2010 October 31
I’m off to Waxtreatment to see Shackleton and see if he can convince me to move to Schillerkiez or not. I’m not feeling it down there, but he loves it.
2009 November 09
I was in a bar a few weeks back, drunk, talking to some people and listening to this girl tell us about growing up in East Germany. Just to paint a picture: she was very attractive, blond, very lively and also a bit drunk. She mentioned the dolls that they used to have, an Eastern German version of the Barbie Doll and I accidentally joked something like “were the dolls named Helga ?” — she slapped me. Lightly, but to the point. Then she complained bitterly that people just didn’t understand what its like to have grown up in the east.
I think I do understand, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But first let me say that often we think we understand something but we don’t unless we’ve really been through it. Deep seated things get into your body, your emotions, your language and your way of being. Its about Identity. I didn’t understand the terrors of immigration until I went through it (and mine was mild and my chances very good). Getting a taste of it I could say that I can imagine. But I can’t imagine really what its like to be African and trying to stay in Europe and really having no idea what to do if I got denied. You have no idea the panic that brings a man.
I want to take a stab at this: the DDR was pronounced dead, it was declared unfashionable, its furnishings ugly and laughable, its people (many of my current friends) were poorer and behind the times. And the Western world, still to this day—in particular on this day November 9th 2009 (Mauerfall Tag) says how wonderful it is that these poor bastards got their freedom to be like us, to shop at Karstadt and eat bananas. The relics of the East are diminished by calling it Ostalgie and shoved into a box marked “The Past”.
So its read as something like “you can be like us now” ... but you AREN’T us. You are still “them”, and we’ve declared your culture as dead so now you really have no country. You can’t change who you are (the way you grew up, your memories, the way you talk), but we’ve declared your whole Ossi culture to be over with.
Welcome to the West.
The only thing you can do now is give up and gradually assimilate into the western capitalist culture. As new identities come forth, people take those up and eventually it changes. Perhaps try Football or Rave.
Its like the well dressed older brother came back from college and now teases his little brother constantly.
That is the message that is being read.
I don’t think like that, mostly I’m not even that aware of the cultural war, or I don’t realize its that important. Hence me not realizing that the Helga joke was really insensitive. (I know it wasn’t funny. I was drunk, it was an offhand comment, OK ?) My American method is to use humor to dissolve things.
Can’t wait for a unified Korea, eh ?
2009 November 09
I never get tired of watching this.
No-one is sure of what to do tonight here in Berlin. I suppose just wander around and look for random and true emotion. The planned actions seem too planned, though I will drop by the mauer-mob project.
What might happen if we riot against the banks:
One more crowd pleaser, this from Goodbye Lenin. The mother has been in a coma and missed the fall of the wall and re-unification. Under doctor’s orders she is to avoid shock, so her family decorates the apartment just as it was back then and hilarity ensues. In this scene she gets up and escapes for a walk …
Note the La Dolce Vita reference with the flying Lenin. One time I really did see the heads of Lenin, Marx and maybe Trotsky being driven out of the city on a flatbed truck. Marx still has statues all over the city though, we like him.
2009 September 17
Achtung Taxifahrers ! Radio – that thing that you hear when you are in the taxi. I’ll be playing on it on the newly set up Herbstradio UKW-Frequenz 99,1 MHz this Friday night in Berlin.
You can also listen online: http://www.herbstradio.org/
On Thursday, no wait … right now ! 1 AM Thurs Sept 17 : they are playing Rupture’s excellent Mudd Up! show (originally broadcast on WFMU), DJ Zhao at 3 am, Awesome Tapes from Africa at 4, Hakim Bay & Bill Laswell