Topic: Global

Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

20.12.2020

For L.v.B.’s 250th anniversary

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Santa with his eight reindeer as seen by poet Clement Clarke Moor.

Ho ho ho: Good tidings from the North Pole

8.12.2020

It’s Christmas time, and most of us are sucked up by the current that swashes along with it. Year by year, it seems to be swashing earlier and to suck more. Easter rabbits have hardly vanished from shelves, August-heat blazing and: forward come chocolate Santa Clauses and gingerbread loaves, twinkling stardust-sprinkled Christmas balls and light chains. By October, carols obtrusively blaring from loudspeakers near and far have long lost their magic – and meaning. In November, commerce and media insist that it is high time for us to finalise our Christmas shopping, and we are constantly reminded of the Western-World citizen spending an average of 280 Euros on presents alone. Those who won’t comply, will be forever stigmatised stingy misanthropists, who – not even for the holiest of occasions – overcome their revolting parsimony.

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Reading time: about 6 minutes
TED Talk. Stillness

TED Talk. Pico Iyer: The art of stillness

1.01.2020

In our hectic lives of constant motion and commotion, going nowhere at all could well be the key to more contentedness, says Pico Iyer, a travel writer with his heart and soul. A contradiction for a man crisscrossing the globe? Nothing is as urgent as sitting still, he says. To take the time to quietly lean back and indulge in a few peaceful moments a day, or to take the liberty of withdrawing for days, months – or years. And to contemplate to digest and organise the billowing mass of impressions inside our heads. An invigorating sabbatical may even provoke an entirely new approach and reveal a completely different meaning of life.

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Climate Change + dramatic sky

Climate Change: Hell and High Water

8.12.2019

Can it be that it takes a Swedish youngster by the name of Greta Thunberg, together with her followers, to shake the (adult) world community out of its environmental deep sleep? Is it so that we have been unable to classify the impact of our own hedonistic demeanour towards nature up to the decisive moment Greta arose? It almost looks like it, as progress on the green front has proved frustratingly tedious over a long period of time. The more welcome is a strong juvenile conviction leading to fresh initiatives that may propel forward what has been snailing along seemingly forever. Question is: Does a massive professional PR engine supported by overly obedient media coverage make the cause of the heroine they are shaping more credible?

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Reading time: about 4 minutes