I have made a quick little mix last night while picking music for my little DRAMA night.
“Little” means: not as much decoration etc. as with my ORCHID party, so it’s a bit less nervewrecking and a bit more careless fun for me. ^^
If you’re in Nuremberg tonight, come over! It’s at Zentralcafe, my second home, of course, 23-5. And I have the pleasure of djing with my dear mate MAUNZ. We will play electronic club music from Grime to House.

Here’s the DRRRAMATIC mix and the playlist (you can hear that after having managed to avoid spoilers for weeks I am now pretty excited to start watching the latest Game Of Thrones season tomorrow!):

Zomby – Get sorted (GoT The next time you rise a hand to me edit)
TRC & P Money – Dun Know
Leikeli47 – Two Times a Charm
Lizzo – Coconut Oil
Rustie x Lilly Allen – Bad Lilly (edit)
Eaves – Victim
Kodie Shane – Drip In My Walk
BenZel & Cashmere Cat – Just a Thought (feat. Ryn Weaver)
Double S – Style & Flows (feat JME)
Sudanim – Floor lock
Murlo – I Swear
Prodigal – Showa Eski Riddim
poolboy92 – Lick
GRRL – Kawaii Yeezus
Admin – Pink Gloves (Slick Shoota remix) (GoT You know nothing Jon Snow edit)
GIL – Onset
Lafawndah – All that she wants
Arca – Piel
Alien Alien – Sambaca
Autarkic – Rotation Rotation (Red Axes Remix)
Il Est Vilaine – Surf Rider
Lor – Factories 1984
Permanent Wave – La Maison des Horreurs (Iñigo Vontier Remix)
Jlin – Black Origami (GoT A girl has no name edit)
Jamie XX – All Under One Roof Raving
Lianne La Havas – Lost And Found (Matthew Herbert Remix)
Moscoman – Mexican Cola Bottle Baby
Throwing Snow – Paint By Numbers
Blondes – Clipse
Four Tet – Sing (Extended mix)
Bambounou – FFWD
Photay – Screens
Temple Funk Collective – Game Of Thrones (Aldo Vanucci Re-edit)


Suburbs – Home of possibilities and horror

There are those kinds of essays that I save for days because I’m so looking forward to reading them that I don’t want to do so rushedly – like, whenever David A. Banks writes a new essay on urbanism and structures of power. His latest is ‘The Authoritarian Surround – The suburbs have incubated authoritarian sympathies as well as revolutionary restlessness” and it is good and it also got my thoughts drifting off a bit into my own – rather post-nazi-german tinted – suburbian memories.
Which is why you get this blog post.
To me the suburbs have always been a place that stood for home of possibilities and horror.

I have never totally got rid of liking the idea of suburbs as working class garden city areas. An idea that tried to establish affordable housing with a little more space than the crammed city centre, and with the possibility of small-scale agriculture, a rural urbanism, if you like. Co-operative housing that was supposed to avoid real estate speculation. It tried and failed and mostly has been turned into a kind of urban ruralism (either status symbol or refuge from the city instead of part of the city) – but the ideal still rings in my head.

When I say “home of possibilities” I mean home for possibilities. Not home but more like a homebase, a place that gives you a bit of peace and space to think, but that also keeps pushing you out. A place in which you can just rest enough to get your thinking, your writing, your struggling going. A cozy place that keeps you restless. Every person has a different level of unrest they need to keep them going. For me, city centres are too busy, they make me passive and boring. They are too natural an environment for how I tick. Suburbs and small town life instead are the kind of challenge that unnerve me just enough, that keep me going.

I think Jelinek wrote it, or was it a Bachmann poem? No, it must have been Jelinek, I think in ‘Lust’. Anyway, there was a passage that perfectly captured the blandness of the horror behind suburbian walls behind well-trimmed lawns. Growing up back in the 1980s suburbs stood for the daily effort of keeping up facades, and for the constant bitter anger boiling underneath because the facades wouldn’t stay up. They needed constant work. The suburbs were not just a place, they were something people performed. Never mind social media publicity these days – any bloody detail of those lives back then also was about well-policed performing for others and for oneself. I could write books about that. I would love to write books about that if only had the time. ><

Part of this performance was the art of ignoring domestic violence. To me, suburbian life in the 80s stood for the sobs of a friend getting beaten up by her father just one wall away. Suburbs stood for old men’s hands shamelessly resting a bit too long on nieces’ and daughters’ burning skin. Suburbs stood for the daily straightening of a pretty bedspread over the scene of marital rape. I’m bitterly aware of being from the first generation in germany in which marital rape is considered a crime. I was 17 when the law was passed and knew even back then that it still would take years for many women to find the courage to actually sue, because of the social stigma and lack of trust. Same with violence of any kind against kids: So much stigma, so much taboo. The things you don’t talk about. The looking away. As a teen in that time it had always felt like the echo of the looking away that so many people had practised in nazi germany. It was not the shocking visit to a concentration camp nor school lessons or books that made me understand how nazi germany was possible. It was this “looking away” – practised by people you knew – that made it relatable.

