Archiv für Februar 2007

wenn dennis englisch schreibt, schreib ich auch englisch

Ban! Ban. Ban?

How to stop violence among young people
November 20th at 9.30 a.m., 18-year-old Bastian B. enters his former school heavily armed. He shoots around and fires smoke bombs. At the end, he kills himself. While many are shocked and try to find appropriate words, others grab seven-year-old bills, because they have found the reason: computer games in which killing people in a fictional environment is an essential part. These games have been polemically called kill-‘em-games for four years. Contradictory findings of sociologists are not taken into account. This essay will consider arguments against a ban on computer games. It will then present qualities of democratic education that prevent young people from using violence as a way of making their voices heard.

It is understandable that politicians wish to stop the violence caused by young people. However, the discussion raised by Günther Beckstein does not help anyone to understand the problem. It is absurd to believe that you can prevent killing frenzies by prohibiting computer games and by criminalising huge parts of the juvenile and adult population. If you demand that, you deny most people’s ability to distinguish between a game and reality. If you assume that young people bring their aggressive and threatening behaviour from the computer game into the real world without reflecting on, you will have to check many board games as well, in which players need to pursue selfish, unsocial or inhuman strategies to earn a victory. To win “Monopoly”, you have to beggar your takers. Most of the games do not stop at this point: The object of the popular game of strategy “Risk” is to wage war on other countries until the opponent has to remove his last soldier. But after that, everyone puts his tokens back on the board and the game starts over. Notional killing has been part of games since the year dot. Romping around with wooden rifles or water pistols, capturing the pawn to mate the king, casting the dice or pressing the left mouse button: You always have to defeat your opponent to survive based on either a good strategy, skills, or luck.

Even so-called “shoot-’em-ups” have to be seen as a free time activity like playing soccer or making music, which is fun and helps teenagers to cope with their aggressions and to build up social networks. Ever since fast internet access was made available, the image of the lonely gambler in the darkened room has been part of history. Regularly, players meet to practice, organize competitions, fight for points in divisions, and communicate via chat programmes or computer aided telephony. The common leisure-time activity is a main subject of conversation in the circle of friends, which, for them, is also the arena in the difficult battle for recognition.

Bastian B. came to the conclusion that using violence is the appropriate or the only way to make his voice heard. Only someone who comes to this result will be stimulated by realistic illustrations of violence in video games, movies, and books. But he will not be instigated. So where do we have to look for the reasons of acts of desperation like the ones in Erfurt in 2002 or in Emsdetten in 2006? To answer this question it helps to deal with the persons concerned.
Bastian B. kept a weblog in which he explains his motives for the massacre. Most notably, he moans about the constant interventions that led to a significant restriction of his civil liberties. In his suicide note, he criticises compulsory education specifically: “someone who is being forced loses part of his liberty.” You can read “liberty“ as universal self-determination as well as not being captured physically. The violation of the right to self-determination is obvious and the physical bondage is indisputable and plays a decisive role in the education acts of the states. Schools without compulsory attendance cannot be permitted. That makes schools a part-time prison for children.

In Germany, compulsory education is closely linked to state curricula. These curricula cherish the illusion that their contents are important for everybody. The state determines what kind of knowledge must be „in the pupils’ heads“ after a certain amount of time. Children do not have the right to decide what they want to think about and learn in class. The young person that is interested in different things gets the feeling of being a loser. Bastian B. writes that the only thing he learned in school was that he is a blighter. This is a comprehensible feeling. School achievements are inextricable linked with someone’s value. Students who are not willing to comply with undemocratic rules in school have to face drastic consequences. In this way, schools often miss their aim: to “produce” creative, cosmopolitan, tolerant, peaceful and social human beings. You can achieve that the best if you see children as full-value human beings and allow them to exert significant influence on their learning contents and to decide based on equal rights.

In conclusion, illustrations of violence have been part of life from time immemorial. Instead of banning computer games it is useful to enable the national education system to stop killing frenzies. As an alternative, democratic schools help young people to find their place in society and generate social, peaceful, and tolerant human beings.

es sei mir gestattet

see
im maisfeld sternbilder erkannt
mit dem wind um die wette gerannt
trag nicht zusammen was du an ihr magst
wenn du’s ihr nicht sagst

sie hat dir gezeigt dass man
schwäne auch füttern kann
mit erlernbaren sätze an einsamen plätzen
liegend im gras

halt heut nicht mehr an
wag endlich zu viel
ein letzter schritt weil sie sagt
sie sei das ziel

jeden abend ein brief von ihr
erwartungen stehen spalier
lauf mitten durch geh nicht dran vorbei
enttäuschung ist frei

du hast deine tränen verschenkt
dein bitteres lachen verlieh‘n
doch wenn sie sich umdreht halte sie fest
fest in berlin

helmut berger

helmut berger hat bei der berlinale den ehren-teddy für sein schauspielerisches gesamtwerk erhalten. in diesem zusammenhang möchte ich des umstandes gedenken, dass benjamin von stuckrad-barre auf seiner lesung einen teil von helmut bergers autobiographie mit dem originellen titel „ich“ vorlas. nachzulesen im reclam-format büchlein „transkript“ (bei k&w erschienen) ab seite 33. um es vorweg zu nehmen: ein feuchter pups färbt seinen weißen smoking schmierig-braun und er muss bis nachts um vier auf seinem stuhl sitzen bleiben.

andere erinnern sich vielleicht an die 120 tage von bottrop, den paten oder die verdammten. ich eben an die verdauungsprobleme eines autobiographen, die der popliterat – nach der vorlesung, dennis: geht das noch, diese einordnung? – thematisiert.

mehr als nur ein kaffee

was man nicht alles tut, allein der ablenkung wegen. ich fuhr zum rosa-luxemburg-platz, wo es in einer seitenstraße beeindruckend interessante geschäfte gibt. eigentliches ziel war ein kaffeeladen, in einem netter-ramsch-aus-aller-welt-laden und einer kellerbuchhandlung kehrte ich jedoch zuvor ein, weil sie auf dem weg lagen.

im kaffeeladen nahm ich die die gesamte grundausstattung: eine espresso“maschine“, frisch gemahlenen espresso in der tüte – ich kam mir vor wie in der dallmayr-werbung mit der kitschigen klaviermusik, und einen manuellen milchaufschäumer, der wunderbar funktioniert, viel besser als die gewöhnlichen batteriebetriebenen. das mag bei zahnbürsten gern anders sein, bei milchaufschäumern ist der stromlose kandidat zu wählen.

mein erster offizieller latte macchiato war auch nach nicht einmal 15 minuten fertig. sollte also jemand einmal in meiner wohnung vorbeischauen, und ich böte an, ein espressogetränk zuzubereiten, dann möge man sich bitte geehrt fühlen.

als beweis mag dieses foto dienen:

lm

ein bilderrätsel

cranium

wir haben cranium gespielt. dabei stieß ich auf einen alten zettel.. ich habe die veröffentlichungsrechte nicht angefragt, sollte es protest von seiten des künstlers geben, werde ich mich dem fügen.