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habseligkeiten

This word was voted most beautiful German word in the competition organized by the Goethe Institute and the German Language Council. 'Belongings' doesn't even come close as an English translation.

The word doesn't signify ownership or wealth of a person. However, it does refer to his possessions and does it in a friendly and compassionate way. Typical for those with these kinds of possessions would be a six-year-old child who empties his pockets to take joy in what he has collected.

Or the word can be seen from a more pitiful side. It can express the few belongings that someone who has lost his home has and how he has to transport them to whatever shelter available.

Full article @ Deutsche Welle.

information, pt. 2

Now, there is something obscene about the instant replication of an event, act or speech and their immediate transcription, for some degree of delay, pause or suspense is essential to thought and speech. The immediate totting up, itemizing and storing of all these exchanges, precisely as occurs with writing on word-processors, bespeaks an interactive compulsion which respects neither the timing nor the rythm (not to mention the pleasure) of exchange, and combines artificial insemination and premature ejaculation in the same operation.

From "The Perfect Crime" - Jean Baudrillard, 1995.

politics & theatre

Is the current political farce in the USA and elsewhere leading theatre writers/directors to make equally onesided, hollow statements, robbed of any nuance?

Embedded

It seems that way with "Embedded", Tim Robbins' socalled "incisive black comedy about the Pentagon's Prime Time War, a huge, stage-managed 24-hour news event and its attempts to turn the media feeding-frenzy to its advantage." Because, despite raving reviews, the play just isn't very good. In fact, it makes you think back to the good old days when Tim Robbins did "Bob Roberts".

In the same vein, the new Dutch play "Mightysociety", about three spin doctors in a brainstorm session dreaming up the ideal politician, makes you nostalgic for "Wag the Dog".

information, pt. 1

It was hell living in the twenty-first century. Information transfer had reached the velocity of light. [He] had once fed a tenword plot outline into a robot fiction machine, changed his mind as to the outcome, and found that the novel was already in print. He had had to program a sequel in order to make his correction.

(...)

To himself he thought, I was born in the wrong century. A hundred years ago this wouldn't have happened and a hundred years from now it will be illegal.

From "The Exit Door Leads In" - Philip K. Dick, 1978.