Friday, August 26, 2016

No, There Are No Fifth-Century Viking Maps Of Canada

In some cases,


who's right and who's wrong depends completely upon your point of view.

In SOME cases. In other cases, I'm right, you're wrong, and you're also wrong about it being a question of point of view, and you're a huge pain in the ass, because I've spent years carefully studying the primary sources relating to this question, while you got your information from the so-called "History Channel" and you don't even know what a primary source is, and you're telling me that everything is a matter of point of view.

Like when you tell me that there are 5th-century Viking maps of Canada. No. Shut up, sit down and listen: There is one map which may be from the fifteenth century (you left out the "teenth"), before 1492, and appears to show Greenland and parts of the west coast of Canada found by the Vikings around AD 1000. It's known as the Vinland Map.

It may be from the fifteenth century, or it may be a twentieth-century forgery of a fifteenth-century map. There are a couple of huge reasons for suspecting forgery: 1) The Vikings in 1000 didn't use maps, didn't have maps. Any maps. 2) The entire outline of Greenland is shown. The Vikings landed on the south-eastern coast of Greenland, but no one is known to have sailed all the way around the island until 1900.

It's either a fifteenth-century map, in which case it is an extraordinary artifact which leaves all sorts of unanswered questions about the geographical knowledge of some Europeans before Columbus; or it is a twentieth-century forgery, in which case it is an extraordinary forgery. After a huge amount of scrutiny, no one has yet definitively proven that it is a fake (although it probably is). If it's a fake, it must have been made by someone who was an expert in 15th century manuscripts and in spotting fakes (but who made a big mistake in including the entire outline of Greenland, because that just screams "FAKE!!!" although it doesn't quite prove it's a fake).

I'm right -- everything I've written in this post is correct -- and you're wrong, and it's not a matter of opinion. Shut UP!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." -- Nietzsche (Not True!)

Nietzsche himself delivered a very dramatic demonstration that it's not true. What didn't kill him drove him completely insane and left him a helpless invalid for the last 11 years of his rather short life. He wrote many profound things, but "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich staerker" ("Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger") was not one of them. It's the last of 8 aphorisms on page 11 of the insel taschenbuch edition of Goetzen-Daemmerung, and it's the weakest, least authentic thing on the page. And to make the demonstration of its untruthfulness even more dramatic, and the whole case even more ironic, Nietzsche wrote that just weeks or months before his final, permanent, irreversible breakdown.

Nietzsche was in very deep denial about himself and the state of his health. It would have been much more accurate and honest if, instead of "Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger," he had written something like, "I am in very delicate health, and I must be very careful about what I eat and drink, where I go and what I do. And it would be a great stroke of good fortune for me if I were to meet a physician who is a genius -- soon!"

"Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich staerker" ("Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger"), although completely false, is snappy. And so it has been one of the handful of sentences which have made him known to millions of people who have not read his books.

Nietzsche's breakdown occurred very suddenly, early in January, 1889. Still more irony occurs to me: In the last year before the breakdown, Nietzsche wrote and published a great deal, several books, full of swaggering lies about how robustly healthy he now was. He admits that he had had periods of poor health before -- but now, he insists, he is much more than merely okay. The irony is: what if he wouldn't have broken down if hadn't been working so hard on all of those brilliant books (they all contained much brilliance, besides the false swagger and denial about his poor health)?

What if "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich staerker" ("Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger") was actually the very last thing Nietzsche wrote in any of his published works, and was actually the last straw of effort which, although not killing him, utterly snapped all of his remaining strength?

Please, everybody, take good care of yourselves.

Hamburgs Kupferdiebe

Ist es nur ich, oder kommt es auch Dir dann und wann vor, selbst wenn Du ein grosser Fan und Freund der Kuenste oder sogar schon selbst Kuenstler, dass fremdspraechige Kunst besonders schwierig ist, richtig zu uebersetzen?

DIE GESCHICHTE DER KUPFERDIEBE

Das Ganze beruht auf einer wahren Begebenheit und begann eines Samstag Abends, im August 2007. Denn dann sägten ein paar echte Verbrecher die Hauptgasleitung in unserem Haus an, höchstwahrscheinlich um die erbeuteten Kupferrohre anschliessend beim Schrott zu verscherbeln. Als sie aber feststellten mussten, dass die Leitungen noch intakt waren und Gas aus dem Loch strömte, machten sie sich vom Acker. Wäre dieser Vorfall unentdeckt geblieben, wäre am darauf folgenden Montag ein „warmer Abriss“ garantiert gewesen. Zum Glück ist der Vorfall durch unsere aufmerksamen Nachbarn aus der Hauptwache gegenüber bemerkt worden, womit durch deren Einsatz das schlimmste vereitelt wurden. Dieser Anschlag auf unser Haus war nun der entscheidene Auslöser für unsere Initiative - und wir brauchten auch gar nicht lange über einen für uns passenden Namen nachzudenken. Denn der Name ist Programm. Ebenso cool wie einfach ist auch unser Logo entstanden - die Sägen. Aus dem Grund der Tatsache - und weil Sägen etwas bewegen. Genauso wie wir nun etwas bewegen.

