Archive for June, 2007

We are rated G

Online Dating

We are so nice. Maybe too nice? We probably need more swearwords.

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Tom Cruise denied from filming

They had been warned and now Reuters reports that the German Defense Ministry has denied access to military bases to the company who’s producing the movie in which Tom Cruise will play the role of Colonel .

In a comment from the ministry the reasons called were dignity and appropriateness and a lack of sincere and respectful depiction of the events of the (a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler) because Tom Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology.

On the one side, I totally understand the motives here even though in my opinion von Stauffenberg is not the democratic poster boy and resistance fighter – at least not of – excuse my bluntness – the same caliber of und .

On the other side you cannot expect that the movie will not be filmed just because we have so high moral standards. So what does it matter if they shot the movie here? Could be worse I guess. And just by the way, the movie will be shot somewhere in Eastern Europe.

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Keen Hawaii

Keen Hawai,

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Versatel stole an hour of my lifetime

Tonight, 8:50 PM, I am at home catching up on some work and all of the sudden the Internet is gone.

Since I consider myself to be one of those rather painless customers (We never call, we never bitch and we always look for the error on our end first!), I go and powercycle the modem and my router. I am geeky enough to know that I don’t have to reboot my laptop (which is the #1 advice given at those hotlines) but as far as everything in between is concerned, I powercycle therefor I am.

So I did just that and everything comes back up, and there is still no Internet.

The lamps blink and say, “Everything is OK.”. Those fucking liars.

I have to resort to calling my provider, Versatel. And my quest starts by finding a phone number to call. In the process I went through a couple invoices and my initial order and found three numbers. I had to call each of those numbers to only realize the hotline no longer uses any of them. Luckily, the last number gave me an alternative to call.

By the way, I think that was the German voice of ‘s Bruce Willis who told me that the new number is 01805151818.

So I call, answer a lot of questions by punching numbers, wait for seven to ten minutes (by the way, all this costs 12c per minute) and finally get ahold of someone. The person tries to be really helpful and responsive, but starts off by asking me everything again – remember the numbers and selections above?

So after we get passed all that – now he knows everything about my Internet – he starts of by asking me if I powercycled my stuff but also notices that the billing department suspended my account – no reason given. So he transfers me over to the next guy, billing department. I am in line so to speak waiting for another five minutes (for 12 cents per minute) and finally get ahold of someone who’s really sorry about everything.

He explains that even though (!!!) I paid everything on time, the last mail (snail mail) bounced back to them and that they suspended my account at 8:50 PM tonight as a security measure so I call them back to resolve this. Which of course worked really well. I admit that I am a bit upset now and start to vent (but keeping the noise at ease) and tell him that I would have responded to an email or a phone call as well.

So we go over my address, confirm everything and he promises to put my account back online. I tried to get him to confirm to a timeframe like an hour, 30 minutes, a day, a week, you know – just something to work with, but he doesn’t know and I feel like I already put him through a lot and since he is so sorry, why not let him off.

So it’s around 9:30 PM by now, I feel relief.

I get off the phone wondering by when they will switch me back on. Another 25 minutes pass – and hey, I am not an idiot, I go ahead and powercycled all items again. But still no luck.

So it’s almost 10 PM and I call them back – I even saved the number in my mobile now – answer all those questions, again, and get ahold of someone right away.

Of course she asks me all those things again, so I interrupted her by and asked why she needs to know all that when I answered to all those things not even 60 seconds ago. Of course she doesn’t know, and doesn’t see, “It’s not on my screen.”.
So that’s the end, and we go over it again. Then she checks my account and tells me that I am still suspended. So she puts me on hold and promises to get back to me.

So I think I waited for three more minutes, then she got back to me and we do the powercycle dance one more time. Then she put me through to another guy who pinged my router and waited for it to login. And since then (10:10 PM tonight) all has worked just like it worked before 8:50 PM tonight. Back to normal.

So I roughly spent an hour tonight fixing something that was not broken. I also despise calling hotlines, still had to and even had to spend a couple Euros. And when I signed up in 2004, Versatel had a freecall.

But really, how do you put a figure on the actual time wasted here? I don’t want to bash Versatel too much here. They really have been good in three years of service and if you don’t have to call them then everything is good. But as soon as you get involved with them, it’s always messy.

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So last night I witnessed ELECTROBUNKER at Maria (am Ufer).

When we came was on the decks rocking the house with only maybe 30 people in total at Maria at that time, but 20 of them on the floor. Around 1:30 AM (), L Niño (SISTERS OF MERCY), and claimed stage, keyboards and decks and lit the room on fire.

So far out. Mashups rock so bad.

I think we left 4:00 AM-ish. And if you missed this, well – you’ve missed a lot then. (AND YEAH, NEXT TIME I WILL POST IN ADVANCE.) If you digg electro, try to follow them around, they are touring more cities, or just wait for next year when they’ll be back in town.

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Summer, anyone?


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Banksy in Berlin

Banksy came to Berlin in summer 2004. Check out this map, where all his work he spraypainted on his tour across Kreuzberg and Mitte is tracked and covered.

banksy in berlin, summer '04

Dubious Affinities


AFFINITIES shows a selection of recent acquisitions of the Deutsche Bank Collection. Under the curatorship of Ariane Grigoteit, the exhibition pairs off new acquisitions with masterpieces from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, the Dakis Joannou Foundation and hitherto never shown works from the Deutsche Bank Collection itself. This new series of exhibitions will now take place every spring presenting recent acquisitions for the Deutsche Bank Collection at the Berlin Guggenheim

It is a curious curatorial conceit that results in exhibitions that pair artists together in a ‘compare and contrast’ exhibitions, as if we are all still trapped in school together and must perform homework exercises to strengthen our art appreciation skills. Such is the case at the Affinities show now hanging at the Deutsche Guggenheim on Unter den Linden. Amusingly one of the pieces in this exhibit – Fernand Leger’s Les Constructeurs au cordage, pictured above, I last saw in an exhibition at the Museum Ludwig in Köln where Leger’s works had been hung in a similar ‘compare and contrast’ exhibition with works by Max Beckmann. Part of me understands that one can only hang an artist’s work so many times before it becomes an exercise in redundancy and it can be enlightening to create an exhibit that traces relationships between artists or the societies they inhabit. Unfortunately a more cynical part of me suspects that since these works are new acquisitions by the Deutsche Bank that relating them to works by more established artists is an intriguing method of ensuring that the market value of their new assets trends in the preferred direction.
Either way there is some interesting work in the show (though i found most of the new acquisitions less interesting than the works they were being compared to). I particularly enjoyed the Kai Althoff and Diamantis Sotiropoulos pieces as well as the large format works of Yan Pei-Ming. Certainly worth checking out – and remember Mondays are FREE!

bis 24 June 2007
Deutsche Guggenheim
Unter den Linden 13/15
Daily von 11 bis 20 Uhr
Thursday bis 22 Uhr

A new trend?

a new trend in online advertising

I think I discovered a new trend (out on the street). Advertising like you are protesting – at the traffic lights. Usually you meet punks (who intend to clean your windows), people giving away newspapers, fire-breathers (really!) and what not. Haven’t seen this before.

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And I don’t care

An oldie but goldie – from 2004. One of my all-time-favorites.
The Berlin based Beatsteaks, I don’t care as long as you sing.

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