Wednesday, January 03, 2007
In the 90's it used to be a famous squat. Artists mostly lived there but also the usual floatsome that they breed. Drugs alcohol and sex abounded. It was seedy, dangerous and dirty but alive. Today is a cheesy, dirty and touristy bar, cinema and artists' den. Dirt seams to be the mainstay and the apparent eternal nature of the building itself, It is huge! Those of us that are more familiar with the remnants of communism and the attitude it left behind perfectly understand the concept. Equally I understand the attraction of the place to western tourists and teenagers but for me it is just a pathetic reminder of things we left behind. All this veneration of fake socializmus is boring. There is by the way an incredible number of pro communism signs in Berlin. Trust me they have nothing to do with leftism but everything with the superficiality of packed ideas and ready made slogans. There are comparatively fewer signs denouncing Nazism. I hate that people forget the issues that were really at stake in divided Berlin. Clichés instead of ideas and slogans instead of books and articles. It is of course easier to be" radical" in Berlin by putting up a flag and a silly slogan on the destructiveness of capitalism instead of actually doing something or voting as a matter of fact. But then again ... all this maintains an aura that diminished once Berlin was united and stopped representing the free world facing dictatorship.