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STATEMENTS (2)
February 2001 - April 2002
THE JOLT (April 17, 2002)
PSYCHOLOGY (April 16, 2002)
CENTRAL COUNCIL OF THE JEWS (April 11, 2002)
KOFI (April 04, 2002)
HIPHOP (March 31, 2002)
ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (3) (March 31, 2002)
ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (2) (March 29, 2002)
SARAMAGO (March 27, 2002)
ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (1) (March 27, 2002)
"SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG" (March 27, 2002)
UN/SYRIA (March 13, 2002)
ZIONISM (March 09, 2002)
"DIE ZEIT" (March 09, 2002)
MICHAEL ROTH (Feb. 24, 2002)
ROCK'N'ROLL MINISTER (Feb. 24, 2002)
ROCK THE BUNDESTAG (Feb. 22, 2002)

THE JOLT

During his office time, German President Roman Herzog created the popular slogan: "A jolt has to go through Germany." For the reason of the absence of that jolt, a campaign was launched some time ago under the name "Deutschland-packts-an.de" ("Germany rolls up the sleeves"). On the homepage it reads:

"Why is the mood in Germany worse than the facts? Why do consumers and investors feel insecure? Why are the reforms, of which everybody knows that they are necessary, not carried out? The Germans seem to be stuck in a petrified feeling of powerlessness, anxiety, and even indifference. After 50 years of building Germany, the spirit of awakening is about to dry up, and we are increasingly lacking the will of the entrepeneurs, the courage to carry out reforms, and most of all the courage for necessary severe cuts. We want to change that: Germany rolls up the sleeves. Actions, campaigns, initiatives, events - all means are appreciated by us that can get the Germans out of the menacing fatalism, the paralysis, and the ill humor.

Well, my dear ladies and gentlemen of the jolt, I just cannot let you get away with this. You want to change something? Are you sure? Because what one can see is only words. What kind of results do you have to offer? Excuse my criticizm, but you do not only have a lot of money: almost all German TV stations and publishing houses are partners of this campaign, and you get free commercials and space for adverts from them. Renowned agency partners develop commercial and PR campaigns. Combine partners and companies practise support, with regard to both the contents and the means.

You were in the press sometimes, you now made this new expensive poster campaign, alright, but what have you achieved? And what kind of reforms are you talking about, and what kinds of severe cuts? If you quote Victor Hugo ("Nothing in the world is as mighty as an idea, the time of which has come"), then you have to do some more than just sticking posters, otherwise you lose your credibility, and the whole project turns to its opposite.

But anyway, I support your campaign. As a gesture, I have linked your logo on my homepage. Because my hope lies in the sentence by Jose Ortega y Gasset, which we have in common: "Civilization most of all is the will to have a community." (17.04.02)


PSYCHOLOGY

Now on SPIEGEL ONLINE there is an interview with the Israeli psychologist Haim Omer, conducted by Alexander Schwabe. Haim Omer wrote the book "Authority without Violence", together with Arist von Schlippe.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: "Mister Omer, you have investigated mechanisms of the escalation of violence in families. If we view Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Leader Yassir Arafat as part of a family. What is wrong in this family?"

Omer: "Most of all, it is that each one fears the other. Moreover, Sharon has an incredible fear to do something that might be interpreted as a weakness. Many parents are like that in the relationships with their children. But the attitude: "I must show who is the boss" inevitably leads to escalation."

Mister Omer also said: "The dynamics of escalation can only be overcome unilaterally, never symmetrically. The unilateral concession is a presupposition for the settlement of all escalation, be it in the family or in politics." Regards to Haim Omer, SPIEGEL-ONLINE. (April 16, 2002)


CENTRAL COUNCIL OF THE JEWS

The Central Council of the Jews in Germany, especially Herr Paul Spiegel and Herr Michel Friedman, are currently talking in the German press about the "one-sided condemnation of Israel". Spiegel said that Jews all over the world were "free to be shot down", and that the whole world must be interested in defeating the suicide killers with military means. Friedman calls the Europeans hypocrats etc. (Source e.g.. www.SPIEGEL.de). Just the way I wrote it down before yesterday, in the PALESTINE DIALOGUE. A scandal, how the human rights and the UN are pushed aside with the holocaust club! This is cynical and heartless. A Palestinian life does not count anything for Herr Spiegel and Herr Friedman, and it's showing very well. These are no honorable people for me any longer. Do they speak about peace? No, they speak about war!

