Interview with myself

I recently stumbled across a series of interviews by The Guardian, and I got totally lost in reading those interviews for hours. Absolutely fascinating.

Then the idea came up in me to collect these questions and answer them myself, an interview with myself, so to speak. I have done something like this before, but only answers, without the associated questions.

Here is the result:

When were you happiest?

When I was 15 years old and met my great love. Every time we met, looking into her face was like the most beautiful sunrise.

I’m Capricorn, very determined when it comes to achieving my goals. I can only give up when something is not important enough to me, otherwise that’s not an option. That’s why we are together today, against all odds, and there were lots of very hard ones.

Life has done a lot of scars to both of us, but when I see her face, the sun is still rising. Every day.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m more afraid of life than of death. This fact itself sometimes scares the people around me who I care about. I myself am hardly afraid of anything, except for the brutality, ruthlessness and lovelessness that people are capable of.

What is your earliest memory?

There are very diffuse, weird images inside of me, of which I don’t know exactly whether they are reality or fantasy.

What is your most treasured possession?

Objects mean nothing to me, but I love my Yamaha HS 8 studio monitors. They make music sound the way it’s been recorded.

Who would you play in the film of your life?

Maybe the young Gérard Depardieu. I once read that he has become an idiot who drinks himself to death, perhaps because he cannot cope with the loss of his son. He said something about his son’s death that touched me deeply: “My little Guillaume was too brilliant and fragile for this world.”

I find this statement very loving.

What is your favorite word?

Flower.

What do you owe your parents?

Nothing but misery.

What does love feel like?

Frightening.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A rock star, an architect or an archaeologist.

What is your favourite smell?

Fresh-baked bread.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Wine.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Fuck.”

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Ignorance.

Which book changed your life?

“Fate as an Opportunity” by Thorwald Dethlefsen. I was 17, absolutely clueless, and this book gave me a chance to develop a world view, even if it was a rather depressive one.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?

“Without my money you won’t get anywhere.” My father said that shortly before his death. That was just one of many injuries, but it was the most disgusting.

What was the best kiss of your life?

Wilma’s first kiss when she was a little puppy. It went straight to the heart, the purest form of love.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

My family.

Is it better to give or to receive?

Both. But the order is important: always give first.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

The orange piece of shit that other pieces of shit put on a throne that makes him the most dangerous piece of shit in the world.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

The year 17 A.C., Jerusalem.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

As great as the temptation is, and believe me, it is very big: nothing. Everything is as it should be. I think one of the most important things to learn in life is acceptance. Precisely because it is also the most difficult.

Where would you most like to be right now?

I have an imaginary place in my head that I’ve been carrying with me all my life. It is a plot of land on a plateau, high above the adjacent sea. In the background – or foreground, depending on the perspective – are beautiful mountains with snow-capped peaks. There is a Roman-style house on the property with an atrium. My retirement home. I would like to get this done before I depart from this life.

Tell a joke.

If a man comes around the corner, the bus is gone. If a bus comes around the corner, the man is gone. If they both come around the corner, the corner is gone.

Tell a secret.

If I tell a secret, it’s no longer one.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

Yes. I didn’t want to hurt or was a coward. Or both.

How often do you have sex?

I’m not counting something like that. But it feels just right.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That I conquered fear.

Which living person do you most admire?

There is not one person I admire the most. I admire every person who manages to do what is right and does not primarily think of himself first.

But I have musical role models. I think the one I admire the most is Mark Knopfler. His ability to write and play music is incredible.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

Drums. Drummers have the most expensive passion among all musicians. A cymbal stand costs as much as a guitar. Of course, depending on the model, but you get a decent guitar for a decent cymbal stand.

What would your superpower be?

I already have a superpower. I can create music.

What makes you unhappy?

The incredible amount of bad music that is commercially successful.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

See answer #1.

How do you relax?

With wine and good music.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

As a young man, I thought that was important. Today that tends to zero. In this respect, I’m no longer interested in my external imperfections.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Mark Knopfler, Mike Oldfield, Gavin Harrison, Simon Phillips and my parents in one room. The latter should only listen to what the others have to say. Maybe then my parents would finally understand why I have to make music.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

I almost drowned in the open sea. I was saved unexpectedly at the last moment.

