World Mask Week

This week (August 7 – August 14) is World Mask Week.

Wearing a mask is the best tool we currently have to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and break the chain of infections.

By wearing a mask, I protect others from infection, in case I carry the virus.

Does this in any way infringe on my freedom or any constitutional rights that I have? Not at all – wearing a mask is about being a decent and considerate person.

Even the Google doodle dons a mask. And so can you!

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(Google doodle, Android, 8/5/20)

Anti-Sexist Social Club

Thursday last week I attended a great online meeting, organized by the Anti-Sexist Social Club and Next Gen Men; people from all over the world were attending.

Although I miss attending discussions in person, there’s a massive opportunity in remote events – I would not have been able to participate, had it taken place in New York.

During the event, Jackson Bird was reading from his memoir, Sorted, and Dane Woodland was reading from his collection of poems, transVersing.

The event focused on what we can do in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to be more inclusive and less sexist; all proceeds went to The Okra Project.

Many thanks to the organizers and their skillful moderation – I learned a lot, and I look forward to many more such events!

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(Sorted, Audio Book – I support Jackson on Patreon)

Coal

Our government recently passed a law that guarantees several large corporations, such as RWE and LEAG, the right to mine lignite until 2038. It also awards them huge compensation for shutting down money-losing plants.

There’s no need for coal-firing plants to generate electricity – it’s even not commercially viable anymore.

Instead of protecting the environment and its people, our government subsidizes a couple of big companies and violates the Paris accord.

We’ll ask the EU for help.

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(Getting ready, 7/10/20)

Shutdown, third week, staying sane

We’re entering into the fourth week of shutdown now – the measures seem to be working and the spread of the virus seems to be slowing down.

Three things have been helping me a lot to stay sane in the past weeks, and hopefully will continue to do so in the weeks to come:

  • A simple activity tracker (Misfit Ray), to make sure I get enough sunshine and exercise
  • A virtual buddy, to make walking alone less alone
  • Social media, to make social distancing less distant

Stay safe and support your local businesses!

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(Ferkulum, 4/4/20)

Shutdown, second week, with many Artists and Pokémon

As we’re finishing the second week of shutdown here in Cologne, two things have stood out:

Many artists are going out of their way to entertain us, and Instagram Live emerged as the platform of choice for me. Thank you!!

If you’re going alone, Pokémon Go is a great companion app for the daily Corona walk. Just remember to feed your buddy with enough Razzberries …

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(3/25/20, screenshots of various live streams)

Shutdown, first week, with home concerts

In Cologne, we’ve just completed the first week of the shutdown, with many more to come and a lockdown looming on the horizon.

As long as there are neither tests nor a vaccine, the only course of action to prevent spreading the infection of an airborne virus is to maintain physical distance. Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding physical contact is a show of solidarity, a display of caring for others, not an infraction on personal freedom.

I am very privileged and very thankful for that: FOM has quite successfully moved to remote teaching, and I can carry out all my work from home.

I am also very thankful for all artists that go out of their way to make our life at home much better!

  • Adexe y Nau,
  • Johnny Orlando, and
  • Oscar Stembridge,

to name a few. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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(Adexe y Nau, #Yomequedoencasa, 3/21/20)

O caritas, o caritas nobis semper sit amor

“We must never forget that Caritas has its origin and essence in God Himself (John 1, 4:8). Caritas is the embrace of God, our Father, for every person, especially for the very last and the suffering, who take a privileged place in his heart.” (His Holiness, Pope Francis, May 2019)

I am deeply ashamed about our actions at the EU borders in Greece and the Mediterranean Sea, and our utter lack of compassion for the people in need.

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(Dhagpo Kagyu Ling)

Hanau

This Thursday, Weiberfastnacht, was the start of Carnival, which is usually a week of fun-filled celebrations leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Not this year.

Wednesday night before, yet another right-wing terrorist went on a killing spree, taking nine lives in the small town of Hanau; from his social media accounts, we know that his motivation was blind hatred and xenophobia, fueled by current AfD rhetoric.

The names of his murder victims are:

Ferhat Ünver

Gökhan Gültekin

Hamza Kurtović

Said Nesar El Hashemi

Mercedes Kierpacz

Sedat Gürbüz

Kaloyan Velkov

Fatih Saraçoğlu

Vili Viorel Păun

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(Köln gegen Rechts, 2/21/20)

Thuringia – why do we care?

A couple of days ago, the unthinkable happened: A candidate got himself elected as governor with the help of the far right.

In Thuringia, of all places, where last century the Nazi party scored their first victory and started a spree of unspeakable atrocities and heinous crimes against humanity.

All just a couple of days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, just a couple of days after the 75-year anniversary of the liberation of the German death factory in Auschwitz through the Red Army.

What is wrong with people?

Never Again – Never Forget!

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(#koelleforfuture, 2/7/20)

Visions For Climate

During the weekend we had a networking event with for-Future climate activists from all over Germany and many other European countries.

Networking becomes ever more important in the climate justice movement, to unite and coordinate activities, as our governments fail to address the emergency we’re facing and even harbor plans to make it worse, by adding more fossil fuel power plants, such as Datteln IV or Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

The event was an Open Space, expertly facilitated by Jutta Weimar, Jens Wellendorf, and many supporters, who graciously donated their time and effort; results will now be forwarded to the local groups.

Vegan catering came from Fläming Kitchen, a so-called people-kitchen based in the Fläming region between Berlin and Leipzig – yum!

We were hosted at Max-Bill-Schule in Berlin Weissensee – many thanks to the director, Bernhard Klein, for having us!

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(Program schedule)