How to Save a Life
"People can't, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, anymore than they can invent their
parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life."
— James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Read about our love for Hahe, disappointment in Sat1 and what Jemma really means.
Let me preclude this by wishing all of us a Happy Birthday!
Or, well, anniversary, since as Lied has informed me recently, we've cracked the 100,000 visitors hurdle with over 760,000 hits on the first of July. (No idea how many of these hits have gone out to certain Jemma Clips..;-) )
Sadly, dear 100,000th visitor, the counting system of the site doesn't work in a way, that it would be possible for us to say: ”It has been you! Congratulations!” so the trip to Germany with the stay in a five star hotel, STAG concert and meet and greet with the stars will sadly have to be canceled..
Now, I know that you will address money, now that we're dealing in numbers, and I'll just say it this once: Money is evil. I'm not a Communist, because I have read “Animal Farm”, but money makes people evil and greedy and think in numbers (*cough,cough*Sat1,*cough*).
So, no ads, and just in case anyone official is reading this, chewing on the copyright bit...let's state it officially: We're not making a cent out of this.
And no, not for fund raising either..evil,evil,evil..I'm telling you!
Ok, fine? Happy to have gotten that cleared up.
If you should live,in say, Canada, for example, and really,really want to spend some dinero on the good fight for HaHe, then..why don't you buy the soundtrack,DvD, and single..and if you have all of them already..buy them for your local high school's library?Gay and Lesbian center? Church choir?
Numbers, numbers..actually I did mean to talk to you about numbers today.
Now, a lot of you who go to the trouble of reading this blog have gone to even more trouble and written SAT1 an email expressing your sentiments.
I've been informed, that they have been nice enough to send you their standard letter without even bothering to translate it.
Well, we'd be a bad translation service if we wouldn't offer this service, right?
So this, by all probability is the mail that they have sent out:
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thank you very much for your email and your reaction to SAT1's programming.
Sadly, the SAT1 viewer response to "Hand aufs Herz" has not lived up to our expectations and the story will find its end in its first season, which ends at the beginning of September. Another season is neither in the works or in the planning, not on our affiliated channels,either.
We gladly have attached the official statement of our channel, i.e. our programming director in the following:
"We are ending our daily show "Hand aufs Herz" after its first season at the beginning of September. Despite having given viewers plenty of time to find this wonderful show,and working relentlessly,with the whole production team on its format, the ratings have remained far underneath the channel's average..Even the great success,that "Hand aufs Herz" had online, couldn't compensate the difficulties in finding a viewing audience for TV.
For further understanding, we'd like to explain in more depth the why and the hows of making certain decisions in our programming.
We are a private, commercial business, that is set to reach the biggest amount of viewers as possible, to make money out of the sale of commercial time. A business model that has been employed in the same kind in all of the branches of the commercial industry and serves as the basis of the entire free market.
Therefore we have to take care that in our complete programming a commercial aspect will not be neglected. Contrary to the public networks, which solely finance themselves out of state fees and funds, we cannot afford running programs that hardly have a viewing response. Due to (the aforementioned) programming mandate, only the public networks are obliged to show programs for minorities.
If,there is a lack of viewers on our channel, we, as a rule, have to act quickly.
Due to this mechanism, it may be possible for new shows to end after only a short amount of screening-time, if they didn't find the audience we had hoped for. On the other hand it is not possible, for the same reason to finance a programming that consists of 24 hours of original shows. This explains the repeats during the night hours and the summer months, during which less TV is being consumed.
We hope,to have shown you, that it hasn't been in our interest, to aggravate or anger you, and that it is not borne out of bad intention if we cannot fulfill certain program wishes. We are certain, however, that with this background information, you will be able to get a better understanding of our programming decisions.
Colour your life – now also on Twitter!
Become a Follower - SAT.1 tweets here http://twitter.com/sat1TV.
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So, now let's do a vote by numbers,shall we?
Who is outraged?
And who isn't? It's a business, capitalism, yada, yada?
Who doesn't know what to be making of this?
Now, since I'm the one writing this(Yay!), let me tell you what I'm thinking.
From coming home to a love story, that has made me fall along, bit by bit, to meeting a gazillion lovable fans, many of whom I now call friends, in a forum,to hosting a crazily work intensive website, and then kind of tapping into a worldwide web of gratitude, helpfulness, and dedication...
This has become one of the most important things that I have ever done.
Because I think that “Hand aufs Herz” isn't just a show that airs in its tiny, secluded German niche and enlightens a couple of German teenagers to be less homophobic and hateful.
There are so many of you from all over the world..some of you who keep writing to us about how awful life sometimes is, surprisingly many of these mails come from the US, btw, and for some of you, from other places..we just know how it can't be easy either..places, countries..where it's hard to live and to love openly, freely, or at all.
But it's not countries or the other people that are tricky, the places we live in, the people surrounding us..it's us, inside..the self loathing, the striving to be normal, to want to fit in..and that is universal to almost all of us, no matter where we live.
