Soap Box 4: Things I took issue with in September

I love October, it’s autumn, it’s getting dark, it’s colorful and everything is kind of creepy-good and tinged in pumpkins and horror movies. September is a sad month because it’s none of that, it only leads up to autumn but still squeezes out the last days of summer that are essentially depressing because they are far and few inbetween. But hey, September brought some nice topics to rant about, like old men and new technology, German politics (oh, and I will be bullshitting my way through that because I am not good with German politics), the feminist issue of the month and finally something that made this month annoying as hell as a person who didn’t watch that one certain series that apparently everyone else watched.

I am obviously talking about “Dexter”….just kidding. I watched that and regretted everything after season 4.

1. Old man shakes fist at Facebook – get off my W-Lan!

Recently, Günther Grass talked about the internet and social networks. Now, there is something that sadly happens when really old intellectuals that are somehow out of touch with modern technology talk about it: They have certain interesting points but they are too out of touch with modern technology to have anything to stand on.

It’s true.

This is not a Pepperidge-farm commercial

Now, if you’re already thinking that Twitter, Facebook and Co are the devil and/or the only means how the NSA picks up their data, then Grass is preaching to the choir, but I guess people like him want to address people like me. See, I use Facebook (gasp) and I know that my info is used for whatever Facebook wants to do with it (double-gasp!) but I don’t care because I share that info knowing that it might get more readers than the people that are supposed to read it (heck, the advertisement-partners of Facebook and the NSA probably appreciate my posts and funny links a lot more than my friends who hardly ever comment on them). But here’s the thing: I can’t listen to someone’s wise words about the internet, who doesn’t even know that books can be replaced by it – it’s called a Kindle.

It’s like some old male – who is not allowed to have sex – trying to tell me how condoms are wrong or how abortion is a sin…see? It’s ridiculous, why would I ever believe someone who doesn’t even know what they are talking about? At least I studied freaking Theology when I decided that I wanted to write a semi-religiously-themed book. If I want to make an argument – like, a proper one and not just one to troll someone into a fit of anger – then I inform myself. So, if Grass wants to tell me how horrible the internet is (by cleverly using sentences that are perfect for quotes) then he should have the decency to do his research! Otherwise, he’ll be just another old person that is angry at something new because he doesn’t understand it. And that’s sad.

Oh, and also: Just because you acknowledge that you might sound like a dinosaur doesn’t prove everyone wrong that you are a dinosaur when it comes to the internet. Patrick Stewart is 7 years younger than Grass and he is winning the internet in sparse yet delightful tweets and twiddles which proves that your age alone doesn’t make you incapable of getting the internet.

2. German politics – I just don’t get it

I like American politics because they are a great mixture of absolute absurdities and Jon Stewart. German politics seem kind of tame in contrast, for example, we had a big election coming up and no candidate sang “Imagine” to sell pizzas. No one listed three things and forgot the third thing. No one wore spray-tan to sympathize with the Latino demographics and no one wore sweater-vests to the max. It is boring in Germany. It is so boring, in fact, that newspapers have to create drama by asking a male politician of Asian heritage a bunch of questions that mostly deal with his ethnicity just to stir the pot a little. Now, that politician – Philipp Rösler – is a member of a political party that is not that popular in Germany but let’s forget their program right now and focus on the media.

So, his promotional team told the paper that they couldn’t print the interview because it was reyling too heavily on his Asian ethnicity instead of his political views. The paper got a little cheeky and only printed the questions without the answers. Now, the questions were quite horrible.

To be honest, personally, I wouldn’t have asked questions about someone’s ethnicity unless they wanted to talk about it, it seems a little weird even if – apparently – said ethnicity supposedly is the reason why voters might not want to vote the FDP. However, I get that the journalists wanted to press on this subject because as one of very few politicians with a, ahem, more diverse background, it might be interesting to see how they experience politics, whether their ethnicity seems to cause different/hostile/no reactions and whether it is more difficult, easier or the same for him. However, as a friend of mine pointed out – it should be his own decision to talk about it. If I recall correctly, Merkel hardly ever addressed her gender when talking about her goals as a chancelor, so why shouldn’t Rösler have the same right? Plus, most of the questions were worded in a way that made them sound a lot more aggressive than needed to be. So to add insult to injury, they not only touched upon a sensitive subject but also pretty much stomped over it.

Now, the problem that makes this a little bit of a cunandrom, though is, that Rösler had the same right to not answer the questions but did answer all the questions. He didn’t walk out, he didn’t ask to read the questions beforehand or simply said that he wouldn’t answer any question on his ethnicity. So, even though I side slightly more with Rösler here (which won’t happen that often) I have to admit that his PR-team messed this interview up big time.

