Monthly Archives: December 2007

2007

A year that started off pretty brightly, with work on In Bad Dreams in full swing, gained in momentum as it progressed. First was the engagement of Andreas (my brother-in-law) to Kristina, followed by Berolin (my sister-in-law) and her engagement to Ninos. There was much to do, both with Maddoc and with the company and it wasn’t long before summer came around and the almost ‘double’ weddings with the aforementioned family members took place in July and August.

 

It was a stressful but fun summer, involving both weddings, much planning, running Eneit Press full time, along with much cycling on the improved racing bike. Many mentioned that after a problematic and painful 2006, there was much to be celebrated this year.

 

Sometime in May, a decision was made that the Deniz family would travel to Australia to launch the flagship of Eneit Press, In Bad Dreams – Volume One: Where Real Life Awaits at Canberra’s Conflux 4. This would be a perfect chance to meet my business partner, several authors and friends and prove that we were extremely committed to the company (and the book.)

 

The trip took place in September and October, around five weeks in total and it was a very rewarding experience for all of us. We learned many things about the workings of a publishing company and book launch and we came away much more prepared (and enthusiastic) about future projects.

 

It was moving on, we came to November and birthdays and visits from family, and apart from my recent birthday woes; things were full of laughter and joy here too. We were only six weeks away from Christmas, meaning not only a very exciting time but me enjoying the privilege of my best friend in the world,

, spending a full ten days with us over Christmas and New Year. This promised RPGs, board games, film, TV, and music aplenty.

 

And then the year took its twist, what had been merely snippets of sorrow in an otherwise joyful, productive, positive year, came and brought with it pain and misery, the like has never been seen before within this family.

 

I lost my mother, January 2006, yet nothing, not even that (or my Grandma leaving us 23rd February 1983 – effectively my mother at that time) could prepare me for the wave that would hit from 11th December 2007 onwards.

 

My brother-in-law Fuat, who we had been lucky enough to see several times this year (Etina constantly complains that she doesn’t see him enough and in fact for two years we realised that we saw my sister, who lives in England, more than we saw him) was stabbed in the neck and on Wednesday 12th December at 11:02 was declared brain dead.

 

Today is Monday 31st December, almost three weeks since that date and things have not begun to formulate into any kind of normalcy yet. In some ways things will never go back to normal, and this is a tragedy that has hit the family far more than we have realised (or will realise).

 

I sense the impact the most when I see Etina’s pain and when I think of Fuat and Maddoc. Maddoc has lost an Uncle that cared deeply for him, thought of him often and would have done so many things with him and definitely been a favourite in my son’s eyes. The realisation that Maddoc will not remember him hurts. I have heard people say that we can keep his memory alive in various ways and I accept that. But not for Maddoc. I have talked to too many people who have lost family members early and they do not remember them, they cannot relate to them in the same way that the people who knew them as older children and adults.

 

It was a year that started off so well, progressed nicely and then came to earth with a crash. The fact that the funeral will not take place until some time in January also sets up a negative 2008.

 

I mentioned before that 1915 was the year of the sword in Assyrian culture, the year that the people were nearly wiped out in their history’s tragic genocide, and that 2008 would be the Deniz family’s year of the sword. I cannot make too many plans for 2008; the year will be a difficult one.

 

There are no New Year honours as such this year, being as I haven’t had the energy or motivation for them. However there are two best ofs that I feel I must name, due to the fact that two members of the family will receive packages based on the choices I make every year.

 

First up is album of the year – Editors: An End has a Start, which I was impressed was my favourite, due to the band’s name and that significance to my career move for 2007. However, the album becomes more appropriate for the situation with Fuat. The album is the songwriter’s obsession with death in words and music and it is a bleak, dismal, powerful interpretation of that which we all must deal with at various times in our life and with varying severity.

 

I couldn’t bring myself to do my regular top five but if pushed it would be as such:

 

2. The National: Boxer

3. The Twilight Sad: Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

4. Kristin Hersh: Learn to Sing Like a Star

5. Efterklang: Parades

 

The best book (that I read) in 2007 has to go to Philip K. Dick and A Scanner Darkly. I saw the film earlier in the year and loved it. After the credits came up I knew I had to read the book and the day after borrowed it from our local library.

