Killerspiele II

Och nö.

Das Bundeskabinett hat in seiner Sitzung am heutigen Mittwoch den umstrittenen Entwurf zur ersten Änderung des Jugendschutzgesetzes aus dem Haus von Bundesfamilienministerin Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) angenommen. Damit soll der Katalog der schwer jugendgefährdenden Computerspiele und anderer “Trägermedien”, die automatisch gesetzlich indiziert sind, trotz Protesten von Branchenverbänden deutlich ausgedehnt werden. Laut dem Papier werden Games mit “weit reichenden Abgabe-, Vertriebs- und Werbeverboten” belegt, die “besonders realistische, grausame und reißerische Gewaltdarstellungen und Tötungshandlungen beinhalten, die das mediale Geschehen selbstzweckhaft beherrschen”. Bisher sind allein Gewalt oder Krieg “verherrlichende” Computerspiele für Jugendliche automatisch verboten. Die Bundesregierung will so ihren Beitrag im Kampf gegen “Killerspiele” leisten.

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Al Gore + Thinking for himself = ? (Linguistics)

Yes, well. I may be one of the more ignorant people as far as climate change is concerned, and I am not happy about it. I tend to agree with the Pascalian wager as it is extended to environmental concerns nowadays, though. However, I firmly dislike Al Gore. Apart from several other reasons, I dislike him because he takes a topic that he and lots of others around the world, especially here in Europe, consider serious and presents it in a way that clearly presupposes that all who listen to him tell it are idiots. Very stupid idiots, too. Virtually no argument in that odious movie of his survives logical scrutiny. He’s bullshitting his audience to a degree that comes close to lying, except that I am not judging facts, and lying is, mostly, about facts, so technically…but that’s neither here nor there.
I found a nice post on language log last week, wherein Al Gore is disapprovingly quoted as saying

In the Kanji characters used in both Chinese and Japanese, “crisis” is written with two symbols, the first meaning “danger,” the second “opportunity.” By facing and removing the danger of the climate crisis, we have the opportunity to gain the moral authority and vision to vastly increase our own capacity to solve other crises that have been too long ignored.

Apparently he said that on many occasions. He might have said that in that crap movie as well, I don’t know, I tried to get it out of my head as quickly as possible. The point, and the reason for the log’s disapproval is that this, too, is wrong, as is explained at length at pinyin.info. I’ll quote the salient bit here:

Thus, a wēijī is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry. A wēijī indicates a perilous situation when one should be especially wary. It is not a juncture when one goes looking for advantages and benefits. In a crisis, one wants above all to save one’s skin and neck! Any would-be guru who advocates opportunism in the face of crisis should be run out of town on a rail, for his / her advice will only compound the danger of the crisis.

For those who have staked their hopes and careers on the CRISIS = DANGER + OPPORTUNITY formula and are loath to abandon their fervent belief in jī as signifying “opportunity,” it is essential to list some of the primary meanings of the graph in question. Aside from the notion of “incipient moment” or “crucial point” discussed above, the graph for jī by itself indicates “quick-witted(ness); resourceful(ness)” and “machine; device.” In combination with other graphs, however, jī can acquire hundreds of secondary meanings. It is absolutely crucial to observe that jī possesses these secondary meanings only in the multisyllabic terms into which it enters. To be specific in the matter under investigation, jī added to huì (“occasion”) creates the Mandarin word for “opportunity” (jīhuì), but by itself jī does not mean “opportunity.”

A wēijī in Chinese is every bit as fearsome as a crisis in English. A jīhuì in Chinese is just as welcome as an opportunity to most folks in America. To confuse a wēijī with a jīhuì is as foolish as to insist that a crisis is the best time to go looking for benefits.

