POP!: Why I love fiction

Have I been born to become a storyteller? Probably not. But the ‘talent’ has been fed up very early. Long time ago, in the 90’s, I looked upon a picture book and saw a jungle scene. And I kid you not: I made up stories surrounding the characters. My imagination which sparked all my projects and fuels my fire for creativity; it has always been there. And that is not everything. I don’t want to raise the question of how much television is good for you or if you even think that television is bad in its entirety. Point is: I watched a lot of television as a kid. How much? Okay, not all day long. Just certain programs like Saturday morning cartoons or afternoon anime. Thing is: I got a lot of input early on. I may not have analyzed like I do as a grown up, but my hunger for fictional worlds got started.

I watched Hey! Arnold, Rugrats, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Bey Blade, lots of live action movies like The Mask or Titanic. As a kid it was entertainment; now it’s my job. The reason why I love fiction is probably the same for everyone else its. Tension, drama, twists; everything that excites you. But I am not everybody’s darling when it comes to fiction. I don’t like violence or drugs themes. (Or sex.) Things like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, West World; I don’t like it. And many other popular shows. The only violence I’ve ever “accepted” was Supernatural its. (I kind of overlook it.) Very mature themes are simply not my thing. I may include it in my own fiction but I try to keep it lightly. I am the happy-go-lucky-guy when comes to fiction.

All in all. Fiction fascinates me to an almost science-like discipline. I always see like: How did this character react to this line? How did this thread end up? How was this episode in context to others? I always see the structure; rarely the end product. I love creating my own worlds. I love doing something that fulfills me and gives me a goal and something to let my creativity run wild. Fiction is a great source for entertainment for those who consume it, it is a great source of entertainment for people like me who love to come up with their own things. Most of the time a story plays like a movie inside of my head. I don’t know how and when and if or if not my universe will be realized and will be born to the real world, and it may not be the next Harry Potter; but be sure: I tried.

POP!: Why I love Harry Potter

What love for creating entirely new things is for the One Piece universe is. Or what love for smaller, intimate stories is in my own universe; is love for detail in the Wizarding World. Created with so much care, so much knife-sharp precision and love for giving old things an entirely new spin is for the Harry Potter universe. (Or Wizarding World.) A world full of things that have been done before but better executed, things done before but less detailed, things done before but proportioned less, or things not done before with much more originality and creativity. A wonderfully crafted fictional world with dangers, monsters, dark wizards and even greatly developed details. 

The Wizarding Word its rich attention to detail shows itself off in many different things. For example: Lord Voldemort was conceived under love potion, which made it impossible for him to experience love. This detail alone made me jealous of J.K. Rowling’s creation. This detail may be overseen or perceived as I perceive, yet it defines – at least for my part – the entire Wizarding World. Because Ms Rowling implemented something so side-noted and defined the entire saga with it. They’re many other details. The attributes for the houses in Hogwarts. House-elves being used as slaves. The entire concept of learning to control magic. (And not flip a switch and you can execute it.) The change of the teacher against the Dark Arts every year. The differentiation of Animagus and werewolf. Every fantastic beast. The history of the Deathly Hallows. The concept of a Ministry for Magic. And the list goes on.

I took this “approach” to storytelling to heart and began to write a dozen more details into my outlines now. I take a fictional beast and give it name, nickname, colors, attributes, behavior. And advance it into other dimension with its own rules and do’s and don’ts. And even when I outline for hours I am still not able to cope with such magnitude of intricate story design and storytelling. Yet, it is a bit unfair to compare. Because I created a share universe with many genres, timelines, characters; an entire cosmos. The Wizarding World is “just” the Wizarding World. If I had to create one, single story it may could keep up with Ms Rowling. To make a point: She made me a better storyteller. And this goes for all aspiring storytellers: Analyze your competition and learn to become a better storyteller. As Lessons from the Screenplay once noted: “Everything should make you a better writer.”

POP!: Why I love Supernatural

Supernatural is my favorite TV show of all time. I have never watched Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, I don’t know The Wire or Mad Men or Suits or Luther. Yes, there is maybe a golden age for television, but I have better things to do than to binge watch new shows. (Please, don’t take it personal. We all waste enough time in one way or another.) For others there are the aforementioned shows; for me there is Supernatural. A show I closed followed for 12 years now. And I have to say, as a screenwriter myself, this show is very well written. 

