The missing post

I know this might be a little bit of a clash with the posts before that one. After all this world-changing (at least the will to do so) and the thinking about what happens to this world during the time we walk this planet, I wanted to go back with this post. Go back a few weeks (already) to this weekend at the end of July in Norway.

It was the celebration of our friend’s most important day and it was the time when we all were together again. The moment, I left the bus and met our welcoming committee, I felt at home. The days in Norway were days out of the ordinary as they were special. Maybe we don’t always realise this when we live the day, but afterwards you certainly know that this particular day was special.

When we returned from Norway, the following days were strange and somehow felt lifeless. There was a certain energy that I felt in me during our stay in Norway and it seemed to have gone right when we were back. Of course, I knew what had changed and what caused the effect: My friends were once again gone. For some reason, when we are together, everything seems to fall into place, there is this energy flowing, or surrounding me. The thoughts and ideas have no real boundaries any more and there is so much going on. One idea leads to another, one stupid thought ends up as a brilliant idea, there are pranks that become the basis for serious discussions and so much more. Somehow I feel when we are together, that this is always a creative environment.

When I was back, I realised how special our friendship truly is. Because I am very sure, that you only meet your real friends, this small group of people, once in your life. And that I already found my best friends. I found them in Liverpool. The Brookfield Lodge, Sefton Park, the Sennheiser Studio Theatre, PMA, FRP, Hope Street Building, Half/Half, Kathy, Joe, Neil, the fuchin’ bus driver, MPP and all of that connected us then. And this connection has been welded together over three years. And this connection cannot break. Ever.

It is good to know, that you guys are there.

I refuse to be your enemy.

You did great damage to our country, you took 77 innocent lives for your so called cause. You have ruined families, lives and you took our very innocence away. You proved only that terror has no religion and no race, you tried to bring us down and make us afraid.

You failed. You made us stronger, you united us in a way no one thought possible. You made hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets. Not in anger, not in despair and not for a want of revenge. But in love, in hope and in belief. You have strengthened our democracy, our love for each other and our society and nation. We will answer terror with more openess, more democracy and more peace. You have only strengthened what you sought to destroy. The 77 people who died because of you, they did not die in vain, they died because they believed in a better world – a belief we will honor to the very last.

And you don’t get it, we refuse to be your enemy.
We will not enact vengeance, but our law will try you, find you guilty and convict you. You will serve your sentence, and we will forget you. We will never forget what you did or the day, but you, you will be forgotten, left to the darkest parts of history, the world will forget your name and your cause, and because of that, you have already lost.

Love and peace will go on. Stronger than ever. The world will go on, a better place.
We’re winning, yes, there may be riots in London, poverty and hunger in Etiopia and war in Iraq, but we will make it, we will make the world a better place.

The world will go on, a better place.

and tonigHt, triPoli falls.

Yes… but

You see, actually I wanted to write about something completely different today. Something that I have been thinking about lately – especially since the time we all were together in Norway for Hans and Signhild’s wedding. But I shall write about it next time. It simply isn’t the right answer for what Eyal wrote.

The past days of riots in London and also Liverpool started quite a few discussions amongst colleagues and friends about why this is happening in England. People that know me will know, that I might not always paint the brightest picture of the country. That is simply what happens when you live somewhere foreign for a longer period of time than just for holidays: You make your own picture of the place. You gain an insight into how the system works. And that ultimately leads to a decision about whether you like the place or not. So my opinion is that there is a lot of positive things, especially when it comes to people, in England. But the system in general failed long ago and it seems that nobody ever realized the days of the Empire are over.

But now: the generation of people that get left behind. This is our generation ladies and gentlemen. And everyone following up on us! When did that happen? And why?