Sabine today asked me, why the German press doesn't interview and push the Israeli peace movements, especially now? Because there are many more critical voices within Israel itself, than are let through in the media. Instead, those Israelis are asked, who are of the opinion, that Sharon is not to be criticized. And that there must be war now. Fie upon you, German press! (April 11, 2002)


KOFI

Dear Mister Annan, Sir, my warmest congratulations on the Nobel Prize! As I could derive from the press, you are cautioning at present against the logic of war. Mister Annan, Sir, I can most obediently do this job for you, if you then find the time to go into action. Yours sincerely, Anis
(April 04, 2002)


HIPHOP

I did actually want to stop writing statements of this kind. But what can I do? First the SZ came with this..., well, and then I saw the current tv commercial of the news channel N24. Now, maybe this is not worth a statement, but judge for yourself:

In the mentioned commercial, there is a youngster sitting at the computer. He is online and visiting the site of N24. His buddy with this huge afro-haircut is looking over his shoulder and mumbles to him that he should try the word "HipHop" in the searching machine of N24. The other guy does so and mumbles back: "Naa, dey don' have i'."

Well alright now, where is the point of this commercial, what is the message? That HipHop is not a real issue, and that consequently pop music does not produce any news? Now this is just like when a not further to be defined newspaper does not take poetry seriously and ridicules it. Isn't it? Hey, I have nothing against N24, okay? It is a certain point that I want out of this. What can one make of it, when the messages of music and literature per se are constantly ridiculed by the press? I mean, there is nothing to object, if somebody cracks a joke about HipHop, why not, but it really sounds strange, when it is the press who does it.

But enough of this! You know, I always get involved in these things, I'll have to find a way out of that. And it is not true, anyway. When I searched for "HipHop" in the N24 searching machine yesterday, I got two results. First: "A Day on the IFA. Look at the Digital Future. Touch Costa Cordalis." And second: "MTV Awards. Limp Bizkit make the day. Heavy security measures in front of the Frankfort Banqueting-Hall." My regards to N24! (March 31, 2002)


ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (3)

Let us finally take a look at the daily rubric "Das Streiflicht" ("The Side-Light") from the front page of the SZ. And this is about to be it, then. Because it is no fun. "The Side-Light" is not a nice rubric. Immaterial things are spread there with pompous and often spiteful language. Listen to some of the closing sentences of the past days:

22.03.: "There remains no advise but unlimited tears. Sounds good, but even this line was written already by old Goethe."
27.03.: "Roland Koch, the Rumpelstilzchen in the Bundesrat."
28.03.: "...the mysterium iniquitatis. What that means? Well: malicious is man."

Or today. Subject is poetry again. At least, this is what you would suppose, after having read the first sentence. But then it deals only with the corpse of Alexandre Dumas, which is to be placed in a different grave. In this context, a couple of jokes are cracked about dead bodies as manure, and about worms etc..

In conclusion, my opinion about the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG actually is that you better read the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU. (March 31, 2002)


ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (2)

When I read the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG today, I found that each article had its right place, and it was very plausible why this or that issue had ben tackled. In this context, it seems to be material for the SZ to not give the impression of being a driving force or a creating power. This may be due to the attitude that a newspaper is only to present the news and to prepare the infomation, in a way that the reader is able to establish an opinion of their own. It has, however, the side-effect that the newspaper in question can seem faceless and random.

But there are, on the other hand, some rubrics in this paper, which lead to the conclusion that the SZ is not a computer simulation. To this group belongs the column "Das Streiflicht" on page 1, which was the origin of this analysis at hand, and which will be dealt with later, the comments of the "opinions" page, and, of course, the inundating reader's mails, which are concerned with the main issues of mankind, like the reform of the German orthography. Well hidden in the feuilleton, we sometimes even find contributions which are so engaged that they are too provocative for the "opinions" page, like the article by Mister Tariq Ali today about the intellectuals and the business of terrorism.

