Third time’s the charm

21. Februar 2019

We have dealt with James Kirchick before. Twice, actually. So you’re probably wondering why would ever want to deal with him again. But as you know, I’m the blogger you deserve, but not the blogger you need right now. Because I can take it, because I’m not a hero. I’m a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.

Who’s with me?

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Both moustaches looked somehow influential

27. Januar 2019

I did an interview! In English! (As a text chat.)

Don’t quite know why it happened. Long story short: There is a thing called Theology Today Podcast, and they have a youtube channel, a Discord, and, as it turned out, some rather unacceptable misogyny going on.

But you know me, I’m vain enough to still publish the interview, and it was really okay right until the end, so it might even be nice to read if you like that kind of thing. Nothing special, though, right until the end.

Here it is:

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When I die, I will be dead.

10. November 2018

When I die, I will be dead,
I will be gone, you might be sad.
Everything that made me me
Forevermore will cease to be.

I won’t be in a better place,
I won’t move on to somewhere else,
All will vanish, nothing stays,
Not in your heavens, nor your hells.

„lives on in memories“ may well sound
friendly, charming and profound.
It’s garbage, I’ll not live at all.
I’ll just lie under my pall.

Please resist explaining how
matter and energy go on.
They do, but does that matter now?
The configuration is all gone!

Just like a painting in the sand,
washed away, or wiped by hand,
It’s not found within the grains,
And so it is with minds and brains.

Yes, the parts are still around,
And yes, they will forever stay,
some in the air, some in the ground,
But the structure’s gone away.

So please don’t cheapen my demise
With deepities that may sound wise.
But then again, why shouldn’t you?
Why would I tell you what to do?

If you ask me, I’d advise you
To just accept that I’m not there.
But if you don’t, I won’t despise you.
I will be dead. I will not care.

The Sick Note

21. Oktober 2018

Don’t know what it is with me and music right now, but here’s another song I rearranged.

Again, if you don’t know the original, you might want to listen to it before, or after, or not, but I want to at least give you the opportunity:

And this is my version:

File:2017-06-25 Martin Schulz by Olaf Kosinsky-33.jpg


Because who cares if it’s voluntary, right?

20. Januar 2016


What if I’d babysit for you?

Or as some would call it, „kidnapping“

I guess what this world really needs is more euphemisms for the use of violence.


Sometimes it’s OK to steal patients‘ wallets

8. Dezember 2015

I have this great idea, you see, and I think I’m going to submit it to Scientific American for publishing, because I suspect it will be just what their readers are expecting of a magazine with a longstanding history of award-winning coverage of advances in science and technology and their impacts on society.

I am about to explain why it’s sometimes okay to steal sick people’s wallets. Groundbreaking, isn’t it? Well, prepare to be impressed:

Ms. V was in her late 20s, and she was chronically ill, shivering and very frightended when she was admitted. Writhing in pain, she was clutching her mother’s hand. She was diagnosed with numerous infections in her liver and lungs.

One morning after rounds, I happened to glance over at Ms. V’s room and saw a woman walk in and inconspicuously put V’s wallet into her own rucksack. The visitor was a thief who had come to steal from the hospital’s patients. To distract them, she usually talked to them for a while, very pleasantly, and conveyed to them a feeling of friendship and care. After her visit, Ms. V told me that the other woman’s visits helped her stand the suffering her disease caused her. She felt comforted and refreshed by the thief’s friendly words and easy humour, she said.

Now, make no mistake: I have to admit that stealing patients‘ wallets doesn’t have proven benefits and is widely considered a criminal or even despiccable act in the medical and scientific communities. In other words, perhaps stealing from people isn’t in itself beneficial, but rather the sense of companionship and support stemming from spending time with a sympathetic person.

Interestingly, some patients continue to welcome the thief although they realise her true intention. Ms. I, for example, was a patient of mine who suffered from severe pain as a result of advanced breast cancer. When I asked her why she enjoyed talking to the criminal, she shrugged, saying she enjoyed the company and found that chatting with her provided a refreshing period of rest.

Of course, stealing patients‘ wallets has its drawbacks, like the financial cost, which may be borne by the patient, an insurance company, or the hospital, depending on the circumstance. Also, it’s certainly dangerous for a patient to decide to have her wallet stolen at the expense of treatments with proven medical benefits. Luckily, having her wallet stolen didn’t stop Ms. V or Ms. I from undergoing life-saving medical tratment and didn’t prevent this treatment from working.

