Both ladies are having moments of crisis, trying to figure out what to do next in their rote-lives. While Knightly’s Meagan is still in protracted adolescence, over-educated and under-employed, Plaza’s Darius is working as an intern for a Seattle magazine, living in her soap bubble of melancholy and detachment.
But of course, adventure calls.
Fleeing from a friend’s wedding (Ellie Kemper in uptight WASP form), Meagan meets a group of teens and after buying them alcohol, ends up hanging out, reliving a bit of her adolescence in their company. During a meeting, Darius’s arrogant but likeable boss, Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) discovers an ad in a small town classifieds looking for a time traveling companion. He needs a team of two interns to assist him in the investigation and article – Darius volunteers.
Both ladies find male leads to love: Craig (Sam Rockwell) for Meagan, a divorce lawyer and father to Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) one of the teens she befriends; Kenneth (Mark Duplass) enters the picture for Darius, the time-traveler with a quirky but humane approach to his ‘mission’.
Fun fact: the director of Laggies, Lynn Shelton has a role as ‘Uptight mom’ in Safety Not Guaranteed. So beyond the pines and the Pacific beaches featured in both films, and the great indie-vibe, you can have this other minor but interesting link between the two.
So yes, Happy Easter and hopefully you get a chance to see these great American films. Films like this remind you the true talent of the United States lies in the creative folk, not their leaders.
What: The 2016 indie German film “Der schwarze Nazi” (“The black Nazi”) examines the inscrutable question of what it means to be German (you know, it still ain’t that easy after WW2), and turns the concept of integration on its head. In a climate of intense racial hatred, how far will someone go to try to fit in – or to vanquish his or her aggressors?
Synopsis (translation):Sikumoya, a Congolese immigrant in Saxony, faces racist encounters on a day-to-day basis. This is why he becomes increasingly keen to blend in with his German surroundings, but it just won’t work for him. When he gets beaten up by neo-Nazis, Sikumoya’s world comes apart at the seams. He lapses into a coma and goes through a peculiar metamorphosis: The black protagonist becomes the most supremacist of Germans by overtaking the neo-Nazis on the right-wing political lane, and challenges his former adversaries for their very own ideology. This transformation convinces the Nazis to accept him, and he also manages to garner support from the angry mob of German Wutbürger.
Composed nearly a century apart, some might say the connection is merely religious one. Lobgesang was commissioned in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press, which lead to the Reformation. Poulenc experienced a religious awakening when fellow composer and good friend, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, was decapitated in a car accident, which happened right after he visited Rocamadour when on holiday.
He later recalled:
A few days earlier I’d just heard of the tragic death of my colleague … As I meditated on the fragility of our human frame, I was drawn once more to the life of the spirit. Rocamadour had the effect of restoring me to the faith of my childhood. This sanctuary, undoubtedly the oldest in France … had everything to captivate me … The same evening of this visit to Rocamadour, I began my Litanies à la Vierge noire for female voices and organ. In that work, I tried to get across the atmosphere of “peasant devotion” that had struck me so forcibly in that lofty chapel.
Every day I see evidence that the world religions are polarising people in every land. I see people fighting for the freedom to worship or not to worship their faith. I see the fear and the hate. I hear it in the rhetoric of the campaign speeches from the presidential primary in the States. And to be honest, I find myself frightened, overwhelmed and in despair. This makes myself question how relevant these pieces are to me, personally, today? And I wonder what they mean to you. After all, most of the readers here live in the former GDR where religion was truly an underground movement, and where most grew up without religion.
According to choreographer Mario Schröder, both works can stand alone, but he’d prefer merging them in order to create a bridge to our time. Mendelssohn takes a look back to a Reformation, which took place some 400 years before, and Poulenc’s view from 1943 examines human grieving during the German occupation of France. Both express the darkness of fear, but they both also combat that with irrepressible hope.
In this performance, Mario’s choreography is joined by the orchestra and the choir. I must say I was very moved by Poulenc’s acapella pieces. They were full of emotion, and at times had the resonance of negro spirituals. In his bid for good to triumph over evil, Mario reminds us that we are not only a part of one or more collectives, but individuals. As we fight our personal battles one by one, we discover our individual identities and, in so doing, our freedom.
As his choreographic language continues to grow, we see evidence of this in the imperfect group work and in the quite individualistic performances of Urania Lobo Garcia and Yan Leiva; both seemingly taylor-made to suit their unique capabilities.
