Diamond Stuff, Star Stuff

I have read Isabel Waidner’s We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff, my first lyric prose in a while. It’s funny how the brain needs a moment to re-adapt to it. Telling itself, ‘calm down, you don’t have to make sense of every word here, words and meanings do things a bit different here, don’t be so literal!’ Prose lyric can show you how to accept ambivalences. We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff has got both legs (or it might even have more legs) on the ground: Two queer youth hanging/working at a shabby hotel in a small UK coastal town, queers clashing with UKIP protestors (who also have gays amongst them, anti-immigration sentiments unite, yay) and deals with working class hopelessness in a region that had bet on tourism and lost almost everything. Reeboks are not just working class shoes but also come alive as animals. Blake’s tyger tyger growls softly in the back, instead of rainbow colours the queers paint a hotel lobby grey to hunt down a lypard. Waidner draws on aspects from their own life, like the problems of getting UK citizenship even after living and working there for years (working for too little money to be considered worthy) and shakes it up with a bit of magic realism and a sense for the poetic. Waidner conjures up figures she can identify with, other misfits, Eleven from Stranger Things, or Tonya Harding: no matter how good an ice-skater, she was ever not-fragile-womanly-pretty enough, and had her working class background, the dirt under the cultural fingernails showing through, keeping her small. Waidner also has a thing for wordplay that’s a bit cringy but sweet, like “purring rain”, a bit like dad jokes, which doesn’t make her writing any less daring though, but instead adds to it’s layers, makes for more to explore.

It made me remember one of the stops on a trip the southern UK coast I made with a dear friend a few years ago. Especially one small town the name of which I forgot but that filled me with a glorious sadness the causes of which I longed to tell someone about, desperate to share it but I was hit with an inability to express that choked me and made me withdraw into myself.

We stayed at a really pretty shabby chic flat near the beachfront, with the typical nostalgic touristy pubs, union jack pennant chains fluttering in the wind under a grey grey sky, forever stuck on the edge between raining and not-raining. I took a long walk to the other side of town, the streets that showed how tourism isn’t enough to feed all mouths, those streets with rundown houses that stare at you with their windows and don’t like strangers, you can feel it, an overgrown car wreck in a backyard, careless, no, care-forgotten, surveillance and snitch-to-the-cops stickers on lamp posts (always check the lamp posts for stickers when you’re someplace new), clean streets though, and sceptical looks on frown-filled faces, and rightly so: I felt like prying into an intimate part of town. It’s easy to romanticize this UK coast with it’s beautiful rocks and grass and cute tea time and castles and all its small memorials to bashing back the Nazis but I also see how this history haunts the kids who came after with the endless pride, a nationalist pride of having dealt with nationalists. A bit like I really enjoyed watching RRR – what an opulent firework of a film! how joyful! how well choreographed the beautifully crazy fights were! finally something beyond Hollywoods endless western superhero movie culture! –, and it was fun to see Indians knocking down British imperialists in bulk, but boi-o-boi was it layered with casteism and sexism. Ambivalent pleasures everywhere.

Anyway, that was the kind of memories and thoughts that We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff drew me back to. I followed it up with reading an essay by Isabell Waidner, ‘Class, Queers and the Avant-Garde’ (2019) and it was like meeting an old friend, like omg I’m not alone in how I think and feel, I might not be freak, or at least there are other freaks like me. A few quotes:

“… but I’ve not seen classism in literature called out anywhere near as reliably in the establishment media as in the Amazon customer review section.”

“As metaphors, seaside towns hold antagonisms, and so does the best contemporary writing and art: queer potential sits with phobia. Openness to outsiders sits with misanthropy. Dependency on the tourist industry sits with xenophobia and racism. The limitlessness of the sea sits with military defence structures, boulders and border controls.”

“eco-feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne who writes that ‘it’s not a question of integrating homosexuals into society, but of disintegrating society through homosexuality’, expressing Caspar and my shared perspective that queer politics if you want to call them that must be transformative of society at large. In DIAMOND STUFF, the rainbow flak – I mean, flag – is taken to task as a symbol of increasingly reactionary mainstream LGBTQI+ politics. Caspar even asks that ‘someone get [them] a fucking umbrella to protect against the UV of umbrella identity formations’! Finally, ‘FUCK CORPORATE PRIDE,’ capital letters, in NOVELTY THEORY.”

