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January 28 2017 7 28 /01 /January /2017 15:56

GetSimple is one of the best light-weighted CMS ever

There are many content management systems (CMS) existing. To most famous belong WordPress, Joomla and Typo3. But all of them require an MySQL-database of the server. And above all the installation and the adaptation of the systems to your own needs is quite complex.


As small and technically simple websites are not in need of the major CMS’ extensive capabilities, some small, simple programs without database have evolved.

The in my eyes best and simple to use of these is GetSimple (GS).


Why? Because GetSimple is:

  1. Easy to install
  2. easy to use
  3. easy to expand
  4. and easy to personalize.

I have taken a closer look on some “lightweight-CMS”. But just when working with GetSimple I really have understood the functionality of content-management-systems.


It's also great that there are many extensions, that generally there is a considerably large and active community, and that the system gets many bugfix- and security-updates.


The 1st time I “stumbled upon” this tool when when researching for simple CMS – and I think this was in 2013. Until I really got into GetSimple was in 2015. But the website for the enlargement of train-line S45 in Vienna I created then I abandoned soon after creation for non-technical reasons.


But in 2017 I really gonna rumble with website-development based onf GetSimple:

1st project is my page as adult-educator at http://www.informationsspezialist.at – the “skeleton” of my site is already available (Status: 28th January 2017). Also a complete redesign of my personel-website, the Lintl-Net, is definitely on my agenda – of course also based on GetSimple.


GetSimple was designed and developed in 2009 by US-american Chris Cagle. Chris in the meantime has withdrawn from the system’s development and maintenance. Current lead-developer for some years is Shawn Alverson.

And beside up to now 13 fixes form version 3.3, Shawn just prepares GetSimple 3.4, which should support PHP 5.3. This is very important, because already in 2017 the first major internet-service-providers stop supporting version 5.2. With PHP 5.3 however, hosting would be very well possible for the next few years.


I am worried about the fact, that the last minor-update is 3 years and the last major-update even 6 years ago.

The system is still good, even as good that it was able to convince many new staunch users

in the last 2 years.

A version 3.4 is already planned since 2014. And in 2017 – according  to lead-developer Shawn – it should really be published – again at last!.


GetSimple to me is just THE simple CMS of the 2010s years.

But to hold this position also in long term and to keep GetSimple competitive also in the 2020s, there need to come significant improvements and enhancements to this great CMS in the near future.


Significant improvements to the existing system from my point of view could include:

  • Adaption of the software to new versions of PHP (in mid-term to PHP 7.X, in short-term as intermediate-step maybe to PHP 5.6)
  • Improvements and expansion of the systems modularity
  • Interoperability of software, especially in terms of the upcoming massive digital-connectabilty & automated data-exchange (APIs in generel, economy-4.0, headless-CMS, …)
  • Especially on the next major-release a big focus on compatibility of extensions (given the many and good plug-ins for GS 3.3)


I think that a main-reason for the lack of major improvement-steps is in the last 3 years, is, that at least the majority of the development-work for the core-system solely depends on Shawn and there is hardly no support from the community. At least that’s my impression.


So to me the establishment of an association or a foundation should be considered, which could collect money and could assign at least a part of the development as paid jobs.


A good model this approach is the content-management-system Contao. For evolving this there is association in Switzerland, currently including 45 sponsoring-members.


ReactOS also is an example that only easily going on development again can be massively accellerated by establishing an organization with appropiate financial-funding (in the case of ReactOS from Germany and by Russia).


Either way I'm going to intensively work with GetSimple in 2017 and to recommend the system actively. Above that I hope that development gets of the ground again as much, that this great, little content-management-system can me made competitive for the 2020s and that in 10 years I still can say, that it’s my favorite CMS.


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January 23 2017 2 23 /01 /January /2017 23:31

In a people-initiative Austrian people can show their discardment to TTIP, CETA and TISAToday on 23th January 2017, the people-initiatve (Volksbegehren) "against TTIP, CETA and TISA" is launched in Austria.
The 3 trans-atlantic "free trade agreements" for 2-3 years are under massive criticism from a myriad of sceptical organizations – and this to me absolutely justified.


