when going left or right. And now the car gets its most unnecessary design aspect … the ridiculously low midsection line, making space for the windows to come down and resembling something that only can be described as a well-trained, sinewy waist. It gives the GTO the impression of not only power, but unprecedented agility. It’s like looking at a red panther. Every tendon strained, waiting. Observing. Standing beside a tree, and being fully aware of its unrivaled dominance. No show-off (and I know it’s dubious to say that about a GTO). 

Just exactly the shape it has to have, being on top of the food chain. 

It doesn’t leave any doubt. Even the somewhat strange looking rearview mirrors, breaking the line of agility, appear to be the raised ears of a panther, curious, attentive, always ready.

Then there is the big air intake, opening up like an arrow, pointing into the direction to go. It is a sign for its big lungs, being capable of producing so much power. Without the intakes the whole car would look boring, Like a beautiful face without a beauty spot.

Meanwhile, the waist line rises again to the grande finale. It opens up in width, too. It gains power. While the roof, nearly unnoticed in the beginning, comes down to join the line, right where the heart of it all sits and waits. The engine.

Eight cylinders. A bit smaller than the one in the 308, just 2,8 liters. But 400 PS. In 1985. A rocket. The front didn’t overpromise. The Ferrari 288 GTO was the fastest production car in the world at that time. It revved like hell, and when approaching a corner and lowering the revs, it sounded like a hoarse dog. Like it would bark the curve, warning it to not do something strange to the car.

This engine was made in heaven. Despite its lines catching fire (and who wouldn’t catch fire with this car?), it sounded just perfect. Raw, loud, harsh … the sound that makes you jump out of the way like half an hour before the GTO even arrives. It’s not exactly a symphony. 

It’s a rock band. AC/DC playing roaring anthems on eight cylinder guitars. 

Maximum energy, nothing holding back. And as with every Ferrari – when you open up the hood and take a first look at this bella macchina, the red cylinder heads are glowing and grabbing your attention. It’s like they are saying: OK, we are not like anything else. We are alert. Dangerous. Fast. Burning …

Closing the hood, the car comes to an end. But not without a last hinge of exceptionalism. It ends with a spoiler wedge, seamlessly coming out of the body. The classic Ferrari letters placed in front of it, it is the definite sign for: Here the miracle ends. It’s over. As we begun to divide the air in the beginning, we just disrupt the stream of air and say good bye. Harsh and relentless.

Now that you see its rear lights, you begin to wonder. Did they put an extra effort into the design of the lights? As this is the only thing most of us will ever see from this car? 

The rear is wiiiiiiiide. It seems like it claims not only the one side of the street, but the whole street at once. 

Red and red all over. And the most beautiful rear lights ever made. Perfect circles, like traffic lights telling you to stop. Save yourself the embarrassment and just don’t try to overtake. It would be pointless. These lights do you a favor, preventing you from doing unforced errors.

With gleaming red eyes the GTO disappears into the night. The lights get smaller and smaller, and all of a sudden they’re gone. Maybe the Ferrari went into a right hand corner. The only proof you’re not dreaming is the sound you still can hear in the distance. The unstoppable roaring cry for the next piece of asphalt. 

Because the Ferrari 288 GTO was meant to drive. And to be driven. It drives me crazy.

See Ferrari telling the story themselves:
The Ferrari 288 GTO

Pure Racing

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Pure
Racing

Overpowered Cars.
Exceptional Drivers.
Different Surfaces.

This is Rally Cross.
The purest form of racing.
Cars going faster than Formula One.
Without any driver aids.

It’s like watching kids playing racing with matchbox cars … or sitting inside those Rallycross racers and riving them like bumper cars … so much fun to watch!

Enjoy some minutes of speedy cars playing. Here is footage of the best races ever (part 1).

13:43 min

If you like what you see, visit
FIA World Rallycross YouTube channel

Genius Of Racing

Please use a mobile device to enjoy this article about a genius of racing, Walter Röhrl.

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Genius Of
Racing

Watching the abilities those rally cross drivers have, you might come to the same conclusion as I do: The most exceptional, the best drivers of the world can be found in rally sport.

This is not to be discussed. Rally drivers are fast on any surface, in any car, under every condition. If something’s broken, they still will finish. If there is snow and ice, they just dance on it.