Before I quote the whole thing, there’s a PDF of it here.
And if you read it and get curious about Kevin Killian turning the Amazon comment section into the working class literature feuilleton, one of the books the compile select writings is avails here, pdf even free but also as print book.

By the way, the last quote, the one about queer politics having to be about transforming society at large, that’s what I tried to express with one of my ORCHID party concepts: “”We’re not colourful dabs to brighten a cis-heteronormative society and make it feel better about itself. We are tanks filled with paint made of our love and pain and we will dissolve it into a sea of colours.”

I like to think Isabel Waidner’s title ‘We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff” is a play on Carl Sagan’s “We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” Which is a nice coincidence because I have started watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a beautifully made creative ‘Astrophysics for dummies like me’ format that Sagan made in the 80s. In 2014 it got a reboot with Neil deGrasse Tyson* and that’s the one I am eating up like a child listening to bedtime stories. Space is the place, butches!

P.S.: I love that Makenzie Lystrup swore her oath as new and first female director of Goddard Space Flight Centre on Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot.

* There have been sexual abuse accusations against Tyson a few years ago which makes this another thing that we can’t simply enjoy but have to deal with its ambivalences.

A Little Lost Online

The death of Twitter has made me, well, a lot of us, lose our online community, or rather: Parts of it are splattered all over the web now and Mastodon (I’m on the Hometown instance assemblag.es) has become my new mainstay. It’s different though. I like how it calms me. My timeline there is far from the attention-maximising Twitter tone that even befell my lovingly handcurated lists’ timelines over there over the years. I have seen too many kind and social people leave Twitter or turn into sarcastic shadows of themselves, or go full edgelord. It has not started with Musk’s takeover, it started way before, let’s not give him more credit than due.

As I have discussed with quite some friends, I find the current retreat from public discourse online a bit scary. Feels like the wrong people have won and we have put the holy fear of putting oneself out there into younger generations. While I had my share of bad experiences too, by far the bigger part of my online life was good: It enrichened my life, taught me so so much, not least how to debate, it sharpened my intellect and my political thinking, it made me trust strangers and find community, it empowered me as a queer person and as a vaguely womanish being.

Since the early noughts I have been a very online person, loving my communities there, no matter if music based like GYBO (the main mashups messageboard) or various punk / hardcore boards (shoutout to Mafia and early Emopunk), but also the messageboards of Trash Club and even Optimo, or the ILX list, geez, there were so many communities. On Twitter I soon got into a love affair with a transnational critical tech bubble, leftists post-accelerationists, people with a love for theorizing and politics. My queer and aesthetic needs were satisfied on tumblr where I couldn’t get enough of people starting to learn and teach each other that they/we were worthy, no matter the ignorance of our environment in the geographical location we were thrown into to live.

Moderation was a big topic even back then, lots of messageboard discussions went into it and lots of friendships broke over it. (It’s not that different from offline, where you try to establish basic rules for your club and still end up discussing it all over again for a lot of single events because human behaviour is messy and rules (just like automation) only work for some cases. I digress.

What I actually wanted to express is that only since Twitter is dead for me I have learned how much I got used to it that interesting texts and burning topics and people whose expertise and opinions I knew we can trust got almost thrown at me thanks to my lovingly curated Twitter network. I will never forgive all the Dorseys and Musks for ruining it. It’s why I don’t see an alternative in Dorsey’s Bluesky and don’t even get me started on Substack’s Notes. With a CEO like this you need no competitors to take you down.

Next to the network of people we built, the other big aspect of Twitter I miss is the advanced full-text search possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that it is part of what led to the demise of Twitter culture because it made it so easy to find targets for, well, targeted attacks. But it also turned Twitter into a second, outsourced brain for heavy users like me. I can’t count the times when I semi-remembered a discussion or an important article someone had posted with a good comment and I was able to find it thanks to that search. I miss this deeply. It is also hard to wean yourself from the high that instant news discussion from all areas gives you.

