Saturday, June 29, 2024


*My Surreal Austrian Vienna

   Australian espionage fiction

       At The Conversation David Rymer explores Why have Australia's espionage authors been renditioned to a literary black site ? as even the: "high water mark in 2018 saw only nine espionage novels appear in print".

The Quest for the Next Great Hip-Hop Festival

Rolling Loud is an international hip hop music festival which has been held in Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. Established in 2015, it is "one of the biggest festivals in the world" according to Complex, while Billboard called it "the be-all of hip-hop festivals". Wikipedia

From a one-day festival in Miami, Rolling Loud, founded by Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, has grown to a global phenomenon. As the leading festival brand of hip-hop, Rolling Loud is known for masterfully assembling a diverse lineup that reflects the state of the art of the genre. The festival now takes place on both U.S. coasts and is steadily expanding into international markets.

In 2023, Rolling Loud expanded its empire even further, hosting a series of festivals in all parts of the world, including debuts in Thailand and Germany.

Throughout 2024, Rolling Loud commemorates "10 Years Of Rolling Loud," celebrating the festival's rise from humble origins to world dominance. Since the first Miami festival, Rolling Loud has evolved into a major force in hip-hop, providing a massive stage for rap's biggest names, giving early exposure to future superstars, including Travis Scott, Juice WRLD, and Ice Spice, and inspiring some of the most memorable moments in the genre's recent history. Now, Rolling Loud is hip-hop’s biggest stage, with star-studded festivals on four continents and more milestones to come


Marlene Engelhorn inherited millions from her family and decided to give much of it away (€25 million). She formed an independent council called Guter Rat für Rückverteilung (“good council for redistribution”) made up of 50 randomly selected Austrians chosen to reflect the makeup of Austria’s population, and they decided where to direct the moneyEngelhorn’s mission statement is worth a read:

Democracy is about cultivating relationships: a society works on doing well. And a society is doing well when the people in that society are doing well. At the moment, this does not apply to everyone: wealth, assets and property are distributed unequally and unfairly. And so is the power in our society.

In Austria, the richest one percent of the population hoards up to 50 percent of the net wealth. This means that one hundredth of society owns just under half of the wealth. And 99 percent of people have to make do with the other half. Almost four million households struggle to get by every day. And the one percent? Most of them have simply inherited.

We are talking about dynasties that amass wealth and power over generations. They then withdraw from our society as if it were none of their business. I also come from such a dynasty. My wealth was accumulated before I was even born. It was accumulated because other people did the work, but my family was able to inherit the ownership of an enterprise and thus all claims to the fruits of its labour.

Wealth is never an individual achievement. Wealth is always created by society. A few people get rich because they buy other people’s time and profit from it. Because they have a patent on a product that others urgently need. Because they buy a piece of land that increases in value and because society builds infrastructure around it. In the process, they destroy the environment to harvest the resources.

Fascinating idea. (via ny times)

Vandal Beheads Sculpture of Virgin Mary Giving Birth To Jesus

"The Catholic diocese of Linz (in Austria) said in a statement that the Virgin Mary’s head was sawed off early Monday morning in an act of vandalism. The work, titled Crowning, by Austrian artist Esther Strauss is no longer on view (at Linz Cathedral)." - The Washington Post (MSN)