So, growing up to me suburbs have always stood for people who look away. Not the anonymous looking away of the busy city centre, not anonymity-turned-non-solidarity. Not the urban looking away, like when people move faster if they see a beggar on their way or when a person gets abused a few metres away from them. The suburban “looking away” was a fundamental part of performing the suburb. That your neighbour, your brother, your father was an abusive asshole simply didn’t fit the picture you wanted others to see. And so many of them were, apparently just because they could, just because it was a ‘normal’ thing to do. To criticise it openly, to show that pity, would have destroyed all the work of keeping up “the suburbs”. Anonymous ignorance I was ablet to understand. People knowing the people for years who hurt other people for years and still managing to look away for years – I wish I was religious so I could believe in a special kind of hell for that. Laughing, talking to each other over their hedges while watering their gardens, for years, consciously, actively ignoring, accepting the violence.

It fills me with a happy calmness whenever I realize that this whole generation of suburban family patriarchs and enablers is slowly dying out now. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say domestic violence is dying out but this level of common acceptance has shrunk. Give me suburbs full of young fair-trade-shopping bee-keeping liberal families over that horror any time.

With this background, of course, tales of the (suburbian) blandness of horror have always stuck with me, if it was in literature – I’m currently struggling with T.C. Boyle’s ‘Tortilla Curtain’ – or in real cases like Fritzl/Amstetten or the Kampusch abduction, or in films like Haneke’s work, that always seem to bear traces of that, from Funny Games to The White Ribbon.

Somehow even all the 80s US teen horror films seemed to echoe the suburbs as a place where neighbours do not notice the horror that happens behind closed doors, while also dealing with the alien intruding into a “safe” world: Poltergeist, Fright Night, The Lost Boys, Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween etc. (which had already had a revival with films like The Hole, that spins the domestic violence thing into the supernatural). But also films like Romero’s (RIP) Dawn of the Dead with it’s working class suburbian mall zombies. Oh, or A l’interieur (Inside), which even put it’s potential for being read as social comment on a tv screen in the film itself: the suburbian riots in Paris 2005. And then of course there is Babadook in which suburban fears of the unknown intruder get overcome.

Anyways, go and read David A. Banks great ‘The Authoritarian Surround instead of hanging around on this blog! 🙂
And when you’re done read his other work on how the urban is political: True-ish Grit and The Edifice Complex.


Laurie Penny and her “lost boys” and the journalism we deserve

I’m writing this down because of the lump I had in my throat while reading the Laurie Penny article on Milo Yiannopoulos’ followers. It shows the limits of her wonderful way of writing within the sad state of journalism as it is: Best payed for stirring up emotions and discussions, and for setting social groups up against each other. A left feminist journo reporting from within a neo-right anti-feminist group? OMG must-read! Of course it “works”. It even stirred heated discussions up on social media long before it was published. That’s a sign of journalism that “works”, a sign of “good” journalism today. Isn’t it? And now it gets published at the perfect moment – one day after Yiannopoulos downfall. Perfect.*

The best part of that article though is not the “embedded journalism” part but the intro, her analysis of Milo’s downfall – it’s spot on and well-phrased, that mix of colourful language, cold analysis and red-hot anger that she does so well. Sadly the main part of the article doesn’t rise above platforming the neo-right followers of Milo. It is another article on the perspective of the white angry men, here put in the backfiring romantic meme-able picture of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys and Penny willingly plays their Wendy.