What is your most unappealing habit?

Honestly, I don’t know. Others can certainly say that better.

What is the top of your bucket list?

I really want to find the time and silence to finish my album.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

To everyone who needs an apology from me to deal with injuries I inflicted on him or her.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

The abolition of money. Mankind doesn’t need money. The planet offers all resources humans need. We have a distribution issue called greed.

What keeps you awake at night?

The future that people of my generation will leave behind for the next generation.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

This song has been with me all my life. A lullaby for adults. And since I then go to sleep, that fits very well. It may also comfort the participants at my funeral. I don’t know any other song that creates such warmth and peace in me as this one.

How would you like to be remembered?

It is not important to be remembered, only what you do in life should be. As a person I’m as insignificant as anyone else.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Democracy.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Immediately after birth, all sorts of things are expected from you. They break your wings as quickly as possible before you even start flying.

Aunt Berta’s wet kisses on your still innocent child’s face only delight Aunt Berta. Uncle Alfred has a secret boner when you reluctantly sit on his lap. You endure it because there is a little pocket money or small gifts at the end of the evening, because that way you have already been conditioned.

A little later, you are expected to be compliant, shut up and consume. Almost everyone wants you to become someone you are not.

All my own experiences? Yes. 100%.

The lesson I have drawn from this is: don’t fulfill expectations, find your way back to yourself as quickly as possible, heal, become a natural being and do meaningful things.

Es wäre schön, wenn das jeder lesen würde | It would be nice if everyone read that

(English version below this German one)

Wir haben kürzlich Besuch gehabt, ein Pärchen, sie schon lange bekannt, er ihr neuer Partner. Normalerweise halte ich mich seit einigen Jahren, aus Erfahrung, an den Grundsatz, mit Menschen nicht über Politik oder Religion zu reden. Nun ja… es ist dann aber doch passiert. Ich habe nicht damit angefangen, aber irgendwie war ich plötzlich mitten drin.

Die deutsche AfD ist für mich 1:1 vergleichbar mit der amerikanischen Alt-Right Bewegung (und die ver-Trumpten Republikaner), und vielen anderen rechten Bewegungen auf der Welt. Das ist ein trauriger Trend, den man zur Kenntnis nehmen, jedoch nicht hinnehmen muss.

Wie vermutlich viele Menschen in meinem “Dunstkreis”, die sich auch links/grün/progressiv im politischen Spektrum sehen, ging ich bisher davon aus, man könne jeden halbwegs intelligenten Menschen mit klaren Fakten, wenn unbestreitbar präsentiert, überzeugen.

Was habe ich mir da die Hände auf der Herdplatte verbrannt (und es eigentlich vorher bereits besser gewusst). 😞 Was sagst du jemandem, der klare Beweise ablehnt und immer noch an Verschwörungstheorien glaubt? Richtig, das geht nicht gut. Ich denke, wir können uns darauf einigen, dass wir eine solche Person für einen Idioten halten. Und nein, ich habe ihm das (so) nicht gesagt.

Ich mache es kurz: aus einem gemütlichen Abend wurde ein Desaster, weil ich den Bullshit ab einem gewissen Punkt nicht mehr ertragen konnte. Ich kann eine Menge Bullshit gelassen ertragen, aber nicht mehr, wenn es Menschen betrifft, die ich kenne und die unter diesem Unsinn zu leiden haben. Das ist dann zuviel. Mir ist eine Sicherung durchgebrannt.

Ich habe danach tagelang, und auch heute noch, darüber nachgedacht, wie man jemanden abholt, der sich verirrt hat. An welcher Abzweigung hat er den Weg verloren, und wieso? Wieso kann so ein Mensch klare Fakten nicht annehmen und weiter irgendwelchen Unsinn glauben und verbreiten? Ich weigere mich, anzunehmen, dass es sich hier um “schlechte Menschen” handelt — jedenfalls nicht schlechter, als der allgemeine Durchschnitt — die plötzlich rechts/fremdenfeindlich geworden sind.

Ich habe bis jetzt keine ultimative Antwort, nur eine Vermutung: einfache Antworten sind einfach. Naheliegend. Bequem. Menschen sind bequem. Menschen fühlen sich zu Pappfiguren wie Trump hingezogen, weil er einfache Antworten präsentiert, egal wie falsch sie sind.