Somit begann unsere Geschichte der Kupferdiebe, Mitte 07, als sich mehrere kreative Köpfe mit dem festen Willen zusammenschlossen, anzufangen etwas zu tun, damit endlich etwas im Gängeviertel passiert. Und wenn man will das etwas passiert, dann muss man es eben selber tun. Aus diesem Grund haben wir damit begonnen uns (erstmal) um unser Haus und die direkete Umgebenung zu kümmern - alles in Absprache mit der Hausverwaltung und alles auf eigene Kosten. Direkte Zusprüche für unsere Aktionen gab es von allen Fußgängern und Nachbarn, die sich sehr darüber freuten, dass sich jemand dem Viertel annimmt und es wieder revitalisiert. Gearbeitet wird nach dem Motto: Jeder macht das, was er kann.


Also ich Du Auslaender habe das gelesen und weiss eigentlich noch nicht, worum es geht. Die haben eine Gallerie, anscheinend, diese Kupferdiebe,


und sind vielleicht auch in Hamburgs Gaengeviertel:

GÄNGEVIERTEL

Noch bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts erstreckte sich das Areal des Gängeviertels vom Hafen über die Neustadt bis in die Innenstadt und bot tausenden von Arbeitern und deren Familien eine Heimat. Die letzten noch erhaltenen Häuser befinden sich zwischen der Caffamacherreihe, Valentinskamp und Speckstraße. Der Bestand verfällt zusehens, während in der direkten Nachbarschaft Konsum- und Büroflächen aus Stahl und Glas wachsen. Einerseits Zeichen einer florierenden und modernen Stadt, andererseits Symbole einer Kultur des „9 to 5“. Unser Haus ist umzingelt von solchen Neubauten und es wirkt wie aus einer längst vergangenen und vergessenen Zeit.

Das verbliebene innerstädtische alte Gängeviertel ist geradezu prädestiniert das Prinzip von Leben und Arbeiten in der Stadt zu revitalisieren. Und genau da kommen, als letzte "Gäng im Viertel" die Kupferdiebe ins Spiel. Denn wir haben die Vision eines Kupferdiebe-Haus vor Augen, als ein Pilot Projekt für das Gängeviertel und mit dem ernsten Willen, dieses mit vereinten Kräften, für die Kupferdiebe und das Viertel und somit für Hamburg zu realisieren. Denn hier bietet sich die einmalige Chance, Hamburgs ältestest Viertel, wieder als ein ganz besonderes Viertel aufleben zu lassen.

Des öfteren liest man über die Planungen der Investoren, deren Bauanträgen und Verlängerungen, über Finanzierungs- probleme - bis zur Scheiterung aller Projekte. Was sich anscheinend jetzt doch alles wieder geändert haben soll (Stand August 2008). Der holländische Investor hat sich nun doch bereit erklärt, sich dem Gängeviertel anzunehmen und es zu sanieren - inklusive Abriss und Neubebauung. Wann es nun genau los geht, steht immer noch in den Sternen. Genauso ob es überhaupt los geht.


Das die letzten Reste des noch erhaltenden Gängeviertel nur noch aus drei alten Hinterhöfen besteht, ist sehr schade. Einen direkten Zugang zu unserem, hat man von der Caffamacherreihe Ecke Valentinskamp. Die beiden weitere, zum Beispiel die alte Schierspassage, erreicht man vom Valentinskamp aus. Drum herum stehen alte Lager- und Wohnhäuser, seit Jahren leer, ebenso wie die wunderschönen alten kleinen Fabrik Gebäude. Alles zerfällt zusehens. Die nachfolgenden Fotos sind vom Zwischenhof und von der Schierspassage.


Usw usf blablabla, also um ganz ehrlich zu sein sind deutsche Feuilletons mir immer noch heute ein wenig mysterioes, obwohl sie sind und war schon immer das mir mit Abstand interessanteste Teil der ganzen Zeitung.

Aber Glueckwunsch, Kupferdiebe, und Daumen Druecken usw usf, wer immer Ihr seid.

Die Idee aus dem gesamten Gängeviertel ein Kunst- und Kulturviertel zu machen,

okay. So etwas dachte ich mir schon. Von mir aus. Warum nicht.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BBC: Beste Filme Des 21. Jhdrts.