To show the contradictions in the profile of the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, it suffices to point on the comments of the day. The head comment "The Cross and the Aliens" by Herr Matthias Drobinski deals - on the occasion of Good Friday - with the fear of the aliens and the duty of religion to integrate the alien. Alien here means God and it means death, but it also means the stranger and foreigner. The comment also deals with the radicality of the cross as a symbol, which by its provocation even in the in-group led to a re-evalution in post modern times, when the image of the tortured Jesus altered into the image of a rather painless savior. The essence of the comment is: "There, where all security is lost, also is the place of salvation." And: "In the farest strangest land God is closest."

These deep thoughts, in my opinion, contradict the self-understanding of the SZ, for security thinking is one of its most striking features. What else is this kind of journalistic "objectivity" than security thinking? People feel secure and uninvolved when they can exclude themselves from their judgments and actions.

Small wonder, if a reader makes a wry mouth about the pleasing comment on the Oscar night, where it 'critically' reads: "A historical moment? No, rather a moment of shame, on the one hand, because of the important role that black people traditionally have played in American show business (...)", or, uuwaa, this one: "The change must come about in the minds. But in America, people are still far away from this, as long as...". This seems to be a bit of a disturbance, and I come to understand, why the SZ asked me for help. Oh dear! Difficult case, this. And so exhausting!" (March 29, 2002)



"Won't you say which way you're gonna go? I gotta know, gotta know, gotta know."
(Elvis Presley 1960)


SARAMAGO

Portuguese Nobel Prize for literature winner José Saramago is in Ramallah at the moment with seven collegues from the International Parliament of Writers. The eight writers came to express their solidarity to the Palestinians, e.g. in a visit to the most known Palestinian poet and writer Mahmoud Darwish. It was said that Israelian writers were to be invited, which seemed to not have happened.

There was a rather meaningfull feature about the writers delegation on the DEUTSCHLANDFUNK radio news yesterday at about 6 p.m. But then Mr. Saramago compared Ramallah with Auschwitz in order to provoke, by saying that the "Spirit of Auschwitz" floats above the city. And: "This place is being transformed into a concentration camp." After this incidence, Mr. Saramago was harshly criticized by known Israeli writers like Uri Avneri and Amos Oz, as well as by the international press.

Like Uri Avneri and Amos Oz I find Saramago's comparison destructive. It is true that I myself have written in an earlier statement that Israel passes on violence, which the Jews received in Germany, to the Palestinans. But this seems to be the limit of the necessary. Comparisons like Ramallah = Auschwitz are stupid and indecent. Only to call it "anti-semitic", as Israeli people did a lot, is also nonsense. To be against the Israeli policy of violence and occupation is not anti-semitic, it is anti-violence and anti-occupation.

At first I was angry about the fact that the German press reported almost exclusively and very short about the Saramago scandal ("Israel shocked by Saramago"), and not about the whole thing. I mean, there are eight renowned international writers, who clearly and legitimately protested against the Israeli occupation. But meanwhile I see that Saramago, with this incidence, has spoilt it, and that he disqualified himself. Shit happens. (March 27, 02)


ON THE TRACK OF THE SZ (1)

The SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG is one of the biggest and established newspapers in Germany. It is often regarded to be left, a bit like the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU, and rather not conservative, like the FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG or DIE WELT. Yet the political positions today are a bit blurred, and some people even talk about an identity crisis in parts of the German press.

Let's take a look at the Middle East coverage as an example. In today's edition of the SZ, the war in the Middle East was the central subject. Page 2 was full of it, a comment on the 4, the 7 also full of it, al-Qaida articles on the 9 and the 11, and finally a mini article on the Saramago scandal. How does the SZ handle this subject?