And if you’ve ever seen them driving through the woods, a mere meter distance to the trees left and right, with 200 km/h and more … then you can’t deny. When it seems impossible to have everything under control, they still speed up and circle their machines around corners and jump the hills. Pure instinct, pure driving skills.

Over the years, there have been quite a few memorable drivers. Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen, Colin McRae. Some have won the most world championships, some have won the most championships with different cars. Some have had more serious opponents than others.

But there is one driver that has impressed more than others. And there is one simple argument that tells everything: In videos made for showing perfect driving from inside cars, for showing driving ability, foot work, use of steering and gears and handbrake – it all comes down to just one driver. It’s always him to be shown as best practice for perfect driving.

 

Walter Röhrl.

He was the perfectionist. He was on a relentless quest for the flawless drive. And some say he fulfilled. If you ever had the feeling that driving a car could be more than just reaching another point, if driving could be an ultimate fascination, then you should watch him drive.

If you enjoy his drive, maybe you’ll like his recollections of some interesting moments in his career:
Walter Röhrl on Instagram

Genius of Rock

Please use a mobile device to enjoy this article about a genius of rock, Jon Lord.

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Genius 
Of Rock

Talking about genius.
Jon Lord.

Maybe you don’t know his name. For sure you’ve heard his work. Jon Lord was playing (sometimes even distorting) the Hammond organ at Deep Purple.

Jon Lord was named the fastest organ player in the world. He had such incredible skills at keys and drawbars, he reinvented organ play forever.

With Deep Purple, especially with Richie Blackmore, he developed a band setup in which the organ wasn’t just an accompanying instrument. Instead, his organ play became an equal counterpart to the lead guitar. Both were on par, being able to take the lead. This interplay of instruments and musical geniuses was of unprecedented fascination.

The songs of Deep Purple tried to make best use of the advantages of guitar and organ. The guitar is more a kind of mean, angry, dirty riff thing. The organ is more about deep, roaring, stomach-hitting sounds.

To be able to stand the pressure of the guitar, Jon Lord put his clean organ sound through a distortion box and Marshall stacks. Sometimes he even shook his huge and heavy woodblock with his whole body to achieve even more distorted sounds. This effect was due to the kind of sound generation the Hammond used. The sound was generated mechanically by rotating rods with rounded gears. 

Shaking the 150 kg of Hammond shook up these tonewheels and produced a sound of hell. 

Let’s listen to him. This recording is from 1984, a Concert in Melbourne. The band just got back together after a long break. Jon Lord was visibly matured, but still wild and virtuoso. You can feel his fervor and exceptional skills … 

The Hammond seems to have the devil inside. If you turn it on, it’s like waking up a sleeping monster. It takes around 5 minutes for the organ to be ready to play. In that time it emits an growling sound, slowly swelling. When it’s ready you feel like you’re here to tame the beast. It’s big, it’s loud and it’s angry.

Still, it does forgive a lot. Jon Lord doesn’t.

There is one moment I’ll never forget. Quite some years ago I was at a concert in Frankfurt. Being at the upper rank with some friends, I could watch the band from above. I was pretty much enjoying my view, because just below me there was the Hammond organ. And Jon Lord. I watched him playing famous riffs and solos to kneel down for.

Halfway through a song, all of a sudden he took his right hand off the keys, went to his left hand and gave it a little slap. The hand made a tiny small mistake, some wrong key during a run through the scales. I didn’t even notice. But he did. And he just wanted to tell his hand: Hey, don’t do that again, little rocker. This wasn’t for the audience, nobody had seen it. It was just something between himself and his hands.

Yes, he seemed to be pretty demanding. Otherwise he wouldn’t have become one of the best organ players in the world.

If you like to know more about Jon Lord, take a quick look at his Facebook page:
Jon Lord on Facebook

Immersive Rock

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Immersive
Rock

Music is a mysterious thing. It can make you cry or laugh, energize you or take you down. Unlike any other forms of art it can do both, draw you in and leave room for thoughts and new ideas.

Movies will draw you in even more but won’t leave any space for other than the movie itself. And books demand too much work to think of something else. But music can be immersive and inspiring at the same time.

There is this band called Archive from London. If you’ve never heard of them (and you will in a second), imagine Archive as

a mixture of Pink Floyd and Faithless, with a touch of The Who here and there.

