Tonight, while Europe is in deep sleep, some might have a recurring nightmare of two erratic leaders meeting up. For once, this dream will come true as they snore their way to world peace or total annihilation. Or will everything stay the same after Kim and Donald have a cup of tea? Neither of these scenarios is very likely: the situation on the Korean peninsula has been a stalemate for nearly 7 decades and even before that it was, pardon my french, a bloody mess. Let me explain.
The other day I read an article stating that the European Union wants to hand out 20 or 30 thousand free interrail tickets. This is so wrong on so many levels.. where do I even start? There are four good reasons for the EU to give up on this foolish plan..
Blackout is an ultra-short story I wrote for a competition about racism and slavery. I cordially invite you to follow this link and read the story on the "A word with you press" website, where you can also check out the competition.
But because I'm the writer of this story, and this is my blog, I feel I cannot do any other than publishing it here. Enjoy!
Back in the days, when I temporarily moved in with my mom, I occupied a tiny room in the attic. The house was, still is, at the end of a dead-end road, on the border between the forest and the tiny village that has neither a shop nor a pub. But there's green. Lots of it.
One sweltering summer day...
David C sits solemnly on the windowsill. His cold feet dangle from the 2nd floor window. In his hand a Webley revolver - slighty oldfashioned but made in Britain.
Theresa M, seated next to him, accidentally dropped a shoe on the pavement below and wonders if it would be wise to jump after it. Then she looks at the British bull dog revolver in her hand: also made in Britain, and hopelessly out of date, but from a time when Britannia ruled the waves.
"So what is this game you came up with, David?"
Sixteen years ago, on Liberation Day, I packed all my belongings in an old BMW I'd bought off a friend for 300 Euro and drove to Ireland, into a new future. It was exciting, a little scary, but mostly exhilarating. Much more than moving out from my parents' house, a few years earlier, this felt like a liberation. Like love, freedom comes in many shapes and forms. The freedom to go to sleep and wake up, or when to have dinner is one thing. Quite different is the freedom to travel across borders without needing a passport, to settle in another country and work there without having to file a complicated working visa application. That again is quite another thing than being able to say and write what you want without the fear of an oppressive regime.
"The essential act of war is desctruction, not necessarily of human lives but of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces (..) materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and hence, in the long run, too intelligent."
George Orwell, 1984
When my mother was pregnant with me, she read a story titled "He sends a hand-kiss", by Austrian writer Marie von Ebner-ESchenbach.The main character of this story inspired her to name her son. Years later, I decided to translate this story into English to make it available to a wider audience.
Today it was revealed that Merkel agreed to prosecute a poet who publicly offended turkish President Erdogan, suggesting among other things that "he has fellatio with a thousand sheep before he goes to sleep". The German natives are enraged, fearing a limitation of the freedom of speech. But then, listening to Merkels announcement (in German) I realised she is actually smarter than most give her credit for. Let me explain.