Donnerstag, März 20, 2008

Mantus - Black Heaven - Sepia

I recently added a link to Mantus, Black Heaven and Sepia. These bands are more than worth checking. Their songs are gothic-rock-metal (Black Heaven is a bit electro) but they also have some nice slow ones. They not only sound good, they've got some great lyrics:

"Bin ich eingesperrt in dem Kerker meiner Phantasie
wo nichts überlebt das von auBen in mich dringen will
denn die Wirklichkeit würd' zerstören die Harmonie
die mich sanft beschützt vor den Menschen und vom Alltagsdrill"
(Kleiner Engel Flügellos - Mantus)

It's about the tension between society and the individual, about Sehnsucht, about Tod, about Liebe, and about relativity of Zeit. "Goodbye Tristesse" by Sepia is a very strong album, it's strong in its whole, and strong in almost every song. Black Heaven has a lot of weak songs, but also - if you search on every album - a lot of good ones; you'll have to pick them individually out of the different albums. Mantus is good on "Zeit muss enden" and "Fremde Welten", but have also good songs on other albums. If you like rock or metal, if you feel society isn't always right, if you're a fan of melancholy, and if you understand a bit german, these are your bands!

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Sonntag, Januar 13, 2008

The Divine Invasion (2)

"The basis of life is trying."

"The future need not resemble the past."

Philip K. Dick


Freitag, Januar 11, 2008

The Divine Invasion (1)

"Time is a child at play."

"The quality of realness is more important than any other quality, because once realness departs, there is nothing."

"You cannot build a world on wishes."

"Sexuality is the malady of this world."

Philip K. Dick


Montag, Dezember 31, 2007

The Keep

This is the best book I read in 2007, and one of my favourites of all time. I saw the movie in the 80's - loved the movie - but the book gives more details, builts up really slow, never boring, always makes you wonder what will happen next. Not only a very good story, but also very good characters: Nazis, Germans and Jews. If you wonder what happens when a Jew holds a silver cross to fend off evil: read the book.


Mittwoch, Dezember 26, 2007

Vulcan's Hammer

Pretty good book about Men versus Machine, Men versus Men and Machine versus Machine.

"Every time you read a gauge or a dial or a meter, every time you ride in a car or a ship, aren't you putting your faith in a machine?"

Philip K. Dick


Samstag, Dezember 22, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

What is the purpose of life?

To be
the eyes
and ears
and conscience
of the Creator of the Universe,
you fool.

Kurt Vonnegut


Donnerstag, Dezember 06, 2007

a man without a country (2)

"If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance tot he radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

Kurt Vonnegut
a man without a country (2005, p. 24)


Samstag, Dezember 01, 2007

a man without a country (1)

"We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we're hooked on."

Kurt Vonnegut

Samstag, November 17, 2007

The Island of Doctor Moreau

The book is certainly better than the movie! Now I come to think of it: I've never seen a good movie based on Well's books: The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau aren't good movies (except the old version of The War of the Worlds). So I don't expect people reading his books. The Time Machine is certainly his best work, and The Island of Doctor Moreau is very enjoyable. Although a bit dated, the central theme is still very - and maybe more - actual now. And the beauty of Wells is that he writes in that beautiful old English:

"It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that the pity comes troubling us."

"Very much, indeed, of what we call moral education is such an artificial modification and perversion of instinct."

H.G. Wells


Sonntag, November 11, 2007


"Wo viel Licht ist, ist auch viel Schatten."

"Unsere Wünsche sind die Vorboten der Fähigkeiten, die in uns liegen."



