Machmallauter: Boney M

I was always a fan of of Boney M.  I had no choice really.  When I was pads brat living in Wolfenbüttel, Germany 1975-78, their music was on BFBS all the time.  Every hour.  Every day.

This was my favourite Boney M number: 137, to be exact.  Psalm 137, otherwise known as…

By the Rivers of Babylon

Have a psalmodic day, won’t you!


Is Jeremy Corbyn anti-Semitic?

Jeremy Corbyn is the Official Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom.  He has a penchant for certain hats.

First of all, have a read of this article.

Is JC anti-Semitic?

You decide.  Personally, I think he is not anti-Semitic, but lacks sensitivity to realise the consequences of his actions, and needs to be careful about the company he keeps.

Have a sensitive day, won’t you!



The Fifth Commandment: Part 2

Even though I’m not Catholic, I had been feeling a bit of guilt.  I decide to phone my Mum, hoping for some sensible, intelligent, conversation that doesn’t revolve around:

  • Ex-neighbour S: hasn’t she put on loads of weight since you last saw her?
  • Relative Y‘s gynaecological problems in great, great, great.  (I’m a modern man.  I don’t blush when women talk about menstruation, the menopause, period pains, sanitary towels, etc.  I just find the topic a week bit uninteresting on a Saturday evening.  Don’t you?)
  • Braech of confidentiality about someone elses’s personal problems.
  • Who’s the next victim of the guillotine, just like the tricoteuse women, knitting away.

Conversations with my mum tend to be somewhat negative.  If you have a bonfire, she’ll empty her bladder over it.

“It’s taking a while to get a new tenant in my house.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have used that agency.”

Sadly, my sister, V, is a mini-me of my mum, only with:

  • A single-digits reading age
  • A vocabulary of swear words that would embarrass the average dock worker
  • Even less tact and emotional intelligence than her mother

Yesterday I mentioned to our mother that V had un-friended me.

Why?  What have you done?

Not, “Why?  What happened?”  An immediate accusation.

I explained:

There was a discussion about Northern Ireland.  I was asked what I knew about Northern Ireland.  I explained I had relatives who had served there in the British Army.  V leapt in with a diatribe against Dad.  I told her politely that this was not the right forum to go into family disputes when people were debating Northern Ireland.  Nobody else is interested anyway.

Cue immediate defence of V.

But your dad is an (expletive deleted).

Ginge in Germany:

But a public discussion about is not the right place to hang your dirty laundry in public.

A curt reply:


That translates as:

You are right, but I am not prepared to speak against my mini-me.

Do you not see why that is wrong?


Do you not understand?


It just doesn’t sink in.  Sometimes, frankly, I wonder if my mum has autistic tendencies due to her tactlessness and lack of empathy towards other.  In the end I give up and say that Schatz and I havae to head out now, catch you later.

Sometimes I feel like just not bothering to call her and see how long it takes for her to contact me.  Regrettably I know it’s all my fault.  I chose to be born with the wrong set of “equipment” down below.  My fault.  Hands up.  I admit it.  I am ashamed of the bad choice I made.

Honour your mother and father, yes, good idea.  But honour and respect don’t come at the drop of a hat.  Honour and respect have to be earned.


Have a commanding day, won’t you!


Today’s Bonus Joke

A Soviet Jew is sitting on a train, reading a book, “Beginner’s Hebrew.” Opposite him the KGB agent asks, “Hey, Jew, why are you reading this book?”

The Soviet Jew replies, “Well, if I go to heaven when I die…”

The KGB agent butts in, “And if you get sent to Hell?”

The Jew replies: “Hey, listen, comrade, Russian I already speak…”


What is your favourite?

  • Book: 1984
  • Song: Mississippi, by Pussycat
  • Colour: Purple (it used to be jade when I was younger)
  • Holiday destination: Edale in the Peak District
  • Film: The Wicker Man, starring Edward Woodward
    • (Foreign-language film: Good Bye Lenin)
  • Idiomatic expression: “to a certain extent”
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Font: Helvetica (don’t get me started on comic sans serif…)
  • Group: The Ukrainians
  • Magazine: Private Eye
  • Hymn: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
  • Bible passage: Ezekiel 25:17 🙂

Your turn!  Du bist in der Reihe!