Hier die ganze Liste. 100 Filme schon und es ist nur noch 2016.

I'm sorry.

Ich habe von einigen diesen Filmen schon gehoert. Ja, solche Listen sind bloed. Aber manchmal sind sie auch interessant. Diese Liste ist uninteressant. Und das war wiederum Bloedsinn -- der Bloedsinn, der "meine Meinung zur Kunst und zu Listen von Kunstwerken" heisst.

Aber wartet, ich habe noch mehr von solchem Quark anzubieten: warum sieht man selten oder nie Listen der besten Gemaelden eines Jahrhundeten? Ich habe nie eine solche Liste gesehen. Jede Mange von Listen der besten Filmen und besten Rock n Roll Albums, aber keine Liste der besten Gemaelde, oder der besten Skulpturen? Warum? Kann es sein, dass Liebhaber der bildenen Kuenste eigentlich ein klein wenig weniger bloed sind in dieser oder jener Weise?

Hoffen wir doch. Aber: jetzt ich es gedacht habe, ist die Katze raus and geht nicht mehr wieder drin: nicht nur Listen der besten Gemaelde und Skulpturen muss ich haben. Sondern auch ein Art Hall of Fame. Und jaehrliche Award-Shows fuer Maler und Skulpturen. Und fuer Performance-Kuenstler.

Die wollen solches wahrscheinlich gar nicht. Wie gesagt, die sind nicht so. Their ways are not our ways. Die haben ihre eigene Arte, bloed zu sein.

Trotzdem, as wrong as it is, niemand kann mich stoppen. Hier sind die 10 besten Gemaelden des 20. Jahrhunderts:

10. Composition with Blue and Yellow, 1929, Mondrian.

9. Rolling Power, 1939, Sheeler.

8. The Surrender of Barcelona, 1934-37, Lewis.

7. Red on Maroon, 1959, Rothko.

6. Waterlilies, ca 1920, Monet.

5. Campbell's Tomato Soup, 1961-62, Warhol.

4. The Dance, ca 1910, Matisse.

3. Moonrise and Sunset, 1919, Klee.

2. Full Fathom Five, 1947, Pollock, and of course, the completely-predictable #1 is

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, Picasso.


Once again: I'm sorry.

Milli Vanilli Doesn't Upset Me


Their music is crap, no matter who made it.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about: Milli Vanilli were a pop duo who made really lousy, wildly popular music in the late 1980's, won a Grammy for Best New Artist early in 1990, and then later in 1990 were revealed to have sung none of the vocals on their records or in their concerts, which led to widespread outrage. They were sued by ex-fans and at least one class-action lawsuit was successful.

What really surprised me about the whole fooferah was that so many of Milli Vanilli's fans hadn't realized that it's very common for the music industry to deceive people about who has sung or played what. Granted, they usually admit that they're doing it, which makes Milli Vanilli's case a little bit different. A little bit.

For example, Stevie Ray Vaughan is credited as lead guitarist on the title track of David Bowie's Let's Dance. However, the video of the song strongly implies that it's Bowie himself laying down those hot tracks. Similarly, look at the liner notes for Bruce Springsteen's Tunnel of Love, and you will see that that amazing guitar solo on the title track was perpetrated by the one and only Nils Lofgren; however, in the video, it looks as if Bruce is playing the solo.

Deceptive? A little. Does it matter? Eh. Probably depends how big a Stevie Ray or Nils fan you are. I'm a huge fan of both so it bugs me a little, but I'm not so upset that I'm currently planning to sue anyone over it.

At least in both of those cases, the actual soloists are credited on the album liner notes. However, it has been known to happen that musicians don't get their props on the liner notes.

In the case of "I Want a New Drug" from the album Sports! by Huey Lewis and the News, I've long wondered just exactly who the wonderful horn section are. That is a bad horn jam, Daddy! It sounds like Tower of Power, a great horn section, who are credited on later Huey albums like Small World. In the video, at one point there are 3 sax players onscreen. Back in 1984, when the video first came out, those 3 guys looked like Huey and 2 other guys to me. Then again, back in 1984, I was taking a lot of drugs. In a lot of cases, when I look at things I looked at in 1984, they look a lot different now. I looked at the video again just now, and the sax player on the left in the shot with 3 sax players looks a like Johnny Colla, the only regular member of the band who plays sax; and I'm not completely sure, but the other 2 guys look like they might also be Johnny Colla, but in different outfits and wearing shades. Colla is the only sax player mentioned on the album notes, and if that's true, it would mean the horn section was all him, overdubbed. In the video, from left to right, the Collas are playing a tenor saxophone, an alto saxophone and a soprano saxophone.