There’s one more chance to experience it this season, 17 June.
If you’re a regular reader of The Leipzig Glocal, the new face you’ll see tomorrow when you wake up and go for your morning (or afternoon?) dose of glocalness may look very nice but very different from what you’re used to. We hope we have injected it in all the right places to enhance your viewing and browsing experience, but are still in the process of tweaking the new design and organization, and making it fully responsive to and ideal for different types of devices – computer, tablet, mobile. So we’d appreciate your feedback!
Some of the individual articles that have already been posted will also look a bit different, i.e. in terms of photos, to conform to the new layout. We’re in the process of redesigning the articles in the archives when needed – there are more than 500 of them, so it will take some time. We’ve kept all our columns and features, and you can still find all the articles you might want to search for, as they’re just organized differently on the new homepage. We’ll now have umbrella menu headings, or themes, encompassing different columns, or categories (which we used to denote with the # symbol or put across the top as fixed pages). Take a look:
Under “My Leipzig” up top, you’ll find, as the title suggests, many of our local pages: Jobs for International People, English-Speaking Doctors (under “Community), info and insights regarding different aspects of the Leipzig scene and city life. “What’s On” will give you Leipzig Events, plus Openings and Premieres and FUNkyFRIdayz mixes. You will be able to find our weekly showtimes for movies in the original (“OmU”), plus the Free Museum Days listing, under the next tab, “Culture/Entertainment;” it will also house all the arts- and entertainment-related columns, including literature, music and performance and movie reviews. Travel, Dating, Food and various musings will be under “Lifestyle,” while “Opinion” will be the domain of Politics and related topics. There will be some overlap, meaning you’ll see some articles under more than one category.
It’s similar on mobile, of course; just click on “Menu” and go from there.
I’ll leave the rest for you to click around and explore – in fact, the LeipGlo team is doing the same, learning as we go along, and knowing there’s always room to make it better. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post them here, via Facebook or e-mail (email@example.com for now; soon, our newsroom and all our regular writers and editors will have their own @leipglo e-mail addresses).
On a final note: Our domains will now be both leipglo.com and leipglo.de.
Karlsruhe used to be one of the most beautiful cities in Germany before the war. Its name is connected to its history. It actually means “Karl’s repose,” and according to legend, the name was given to the new city after a hunting trip when Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach woke from a dream in which he dreamt of founding his new city. A variation of this story claims that he built the new palace in order to find peace from his wife.
The above is information I found on Wikipedia, but many years ago, as I was translating my beloved Thomas Hardy’s A Laodicean from English into Greek, I had stumbled upon a description of Karlsruhe and had learnt what its name meant. Back then my knowledge of the German language was inexistent, so I wouldn’t know what “Ruhe” meant if Thomas Hardy hadn’t explained it.
Similarly, I wouldn’t know what “Fächer” meant. «The city was planned with the palace tower (Schloss) at the center and 32 streets radiating out from it like the spokes of a wheel, or the ribs of a folding fan, so that one nickname for Karlsruhe in German is the “fan city” (Fächerstadt).» (Wikipedia)
Of course the palace and a large part of the city was heavily bombed at war, so what we see today is actually restored. The ribs of the folding fan are still there and the Schloss, which now houses a museum. The gardens of the palace are beautiful and a small train runs through them on holidays during the spring and the summer months.
Karlsruhe seemed unremarkable to me (and most probably to Thomas Hardy if we judge by his description in his book) the first three times I visited it, but I am slowly warming up to it. The fact that the city has a very interesting art museum, many art galleries, a museum of natural history, some good theatres and a famous technical university, as well as many cafes and restaurants, render it lively and pleasant.
Nearby, the town of Bruchsal is home to another big palace and the town of Ettlingen is an attractive place. France is not very far if you want to visit another country, so Karlsruhe has an international air somehow. There are many shops downtown as well as some busy shopping centres. Something that will disappoint a tourist visiting Karlsruhe are the street works in progress everywhere, which have to do with the transport network. These works are lasting a bit long (a good number of years) and aim at securing more space for pedestrians in the future.
But let us get back to Thomas Hardy and his description of Karlsruhe:
«To Carlsruhe they went next day, after a night of soft rain which brought up a warm steam from the Schwarzwald valleys, and caused the young tufts and grasses to swell visibly in a few hours. After the Baden slopes the flat thoroughfares of ‘Charles’s Rest’ seemed somewhat uninteresting, though a busy fair which was proceeding in the streets created a quaint and unexpected liveliness».