The music of Archive is even more immersive than most of the other music around. This is due to its repetitiveness, impressive melodies and dreamlike voices.

Repetition is a technique used back than by rural tribes hitting drums in repetitive ways to encourage dancers to dance. It also is extensively used in techno music. But with Archive, it is not only meant to make you dance. It also is meant to draw you in.

Archive is rock music played on electronic instruments. And as rock music does, it goes straight under your skin. Straight into your mind, your heart, your stomach. Watching them live is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s like a drug-infused festival, but with musical excellence. The melodies, the rhythms, the patterns are lightweight and powerful at once, inducing dreams and pictures right from the start. Even without drugs.

 

It’s remarkable how slowly their songs start.

Archive takes its time to build up the songs, patiently. You’ll need patience yourself to follow through. Normally we’re used to get straight to the point, impatience being the most common denominator of our times. But Archive just lets you wait, and you have to accept it.

Which is easy to do, because these distinctive sounds, these cascades of tones flooding your mind will make you forget time. They’ll make you listen more carefully, discovering tiny changes in patterns like glimpses of light. Pure fascination takes over. And then, the voices. Carried voices, long lasting words, a bit like Gregorian Choirs. You involuntarily swing your body slightly sideways, closing your eyes, just to open them again because you don’t want to miss anything that happens on stage.

All of a sudden there is a break – you wonder but immediately another universe of imaginative sound is unfolding. This time a bit more rock. More brute force. Angry, loud and hard. And some moments later it just falls back into the first universe of soft imagination.

 

Archive do achieve a sound that seems to be from a long time ago. A kind of pure music. Primal music, music as it was meant to be.

It’s hard to pick a certain song. But then again, it is not. Because there is one song with an unbelievable level of immersiveness. The song is like diving into a deep ocean of music, just surrounded by waves of sound.

It starts like a big tune rock song with a hard riff. You need to bang your head. But wait – now there’s a beautiful female voice singing a goosebump ballad. And now it’s the rock again, underlined by a sound like a dolphin singing underwater.

There is a video of world champion freediver Guillaume Nery base jumping into Dean’s Blue Hole. This is the world’s largest underwater sinkhole, located near the Bahamas. As the song is unfolding, we slowly follow him going down to the ground. Both, film and song, not only complete each other. They interact with each other and open up new contexts to each other. It is a true immersive experience. So … immerse yourself …

If you like to hear more, take a quick look at their YouTube channel:
Archive on YouTube

Immersive Climax

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Immersive
Climax

You make me feel … the title of the song in chapter 13 sounds like something someone would say during sex. Well, sex can be pretty immersive, too. Like the music of Archive, it draws us into it. We forget everything around us., we just have one focus.

Sex can be the purest of enjoyment, absorbing, indescribable. So – why has it become such a technical sport?

Nowadays sex seems to be something you have to know a lot about. Like having a doctors degree in sex. You need to not only know about all types of sex, about positions and health issues (which indeed are important). You also need to be sure – and very precise – about what you like and what you don’t like.

If you happen to be on tinder or some other matching platform, you probably have heard this question: Which kind of sex do you like? Do you like Anal? Role play? Bondage? Active or passive? Any fetish or favorite position?

Is it even possible to honestly pick one or two types of sex as an answer? I mean, of course we all have preferences. But maybe with a certain persona in a certain mood, you’d maybe like something else? Sex is not like lego, not everything is precisely defined and perfectly fitting. Sex is human. Sex is floating energy, elevating, unpredictable.

Being asked which kind of sex I like, the better answer maybe should be: I like the enjoyable kind of sex.

Isn’t that what sex is all about? No matter how or what you enjoy, you just do what makes you feel enjoyment. The more you let yourself be nailed down to certain categories, the more you narrow down your possibilities of enjoyment.

Speaking of categories: Maybe it all has to do with those categories being used to structure websites like youporn or tubegalore. An endless list of terms, some shocking, some pretty funny, some very tempting. The list should help you find what you’re looking for. But it also signals: Categorize yourself.

Are you A, B or C?

In my view, these categories separate what shouldn’t be separated at all. Of course there are things I like more than others, but with every new situation, with every new partner I maybe discover something new. And if I’m primed to think in categories, its difficult to let things happen.