But who knows. Maybe it was Colla plus Tower of Power, and they weren't credited because of some contractual nonsense. That's been known to happen: musicians have contracts which don't prevent them from playing on other people's records, but do prevent them from officially, publicly being on the liner notes. Why? Because record company executives were put on Earth to screw things up for no reason while doing tremendous amounts of coke.

But if the liner notes are correct and that horn section is all Colla -- blending very nicely with the keyboards, I ought to add -- and in the video, that's Colla standing next to Colla and Colla, then that would be a rare case of neither the liner notes nor the video being misleading.

Except for the last part of the video, where the whole band are onstage, and there's only one Johnny Colla playing saxaphone instead of 3 of him, while we continue to hear several horns.

But hey, nobody's perfect. Not even *shiver* Jeri Ryan.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Being Autistic, Part 47

I used to wonder whether my life would have been better if I'd made a different decision in this or that situation. I no longer think that way: Now it's not a matter of "if," but of "how much, and in how many unsuspected ways." Of course my life could have been better if I'd made better decisions.

And I'm autistic, which compounds the whole thing. It means that I constantly misunderstand people. It means that they constantly misunderstand me. These misunderstandings can go on for years before they're straightened out. And of course that's not counting the misunderstandings which I never even notice. I sometimes notice a misunderstanding years after it happened. Who knows how many I've never noticed?

A very significant sub-category of these misunderstandings is humor. I think I do okay, generally speaking, in understanding humor having to do with 3rd parties. But when someone makes a joke about me, suddenly things become very mysterious. What is the intent of the joke? Is it friendly or unfriendly? Does it come from affection for me and mean to make me laugh, or from frustration with me, meant to make others laugh at me? There seem to be very frequent misunderstandings when I make a joke about someone else too. A group of us may be joking around and laughing our heads off, and then I chip in with a joke and suddenly no-one's laughing any more, and I'm all, Oh no, I did it again. And explaining that I was just trying to joke around, and really meant no harm, can be much easier said than done.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I'm so interested in history: no matter what I say about Julius Caesar or Charlemagne, I know that it's not going to bother them.

I know that there are a whole lot of things I understand as well as the average person or better. I realize that many misunderstandings happen all over the place all the time which wouldn't have happened to me, and wouldn't have happened to others if I been there to explain things. But then there's this other category of things, where most people are operating at a level of communication that's way over my head, and always will be.

All my life people have been talking about how intelligent I am. For most of my life it was very hard for me to believe that they meant it. Now I realize that they usually do. However, now I also realize that very often, the context in which people pay me these compliments is some situation or occurrence which has made it seem as if I'm pretty stupid. They're saying that I'm very intelligent in spite of something which would suggest that I'm not. And even more than that: now I realize that they may be referring to something of which I'm completely oblivious: for example, I may have just said something which seemed really stupid. And the person paying me a compliment is saying, implicitly -- sometimes just to me when no one else is around, sometimes to a third party: "Yes, if you'd just met Steven this minute, and were judging him just from that, you might reasonably conclude that he's an idiot -- but he's actually very intelligent." Except that they just say the last 4 words.

The rest of it, they say non-verbally. Maybe they implied it by clearing their throat and doing something with their eyebrows, or with the tone of their voice, or in some other non-verbal way which most of you never give much thought to, because for most of you it's all instinctive and it all works. And if they don't know me well, or if they don't know I'm autistic or understand very much about autism -- or even if they do -- they may have no idea that there's a very good chance that I will miss most or all of the non-verbal part of the statement.

The truth, the part of the truth which people seldom say to my face, is that I actually am an idiot. That's seldom said to anyone's face. The truth is that I'm brilliant part of the time and an idiot part of the time. That's how an autistic person can seem to most people. You might be confused because you've known me for just a little while and up until know I've seemed pretty smart, and now suddenly it seems like I'm 5 years old. Or maybe for most of the time you've known I've behaved like a 5 year old, and now you're confused because I've just said something which sounds very intelligent. That's autism. Some of the time, if you want me to understand something, you're going to have to explain it to me like I was 5 years old. And of course, that means that I'm just not going to be able to understand some things no mater how they're explained to me. Other times, I'm way ahead of you. And there's no clear set of signals to tell you whether you're dealing with the genius or the 5 year old at any given time. There's also no clear set of signals to tell you that I get what you're implying non-verbally. Maybe there's something going on which ordinarily you wouldn't have to spell out, and maybe spelling it out is extremely uncomfortable for you. But if you don't spell it out, maybe I'll never understand what the problem is. And it's exhausting for both of us sometimes, and I'm sorry.

Carry On And Keep Smiling!