It is hard to build a new community elsewhere and to find a different way to deal with thinking and learning in hivemind style after Twitter. It is hard to build a new international intellectually and emotionally stimulating community of people you really like and who are experts in some area or who are brilliant curators of interesting essays and thoughts, or whose dry humour you share, or who inspire you or challenge you or who post in these wonderfully conversational ways that invite people to engage (instead of just posting to promote stuff). And who might feel the same way about you. As a social process, it takes time to get a new mix of strangers and people whom you know from other places to turn into this special online community that you love to check in daily with and who keep you ambiently curious and engaged.

As for other social platforms… hm… Instagram still is the worst to me. I only keep my account because so many of my local mates use it as their main online thing. In my opinion it really has managed to suck all the fun out of the luscious and/or hilarious thing that visual online self-expression used to be by turning anything you post into influencer stuff. No matter how personal I post there, I always feel it clots into an advertisment, a commercial pose. I mean, of course everything we post online or write down anywhere is a pose as we have the agency about how we present ourselves, and we decide what to share and what not, and that’s a beautiful and rich thing. But on Instagram it doesn’t feel like that, it feels like reducing anything personal to a monetising aspect. I feel dirty even if I just check in to read my PMs. I can’t explain it any better, sorry, but to me the vibes have turned really bad over there. I am still on Facebook and it’s okayish. It’s gone more quiet after so many people have left, but many from the german left bubble are still there, and some of my older friends, and it’s event function still hasn’t been replaced by something better elsewhere because, as I said before: the power of Facebook/Meta/Insta is in your adress book. If anything has replaced ye olde paper phone book in how easy it made it to find people, especially locally and from your wider community, it is Facebook/Meta.

What else is there? I am on some Discords but right now more as a lurker than using it as a social place. If you know me and my interests a bit from online: Wouldn’t say no to recommend-/invitations for good Discord communities that I shouldn’t miss out on, theorizing, critical tech (but tech positive), left politics (the more utopian and constructive the better), speculative thinking, pop culture are my favourite topics but it’s hard to find good fits because at the end it’s about the kind of people who post there.

Photo: As every winter Missy the cat has made my bench her favourite spot – as you can see from all the fur and tiny claw marks – and I can’t bring myself to put it back on the balcony now that it’s spring.


Habe vor ein paar Wochen, als mir die 100. Analyse zu Putin/Krieg in die Timeline gespült wurde, bei einem Bekannten auf Facebook ironisch-polemisch kommentiert, in etwa: “Call me IdPol, aber ich hab heut früh beschlossen, erst wieder so’nen Text zu lesen, wenn er nicht von einem weißen Cis-Mann kommt.”

Kommentiert hab ich, weil ich zwar einerseits dankbar für die ganzen Texte bin, die ich dank meiner Timeline zu lesen bekomme, es aber andererseits mehr als auffällig ist, dass einige Männer so gut wie ausschließlich Texte von Männern teilen – ohne das irgendwie seltsam zu finden. Mich nervt, wenn die kritische Theoriebubble es nicht mal wahrnimmt, dass mit ihrem aufklärerischen Selbstverständnis irgendwas faul sein könnte, wenn sie auch im 21.Jh immer noch so ne dampfende Herrensauna ist, die anscheinend für andere wenig einladend ist zum Mitdiskutieren.

Ich sprech das immer wieder mal an, denn Ausschlussmechanismen zu benennen und sichtbar zu machen ist weiterhin unangenehme Aufgabe derer, die ausgeschlossen werden. Diese Kritik als Identitätspolitik abzutun ist einer dieser Ausschlussmechanismen. Und absurd: Ich kritisiere die identitätsbasierte Bubblehaftigkeit und meine Forderung danach, sie aufzubrechen wird als identitätspolitisch kritisiert?