It can be said that the SZ reportet on the Middle East issue in a very balanced way. It summarized all the different points of view, of Sharon, of Arafat, the Saudis, Mubarak, the Americans etc., and then it judged on all these opinions very even, e.g. in the comment by Herr Heiko Flottau, who says that the PLO had recognized Israel in 1988, and the Arab states did the same in Madrid 1991:

"Both declarations were tied to the condition that Israel leaves the occupied territories of 1967, according to the UN resolutions. Instead, and breaking international law, Israel built settlements in those areas, which it was to give back to the Palestinians. Israel must confront itself with the reproach that it did not take the 'land for freedom' plan seriously.

Then immediately follows the sentence: "However, the fact that the region is once more standing at the abyss, is also the fault of the Palestinians. Yasir Arafat failed to stop the development of terrorism in autumn 2000."

Maybe here we get a little closer to the problem which came up in the previous statement. Concerning the Middle East issue, the SZ seems to have difficulties to come up with an opinion of its own and to represent it. Israel here is only criticized, when the Palestinians are criticized to the same amount. The SZ does not care about the fact that the criticizm towards Israel is grounded in international law. This is so, because it has been so all the time, and because the other newspapers and politicians do not care, either. Israel ranks higher than the UN.

The Americans are not criticized too much in the SZ, either, when they want to make war. Today in the SZ there was a photograph of Saddam Hussein directly above one of Mohammed Atta. The message is clear: when the Americans want to attack Iraq, the SZ will not stand in their way. This also became noticable in the mentioned comment by Herr Flottau.

Then Saramago. It is amazing how small this issue is kept by the German press. But this will be a statement of its own. With these indications, I hope to have been instrumental for the SZ. The problem is not solved yet, but we seem to be on a good track. (March 27, 2002)


"SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG"

Some Anis Online readers might have wondered, whether the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG has replied to the rhymed Bamboo "WELTTAG WAR DER POESIE", which commented on an SZ article. Well, they did reply. Herr Gerd Sowein from the readers' mail editorial was friendly enough to find the time for a short answer. He wrote me on the 25th: "Thank you very much for the transmission of your poem. Sorry we cannot put it up, because we do not print poetry from readers - otherwise we couldn't escape the inundation. We beg your pardon."

Well dear Herr Sowein, you don't have to apologize for that! Of course I understand that you must escape the inundation, everybody must. But why by all means did you write me in a way that it looks like a refusal? I mean, you could also have written: "Thank you very much for the transmission of your poem. It's cool." That would have been something completeley different from "sorry", wouldn't it, Herr Sowein? Or didn't you like it? Well alright then, why didn't you tell me, if you spent a stamp, anyway? Now you gave me a sorry and a pardon, and I don't know what to do with it. What can I do with a sorry?

It appears to me that you have some kind of problem. I am sorry for that. Here is something I can offer you: I will read the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG for a spell every day now, and then we take a look together to find out about this problem of yours. Shall we do it this way? No, you don't have to thank me, it's my pleasure. (March 27, 2002)



"Nobody loves the whip, but everybody loves the whip man"
(The Book Of Games)


UN/SYRIA

Yesterday night, the UN Security Council met on an initiative of the USA to pass UN resolution 1397, which calls for a cessation of all violence in the Middle East and for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine. All the 15 member states agreed to the resolution, with the only abstention from Syria. Syria stands for the "Arab Group" in the Security Councel and had proposed a different text, whereafter the US has prevailed with its own suggestion. What does the resolution say, and what do the Syrians hold against it? I got myself the respective texts from the UN (www.un.org) and compared them:

Resolution 1397 consists of an introduction and four points: it demands immediate cessation of all violence, it calls upon both parties to implement the plans of Tenet and Mitchell, it supports Kofi Annan's interference, and it decides to remain seized of the matter. The introduction covers, among other things, the relevance of resolutions 242 (from 1967) and 338 (from 1973), as well as a welcoming of the contribution of the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

The Syrians, on the other hand, criticize that Israel is not condemned for its killings, despite the fact that the Arabs showed flexibility. They also speak about ca. 2000 imprisoned Palestinians, who are treated inhumanely. In their opinion, the UN document is weak, because it does not deal with the root question, i.e. the occupation. Moreover, the realization of earlier resolutions are to be demanded from Israel more intensely. The Arab party also regretted the lack of mentioning both the Madrid Conference, which dealt with a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and the Forth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians.

