The hero we need.

Forget Batman and the talks about “The Dark Knight”. Forget what people tell about the hero we need right now. In the last Batman-movie he’s been quite self-pitiful. I didn’t like that. The hero I think about doesn’t have time for that.

There’s a nice little girl in an ordinary world,
show us your fangs (Yay Mona)
Life goes on, life is weird, tell its everything you feared,
show us your fangs (Yay Mona)
Grab your cat, grab your cape,
Boogeyman: there’s no escape.
Give a hebie jibe grin fight those nasty till you win. (You will win)

Despite being produced over ten years ago, I am highly confident on the fact that we need “Mona the Vampire” now. No, I am NOT on drugs. Of course, I watched the series in TV when I was a child and always found her kind of cool. But only since this offer in Poundland, that made me buy a complete season of my favourite heroine’s show, I can see that it wasn’t only children’s dreams. There are good reasons for fact that I find her highly admirable and some piece of my always wanted to be like her.

Mona and her friends are sitting in her room. They are thinking about battles they already won. Someone is knocking on the door, Mona explains that it is her “Robot-Babysitter”. 

 Of course, it may not be easy to see what is so special about her. On first sight, she is only another cartoon girl. But Mona is more than that. She always has a plan. Every episode follows a certain principle – despite tackling diverse issues like national socialism (will upload it later, better than PETA’s approach btw.), environmental problems and wrong ideals. Mona sits in her classroom, suddenly her sight becomes blurry and she sees something really scary threatening the world. This may be – like mentioned in the German version of the theme song – “Zombies, Mummies, Aliens, Ghosts” – or something else where everyone would just look away or hide. Funny thing is: when grown-ups watch it, they ask whether anything of this is really happening. Children don’t ask that question.

They discuss what to do next, since the world is in danger again – them being the only ones who can take care of the issue. The ordinary kids put on their hero-costumes to fight the evil. Mona obviously becomes a vampire, her sidekicks are not only her cat fang. There’s Lily Duncan as Princess Giant, this wrong ideal of beauty. And Charley Bones as Zapman – Wikipedia describes him as intelligent but scared boy.

Ordinary people hide their feelings and lie – Mona doesn’t. She always speaks her mind – to her teacher, her arch-enemy Angela, and of course also to her friends. Every situation that seems hopeless – Mona doesn’t just crumble. She stays cool and figures something out. She tells her friends to get special weapons. And she fights till the last moment.

Of course, the grown-ups don’t believe her. The situation gets more hopeless when even her friends turn their backs on her.

But Mona still doesn’t give up. She doesn’t victimize herself. She just thinks about how it can go on.  She’s a strong woman in a world where loads of things are going wrong. I want to be like Mona. She stays strong against every restriction .She has leadership skills Wall-Street bankers can only be jealous of.

Final battle. Mona has figured a plan to not only destroy the demon, but help them to be included in the real world. She doesn’t see the evil as pure evil – she tries to understand what they need.

No, Mona doesn’t take drugs either. She has everything a heroine needs and stil the innocence of a child. She doesn’t give up. Never ever. She has strong ambitions and a vivid imagination. she has the power of rescuing everyone – she is like Liam Neeson in Taken – with the innocence of a child.

The fight is over – surprise surprise, Mona won. Nonetheless, the others will come up with some rational explanation for everything that happened. All that Mona says is “That is one explanation”.

Mona has her own. But she doesn’t mind what other think. She is just happy that everyone can live their lives; ignorance is bliss.

Mona has a smile on her face, some final dream-sequence shows a comic relief.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s real or not.

She the woman we need right now. The light(-headed) heroine.

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instagram and haters

The other day, we had this discussion again. No one had a real camera; people would take out their phones and take pictures with their smartphones. Then some effects and frames via Instagram. Perfect, ready to upload. Basically, it is the same discussion analogue and digital cameras made when the conflict aroused. It is easier, cheaper and quicker to take pictures. Of course, that brings advantages and disadvantages.

Obviously, people who take digital pictures have to think less about what they’re doing. Cropping, colours, even the focus and focal layers can be changed in post-productional-photoshopping. I won’t go deeper into changing people and their looks at this point, despite being well-aware of that dilemma. But the question is as simple as that: what do YOU want?

Everytime professionals (or wannabes) attack Instagram-Users for cheating, one could also argue that taking pictures with a DSLR and editing them professionally is even more cheating. Because you do not actually make people aware of your changes as the hobby-photographers do. On top of that, if you take pictures in RAW it is even easier to swop everything around. Once you are into it, I mean.

So, do you want “real” pictures”? Do you just want to enhance their looks a bit by boosting contrast and colours? Or do you want to take it as far as reducing the gap between what comes out of your camera and an eerie shot? Of course I feel ridiculed when I think how much I spent on cameras, lenses and other gadgets; the time I spent to learn how to photoshop. But then I did all this for two reasons.

Firstly, I like to take pictures. And I like altering them. It gives me pleasure in the moment of doing it. Standing in front of people who will do everything I tell them. Setting my camera on a tripod. Arranging the focus. Being angry when people walk in or I just cannot find the right settings. And, realizing that I actually get better in doing all of that. Every single day.