Dazu erinnere ich mich daran:

“Die Verschwörungstheorie ist die ultimative Zuflucht für Machtlose. Wenn Sie Ihr eigenes Leben nicht kontrollieren können, muss es eine große Kraft sein, die die Welt kontrolliert” — Roger Cohen, New York Times

Ich würde mich — wirklich (!) — sehr freuen, wenn jemand dazu mehr sagen könnte. Hier in den Kommentaren. Ich bitte euch darum. Was denkt ihr dazu? Falls das so ist, wo liege ich grundlegend falsch? Was mache ich falsch?

Ich habe diese Geschichte und meine Gedanken hier extrem verkürzt dargestellt. Bitte bedenkt das bei eurer Antwort.

Hier eine aktuelle Meldung von CNN, die ich mal übersetzt habe, allerdings nur die Kernsätze, die ich für fundamental halte:

Richter bei der Verurteilung des Helfers der Trump-Kampagne: “Wenn die Menschen die Fakten nicht kennen, funktioniert die Demokratie nicht”

Zitate von Bundesrichterin Amy Berman Jackson:

“Das sind Fakten. Das sind keine angeblichen Fakten, das sind keine alternativen Fakten oder eine Geschichte, die von den Medien erfunden wurde.”

 

“Dieses bewusste Bestreben, die Fakten zu verschleiern, diese Missachtung der Wahrheit untergräbt unseren politischen Diskurs und beeinflusst unsere Politik. Wenn die Menschen die Fakten nicht kennen, funktioniert Demokratie nicht.”

Quelle: edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/amy-berman-jackson-gates-bar…


We recently had visitors, a couple, we know her for a long time, he is her new partner. I have usually followed the principle of not talking about politics or religion for a few years, based on experience. Well… shit hit the fan it did happen. I didn’t start it, but somehow I was suddenly in the middle of it.

For me, the German AfD party is congruently comparable to the American alt-right movement (and the Trump-turned Republican party) and many other right-wing movements around the world. That’s a sad trend that we have to notice but don’t have to accept.

Like presumably many people with whom I surround myself, who also see themselves left / green / progressive in the political spectrum, I have previously assumed that you can convince any reasonably intelligent person with clear facts, if presented undeniably and with clear evidence.

I burned my hands properly on the stove (and actually knew better before). 😞 What do you say to someone who rejects clear evidence and still believes in conspiracy theories? Right, that’s not going well. I think we can agree that we think such a person is an idiot. And no, I didn’t tell him that.

I’ll make it short: a cozy evening turned into a disaster, because at a certain point I couldn’t bear the bullshit anymore. I can take a lot of bullshit calmly, but not when it comes to people I know and who suffer from this nonsense. Then that’s too much. My fuse has blown.

I spent days, and still today, thinking about how to pick up someone who got lost. At which junction did he lose his way, and why? Why can’t such a person accept clear facts and continue to believe and spread any nonsense? I refuse to assume that these are “bad people” — at least not worse than the general average — who have suddenly become right-wing / xenophobic.

So far, I have no ultimate answer, just a guess: simple answers are simple. Obvious. Comfortable. People are lazy. People gravitate towards cardboard figures like Trump because he presents simple answers, no matter how false they are.

That reminds me of:

“Conspiracy theory is the ultimate refuge for the powerless. If you cannot control your own life, it must be some great force that controls the world” – Roger Cohen, New York Times

I’d be really (!) very happy if someone could say more about this. Here in the comments. I ask you for it. What do you think? If so, where am I fundamentally wrong? What am I doing wrong?

I’ve presented this story and my thoughts in extremely abbreviated form. Please, consider this when you answer.

This is from a current article from CNN, but only the core narrative that I consider fundamental. That’s what Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said:

“Those are facts. Those are not alleged facts, those are not alternative facts, or a narrative created by the media.”

 

“This deliberate effort to obscure the facts, this disregard for the truth undermines our political discourse and it affects our policy-making. If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work.”

Source: edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/politics/amy-berman-jackson-gates-bar…

We drive people into the clutches of evil. Because not everyone is (always) strong.