It cannot be derived from the UN document that the UN demands a Palestinian state, as is the headline of the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU today ("dpa issue of the day"). The Council "affirms the vision of two States Israel and Palestine", so it says in the headline, but this is all on that matter. Sadly. Yet the world mostly is content with it, apparently also the Palestinians. My opinion is that, since all these people have met in the middle of the night in order to write a resolution, they really could have supplied the world with some more substance. Apart from the isolated word "Palestine", this resolution in my view is - despite all goodwill - an impression of 338, which in turn is an impression of 242. Clear words are another thing, and the realization of clear words are again another thing.

NB: Resolution 242 says: security for all states in the region, Israel's withdrawal from all the territories occupied in 1967, solution of the refugee issue, demilitarized zones, and a special representative appointed by the UN to report on the progress of things. 242 is the most important basis of all modern Middle East politics. Resolution 338 does not provide many new aspects. It mostly served to remind of resolution 242, and to give it more emphasis in the context of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. (March 13, 2002)


ZIONISM

Zionism is often referred to and justified as a means of defense against anti-Semitism. In this essay, I want to juxtapose the main competing opinions and definitions within the context of the anti-Semitism debate.

The origin of the concept "anti-Semitism" is: against the Semites. That would include the Arabs and the Ethiopians, but not the Iranians, the Turks, and the Indians. In everyday language it means: against Jews. Anti-Semitism is taboo in Germany, even more than anti-Americanism. The concepts "anti-Arabism" or "anti-Germanism" on the other hand are hardly used. There is also a controversial "anti-Zionism". Out of a newspaper I got a photo with an orthodox Jew wearing a sign that reads: "End of Zionism is peace".

Here is an example for the controversy of the concept of Zionism, out of an online newspaper. It is a reaction to the anti-racism conference in Durban shortly before September the Eleventh: "Israel like many other countries is extremely alarmed about the repeated attempts to reintroduce the language of the reprehensible equation ‚Zionism=racism' in the texts - a formula which declares Israel's right of self government to be illegitimate." (Source in German: http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/2001/08/zionismus.htm)

The idea of Zionism is basing on the source in the Old Testament in which God is said to have made the Jews his chosen people which are to reach the Promised Land, Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and, in connection with this, salvation. It was Theodor Herzl who made it a political concept 1897 in the Basle Program: "Zionism aims at the creation of a publically and legally secured homeland for those Jews, who cannot or do not want to assimilate in their current residences." (Translated from German).

"With the proclamation of the State of Israel on March 14, 1948", writes the German newspaper DIE WELT today, "the aim of Zionism and Herzl's vision were reached. Yet the movement did not end after that, because the aims of Zionism also included the preservation of the status quo, cultural aspects, and the reanimation of the Hebrew language."

One could perhaps call this assessment of DIE WELT the mainstream self-understanding of Zionism today. Opposed to them there is the group of the so-called post-Zionists, like the above introduced gentleman with the sign, who are of the opinion that Israel should give up the historical burdens. At the Israeli Ministry of Education I found the supplement: "In the opinion of others it is the aim of post-Zionism in this debate to put an end to the Jewish character of the State of Israel and to take over the appearance of a secular, democratic state." (Source in German: http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/100/german/act/06.html).

The same source offers a contemporary self-definition: "A selected team of teachers with their pupils in Denmark School in Jerusalem tried to work out a general definition of Zionism. Here is their proposal: 'Zionism supports the sovereignty of the Jewish people in Eretz Israel and regards those, who are committed to it to be obliged to take part in this noble enterprise." So they want sovereignty. Maybe in a kind of way that the Saudi Prince has recently offered. International recognition. I am not sure in how far the concept "Eretz Israel" is defined.