Sex is consensual. Two (or more) people experience and indulge an intimate time together. Before you enter this mutual connection, you may have some ideas of what you want right now – and the other person may have some other ideas. But together, everything is pure excitement and emotion and horniness. As long as mutual respect is given, totally new enjoyments can arise. Maybe you do something the other wanted you to do but you thought you wouldn’t like it – and it is great. Maybe you do something the other one didn’t expect – and it is great. Maybe you accidentally stumble upon something both of you didn’t want to do before – now this experience creates even more excitement.

Sex is a playing field, a unique experience of intense feelings. Together we mutually rise our horniness.

We feel ourselves regardless of the category.
Because our climax doesn’t care.

Once Upon A Climax

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Once Upon
A Climax

OK, this movie is not about sex at all. Still, it is about climax. And how you need to get there slowly. But let’s start with the beginning.

The opening scene of Once upon a time in the West („Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod“) is already setting the pace for the next 165 minutes. Of these 165 minutes, we’re made to wait around 10 minutes for something to happen, just witnessing some micro actions and a short dialogue. It’s short of words, reduced to the core. Still we’re glad for every word we hear. And then – bang! A shoot-out in a split of a second.

This basically is the whole movie. It is about waiting. Waiting. And waiting again. The thrill is slowly bulging up – like with the songs of Archive. Scene by scene the build up gets faster … just to erupt into an epic fight, resembling every gun fight in history. This is the story of this movie, because it’s the story of the west itself – a looong track into the unknown, abruptly exploding into something disruptive. Maybe it’s even the story of life itself.

We wait a lot in life for things to happen, keeping us busy with normal life things like work. It is the same with the three men at the beginning, collecting water drops, cracking their knuckles or trying to scare a fly away. Then, all of a sudden, something life changing happens (in that case their death) – and we’re left behind stunned.

It is especially interesting to watch the men being very efficient in what they do. They don’t want to move more then necessary.

Comfortably sitting in a chair, a man tries to blow away a fly at his chin.

For an excruciatingly long time he doesn’t use his hands. He keeps blowing the fly but can’t make it go away. It looks like he is the most lazy person you’d ever see. But it’s different. He just tries to put in a minimum of effort. He’s waiting. Waiting for a better chance. And as it arrives, as the fly sits down at the side of the chair, he somehow impressively overdoes it.

He draws his gun to catch the fly with the barrel of his gun.

As if to shoot it. A huge bullet for a tiny bluebottle. But he just wanted to catch it, imprison it in the mat black steel of his barrel. Because he’d want to listen to the buzz. The west seemed to be a pretty weird place.

Once upon a time in the West tells stories of lifelong waits. Some do wait their whole life to be able to take revenge. Some do wait a whole life for the ultimate profit and get killed just ahead of it. 

Therefore the movie takes its time. Time to tell the story, time to make observations, to let the scenery work on us. Wide shots telling the open space to be conquered, countered with close-ups on furrowed faces telling the troubles and pains this endeavor brought upon. 

Sergio Leone nearly lost the project by insisting on Charles Bronson as the actor for Harmonica. Because Bronson „has a face to make a locomotive stop“. Faces are the key to understand the inner story of suffer and hope, of good and bad (and of course ugly, but that’s another story). 

Jill is the beautiful, and she will be the only one to succeed in the end, the only winner of the West. Frank is a clean-shaven, mean henchman, a smooth criminal with no remorse. And Harmonica is carrying the loss of his brother in his face and around his neck, pretty close to his face. 

Once upon a Time … is like a fairytale of conquest.

With fairytale music from Ennio Morricone. Maybe this score is his masterpiece. A music that not only underlines but drives the story. Some scenes were even filmed to match the score (which was composed ahead of production). Leone wanted the film to be like an opera, where action is following music. The music is even painting the main characters with everyone having his own theme.

The movie creates a very unique mood. A very unique atmosphere, meditative and soothing. And it’s always a false peace. We know and feel it the whole way. It’s nothing obvious, just between the lines. No big signs saying „hey, this is not true“. Not even hints. It’s within.

The sense of danger within the melody of hope. The sense of threat within the wide shots of pale land. OK, guns are a menace, obviously. And killing three people in the first scene after a train had just been rolling over us, the viewers, is not exactly a feel-good start. But while we’re waiting with those three men to be killed, even the gesture of collecting drops of water, normally a hopeful thing to watch, seems to be omnious. Because of its slowness. Because of this more-than-needed time we have to watch him doing it.