It has been initiated by a group of SPÖ-politicians (Austrian social-democrats-party) from the federal-state of Lower-Austria. But even before the current initiative a massive front of opposition by several and very different political parties, trade-unions and other organizations was formed.
Even Frank Hensel, head of REWE-Österreich, the biggest food-retail-chain in Austria, has clearly positioned himself against TTIP.


Because among my English language blog's audience predominantly consist of non-Austrian people, which can not sign the petition, I am going to focus on explaining the situation here in my country in terms with the trans-atlantic free-trade-agreements.


Especially trans-national corporations and other big business in team with economically-liberal political-parties and other organizations are very much in favour of them.


In contrast most of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition-parties, trade-unions, NGOs, most of alternative media and even SMBs (small & midsize business) firmly reject TTIP, CETA and TISA.
Their main-point of criticism are the so called „arbitration courts“. In fact these are no courts – though they are called so – but rather meeting in between nominated corporate-lawyers, who are making highly questionable deals in back-rooms – under circumvention of the democratic-legislation and jurisprudence.
And this corporate arbitration-regime can sue states to billions of Euros fines, when they lack of profits due to higher social- or environmental-standards of a certain country.


I do fully agree to this enormous threat to our countries, our democracies and our freedom. And that's why I sign the initiative and do recommend all my fellow-Austrian to do so as well.


Although people-initiative's results in Austria are not binding – even not, if more than half of our citizens sign it – gaining many people's support were a strong and very important signal in the public debate at exactly this point of time.
Because as early as in February 2017 the EU-parliament wants to decide about the future of CETA. And many citizens announcing their disagreement with the establishments point of view would give a strong push forward to all forces opposition limitless corporatocracy and would open the door for a fair global trading-system.

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January 13 2017 6 13 /01 /January /2017 02:35

Donald Trump won really interesting and polaring US-presidental-elections 2016The US presidential-election 2016 is now several weeks ago, but just because of the disemotionalisation related to this fact a a sober look at it's result now is possible.

And – though resulted by the fact, that I didn't have time, created my articles English version – the publication at this date very well fit's to the whole inauguration-process of Donald Trump, which will be finalized in exactly 1 week with the official ceremony.


My and Dirk Müllers short-review just in advance:

I don't know whether Donald Trump's policy will be good, but in any case he is very much more in our favour than Hillary Clinton, due to the sole reason of her brutal global-politics.

As Donald Trump has repeatedly announced, the fight against ISIS is on top of his agenda and a changeover of power in Syria is no priority for him. In addition he wants to reach out to Vladmir Putin and find peaceful cooperation with Russia.

Thus, there is hope for a more peaceful world.


Hillary Clinton in these elections – completely in contrast to the euphemistic image that mainstream-media painted – was THE establishment-candidate. She is a main architect of the bloody wars in Libya and Syria and through her plan to shoot down Russian airplanes in Syria she had risked a direct war mit Russia there – which could have escalated to Word-War-3.

Short-summary Republicans & Demokrats election-campaigns

  • In contrast to previous elections, where with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul 2 establishment-distant candidates dropped out pretty early in the primaries, in 2016 Bernie Sanders was in contention for nomination almost until the primarie's last round and Donald Trump even won and made the nomination as candidate at for the Republicans.

  • The pre-election campaign at the Republicans was eminently dirty.
    Finally Donald Trump clearly prevailed after a variety of personal below-the-beltline attacks between the party-internal rivals.

  • The situation at the Democrats for certain was not less dirty, but indeed different:
    Nomination for the presidential-race very quickly was a duel between favourite Hillary Clinton and underdog Bernie Sanders.
    And after a clear lead of Clinton at the beginning of the primaries, self-proclaimed Socialist Sanders always came closer to her in terms of convention-delegates and – only after several very dirty maneuvers from Hillary Clinton's environment and from the Democrats party-establishment – dropped out of the race.

  • Disembarking Bernie Sander later was one main-reason for Donald Trumps victory and Hillary Clintons defeat.
    Because Sanders supporters only partially voted for Clinton. Others however gave their vote Donald Trump, or voted for Jill Stein or, particularly like Susan Sarandon, even actively supported the Green-party's nominee.
    And other others stayed away from the election.

