Berlin is dying

Gaps being filled at a staggering rate, every one of the thousands of apartments as exclusive as the next, premium penthouses promiscuating through the cityspace. Property billboards compete for tenants, enticed for now by shiny new clubs, chandeliers in purple and gloss hanging from majestic ceilings, cocktails over €8, guys in shirts – shirts! – hair slicked back, girls in heels, tits almost too, hen nights, stag nights, gobshite nights, gorged excess, money, money, money, more than sense, laughter with no sense at all, loud, raucous, invasive, erupting in drunken rancour, fights, puke, smashed glass, the smashing sound of progress. It won’t be long till it’s just like anywhere else.

Comments

  1. That's like Munich, except the cocktails here are twelve Euros.

    Careful, IB. You're sounding a little like the people who complained about the decadence of Berlin in the 1930s. The freedom to have gobsite nights, flash your tits and vomit in the gutter is the flip side of the freedom to call it vulgar and shallow.

    Money corrupts in subtle ways. Not because it causes women to wear high heels and gents to slick back their hair (both of those are relatively cheap) nor because it provokes fights and puke and smashed glass.

    Rather, we need to ask why the freedom to spew up a gutterful in Kreuzberg should be enjoyed only by the rich.

    As you point out, this is where the true evil lies. Shelter is the most basic of necessities. Gentrification lets the posh push everyone else out of cities, and lets them daintily sidestep any contact with real people—real people who define a rich life as one filled with ideas and emotions rather than money and things.

    Let's say we force the folks with money to live cheek by jowl with the rest of us—which used to happen in cities across the planet, I recall—and that can only be done by proper planning and stigma-free public housing. Rent and price controls on real estate might be a good thing.

    Then the outbreak of eight Euro cocktails will be easier to maintain, limited to morons.

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