Picture by  Matt A.J.
Picture by Matt A.J.

Man what a crazy year! First Bowie and Prince check out, then England votes to leave the EU and now orange faced Trump seized the Leadership of the ( apparently) free world! Is it a coincidence that populism has a winning streak the year two of our most flamboyant and eccentric geniuses leave us?

That Trump won isn’t a big surprise to me. Somehow I had the same feeling in my gut seeing the Trump rally that I had during the Brexit campaign: All this vilifying of populist opinion will not diminish it’s popularity. The more the Left squirms, the more rebellious and enticing the “wrong” choice might be. Why? Because it stirs some shit up. It goes against the status quo. It’s a “Fuck You” to the ruling establishment. 

A lot of people say that if Bernie Sanders would have run instead of Hillary, Bernie would have won. This might be true. Because I feel people are now looking for candidates that offer an alternative to the established political ruling class, even if they are crazy and wrong like Trump. Bernie could have offered a real alternative to Trump, but Hillary just felt too deep entangled with corporations and banks. Trump was the LEAVE to Hillarys REMAIN.  

Do I support Trump and his bullshit agenda? Hell no! Still I get why people voted for him. I will not go into some cliché America bashing, but Trump is the logical consequence and the embodiment of the American dream: Money, Success, Dominance. He has a damn jet with his name on it, he must be right! So where we in Europe see a caricature of a businessman straight out of an episode of The Simpsons, over half of voting America seems to see a successful leader who has the balls to tell it like it is.

Sometimes I feel it’s actually impossible to have high flying career in business or politics and stay a sane, level headed human being. Who wants to be in the public eye 24/7 and be aware of all the dirt and bullshit? Who can and wants to deal with all this pressure? Being a bit of a sociopath definitely helps taking decisions and brokering deals with that level of responsibility. Plus: If you are a Rock Star you can at least bang groupies and do drugs, as a politician you need to pretend to be squeaky clean. How boring is that?!

Somehow I am even happy about Brexit and Trump: It has been a long time coming and now the cards are on the table and don’t hide in the haze of local pubs and hushed conversations. The liberal left seems to have failed to communicate their agenda and get the whole country onboard, not only the educated liberal middle class in the big cities.

The uncomfortable truth is that a lot of people think very differently from what our own rigged Facebook feeds like to suggest to us. It’s time to step out of the media echo chamber and take a broader look around.

Of cause there is a reason most people don’t want to talk religion or politics: Because such topics are deeply personal and EMOTIONAL! It’s extremely hard to keep calm and respectful when discussing opposite views how the world works as our core beliefs have been deeply anchored within us by our upbringing, cultural heritage and education. We are not willing to throw all that under the truck just because somebody thinks different!

But if we can’t discuss things that matter without yelling at each other within minutes, how can we get to a point of mutual respect or evolving viewpoints? If we like it or not, most of our believes are steeped in emotion, not cold hard facts. I feel this is what the UK politician Michael Gove meant when he said that people are tired of experts. It’s not about numbers, but how we feel about certain issues. And if this feeling is wrong it will be more helpful to talk about it than to call each other names. Especially in American politics I feel the Republican / Democrat divide is so massive that any mutual agreement on an issue is seen as selling out and being defeated by the opposite side. It’s not anymore about serving the people, more about securing one’s own power and dominance.

I am as annoyed about people seeing Trumps win as the end of the world as I am about the people who see his win as a new golden era for America. It’s both massively exaggerated.

Still, how a ruthless businessman could convince a country that he is on the side of the honest American worker is still beyond me! Trump is the first guy who would outsource production to China if it makes his pockets fatter.

His big issue might be that he has to live up to his hype now, although I am sure he can spin his way out of any false promises he made. If George W can do not one but TWO terms as US president even after little things like, you know, missing WMD’s, then Trump is more than capable to do the same. When you are too big to fail, things get pretty cushy!

Where am I going with this? Well, I guess I am just verbalising what goes on in my head currently. George Carling once said: When you get born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you get born in America you get first row seats! And I don’t mean this in a derogatory way. It’s just that America was always the inflated version of Western Europe, with bigger gestures, bigger dreams and even bigger TV’s. So I really hope this is not the beginning of even more countries swinging to the right, thinking that the solutions of the past hold the key to the problems of the future.

The gap between liberal and conservative has never been more obvious. But can I really blame somebody who lives in a small city for not appreciating diversity to a level that I do after having lived 15 years in a crazy eclectic world capital like London?

I feel we need less blame and more education. We need more politicians who actually deliver what they promise and less hysteric Facebook posts that ultimately just preach to the already converted thanks to algorithms that only enforce how we already see the world. But most of all we have to get off our liberal high horses and grow thicker skin to be able to have some uncomfortable conversations. 

So what are my wishes for 2017? Hopefully the debunking of the myth that becoming more nationalist will solve all the issues. And that we accept that in a democracy everyone is entitled to an opinion. 

Let the conversations begin…


I still can’t believe it. I feel like I got sucked into a parallel universe where Britain ACTUALLY voted to exit Europe. What?

Quick disclaimer: I normally don’t do politics. I feel it’s a massive charade played by people in power. I have no snazzy numbers, big words or political education to back up this blog post. All I know is that I have been living in the UK for 15 years now as an German expat and the morning of the 24.6. felt really weird! For the first time in my white, male, privileged middle class life did I feel like some people didn’t want me in their country. What?