There is zero misfire. Zero bad story development. Zero boredom. The originality has yet to be matched. Take the MacGuffins for example. The Cold with only 6 bullets, the First Blade, the Hand of God, the tablet of God. This is a level of creativity that has yet to be conquered. There is so much thought-process interwoven with the creative choices of the show. Or another take: the bad guys. There were the Leviathens, Abbadon, Metatron, and even Lucifer. The build up each season was – all the time! – very well paced and structured. The actual end of a bad guy could never been predicted. Sometimes a good character dies, or a new object appeared, or an entirely new character. But it was never a Deus Ex Machine-ending. Never a oh-we-have-sudden-advantage-and-use-it-ending. The Winchesters Brothers had to fight for their victory. And that was always satisfying.

And the other creative choices are very exceptional as well. For example the take on Heaven. It is partly showed as a place done to be experienced by humans (i.e. normal rooms), but also as a corridor with doors, where each human has its own Heaven. From my personal creative standpoint, it is incredible. And then the take on Hell. It is just a queue where people have to rest of all eternity. There are even things like Purgatory. (Event though was left out in the process of the show.) Or other dimensions. (Where I have to say I am happy they did not stress it too much.) All in all, it always subverted expectations you did not have in the first place. 

And Dean and Sam Winchester are very well written protagonists. Dean always the tougher guy, the one with brawns. But also very sensitive when it comes to family and friends. A very nuanced juxtaposition. And Sam is determined and willing to sacrifice everything to win the battle against evil. This is amongst the strongest writing ever. And yes, it has humor. Very funny one. And not the ‘one line’ that screams: LAUGH AT ME! No, it is simply told by the episode itself. My two most favorite jokes where when Castiel joked about the Tower of Babel and how Dean sat in a store and read as he read as hread as he read. PLUS! The joke about Sam being polish. (Cracks me up every time.) To sum it up, the writing is good. But the directing is also good. The acting is descent. And the special effects are very well used and executed. I simply love the overall package.

BONUS

My favorite episodes (I don’t know what the title was, sorry):

5 – Caught by the FBI

4 – The time loop

3 – Castiel asking for a sign

2 – The episode where they’re stuck in a reality where Supernatural is a TV show

1 – The ending of the last episode in season 5
“Nothing ever really ends.” Still gives me goosebumps.

Just One Thought: Regarding refugees

The way Europe is dealing with refuges in one word? Embarrassing. Europe is supposed to be a safe haven of human rights, of justice and dignity. It seems this only counts for actual Europeans. Every refugee trying to participate gets pushed back. Either back into their respected countries or in inhumane camps where people live in pitiful and terrible conditions. No sanitary, no safety and security, little to no food; but most importantly: no hope for a future in Europe. I’d thought we were the good guys? Aren’t we supposed to be the role model for the rest of the world? It seems not. It seems Europe is just an empty promise. It is just – a lie. 

What else are we doing? Let them be left alone by the first world. We pride ourselves with dignity, safety and rights and so on and so forth. But it seems refugees aren’t treated the same way. It seems not every human is created equal. (Or treated equally.) It shines a dim light onto our so-called “civilization.” The only answer to the crisis was building fences. That’s literally the only thing Europe did. And instead of helping them; we send them back to their countries. This is laughably bad. Incredibly terrible. And instead of helping them in their respected countries so that they don’t need to come to us, we let them die on the ocean. Where is this whole ‘responsibility’ thing politicians always brag about? Why is no one feeling responsible for the refugees?

To make the most underappreciated take on this clear: make it legal for them to enter the EU. If it is against the law; change the damn law! People must have safe and legal ways to enter the EU. But here lies a crux in the system. It seems no on wants them. Wait, what? Pardon, did I get this right? It seems so. We run into two problems here. The first one being the First World only letting educated people into their country. This is wanted this way. Things want to be like this. The nations need IT personnel, doctors or other specially trained people. Hence they reject the idea of the poor coming into the country. This brings me to problem two: no one acknowledges actually trained people. You can be a doctor from Syria and still are not allowed to work in the country you’ve entered. This is where European countries shoot themselves in the foot. 

Our lifestyle is their reason to flee. The least opinion a European wants to hear. The crisis opened the question of how we see, treat and deal with lesser developed countries. It opened the question of distribution of wealth once again. And it seems the first world is selfish and ignorant. It doesn’t want to solve problems it itself created. Europe’s policy against the third world backfires now. Instead of letting them develop their economy, we flood their markets cheap products. The refugee crisis is an alarm signal. If we don’t go to them, they come to us. It’s our very own fault. We fuel their wars, we let their economy die, we let their countries rot. How about some infrastructure for their countries? How about some development aid for governance? How about some love? How about some humanity?

Just One Thought: Thanks!

I just wanted to thank our sponsor for a change. I mean, they fuel wars, conflicts, destroy the environment and make mass shootings possible. And every useful idiot is helping them. (Intentionally or unintentionally.) I mean, every problem we face as a species is coming from capitalism. But simply bashing capitalism would not do it justice. I mean, capitalism is the cause and root of all problems and not just a sympton. But I wanted to thank our sponsor!