When I learned later on that Ms. V had died, the news hit me hard, and thinking back to her treatment in our hospital, I hoped that among all her misery, we had managed to ease her suffering through our therapies – criminal or not.

So? What do you think? Great stuff, right? What? You think this kind of nonsense might not be quite up to Scientific American’s standards?

Well, think again.


23. Juni 2014

So, recently, Jeff Strand, who, as many of you might know, is my favourite writer of all time, of ALL time, made this terrific offer of getting his new novel Kumquat as a preview, for free, and the only thing I had to do in return is consider saying something nice about it on the internet, which, of course, I would have done anyway, so I volunteered, and he sent me the file, and I read it, and …

Well …

It’s a story about a guy, ordinary guy, not very ambitious, kind of a slacker, really, but very nice, smart, funny, you get the picture, who meets a very special woman, finds out she’s going to die from an aneurysm, possibly soon, falls in love with her, and they decide to take a trip to a hot dog stand very far away.

I’d go into more detail, but I don’t know how much I’m allowed to tell you, so I’ll limit myself to this short summary. Also, there’s really not much more to tell, because … well …

Do you know that feeling of listening to a podcast by people you really like? You don’t particularly care if they talk about interesting stuff or if they convey relevant information or say particularly smart things, but they’re reasonably funny, and you like them, so you enjoy listening to them, but if someone else would ask you, you probably wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend the podcast, because … well, you might even feel a little embarrassed, because deep down, you know there’s not a lot worth recommending?

That’s Kumquat for me.

Not a lot happens in this book, at least not a lot that’s interesting, and while I found some humor in being led on to expect some big development again and again, only to find it resolved two pages later, this started grating after a while, and the end was a complete disappointment to me. Yes. Still. I read the whole book and was still disappointed in the end. I still thought he might turn this around and give me something great. That’s how much I love Jeff Strand, and that’s how much I trust him. Goes to show what a great idea trust is.

Oh, but wait, there’s one thing that I wholewheartedly loved about Kumquat. It’s this quote:

The only reason people eat escargot is because it’s socially unacceptable to just drink a cup of garlic butter.

That quote alone was worth the time. To me, at least. It’s pure genius in its simplicity and truth. So that’s something.

But talking about quotes, I just need to mention the Exit Red quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Exit Red is a fictitious SF series which both protagonists consider the greatest thing since the separation of heaven and earth and follow religiously. It’s kind of important to the plot, for certain values of „plot“.

„Infinity is a hell of a long time to live with regrets“

„I think you mean eternity.“

„Shut up.“

–Exit Red, Season 6, Episode 6

I learned to hate those, although I have to admit, this might just be my thing, although I don’t think they were particularly entertaining, but mostly it’s because I hate this tumblresque hyping of TV series (even fake ones), I don’t have any rational argument against it, it’s completely alright, and I realize I should be glad that other people find joy in their fandom, but I can’t help it, it simply makes my blood boil. It might be because of Breaking Bad. Because I hate Breaking Bad. I fucking hate it. So much. Wait. This doesn’t have anything to do with Kumquat anymore, does it? I’ll resume talking about Kumquat now. Sorry for this.

So, here’s what I have to say, in a nutshell: I love Jeff Strand’s style. I love his humor. I love how all his characters share that sort of humor, and how their dialogue and their actions reflect this. And if you love all of that as well, then by all means, buy Kumquat. But if all this is true for you, you’d have bought it anyway. If you’re not yet a fan, first: What’s wrong with you, moron? And second: Please buy another one. Buy Dweller. It’s a wonderful, funny, bizarre, sad, surprisingly touching, wonderful, extremely wise story about friendship with a monster, romance, and probably life in general, all rolled in one. Or buy Wolf Hunt, it’s quite possibly the best werewolf story ever written. And if not that, it’s the funniest, for sure. And then, once you are a fan … you’re going to buy this book, and maybe then you can come back here and tell me what’s great about it, and what I missed. I hope you’re going to like it more than I could. I hope you’ll give it the love and understanding it needs and quite possibly deserves, but I was unable to give. I’m sorry, Kumquat. I’m sorry, Jeff. I let you down. But we’re still friends, right? Still meant for each other, right?