Zionism is viewed very differently in the Arab League and other representatives of the Arab and the Muslim World. It is seen as an ideology which places the rights of the Jews above the rights of other peoples. In respect to its legal claim of superiority which is solely based on their being Jewish, Zionism can be regarded to be arrogant and even racist, for instance when it comes to regarding the rights of the Palestinians as God-given rights of minor importance. This is something different from humanism. In a resolution from 1975, The UN had called Zionism "a form of racism and race discrimination", which was dropped again in 1991.

On the mentioned anti-racism conference in Durban, the latent conflict between adherents and opponents of Zionism came to the surface. Obviously, the issues of Zionism and anti-Semitism were virulent just before the terrible assault. And today, six months after September 11, the war in Palestine and Israel broke out again, too. Amnesty International wrote about Durban:

"US Minister of Foreign Affairs Powell had cancelled his participation before the begin of the meeting in Durban because of 'insulting language about Israel' in the preparation documents. (...) Subject of the argument was the intention of the Arab states to equate Zionism and racism in the final declaration. 'Zionism' is a generic concept that describes the political and social movement for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. It grew in the last century under the permanent danger of anti-Semitism. The Arabs associate the concept mostly with violent confiscation of land and expulsion. They call Israel's measures against the Palestinians racist. When the Arab states demanded Islarel's condemnation as a racist state in the final declaration, and as Zionism and racism were equated in a provisional version of the document, Israel and the United States drew their delegations back from Durban already on September 3." (German Source: http://anklagen-online.de/artikel/artikel2.html)

As soon as somebody (in Germany) talks about anti-Semitism, the Jews, and Zionism, a lot of emotions and taboos are touched, as can be seen for instance in a sentence of the German newspaper FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU in today's edition: "The anti-Semitism research very deliberately follows the different anti-Semitic lines of argumentation. The most recent form is this: ‚Nobody here dares to criticize Israel. Because the Jews profit from the German feeling of guilt." (in an interview with Schimon Stein).

But the debate is important now. What does Zionism want, and what did it want before? This I want to know from the Zionists, from the Israelis, and from the Jews. They are the ones to be asked at this stage. Why can they not invalidate the suspicions? There must be something to it, when even my Geman standard dictionary of foreign words (DUDEN, 1990) defines:

"Zionism: a) Jewish movement with the aim to create a national state for Jews in Palestine; b) political tendency in Israel today and in the Jewish people all over the world which pursues or agrees to a policy that is limiting the (homeland) rights of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine (and a policy of augmentation of the Israeli territory to the debit of the Arab neighbor states.)" (March 09, 2002)



"Hush, my darling, don't weep, my darling, the Zion sleeps tonight"
(Free adaption after an African lullaby)


"DIE ZEIT"

In my statement DREAMS (TRÄUME) from February 1st I have citicized an article (by Maybrit Illner) in the German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, which I want to correct today. In the current issue there writes the known TV news journalist Uli Wickert in the series "I have a dream" and this contribution I like very much, because Herr Wickert in the essay meets Robespierre in a dream and tries to convince him not to introduce the guillotine. The time before that it was also rather good. I also did not know in the beginning that it is a series to begin with.

In former times I was not so fond of DIE ZEIT. But lately I observe myself buying it more often than His Majesty DER SPIEGEL who at the moment does so boring things as to interview Charlton Heston. Also in the current edition of DIE ZEIT there is an article about my favorite professor from Birzeit University in Palestine, the political scientist Saleh Abdel Jawad. We met a few times and I appreciate him personally as well as politically very much. Despite the tragic circumstances considering the Israelis who went mad now it is nice to see a recent photo of his with an astonishing article next to it. My regards to DIE ZEIT. (March 09, 2002)

NB on Dec. 02, 2002: Much has happened since ...


MICHAEL ROTH

As the MINISTRY OF ROCK'N'ROLL reported today with reference to secular sources, the new political medium in Germany (Die Neue Mitte) could finally be localized. You may remember SPD's Franz Münteferings word: "The center in Germany is red", and CDU's Angela Merkel's remark: "The center is right from left." What and where the Neue Mitte really is can be derived from an essay of SPD member of Parliament Michael Roth's dating from October 08, 2001, which deals with his just completed journey to the USA.