Ich glaube nicht an das, was gemeinhin als identitäspolitisch kritisiert wird: an geschlechter-essentialistische oder neoliberal-feministische Weltverbesserung, also: dass alles automatisch besser liefe, wenn nicht mehr nur weiße Cis-Männer am Tisch säßen. Aber es ist der Standardvorwurf, der dir heute entgegenschallt, wenn Männern der Ausschluss-Vorwurf nicht schmeckt.

Mir geht es bei der Kritikum ein Aufbrechen dieses uralten Kreislauf des gegenseitigen Schulterklopfens und Anerkennens, in den so viele weiße Cis-Männer nun mal so verstrickt sind, dass sie ihn nicht mal wahrzunehmen scheinen. Wie Stefanie Sargnagel mal zum Thema Frauenquote in der Kultur schrieb: “wieviele mittelmäßige männer pushen sich die ganze zeit gegenseitig? wieviele fade 0815 typen wurden da letztens schon wieder eingeladen?” Teilhabe ist der Punkt. Es geht nicht drum, dass der Diskurs automatisch besser wäre, wenn er diverser wäre.

Und kommt mir nicht mit dem Qualitätsargument, denn egal wie mittelmäßig das ist, was Männer schreiben, es finden sich immer Männer, die sie empfehlen und dieses gegenseitige Empfehlen ist wie ein geschlossener Kreislauf, der nicht so leicht zu durchbrechen ist. Es kostet Mühe. Dafür müssen sich Leute in ihrem jeweiligen Bereich etwas aktiver darum kümmern und suchen, ob es nicht andere Stimmen dazu gibt, und sich immer wieder bewusst machen: Es ist kein Zufall, dass gerade kein Text einer Frau oder eines nicht westlich geprägten oder queeren Menschen dazu kursiert, sondern es liegt an lange gewachsenen Netzwerken und Gewohnheiten und Traditionen.

Sich aktiv um Texte von solchen Anderen zu bemühen ist Arbeit, die meist an denen hängen bleibt, die, manche mehr, manche weniger, unter Ausschlussmechanismen leiden und das bedeutet: Sie opfern dafür Zeit und Arbeit, während andere sich einfach zurücklehnen. Ich merke das persönlich. Es ist Zeit, die mir fehlt, um mich um die Themen zu kümmern, die mich eigentlich interessieren und in die ich mich eigentlich tiefer einarbeiten will. Ich bin dessen auch immer wieder mal müde und will auch einfach gemütlich auf die bestehenden Kreisläufe zurückgreifen. Aber wenn dann eben wieder mal zu einem aktuellen Thema fast ausschließlich Texte von Männern weiterverbreitet werden, und das von Leuten, die sich als aufgeklärt und emanzipatorisch sehen, packt mich wieder dieser Ärger und ich überwinde mich, dass zumindest als Missstand zu kommentieren.

Ich tu das ganz gerne ironisch und scherzend, weil das oft eher ankommt und nicht gleich als Angriff verstanden wird. Das Problem an Ironie ist aber, dass sie nur für die erkennbar ist, die meine Position kennen, sowie eine Anspielung auch nur für die funktioniert, die wissen, auf was sie sich bezieht. Das ist etwas, was ich in Kauf nehme, weil mir sonst das Diskutieren und Kommentieren fad werden würde.

Was aber ein Problem ist, sind Leute, die sowas bewusst in Bad Faith Kritik eskalieren. Es ist eine uralte Propaganda-Taktik um die Position der unliebigen Seite anzweifelbar zu machen und Fronten zu verhärten. Dazu werden verschiedenste Mittel verwendet, von Strohmann-Argument über Red Herring bis zu Pseudo-Logik oder Bothsideism (Hier ist einer von vielen Texten im Netz, die das erläutern).

Es werden gezielt Aussagen gesucht, die extreme Klischees verstärken, im Fall meines Kommentars, den ich eingangs erwähnte, ist es das das Klischee der crazy woken identitätspolitischen Feministin, der ihre Achtsamkeits-Yoga-Matte-von-Feminismusverständis wichtiger ist als dass hier gerade Menschen in einem Krieg sterben. Totally lost und wohlstandsverwahrlost halt.

