Dienstag, 27. Dezember 2011
Sonntag, 11. Dezember 2011
I'll be away over the next few weeks and wish you all a blessèd Christmas. I'm off to some skiing, Alpine boozing with spiritual exercises and visting friends and family in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and elsewhere. All the best to all of you and yours and let's get together for a new round of internet craziness soon!
Freitag, 9. Dezember 2011
Donnerstag, 8. Dezember 2011
Especially in the last two years it was one of my past-times to enjoy books about drinking. I've read through Bukowski, Fallada and many others but compared to most this one was very good with a succinct and subtle psychology to it. I can recommend it; this could also very well mark an erstwhile end to my Sturm und Drang hard-liquored drinking career since recently and surprisingly even to myself it tends to bore me. From now on I want to read more philosophy again and today made this resolve: I will- as far as I can- drink half a bottle of red wine every day of my remaining life. Red wine is always a good investment be your future luck up or down, it will always satisfy you but only if you will drink it and never speculate with it."Adulthood came through with none of the pledges you'd been led somehow to believe in; the future still remained the future-illusion; a non-existent period of constantly-receding promise, hinting fulfillment, yet forever withholding the rewards. All the things that had never happened yet were never going to happen after all. It was a mug's game and there ought to be a law. But there wasn't any law, there was no rhyme or reason; and with the sour-grapes attitude of “Why the hell should there be”- which is as near as you ever came to sophistication- you retired within yourself and compensated for the disappointment by drink, by subsisting on daydreams, by living in a private world of your own making (hell or heaven, what did it matter?), by accomplishing or becoming in fancy what you could never bring about in fact."
Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2011
Samstag, 3. Dezember 2011
Not only paradigmatic for the whole of the 20th century in his style, Edward was also very popular with his subjects but Churchill and certain politicians as well as parts of the FBI opposed him. One wonders what would have happened had he not abdicated. Maybe there would have been no war between Germany and Britain (and the U.S.)...
Sonntag, 27. November 2011
Donnerstag, 24. November 2011
Sometimes I eccentrically don’t take it off but bury myself inside of it while whispering to the waiter in a hushed voice so that he can hardly understand me, showing my contempt for society while still partaking in it somehow.
Dienstag, 22. November 2011
Samstag, 12. November 2011
p.s. there is an alternative to such a ski-trip: you ski for about 45 minutes a day drink and eat and dance at lunch at the mountain-side hut, bake in the sun and party during day *and* night- absolutely feasible too and recommended to those who don’t or don’t want to ski.
Freitag, 11. November 2011
Such buttons of historical uniforms- here mostly some from officers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, the k&k Kriegsmarine- can be very apt to give a special note to ones blazer-jacket. Why not inform yourself about your local history and then invoke it anew by applying it to your attire?
Mittwoch, 9. November 2011
Dienstag, 8. November 2011
Coming again to more modern stuff, I even enjoy the jokes of the Surrealists and the still very much neglected kitsch of the French Academy and have nothing against the Impressionists, either, am more than tolerant of the English portraitists, water-colourists, of the visionaries Turner and Blake.
The last 50 years would deserve an additional (future) ramble: there is much hypocrisy, ignorance and blatant stupidity in them but at least we- and hereby I mean true art on this highest level as I understand it- seem to resurface a bit recently, meaning that complete abstraction and white-canvas, pure-idea-instead-of-substance Dreck, is declining again.
My recommendation of a good artist of the recent -my- generation would be Stelios Faitakis (I had already thought that European culture was initiated by the Greeks and also would be ended by them but maybe it will also again arise through them?) He is able to truly artistically re-interpret traditions like the Icon and Asian influences in the scope of the present, modern world; like in Gaudì's architecture one can see his faith, his true religiosity or at least his honest struggle with it and crave for it in his works.
I could propagate my own writings or my relatives' paintings and graphics here but I simply won't out of decency. That's how we few modern real artists actually feel: we again have found meaning and the value of meaning in life. We refute atheism and spurn purely profit-oriented thinking. We again put value on God or the gods and honour valour, our local and ethnic affiliations and Tradition (including but by far not restricted to modernism and post-modernism!). We, are the future.
