art. what it is and what it is not.

The Kukuks Nest, my humble abode for the last two months, is also the home (and source of income) of the writer, actress and painter Bambi Beltran. Being surrounded by art and it´s beauty is something I´ve experienced throughout my life, growing up in a house filled with the innumerable sculptures of my father. The pictures, statues, remind me of my childhood.

I´ve come here to understand life - I´ve followed the example of my father in looking for the unconventional, gathering impressions that then need to be condensed and remixed into works of art in order to transmit their essence.

I also happen to enjoy good stories, and Bambi´s telling of the Dream of Euleuteria Kirschbaum is one of the best I´ve read in a while. Told from the naive perspective of a Philippina of humble origins, it describes her plight as she journeys to Germany in hope of a better future. Her fears and hopes crumble when she comes to realize her suitors true nature: An alcoholic jobless overweight that lives with his mother.

What makes this story so touching is its reflection of the truth. It´s a story that happens all the time, again and again, not only here in the Philippines.


Copulating Monks in the Philippines

Unfortunately I couldn´t be there, I couldn´t film that, truly, it might have been worth becoming a monk just to get those images:

The friendly holy guys at the shrine of the holy mary of virginity and whatnot actually spent most of their time buggering each other, in a wide variety of ways. They even held a drag beauty queen contest in the church! Or so the local papers report - in an image that plays on our perception of the virtual, recalling a similar plot imagined by an italian writer, a lone monk was cast out of the order (reportedly for leaving without notice) and then decided to blow a whistle instead of dicks.

The quotes given in the newspaper have such wonderful ingredients as "Other monks pray all night, we used to count our money". The shrine makes a ludicrous amount of cash every day from the devout pilgrims that believe in the wish-fulfilling properties of the holy.

And, as is customary in the holy mother church, the superiors reprimanded the banished ex-monk for not using the appropriate channels of hierarchy - And of course for tainting the good reputation of the shrine. I´m sorry if I´m too obvious here, but this needs to be said: How hypocrite can you get?

Perhaps you´re aware of the fact that in the middle ages, many convents were considered "bastions of sin", where those who swore to be celibate fucked everything moving. Keep your sons and daughters away from the convents, people! They knew it a thousand years ago, but somewhere in the middle a great number of people apparently forgot it. (See K. Deschner for further reading on that).

I would love to interpret the monks happy life on the money of others as some kind of emancipatory act - but its too hard to bullshit stuff like that. Their religion preaches commandments that cannot be completely fulfilled by anyone, anywhere, and therefore creates a constant torrent of self-loathing (because of the weakness in the sight of the divine), and the sadomasochist stockholm syndrome teaching of the all-forgiving and all-loving cajoles the faithful into also presenting the other ass cheek.

so far, so nice, so there


prose on food, language and alcoholics. Also, Nietsch.

Siopao. A white bun filled with stuff no one dares to question, and occasionally a bit of egg. One of the tasty snacks the pinoy cuisine offers on the street, with other varieties including delicious Buto (or Boto), a wonderful rice mixed with coconut milk, many different kinds of small fish (mostly dried), and a complete and utter lack of ortography.

Yes, even in Cebuano, the language of the island I´m on, as the educational authorities not only do not teach that language, they also ban its use, fining kids one peso for each word uttered in their mother tongue. Most people are not sure about their own grammar and vocabulary, and lots of words that were once spanish are now borrowed from the American. Actually, the argot commonly spoken is nearly intelligible to a decent speaker of English and guesser of meanings as myself.

It´s truly a quite striking fact that so many expats here are alcoholics. I´m guessing it´s not just the cheap beer - they genuinely seem to drown their every action in alcohol, in order to forget about the reality they should be confronting themselves with. No, even more, the reality they see and the actions they perceive would be necessary to change this produce a profound escapism, a flight into cheap liquid oblivion, anything but risk their (oblivious, comforting) lives (as everyone who tries to truly change the world does) doing what they see must be done. So much for the reason, a cure is to be found in self-awareness and the realisation of the necessity for doing something, anything, to give life on this planet a reason (a true one, not the lies of those preaching the doctrines of deities that are long dead, have never been alive anywhere except in the heads of their followers).