  • Not nominating Bernie Sanders in a twofold respect counter-productive.
    Not only that the party alienated so many of Sanders supporters, the Senator from Vermont generally would have had a good chance to win against Donald Trump in a general election.

Third-Parties, Independents and alternative-media

  • In contrast to the picture drawn by Establishment-media not only 2, but 31 (!) candidates, 29 of them candidates of the so-called "Third Parties" and independents ran for US-presidency.
    In case you shouldn't know: "Third Parties" are parties apart from the Republicans & Democrats. And through the highly unfair majority-election-system and through the media-landscape in the United States dominated by corporate media-juggernatus so far they unfortunately play only a minor-role.

  • Out of the mass of these alternative-candidates Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein definitely protrude.
    Candidates like Republican Evan McMullin and Darrell Castle of the "Constitution Party" have also played nationwide a certain role. Further candidates were however – no matter of their level of expertise and their concepts – only had some impact in certain Federal-States.

  • All of these candidates have in common that they have had almost no access to mainstream-media and it accordingly was extremely difficult for them to achieve the level of attention necessary for success.
    In 2016 things could have been totally different with a fair coverage of ALL candidates running in this elections: Because with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the 2 so far most unpopular major-party-candidates ever ran for presidency.

  • Of course Donald Trump was the main-profiteer of alternative-media coverage, this was 1 reason for his electoral victory.
    But for the 2nd part also the third-party and independent-candidates benefited of this. Though this time that had not been reflected in the elections result yet, but it's even highly likely, that Americans stronger turn to new political-forces on the regional and local-level.

  • And I have to strike a blow for the election-days coverage by „Russia Today“ (RT) – to be precise of RT-Americas coverage in English language (as RT is a global & multilingual network).
    The Russian news-channel dedicated the first part of his big election-broadcast to the "Third Parties" including Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Ron Paul (former presidential-candidate for the Libertarians) and Ralph Nader (former presidential-candidate for the Greens).
    Co-host of the show and of Lindsay France was the Ex-Wrestler and Ex-Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura.

The Russian news channel has dedicated the first part of his major election broadcast the "Third Parties", including Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Ron Paul (former presidential candidate for the Libertarian) and Ralph Nader (former presidential candidate for the Green).

Co-host of the show, the Ex-Wrestler and Ex-Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura was.

Final Words

In contrast to my thoughts from 2012, this presidental-election it was not irrelevant who wins.

This in turn significantly relates to the fact, that in these primaries 2 establishment-sceptical candidates (at leas let's hope they are) were in the race for nomination almost until the very end. And 1of them not only managed to win nomination, but made it to the election-victory.

Time will show how serious Donald Trump's establishment-criticism really is and how much he is comitted to the interestets of the people (an not certain cliques inside the establishment). However to me he is definitely better than Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless I had preferred one of the third-party-candidates over Trump.

Alternative media anyway proved it's positive potential. And that's exactly why it's on top of the Establishment's hit-list. Under the narrative „Fake News“ alternative-media is intented to be curbed.

That by no means must happen and I am going to make my contribution, strengthening alternative-media and make it better known.

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December 31 2016 7 31 /12 /December /2016 16:43

50 years of Star-Trek in television is a remarkable for the whole mankindOn 8th September 2016 time has come: Star-Trek – or how is it called in German „Raumschiff Enterprise (Starship Enterprise) has celebrated its 50th anniversary. On 08. September 1966 the series was primarily aired in the United States. And though I haven't managed making my tribute on time, on the anniversary-day – this I just did in German – I wanted to write it this year also in English at any costs before the anniversary-year is over.


But let's go into medias res:

After a very mediocre start and it's end in 1969 the series saw an enormous popularity-boost in the 1970s - and is until today one of the historically most important television-series ever.


Up to now beside 7 (soon 8) television-series and so far 13 cinema-movies many computer- & video-games, books, Internet-media as well as countless franchise-products were created.
And the effect of the unique phenomenon „Star Trek“ goes far beyond it's core-function as an entertainment product into almost all areas of life.

Star Trek TOS (The original series) – the old Enterprise

Actually, the series was supposed to start already in 1964, at the time a pilot-movie (The cage) was filmed with mostly different crew. Captain at that time was Christopher Pike, portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter. And Spock has played a rather minor role.