It's a struggle..one a lot of us have faced..one a lot of us are still facing...one that some fight again and again over and over and never loose and never win.
And now, there is this tiny, tiny German show, and it's featuring yet another coming out story..just that this time it's not about girl a falling in love with girl b..and “Oh my,just how will people react?”
But it's about Emma and Jenny falling and failing, and growing and changing...it's about love and desperation, and about not being able to help yourself who you love..and about saying yes to life.
And therein lies the rub, you see?
Last year, during the summer months, more than a dozen young people in the US committed suicide linked directly to their being gay or perceived as being gay, or afraid of being gay.
Who knows what lays, silently, in the dark?
“Glee” went ballistic on their gay friendliness on their show!
#itgetsbetter campaigns arose out of every single imaginable corner..and I'm getting goosebumps just writing about it.All the love, all the desperation...all the sadness.
But this is not just about those who take their lives..but about those who are miserable living theirs as well..
For a life without love..without the possibility..or the hope of love..how far is it from not living?
How much would it help you, to tell you, that I was a teenager in Florida, that I wasn't bullied, but that I simply couldn't find a word for who and what I was. For what was wrong with me? For the loneliness, for the absence of love that seemed to come to everyone so easily but me?
(Waves to Florida, guys I've gotten your mails, I just didn't know how to answer them!xoxo)
How much would it help you, if I'm writing to you now, that things do get better?
You wouldn't in your own world, believe me, for I am but one amongst many to you.
And living in gaytown in the center of Europe, might be just as far away as the moon to you.
It's the places inside.
Show, don't tell, my English teacher used to say..
Now, you see, I believe, and I believe this with all of my heart, that stories can change people's lives..
They can touch us, they can change us..they can save us.
It's how sometimes we need to see to believe things, to emotionally get into a story to realize, that we're not alone..that there's hope, when at times, all seems hopeless.
It's different for different people..I've had friends coming out a little later in life, needing stories to see themselves reflected..to understand.
I had a love,who couldn't find her own story, and the us that we were was finally lost to fear.
It left me hopeless, too, without any faith in the world, anymore.
To me, the story of Jenny and Emma hasn't been about Coming Out, actually, but about being reminded about love. I was heartbroken, for a long, long time. It was through this show,of all things, that I remembered what it is like to fall in love again, as I fell in love with Emma through Jenny's eyes, and with Jenny through Emma's.
Butterflies!Peanut Butter and Jelly!
Now, it would have been even better for me, to see,just to see, every day, that it's also possible to be happy together for a longer amount of time..but
It's different for all of us why we love the show, the way we do.
The “Hand aufs Herz” people achieved that, the art of telling and realizing a story in a way it genuinely touches people.. a small miracle.An artist's dream.
A small side story..and all anyone ever did, was put all of their heart into it.
The actresses,the writers the producers.
The one storyline in all of those out there that didn't disappoint.
A small flame.
And we noticed, and spread the news, and it ignited, the dry, hungry wood that we were,desperate to see our stories told.
And bang, SAT1 couldn't find a way to deal with its huge online audience and canceled it from one day to the other...a huge affront to the writers, the creators, the artists, investing these stories with life.
A huge affront to us who invested parts of ourselves.
Now, you remember the vote above?
Those who understand, those who don't, those who don't know what to think?
I meant to talk to you about numbers today.
We're not just numbers, those who watch this show..we're people.
Who in one way or another have been deeply touched.
Gay, straight, somewhere in between, we have been touched by the universal constant of love.
This is grand, this is one of the best and grandest things SAT1 has ever done!
To touch people, to create art,to give hope!
To maybe, save a life, or two.
Now, group A, I know that you're going to throw numbers back at me, ratings, but this is the third show that fails in this very time slot..and it has a huge online response, and it's simply lazy and unprofessional, if we must deal in numbers, not to make use of the massive amount of online viewers in a productive manner.(ITUNES!!!)
The next fail in this timeslot will certainly not be blessed with that particular number. Maybe it'll be less cost intensive..but that's it.
And now, group B, I'm a simple person, who has watched a few too many movies, as a kid..I believe in right and wrong..and to cancel a miracle for numbers is just wrong in my book.
Because sometimes it's just important to do the right thing, you know?
And this, this is important.
And I am just so, so sick and tired of people being treated like numbers...of this whole McKinsey mentality that tells us,that it's alright to be doing just that.
Because it's not.
Now, dear group C, I'm not telling you what to think..I'm not telling SAT1 the choice they're supposed to be making.
There is a right choice, and a wrong choice and the numbers choice.
But there is a choice.
That's all I'm saying..and sometimes it takes a little courage and craziness and unconventionality to be doing the right thing.
But even if all efforts fail, the dark side prevails;-) I am so glad, that at least for a little while, it has been granted to me, to have made the acquaintance of so many of you, to have worked with such sweet people and to have been part of something bigger, grander. Making the world a bit smaller, and a lot bigger at the same time.
It has been a joy and a pleasure.
Let's rock on for two more months together!