3. GASP, she’s a feminist!

As most people, I hang out with dudes and dudettes from the same circles, so there are certain things that hardly ever come up in conversations because we pretty much share the same thoughts on them. Things like religion, political views and gender-issues. So color me surprised when I – for the first time since ages – had to explain why I would openly call myself a “feminist”. Because who knew that it is a scary word that implies raging she-demons clawing at the crown-jewels of righteous men. Well, something like that.

I get that the word has took on a bad connotation, the fact that “feminazi” actually does exist might be the first subtle clue that quite a few people are not aware what it actually means. But just as with “democracy”, that FOX News quite often treats like it’s the gateway to communism, it’s just a misconception of the definition and I refuse to just not call myself a “feminist” because people don’t know what they are talking about. It would be stupid to stand for everything that’s defined in Feminism but not call myself that because people might think I hate men and want to rule the world with my ovaries (because that is true but not because I am a feminist, ok?).

It’s also weird that I actually mentioned it casually in a conversation, explaining that my blog contains mostly music-related stuff but sometimes also some feminist pieces, so I wasn’t running around announcing it to everyone who cared (or didn’t care). BUT I was subsequently treated as if I had pretty much announced it which was weird, obviously, because I felt like I was suddenly turned into a lot more opinionated, extremist position than I actually had and it was weird to explain myself for that. Now, before it sounds as if I was bullied and cornered into crying, I wasn’t, it was a good and healthy conversation and no one had to cry, but still, the fact that I might have to learn a little monologue to explain feminism to the people so they don’t think I hate men…it is a little cray-cray. Bitches love men, after all.

Pictured: Me on a typical Friday night flirting up a storm

4. Fuck you, “Breaking Bad”!

The day may come when I finally have the time and patience to try out “Breaking Bad” AGAIN! I tried the first two episodes twice and the third and fourth a couple of weeks ago and guess what – I am not hooked. Now, usually, that’s not a problem with any given tv-show unless it’s “Breaking fucking Bad” because apparently it’s THE best series in the world and everyone who doesn’t watch or – worse – watches and doesn’t like it is a sad broken soul. Shall I break your world a little apart? There is no “best” series in the world. I might not have seen all 20 seasons of Heisenberg and Co but I think it’s safe to say that more than 60 years of television might have cooked up (get it? Because you cook meth) some other brilliant series that would deserve the title.

Oh, and if one more person tells me that I don’t have to like the genre (because I don’t, I find drug-related-series unappealing) because “Breaking Bad” is so much more…yes, yes it is as pretty much every other good series. “Mad Men” is not just about ad-men, “Game of Thrones” is not just some fantasy-series and “Six Feet Under” wasn’t just about a funeral parlor. That’s the point of a good series, that it takes a certain premise and then uses stories and characters that we can connect to because that’s why you usually make something – to connect with people. However, because tons of series do this magical thing that “Breaking Bad” didn’t invent, I can still say: “Hey, I watched four episodes of this show, it didn’t interest me enough to continue it and I will never feel like I am missing something just because I haven’t watched it through.” I might even watch it some day but this is not the day and you can’t make me, obnoxious “Breaking Bad”-fans who are even worse than Bronies. Tell you what, just in spite I will watch all the other “best series of the entire world” before I approach “Breaking Bad” and boy, that’s a ton of series (“Oz”, “The Wire”, “The Sopranos”, “Twin Peaks”…the list goes on).

Mic drop, I am out!

6 thoughts on “Soap Box 4: Things I took issue with in September

    1. As entertaining as American politics are…I have the faint idea that a trade wouldn’t be the best for Germany, especially now that we would basically trade for empty hallways, abandoned offices and tumbleweeds.

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      1. I probably need not mention that this is exactly what I’d love to trade German politics for.
        But I do it anyway.
        Because that’s the kind of guy I am.

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  1. 1. It’s not limited to old men. This attitude extends to young women, as well.
    Antonia Baum is, apparently, three years younger than I am. I don’t know what to think about that, but I know I don’t want to.
    4. I found this quite interesting. Mainly because I find anything interesting that reinforces my disgust for Breaking Bad, but it also has some good points.

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    1. Oh dear, the Baum-article is indeed terrifying and – a common trend in quite a few sections of newspapers lately – badly written at that. But hey, she obviously knows what she is talking about as pretty much 80% of the text concern the looks of the glasses instead of their technological possibilities.
      Oh, and the “Breaking Bad”-essay is indeed interesting and concerning.

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