Thanks to the oil industry. Not only are they sponsoring the climate change and all its problems coming with it. They suppressed a study from 1957 called the Robinson report where oil companies knew of the effects of climate change. In the ’50’s! Just. Look. At. This. They were far up ahead and knew the world would become uninhabitable because of their business. This is so cynical I can’t stop grinning while typing this. For real: Thank you anyway.

Thanks to the arms industry. Not only are they sponsoring all wars and conflicts since at least roughly 130 years; they also perfected the concept of taking someone else its life. I always thought that killing is sin and no man should take other’s life. But who cares when Ali Mustafa is close to the border and wants its own state. Then it is allowed to take someone else its life. I mean, it’s for defensive purpose, right? We need to defend the Western world! Uh, no. We need to secure resources and free trade ways. A conspiracy theory once said: „The longer the war takes, the more money they make.“I mean, I cannot validate it, nor want I to go along such lines. However you wanna see it, the business of war is cynical. Because Generals and Warlords decide who dies or who lives. Thanks anyway.

Thanks to the fishing industry. Not only are they sposoring making certain fish extinct; they also take the fish from poor fisherman at African coasts who need fish to survive. This industry will be responsible for feeding the rich and letting the poor die. I mean, it’s just fish, right? What damage can they do? For those who don’t know: A species extinct cannot come back from the dead. Maybe when cloning has advanced in a few dozens of years or something. Thank you very much anyway.

Thanks to the beauty industry. Not only are sponsoring a fetish for staying young and attractive, they also killed millions of innocent animals in order to test them. Poor, harmless, defenseless animals had to suffer because Maria Black wanted to look like a 49 year old while being 50 years old. This nonsense is so hilarious I had to choke while laughing. It’s not acceptable. For both sides. A dumb woman who thinks she has to look young forever instead of accepting age, experience and therefore wrinkle. It adds character, expresses knowledge and wisdom. Trying look young makes you look like an idiot. Thanks for the irony. 

Thanks to the tech industry. I know, I know, you want to connect the world and change it with technology. Yet, not only did you create addicting services for superficial and volatile experiences. People post for likes and crave for positive feedback. And then they are trolls who bully people off the internet. Yes, you changed the world. But for the worse. People cannot live without it and feel like an outcast or a weirdo for not participating. Technology has the potential to change the world; the potential to make things better. Like the Arab Spring for example. Yet, it only take the flip of a switch and those services are blocked. So, in th end, we only got useless apps to fight back bordeom for a few hours a day. Thanks for changing the world.

This is it. I am not a fan of sarcasm because it reduces the impact of an opinion or thought. I just could not help myself this time. I feel like a cynic now. (Which is not good.) But you see the point I hope. The real enemy is the economy! The economy is the maker of all our problems. And if we want to make the world a better world we install a system where there is no work, no currency, no economy. Where people get what they want when they need it. Where the people are free to do how they please. Too bad we are all idiots following the mass. We just need someone who leads them into the right direction. 

Kommentar: Wir müssen vergessen (dürfen)

Es gibt in unserem Land ein gewisses Klientel. Dieses Klientel kommt zu spät zur Schule, macht im Unterricht nicht mit, stört den Unterricht, beleidigt oder gar attackiert Lehrer, interessiert sich nicht für ihre Zukunft; um es kurz zu machen: Sie können sich nicht benehmen. Sie halten den Betrieb auf, verschwenden Ressourcen die man anderweitig verwenden könnte und sind im Endeffekt verlorene Fälle. Sie werden ihr Leben mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit nicht meistern und am Ende von Hartz IV leben. (Oder im Niedriglohnsektor.)

Wir haben in Deutschland eine Kultur des „nicht zurücklassen“. Des „wir nehmen jeden mit“. Dies ist ja per se nicht schlecht. Manche haben halt schwierige Umstände im elterlichen Haushalt oder Freundeskreis. Man kann nur schwer zu ihnen durchdringen. Bei manchen lohnt sich die Persistenz. Sie „erwachen“ und werden plötzlich aktiv und gestalterisch. Sie besuchen Abendschulen, suchen eine Ausbildung oder besuchen Maßnahmen. Um es auf den Punkt zu bringen: Es ist nicht alles schlecht daran.