Time is stretched as a rubber band. And it seems like salvation when it all gets down to the final duel between Frank and Harmonica.

It's the fight of all fights. The duel of duels.

And again it is all about faces. No guns, no scenery – just faces.

Getting closer with every cut. Staring at each other. Observing. Remembering. Feeling that this is gonna be the deciding and redeeming moment. I once saw this picture open air on a huge wide screen. The last close-ups ahead of the gunshots are done on the eyes, the one of Harmonica being a little bit more close, a bit bigger than the one of Frank. These eyes were filling nearly 30 meter of screen. Big eyes, motionless staring. You could sink into the craters of the skin pores. The tension is unbearable, you lose any sense of time. In my memory this moment is sheer endless.

Bang. Out of nowhere. OK, it was a duel, so it was kind of expected. But at that time you nearly forgot about it. There was so much going on between those two. This sudden shot, this sudden death comes as both, a shock and a relieve. Again, as with the opening scene, the art of reaching a climax is celebrated to perfection. You start with the speed of zero and slowly speed up. Then the speed of speeding up gets faster. Until it explodes into something as short as a shot.

And now that everything is over, you finally get the story – with the harmonica finally put in Franks mouth.

It is served like a dessert. The look back, the stone arch scene, the harmonica, the melody. In Germany the movie was called „Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod“ (Play me the song of death). And even though this title is obviously meant to be sensational and focussing the whole picture to just one of the many stories, in my opinion it is OK to do it. Because melodies are carrying the movie. And death is the root to all action here, as conquering the west took a huge body count.

But especially this final duel is one of those moments in cinematic history that are total icons. The movie is not exactly short of iconic moments (the stone arch, the opening, the farm raid, the train conversation …), but this one is in the hall of fame of iconic cinema moments. It is the same level as Rocky crying for Adrian, Bruce crawling through Nakatomi Plaza – or the burning Rosebud sled (which like the stone arch scene resolves the puzzle).

These faces, these eyes, staring not only onto each other but onto me – and overwhelming me – they are not only key to this movie but also to the art of Sergio Leone. Because he was one of the greatest observers in cinema ever. His eyes did perceive more than others did.

He died in 1989 in Italy.

Once Upon a Coin

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Once Upon
A Coin

If the west is all about money, and money makes the world go round, this seems to be a pretty big topic. We’re used to use money. And we know it rules our world. But how does this work, actually? Maybe Georg Simmel has an answer to this.

The German sociologist (and philosopher) was known for his excellent observation skills as well as his ingenious analytics. His book „Philosophie des Geldes“ (Philosophy of Money) is an unideological contemplation about where money comes from, how it developed and what it does to us today (and yes, even nowadays). Yet, we need to take a look at the beginning. 

Money once was invented to make it easier to exchange goods. Or to make it more fair, as it enabled people to calculate more precisely the value of something. You didn’t had you trade a cow for a pig. It is a medium helping us to more easily get something we’d need.

The only problem is trust: How could I be sure that the next one would accept my coins and their value? 

So money had to be verified by something. By an authority. That is why Kings, caesars and emperors are to be seen on coins. Their counterfeit was „coined“ into the coins to proof its value and make it acceptable for all.

So money in a way provided independence. People weren’t dependent anymore on the transportability of their goods to be exchanged – or on the willingness of someone to take the pig for a cow. With money they could buy whatever they like, the buyer always did want to get money for it. It enabled them to follow individual goals – thus stimulating the rise of individualism.

Money can be very attractive because it is omnipotent and neutral. „Geld stinkt nicht“ (Money doesn’t stink). Wherever it came from, whatever was paid with it, money can buy everything. So it is very favorable to have money. Because it resembles a huge potential. The more money I have, the more possibilities I have. It opens up opportunities.

Then societies got enlightened. Rationalism and science killed gods.