Exactly. Somewhat uninteresting at first but with an unexpected liveliness at second sight. Yes, Karlsruhe is getting better and better every time you see it.
20 people from all over the world are on their way or have just arrived in Leipzig. They are coming to town since this year is the 50th anniversary of 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, which took place in October 1966 in NYC. Conceived by Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver, it combined avant-garde theatre, improvisational orchestra with a hint of actionist sensibilities. This ground breaking event lead to many variations on the theme, including Nine Evenings with performances by John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham, Öyvind Fahlström, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor, and Robert Whitman.
ArtSci Nexus will pay tribute to this monumental action with a 9 day festival from 29 September – 8 October called 9 Evenings Revisited: In Theory, as in practice. This week they are having a preparatory THINK TANK at KKW. It will be conducted in English, open to the public and will feature of a series of lectures, performances, film screening, and educational workshops.
9 Evenings Revisited: In Theory, as in practice stands apart from its predecessor as it involves cellular and molecular life scientists, physicists, and mathematicians, rather than engineers, and therefore reflects the diversity and breadth of scientific culture. Sound a little dry? Not at all! Be sure and have a look at who’s presenting. Seriously interesting topics.
I knew Sofar (sounds from a room) Sounds was happening, but I was so busy with other things that I had decided to be disciplined and work on my to-do-list. Little did I know then that my to-do-list was to be altered by unforeseen circumstances. Once a year, the fire marshall comes to my building, and we have to move anything out of the stairway. He was due on Monday. It was Sunday, and I wanted to take the coffee/tea cups that were in the Geschenkebox to Helmut. So, on my way from one working location to another, I thought I’d drop them off. With my usual non-concept of time, I figured the scheduled event would be winding down, and I could just pop in and out. WRONG – it was wall to wall!
I saw a guy carrying a plastic trash can with an ikea silverware container attached to it – with electrical ties – and another electrical tie threaded through some bottle caps. I decided to stay for a little while.
As for Sofar, the basic concept here is to experience secret intimate concerts with quality musicians on a donation basis. The venues are always small and usually limited to about 35 people. The next one is tomorrow. I can’t wait to see whether I get in, and where the secret location will be.
I missed the first band of the last show due to turning up late, but they were described to me as a German Disney act. They’re called ‘Karl die Grosse’, and you can judge for yourself.
Next up was Richie Rose & Bros. They teetered between 80s film music with its heavy saxophone and King Kong funkiness. Nice groove.
Last was the duo, ‘Oh EOS’. One guy on machine and one girl on vocals. She’s no Whitney Houston, but she is a modern Diana Ross with her soft soulful voice.
We set out to retrieve first-hand knowledge of political endeavours undertaken to facilitate life of immigrants. Chris Pyak aims to increase life chances for Europeans and immigrants by reducing obstacles in the labour market. As the managing director of Immigrant Spirit GmbH, he provides career opportunities for professionals from all over the world. Since November 2015, he has been an elected representative to the Steering Committee of the Individual Members of the ALDE party (Europe’s liberals). Chris has lived in five European countries and has now set up camp in Düsseldorf, Germany.
You are a journalist who first got into coaching before founding a company and joining a European party. How did all that string together?
I have become active in European politics to help increase the individual freedom of Europeans, especially in the labour market. Last year I got elected into the Steering Committee of the individual members of the ALDE party, which is the liberal party in Europe.
Recruiting, coaching, writing and my political work all feed from the same source – my desire to pave a way through the multitude of obstacles that keep individuals from reaching their goals, and in turn help them contribute to society. I meet so many talented people from all over the world, but when they come to Germany, all their experience, education and talent amounts to ‘zero’. It is a sign of disrespect that makes me very angry, because it’s both arrogant and stupid.
We read that you want to create jobs for Europe’s lost generation. Who exactly is lost, and how can their chances be saved?
The labour market in Europe is not working properly. Half of the young people in Greece and Spain are unemployed, and a quarter of those in Italy and France. This is not only an economic problem; it’s a total disaster for young professionals. Imagine you finish university and then you’re unable to find a proper job for three years. Half of what you have learnt will be out of date before you are able to get your career off the ground, which will make it even harder for you to find a job in the first place.
At the same time, Northern countries – and especially Germany – are in need of skilled labour. It’s like a poison that slowly kills you. Right now, our labour force shrinks by 100,000 people per year. With the baby-boomer generation retiring and a lack of young people to replace them, this gap will soon increase to an annual 500,000 people in about five years’ time.