Since this concept was too intellectual and too little action-packed for TV-station NBC, the series creator Gene Roddenberry revised script and crew. In 1966 William Shatner got the role of Captain Kirk – and together with the Vulcan Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and ship's doctor Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) the core team of the series had been formed.


The series itself I see quite ambivalent.
On the one hand, it stands for values such as tolerance, openness for the New and enlightened spirit of research.
On the other hand at the same time also for 1960s- and Western-mentality: Hitting & shooting BEFORE thinking and a Captain, no woman can resist. In addition also the scripts are partial shallow, gappy and implausible.


However the series has great charm and appeal:
The blend of yearning for the space and for a positive future paired with moral values and action but also trashy elements are simply fascinating - as Mr. Spock would say.

Star Trek TNG (The Next Generation) – the new Enterprise

Although there 3 further ships with the name Enterprise and a round of 80 years between the Original Enterprise NCC-1701 and the NCC-1701-D, „Next Generation“ is the 2nd real series in the Star Trek universe.
The Next-Generation of 1987 in many aspects is different than the original series. And – in my eyes – in almost all respects better. It starts with the Captain: While predecessor Kirk is a swashbuckler and a womaniser, successor Picard is a mature intellectual and in addition for many people a moral-authority.


Generally TNG is very well done, thrilling, action-packed and morally demanding.
This great composition set a new benchmark hereafter created a boom of fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery) in the early to mid of 1990s and to me still belongs to the 3 best science-fiction-series ever.

Star Trek DS9 (Deep Space Nine) – dark, stationary and captivating

Even before the Next-Generation moved from television to cinema in 1994, in 1993 it's successor Deep-Space-Nine started. And trek-series number 3 kept the extremely high level of Picard and Co, but yet made a lot of things differently:


For the first time the Star played Trek not on a starship, but on a space-station. Commander Sisko was a single father. For the first time a big war was shown in the Star-Trek-universe and in general the whole series was set atmospheric dark


Still today particularly outstanding in DS9 are the many and well elaborated supporting-characters and especially the long, ample, interrelated story-arcs. Therefore, together with the TNG, and Babylon 5, to me it belongs to the 3 best all-time SF-series.

Star Trek VOY (Voyager) – far away from home

Due to the success particularly of Next-Generation, but also of Deep-Space-Nine, the studio Paramount in 1995 decided to start a 2nd trek-series, parallel to DS9. To prevent these 2 series, ongoing contemporaneously in the same serial-universe getting in each others way, the Voyager was „shipped“ to the other end of our galaxy, to the 75-years away delta-quadrant.


Voyager is definitely a good science-fiction-series that is atmospherically much brighter than Deep-Space-Nine and in many ways similar to Nex-Gen. Apart from some wear and tear – stories are told again, we already know from Star Trek – compared to TNG & DS9 it often is made in a rather lacklustre way.


Voyager initiated both, the peak of the Star-Trek-mania in 1996, but also it's big downturn around the year 2000. Nevertheless me just like many other fans definitely don't want to miss the 4th trek-series.

Star Trek ENT (Enterprise) – the vanguard as rearguard

After Star Trek's success significantly subsided in the Voyager-era, in 2001 the series creators decided to completely reboot the franchise. And so 5th series "Enterprise" (ENT) does no longer play in the 24th century like TNG, DS9 & VOY, but in the 22nd century about 100 years before the original Enterprise (TOS).


The series itself, similar to Voyager, achieved a good overall-level, is well made and exiting. Nevertheless it's unable taking it up with the best Star-Trek-series and quality is highly viable. In my opinion the series highlight is season no. 3, dealing for 1 whole year with the well elaborated Xindi story-arc.


Enterprise, among other issues, deserves criticism especially for it's partly violent and sometimes even unethical approach of it's characters – something for certain influenced by 9/11.


However, it is exciting to see what happened in Star Trek BEFORE the "United Federation of Planets" (UFP) creation.

Wrap-up to Star-Trek in television

I don't want to hide the fact, that in addition to the mentioned 5 series (with real people) with Star Trek TAS (The Animated Series) also a short-lived cartoon-series created in the 1970s exists.