By describing her “lost boys” as spoilt brats being exploited Laurie Penny shifts the responsibility away from them to – well, Milo, the whole of society or some other vague place. It’s basically what most people who take the “talking to fascists” approach have ended up with: Repeating the obvious, understanding a bit too well, shifting blame etc., instead of holding them up to what they proclaim and support and what endangers a lot of people’s actual lives. It’s a fine line between trying to understand in order to work better against it on the one side and trying to understand but ending up making it sound as if the most important point is that there are non-fascist reasons for their fascist behaviour on the other side. They didn’t “mean” it, they just rode a wave, they did it for the fame, they are just little boys, etc. But hey, step back a moment and let me ask: Isn’t that what most fascists have done? And isn’t not holding them accountable by what they promote instead of what they might mean the mistake that societies so often have made in the face of a rise of fascism? I for one am tired of endless discussions if someone was a “real” fascist and if I should be allowed to call them that instead of action against the discrimination and inhumanities they promote. Is authenticity testing fascists really the best weapon our societies have against them? Poor us because that only makes them stronger.

Instead of turning only on Laurie Penny who really has done so much great work before maybe it’s worth criticising how journalism works today. It doesn’t give us what we need but what it needs and what we deserve. Do we need embedded journalism like this story to bring us the view from within or is that just sensationalist scary emotionalisation? Giving us the same effect as a horror flick, the fear from a safe distance. And in which at the end we get explained what horrible life circumstances turned the monster into a monster and somehow we end up feeling as much pity for the monster as for its victims. Bringing up victims of racist violence, bringing up how she herself was treated sexist – somehow it doesn’t get loud enough to sound through the dense fog of understanding her “lost boys”. Instead it pops up here and there in the piece as reminder that Penny is not one of the guys. But why does the piece need those reminders? And why do they feel like mere reminders? My problem with the article is that what lingers after reading is that it’s yet another explainer of “not-really-fascists playing with fascism”, another explainer of the angry white men perspective, as if that weren’t already omnipresent. And I say “men” because it is the language that holds them accountable.


*) By which of course I mean “toxic for actual information and constructive discussions”

Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man is about Hank, whom we get introduced to as a suicidal man stranded on an island, and who finds a corpse. Thanks to its handy physical functions, it becomes a tool to get him home. He names it Manny and on the journey it seems to slowly get back to life the more Hank talks to it and makes it his confidant and friend.

There’s lots of music, simple dreamy humming folky singsongs against the loneliness in the woods, nostalgic memories of pop culture, including a version of ‘Cotton Eye Joe‘ or the Jurassic Park theme song. Mostly it’s soft breathy singing, a cappella choir style, heavy on the reverbs, sometimes accompanied by a simple guitar or droney ambient sounds – which reminds me: Might 2016 be the year in which we have finally let the “sad bearded white male singer/songwriter” behind us? In this movie the archetype of the bearded sad rejected white man seems to reach another peak – and overcome it. If you can’t see it coming yet, here’s a trigger warning: My take on this film is a feminist one. Swiss Army Man is a long bromantic fart joke going serious and we get to witness that not even death can stop bros from bonding over a woman’s rejection. The wonderful central moment of this bromance and movie is the bus scene in the middle, which does not only not shy from drag and homoerotic undertones but which also takes it seriously. It’s no rough joke but fragile and beautiful.

The bearded folksinger and this movie also share the glorification of nature as authentic and honest in contrast to a harsh (urban) civilization where people can’t be themselves, where they have to play-act and: even hide their farts from each other – sorry, but this movie really is a bit fartcentric, but since ))<>(( we know that even pooping can work in a lighthearted romance, so don’t let this turn you off.

The closer Hank and Manny get back to civilization, the creepier the obsession with the woman of Hank’s dreams starts to look. It culminates a few steps from the wilderness, in the middle of her garden, the civilized green, in the confrontation with her daughter. In the wilderness Manny’s penis was the “natural” instinctive guide that showed them the direction back to civilization whenever Manny looked at a picture of that woman on Hank’s phone. When they end up in her garden and the little girl finds them, Manny’s erection is plain wrong, and what seemed to be natural attraction, what from afar looked like romance in that moment starts to look a lot more like simple creepy stalking. Especially while first you might have thought the picture on his phone is his girlfriend, after a while you get to realize that he has taken it secretly.

I still can’t say if I ‘like’ Swiss Army Man but it’s definitely worth watching and form your own opinion on it. It’s a fresh idea and you will hardly get another chance to see a great Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse being used as a jet-ski anytime soon. It’s well-executed and beautifully filmed, and I still can’t get the final song out of my head. Have I mentioned that the soundtrack is done by two bearded singer/songwriter guys of Manchester Orchestra).

