onsdag 25 maj 2011

The Yes Men attempt to Fix The World

And they come very, very close to - in fact - fixing the entire planet. These guys are woven by a moral and comical fiber that coalesce in an epic piece of motion picture. If you only see the first few minutes of the movie, you will be hooked - like on crack, I tells ya.

The movie is funny, intelligent and it makes you go "... huh... I did not know that...". It has basically all the goods.

Below is the YouTube link for the entire 1,5 h movie. Watch it with friends and enemies and get inspired. Maybe you could fix the world? (I doubt it, though).

tisdag 24 maj 2011

Dostojevskij - Karamazov Brothers

Fjodor Dostojevskij's last work on the three Alexey, Dmitri and Ivan Karamazov brethren is a 950 page tale that dives into the dual-edge personality of a Russian family. But of course - a reader reads as she/he recognizes him/herself between the lines. Every page of this novel is like a table conversation with an excited Dostojevskij who has to finish his story for you, before you get bored - and believe me, you won't have time to get bored. Especially with the great illustrations of William Sharp, see the pic, however - I must say that Mr Sharp played an extraordinary prank on me. If you look at the back of the book at his illustrations (top right corner) - an illustrations actually spoils the near-ending of the book! I will not divulge the details, but I was spoiled about 200 pages too early, did not effect the over all experience though.

Some say it is his greatest work. I say, it is a formidable story that is easy to read and keeps going and going. What more could one want?

torsdag 19 maj 2011

Hair Cuts Zürich

Here at Salzmann Intercoiffure you can get probably the cheapest haircut in the city. I have been here twice already and have no plans of ever coming back. The facial expression of the dude on the pic says it all... The first time, I noticed that one side burn was longer than the other (I did not even have sideburns when I came in), the second time they didn't even cut the hair on the back of my neck. My impression? 1 hour and 25 bucks later, you'll still need a haircut.

I was just as surprised as the guy in the picture, when I walked out of Gidor on Badenerstrasse with a haircut that actually looked good. In Switzerland. Who'd have thunk it? And, it was 5 bucks off and went to my bonus card!

A nice little salon this is, Coiffure Creation, run by Schiess&Tröndle just outside of where I live between the Turkish kebab place and the Erotic sex shop on Badenerstrasse. It was however abundantly clear that it was predominantly for women, as they had no men in their catalogs. A big minus for the hairdresser trying to force me into a Swiss-fashion haircut. Swiss fashion does not exist, if you did not know this.

Noé, Enter the Void

Trainspotting 2009. In neon. Created by the maker of Irreversible that, of course, is watched as a feel-good family movie - this motion picture takes you through the life of a couple of Europeans in Japan in a ride you will tell your friends about. For the first scene to the end, this movie is beyond imagination and therefore possibly not in everyone's taste. As we know, movies are the easiest fiction media to criticize (a book is harder, it takes longer to read so that not any schmuck can have an opinion after 2 hours of no effort at all in front of a screen), I will go no further than to recommend it solely on mainstream basis.

Franz Kafka - "The Man Who Disappeared" or "America"

In my humblest opinion, this book is the greatest book ever written - by the greatest author that has ever lived; Franz Kafka. The brilliance of the book becomes clearer, when all other work of Kafka has been read, because this one is completely different from it. His previous work being abstract, this one is as concrete as a firm stone bridge. In an interview Kafka claims that this book became something of a Dickens novel. Anyone who has read Dickens would understand.

Sadly, this book was never finished and the outcomes of it will only live in our imagination. Forsaken by Franzie, the greatest tragedy of this story will always be its disappearance.

Thilo Sarrazin - "Deutschland schafft sich ab"

The book that is moving mountains in Europe. Thilo Sarrazin wrote this masterpiece (in English: Germany Abolishes Itself) that picks apart every nasty untrue and false fact about the fictive and unnatural multiculturalism that European politicians created in a post-war world. With a formidably keen eye, Thilo brings forth the arguments - and the opponents have no reply. Because all in this book is true. All of it, and you will know it. Do not let this book pass you by, for it captures the spirit of the age to come in Europe.

Like all powerful books of our time, it should be enjoyed, page by page, in its original language perhaps with some fine wine and Parmesan after a long day at work.

Cormac McCarthy - "The Road"

Cormac McCarthy wrote the book of the magnificent screen play No Country for Old Men, immortalized by the genius Coen Brethren, and goes on with The Road. This book engulfs the reader into a future not far away in an environment not far fetched, of the American apocalypse. We follow the father, the son and the open road and cannot turn away until the end is reached. Written in a style that is remarkably apt to modern literature, with a thickness of story and emotion that belongs among the preserved big shot writers of centuries long gone, McCarthy has created an immovable object in our book shelf. Read it once, read it twice.

JG Ballard - "Concrete Island"

The words "future modern classic" is often misused and so I will not use them, when describing the work of the bold Ballard. The main characters thought line - while in an impossible situation of being marooned without hope of help in a big city environment - pierce the barriers of your mind and bring you to the level of an infant in contemporary civilization. Each page is turned with a mix of reverence and contempt. A respectable piece of work, indeed.

Albert Camus - "The Stranger"

Written by the first African-born Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus in 1942, this novel captivates the apathetic reader and kindles the existentialist (involuntarily). Camus describes a hero of divine proportions, simply because he embodies such simple honesty that none of us could even begin to grasp or mimic. This book is in your face and will remain there. Read it and give it to your friend.

Yuri Slezkine: The Jewish Century

A brilliant book by Slezkine, a Berkeley history professor, that attempts explaining the dynamics of parallel societies, or Mercurians such as Gypsies, Jews and overseas Chinese, among their host nation people, or Apollonians. Slezkine, who is of Jewish ancestry and wrote the book in memory of a Jewish relative, explain firstly the history of the most successful Mercurians of our time - the Jews of the Russian Empire of the 20th century. But further, Slezkine draw open the blinds into the hearts and minds people of Western society - explaining how, in particular, Europeans became Mercurians and still are becoming Mercurian in their own home countries. With all the rootlessness, modernity and patricide that it implies. Read the book if you want to get to know yourself better.

See the interview with Slezkine by Harry Kreisler: