Category Archives: Brexit

Boris The Clown video German

I found this mock video made by a German TV show. It’s a collection of Boris Johnson’s most clownish moments (e.g. Rugby tackling someone, smashing through a Brexit wall on TV, on a zip wire across the Thames).

The German description is:

Noch epischer, noch teurer und noch dramatischer als “The Crown”: Die Story des Brexits. In der Hauptrolle: Boris Johnson, der virtuos sein Land in den Abgrund reißt.”

This translates to:

More epic, more expensive and more dramatic than ‘The Crown’: The Brexit Story. Starring: Boris Johnson, who’s virtuously tearing his country into the abyss

I thought it was funny! Not just the fact that it was made by the Germans but also how accurately it represents the external global view! The problem with the Tories is they don’t realise that they come across as incompetent and untrustworthy to the rest of the world.

I’m all strapped in now and I think this is a good end to this Brexit diary, which actually I started almost exactly two years ago!

With a video of the foolish PM, fuer den man sich fremdschaemen muss.

Covid shopping and mask

Recently, I’ve been putting my Brexit stockpiling experience to good use. I have switched completely to online supermarket shopping as I haven’t left the house in 2 months. Two days ago, I spoke to a neighbour across the back fence, and it was good to know I could still hold a conversation. I had been worried that I would lose all my social skills – but not so! It helps that the sun has been shining.

Covid shopping delivery

Someone sent me a WhatsApp photo of them wearing a Coronavirus mask. We don’t have to wear them here yet but as I’m not going out until the end of the year (that’s the plan), I don’t have to worry about it.

Covid mask

I have been trying to switch off from the news for a bit, and today I finished a novel about a miner’s son growing up in Yorkshire, and becoming a teacher. It was long and solemn, but somehow fitting the current mood (in fact it reminded me a bit of Camus’ L’Etranger – the main character was somewhat inaccessible / seemed cold). It was a very good book.

I even have lost all interest in Brexit. It seems like everything is fucked. Someone said to me today the 20s (that is, the 2020s) would be a complete write-off, and I agree!

Italy is in a mess

Italy is in a mess right now. The coronavirus started there on 31 January and the total number of cases leading to death stand at 4,825 today, Saturday 21 March 2020. It is in fact the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus globally.

My (very infrequent) series of blog posts about European countries (it was supposed to be a Brexit diary) suddenly has been interrupted by the impact (smashing into the Earth like an asteroid) of the fucking COVID-19! Which has rendered reality unreal and forced us all into survival mode.

I wanted to get a quick overview of the raw data in relation to the coronavirus in Italy and found a couple of infographics which shed a light. Below are two useful ones that focus on the data and key facts.

Coronavirus in Italy – Infographic

coronavirus italy cases
Reference: JAMA. Published online March 17, 2020. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.4344

Growth of Italy coronavirus cases – Infographic
Infographic: COVID-19: Italy | Statista

Germany – the formative years

I grew up in a small village in Germany and we had no books in the house, other than a couple of Konsalik novels (that no one read) and a Family Health Book with pictures and descriptions of illnesses and diseases and what to do about them.

Where I went to school was quite a touristy region. It looked a little bit like this:

hmb

What is good about coming of age in Germany?

I think the wall coming down in 1989 imprinted on me that change is possible, and that chaos creates the conditions for acceleration. The 90s were good too, with a strong alternative scene (non-commercial punk and hardcore bands, squats, solidarity, marches against Neonazis, and so on), and a sense that things were going to get better for all (once the SPD took power in 1998). Germany’s role within Europe is schizophrenic. On the one hand, we are responsible for mass genocide (and were one of the first to use propaganda as a weapon), on the other, we now are a ‘good nation’, sat in the middle of Europe and (economically) one of its success stories.

I never thought much about the bigger picture economy and politics when I was younger. It was more general stuff, being oppressed ‘by the state’ and parents / authorities, marching against Nazis. Loving the world, even while angry about it and feeling raw on the inside.

The best thing about Germany was the rules. Breaking them (when they were too oppressive) and following them (where they made sense). Being taught how to make up my own mind, learning how to think. For free!

 

I used to think I was Polish

red nail polish blood
… or rather, that I had Polish Ancestry. You see, my grandfather was from East Prussia, and as a child I got that confused with Poland.

I thought having ‘Polish blood’ in my veins would somehow make me exotic / fiery.

But I didn’t / I wasn’t. Much later, I understood Poland’s contribution to the European project. I connected with Poland through its (sub) culture, and much enjoyed punk bands like Post Regiment (from Warsaw).

Below is from a review of their 1996 album Czarzly:

“Incredible Album by Obscure Polish Punk Band

…The primary vocalist is female and sharply enunciates her yelled vocals in Polish, occasionally peppering the songs with a little melody. There is a gruff male vocalist that does backups and generally takes a similar approach. The interplay between the two vocalists is really well done and makes this such an enjoyable record to listen to. Despite the speed and the fact that I don’t understand a word of Polish, the songs are quite catchy. …”

I loved it although I discovered Post Regiment quite late. It turns out their female vocalist Dominika Domczyk (AKA Nika) appeared on Polish (?) TV in 2015 (watch how the kids get more and more fired up as the song goes on).

Post Regiment’s Nika on TV (2015)

I much prefer your earlier work.

Post Regiment – Czarzly (1996)

Here are the lyrics to a song on Czarzly, Znów:

Przechodzisz obok kogoś
Przelicza to co ma
Ktoś wyrzyguje myśli
Zbyt bliskie ścieku dna
W powolnych tonąc kroplach
Dostrzegasz swoją twarz
Nie pragniesz czynić dobra
I nie chcesz czynić zła
A ból rozpiera cię wyrywa się
Chcesz wyć
Znów zniekształcony obraz
Znów pijesz żeby żyć
Dziś wlewasz w siebie wszystko
Za drzwiami został cel
Nie słyszysz nie rozumiesz
Co wokół dzieje się
Na wprost droga bez znaku
W zmierzch co unika dnia
Powoli się zanurzasz
Przeklinasz czas bez dna

Google translate to English – it sounds like it’s about drinking / alcohol / desperation / fun / being young!

 You are passing by someone
Converts what it has
Someone is rid of thoughts
Too close to the bottom drain
In slow sinking drops
You can see your face
You do not want to do good
And you do not want to do evil
And the pain bursts you out
You want to howl
A distorted picture again
You drink again to live
Today, you pour everything into yourself
Behind the door was the goal
You do not hear, you do not understand
What’s going on around
Straight ahead without a sign
At dusk, who avoids the day
You are slowly submerging
You curse bottomless time

My European tour as we approach Brexit has now visited Scandinavia, Norway, Lithuania and now Poland. The amusing thing of course is that Brexit hasn’t even happened yet (and some say, never will!). At least it means I can keep writing the occasional blog post and share what I remember of the countries that make up my nation.