Merry whatever watching

I am currently celebrating the end of 2016 by having got stuck in a bingewatching hole that is quite soothing and well-deserved after last week’s stress, so no false shame here. Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

The Return of Doctor Mysterio was a nice one. Maybe a tad too family friendly. It is not the best Doctor Who Christmas Special (my favourite one still might be “A Christmas Carol”, the one with the flying sharks) but it is a solid one, holding the scale between sad and silly. The story is: The Doctor accidentally gives a kid super powers and the boy grows up right into a Superman / Clark Kent and Lois Lane story. Of course there’s a christmas alien invasion, this time it’s a kind of “open minded” bodysnatchers with guns in their zippable heads (NRA might be proud). (7/10)

The Sense8 Christmas Special was queer as hell but all in all a bad, too long episode. To me idea behind the whole series is that these magically connected Sense8 people are some kind of metaphor for a generation that’s networked via the internet. Like, how marginalized people could find refuge from a hostile living environment via an internet that since messageboards, blogs and Twitter and Tumblr has been a safety net and a helpline for countless troubled souls who have never met offline but still helped each other through bad times. This feeling is somehow woven through Sense8. Well, anyways, this episode of Sense8 even spells it out for the dummies: In one of the many cringeworthy moments of this episode you get a tech geek telling one of the Sense8s about how he feels connected with his internet friends although he’s never actually met them and the Sense8 – with a knowing smile – is all “I know what you mean”. Hmpf. Also the junkie plot. Hmpf. Also: yet another one of those party and orgy scenes! The Twister of orgy scenes. Hmpf. Also the Indian girl’s marriage plot. Hmpf. Damn, Iron Man has more subtlety and depth than this series but I still can’t not watch it because there are hardly any series who have such a diverse gang of hero and heroines from so many different locations and so I’m still hooked and enjoying it. (3/10)

I guess, the problem of too many series right now is that the machine core shows through and kills the magic. I wish more proper writers had creative freedom instead of media companies just relying on the cash machines that mean affect-focussed and carefully psych-calculated story-telling. It feels retro to me, it doesn’t explore possibilities but seems more like reacting to potential audience reactions. Not even audience expectations but really audience reactions. Where it gets statistically proven what kind of plot twist drives what kind of reaction. These days what you want gets defined as what triggers a spontaneous reaction from you, not as what you say you want after thinking about it – I don’t like that. And like cheap horror flicks that rely on ever the same cheap patterns of how to scare you, those series do the same with a whole range of emotions of which they know how to trigger them. Leaves you entertained but kind of empty, with nothing to digest, it doesn’t last. It engages you but leaves you with a vague hunger for more. And it’s not a hunger for more episodes but for better ones. Of course there have always been junk / fast food films or series but nowadays the measuring of what triggers our attention and feelings has become so much more granulated than it used to be, so these mechanisms work better in engaging people. But it’s still like the 150th burger variation at McDonald’s. And I have enjoyed this for a while by now so many series have this similar slightly sickening feel.

Even Westworld, of which I have watched the final two episodes of the first season yesterday. Maybe Thom Phipps actually has best summed up Westworld’s lack of creativity in his tweet:

ROBOT: welcome to Westworld, where your DEEPEST DARKEST fantasies come true
ME: OK but I can get pretty kinky
 *LATER* *I’m wearing a cowboy hat*

I found Westworld entertaining, else I wouldn’t have watched it to the end, but I am disappointed. It can get you hooked with its mix of typical HBO brutality and faux-deepness, the discussion of the meaning of consciousness and realness and ethics, and its circling, looping storytelling, but hey, it could have been so much more. Westworld could have been such a great challenging, discussion-sparking series about ethics and entertainment or/and tech industry if it had dared exploring. Instead we get the usual rape and violence fodder dressed up in pseudo-deep suspense chic. There is not even plausible reasoning why people in the future would find a cliche Western plot so attractive as holiday resort. All the possibilities and what you get is men going to a Western world to rape and kill people that can’t fight back. How bloody pathetic and boring. Dreaming up alternative worlds has got stuck and everything ever stays the same. So the black guy Bernard turns out to be a slave, sorry, robot. We get faux-powerful women, the virgin and the whore. They may dream their way up but get crushed again and again, any loyalty and love gets punished, everyone gets better/deeper via the experience of pain and cruelty, there is but faux-liberation and it all stays in the same loops, it’s the ever same power relationships, outside and inside both: the entertainment park Westworld and the series Westworld/HBO. Welcome to the new future, same as the old future aka the past.

But to end on a positive note:

“I didn’t choose the skuxx life, the skuxx life chose me!”

