if you’re happy and you know it

happinessTM_WillFerguson

Happiness! Often pursued – rarely achieved. In an inverse mechanism that would make a fairy snuff it if you don’t believe in her, happiness seems to dissolve into sparkling dust and vanish like an old-fashioned vampyr when exposed to UV-rays the second you become too sure of it.

Maybe we are clinging on to something we have trademarked and labelled happiness, but truely, what we have created and given that name to is clinging on to life by the skin of its modern vampire teeth. Or maybe it is a new frankensteinesk creation. It seems to survive in the sun, looking youngish and kind of attractive, stitched together losely, but with an unhealthy pallor if you care to take a closer look.

The quote “If you’re happy and you know it you’re unusual” is not taken from the book but from one of these postcards that don’t attribute sayings to anyone or frequently or interchangeably attribute bonmots to one of the handful of witty forebears. Wilde, Churchill, and I am sure you can think of one or two more – usually male examples. Nietzsche, not exactly a poster boy for uninhibited joy,  considered pain and suffering to constitute part of the deal that is life. Rather than postponing the end of suffering to the postmortal stage he aspired to ‘rise above’  tribulations that make you suffer during your lifetime. The world would be a poorer place if more people took that view. Poorer from the point of view of carpenters and the furniture industry, for the lack of self help shelves in book stores, libraries and the homestead. With no books of the genre being printed or downloaded, and less of the international purchasing power being spent on such publications, courses and further related articles to lead you on the path to empowerment, enlightenment and merciless self-improvement, how much unhappier would humankind really be?

We don’t know. And you won’t after you have read Will Ferguson’s book, because what he describes are the repercussions of the first truly effective self help book being written – and it is wreaking havoc! The entire human civilization may be at stake, and WHO is Tupac?

 

 

 

yet another odd random fact about books – and inspiration

Not letting go of the book theme yet. another odd and random fact remembered about books: Once they have been brought  into this world, rather similar to us, they start decomposing.

They may not do this via a series of developmental physical stages from youth to adult to old age, eventually perishing. You might argue their life does follow an arc of suspense, a curve or life cycle, however, this refers to their internal life. Physically, on the other hand, even if printed on acid-free paper, from being hot off the printing press onwards, a book’s life seems to be going downhill all the way. Albeit sloping at a barely discernable rate by human standards. Bound books manage to survive many human generations, this is partly what makes them so intriguing.

Another reason may be the halucinogenic fungus that can grow on paper and is thus suspected by scientists to have helped inspire their colleagues, scholars and philosophers over the ages. It is unclear how much of the spores you would have to inhale and for how long  in order to feel any effect at all. Maybe someone will come up with the idea of producing homeopathic globuli and sell them as an antidote to writer’s block! Wish I had kept that business idea a secret, now.

And – believe it or not – there are booksniffers – there’s even two “schools”: one goes in for the smell of freshly printed publications, the other favours the good old, well definitely old and musty smell of decomposing pages.

No joy there in ebook land. Sniffing a kindle or similar technical devices won’t do much for anybody. Unless they start producing ebook readers that emit odours depending on what you are reading about. But that would be really too far out  for the mainstream – and probably as popular as smell-o-vision.

 

 

 

writing – again! Link to “the Inevitable”

seem to be accumulating chance snippets of information on the topic of writing – and books:

just now listened to the BBC broadcast “The Inevitable”   – although the following fact is but one tiny aspect of the programme, if you think you might listen to this for yourself, I provided you with the link which should be active for one week.

Apparently – and I not entirely sure why this fills me with a certain amount of glee – book sales of actual printed books featuring pages you can turn, tear out, give dog-ears to, endow with a personal dedication or infuriate subsequent readers by tearing out pages, book sales have gone up and the sale of ebooks is down for the first time.*

Writer and presenter of the programme Patrick McGuiness calls this ‘the Revenge of the Book’. This could make for a nice noir and gothic crime comic. Or comic crime. Or a comical crime comic.

(*the guardian ran an article on this in 2015, so this may be the original date of the radio programme, too. Alas, as the BBC for all its continuous improvements of its website has come to neglect vital programme information such as authors, actors or publishing dates, I could not at a glance establish how old this information may be).

Happy creating!

Writing is NOT so painful!  — World of Horror

Visit Amir’s Blog, which appears not so much a World of Horror but of literacy, inspiration and tips for writers and aspiring authors.

The blog is crisp looking yet playful, and from what I have seen full of content worthwhile contemplating and applying.

Reading these tips on how to become and be a writer, compilations of alternative and nuanced expressions for simple words that are being used far too often I notice there is a blog post on punctuation.

This triggers a memory from school days. Far from golden, maybe. But I have always enjoyed stories – reading them, making them up, writing them down. So, back in them school days prior to everything being turned into other people’s writings analysis, when you were allowed to make up your own stories – but were also marked on grammar and punctuation, which can be a horror in itself – I suddenly remember handing in an essay and on the very last page supplying the teacher with lines of full-stops, commas, exclamation points and question marks, asking her to strike off potentially missing punctuation as she read and proof-read.

