Fortunate people…

often have very favourable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn’t being applauded when you arrive – for that is common – but being missed when you leave. – Baltasar Gracian

Dear friends of the,

After 5 years of Harlekin, we have decided to stop publishing our blog. Why? There are many reasons, because the seven of us have new and very different professional or private projects ahead of us to which we want or need to devote more time.

It’s a good time to look back on. We have learned a lot, discussed a lot and laughed a lot while preparing our contributions. But this is the end, beautiful friends, the end. We would like to thank you for your loyalty. We are proud that so many Harlequin “fans” have taken the time to read our articles every week. 

Some Harlequins will be saying goodbye with a personal contribution in the next few weeks, so it is still worth looking out for new articles.

Best wishes,

The Harlequin Team

Great Minds Think a Lot

… and lesser ones too

Dear listeners, let me welcome you to our live feature here at Harlequin Radio on “Conspiracy Theories and Fake News”. Of course we have again invited guests, whom I will introduce to you in a moment, but please participate directly. Our lines have already been open for an hour and we look forward to your contributions. My name is the Harlequin von Zurich and today I am pleased to welcome as guests: Mark Twain, Frank Zappa and Oscar Wilde.

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Happiness is not a gift from the gods…

… but the fruit of inner attitudes.1

I have been working as a leadership coach for many years. Every few weeks, I go in this role to a monastery with managers who have lost their jobs. In the workshop we work on the themes of inner images, the future, failure, fear, hope and so forth.

They have been dismissed because of a personal conflict, have fallen victim to restructuring or have themselves decided to leave the company. What the participants have in common is that they previously had power over others and now have lost it. Until now, they had been used to developing visions, strategies and concepts and making decisions for others. Now, others have often decided over them.

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Digital Nomades – The herd moves on

Being able to exchange information promptly and over long distances has always been the decisive driving force behind new forms of communication. In most cases older practices have faded into the background and then – over time – been “forgotten”. Interesting migration paths of communication are to be found everywhere. Adults view the communication behaviour of their children or today’s youngsters critically (and with a degree of horror). And there we have it: we can hardly imagine these kids without smartphone, SMS and WhatsApp!

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Language is randy …

Well, not always. Because somehow I’m annoyed by the gender-conflicted writing and language use in politics and reporting media, which thereby vigorously represent their own media interests. On the one hand, they report about LGBT, PRIDE and Christopher Street Parade – we are diverse – and on the other hand, it is the same instances that press language from a principally asexual understanding into a binary, more precisely bisexual form.

(For those of you whose native language knows only one grammatical gender for nouns – such as English –  and conveniently side-steps the issue, German has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. This does NOT mean the gender is determined by an object’s physical characteristics. So a table is masculine, a snail, though a hermaphrodite, is feminine and a girl is neuter. Seriously. Harlequin BCO)

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Bye Bye, Blackbird

Birds in music

It’s spring again and time for a bird-lover to have her say. When I am woken (very) early in the morning, by the blackbird, the robin and other vocal birds, this cacophony of sounds, notes, voices and resonances that buzz, chirp, trill, beat, scream, whistle makes me smile involuntarily. Listen to the song “Grantchester Meadows” from the Pink Floyd album “Ummagumma” , which begins with the song of a lark. Then you will have an idea of what I mean. (By the way, I recommend listening to the song all the way to the end).

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Home Alone

… until retirement

In recent years, we at Harlequin have dedicated a few articles to the topic of “home office in Covid times”. At the time, this was “the new normal” and admittedly – it didn’t just have downsides. However, most of the working population for whom home office was an option had the prospect in the background of being allowed / able / obliged to return to the office at some point.

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Herr Czaja,

Translator’s note to readers less acquainted with German politics:
Harlequin RGE’s open letter is addressed to the current Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), in opposition since last year for the first time in 17 years. The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of the CDU. (Why Bavaria, one of some 16 federal states, should need its own separate “Christian” party is an issue that while fascinating could fill volumes and probably stretch your reading patience.) Our Harlequin’s observations may nevertheless seem familiar to some of you abroad…

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier – Spy

Some of our contributions now have the character of a series, because after the first contribution the same phenomenon suddenly appears everywhere. Most people will recognise this when buying a car or clothes. You’ve just decided on a “beautiful rarity” and you then come cross it on every other street corner – at least that’s how it seems. In reality, you have only become more sensitive to this specific perception. This is what happened to me recently, after buying an older house, with which I unexpectedly came across – or rather was thrust into – the trappings of an extinct profession.

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The whistle

A friend called me recently. I was just coming from the hospital from a check-up (don’t worry, nothing bad) and he caught me on the way to the parking lot. Now my car isn’t brand new, but it’s not old either, so it has a Bluetooth interface, which allows phone calls while I’m driving – especially since the whole thing works with voice control. When the ignition is turned on, the phone automatically connects to the hands-free system and the call can continue.

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