Ultimately, an ever slimming work force will have to feed more and more retirees. My wife will give birth to our son this year, and by the time he reaches the age of 18, statutory levies going into Germany’s Federal Pension Fund will have increased by 50%. He is going to have to pay to support the baby-boomer generation.
What needs to be done to avert the consequences of the inverted age pyramid?
First, we need to improve labour mobility. Theoretically speaking, Europeans do have the right to work everywhere in the EU. In practice, however, employers will not consider taking you on if you don’t speak the local language. The very low labour mobility index here is only 10 per cent of that in the United States. This is further exacerbated by the circumstance of only 3% of all job offers in Germany being available in English. Without any command of the German language, 97% of the job market is closed off for you.
Yet it is important to understand that language is not a decisive factor for most jobs. Among the top 40 highest sought-for jobs in Germany, there are positions such as Software Developers, Marketing Specialists, Sales Managers, Business Analysts and any perceivable position in IT. It is a very common occurrence that smart professionals start working in English, do a great job and learn the local language ‘on the job’.
This is why an initial impetus needs to see employers encouraging the recruitment of professionals who are able to speak English before providing their employees with an opportunity to learn the local language at work. A very smooth way to achieve this goal is job sharing. My friends Anna and Jana from www.tandemploy.de offer this opportunity with great success to companies.
My ultimate goal is that every individual can take any job for which they are qualified, everywhere in Europe. And that implies that people can freely choose to live wherever they want.
How can you work in a different place from where you live?
Look at the Netherlands for a starting point. Last year, their parliament created the ‘Right to work from home office.’ If you work in a company with more than ten employees for six months or more, you have the legal right to work from home. It would be down to the employer to provide evidence in cases were working from home is thought impossible.
Let’s think a few years ahead into the future. If your Dutch employer thought you really did a great job over a matter of years, would he really care whether you worked from home at the other end of the city or at the other end of Europe? Probably not.
Instead of observing the time you spend behind your desk, the home office law encourages employers to look at the results they want to get. My hope is that it will also open employers’ eyes for the contribution that ‘unusual’ candidates can make instead of capitalising on superficial differences such as language, location etc.
How important is being able to speak English for immigrants when it comes to making professional progress?
If you don’t speak English and can’t use computers, you are an illiterate. It may sound harsh, but that’s reality.
The city of Düsseldorf has now given the all clear for English as an additional service language in city administration. What part did you have in this, and why is it so important? Every year, 15,000 EU citizens and foreigners move to Düsseldorf. The city is the third most popular location for international companies to establish headquarters in Europe. Only London and Paris are more successful.
The main reason for allowing English as an additional service language is, of course, an improvement of the service at hand. German bureaucracy can pose a trying experience, even for Germans. Foreigners who have just arrived here find it extremely hard to cope with. There is no reason to make it even harder by refusing to speak the world’s most commonly accepted business language with them.
By the way, the city administration is now training their employees in English, and they are quite excited with it. Especially older employees are very glad about the opportunity to improve their language skills since it increases both their professional and their personal quality of life.
Since you are a member of ALDE – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – and also a delegate of the party’s congress, your political life must be quite busy. What kind of an influence can you as an individual yield?
I was surprised how ‘easy’ it was to change the life of 15,000 people per year for the better, even if it was just in a small way.
The ‘English as a service language’ initiative started with a number of events in my living room. I invited expatriates and liberal politicians to discuss the obstacles that immigrants face in Germany. The events where awesome, because the politicians spend most of their time listening and trying to understand the situation.
Even Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (Vice President of the European Parliament) came to visit us. Also, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (Vice Chair of FDP in Germany) and Johannes Vogel, who worked in the strategic department of the ‘Zentrale Auslandsvermittlung der Arbeitsagentur’ provided us with a profound inside of the situation of foreigners in Germany. The latter is also the General Secretary of the FDP in North-Rhine Westfalia. At one time, we also visited the federal state parliament here to discuss with Joachim Stamp, who is a member of parliament and very committed to integration.
What surprised me in all these discussions – and also later when I pushed for this vote in the FDP parliamentary group – was that once they understood all angles of the problem, they acted very quickly.
After about eight months of lobbying, we won the vote on ‘English as a service language’ in the city council. It didn’t stop there, either. More than ten other cities have taken up my initiative by now. The Germany-wide FDP also adopted the goal ‘English as a service language’ in their agenda for the whole of Germany. And last November, the European ALDE party committed itself to push for ‘start in English, learn the local language on the job’ for Europe.