After the true start in 1966 Star Trek has managed something that – with exception of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond – probably no other entertainment-product ever has: To remain popular for 50 years and to successfully continue its history in cinema as well as (again from 2017) in television.
And 100% deserves to be!


Star Trek is exciting, fascinating and at the same time morally and intellectually demanding. Thus all the best for the future, perhaps for another 50 years!

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June 8 2016 4 08 /06 /June /2016 22:45

Star-Trek celebrates 50th anniversary soon2016 is the year the first USS Enterprise-NCC and the entire Star-Trek-universe celebrate the ultimate anniversary: The probably most influential science-fiction-series ever gets 50 years old. And today it's exactly 3 months until anniversary-day.


And not enough the 50th anniversary:

With the 3rd movie of the current timeline, introduced by J.J.Abrams, and next year with an upcoming television-series on CBS really a lot is just happening in the trek-universe this years.

However, in 2016 I've posted not a single Blog entry yet.


But it's quite simple:

The 1st half of the year 2016 in terms of entertainment-issues I have focused on the "Life-on-Mars" and "Ashes to ashes" serial-universe.

In the 2nd half of the year however I will create 3-4 entries about Star-Trek:

  1. On 8th of September on the occasion of 50 years of Star-Trek, of course, an extensive appreciation of both, the original series wit Kirk & Spock as well as Star-Trek as a whole.

  2. Almost 2 weeks later, on 20th of September Trek series no. 5, Enterprise, celebrates its 15th anniversary.

  3. Then it is important to shed light on the different political aspects of Star Trek.

  4. And maybe I'll make another article, for example, about new series upcoming in 2017.

So, science-fiction-buddies and especially all Trekkies/Trekkers can look forward on some new content in my blog.

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May 25 2016 4 25 /05 /May /2016 22:55

BBC-series Ashes to Ashes making it's debut in the German-speaking Free-TV4 ½ months ago my favorite series of the 2000s celebrated its 10th anniversary: "Life on Mars" from the UK, named the same as the title track song from the great and unfortunately already deceased David Bowie.

"Life on Mars" has got a successor: The BBC-series "Ashes to Ashes", produced from 2008 to 2010 – and also with an epononymous Bowie-song with the same name.
And after it had been aired in German pay-TV-station „FOX“ 2013, now it finally is also aired in German free-TV.

"Ashes to Ashes" is about the police psychologist Alex Drake, who has investigated the death of Sam Tyler, the main-protagonist in the predecessor-serie „Life on Mars“ and the events, that happened to him.
And very similar to Sam after a nearly fatal accident (rather attempted murder) also she falls into a coma and finds herself in the same (apparent-)universe in the year 1981 again with the same people as Tyler.
And also she obviously has to do something specific there, connected to her parents death, which occured at that time.

Concretely „Ashes to Ashes“ is aired since 24th of May 2016, every Tuesday and Saturday at 22.25h and 00.05h on the fledgling station eoTV.
„eo“ stands for „european originals“. And the Station isn't just being called so, it exclusively aires European movies and TV-series.
And anyone who isn't able or doesn't want to watch the episodes live, for example has the option to re-watch them in the media-library on demand for a couple of weeks.

True to the Motto "better late than never" to me it's a great thing that this – probably also great – European series is now also available here in the „German-speaking world“. And for certain I'm going to watch it with pleasure!

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April 30 2016 7 30 /04 /April /2016 22:55

Starsky & Hutch - 41 years after it's debut still a great seriesExactly 1 year ago, the two 70s cops Starsky & Hutch have celebrated the series 40th anniversary. And this "birthday" for me was the reason paying tribute to this ground-breaking television series with a big anniversary-article.


Interestingly, when it comes to reader's interest, my English anniversary-appreciation was a pretty big hit, while the German version unfortunately was performing only modestly. A clear indication, that these 2 unusual 1970s policemen are especially popular in anglo-saxon-countries.


The 41st anniversary however is a very good opportunity for me drawing attention on my last years blog entry as well as to the series itself once again - and of course to advertise for it.

David "Dave" Starsky and Kenneth "Ken" Hutchinson have written television history and were a prototype for the storytelling of more sophisticated and successful series of the recent past and present, above all of Navy CIS (NCIS).