I said something on Twitter today, which has been on my mind for a long time:

Here is the original text in its entirety:

I do not believe that it is helpful to cause nothing but resistance and defensiveness in any person who says something we dislike or find offensive, by publicly disciplining and reprimanding that person.

 

For a long time we lived a culture in which language was different, and yes, that had its origin in wrong beliefs. This is how human development works: what seems true today is refuted and corrected tomorrow. Just think Galilei aka. flat Earth etc.

 

So, not all of the language we still use is what we would call “politically correct” today. One develops faster, the other a bit slower. That’s always how it is, that’s part of human imperfection.

 

It is unbelievably arrogant how some people talk over the mouth of others and publicly humiliate them. What did you think? That they’re grateful and insightful and immediately become your friends and admirers?

 

It’s (partly) your arrogance and superiority that drives these people into the clutches of people who have no good intentions at all and are looking for simple victims.

 

ADVICE: Give people time and stop treating them like little stupid kids. That contradicts your own ideals. Help others to become better versions of themselves, and maybe they help you one day to become a better version of yourself, too.

 

And maybe, JUST MAYBE, this will make this world a better place. Thank you for your attention.

Cutting Toxic People Out of Your Life

“I dropped all the toxic people in my life. Block. Delete. So simple. I unfollowed all the news and political pages on Twitter and Facebook. Life is so much better being a little selfish and putting my needs first. You can’t pour from an empty cup. As bitchy and heartless as I may sound, I’m actually able to love and care for those who actually care about me better after getting rid of the draining relationships.” — Naoko P.

Why not LANDR?

You’ll probably expect a big and loud “NOOO” from me. I have to disappoint you. LANDR is good.

BOOM, there I dropped it: it’s good.

You get reasonable results for an unbeatable price. Fast, easy, very affordable. There are few good reasons not to use LANDR. But decisive, for example: it’s only good, not more, just good.

There is no human experienced audio engineer who brings his many years of experience and his sense of music and musicality into play. Nobody tells you if and how you can improve your mix, so that eventually the master gets better. Special requests are not considered by LANDR, corrections — of any kind — do not exist. You can not talk to anyone about the process and that’s why you do not learn anything, there is no feedback or commentary.

I claim that a master of LANDR will never sound as good as any of mine or my colleagues in the same category of our business. But…

If you do not have high standards but just want a “good” sounding song then LANDR is for you. You only pay a fraction and get decent results that you do not have to be ashamed of.

I say all of this with a healthy dose of self-confidence because I know I’m better. But I do not need to bash services like LANDR either because I can acknowledge that they do a good job for what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. Also, I’m not religious about anything but always open for new technology and new ways of doing things.

It all depends on you and your needs. There are just things you cannot replace with an algorithm. I’m very much into all things A.I. and automation, but I also think I know where its limitations are.

Best Times to Post to Social Media

Today I want to share something with you, which works very well (for me!) for some time now. I’ve done a lot of research on this and I think I’m now able to put the best possible results together here for you.

I’m talking about the best times to post on social media. That sounds a bit general, and it is, so please, just take this as a guideline, but not as a 100 percent truth. Depending on what content you share it may work differently for you, and there are certainly many other factors that relativize my results.

I suggest that you always consult your own experiences and your gut feeling before you follow my (or anyone else’s) advice, especially when it comes to something as complicated as the one being talked about here.

However, here are my suggestions (all times in 24h format):

Facebook

  • Any day
  • Between 13:00 an 15:00, 20:00

Twitter

Easy.

  • Go here: Followerwonk
  • Fill in your Twitter name, click “Do it”
  • Scroll a bit down to “Most active hours for users [your_twitter_name] follows”
  • Check the results, or even add those to a Buffer schedule automatically!
  • Done.

Instagram

  • Mondays, Thursdays
  • Between 8:00 and 9:00, 17:00

Google+

  • Weekdays only
  • Between 9:00 and 13:00

You can really skip weekends entirely.

Tumblr

  • All week, although weekends, especially Sundays, are stronger
  • Between 17:00 and 1:00 (next day)

Tumblr folks are active at nights!

LinkedIn

  • Weekdays only
  • Between 7:00 and 8:00, 12:00, between 17:00 and 18:00

That’s it. Make sure to leave at least 15 minutes between posts. Happy posting! 🙂