It was very late a few years ago even, when I did my apprenticeship in Munich. I came home after one of those usual jobs. Very late, very tired but couldn’t sleep right away (as always after work late at night). I switched on the TV and there was a documentary on about unemployed young people. All the kids there quit school. No degree, not even finished school. My parents – as Eyal mentioned – would not have allowed for that to happen. (We think – coming back to that point). So there is this guy who get’s a chance to get work at a local place that does removals and furniture transportation. Obviously this is physically heavy work and you don’t have to be very bright to do it. Therefore the pay is not great – but it is payed work. This guy gets offered to work there and if he doesn’t do too bad, may become a full time position. But for now, he only has to come with them for half a day, 6 hours in total.
When he comes back, he says this work would be absolutely stupid, everyone could do it, it would be too hard and would not pay enough. And that he would not go there again. Asked what he would expect from a job, he says that is has to pay well. He wishes to have a house, garden, car, pool and so on. He would need about 3000 Euros a month to even feel he has a quality life.
So I sat there, after 16 hours of work, that payed me around 500 Euros a month and thought – what the fuck?
(I had to check again, but that really was the salary… ūüėČ )

Another story: In the gymnastics class I used to coach, there was a really talented you boy. When he came to our club, it became quite clear after no time, that we were not the right place for him. He was too talented not to make something out of that talent. We wanted to send him to the Olympics team that trains in Augsburg. And they wanted to work with him – but he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay. So he did. He was about 9 years or so (cannot remember) and his parents used to bring him to training as they lived several towns away. They cared for him, where always there, went with us to competitions and events and so further. I watched him grow up and he was a nice guy and remained the best one of the group.
During my time in Liverpool I was home for the summer and on a train from Augsburg back home. A guy that somehow looks familiar comes in the train and passes me. He was a punk, with all the usual accessories, like the spiky collar, run down clothes, coloured hair – the whole enchilada. Somewhere in my head, this little man was saying: You know this guy. But I could not work out where from.
A few days later I meet a friend from my time at the gymnastics club. She is a social worker now and told me the story that this guy I once knew has basically abandoned his family. No contact what so every. Lives on the street and became a punk. So what happened with this guy? He was the one on the train. At some point in our lives, our paths crossed and there was a chance to possibly change his life. To divert it into a different direction. His parents did everything they thought was good for him. They cared and they were strict. And now?

You see, the thing with the blaming is really difficult. I agree with Eyal, completely. The parents are to blame. But, it isn’t that easy. A lot of the kids of the lost generation have really young parents. Especially in England there is a trend to become a Mom at a very young age. To gain some perspective in life again. As everything else is useless. No job, no money, no perspective. Why not have a baby. Thinking does not always go much further as the next few weeks. And the fact that having a child means lifetime commitment is not the first thought that comes to mind.
So now, kids having kids is a problem. Kids with no perspective in life, no money, no job, no education having kids themselves… who do you blame now? When does the chain start? Where in the line is the one person that we could blame? The one that had a proper job, was clever, raised a family and made it through? There must be someone to blame..?

I know this is a very provocative line of argumentation. But it is what I spotted a while ago. And since then, I keep wondering all the time how to solve that riddle.

To be fair, you know how my thinking is. I might be too idealistic and have a very pragmatic view on things. But I do honestly ask the question: How do we want to go on as a society? We cut down jobs in constant strive for more money, the better paid job. We cut down the money for anything that is not related to economy and its constant growth. Did anybody ever think about, that constant growth is something unnatural? And that within our physical restrains infinite growth will never happen – no matter what we are looking at. But we built our society on the basis of constant economic growth… That is odd.
So, what do we do with all the kids that have no perspective in their lives? Do we go to them and tell them: Learn something, you will find a job and be happy? Well, there won’t be any job. We all know how hard it can be to find A job. But everyone strives for THE job, the one that makes you happy, pays well and has short working hours…

I honestly am furious about rioters like the one we have seen in England lately. There is no excuse for this.
But there is the unsolved question of whom to blame. I don’t know. But I feel it is time that people – young people in particular start to become more present in the minds of the people that do leave them behind. We have the right to speak freely what we think. We can demonstrate for the good cause. So, why not organise some useful things with a Blackberry and march for a good thing. To really change something…?

It is only us, human beings, that are able to change the way our world goes. At the moment, we are heading for the ice-berg, straight ahead and with full speed.

Maybe we should go and slow down a bit.

an embarrassing truth

Lately, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, we’ve been having some troubles in England.

I have¬†received¬†many phonecalls and messages from my international friends (I kind of love saying that) asking if we’re alright, if we’ve been affected by the ‘hooligans’ rioting.

First I should say that I am fine and that London is an incredibly large city, so large that until you’ve spent an entire day trying to walk from Shepherd’s Bush to Islington because you forgot your oyster card in your other trousers will you realise just how large this city is.