Have a favourite day, won’t you!

Er Ist Wieder Da – Ein Knaller

Can you write a comedy about Hitler?  Well, Mel Brooks gave the world The Producers and To Be Or Not To Be, including The Hitler Rap.  Before that there was Chaplin’s film, The Great Dictator.  Those who are fans of Russian literature will have heard of The Heart of a Dog (Sobach’e serdtse), which mocked Stalin, that other great dictator.  I rest my case.  Maybe as a Brit and as someone with a military background, I understand dark humour more than others.

In the last decade or so, Germans have felt much more comfortable about talking about the war, the Third Reich, “an’ all that jazz.”  (Just take a look at the N24 news channel, to see all the programmes from Switzerland under the Swastika to Japanese Nazis to SS Fashionistas…)  But depicting Hitler as a human being, rather than as evil personified with a toothbruh moustache?  I would argue that that made its debut in Der Untergang (“The Downfall“).  (That’s the one with the scene where Hitler:

  • Sings the Gummibaer Song
  • Rants about going to Lancashire instead of Yorkshire
  • Is horrified to discover he’s been out as a member of the British National Party
  • etc…

Comedy about Hitler?  But Germans don’t have a sense of humour…  (Go and see Good Bye Lenin, in that case, or even Herr Henning Wehn.)

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Schatz and I decided to watch the film of the book Er Ist Wieder Da (by Timur Vermes).

My observations

  1. The younger the Zuschauer, the more they laughed.  To be expected.  That distance makes it easier to laugh at one big war movie.
  2. The closer to the end of the film, the less laughter there was.  Black comedy makes a serious point.  One of the HJ’s youngsters sitting near me complained ten minutes before the end, “Es ist nicht mehr witzig.”  Yes, that’s the point.  Black comedy is the iron cross fist in the velvet glove.
  3. Germans still get nervously silent when they hear the word, “Jüdin” (literally: “Jewess”) even in a comedy.  Is it still a taboo word?
  4. Unlike The Producers, there is no happy ending of funny punchline.  Hitler is killed, but he is “part of you all, and you are all part of me.”  (“The Führer is dead.  Long live the Führer.”)
  5. The mix of vox pops with scripted scenes was really effective in bringing the film to life.  My goodness, Hitler going into a genuine Turkish dry cleaner’s, staning in his vest and Y-fronts, then having to scrape a living as an artist on a market square somewhere…
  6. Bonus marks to the director for lifting that famous/notorious scene from Der Untergang.  I got the in-joke straightaway. So did Schatz.  I don’t think anyone else did.  Schade.

I give this film five stars (yellow, of course, with the word “Jude” written on each one).

Have a führious day, won’t you!

Visit to London Jewish Museum

North London.  Well known for having the bulk of Britain’s Jewish community.  You’ll always get a good bagel round Golders Green.

An aside: there’s an old Jewish joke.  Road sign in North London:


I digress.  Quite a faith-centred Sunday, beginning with waking up at 06:00 to my home radio station’s God-slot show, the Mike Hill Show.   Then off to the local Anglican church in Camden.  Very Anglo-Catholic.  Smells and bells.  I even met a lady from Saxon… as I could tell by her accent after a few minutes.  (Nicht vergessen: Über 60 Millionen Menschen können nicht richtig Ostdeutsch sprechen… macht was dagegen!)

I digress again.

After church a visit to the London Jewish Museum.  Very welcoming, informative museum, very interactive.  Far better than the Berlin Jewish Museum, all stuffy and full of glass cases.  A lot I never knew about the contribution of Britain’s Jews.  One of the staff there is able to trace her family tree back to the times of Oliver Cromwell. I was impressed.  I can only go back to 1890.

Go if you get the chance.  It’s closed on Saturdays.

Have a cultural day, won’t you!