Thanks to the unending glory of the FSM at this point for showing me the one, true piraty way and giving me the option to lampoon religions without having to throw blood on curtains like our old actionist Nietsch (not to be confused with the german philosopher of a similar name).

Indeed, I strongly assume that that guy´s actually just attempting parody - whether he knows it or not doesn´t matter that much.

now, mens insana in corpore somewhat sano, I´m off to training (late as always)
the d.


Paradise lost, the videos we need

So, with confusion in my head and a smile on my lips, here I sit again, 45 minutes away from what many would define as paradise. So did a certain german world traveller, who, after 10 years on the road and the planes and the ships, settled down on Olango Island. He also voluntarily died there.

His vinyl collection includes Wolfgang Ambros ("irgendwaunn bleib i daun durt") and Ludwig Hirsch, Die Schmetterlinge and other stuff from that period. Strangely enough also two plates with "Fideler Volksmusik" (Austrian/Bavarian marching bands playing marches). There´s something about that combination that makes sense, but too much of it doesn´t.

Hundreds of books line the walls where the guy known as Raimund spent the latter part of his life, Time Life collections, Brehms Tierleben (ironically, eaten by ants), a DDR tourist guide from 1990 (they included the information that, as the wall had just fallen, all the information regarding entrance to the DDR was no longer valid, open borders and all).

All this in the context of a yacht shipyard, which produced three yachts, of which two and a half were sold, and two still sit in that shed by the mangroves. Ants, bees, hornets, crabs, termites, all incessantly (and successfully) try to invade the human dwellings, and again I asked myself: Why try to preserve nature when nature will try to eat you with guarantee?

The final thought on that place on the island that was one mans dream, a dream I once shared as a boy: No more. Isolation in that sense is not at all what I want to do with my life, not even eventually when retiring. And Europe is the country where I belong, where I can do stuff that is actually useful to some extent.

To videos and their content:
What we don´t need are more images that tell you how lucky you are to be at the top of the food chain. We don´t need more videos of the fishermen, their ramshackle houses, and the mansions of the landowners right next to them, we all know these images, we know them by heart. We don´t need more pictures of children in torn and dirty clothes begging for money on the street: We know all that, we know.

The elites here in the RP, that see these images every day, don´t care a bit more for their country because of them (A politician here in Cebu had a great idea for alieviating poverty: He actually put up christmas lights in the slums, so the people don´t feel so poor). And the people in Europe are powerless to change anything, clueless about the sort of change they could effect, and are simply paralised in their ikea chairs, without any possibility for action.

But there are possibilities, my friends, there will always be. Escape to paradise is simply not one of them, confrontation with reality is the only prerequisite for all the others.


Dengue, Fassbinder and Coffee


These damn little buggers bite anyone, everything, all the time, and transmit dengue. Fortunately, I got a really nice and well-mannered strain, that apparently doesn´t do all that much harm besides greatly raising the seriousness of the second infection.

The days spent in my small room at Kukuk´s nest where - interesting, a natural psychedelic experience, so to say, with feverish vision finding fantastic shapes and forms in the water-stains on the ceiling, contemplating the utter majesty of common cockroaches (superiour beings, the next big shot for civilisation after we´re gone, oldie, moldy and goldie-ish). And I also had the complete works of Rainer Werner Fassbinder to assist my recuperation - that wasn´t perhaps the best idea.

But yes, a state of altered mind is conductive for the understanding of RWF (or at least adds to the experience), he might have been thinking of Dengue in some of his films, especially the utterly absurd "Satansbraten".

Now, I´m not sure if I can, or should, write more about RWF here - I´m basically just at the beginning of that sojourn into old german cinema - But I think that lunatic would enjoy people without a clue writing about his movies, far more than any learned discussion about the metaphorical content of the same. That stuff he created is not entertainment, it was rather something rarely seen in our times, cinema that tries to scramble your brain and produce thoughts, rather than just soothing wake-sleep-dreams and pacifiers.

After a night of non-stop RWF, walking down the street seems like an experience no one has ever tried before, and the normality of life is an image of the underlying madness, with sugar on top.

Coffee helps to overcome the post-dengue lethargy, so choose a chain at random (the coffee bean, in my variation) and spend time here, guzzling the beverage that´s so rarely found outside of the shopping centers. Damn you, Nescafé!

adios, read you soon,
the d.