And the resulting gap in life could easily be filled with consumption. Money replaced superstition. People started to kind of worship money. It went from being a tool to being an object. Money became an end in itself.And it became an object of itself. Money can be bought and traded. Value can be traded. On one day, a Dollar is worth an Euro, another day just 90 Cent. Next day it might be one Euro and 20 Cents. When you trade money like that, you create money out of money. It is like creating meta-money. Trading shares and futures and other financial instruments means negotiating the value of money (the word „instruments“ suggesting a precise tool – instead they’re guessing games and bets, the value not in any  way being linked to something concrete like a product).

Money still is a trading tool.

But becoming an object of itself and therefore creating a whole industry of money maybe was not the smartest idea of mankind. It is like the finance sector created a bubble hovering above us. With its own rules, no laws and out of context. Money buys everything. Products, service, law and states.

It would be childish to demand a turning back to a status ante. We do have the financial system and it is deeply rooted in the depths of our world.

But maybe we can make a better use of it. Maybe we can come to the conclusion that profit generated out of money has to be taxed.

Maybe even more taxed than profit from something that is productive for the whole society. It seems fair to me to think: If something like the money industry doesn’t pay off for society but generates an unbelievably high amount of profit, it maybe is due to deliver a pay off for society by taxes.

Especially as there is a development, that needs a cure based on these taxes: Unemployment by Digitalization. We’ll need some coins for a free life …

If you like to read the book of Georg Simmel, you’ll get it here:
Georg Simmel: The Philosophy of Money (Engl.)
Georg Simmel: Philosophie des Geldes (Deutsch)

Coining A Free Life

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Coining A
Free Life

Well, there is a lot of discussion about whether digitalization will erase jobs. On the one hand people are trying to guess how many percentages of todays jobs will be killed – on the other hand people are arguing about how many new jobs will be created.

Beside that there are two things that are perfectly sure: The new jobs will demand for higher education. And they will be significantly less.

People without a university degree will have problems getting one of the new positions. At the same time these are the ones losing their jobs – to robots and algorithms.

This is why the number of jobs available (to humans), the new jobs always will be just a fraction of the number of jobs lost. Otherwise the investment in algorithms and robots wouldn’t pay off. So … let’s put it that way:

There will be more than enough people with matching education to cover the demand for the new jobs. But there will be a huge amount of people with no job opportunities at all.

But there will be a huge amount of people with no job opportunities at all.

If this is a given, these people still have to be able to buy food, pay rent, rise their children. And this leaves just one question: Do we want to fund this army of out-of-workers with unemployment benefits? Or is there maybe a better idea?

Unemployment benefits are basically paid for by us, the state. We the society have to fund those who lost the chance to generate income. And this money has to be taken from somewhere – especially as those who pay become less. So maybe I was wrong. And there are two questions we should think about:

Where could this money come from?
And how should it be defined?

 

As it is not something we can prevent, we have to think about how we as a society want this all to happen? At the core the digitalization – and with it, the globalization – undermines the concept of „work“. Physical work is been taken over by robots, intellectual work is been taken over by algorithms. We don’t even need to talk about AI. It’s enough to look at financial trading based on algorithms. Automated legal processes on websites for airline compensation lawsuits. Medical software identifying cancer significantly better than any human doctor. And robots are far more acceptable for us to deal with than we think. In Asia older people do want to be taken care of by care robots as they feel less ashamed and embarrassed by them.

Anyway, robots and algos are cheaper than humans.

Of course someone had to develop the algorithms and robots … but how many of those developers does it take? One for every product in the market? A hundred? Efficiency will limit this number to a very low amount. There is a lot of uncertainty in this development, but one thing is for sure. There won’t be enough chairs for everyone.

Though I think there is a chance in this. Like, it’s safe to say, there still will be a market for human work. Maybe as an expression of luxury (engaging a real architect instead of going to an automated architecture website), maybe just because I like something to be done by „hand“. And on the other hand, being freed from work enables people to do what they want. To be creative. To be social. To build or cook or play whatever they always wanted but didn’t do due to the job restrictions. Maybe it’s even ok, if I doen’t want to work at all.

Work becomes an individual decision, not a necessity. Without jobs we won’t have money, but we will have space and opportunities for our life.

 

In fact, this could be the paradise that all religions have been promising us throughout history.

But there is the money thing. Maybe that is why we hesitate to enter the gates of paradise. Because we are so used to the idea of work for a living, to the concept of „making“ a living, that we can’t see the opportunity.