Hunt For The Wilderpeople – what a wonderful fun little gem of a movie! The story: An orphan kid in New Zealand, raised on hiphop culture and on the edge of juvenile detention, gets adopted by foster parents in the middle of nowhere. When the foster mother dies, he is scared of having to go back and runs off into the wilderness, with his foster father/uncle following him. The authorities’ hunt for both gets totally blown out of proportion – Wes Anderson meets Convoy or Thelma&Louise. Hunt For The Wilderpeople is as hilarious as dramatic, as pun- as action-packed, and Sam Neil and especially Julian Dennison as the flippant defiant orphan is wonderful. And of course this film has “majestical” landscape shots. And haikus. And a dog called Tupac. And lots of references to other movies and books. And good music. Pure heartwarming fun. Loved it. Watch it! (9/10)

Mad Max – Fury Road (7/10)
This was so exactly what I had expected that I can’t really say anything about it.


I’ll be doing a little bar djing after Claus Baumann’s talk about LeFebvre’s “Right to the city” and Adorno’s “Duty to deprovincialize” at our beloved Zentralcafé Nürnberg tonight. Whilst picking songs I have made this quick topical mix.



Freddy Ruppert – To hell with this whole damn city
Des Ark – we R kiling this town!!!
Fever Ray – Keep the streets empty for me
Chromatics – In the city
Marvin Gaye – Inner city blues (make me wanna holler)
LCD Soundsystem – Yr city’s a sucker
O.Children – H8 city
Sundays – Hideous towns
Daniel Haaksman – Rename the streets
Baxendale – I built this city (Michael Mayer remix)
Cid Rim – Mute city
Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – Empire state of mind
Stevie Wonder – Living for the city
Beat Spacek – Modern streets
The Futureheads – The city is here for you to use
The So So Clos – My block
Go! Team – Keys to the city
Lou Reed – Dirty boulevard
David Bowie – The London boys
Xiu Xiu – Clown Towne
Julia Holter – City appearing
Edith Piaf – La ville inconnue
Saint Etienne – London belongs to me
Gil Scott-Heron – We almost lost Detroit
Vatican Shadow – Cairo is a haunted city (mythic chords)
Ceschi – Elm city ballads




eve massacre dj mix for shvmvin shvmpvin’s PITCHBLACK night.


Antony & The Johnsons – Another world
Pessimist – Orphic
Ital Tek – Cobra
Kuedo – Eyeless angel intervention
Oneohtrix Point Never – Mutant standard
Walters – Armyants
Jlin – I am the queen
Evian Christ – Waterfall
Jenny Hval – In the red
WWWINGS – Shadow realm (feat. Silk Road Assassins)
Lakker – Mountain divide
Farsight – Hymn of safe passage (Luru remix)
Myth – Semagi
1127 – It never drops
Aïsha Devi – 1 percent
TSVI – The healer
Isis Scott – Beautiful $ea
Seekersinternational – Ganapati
Emptyset – Lense

Downloadable from here.



Die Darstellung der Digitalisierung, Stigmatisierung von Smartphones und ein politischer Einwand gegen digitale Enthaltsamkeit

Archivierung des Vortrags vom ersten SOFT RESISTANCE Abend, am 30.10.15 im Zentralcafé beim MV (ca. 45min.)

? * __,_ * ?

Gegen digitale Enthaltsamkeit, für mehr Auseinandersetzung mit den Veränderungen die neue Technologien, insbesondere Smartphones und mobiles Internet uns im Alltag gebracht haben. Das Soziale, das Zwischenmenschliche ist von Technologie druchdrungen, wir spielen miteinander Cops, indem wir anderen vorschreiben wie sie ihre Geräte zu nutzen haben – no Selfies, keine Handyfotos auf Konzerten. Warum das unsinnig ist, wie das Soziale vom Technologischen durchdrungen ist, wann Facebook Telepathie einführen wird, und warum wir uns auch aus politischen Gründen für all das mehr interessieren sollten, das versucht EVE MASSACRE in einem Vortrag zusammenzudenken.