Secondly, I love great pictures. Because looking at them makes me happy. Be it for precious family moments or for the pure pleasure of looking at fine art. If one or both of this purposes can be fulfilled by a smartphone-camera and a program, why bother? It’s not less effort to invent these gadgets. The development in this field is remarkable, leads in new directions and brings up completely new styles of photography.

So, photographers of the world: Instagram can be as much of a good or bad thing as any person with a camera and Photoshop skills. Get over it. And at least, that includes me in the picture sometimes.

Stop Wasting EU money. Or why I don’t speak TSCHERMAN here.

I hang out with awesome guys. Special Thanks to Julia for inspiring this.

So, when I came here, most people seemed to be aware of the fact that the EU is running out of money for this. Here. Our financial “ERGASMUS”. There are enough articles showing the numbers. So, since this happens to be MY Blog I’ll just write my impressions.

I had to go through a very tough application process for going here. I had to write motivational letters, pass personal talks, justifying my dream to come to England that I have had for 10 years now. This was my opportunity and I was happy to get it, and not even in the first round. Yes, I am the successor of someone who didn’t accept his place in Birmingham (don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but that’s another story).

But wha’ever, I am here now. And I love it. I am so happy, because everything I wrote in those letters was true. Sadly, most people may have meant it when writing “I want to make many English friends” but now they do not realize how to live up to that. Why are you not trying ANYTHING new? Don’t tell me that’s because of finances; I only get 150 € monthly. That’s the smallest amount of all the people I’ve talked to so far (despite my application process being so hard). Of course, my parents do support me and I work. Just to make this the greatest time in my life. If I had only come here for watching series on my laptop, there would be no point in doing it.

 I am sure everyone can find something in the University of Birmingham he or she likes. And still study and go to parties. There’s plenty time on a day (and you can cut the sleep. It is almost free to do sports. You can use some of your credits to learn a new language. And it’s perfectly fine if you just watch series, movies and 9GAG. But  then at least understand the meme jokes that I keep on making.

I don’t mean to attack anyone here. If you’re happy with what you’re doing, go on – this is just my life and thoughts. But I for myself want to be attacked less when I tell Germans that I prefer speaking English. Every second, no excuses. If you don’t know a word, look it up. We live in an age where that is no more effort than asking Siri. You think it is pretentious? I learnt from Sara (tho who I – yes, even in Germany – speak English 24/7):

“Where else should we get such a good practice.”

 That’s basically the reason. But after being asked over and over again WARUM I won’t speak German to German people, I even created a toplist of possible answers (if any come up to you, please comment).

1. My soul hurts everytime someone says “I am from Tschermani. (Replacable with ITALI, FRÄNCE, SPEEN)” . Please, at least say the name of your nation in proper English.

2. I want to lose my accent.

3. I hate it to leave all the other people in a room out of the conversation.

4.  I am studying it and I love it.

5. German is too hard for me.

6. Why. The heck. Not.

Please don’t see this as a question of national pride. Don’t think I hate German (Actually, I especially love the word “Zimtstern”) . Don’t see this as offense. Just think about it, you asked after all. Cheers!

Eid-Experience

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I have made up my mind about structuring my articles a little.

To support the feeling of this being a travel blog, I will upload something very personal every friday (meaning a poem or some thoughts on things that happened to me). Tuesdays will be for more publishy stuff like movie reviews and political comments.

So, let’s do this with some thoughts on last week’s EID al-Firtr. Like I already said, I try to experience different things here and culture is always a big topic in conversations with international students. Since I have three awesome Muslim rommates (who really try to stick to all the rules), my interest in the religion increased quite a lot. What I knew before is that Muslims pray often and have to eat special meat. Also, in the Green Party we had had some discussions about circumcision and I knew that there were different stages of rules (some of which you can break from time to time, others -like killing someone – you better don’t).

Regarding this, I learnt a lot already. The topic of the “Muslim Christmas” came up on a trainride with Faiz and Amine. I only realized how important that very day is to them because Faiz was really keen on being with his beloved family (rather than US!) and even invited Amine to tag along.

Curious me began to drill them with questions. What do they celebrate, how, why, …..? They began to explain that they have Eid two times a year: for the father and for the son. This one was for the father and really important to them. Maybe I should explain first that I am vegetarian before saying: I didn’t really understand the custom of giving raw meat to needy people in three pieces, but maybe that’s just me. We even made halal Sushi the other day, so whatever.

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When I asked if I should give them some presents that led to some ridicule, but after intense web research I found out to give something that keeps them warm. Of course, I wanted to give them love – and which way would’ve been better that making some Kahk. I surprised Amine with them and my pathetic FAIL to write “Merry Eid” on a picture. Whatever, I guess also Abdul and Faiz (for whom I saved some of course) enjoyed the taste of my improvised munchies with date- and almond-fillings.

Also, I asked Amine to show me how to pray – that’s what the cover picture shows. At first I wanted to join him for the Mosque, but since he said the prayer is going to take a long time and men and women get seperated, I lost the fire for it. I have done it quite some times now and since there are similarities to yoga, it is quite meditative. Nevertheless, I might not convert. Yet.