Montag, 7. November 2011
Leisurely glancing at a volume of wild-romantic philosophy while dark-green forests, fog-enshrouded ravines and snowy peaks with red autumnal foliage are slowly passing you by is a very relaxing way to go from Vienna to Vaduz and on to Zürich where you will meet your friends in the local clergy and arts-scene before you catch up with the summer in Northern Italy or Southern France for a couple of days.
Donnerstag, 3. November 2011
"Reed was banned from all his local pubs. His most spectacular eviction came when he clambered up the chimney at the Bull's Head shouting 'Ho! Ho! Ho! I'm Santa Claus.' He was naked at the time." (Robert Sellers: Hellraisers)
An onomatopoetically creative interview
Montag, 31. Oktober 2011
Samstag, 29. Oktober 2011
Now, that the money from my small inheritance is dwindling, instead of working or filling the fountains of my family-château with black ink like the Marquis de Brunoy, I thought about taking up my old, lucrative past-time of gambling again. My brother-in-law who is a banker in Tokyo is well versed in this department and knows many casinos around the world. He even travels abroad not to see the sights or to get a taste of another culture but only in order to visit those aleatory establishments. I, who am actually quite fond of culture and art should find this behaviour disgusting but cannot help secretly admiring him for his non-caring attitude. Last time he even went to Venice and saw nothing else than the airport, the taxi his hotel and the casino on the Canal Grande. Maybe I could get some tips from him. For further preparation I will also reread Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler to avoid any graver mistakes.
Donnerstag, 27. Oktober 2011
Here one can watch the aired but not-yet released 4th season: "O-M-f-ing_Gawood, as those Amis" would say ;):
I really always liked - especially the aesthetic of- the comic (and also the old cartoon) called Tintin. Now there seems to be a new CGI-movie out that is very much propagated and that- I must admit- I do not plan to watch due to its extremely ugly looks. There certainly are very well-made computer generated things out there these days also in the form of video games, but as far as I am concerned a Tintin film would have been much better either in real-life format with authentic 1920s/30s costumes or as a well-executed animation à la Hayao Miyazaki.
Montag, 10. Oktober 2011
Montag, 8. August 2011
Montag, 25. Juli 2011
Freitag, 1. Juli 2011
"I would like to propagate the notion of drinking as a sport: not in the sense of 'who can drink the most' but in the sense of surfing; to mount a wave of deep inner joy and then ride it as long as possible without crashing. Drinking needs to result in inebriation! That doesn’t say that you need to drink such amounts that would make you stagger around but a little swaying couldn’t hurt or else the good stuff would have been wasted on you."
Dienstag, 28. Juni 2011
One large gin and tonic is acceptable as a thirst quencher.[…]
For further, serious drinking I recommend gin and water- and ice and lemon. This combination is favoured by the understandably popular George Gale. My advice: make sure you don’t overdo the water. Gin and water is an all-round improvement on gin and tonic: cheaper, less fattening and less filling as well as being not sweet or gassy. Gin is a real and interesting drink, carefully prepared with those botanicals and all, and it deserves to be sampled with its flavour unimpaired…"
(Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking, p.104 f.)
I find this completely acceptable also with mineral water, too. We in Austria have some excellent mineral waters by the way...and they also have a certain cachet since they are not widely known.
Freitag, 24. Juni 2011
Freitag, 17. Juni 2011
Donnerstag, 16. Juni 2011
It must have been in the 18th century when the times were still rough. When he stayed at an inn, some highwaymen unfortunately took the money of all the other guests. Yet, they left my ancestor alone because for the journey he had donned the coarse robes of a monk and when the bandits observed him, he kept his eyes on the prayer book that he had brought along silently moving his lips.
"That filthy beggar-monk has got no money, anyhow." the robbers said and left him untouched so that he could safely deliver the earnings to the craftsmen, even though he could have kept them for himself since news of the incident, though not of its details, had spread by then, already.
Dienstag, 14. Juni 2011
Masterpiece. Apart from this authentic description of a hangover-breakfast it concerns itself with the breaking in of diabolic phantasm into paranoid reality.
"'Forgive me ...' Styopa croaked, feeling that his hangover had presented him with a new symptom: it seemed to him that the floor beside his bed went away, and that at any moment he would go flying down to the devil's dam in the nether world.
'My dear Stepan Bogdanovich,' the visitor said, with a perspicacious smile, 'no aspirin will help you. Follow the wise old rule - cure like with like. The only thing that will bring you back to life is two glasses of vodka with something pickled and hot to go with it.'