The five-page travel report is entitled. "Blind revenge is something alien to the Americans" and in it there is the passage: "The unstable situation of the huge Asian continent with only few functioning democracies makes the close attention of the only remaining super power necessary. (...) The Americans are preparing for a long struggle with prudence and reason. Not against a state, not against a religion. But against the enemies of our open and democratic societies. For this confrontation the United States not only needs our reminding criticizim, but most of all our unlimited solidarity. During my trip I have applied myself to both aspects. "

Did you notice? "...not only our reminding criticizim, but most of all our unlimited solidarity..." You see, and this is the happy medium! Like when Fischer says: Bush is going too far, and Schröder then says: no, Bush is alright. Both are valid! Or Rummy recently: we don't lie, but sometimes we just have to lie. And when both yes and no are valid at the same time, then everybody is happy and they all meet in the middle. Some people think that such politicians make themselves a target because of their contradiction, but this is surely wrong. Although there also is some truth to that point, on the other hand.

If you are interested to join the MINISTRY OF ROCK'N'ROLL send your proposals and/or application to Anis Online, Subject: MINISTRY OF ROCK'N'ROLL (Feb. 24, 2002)



"Well, be-bop-a-lula she's my Baby, be-bop-a-lula I don't mean maybe..." (Gene Vincent)


ROCK'N'ROLL MINISTER

As the somewhat best German newspaper reports in its week-end edition, and as one could have expected anyway, the coalition has contradicted the reproach of the conservative party CDU/CSU, the government would do too little for the interests of rock and popular music in Germany. And now please listen to this, I translate and quote:

‚SPD member of Parliament Michael Roth said, there won't be a "Rock'n'Roll Minister" in Germany - for good reason: "We rather are a target for the rock musicians than allies. And it is good like that." Rock and pop culture would not look for protection, "especially in the arms of the CDU/CSU". The government coalition for instance "created exemplary regulations" in the artists social insurance and in the taxation of foreign musicians.' (FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU Feb. 23./24, 02)

Now what does this 31-year-old Herr Roth say here? That he is a target for rock musicians and that it is good like that. Now really! Someone from the government should try to say such a thing to the union people at the round table! How can someone prefer to be a target rather than an ally of recognized and progressive cultural movements? And besides, it is arrogant and wrong to say that the rock and pop culture is not looking for protection. The opposite is true. Good that the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU wrote about it. Maybe the idea of a Rock'n'Roll Ministry is not so far-fetched after all... A target he wants to be, hm hm, I'll think about that... (Feb. 24, 2002)


ROCK THE BUNDESTAG

In the German Bundestag (parliament), today's debate will concern the encouragement of popular music, as reports Herr Thomas Stillbauer in the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU. The subject was raised by the conservatives of the CDU/CSU who complained about the government's lack of attention towards rock and popular music and pleaded for more support. Steffen Kampeter from the CDU said: "The grovernment has to deal with the fact that rock music no longer is a matter of the good old gramophone record, but it is a huge economic sector." Then he accused the social democrats (SPD) of being square and reminded: "German music once was an export success." His opponent in the debate is Minister of State Nida-Rümelin.

Well. What can we make of that? Now the "right" accuse the "left" of being square concerning rock music... At least some people in Germany have understood by now that there is money in the rock business, that's something. And by the way: when in Germany a decent rock poet is able and willing to make commercial music, and when his or her country and the economy of this country can benefit from this, then he or she should also have the right to express themselves freely in their additional non-commercial art, even if this includes some critical remarks. The country may well profit from that.

We can of course also continue to act on the level of the Grand Prix, or PUR or SASHA or SCORPIONS or SOFT-CAKE. Then we have the HipCoolHopperCool, not to speak of our fantastic volksmusik for which we've been hated all over the world for decades. Sure. What? Yes of cause I am angry. Did you read what Elton John recently said about pop music to have grown dull and that the musicians don't represent anything anymore? Yeah well, read that, then you will understand my anger. And I also claim that there are many artists in Germany who are put on a low level (not only I), because the society is unable to face the criticizm. This, by the way, also holds for the CDU/CSU and for the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU. (Feb. 22, 2002)

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