Vortrag mit Slideshow auf Youtube:

Nur Audiostream:

Download als Podcast:
MP3 high quality (320kbps – 108mb)
MP3 low quality (192kbps – 43.3mb)

SOCIAL RESISTANCE – ein neues Baby von eve massacre: Ein Abend zum Zuhören, Zusehen, Trinken und Reden – Salon eben. Mal ausprobieren. Soft Resistance versucht abendfüllend anregende Wissensvermittlung und kritische Gedanken rund um die sogenannte Digitalisierung mit Musik und anderen Kunstformen zu verbinden.Während die einen über Smartphone-Sucht, Social Media und selbstfahrende Autos schimpfen, und sich nach vermeintlich authentischeren analogen Zeiten sehnen, möchten andere die Intimität der dauernden Verbundenheit, die durch digitale Kommunikation möglich geworden ist, ebenso wenig missen wie AirBnB App und GoogleMaps. Digitalisierung durchdringt und beeinflusst immer mehr unserer Lebensbereiche. Wir wollen uns damit künstlerisch/musikalisch, sozial/politisch kritisch auseinandersetzen, sonst wird ja nie was aus dem fully automated queer luxury communism.
Das waren die Flyer:
Und ich hab auch an die Cookiewarnungen gedacht:

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Worum geht’s mir mit SOFT RESISTANCE? “Salon zu smarten Geräten, kritischer Kultur und melancholischen Geistern” hab ich es untertitelt, und so offen würde ich es auch gerne lassen. Trotzdem etwas mehr erklärt: Ich will das Thema der zunehmenden gesellschaftlichen Durchdringung von Digitalisierung über meinen Blog raus tragen, in einen Offline-Diskurs. Das öffnet mir noch mal einen anderen Blick und es findet – meines Wissens – in Nürnberg noch nichts ähnliches statt und das fehlt mir. Digitalisierung meine ich hier im Sinne der Verwendung von meist datenbasierten Services auf Smartphones und Computern zur Kommunikation, Information, Bildung, Unterhaltung, Überwachung, Kontrolle usw. Mich interessiert daran, was dadurch sozial, politisch, gesellschaftlich passiert. Soft Resistance stelle ich mir als einen Abend vor, der zwar aus einer theorieverliebten und politisch engagierten Ecke kommt (links und queer-feministisch muss ich, denke ich, nicht dazu schreiben, wenn ihr schon auf diesem Blog gelandet seid, ebenso wenig wie die Verbindung zur Musik), aber: ein Abend, der eine niedrige Einstiegsschwelle hat. Mehr Kneipe in die Theorie bringen, mehr Theorie in die Kneipe bringen. Ich will dass der Zugang gratis ist, freue mich aber über Spenden, denn es ist schon ganz schön arbeitsintensiv – das mag ich nicht leugnen. Ich will mit Soft Resistance Kunst, Musik, Theorie, Biertrinken und Politik verbinden, und Diskussionsräume öffnen. Künstlerische Performances von Gästen (dieses Mal war es WndHnd) und theoretisches lautes Nachdenken. Gefährliches Halbwissen. Offline und online.

Es gibt zahllose Themen, die mir für Soft Resistance einfallen:
– Social Media und gesellschaftliche Meinungsbildung
– gesellschaftliche Kontrolle durch datenbasierte Services, z.B. Smart Cities und Demokratie
– die Veränderung des öffentlichen Raums on- und offline
– Werbung als der Pick Up Artist des Internets (das ist ein Thema, an das ich mich schon lange mal setzen wollte)
– Sharing Economy und die Veränderung von Arbeit
und so weiter.

Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Leckie’s Ancillary Justice

David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice

 I have finished two books that I had been carrying around with me far too long. It feels quite good. David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks was one of them. I loved the first part. It told the story of a tomboyish UK girl in the 80s, who runs away from home for reasons a grown-up could find hard to understand but Mitchell manages to get across just fine. I enjoyed the next part, in which Mitchell portrays a group of young bon-vivants on a skiing trip with all their fun and desires and secrets. Where he lost me though was the really long middle part about a middle-aged white male writer who is very much in love with himself. War reporter, author of books. It drags and drags and drags. It made me drop the book for at least half a year before I went on, still not managing more than a few pages in a row. At some point though the book picks up pace again and it ends just as intense as it starts: In a dystopic future setting in which the young girl from the start has turned into an old woman. Of course there is magic too, a battle of parasitic timelords is the arc that is meant to hold the book together but, well, magic realism can get quite boring when it loses itself in endless new plots just to show how in the end the almighty author manages to show how everything is connected. I got a love/hate relationship with magic realism ever since I have read Rushdie’s Midnight Children (which I liked). If you got no clue what magic realism is about, just check the magic realism bot on Twitter. It’s the essence. Though he creates rich worlds and characters, in The Bone Clock Mitchell sometimes loses grip of the tension that holds a novel together, so in short: This book is too long but when it is good it is really good.