Styopa was a shrewd man and, sick as he was, realized that since he had been found in this state, he would have to confess everything.
'Frankly speaking,' he began, his tongue barely moving, 'yesterday I got a bit...'
'Not a word more!' the visitor answered and drew aside with his chair.
Styopa, rolling his eyes, saw that a tray had been set on a small table, on which there were sliced white bread, pressed caviar in a little bowl, pickled mushrooms on a dish, something in a saucepan [The saucepan was opened and found to contain frankfurters in tomato sauce], and, finally, vodka in a roomy decanter belonging to the jeweller's wife. What struck Styopa especially was that the decanter was frosty with cold. This, however, was understandable: it was sitting in a bowl packed with ice. In short, the service was neat, efficient."
Dávila is still very unknown and not widely published in the English speaking world. I have mainly read him in German in which some of his works came out even before they did in his native Spanish.
Wiki-article, A Blog containing a few translations
I am much inspired by both Dávila's writings and his biography, and to those who know German and would like to read him in that language, I would recommend the well-presented selection of some of his aphorisms edited by the Eichborn Verlag titled 'Das Leben ist die Guillotine der Wahrheit'. Good, full translations of some of his works were also done by the publisher Matthes und Seitz of Berlin, others in the Karolinger Verlag of Vienna.
Freitag, 10. Juni 2011
To an Aborigine in Australia:
"Do you still throw spears at each other?"
To his wife, the Queen, after her coronation:
"Where did you get the hat?"
When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union:
"The bastards murdered half my family."
To a Briton in Budapest:
"You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly."
To a driving instructor in Scotland:
"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?"
To a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea:
"You managed not to get eaten, then?"
To Elton John after hearing Elton had sold his Gold Aston Martin:
"Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car – we often see it when driving to Windsor Castle."
To the President of Nigeria, dressed in traditional robes:
"You look like you’re ready for bed!"
To ex-chancellor Kohl of Germany:
"Thank you for the welcome, Herr Reichskanzler!"
Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2011
Sonntag, 5. Juni 2011
I once was a regular of a bar that was not meant to be a bar but rather the drug-storage and antechamber of some yakuza who held meetings in the rooms next door. It was only frequented by me with either a Chinese girlfriend or some American buddy of mine. We always were the only customers- only once, two scared looking young men in black suits were there and another time two old drunks. I guess as foreigners we were tolerated there cause we were considered as outsiders anyhow. Of course there was also the barkeep called Hiro, a.k.a 'Hero' (he even had that moniker printed on his business-card, too).
The place was very small and dirty only consisting of the bar, two tables with seats and some bar stools, some posters and graffiti and what looked to us like dirt mixed with fluorescent goo on the walls. Hero was always stoned and in the rare moments when he was there talked about his daughter who wanted to build a career as an idol-singer in the capital, but most times he had to do some business-errants. In the interim we were unofficially given responsibility for the place and could help ourselves to free beer and the small range of hard liquors they served such as Cutty Sark, Stoli or some other basics of that kind. Basically it was irrelevant what we took as this went under 'calculated risk' for the people doing business next door- or so we suspected.
But unfortunately this period of unhindered boozing did not last for long. One fateful night we stood before closed doors and later we heard that our dear barkeep and hero was in jail on the charge of possession of illegal substances. After a few months, when he got out, he never seemed to be the same again...from then he seemed nervous, always kept a close eye on his merchandise and wasn't as talkative as before...absentmindedly he stared into nowhere and if we hadn't known it better we would have thought that it was not the drugs but prison combined with the absence of former that did that to him...
Freitag, 3. Juni 2011
Recommended translations in English are: Cleary, Henricks, Mair, Mitchell, Yutang of the newer ones, Legge and Waley are already older and Möller, Schwarz and the older Wilhelm of the German ones.
Mittwoch, 1. Juni 2011
Freitag, 27. Mai 2011
Dienstag, 24. Mai 2011
Here in Vienna we have a fine selection of hidden, semi-private parks and gardens. Surrounded by medieval walls, old Roman stones and baroque jardinères one can elegantly dream away a hot noontide in the shade of chestnut-trees enveloped in fragrances of magarites and roses. Today, sunken into a dozy half-slumber my small book of verse still in hand, I drifted in and out of fancy until the borders of reality were blurred and the planes were blended into pure unbroken being.