Oh dear, that’s a ride! I sit on the train from Carinthia to Vienna, and the only car with electric current is one of these pre-mobile-phone-era cars that are almost perfect Faradayan cages. My internet connection is so flaky that it took me almost an hour to move this image to the proper gallery, assign keywords and write five lines!
Anyway. This is an image of Saturday morning, just befoe the sun came up, shortly before the fog rose. The rest of the day was work in the new apartment in Villach.
It’s funny, but we seem to have problems avoiding politics these days. Ted can’t keep his fingers off Sarah Palin and I have to come back to the recently departed Austrian master populist Jörg Haider.
Saturday was the Day of Jörg Haider’s funeral, and whatever you have read about the Carinthians worshipping him: it’s true! I hate to admit it, but Carinthia has fallen into a collective hysteria that I have never seen before. What they do is nothing short of creating a new Saint. Looking at it from a distance this may seem interesting and peculiar, a local phenomenon that meets astonishment even in Vienna, but from the perspective of a Carinthian-born thinking man it is absolutely disgusting.
It is bizzarre to see how fast history is re-written, how fast it is erased that this man’s strongest talents were to agitate the stupid against the weak and to spend our money with both hands.
So now, that’s our new Saint: a reckless politician who died drunk in his car, speeding at at least 142 kmh trough the fog. What a model for our youth! And still: people seem to love him! I can’t understand it. What is it?
People always adored his frank way of saying things that superficially resembled truth. He was daring. He is the only Austrian politician who was ever seen bungee jumping, one of the few who ran the New York marathon, he was a friend of Lybia’s dictator Gadaffi and he visited Saddam Hussein shortly before the US made an end to his régime. He was rich, independent, knew how to use the media, and in all that he made everybody think he was one of them.
Unbelievable? Yes, but that’s how it was, and though he certainly had liked to live on, what happens now would have pleased him. It’s pretty depressing that someone like him should triumph even in death.
Sorry for the rant, we instantly get soft again 🙂