Es gehört zur Methode, dass Aussagen aus dem Kontext und Tonfall gezerrt und weitergeteilt werden, um anderen zu zeigen, dass was dran ist an den Klischees, und so langfristig ein Feindbild zu verhärten, keine Nuancen zuzulassen und vor allem solidarische konstruktive Diskussionen zu verhindern. Es geht dabei nicht um das Verstehen der Gegenseite, es geht nicht um Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema, sondern um Ablenkung, um Eskalation und/oder um das Verstärken von Feindbildern.

Mein hier eingangs erwähnter Kommentar war natürlich prädestiniert dafür, weil ja auch wirklich nicht sehr konstruktiv. Ob ichs deswegen verdient habe, darauf die Entgegnung “hab Sex bitte” abzubekommen, wie ein random Mann mit ‘lustigem’ Fakenamen dann drunter kommentierte? Weiß nicht. Immerhin zivilisierter als das gute alte “du gehörst mal richtig durchgefickt,” dieses Ehrenabzeichnen jeder Frau, die sich öffentlich feministisch äußert.

Natürlich war ich neugierig, und hab, um ein bisschen Kontext zu kriegen, sein Profil angeklickt. Dort hat er ganz stolz meinen Kommentar als IdPol-Screenshot-Trophäe zum Aufheizen seiner Follower gepostet, die sich in knapp 90 Kommentaren einen drauf runterholten. Von traurigen RAD-Gestalten über Hot Takes-Journo von der Groove bis zu essentialistischen TERFs, alles dabei. Sichtlich Leute, die sich Verächtlichmachung und Freude an Eskalation zum Hobby erkoren haben.

Hab kurz überlegt, “triggered much?” drunterzuschreiben, weil es mir als so absurde Überreaktion erschien, wie sie sich da reinsteigerten, aber durch diese Art meme-hafter Kommunikation hatte das Problem ja angefangen. Deswegen schreibe ich das hier auch erst heute zu Ende. Ich hatte diesen Text schon kurz danach angefangen, aber es ist eine schmaler Grat zwischen Aufklärung und Verstärkung in unserer aufmerksamkeits-fokussierten Social Media Diskursöffentlichkeit. Vielleicht hilft es, dass jetzt ein zeitlicher Abstand dazwischen liegt, und die Edgelords mich längst vergessen haben.

Ich hatte jedenfalls schon so lange nur ziviliserten Austausch auf Social Media, dass ich ganz vergessen hatte, wie sich so ein Hetz-Post anfühlt. Auch die Verstärkung durch solche Plattformeigenheiten, wie dass du auf Facebook zentral gemeinsame Freund*innen angezeigt bekommst, kann dich in so einer Situation ganz schön runterziehen. Wider besseren Wissens fühlt es sich in solchen Momenten so an, als würden all diese schweigenden gemeinsamen Freund*innen die Meinung dessen stützen, der dich verächtlich zu machen versucht. Das ist wohl etwas, was alle berührt, die nicht komplett verroht sind.

Als ich dann auch einen Screenshot davon machen wollte, war das Profil des Users weg und ist es bis heute, ich hab grad noch mal nachgesehen. Bei so einem Edgelord ist da mein erster Gedanke, dass ihn wer wegen Fakenamen gemeldet hat, um ihn zum Schweigen zu bringen. Das wiederum ist etwas, was ich niemandem wünsche, weil Facebook halt für viele ein zentrales Kontaktmedium ist, und es sich übel anfühlen kann, wenn man da plötzlich rausgeworfen wird. Kenn ich aus eigener Erfahrung. Deswegen blocke ich lieber als zu sowas zu greifen. Ausschluss fühlt sich halt immer scheiße an, ob durch patriarchale Verhältnisse, oder ob durch eine Plattform. Und gerade bei solchen Leuten trägt sowas am End noch zur Radikalisierung bei. Oder er hatte zufällig gerade zu diesem Zeitpunkt die Nase von Facebook voll. Kann natürlich auch sein.