The other book is Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice. It is a tough read if you only find time to read in short spans every other day because it is a bit complex. But I wholeheartedly recommend it if you have got the time for long reads and sinking your teeth in. Which I finally have now that I am on holiday. It is a sci-fi novel told from the perspective of a soldier who used to be Justice Of Toren, a spaceship with an AI that connected many soldiers. So the main character is not just a spaceship but also hundreds of people, all connected with each other in one mind. To be even clearer: dead humans made into soldiers. A bit like the Borg idea but also not at all like it.  It is identity sci-fi, playing with what makes a person a person but also with gender (everyone is a “she”  – or are they?), power relations  and colonialisation. Of course there are splendid fighting scenes too and there is as much social bonding as an AI soldier can be imagined capable of. The book is heavy on the world-building side which I usually do not enjoy that much – endless descriptions of planets, space tech and alien cultures are not my thing – but Leckie does it in doses that don’t neglect the storytelling. I will definitely get the other two parts of the trilogy, too.

P.S.: This is my first time blogging from my phone. Wifi here in the mountains is a bit shaky and this seemed quicker. 

Was ich so treibe

Es ist erstaunlich, wieviele Dinge du tun kannst und dir bleibt trotzdem dabei das Gefühl, du müsstest eigentlich noch viel mehr leisten können. Die absurde Sehnsucht nach handwerklicher Arbeit, bei der du im Gegensatz zu sehr vielen Bereichen der Geistesarbeit irgendwas Handfestes vor dir liegen hast, hat mich heute dazu verleitet aus einer schnöden Fertigpackung ein Brot zu backen zu versuchen. Das Ergebnis duftet zwar nach Brot, aber konsistenzmäßig spielt es eher so in der Liga Pflasterstein.


Hier seht ihr es in einem glorreichen Screenshot. Ich hatte es mit der neuen Stories-Funktion von Instagram gepostet, mit der sich Bilder oder kurze Filmchen online stellen lassen, die nach einem Tag automatisch wieder gelöscht werden. Ähnlich wie bei Snapchat, aber. Aber! Bei Snapchat kommt es aus der Idee heraus, Bilder oder Filmschnipsel als Kommunikationstechnik zu verwenden, während es bei Instagram aus einer Inszenierungsidee heraus kommt. Vorteil ist bei Instagram aberr für Menschen wie mich, dass es einfach mehr Leute nutzen, die ich kenne. Und ich mag es, so ein paar Bild/Film-Schnipsel aus dem Alltag von Leuten, die ich kenne – egal ob off- oder online Bekanntschaften -, durchzugucken. Wäre schön, wenn es sich aber auch auf Instagram als Kommunikationstechnik durchsetzen würde. Ein paar meiner Freund*innen posten schon so. Andere ziehen aber auch hier dasselbe eigentlich archiv-orientierte Inszenieren durch. Hm. Das ist ja aber eigentlich schon der Rest von Instagram. Am besten gefällt mir an der Funktion allerdings tatsächlich, dass es dich nicht automatisch mit öffentlichen Likes oder Zahlen wie oft es angesehen wurde nervt. (“nervt” = dazu motiviert, es zu gamen, also etwas zu posten, was besonders beliebt ist.) Du kannst zwar nachsehen, wieviele und wer es angesehen hat, aber dazu musst du es selbst noch mal aufrufen – es schreit dir nicht entgegen wie sonst auf Instagram und Facebook. Ich sehne mich letztlich immer noch nach einem Social Network, ohne Quantifizierung und mit Ephemeralität. Miau.

Was mich derzeit so rumtreibt, ist vor allem die Vorbereitung für meine Future Hiphop & Bass Party SISSY BASS, die ich immer nur zwei mal im Jahr mache und die weniger Deko-aufwändig, dafür aber für mich schön nerdig musikalisch aufwändig ist. Ich höre mich seit Tagen immer Abends quer durch neue Grime, Juke, HipHop, Afrobeat, usw. Tracks und liebe es. Hoffentlich schaffe ich es morgen noch, wieder mal einen kleinen Mix zu machen und ihn online zu stellen.