I assume each one of you, my dear readers, have currently your own discussions about the situation going on your Facebook page. Seeing my friends argue back and forth as the situation unfolds really put a couple of points to my attention that I’d like to talk about in this blog post.

But first let’s rewind the clock and start at the beginning of my love affair with Britain.

I guess my first exposure with British culture must be James Bond. Back in the days of NO INTERNET AND THREE TV CHANNELS  the adventures of the British master spy put down the blueprint of Britishness in my head: Traditional, eccentric and with a cheeky streak of taking the piss but getting away with it…

Next stop: 1990! German HipHop is just emerging and Britain and France are leading the charge emancipating the artform from America and putting their own spin on it. Especially British Hardcore bands like Gunshot, Silver Bullet, HiJack and Killa Instinct really influenced early German Rap. Still have that Killa Instinct 12″ in my collection… bless!

Now enjoy some German Britcore from 1992 by legendary crew ReadyKill from my hometown of Hamburg… ahhh memories!

As my love for rap grew and WITHOUT THE INTERNET IN EXISTENCE I had to find ways to stay up to date with what’s happening. HHC aka HipHop Connection published in the UK was my first point of call and I became a dedicated reader. Fun fact: HHC was already in operation when The Source was just making their first baby steps in the US. Woha… First!

Another massive influence on me was the Monty Python crew. When my local TV startion N3 showed re-runs of the old episodes in the English original version I was glued to the telly: The Pythons really took all the British stereotypes and infused them with a heavy dose of surreal humor. My mind was blown! Somehow Germany always felt too safe, middle class and blant to me and the eccentricity displayed by the British really appealed and struck a chord. 

When I started studying Graphic Design and my record collecting obsession was at it’s peak, all the things I were into at the time came from across the channel: MoWax, NinjaTunes, TheFace, Rave Music…

While a lot of my friends who went to the USA on school exchanges came back as Gangsta Rappers and B-Ballers, the UK was really my spiritual home for music, style and club culture.

Around 2000 I had the chance to do a study semester abroad and I was very lucky to get accepted into Central St.Martins in London. I still remember how I stood outside the massive school building in Holborn with a coffee and a Pret A Manger bag in hand, thinking to myself: “Oh yeah…!”.

So I never left!

I loved the diversity of the people I studied with, the passion each person invested in their work, the creative competition and the energy that was created by traditional Britain with their bowler hats and Saville Row suits rubbing against the grime of the working class and the drugged up club kids.

London for me was always this crazy melting pot where the whole world came together to exist alongside each other. What impressed me as well was how immigrant culture fused with British lifestyle. Whilst in Germany Turks and Germans stayed quite separate until recent, I was impressed how Indian or Jamaican citizens were reppin’ Britishness, adding their own flavour and becoming part of the nation’s DNA and cultural heritage.

And I feel this is what makes this Brexit thing so weird and emotional. It just doesn’t feel right. Disconnection and London just doesn’t work in my head. 

But this is where the issue lies: London is not really Britain. And even London has had it’s fair share of unrest and violent clashes.

If I really felt the Brexit would benefit the British people I would support it. But what I see is is a PM that put the Brexit out there to keep himself in power, gambling that nobody will call his bluff. Well, they did!

I see people like Farage and media outlets like The Sun fanning the hate and anger against Immigrants, yet I feel the real issue is politicians failing their voters and the unchecked greed of the industry and banking system.

I feel what this vote showed is that you can’t sit on your high liberal horse and ignore the concerns of people who live in more rural parts of the country. You can’t just shut opinions down, even when they make you uncomfortable and you don’t agree with them. Because if you don’t listen to them, somebody else will and use all the emotion and anger for their own agendas.

What frustrates me is that although we made such advances in human rights and growing more loving and accepting of each other, people like Trump and Farage can still get so many angry people behind them. I blame the lack of compassion and attention by the so called ‘educated left’ who failed to make sure everybody in the country is onboard and doesn’t feel left behind.

It’s a joke that a Capitalist like Trump can be successful in pretending to be a friend of the working class whilst he would be the first guy to outsource production to China if it makes his profit margins bigger. Well, there used to be this Austrian guy who could convince a whole country that the ideal is to be blond and blue eyed whilst he himself looked like the total opposite. Wrap your head around that one! 

Humans are tribal and emotional and we need to accept that. People want to feel safe and supported. And they will follow leaders who promise these things, even when the facts don’t match up. Because it’s not about facts, it’s about feels.

In order to keep negative sides of the human condition like fear and anger at bay we need to be more aware of staying compassionate and inclusive and make EVERYBODY in the country feel listened to and respected, no matter what the opinion. Just waving stats into peoples faces does nothing. 

The Anti Brexit campaign failed to capture people’s hearts because it was based too much on threats. And knowing the British with their stiff upper lip, this was the absolute wrong path to take. A bit like when you were a kid and you jumped into the puddle of mud just because your mom forbid it and you wanted to piss her off.

So in that aspect I can understand the Brexiters. It was a big FUCK YOU to Cameron and the European Status Quo. The tragedy is that exiting Europe will not fix their perceived problems.

So my plea would be to not have frustration and aggression take over and to stay open and compassionate. It’s the only way to keep all this ignorance and manipulation at bay. Calling people names is not helping changing minds and hearts. So although we might be angry and pissed off, let’s try to stay positive and inclusive and make our opinion heard in a positive and inspiring way!

Because after all…