Anyway. Die Unmöglichmachung der Kritik an patriarchalen und rassistischen Ausschlüssen mit dem Totschlagargument, das sei identitätspolitische Wokeness, und das Aufhetzen von Netzfollowern sehe ich derzeit vor allem als neue Variante des alten Spiels, Progressive mundtot zu machen, die an traditionellen Netzwerken kratzen. Im Fall meines Posts: Sexistische Ausschlüsse werden zur Nebensache erklärt, über die zu sprechen angesichts der Hauptsache der Kriegsrealität unangebracht sei. Als würden wir nicht konstant solch große Dissonanzen aushalten und mit verschiedenen Problemen mit verschieden schweren Konsequenzen jonglieren müssen. Der Rückzug ins Zynisch-Destruktive ist für manche halt zur Form des Eskapismus geworden, den ich zwar nachvollziehen kann, aber dem ich hoffentlich nie so verfallen werde.

Und was tun mit der männlichen Dominanz in (linken) Theorietexten? Nicht müde werden, das ist das Wichtigste und Schwierigste. Nicht müde werden, das Missverhältnis anzusprechen. Im Idealfall erklärend und diskussionsoffen (außer bei Leuten, denen es sichtlich um Bad Faith Disput geht). Diese Kritik außerhalb der eigenen Wohlfühlbubble tragen. Gezielt gute Texte von anderen als den üblichen Verdächtigen suchen und weiterverbreiten, auch mal bei Multiplikator*innen drunterkommentieren. Es gibt auch Aktionen wie auf Twitter #Frauenlesen, was ein werter Ansatz war, aber es blieb dann doch arg exklusiv und ich hätte vielleicht lieber sowas wie #nichtnurweißewestlichecismännerlesenbroplz…? Manchmal wär mir auch danach, einfach immer nur bei allen, die nur Texte von Männern posten, #Männerlesen drunter zu kommentieren. Ach, ich weiß ja auch nicht.

Ich schließe mal mit einer Vortrags-Empfehlung: Julia Ingold zum Thema “Warum ich keine Männer mehr lese – eine Autopsie der Ermüdung” am 30.6.22 im Balthasar in der Reihe “Freie Uni Bamberg.” Wenns keinen Zoom-Stream geben sollte, überleg ich mir grad tatsächlich, den Ausflug dorthin zu machen.

Waiting room

My life has turned into waiting. Again. I can do things, sure, I can write, there is some work I can do but what has been the main content of my life for so many years is in a pause position. Again. No concerts, no club nights, no live music events that bring people together. I am okay with it because the pandemy makes it necessary. I am not okay with it because so little is been done to bring the infection numbers down in other areas: People have to go to work and risk infection there. It is nerve-wrecking for so many people around me and the patience gets thinner. I am still trying to just accept the unavoidable and sit this out without getting crazy but then I already had my mental problems before the pandemy. This situation does not make them better. Shutting down my energy to stay sane seems to come with the price of shutting down social life, shutting down thinking, shutting down enthusiasm. I am a person that loves to think. Enjoying things usually means that I automatically dissect them, not because I want to, it is just how I tick. I savour all their little bits and pieces and see connections or similarities to other things and how they are in certain contexts and so on. It is how they are alive to me. In this way for me enjoying things melts into making sense of the world and getting inspired, growing new ideas and projects that I try to realize or tell others about and try it together. The pandemy has changed that, especially this year was hard. Especially since it became clear that our government will not act in any way responsible and fast and the cultural sector will once again have to hit the pause button. Last year I was like, yeah, well, then let’s do some livestream stuff and we did. This year even the thought of it makes me feel exhausted. So instead I have turned to escapism. I drown myself in stories: literature, tv series, games. I did that as a child too. It was the best escape in the age when you can’t get away from your troubled home in other ways yet. But when back then it provided a needed outlet now it sometimes really feels like drowning. I am tired of having become so passive and I am tired of being constantly exhausted and down. I am not a patient girl. Not sure if I got the guts to change yet but hey, soon it is Midwinter, and once more I want to believe that we are halfway through the darkness on more than a seasonal level.