2015 and 2016 (in the German-speaking countries) it was shown again by RTL-Nitro and of course I watched it once again.The big anniversary perfectyl coincided with an extended period of me non-watching Starsky and Hutch.
An I really enjoyed re-watching!
Currently the series is not running in German-language television - but probably somewhere else. And when there is an opportunity to watch it, then I warmly recommend doing so - especially to all crime-series and 70s-fans.

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April 8 2016 6 08 /04 /April /2016 15:00

In the internet, April-Fool-Jokes can have negative side-effectsApril-Fool-Jokes have a centuries old tradition, the term as such already exists since the 19th century. And of course I know this tradition since my childhood – and in recent years I have also regularly fallen into it. But no more so around the last 20 years.

Also earlier on April-Fools have been made not only in personal contact but also in newspapers and magazines. But that was a completely different quality as if they are made in the online-sphere.


Because April-Fools in the print-area and even more of course personally are made in a timely manner and then disappear into the vastness of personal memories or in a media-archive.
In the online-space, however these articles mostly remain indefinitely available.
And worst of all, even available by search-engines.


This actually were still not really bad - if the joke-makers would do something, that they so far do almost never: Distinctly labelling the joke as such after 1st of April

This labelling would help, identifying these special articles as jokes, even if you don't watch the date of an article's publication like a hawk. That way also online-media could continue their April-Fool-Jokes and users would no more very unfunny mislead far after 1st of April with misinformation.


Dear online-media:
Get your act together and make it so! We need fun as well as we need serious information!

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January 9 2016 7 09 /01 /January /2016 23:30

"Life on Mars" also after 10 years is a brilliant TV-seriesI have made several reminiscences to good television-series, but so far never for one newer than 15 years. "Life on Mars" however is something special, to me the best series of the 2000s in several ways:

  • It is not a series from the USA but from the UK.

  • It takes place in the not-too-long-ago past, in the year 1973.

  • Although it is predominantly a realistic series, at the same time it also offers science-fiction and mystery elements.

  • The British actors are – probably to almost all non-British people – unknown, but really good.

"Life on Mars" is just different than other series in a very special way - and that makes the fascination.

In the German-speaking countries, the series only celebrates its 9-year anniversary in 1 month, but nevertheless I think it is appropriate to celebrate the BBC's first broadcast.

Setting and plot

The professional policeman Sam Tyler from Manchester in the year 2006 together with his colleague and girl-friend Maya chase a serial-killer. Investigations get nowhere until Maya pursuer a hot lead when she gets kidnapped – obviously by the offender. Sam is desperate. But as this weren't bad enough, he got hit by a car, obviously badly injured and loses consciousness. When he wakes up he suddenly finds himself in the Manchester of 1973.

And there almost everything is different than in 2006:

  • Police in 1973 works, both technically and methodologically, still in a very unprofessional way. This is very hard for Sam and he feels like on a different planet - hence the title of the series.

  • Sam is not DCI (Detective Chief Inspector = team leader), but DI (Detective Inspector = Deputy team leader).

  • His boss there, Gene Hunt, is the anti-thesis to Tyler:
    Impulsive rather than prudent, aggressive instead of cautious, intuitive rather than analytical.
    And directives to him are no more than non-binding recommendations.

  • Also his other colleagues run in the same vein as Hunt.
    Big exception is the parking-warden Annie Cartwright, who is being transferred to the CID (criminal-investigation-department) briefly after Sam's arrival and is Sam's best friend and only confidant.

But just as problematic cooperation especially with his boss Hunt is on one hand, on the other hand it works really well: The two perfectly complement each other in terms of their skills and provide plenty of exciting and entertaining moments.

At the beginning it's totally unclear what's going on with Sam:

Is he in a coma or he is dreaming? Has he made a journey through time, or is he in some sort of parallel universe? Does he maybe live in the 1970s and only has formed life in 2006 only in his mind?

After 2-3 episodes it quite clearly emgerges, that he is in a coma - although that alone can't really explain this complex illusory world of the 1970s.

Anyway there is something specific in 1973 he has got to do – but until the end, it is unclear what.