Tagsüber hält mich seit Wochen vor allem das Booking für MV40 auf Trab: ein zweitägiges kleines Festival, das wir am 21. und 22. Oktober zum 40. Geburtstag unseres Veranstalterkollektivs organisieren. Mit Einladung an weggezogene Ex-MVler*innen – ich hoffe, da kommen auch einige. Wenn das alles so klappt, wie’s gerade aussieht, werden das zwei wunderwunderschöne Tage bzw Nächte. Aber super-fingernägelabknabberlevel-spannend, das Booken für so ein Festival. Dauernd ist noch ein Act oder wieder ein Act in der Schwebe, und noch dazu hatten wir uns vorgenommen (auf Anregung eines männlichen MV-Mitglieds wohlgemerkt! Bless my gang. ^^), ein möglichst von weiblichen und/oder queeren Künstler*n geprägtes Line up zu machen, und erst gegen Ende dann männlich dominierte Acts dazuzuergänzen. Und halt: No fillers, just killers. Bin gespannt, was am Schluss rauskommt – wir können’s hoffentlich kommende Woche verkünden.

Zu der Festival-Orga kommen noch stundenlange Diskussionen, die wir seit Wochen führen, weil (wieder mal) Umbaupläne für das Gebäude, in dem wir veranstalten, anstehen: dem K4 / Künstlerhaus. Das Veranstaltugskollektiv, in dem ich dabei bin, der Musikverein, enstand dort in selbstverwalteten Zeiten, dem KOMM – Nürnberg war einst ein echtes Aushängeschild für Soziokultur. Nun, es gab immer wieder Anläufe für den Bauabschnitt, der jetzt angegangen werden soll, aber diesmal sieht es ernster aus und wir sollen aus unserem Haupt-Venue, dem Zentralcafé, raus – da soll stattdessen ein Burgerrestaurant rein -, und in einen komplett neuzubauenden Kellerbereich ausgelagert werden. Was die Vor- und Nachteile sind, und was uns Sorgen macht, auf praktische und auf ideeller Ebene, das ist ein ganz schön komplexer Haufen Diskussionspunkte, die uns derzeit umtreiben. Auch damit werden wir hoffentlich kommende Woche mal in eine öffentliche Diskussionsphase übergehen. Dafür sitze ich gerade an der Formulierung eines Statements. Knifflig.

Was hat mich noch beschäftigt? Einige Vorträge hab ich gehalten, in anderen Städten, die doch auch immer etwas Vorbereitungszeit gekostet haben, aber allesamt gute Erlebnisse waren. Und ein Interview für den Spiegel hab ich gegeben, das wohl in der Ausgabe vom 23.8. erscheinen wird, Thema Digitalisierung, Social Media. Haben sogar einen Fotografen vorbeigeschickt. Ich hasse doch fotografiert zu werden. Aber war dann doch recht amüsant. Bin gespannt, was rauskommt.

Serien hab ich auch endlich mal wieder geguckt, nach längerer Abstinenz. Zuletzt Cucumber und Banana (Tofu steht noch aus) – 3 abgeschlossene Kurz-Serien von Russel T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who, Torchwood) über queere Beziehungen in Manchester. Schon recht clean, aber es ist wunderbar erzählt, von großartig komisch bis tieftragisch. Und reißt sogar nebenbei das Mietwucher/Leerstands-etc. Problemfeld an. Und das von illegalen Putzkräften, die wie moderne Sklavinnen gehalten werden. Letzteres in Musicalform. Groß. Wirklich gut.

Außerdem schließe ich mich dem Lobeschor für Stranger Things an – eine schöne Hommage an das 80er Coming-of-Age Loser-Teenboys Kino, und auch musikalisch sehr gelungen. Ich weiß nicht, ob es deswegen besser gelungen ist als die meisten Remakes, weil es eben kein direktes Remake ist, sondern mit Elementen aus verschiedenen 80er Filmen spielt. Kann schon sein. Das war bei Super 8 ja ähnlich. Und hallo: Winona Ryder! Auf jeden Fall lesen dazu: Jana Sotzko (The Dropout Patrol, Soft Grid) in der Jungle World.

The Night Of bekam ich empfohlen und habe stattdessen erst mal das britische Original geguckt, das den etwas uncatchy Namen Criminal Justice trägt, aber das ich ebenfalls sehr gelungen finde: Jede der zwei Staffeln ist in sich abgeschlossen und begleitet eine Person durch den Strafvollzug. Dabei ist jeweils lange offen, ob die Person schuldig ist oder nicht. Ich finde es vom Erzähltempo, von der Auswahl was für Momente gezeigt werden, sowie von den Bildern her richtig gut gemacht. Aber vor allem die Uneindeutigkeit der Schuldfrage, die dir eine klare Sympathie/Antipathie-Figur entzieht, macht die Serie aus. Das bietet Raum für das Durchdenken deiner Vorverurteilung. Auch eine Empfehlung.