Samstag, November 03, 2007

Flowers for Algernon

This is a very nice book, and it's not really science fiction, it's more a psychological adventure. It' about a mentally retarded guy who gets an operation and becomes very smart. The book goes very deep into the thinking and the feeling of the main character, in that he now sees how he used to misinterpret social behaviour, and it really hurts, for the main character and for the reader. Also, being smart, has disadvantages, and at certain points in the book, the reader starts to wonder: when was Charlie Gordon - the main character - more happy? When he was smart or when he wasn't? The book also makes the reader reflect upon your own behaviour towards the handicapped: do you make fun of them, do you find them funny, do you learn them tricks, do you embarrass them for your own pleasure, ... or do you see them as fully developed persons? In this respect, this is actually a very educational book in that it can be the basis for group discussions in schools, but then again, it's classified as science fiction, and I do not know schools where children are stimulated to read SF. I just hope that one teacher somewhere puts this book down on the reading list for his students. Here are some quotations out of the book:

"How foolish I was ever to have thought that professors were intellectual giants. They're people - and afraid the rest of the world will find out."

"Language is sometimes a barrier instead of a pathway."

About television: "Why am I always looking at life through a window?"

Daniel Keyes


Samstag, Oktober 20, 2007

Eugene V. Debs

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world."

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926)

All belgian citizens, and especially all belgian political leaders, should have the above words in mind. It's day 132 without a belgian government. It's day 132 our political leaders fight for more autonomy for the different parts of Belgium. It's day 132 social solidarity between the french speaking and the dutch speaking communities in Belgium is on the verge of breaking down. It's day 132 we keep forgetting that languages are not barriers. It's day 132 we keep forgetting that languages should be bridges between communities. It's day 132.

Maybe I'm stupid, maybe I'm naive, but I've mailed this quotation to two flemish political leaders...


Freitag, Oktober 19, 2007

Cyborg Attack

I'm not used writing something about music because I find little people really interested in music. Most people let the media decide what they like or don't like. I, myself, listen to various bands on the internet, just blindly listening, and that way I sometimes stumble upon music I really like. One of those bands is Cyborg Attack, and I find myself listening to their last album (see picture) for over a year. I not only like the music (fast EBM/punk) but also the lyrics. The lyrics are about our poisonous society where freedom of thoughts is just an illusion, where the media makes new stars because people want new stars, where we need to take responsibility for our own misery, where we live in a nightmare, where we want to blow things up, where everybody is hungry, and so on. Personally I also like Cyborg Attack because they usually sing in german. And it are mostly the german songs of Cyborg Attack, Blutengel, Cephalgy and Centhron that hold my attention. I find it a pity that most german bands try to sing in English because you can really hear it (misprononciations and crappy lyrics -> just listen to the early Blutengel albums).

To give you a taste of Cyborg Attack, here are some lyrics:

"gedanken sind wie messer an der kehle deiner selbst"

"deutschland sucht den superstar - frisches fleisch für all die massen und den voyeur'isten trieb - heut vergöttern morgen hassen - ja wie schön dass es das gibt"

"dieser alptraum ist dein leben - das opfer bist du selbst - ein sklave deiner gier - die dich am leben hält - du bist in ihr verloren - einen ausweg gibt es nicht - so wirst du weiter sterben - bis dein lebenslicht verlischt"

"welcome in the cycle of violence - to be loved is only a dream - we live in the claws of society - your thoughts are free... is no reality"


Samstag, Oktober 13, 2007

Earth Abides (2)

"Life is not lived by denying life."

George R. Stewart


Mittwoch, Oktober 10, 2007

Earth Abides (1)

"It has never happened!" cannot be construed to mean, "It can never happen!" -as well say, "Because I have never broken my leg, my leg is unbreakable," or "Because I've never died, I am immortal."

George R. Stewart


Freitag, September 28, 2007

Rendezvous with Rama

Pretty good book...

"All human senses require some input. If they are deprived of it, the mind manufactures its own substitutes."

Arthur C. Clarke


Samstag, September 01, 2007

Pratchett quotes

"The important thing about having lots of things to remember is that you've got to go somewhere afterward where you can remember them, you see? You've got to stop. You haven't really been anywhere until you've got back home."

"Darkness is't the opposite of light, it is simply its absence."

"Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out."

"If the gods had wanted men to fly, they'd have given them an airline ticket."

Terry Pratchett (The Light Fantastic)