Das Problem jedoch ist folgendes: Sie wollen es nicht. Dieses Klientel interessiert sich null für das was unsere Gesellschaft verlangt. Auch wenn ich es ungern sage, aber: Wir sind eine Leistungsgesellschaft. Wir fordern Leistung. Und jeder kann das für sich selbst ausmachen. Manche arbeiten in einem Betrieb, andere studieren, andere engagieren sich. Hier kommt es zu einem Dilemma. Wie gehen wir mit solchen Menschen um? Was tun wir mit ihnen? Ich denke es muss Schluss sein mit Kuschelpädagogik.

Dieses Klientel verdient die Aufopferung von Lehrern nicht. Weder ihre Zeit, noch deren Geduld, oder deren Versuch durchzudringen. Wir bräuchten eine andere Art von Pädagogik. Wir sollten uns auf die fokussieren, die es auch wirklich wollen. Bei den Meisten ist der Zug sowieso schon abgefahren. Sollen dieses Klientel doch tun was sie will. Sie wird selber sehen wie weit sie kommt. Anstatt zu versuchen ihnen zu helfen sollte man ihnen die Realität spiegeln.

Man wird ihnen nur noch erklären, dass sie im Leben nichts erreichen werden. Dass sie von Hartz IV leben werden. Dass sie auf ewig im Dunstkreis von Niedriglohn und Ämtern dahinleben müssen. Ich versuche es so klar wie möglich zu kommunizieren. Sie sind die Versager der Gesellschaft. Vielleicht werden sie eben dadurch wach und werden aktiv. Vielleicht ist mein Vorschlag gar produktiver als das jetzige Modell. Wer weiß was man noch machen könnte.

Wie wäre es mit mehr Sozialarbeitern? (Die wir so oder so brauchen.) Vielleicht mit einer Sitzung beim Therapeuten, der die Situation aus der psychologischen Sicht heraus analysiert? Man darf mich nicht falsch verstehen. Es ist nicht so, dass ich das wirklich will; das vergessen. Ich bin einfach nur Realist. Wenn die nicht wollen, sollten wir sie auch nicht zwingen. Punkt ist: Wir sollten denen helfen, die es wollen. Wir sollten dem Klientel klar machen, das niemand auf sie wartet. Wir müssen vergessen dürfen.

Lauf mit mir. 

Just One Thought: Microsoft v. Apple

Oh, boy. I always wanted to own a MacBook Air since its release. I never thought I’d own a Mac at some point. (Mostly due to being underage and broke.) But now I got a job, and a regular paycheck, and I can buy things now. (Hooray.) Ho-hum. I usually avoid buying luxury items for many reasons, the biggest one being: I do not need them. I do not need a 1.000 Dollar laptop, a 500 Dollar phone or a 50.000 Dollar car. Usually I buy only what is necessary and what can be considered useful and practical. But why do I own a Mac and an iPhone now? Let me explain.

I’ve been a Microsoft, well „fan“ would be overexerted, let’s just say user. (Like many others.) I had to use Windows due to its monopoly and overall usage. I was an avid gamer back then and had to use it though. I always knew that Microsoft collects data through Windows and other services like Office. But I never actually cared. I was one of billion users across the globe. Nobody cares, right? Then came the Snowden revelations and I had to change my mind. (Especially since Windows 10 is prone and notorious for collecting data.) 

I never had an eye on Apple products. I only knew their top-notch built quality and exprensive prices. Even though Android devices cost as much and Windows laptop also cost as much as Apple products. That is not my point though. A few years ago, the FBI wanted to hack an iPhone and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said: „No backdoors! We are commited to privacy and security!“ This may seem irrelevant but ended up being my personal breaking point for changing to Apple products.

I want privacy and security on all my devices and bought the cheapest version of either Apple product. Mainly an iPhone SE and a Mac mini. But this is not my only point. The other being: Contioues development of operating systems. Though Windows 10 is intented as a program-as-a-service, it is not really changing things up, improving things or making things someway different. While iOS and macOS are continouisly evolving with tons of new features each year. I like that. I like new features and possibilities. I want free updates with new development in mind. Contrary to my old lagdroid which slowed so down that I had to wait many seconds and longer for an action to be processed. Everyone knows how Android rolls out. In my case: Never. I don’t want to be stucked on years old software that can’t improve itself. Contrary to iOS which is significantly faster than iOS 11 when it’s being released.

I like the snapiness of iOS and the versatility of macOS. (Where Windows can be installed as a seperate OS for example.) I want security and privacy. I don’t want anyone to hack my devices so easily. To end my point: I am not an Apple sheep. I do noopiniont care about the company; I only use their products. Apple is not perfect and makes many awry decisions, but I am not a manager who knows this stuff. (So what do I know. I only know the internet’s point of view.) But their products are as good as everyone says. Pricey? Other devices cost the same or more. Culty? It’s a brand dang it. Worthy? Every penny.