An individual can make a real impact if you are able to get your facts straight, and if you are able to phrase your idea in a way that shows how they help the goals of your partners. The way to success is not confrontation, but cooperation. And that’s quite a hopeful conclusion for our world.
Final thoughts in a nutshell: What’s your vision with regard to integrating about one million refugees here in Germany?
This can be a chance for Germans with low income as well. Refugees need jobs, so a lot of jobs need to be created. This is how we can integrate them in society. There is no lack of work here, either. There are many households that would be happy to hire a nanny, a caretaker or similar worker. And how many pro bono organisations could use someone for basic tasks?
Currently, the cost of labour for this kind of work is too high. But it’s not the income of the worker that makes this work unattractive. It’s the burden of the state.
Did you know that even a ‘Mindestlohner’ (someone who earns minimum wage) has to pay 38% of his meagre income to the public authorities? At the same time, a public servant who may earn about four times as much is only liable to pay 17% of his income to the state.
This is due to social security contributions. A ‘Mindestlohner’ pays e.g. €267 towards the German Federal Pension Fund – but he will never get a cent of that money back. He would need to earn a minimum of €2,500 before his pension exceeds the social welfare payments. A public servant doesn’t contribute a cent, but he will receive a state-funded pension that is so high that retired public servants now belong to the most affluent group in our society!
My solution: Keep the benefits of social welfare, but pay it through taxes. This way, labour will become cheaper, employees will earn more money, and low-skilled labour is bound to become more affordable as well. However, I doubt that we are going to see this happen under the current government in place.
A big THANK YOU goes out to Chris for taking the time. And how we wish more politicians were just like him!
Spring is here and we bears are slowly coming out of hibernation. How do we know it’s time? The smell of wild garlic! Bärlauch, Bear’s Garlic, Bear’s Leek: it goes by many a name, including Allium ursine, and Leipzig’s woods are full of it! Don’t get too excited when you see a blanket of it in the woods. A German friend told me that you are free to pick some, but should only take what you can carry in your hands. Just keep an eye out for bears.
Now that you’ve got it, what to do with it? How about a nice pesto for that yummy bread only found in Germany? It’s tasty and sooooooooo easy. Kapuczinowas kind enough to share his recipe.
in a bowl finely chop wild garlic and oil a little at a time (most people use a blender or a hand blender)
add sunflower seeds and salt and blend
fill sterilised jars and store in a cool dry place to keep up to 6 months…. hahahahaha, right (wink)
Stewart says he also does one using sesame seeds and ginger.
NOTE: Some people will tell you the old wives tale that Bärlauch becomes poisonous once it’s in bloom. In fact, it just loses its flavour and the blossoms turn bitter when in bloom. This can be remedied! Remove the petals and wash the buds, then leave them in brine for a day. Then briefly bring it to a boil in vinegar before you process it into pesto. Jar the pesto when it’s still warm before putting it in a cool and dry place. This may sound like a bit of wizardry, but it works.
and one last tip:Freeze it instead of putting it in jars!
It’s the perfect time to meet like-minded people! There will be plenty of specific-themed events going on in town over the next several days: 90s enthusiasts – CHECK! Bio and fair-trade enthusiasts – CHECK! Gin-lovers – CHECK! Dance, live music, theater, chatting, alcohol – CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK!
So… check it out!
Ana’s flyer finds(‘TIS THE SEASON FOR 90s PARTIES!):
FEATURED: April 9th & 10th► Heldenmarkt – Sustainable Consumption Fair at Kongresshalle Zoo
There is no denying that we need to change the way we consume. Learn more from the local heroes of sustainability at Heldenmarkt @ Leipzig or on the FB event page. << GET FREE TICKETS >>
April 7th► Gin Club at B10 – every 1st Thirstday of the month from 21:00 Try new mixes and flavours from a variety of gins and tonics. Let the team of B10 (Beethovenstraβe 10) advise & surprise you. It’s cheaper than therapy! << Marjon’s review of B10 >>
April 9th & 10th ► Arts & Craft Market – Kreativmarkt A market with ALL things creative, like A&C supplies and handicraft from both artisans and private people is held every year at Kohlrabizirkus, An den Tierklinik 42, from 11:00-18:00 on Saturday and from 10:00-17:00 on Sunday. << More info (in German) >>