What makes the series something special to me and why I like it so much

„Life on Mars“ to me is the best TV-series of the 2000s and together with „24“ also the most innovative one.

While the question of the specificity of "24" simply can be answered with "real-time series“, so it's more complex with this English masterpiece. Though it doesn't offer completely new elements, but offers a blend of existing high-quality and innovative elements like never before and also never again until now:

  • An exciting, technically well-made crime-series.

  • An appealing and authentic image of the 1970s. Especially great are the historic cars, starting at Sam's Rover 3500 to the Vanden Plas, 500 and of course, to Gene Hunt's Ford Cortina 2000E.

  • Social criticism, which reveals historic causes of problems of the present – from hooliganism over integration of foreigners, mental health-problems and corruption to unemployment.

  • A love-story in between Sam and Annie, that until the end seems to be doomed to fail.

  • A buddy-movie between Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt, just as conflictual as entertaining.

  • Still a big mystery-element, leaving the series' true reality in the dark until the very end. Something similar, I only know from "Twin Peaks".

  • "Britishness" – it's great not to face the typical „Hollywood-mash“, but to enjoy very different kind of production from Britain.
    Actors were unknown here at us, but all of their performances have fully convinced me.

  • And this consistent overall-package is topped of by a great soundtrack, ahead of course by David Bowie's title-giving song.

In addition German TV-station „Kabel 1“ did a really good job in drawing attention to the series: In 2007, immediately before its primary airing there a great tribute to the Ford Cortina Mk III at the stations car-show „Abenteuer Auto“ was made.

And also in a negative way „Kabel 1“ increased the excitement: After TV-ratings were disappointing, the 2nd and lasted season was broadcasted in 2009 after a long break with extensive considerations, wether the stations wants to go on with airing the series.
Thank God! Unfortunately mass and class almost never get along with each other, but "Life on Mars" for certain has a lot of class.

Personal, final words

„Life on Mars“ to me is an absolutely great series. After it's first broadcast in 2007 & 2009 I watched in then a 2nd time in 2014 on Austrian ServusTV and again enjoyed it.

Sadly it was and still is – at least at the German-speaking space – an underdog-series, though entirely unjustified!

It offers smart as well as uncommon and exiting entertainment and takes it up even with the best Hollywood-productions.

Unfortunately for over 1 year it worldwide hasn't been broadcasted, which I see as a shame considering the crap being aired again and again.

And unfortunately the successor series "Ashes to Ashes" until now only was aired by Pay-TV-station FOX, but so far never been offered in free television. This to me is big pity and I hope that's going to change in 2016.

However once more big respect to this great television product and happy anniversary to all involved people!


Update 07th of June 2016:

I have to add, that "Ashes to Ashes" is just making it's debut also in German free-TV: From 24th of May 2016 on every Tuesday at 22.15h and Saturday at 00.05h its aired by new TV-station eoTV. eoTV exclusively broadcasts european productions.
To me thats great news and I watch "Ashes to Ashes" with pleasure!


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December 30 2015 4 30 /12 /December /2015 23:50

Who doesn't know Star Wars? It will not be more than a few people, solely the currently ongoing almost unbelievable public campaign makes it almost impossible, to miss at least some information about it.


I'm more a Star-Trek and Babylon-5 fan, however completely undogmatic. I like watching almost everything, that is good.
And I have to mention, that the Star-Wars-series is really good and deserves praise. I however find the hysteria around it totally excessive.


I am politically active, anti-ideological and really sceptical about all kinds of things. And within the politically-sceptical scene there are several fundamentalists, who reject sports and all kinds of entertainment. In their eyes these kinds of activities keep people off dealing with the serious and important issues.
On the other hand, there are the hedonistic hardcore-fans, totally keen for all kinds of consumption - in this case then of course of the Star-Wars universe. They watch every screen-material shot and buy every product offered. Finally they – at least partially – escape from real-life into this fictional-universes fantasy-world.


I strictly reject both extremes - as I almost always do this with extremes. But before I tell you how exactly I personally deal with star wars, I would like to go a bit further back to the story's deeper meaning and it's links to our real world.