 

I was in tears by the end and have not been in a situation where I have constantly thought of a book I have a read for almost a week after I finish it. It is an extremely powerful representation of how fallible we are as human beings and how truly horrible we can be to each other.

 

It is a sign of a crumbling society on the brink of despair and the way in which he words it has a resonance today and, I suspect, long after.

 

Goodbye 2007, I will not remember you fondly but be assured I will never be able to forget you.

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Film query

It seems all I can do at the moment is watch films, being as the wife’s culture is keeping us apart during the grieving time and I haven’t got the energy (or desire) to do much else – writing is not coming and being productive with anything just falls flat.

Just watched Zodiac and Frostbiten tonight, and wrote mini-reviews for them on Facebook (if you’re on and we’re not friends then add me and I’ll add you back forthwith).

Zodiac was a very interesting film to watch, considering my current situation and I thought it was very well done and a worthy film.

Frostbiten is a really awful Swedish vampire flick and I’m now feeling bad that I bought it a friend for Christmas…

What I want from you my beloved flist is stuff I should be watching. I’m curious as to what great films you’ve seen recently as I fear I will exhaust my to-see list soon…

They can be from years ago or a recent DVD release, just as long as they’re good ones!


Some news about Fuat in English

I know that some of you were asking about news of Fuat in English, rather than me sending links in Swedish.

The Local

This is an article about the suspected political motive regarding his death but there are links to other news if you so wish.


Song of the Year

Was also pretty sure about this a few weeks ago too but just wanted to confirm it here and now (and also give you a chance to see the poor video to accompany it)

Editors – An End Has A Start

The Editors join the elite of artists who have album of the year and song of the year. For those who have not been part of the musical world of Mark Deniz, here are the winners from 2000 to this year:

2000 – Album of the Year
Fiona Apple: When the Pawn

2000 – Song of the Year
Fiona Apple: I Know

2001 – Album of the Year
Eels: Souljacker

2001 – Song of the Year
Kings of Convenience: Winning a Battle, Losing the War

2002 – Album of the Year

Tom Waits: Alice

2002 – Song of the Year

Tom Waits: Fawn

2003 – Album of the Year
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief

2003 – Song of the Year
Radiohead: 2+2=5

2004 – Album of the Year

Stina Nordenstam: The World is Saved

2004 – Song of the Year

Stina Nordenstam: The World is Saved

2005 – Album of the Year
Patrick Wolf: Wind in the Wires

2005 – Song of the Year
Patrick Wolf: Wind in the Wires

2006 – Album of the Year
Two Gallants: What the Toll Tells

2006 – Song of the Year
Eels: It’s a Motherfucker (Live from Town Hall)

2007 – Album of the Year

Editors: An End Has A Start

2007 – Song of the Year
Editors: An End Has A Start

I hope 2008 has a better end to the run.


Internal thoughts

It feels like this post is more for me to get some thoughts down, rather than anything for my flist or readers. That being the case it may read differently than what you are used to.

It’s hard to believe that it is only a few days before Christmas – true the signs are there, decorations in every window, a town chock full of shoppers, voices raised in song but at the same time not, there is no Christmas here, within our home, within our hearts.

“Love replaces fear”

At the rally on Wednesday, prominent Swedish author Marcus Birro, read one of his poems, a line within that called out to me – “Love is always stronger than death”

Love is the deciding factor, whatever else happens in terms of us and emotions it is love that wins out. Love makes us happy, makes us sorrowful – if it wasn’t my love for Fuat and Etina, then I wouldn’t be suffering anywhere near as much as I am now (if at all).

But can we really wish to remove the pain, thereby removing the love too? I don’t think anyone does that by choice, it’s something that happens to us, that is if we are really unlucky.

We all love and want to be loved, it is that simple.

I’m still not at a point where I can formulate any thoughts beyond the next few hours and where my reactions to things heard and seen range from sorrow, to love, to anger.

I am amazed at the way people aren’t affected by the recent news events here in Sweden (and the world) but at the same time realise I was one of them only two weeks ago.