One week ago on Thursday the 4th of August a 29 year old Father of 4 Mark Duggan was shot by police in Tottenham North East London, shortly following this was a peaceful protest outside the local police station in Tottenham consisting of the victims friends family and community members. Within a few hours, after the peaceful individuals had left and the not so peaceful ones arrived, the protest became a riot, where people broke through the police ranks and stormed the police station.

This is where the trouble seemed to have begun, and although this was the catalyst that started the trouble of the past week, it is not the reason behind it.

We have had in the Capital alone at least 4 nights of major rioting, in over 50 separate locations, where (the latest count) almost 900 people have been arrested, this is a small percentage of the people involved and this is only talking about London, the riots peaked in London three nights ago on Monday, but spread out to the rest of the country following that with rioting groups in Oxford, Reading, Gloucester, Southend, Gillingham, Coventry, Birmingham, Leicester, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool.

I cannot talk about other cities as I have only experienced what is happening in London, but the rioters ran free through the streets with little or no resistance from the police on the first few nights, while we have had two police chiefs resigning over the past few months, both our Prime Minister, Mayor of London and half of the cabinet of Ministers were away on holiday. In short we were caught with our trousers down.

The big question that everyone has been asking over this week is, what do we do about it?

How do we go about and apprehend all of these people, how do we teach them that they cannot just burn down buildings and cars, steal from shops, run people over or beat them up. Yes this is an important question, but the main question should be, why did they not already know this?

Why have we got a generation of children who do not want to work, do not want to improve the world, are happy to destroy their own community at night for an adrenaline high only to find that they are the ones who have to live in it the following morning.

The country has illustrated the reason why they do these things, we described them as ‘human waste’ a term which describes people who were born because their parents needed to have children in order to claim more on living benefits, that they are children who have nothing to contribute to society, who are uneducated, do not have work, nor want any they are the unwanted generation.

This has shown me the problem, their parents? yes, but not just them.

When I was younger, not even much younger if I wasn’t home at night my parents wanted to know why, if my reason wasn’t good enough then I wasn’t allowed out again. That’s not special treatment, that’s just good parenting. Where are the parents of all of the children out on the streets? Why are they not on the streets hauling them back home? What do they ask their children when they finally do get home?

The parents are as much to blame as the children committing these crimes for not instilling morals in their children.

Who else is to blame? Well, we are, society in general, for allowing England to be come a society about rights and not about responsibilities. English people feel like they are owed something, as if by the virtue of their existence they should get homes, food, transportation, welfare, but not have any responsibility to have to repay this back to the community.

Yes it is good to help those who are in need, yes everyone should have a home, but everyone should work for it, whether you’re working to buy one, or working to pay the government back for buying one for you.

The Laws of theft in this country are laughable, or should I say, the convictions of theft.

We have members of parliament claiming all sorts of things as expenses, essentially stealing money from the public sector, and getting off with a slap on the wrist.

Parents are told they cannot be strict on their children (and I’m not talking about beating kids).¬†Police aren’t allowed to even take masks off of people rioting so they can identify them, and then all in all when they are finally sent to court they are let off with a provisional warning.

This is parenting 101, everyone knows that if you tell a child not to eat that ice cream or you’ll lock him in his room. You HAVE to lock him in his room when he does it, otherwise all that child will learn is that he can do whatever he wants and that there will be no consequences.

So the question we are asking of the young people doing the rioting is; Why? And the answer they give us is; Why not?

Why Not, smash up shops for televisions, our parents won’t punish us, we wont get sent to prison and we’ll get a new T.V.

The problem isn’t the riots, the problem is society, English people complain that there are Eastern European workers coming to England and stealing our work, well of course they are, because all we have to offer is a generation of people who want to get paid but don’t want to do any work.

England was caught with it’s trousers down, and in the midst of trying to pull them back up we have discovered that it’s not our belt, but our legs that are broken.

This is sad…

 

 

This all reminds me of the famous scene in the 70’s movie, ‘Network’ where the Character Howard Beale, a news reader in the US shouts on live television, “I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m¬†not going to take it anymore…”

The link to youtube and Quote are below.

 

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won’t say anything.” Well I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being. God Dammit, my life has value.” So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Things have got to change my friends. You’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

 

 

 

Im mad as HEll, and I‘m not going to take it anymore.