Act 1, scene 1.
"The stage directions read, “Vienna. The Ringstrasse promenade at Sirk Corner. Flags wave from the buildings. Soldiers marching by are cheered by the onlookers. General excitement. The crowd breaks up into small groups.” The newsboys with their “Extra Extra,” announcing the outbreak of war, are interrupted by a drunk demonstrator who shouts “Down with Serbia! Hurrah for the Hapsburgs! Hurrah! For S-e-r-bia!” and is immediately kicked in the pants for his mistake (LTM, p. 69). A crook and a prostitute exchange insults, even as two army contractors, talking of possible bribes the rich will use to avoid the draft, cite Bismarck’s words, in Neue Freie Presse (Vienna’s major newspaper at the time of the assassination of the archduke in Serbia), to the effect that the Austrians deserve kissing. One officer tells another that war is “unanwendbar” (of no use) when he really means, as his friend points out, “unabwendbar” (unavoidable) (LTM, pp. 70–71). A patriotic citizen praises the coming conflict as a holy war of defense against “encirclement” by hostile forces, and the crowd responds by making up rhymes (in Viennese dialect) denigrating the enemy (LTM, p. 72)." [more inside]
Dancing over the Edge: Vienna in 1914.
Österreich (Austria) was one of the cultural and political Centres of modern Europe a hundred Years ago. Vienna
- the Capitol of the big Austro-Hungarian-Empire
and Home to the longest running imperial Family the Habsburgs
. Just in 1913 Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin
(previously on MeFi
) all lived in Vienna.
In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing.
Tom Waits - A Day in Vienna.
"In 1978 or 1979 (we’ll get to that in a minute), Tom Waits was touring Europe. He had a concert in Vienna the day after a show in Amsterdam. He showed up in Vienna and was greeted by two young men named Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, employees of ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk, i.e. Austrian television) with the proposal of shooting an interview while he was in town. Waits countered with a better idea.
As happens all over the world regularly, one night a team of artists got together to paint some art on the sides of trains
. This group, however, used their naked bodies... and a fire extinguisher. (SLVimeo, NSFW, via Common Folk Collective.)
Which place looks safer? Which place looks more unique? Which place looks more upper-class?
MIT is crowdsourcing a "perception network" to analyze people's subconscious judgments about urban spaces. Preliminary results
for Boston, New York City, Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz (Austria). [more inside]
100 years ago tonight
was the first performance of composer Richard Strauss
and librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal
's opera of romance, elegance and gender confusion, Der Rosenkavalier
. Highlights [on YouTube] include the Feldmarschallin's meditation on the passage of time
, the famous Presentation of the Rose
duet, Baron Ochs's waltz,
and the final trio
(performed at Strauss's funeral, as remembered here by the late Sir Georg Solti
.) [more inside]
The University of Washington's Vienna: 1900
collects a number of pieces from the height of Austrian café society
. [more inside]
There are Real Fake Buildings
, Real Fake Watches
, real fake books
, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!
But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes
in Southern Italy
, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes
in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany."
"The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
In 1957, Peter Kubelka
was hired to make a short
commercial for Scwechater beer
Racism in Austria
is a problem that has been well documented
for quite some time. With the recent rise of the far right political parties
, however, things seem to be getting worse. The recent case involving an African American teacher who was mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by the police
however has the potential to bring some changes to the country.
Beethoven died from lead poisoning
Blood & Bacchanalia: Hermann Nitsch and the Viennese Aktionists
(links are NSFW). High weirdness and ritual debauchery, 1960s Austrian style.
Designed by Austrian architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser
for free because "it was worth it" and owned by the city of Vienna, the Hundertwasser House is a tourist site, social and political gathering place, and a piece of art
. With no straight lines or flat surfaces, bright colors, and organic low rent apartments, the Hundertwasserhaus is a truly unique version of public housing.
Ursula Plaichinger, a 27 year-old viola player, is the first woman
to be (partially) admitted
into the Vienna Philharmonic since the orchestra's creation 161 years ago. Except for hiring temporary, underpaid, unmentioned and unseen
harpists ("Cameramen were instructed to show only her hands, never her face or figure"), the Viennese Phil not only tried to ignore several pleads for gender equality but took seven years to comply to the Austrian government's injunctions. Does this kind of resistance reflect a general trend
? Is Ursula's case merely an example of "Rent-a-Frau"
? On the other hand, since the Viennese orchestra is a private association
, could this be just a modified version of the Battle