Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Tag "Satire"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

Starry night (Credit: Pexel Free Stock Photos)

Aries (March 21—April 19): It’s your time to shine, Aries, although I don’t see how that’s different from any other month. Maybe you should do everyone a favor and be a little less . . . yourself this month.

Lucky numbers: the low value, quiet ones

Taurus (April 20—May 20): You’re naturally stubborn in your beliefs, Taurus, so star signs and horoscopes have been deemed as “unscientific” and “bogus”—and no amount of persuasion will allow you to see the truth. Because of this, the universe has arranged a special karmic journey for you this month. Godspeed.

Lucky numbers: all of them. You’ll need the luck.

Gemini (May 21—June 20): In an unsurprising Gemini move, you’ll be caught in a bald-faced lie this month. Maybe this wouldn’t happen if you were more straightforward, but it’s too late now. Instead of pulling your usual move—blaming Saturn—you should beg for forgiveness and promise you’ll never gossip again. Because we all believed you the last time.

Lucky numbers: the imaginary ones

Read more

The Milky Way (Credit: Pixabay Free Pictures)

Pisces (February 19—March 20): Happy birthday, Pisces! As Jupiter oscillates in a random direction, you’ll experience surges of rage and suspicion. There’s no reason to rationalize these feelings. Channel them into a subtle passive-aggressiveness that will keep your friends on their toes.

Compatible partner: Scorpio

Aries (March 21—April 19): Two months into the year, and you still haven’t followed a single one of your New Year’s resolutions, Aries. Mercury will be in retrograde this month, which is as sure a sign as any that you should quit while you’re ahead. You wouldn’t have been any good at yoga anyway.

Compatible partner: Aquarius

Taurus (April 20—May 20): Valentine’s Day was a lonely ride for you, Taurus, after you deleted Tinder on a whim. Maybe you should lose the “single and loving it” mantra. It just brings more attention to the problem.

Compatible partner: Don’t bother.

Read more

The Book Cover for Michel Houellebecq’s English Edition of Submission. (Credit: https://www.waterstones.com/)

Huge bookstores have always made me feel as excited as a little kid in a toy store. The possibilities of what you can find there – good or bad – gives me the sense of going on a Sunday afternoon adventure. So when I went to Dussmann a few weeks ago, looking for no book in particular, I found myself reading the first two chapters of Michel Houellebecq’s Submission [*1] – a book of speculative fiction about the Islamic take-over in France made possible by a grand coalition aimed at defeating Marine Le Pen’s National Front.

It felt so wrong to enjoy writing from a man I had heard to be notoriously bigoted — it was a justified kind of shame. It was probably the opening line to his second chapter that got me hooked: “The academic study of literature leads basically nowhere, as we all know, unless you happen to be an especially gifted student, in which case it prepares you for a career teaching the academic study of literature – it is, in other words, a rather farcical system that exists solely to replicate itself and yet manages to fail more than 95 percent of the time”(10). It tapped into my greatest fears of being a literature major: Why am I doing this? Who for? How likely is it that I am one of the talented ones who gets to teach this discipline to the next generation of readers?

Reluctantly, I bought the book. I had to see what this book, whose central theme is politics, looked like, knowing that its author belongs to the social class that would vote for Macron but who doesn’t have a strong partisanship and claims to only cast a “Yes” vote on a “Frexit” referendum. When I bought it, I have to admit, I wasn’t consciously doing so to “engage with the other side”. It was more of an experience elicited by an almost morbid curiosity – it was going to be my guilty pleasure that I was to tell no one about. I had hoped that reading Submission would be like watching a movie whose message you didn’t agree with: You might not like it, but you move on.

However, this is not what engaging with my first Houellebecq book was like. 

Read more