What characterises Star-Wars

As in almost all epics the fight of "Good vs. Evil" is in the centre of the action. And Star-Wars-creator George Lucas frankly said that he uses also items of great historical literature, as almost all great exponents of the fictional & fantasy-genre did: John R. R. Tolkien with "Lord of the Rings", Frank Herbert in "Dune" or whether in the recent past J. Michael Straczynski in "Babylon 5" and Joanne K. Rowling at "Harry Potter".


Characters in the medium-trilogy (episodes IV, V, and VI), created in the 1970s and 1980s, yet have been drawn quite bromidic: There "Good versus Evil" is largely black and white. However there are also laudable exceptions in the grey-area:
While the character Lando Calrissian has changed from dark-grey (rather evil) to white (good), especially the personality-profile of Darth Vader / Annakin Skywalker is excellent. The bright knight, that has fallen for the dark side of the force, helps it to rise, but finally destroys the evil, in the form of the Emperor.


Much more – because it's significantly more complex - I like the prequel-trilogy published from 1999 to 2005 (episodes I, II and III). The saga's 1st part is still less in my favour, in my opinion this is a typical introduction to the matter.
However in episode II and even more in part III a fascinating as well as a realistic-shocking image is drawn: The described transformation of a Democratic Republic into a dictatorial Empire has tremendous big similarities to the real world's development of today.


Already in the 2nd part, it comes to a national crisis, because the democratic Parliament is too divided to master a - artificially staged - crisis. For this reason dictatorial powers are transferred to the Chancellor. And as many people do in times of crisis, so also Annakin Skywalker sympathizes with the "strong man".


In the 3rd part the development to the dark side then continues in macrocosm as well as microcosm: The chancellors intelligent-vicious wire-pulling works out, he manages to destroy democracy and to make himself the ruler of a dictatorial Empire. By personal weaknesses and unfortunate circumstances the Jedi Knight Annakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, the dictatorial Emperor right-hand-man.


The historical Inspiration of George Lucas for Star Wars was Germany's transition from the “Weimar Republic” to the Nazi-regime. But that falls far too short in my eyes:
For me, it only takes little imagination, drawing parallels to ISIS (Islamic State), that at least has been connived by the West, it's terrorist-attacks and the associated, more and more anti-democratic course of our countries governments. Not only by me, but by more and more people the suspension of human-rights in France after the Paris terrorist-attacks is seen as the 1st step to the same kind of dark Empire as in star wars.

How I deal with Star-Wars

In general I'm a pragmatist as well as a movie-friend. I like the Star-Wars epics. Although mass and class often do contradict each other, the big, productions for the mass-market are mostly good. This is also true for the Star-Wars-series.
Good vs. evil will always remain interesting to mankind. Moreover, if it is visually so well staged, such as in the works of George Lucas.


So how to deal with Star Wars?
People have to participate in democracy and have to fight for their participation-right – and even more than for their right to party (considering to the "Beastie Boys" :-).
But of course you also need breaks from this struggle – and spending the breaks with this is smart kind of entertainment to me is fundamentally positive. But of course it must not degenerate into a fan-fanaticism and to escape reality.


The great schizophrenia of the hardcore-Star-Wars-fans is that they have fallen prey to a compulsive desire to shop respectively escaping into an illusory-world. An illusory-world, which has been turned from a Republic into a dictatorship.
To me it's not only important, but decisive putting up a partitioning-wall between reality and fiction.


The only thing which personally bothers me about Star-Wars most of all is the massive commercialization. If we bring to our mind that the previous 6 movies have earned a combined gross of 4.38 billion $ and the entire franchise 30.7 billion $ then the rightsholders business-desire is – politely said – commercially understandable. But I do absolutely not want to take part in this.


Since the point of culmination in 2002, when in the same year one of each episodes of Star-Wars, "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" premiered, I have a "movie-hype-trauma". And that has led me to an unconditional, short-term denial of consumption.
Therefore, I am not going to watch the current Star-Wars-trilogy in cinema and instead wait until it's aired in TV. In the meantime next to the 6 older franchise's movies there are also many other interesting films and television-series.


But when Star-Wars episodes VII, VIII and IX are broadcasted in TV, then I will be delighted watching them!
And I am persistently going to continue taking a stand for a positive, democratic world, and especially for a cooperation of people from all different political directions.

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