There’s a cheeky streak appears when my mind is in creation mode. But the truely wonderful thing was that my teacher played back the ball. From my punctuation depository she had struck off 3 commas and had inserted them appropriately where they had been missing. Another formal mistake would have probably caused my essay to be marked down, but even this would hardly have dampened my spirits. I had asked for someone to come outside and play and had received an answer in the affirmative.

Made me glow with joy. And chuckle not a little.

Is life a cabaret, old chum? I don’t rightly know. But it could be much more of a friendly game with rules of mutual respect, appreciation of diversity and non-harmful cheekiness.

 

via Writing is NOT so painful!  — World of Horror

Little Vignettes of Horror

Sous_LovelinessSpent_240716 (608x800)
La belle d’hier

(Some sketches may in fact be older than the dates given and have just been touched up a little before my scanning and uploading them)

The young lady in the first image may end up holding a teacup or a candle stick in the end.

And all of them are patiently waiting to be taken into the realm of colour, contour and shades.

Children and Art – Bill Pullman Quote

<< Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. […] But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.>>

Bill Pullman (author)

 

Berlin muss grüner werden – for a greener Berlin

short synopsis beneath the image below

Berlin! Dickes B! Ob man noch einen Koffer in Berlin hat oder nicht, Berlin ist eine Reise wert. Keine Stadt ‘die niemals schläft’, sie haut sich nur kurz aufs Ohr, manchmal dreht sie sich auch noch mal auf die andere Seite – nur für ein paar Minuten – die gestreiften Pyjamahosen sind optional.

Berliner Luft taugte früher zum Gassenhauer und wurde in Tüten eingeschweißt als Souvenir verkauft. Berliner Herz und Schnauze sind sprichwörtlich. Einen Ruf hat Berlin zusätzlich zur Kodderschnauze: eine der grünsten Städe Deutschlands – sogar eine der grünsten Großstädte Europas zu sein. Zahlreiche Wälder, Parks und Kleingartenanlagen im Stadtbereich sorgen für eine Artenvielfalt auf kleinem Raum, die ‘auf dem Lande’ dank ausgeprägter Monokulturen teils vergeblich gesucht wird.

Der Berliner ist stolz auf seine Stadt – nicht auf alles was hier passiert, aber Berlin bleibt eben doch Berlin. Bunt und aufgeweckt, frech und kosmopolitisch, aber auch grün, als beruhigender Ausgleich zu Hektik und Großstadtrummel.

Doch wie grün ist Berlin wirklich?

bear-Berlin wird grüner

Disregarding urban myth Berlin turns out not to be Germany’s greenest city after all. According to a freshly published ranking of major cities, Berlin comes 63rd place out of a hundred. When taking only cities with + 500,000  inhabitants into account, Berlin comes 8th place out of 14. Somewhat disappointing. Something that ought to be improved upon. Berlin is famous for its diversity and biodiversity.

Berlin stays Berlin- but only if it keeps changing. For a viable future. For greener, for better!

Berlin bleibt Berlin – doch nur, wenn es sich weiter verändert. Zukunftstauglich. Zum Grüneren!

Die Berliner Morgenpost hat just eine Rangliste der grünsten Städte Deutschlands veröffentlicht. Dort rangiert Berlin auf weit abgeschlagenem Rang 63 von 100! Werden Städte ab 500.000 Einwohnern berücksichtigt, landet Berlin auf Platz 8 von 14 mit einer von Vegetation bedeckten Fläche von 59 %.

Die jahrelang, nee, jahrzehntelang gehegte Überzeugung, man lebe in einer der grünsten Großstädte…nun, plötzlich hat man das Gefühl, gehörig eins auf die Berliner Schnauze gekriegt zu haben.

Was tun?

Berlin muss grüner werden!

Kleingartenkolonien als Refugien der Biodiversität erhalten! Fassaden und Dächer begrünen! Nicht jede Baulücke der Entwicklung preisgeben! Berliner zum Begrünen im Kleinen auffordern!

Und da Gebote und Imperative eine positive Idee schlecht darstellen, sagen wir einfach:

BERLIN WIRD GRÜNER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leuchtabend

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Anstoß für den kleinen Cartoon war der Leuchtabend im Botanischen Garten. Die beiden gezeigten Teilnehmer haben offenbar unterschiedliche Auffassungen ihrer jeweiligen Funktionen…

Doch glücklicherweise werden ja wohl heute andere Lichtquellen als abdominale eingesetzt

:)

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as usual, no literal translation, the cartoon has a slightly different gist in German and English, anyways, hope you enjoy!

GSous_Cricket-Firefly-team effort_050716 (565x800)