Life as we knew it has been turned upside down. Digitization has created uncertainty. And uncertainty makes people flee into the status ante – they like things the way it always has been. Safe. We know working for money does work. But we don’t know if no work at all will work.

Maybe it is a failure to apply our comprehensive knowledge of work onto the new paradigm. Being lazy and doing nothing has been despised forever, because it is against the needs of work. But if I don’t need work to HAVE a living (it won’t be „making a living“ anymore), I maybe also can skip the rule of „being lazy is bad“.

Back to the crucial question: Where does the money come from?

Well, let’s take a broader look. Economy isn’t dead, goods are sill produced, services are still being delivered. Money is still going round. And it still will accumulate at the same accounts as ever. Not yours, not mine.

The only difference: Value is not created by human work anymore. Value is now created by the work of robots and algorithms.

 

If they create the value but don’t need to get paid (neither do they need social security), a lot of money is surplus. We as society have to think and decide about what to do with this surplus. And companies do have a natural interest in people having enough. money to spend for products …

Currently it flows into very few pockets. Is this OK for us? Is it OK to let a few company owners gain all the monetary excess? Or would it be justified – morally and in relation to the survival of society – to tax this excess? Just think about all the other taxes – they all are meant to be a kind of duty for our society. To make it work. The idea could be to tax robots and algorithms. And I’m not the one who came up with this idea. The digital sphere automatically generates value. The owners of digital working capital don’t have to take care of it. They just accumulate money. In addition you could even tax financial transactions. Finance is the biggest market of the world. And it’s not being taxed.

This would generate enough money to pay what some think is not financeable. The unconditional basic income.

 

Unconditional basic income is like unemployment benefits. Just wayyyy smarter. Because it is not financed by work (no work, no social insurance, no budget …), and it is opening up new opportunities.

Of course not everyone receiving unconditional basic income will immediately get creative. Some will even skip working at all. And you know what? Nobody will stop them.

If you want to do some work, go ahead, just do it. If you want to sit at home, go ahead, binge Netflix. Why don’t we come up with a new school subject called „What to do with my life“ (something that would be valuable anyway) – educating young people about all the options they have and how to make use of them. Telling about possible consequences of being lazy (which are … wait …). And telling them what could happen if they choose to be creative. Or helpful. Or productive in any other way – as long as it is their way.

Our global society could work on a complete new, unprecedented paradigm. With no work. „Making a living“ is made obsolete, but with education on how to deal with it – this seems to be real individual freedom. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful picture of society I can imagine.

A society where the biggest challenge is to manage my very own personal freedom. What a joyful life this would be.

Joys of Life

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Joy Of
Life

Marie took the biggest pot she had out of the lower drawer, where all her pots and pans were stored. Her old hands struggled a bit lifting the heavy metal up onto the stove. She noticed a little shivering in her arms, but she was used to it. She wiped her hands on her blue apron the way she did it every time she used her hands. Old habits never die.

Her kitchen was pretty big and she liked being there. The Provencal sun shone through the window, throwing rectangles of light onto the wooden floor. It was around noon and she had to start early with the Coq au Vin. It had to simmer quite some hours to get this special taste he always liked. She put a strand of her white hair behind her ear and turned to the table. Everything was waiting for her to be chopped, to be put together for this delicious meal.

„I think I’ll do the bacon first“, she thought and cut it into some big chunks. Then she took the coq and divided it into pieces, with cuts she did a thousand times before. Some carrots, a leek, some mushrooms, some tomatoes … everything needed to be chopped roughly. Two hand full of shallots and some cloves of garlic wouldn’t be bad, too.

She always preferred to take a bit more onions and garlic, just for the taste of it.

 

Everything ready to go in little bowls, she leaned back and looked at the old picture of her husband. He still was the love of her life. Every time she watched him, standing at the fence, the sea behind him, smiling at her – she smiled back. And thanked god or whoever for being lucky enough to have met him at the market. He was waiting at the vegetable stand, looking carefully at the tomatoes. He seemed to consider several ways to use them, not sure if he should cook them up as a delicious tomato sauce or just cut them for a fresh, sweet and salty salad. She fell in love immediately. He had the same relation to food as she had. Appreciating it, cherishing it. Loving it.