#MakeAmazonPay and build alternatives. I’m all for the movement to support their workers and to make Amazon pay all kinds of taxes instead of doing some charity of their choice and at the same time I believe consumer shaming isn’t the way.

Especially the ongoing pandemic season with lots of lost income and more need for working notebooks and tablets for anything from communication to homeschooling is not the time to shame people for doing some cheap online tech shopping.

btw my impulse for writing this comes from seeing a local initiative going all “repair, swap, recycle, etc. instead of Amazon” today. As if those were in any way alternatives to the massive infrastructure Amazon has built. Such initiatives to go local and LoHaS (and at worst: offline, back to nature etc.) are not exactly what we need to bring on the massive international alternatives we need. They often are escapist at best and elitist at worst.

What we need is not withdrawal but more (internationalist) politics and activism to strengthen workers’ rights and build the huge tech infrastructures we need and want for our shared future (or expropriate Amazon and the likes, but then we still would need the skills to keep such an infrastructure running and updated and looking at public sector’s tech skills… well, pardon my scepticism that this would work. ? ).

I’m breathing Carla today

? Carla’s new album.

“We can say that Quieter began when Carla lost her hearing “completely (temporarily) in 1 year” on tour in 2014. She describes the state as “strange,” “every nite like falling,” “and boy, it was freaky,” “QUIETER,” “very like thrashing through the air.” Quieter, for instance, than her own sound, but so as to be closer to it; quieter is then the sound of distance erased in soft, intimate touch. Quieter is the blurring of sound with its source.” Evan Coral for tinymixtapes
my, i feel this. sudden hearing loss is quite an experience. i had it once as a child and once again after my mom’s unexpected death. once hearing nothing at all, once like walking through a snow landscape where every sound, every thing sounds muted, muffled, every human being sounds so far far away even when they stand next to you. world feels far away. my physical loss of the ability to understand held the mental one in a cold embrace and both didn’t want to break the hug as it felt at the same time scary and strangely safe. cold but safe. the second hearing loss changed my whole relationship with music (and people) in ways i still don’t fully understand. a dear friend that betrays you of course leaves its traces and what else is sound to me. the beauty of watching thin white cracks spread over a dark blueish green lake’s frozen surface and of course you don’t turn back because you are suddenly sure that it’s only there and when smoking that one cigarette too much at the end of a night that was filled with loud music and with people that you can breathe freely. i like this album very much.

ORCHID at Zentralcafé: This is our last dance.

ORCHID poster by eve massacre

I have made you a poster for the last ORCHID at Zentralcafé.

Being driven out, driven underground, out of the eyes of the casual visitor, has a bitter taste for a queer night that has celebrated loud and fabulous visibility of all kinds of queers in the very heart of this city for 10 years now.

I am heartbroken to have to give up this room that is so much more than just a venue. It is a challenging, living and breathing social safe space for citizen culture. A space in which you can experiment, a place in which people have each other’s backs, help each other out to make ideas become real.

To push a collective that focusses on giving weird and critical, noisy and silly, wild and feminist, hard-rocking and tender-hearted, urban and marginalised pop culture a platform, like Musikverein im K4 does – ORCHID thanks you! -, well: To push this kind of culture out of the heart of K4 / Künstlerhaus two floors down under ground *is* nothing less but a cultural-political decision. It is a decision against our visibility and against low barrier access to our kind of culture.

In this it is an act of marginalization that is not to be excused by technical pragmatism. It is a decision that I find especially hard to forgive in times when the conservative current and the noisy far right scum have grown louder once more and would love to make us disappear from public space, if not from the face of this planet.

Nevertheless: We will party on, we will be seen and heard! Let’s make our goodbye to the Zentralcafé the loud and fabulous night this special place deserves! Glitter on, babes: This is our last dance.
?  ? ? ? ?

