Simon's World

The World According to Simon
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Lesson Learned

Today the German dog obedience championship took place. During a similar occasion last year I had a falling-out with somebody because I told that person that I thought she did something wrong. The championship today made me think about this incident again. I questioned myself: What would I do today? Would I still walk up to this person being really angry about what she did and confront her with my opinion?

Throughout my life I made the experience that most people aren’t really interested in what you think, especially when your opinions diverge. I didn’t bother much. I gave my opinion when I felt it was necessary. I don’t talk much, I’m not a chatty person, so I only open my mouth when there’s something to say—which is, for example, when I think somebody is treated in an unfair manner [as in the above mentioned situation].

My answer to that question closing the first paragraph is—no. No, I won’t walk up to that person again and face her with my opinion. I can’t quite tell, if it is only because I am so disappointed by this person that I just don’t care enough about her any more—or if I don’t care about other people enough any more. I don’t know, if it was only that one situation, or if it were a lot of other similar but minor situations, that caused this change of mind. I guess I finally learned the above mentioned—most people give s*#! about your opinion. But you should cherish those people who care about your opinion, because you are as important to them as they are to you.

Valentine’s Day

After sitting at my desk the whole day, reading for my thesis yesterday, I just wanted to crash on the couch and watch something kind of ‚dull‘. So I started watching Valentine’s Day an ensemble romantic comedy movie from 2010. It was a Valentine’s Day blockbuster which did pretty well in cinemas but was not highly acclaimed by critics with an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

So actually it fullfilled my needs for a dull movie. But be that as it may, you can’t switch your brain of entirely, can you? So I still liked the entangled storylines. I fell for the mystery of the guy and the woman on the plane, which only resolved in the very last sequences of the film.
But most of all I liked the intertextuality. So there is this long-time married couple (Edgar and Estelle Paddington). He finds out that she (Shirley Maclain) had an affair. Usually they go to the cemetery and watch a movie on each Valentine’s Day, this time they don’t. He goes to watch the movie on his own. It’s a black-and-white movie starring his wife. (Hot Spell, 1958) Afterall Estelle comes to the cemetery calling out for her husband and they reunite in front of the screen showing the younger version of her and it looks like what she says in Valentine’s Day mimics what she says in Hot Spell.

Shirley Maclain in "Valentine's Day" and "Hot Spell"

Shirley Maclain in „Valentine’s Day“ and „Hot Spell“

What is amazing about this, is the sublime way of breaking the fourth wall. In Valentine’s Day Shirley Maclain is Estelle Paddington and in Hot Spell the name of the character she’s playing is Virginia Duval. So these are to totally different characters, the only thing they both got in common is the actress portraying them. So who is Shirley Maclain in Valentine’s Day then? Is she Estelle Paddington? – The credits say so. But how can it be then that her husband says „That’s my girl.“ pointing at the screen where Shirley Maclain is portraying Virginia Duval? So is she Virginia Duval then? – Most probably not, as Virginia Duval is a 19 year old girl experiencing first love and the story of Virginia Duval has nothing in common with the story of Estelle Paddington. So she is Shirley Maclain then? – Yes and no. And here the film breaks the fourth wall. She is Shirley Maclain and Estelle Paddington at the same time, because only Shirley Maclain can be related to both characters, though she is not portraying herself in Valentine’s Day

Tune of the Day

For everyone who’s got a little or not so little crush on someone:

Amy Macdonald — 4th Of July – MyVideo

It’s been ages

I can’t believe I didn’t post anything for more than a year. Why did this year pass that fast? I’ve been up to a lot of stuff. We got another dog. Again a Hovawart, blond this time. She already is one year old now. So we have been pretty busy with this at the beginning of 2011. Then there has been work. We had to write research reports and prepare all the showcases which had to be handed in until the beginning of September 2011. After that I had an operation, just a minor one and it was well planned. And I have been struggeling a lot with my dissertation. In the first place I wanted to write about horror film iconography and intertextualities. Then I found another doctoral candidate in Graz who wrote on this. So I thought about a plan B – US-American Primetime Quality Drama. It turned out that I still could write about the horror flicks as that guy wrote from a literary criticism point-of-view. But I got stuck with the series/serials. That was around the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. Thereafter I started to struggel whether writing a dissertation was the right choice. I made a decision just last week. I am writing my dissertation. I never made existential decisions makeing a pro-con list, I always made gut decisions. So here I am, a doctoral candidate, no matter what comes thereafter, no matter whether I might feel too old for this, no matter whether I will be a cash-out assistant or taxi driver afterwards. Thinking, re-thinking and (academic) writing is what I do best and what I love most. And I am back to my old self for whom the pursuit of happiness is what is most important.

history repeating

Nearly two years ago I wrote a letter to my in-laws. It was about me, who I am, what I think, and about them being full of prejudices about me. Today I am writing a letter to my in-laws. It is about me, who I am, what I think, and about their prejudices about me.

.. and I’ve seen it before
.. and I’ll see it again
.. yes I’ve seen it before
.. just little bits of history repeating

viertel vor sieben

Today is my grandmothers birthday. She is gone for more than two years now and I really miss her. My Mom, Dad and I visited my grandparents‘ grave on Totensonntag. It felt weird, visiting a town where you spent nearly every summer of your childhood and there is no place left to visit but a grave. The flat my grandparents lived in was sold this spring. A place of only good memories exists no more. This makes me pretty sad. But on the other hand, would this flat be still the same without my grandparents living there? I guess not.

This song is about childhood and about coming home, about feeling safe, about hot chocolate and cake, about jauntiness, about a sanctuary to return to. It is about the burdens of adulthood, the difficulties, the long and winding roads, and about sometimes wishing things where as jaunty, carefree and easy as they are when being a child.

Das Fell wird dünner und leerer der Becher,
Der Zaubertrank wirkt nur noch schwer.
Der Kummer ist tiefer, der Trost scheint schwächer,
Und es heilt nicht alles mehr.
Wo ist meine Sorglosigkeit geblieben,
Was machte Erkenntnis daraus?
Manchmal wünscht‘ ich, es wär‘ noch mal viertel vor sieben
Und ich wünschte, ich käme nach Haus!
Nur einen Augenblick noch mal das Bündel ablegen
Und mit argslosem Übermut,
Durch dunkle Wege, der Zuflucht entgegen
Und glauben können: Alles wird gut!
Manchmal wünscht‘ ich, die Dinge wär‘n so einfach geblieben
Und die Wege gingen nur gradeaus,
Manchmal wünscht‘ ich, es wär‘ noch mal viertel vor sieben
Und ich wünschte, ich käme nach Haus!