My blog posts are almost always written in advance these days. Saves a lot of stress.
Not today. Today I’ve run out of posts and I’m late. Two days ago, Wednesday at 19:55, my father passed away. It’s been a busy time since.
Austria is governed by a coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives, with most influential ministries under control of the Conservatives, and the Head of Government, the Chancellor, being a Social Democrat. The Social Democrats have won the last elections, but effectively they had no other choice for a coalition, and that made them an ideal target for extortion.
When they signed their pact, one of the first things they did, was to increase the period of governance by a year, from four as it had been all through our recent democratic history, to five. Ostensibly they did it to be able to shoulder the “big problems”.
Well, this year the Conservatives broke the pact and in October we’ll have general elections, one year earlier than planned. The reason is, that the Conservatives have a new shooting star, some 30 year old Sebastian Kurz. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration during the past period.
Basically Kurz has one single topic so far, and that’s the refugee crisis. He also has one single success so far, namely that he negotiated with Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia, in an effort to close the route through their countries for refugees.
Apart from that, Kurz’ primary achievement is, that he brought the Conservatives completely under his control. During a recent congress, his party granted him unprecedented privileges of leadership, something so far impossible especially in this traditionally fractioned political organization. He is now the much adored pop star of the Conservatives, the messiah who has stepped down from the heavens to lead his struggling party into a bright future. Or at least that’s what we are told.
Kurz also seems to be attractive to a lot of women of about my age, basically women who could be his mother. That’s what I gathered from a chat that I had to overhear on the train recently, and that’s what I hear over and again since. Something with his eyes, they say.
If you look closer, you can see that, apart from young Caligula’s age, there is not much that distinguishes him from other politicians. Personally he has dropped out of university for an early political career, and all through his short adulthood he has been a professional politician, being integral part of and being carried along by the party, that he now claims to be changing so completely.
OK, I don’t like him, that’s obvious, but what exactly is his program? If he really were head of the next government, what would we have to expect?
And this is exactly the problem. In a perfidious move the Conservatives don’t tell us. Kurz travels across the country, lets his eyes be seen, but the only thing else he does is, to raise fears of a new wave of refugees. His idea for keeping them out is to close the Mediterranean. He’s a big fan of the “Australian Model” of concentrating refugees in island camps, or if that’s not possible (which it is not), of sending them back to Africa.
I don’t claim to see no problems. Definitely there are, but just to close our eyes and pay for more border troops will not solve any of those problems. And worse: exploiting those real problems for political purposes is extremely dishonest, but that’s exactly what the Conservatives do. They speak of preparations to close Austria’s southern border to Italy, much to the dismay of the Italians and at a time when there is no reason for it at all – apart from the upcoming elections.
Ostensibly Kurz’ tour across Austria is an effort to gather people’s opinions, in order to come up with a widely supported program in early September.
This could be. I doubt it though. I think what really happens is, that they send him around in order to establish him as an untainted Saviour. At the latest point possible, they will come up with a deliberately vague program, impossible to vet, especially in such a short time. It will be a program that uses shiny marketing language, in order to hide what they really intend to do, namely what every “conservative” party in the world does, and that is to lower taxes for the wealthy, to let “The Market” reign supreme, to increase surveillance and to keep exploiting this planet as if we had a few to spare.
It’s a shenanigan, nothing more. I could be wrong, but I doubt it seriously.
And off we went to France. Aix en Provence was the destination and we went by car. It’s easily reachable from Austria in one day.
This image was taken on the French highway, somewhere between Cannes and Nizza, during a refueling stop. It was drizzling a little and I took my first image on that trip: the hood of a big and expensive BMW SUV, sprinkled with cheap rain, reflecting a disfunctional roof 🙂
This image certainly does not demonstrate the Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95’s best use. It’s a manual lens and it does not report any information to the camera, but I guess this was at least f5.6, and at that aperture it is just another good normal lens, only slower to focus 🙂
Nevertheless, you can’t always pick your subjects and how they want to be taken.
Here’s another image I wouldn’t want to print. I’ve already taken back the reds, but still the car is almost out of gamut.
By the way, for ten years I’ve driven a succession of three of those Citroën 2CV. Fabulous car. I wouldn’t want to have an accident in it, it’s slow on the highway, in winter it takes two hours of driving until you stop feeling cold, but I love the canvas top, the quirky way you shift gears, the beautiful headlights and the way you open the side windows by folding the lower part up. It’s pure nostalgia.
As it is with fires, they get more dangerous the closer you get. What better way to get close than a macro lens?
In case you wonder, this is a pink Mercedes car – yes, really 😀 – wet from morning dew, with the reflection of a street light. Actually, if I think of it, this is the first macro image that I took with my new macro lens.