ORCHID poster by eve massacre

missing friction

This ‘making of’ of Burial’s Untrue takes me way back. Soundforge, Fruity Loops and Wavelab – loved them. What they couldn’t do and what was hard to do with them was were the creative process started for me. Took me years to realize and accept it and not see it as failure and deficiency of mine. Using software that restricts you was exactly my thing. Even before I went digital: Not the perfect dozen of effect pedals but one mediocre effect pedal and making music fighting against its restrictions. Same with software. Ableton Live’s endless possibilities made it so much harder and more boring for me to make music. Which is the problem with so much frictionless, seamless design. It kills certain creative spots, you can’t rub against it, it’s less sensual, everything slides into place so easily. It’s that battle against the “right” way of using something where things get interesting and you can set a foot and build / find your way. Using tech against what it was intended for, at least in smol ways, this ‘how not to do it’ has become harder with new tech. Wish there was more rough design out there. Maybe I should start using beta or alpha versions of everything. ^^

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (Boscastle, UK)

Isn’t it sweet that Google Photos shows me this picture when I search for selfies of mine on my haunted Android machine?!

Last weekend the great IMPAKT Festival took place. I sadly had neither time nor cash to be there so I’m really thankful that there was a livestream and I am slowly starting to watch my way through all the talks. I wholeheartedly recommend doing the same. You can find the videos here and the program here. In the opening speech Tobias Revell introduced the theme: ‘Haunted machines and wicked problems‘, an investigation of the relationship between technology of culture through the medium of myth, magic and monsters. He said:

“We live in a world of complex intractable entangled incomprehensible problems that exceed the bounds of human understanding. Things like austerity, climate change, migrate crisises. So having alternative frameworks and ways of thinking through those problems might give us some power. The first witches were persecuted because they were perceived to possess outside knowledge, knowledge that fell outside the bounds of what was considered the hegemony of capitalism and rational science. They were early feminist activists in that sense, and I think there’s a real need now, in a world of wicked problems, a political need to seize radical ways of thinking through the world, to seize technology really as an emancipatory framework and as something that can build better empathy between ourselves and others in a world that is increasingly anti-globalist, anti-intellectualist and anti-progress.”

I tought it is an appropriate intro to a collection of photos I took a few weeks ago on a UK holiday at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle and which I of course have saved for posting on Halloween.



Me too.

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
Please copy/paste.”

The #metoo hashtag started by Alyssa Milano is making the rounds on social media, now in the heat of the coming outs of famous women about being harrassed by Harvey Weinstein, Roy Price and Lars von Trier and less well-known women who have come out about harassment by The Gaslamp Killer.

My problem with #metoo is that if men haven’t trusted statistics on this or haven’t recognized #everydaysexism and similar efforts to make it visible – why would they now? It’s no secret that there are large parts of our society that still ignore harassment. Many of us women* have been and still are educated to suffer it silently. So the point is not to make it known, the story is not the sensational revealing of omg how many women’ are harassed.

The point we have to make is that so many people take it for granted, shrug it off, ignore it, and don’t support victims if they get harassed. And I’m not just talking anonymous strangers, I’m also aiming this at many men* I know. It’s why the “safe space” culture so many have started to complain about is so necessary. It’s not to “coddle” people, it’s about starting an effort to normalize consent culture. To inspire the courage to speak out against everything you’ve ever been taught. I think safe space culture makes many people feel uncomfortable because it puts a finger into a wound that we all know is there but are used not to mention. If you need a name for it: rape culture isn’t the worst you could use.

This #metoo thing is fine, as a reminder and for making us feel connected, making us feel that we’re not alone with this. But: It won’t change anything if we don’t build on it, if we don’t call out harassers in the moment, and if we don’t build alternative structures in which our jobs, our reputation and even friendships don’t rely on taking harassment for granted. We need to shift the attention from “it happened to me too” to “this person did this to me and it’s not okay, it’s not harmless, it’s not funny, and it undermines my position how you stick together in looking away” – we need to hold men* accountable for what they do. There is a kind of masculinity that is build on rape culture, that feeds from every moment we don’t counter it.

#metoo gets attention and attention is power but if you don’t use that power, don’t build on it it will just burn out. The trick will be to not let this ‘omg soooo many women* get harrassed?!’  wave fade back into everyday normalcy but to connect it to our everyday lives until not only the sensation of a big number but every single act of sexual harassment counts for itself.