I am angry that someone removed my brother from his rightful place in the world, and is still free.

I am aware of how much I love Etina, at how much seeing her pain is killing me. I watch the siblings go through their different phases, unable to help them, hoping that by being there is enough, enough as can be expected from a word so insignificant.

My sorrow comes from my own selfish need to spend more time with my brother, for wanting Maddoc to grow up, so Fuat can impart his immense knowledge upon my multi-cultural boy and make him a more tolerant, open, caring and thoughtful person.

I want to be more tolerant than I am, and I want Fuat to show me how. Someone has taken that possibility away from me, needlessly but believe me I am not going to stop looking – there is much I can read and much I can study of my Abe’s (Turkish for ‘big brother’) work and I plan to do that, I for one will not let him die in vain.

It’s 21st December today and there is mourning to come. There is no date for a funeral yet as the police are keeping my brother’s body as evidence. The funeral will not be until after New Year and will be a significant start to next year.

1915 was Seyfo, the year of the sword, the year that the Ottoman Empire tried to wipe the Assyrians from the face of the Earth.

2008 will be the Deniz family’s year of the sword.


One week on

It’s not getting any clearer and it’s not making any more sense.

My brother was murdered.

Writing it doesn’t help the situation, the blur is still there.

There will be demonstrations in eight cities tomorrow, 19th December at 18:00 (GMT+1) in response to this tragedy. If you’re in Sweden I hope you can make it to one of the events. If not I hope you can spare a minute’s silence at 18:00.

There will be no CD this year, and only due to the album being of significance to my brother (and due to a promise that Ethan, my nephew, will receive 21 on his 21st Birthday) the album of the year has already been decided:

The Editors: An End Has A Start

It was looking good for the top spot for several weeks but last week meant it would be the number one album. I may write about this one at a later date but there will be no top ten post this year.

It’s late, I still haven’t written my speech, I just wanted to let people know what’s going on… sort of.

Take care of each other and thanks for those that have sent me wonderful message, e-mails, facebook messages, etc.

Mark Deniz


An end has a start

But where the hell do we start after this one?

Etina’s big brother Fuat, six years her senior, was murdered yesterday. He was attacked on Tuesday afternoon and was confirmed clinically dead at 11:02 yesterday morning.

Trying to get Maddoc to sleep now, so that we can get through another day, hoping his little sister will get home in time from Australia before they are forced to turn off the respirator.

He leaves behind a wife, a three year old daughter, and many grieving family members and friends.

Right now I don’t know what to say or do.

There’s a hole, a big gaping hole, and seeing Etina like this is killing me.


Aurealis Awards

Well all our Australian stories missed out on the shortlist for the Aurealis Awards.

Hey you can’t win em all can you?

Good luck to

and

who have stuff in the list!


Advice on listening to music #367

Never ever listen to music when you are in a coma or the result will be that you’ll give:

Voxtrot

a grade of 77 when they really deserve 40!

What the hell was I thinking when I first listened to that?

*bangs head on desk several times*

*album didn’t get any better*


As the time marches on…

… progress is being made.

Happy Birthday to

and a special happy birthday to

and

who turn 90 today (well their country Finland celebrates 90 years of independence)!

It’s Friday tomorrow and I’m already just getting ready to start on the 77 gang in the album of the year countdown. I can easily see the bulk of the 70’s done by Sunday, leaving me a good two weeks to concentrate on the all important 80’s and 90’s and getting ready for that end of year CD (that needs to be done by the 22nd for that party). Then I still have a week in which I can finalise the 90’s and really be sure of the top five and all important album of the year!

An extra touch is that my best friend

will be around for the climax and it’ll be interesting to hear his views on it all!

Most of the albums have stayed in place over recent days and so far it is only Chris Cornell that has dropped out of the 70 slot altogether.

A couple have albums have jumped from 70 spots to 80 heights this week and we’ll see if any more do that as the 70’s finishes off.

One observation this week is that Dave Gahan must surely have one of the most commanding and engaging voices of modern music because I keep thinking to myself that his new album is not up to scratch but yet he’s still hanging in there this late…