There you go. And even though I can’t verify this, being no speaker or reader of mandarin (sad as this is), after hearing him talk and watching that movie, I am convinced they are right, because I believe that Al Gore doesn’t take too much time to think. He appears to be on some sort of autopilot since the 70s or 80s. Since those decades he’s just refining his rhetorical strategies, which did result in one really great TV moment (at that moment, for some minutes, I liked the man) at a MTV award show. He came onstage and said (and yes I wish I could provide a link for that clip but I could not find one): “I actually was not planning on being here tonight but then MTV explained to me that Justin Timberlake is bringing sexy back, so here I am.”

Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer’s

Oh God not him. One of the best writers alive, the great Terry Pratchett, has Alzheimer’s.

Author Terry Pratchett is suffering from a rare form of early Alzheimer’s disease, it has been revealed.

In a letter published on the website of artist Paul Kidby, the writer said the condition was behind a “phantom stroke” he had earlier this year.

Pratchett said his statement should be interpreted as “I am not dead” and that he had taken the news “philosophically” and “possibly with a mild optimism”.

He himself assures us that more books are probable (whew!) and further:

I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should
be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as
will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think – it’s too soon to tell.
I know it’s a very human thing to say “Is there anything I can do”, but in this case I
would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

Killerspiele (updated)

Und hier ist die Reaktion von Frontal 21. Schließlich noch eine typische (etwas ältere) Stellungnahme eines Politikers, der “die Gewalt und Sexismus demonstrativ ächten” will. Von mir aus kann er das gerne machen, aber er wird der erste sein, der überrascht ist, was das im detail bedeutet. MIt Killerspielen hat das dann aber eher weniger zu tun. *g

"Invincible Germany University"

Time on a strange idea of our favorite David.

David Lynch is no stranger to weird confluences. But the U.S. filmmaker, known for such works as Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, failed to anticipate the reception his latest project got in Germany this week. Lynch, whose new-age beliefs are sometimes as quirky as his movies, is touring Europe to help establish a network of so-called “invincible universities” to teach the philosophy of transcendental meditation. The idea is to engender world peace. But at a meeting this week at a culture center in Berlin, Lynch triggered a less than peaceful exchange with German onlookers when Emanuel Schiffgens, his partner for establishing such a “university” in the German capital, suddenly veered into dangerous waters.

[…]

“We want an invincible Germany!” intoned Schiffgens, the self-styled Raja of Germany. The flap those words created, with their echoes of the Third Reich, reveals both the deadly seriousness with which Germans view their wartime past and the gulf separating Lynch’s new-age agenda from that of some hard-bitten Berliners with a more historical mind-set.

[…]

The American director, a bit of a cult figure himself in Europe, regretted that the real message of transcendental meditation, which he calls an “ancient eternal knowledge verified by Western science,” was being lost in the furor. “Mankind was not made to suffer,” he said. “We are all one. Bliss is our nature … But somehow tonight this beautiful gift has gotten perverted. Let’s march boldly toward a bright and shining future!”

The Spiegel also has its say

Lynch is working to found a series of “invincible universities” across Europe. The institutions would integrate traditional courses in subjects like science and the humanities with the philosophy of Transcendental Meditation, a meditation technique pioneered in the 1950s by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Plans for such institutions are underway in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, and Scotland. The Scottish project is being co-sponsored by the 1960s folk music icon Donovan.
Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) is a hill in western Berlin made of rubble removed from the city after air raids in World War II. During the Cold War, the American military used it as an observation post to spy on East Germany with audio equipment. The David Lynch Foundation has entered an agreement with the city to purchase the property for an undisclosed sum, a transaction that should be completed by February of 2008.

In the wake of the flubbed presentation, the daily Berliner Zeitung reported Friday that Lynch’s university is under attack from the Protestant church and local politicians.

But Lynch clearly believes in his plans. “Somehow tonight this beautiful gift has gotten perverted,” he said at the forum. “Let’s march boldly toward a bright and shining future.”

Haha. Here’s some hilarious footage on nosedef’s blog of the latest genius to inaugurate a cult (following illustrious genius writers like Jahnn or Mishima. Good company.).

via classless kulla