And he loved Coq au Vin. „The second last thing I want do in my life is to have a huge portion of Coq au Vin.“

„And what would be the last one?“
„Kissing you.“

 

Smiling again, she stood up and took some clarified butter to let it melt in the pot. She threw the bacon into it and watched it getting brown and crispy. The smell of the frizzling fat took over the kitchen. Still smiling, she waited just a few seconds more, just to be sure, and took the bacon out, placing it on a small plate beside. Now the shallots and the garlic. She turned down the heat a bit and gave them in while gently stirring. The smell of melting onions now joined the bacon and created this wonderful melange she always could lie down into.

It took a while until the onions got sweet and soft, she wasn’t in a hurry. She took them out and placed them onto the bacon. Now the cock needed to be roasted. She turned the heat up again and carefully placed the pieces inside the pot, right into the melted taste of bacon and onions. The sound of sizzling chicken skin filled the air. „I think I should open up the window“, she thought and enjoyed a little breeze coming in from the sea, salty and full of aroma itself.

The sun one her face reminded her of the times they were walking alongside the sea, listening to the waves coming in and breaking at the rocks below.

 

She went back to the stove, time to add the carrots and leek. She just threw them over the meat, lightly moving the vegetables to the bottom. She added onions, garlic and bacon and let it bake a while on their own. The smell got more intense. More memories came to her mind. Together with her husband visiting Avignon, sitting in a cafe at the palace. Oh, a coffee would be great. But it would be better to have one later on. Now was the time for a glass of wine. She opened up one of the bottles she had ready for the meal and poured a glass. She toasted him in his picture and took a sip. Nice, she thought. A really nice wine. Lucky me.

Back to the pot with the glass still in her hand she noticed, it also was time for the vin to meet the coq. She quickly dusted the ingredients with some flour, gave it a quick stir and poured the rest of the bottle over it. Another wine to be opened and poured and almost an entire third one, until everything was sufficiently covered. She then took some bayleaf, tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon (because no matter what, she used cinnamon with nearly everything she cooked), some fresh rosemary and thyme and stirred everything into it.

Covering the pot, she took her refilled glass of wine and went out into the sun.

 

She made herself comfortable in one of the deck chairs on the little terrace in front of her kitchen. After a while she took her cigarettes out of her apron and lighted one. This was the best time of the day. Sitting in the afternoon sun, having a smoke and some wine, watching the sun slowly going down, ready to meet the ocean. Warm light and the sound of the sea. She drifted away, alone with her thoughts and memories, taking a nap with a smile on her face.

A birds cry made her open her eyes again. The sun now nearly touched the horizon. Golden rays were sparkling on the water. The peace and overwhelming beauty of the scenery made her having a small tear. For being able to still enjoy moments like this.

Minutes later she leaned forward and took all her energy to get up out of the chair. It always was a bit of a hassle, but as long as she could manage to get out everything was fine.

And when the day arrives where she couldn’t get out anymore, there would be no better place for leaving the earth.

 

On her way to the kitchen the smell of the Coq au Vin greeted her from far away. Some more tears went down her cheek. This was the moment when he always came in. When he sneaked into the kitchen, trying to surprise her and getting a spoon to try the sauce. She always pushed him away, laughing. And they both laughed loud, falling into their arms. Holding each other closely. And being one.

Some tears were falling into the pot when she lifted the cover. It was just about time to add the mushrooms. Just some ten minutes more and the Coq au Vin would be ready to eat. She stayed beside, waiting. Observing the bubbling meal. Lost in thoughts.

Then, after a while, she took a deep plate, put on some coq and sauce, broke some baguette and carried everything to the dining table. Now the sun was behind the horizon. She sat down at the table, some candles already burning as if he just had lit them.

Fifty years ago she married him. And five years ago he left her, now being together with all the angels and maybe some of their friends who also left already. The silver ring at her finger gleamed in the candle light, as was his ring, laying in front of her plate.

Thank you, she said. And took a bite of Coq au Vin.

Joyful Art

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Joyful
Art

New ideas arise from new combinations of existing things, they say. The graphics of Federico Babina do exactly this. And open up a universe of new perspectives on architecture, art and other aspects of life. Pure inspiration …

Archist Series

Archiatric Series

Ideograrch Series

Federico is a very nice guy with a huge amount of inspiring work. Just visit his website or Instagram:
Federico Babina Website
Federico Babina on Instagram

The End.