Monday, August 13, 2012

The problem with Berlin...

I think the problem with Berlin is that there are too many people like me in it, happily blogging away about how great it is and telling all and sundry they should come live here too, post-haste.
It seems they are all coming here, post-haste, and being people who read blogs and the like, they write them too, and happily blog away about how great Berlin is, telling all and sundry they should come live here too, post-haste.
If anything they’re moving here post-hastier than ever before, aware from all their reading that Berlin’s not without its problems despite being great, and that they need to move here with the post-hastiest haste to enjoy it while they still can.
The urgency of enjoyment drives the latest arrivals to write about it too, telling anyone left in the rest of the world how great Berlin is (though not without its problems) and urging all and sundry to come live here too – you got it – post haste.
More and more people are coming and those who are late to the party are finding a city with cutthroat competition for apartments and rocketing rents, shameless capitalism, unbridled gentrification, few opportunities, worker exploitation and – in short – all the ills of modern society where those at the top are milking the dreams and hopes of the herd below.
So maybe it’s time to stop blogging about how great it is. It’s still great of course, but Berlin’s at a slippery sloped crossroads. Fifty one years after they began building the Wall it might be time to build another.
Of course the Berlin Wall was another shining example of those at the top controlling the herd below, and the last thing anyone wants (bar a few DDR die-hards and those chasing tourist dollars) is its reconstruction. I wrote about it this time last year.
But even metaphorical walls are not without their dangers. They can’t be knocked down for a start and they’re hard to paint.
So disregard all I just wrote, disregard it! Come to Berlin, come all and sundry! Come live here too, post-haste rather than post-great.

That picture on the left is a photograph I took of Mr. Peter Leibing’s famous photograph of East German border guard Conrad Schumann legging it over the Berlin Wall (as in defecting) while it was still just a hastily constructed barbed wire fence on August 15th, 1961. Both of them are dead now.
And someone should tell that Berlin Loves You crowd there should be no apostrophe after the heart. Their whole empire is based on a grammatical mistake.

7 comments:

  1. Actually, I and a few other bloggers are going to descent on your fair burg from the 6th to 9th of September. Are you going to be around? It would be great to share a pint or two.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll almost certainly be working that weekend but can say with just as much certainty that I'll catch up with you all for a pint, or maybe even three, at some stage. Looking forward to catching up with yourself and that husband with all the honour in particular.
    And I presume you don't want to actually share a pint?! I mean, we could probably splash out and get one each, oder?

    ReplyDelete
  3. ahhh... honorable husband have i not! I do feel honoured, however, to have been confused with so eminent a blogger. I have a wife and daughter in Hamburg, who I will be leaving behind for those three days.
    Sure hope you can catch up with us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No no! I didn't confuse the two of you! I know you're also a family guy. What I meant was that you were the two bloggers I was most looking forward to meeting. Just don't tell any of the others... (The Berlin ones are around all the time anyway.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, well this only shows I should pay attention a little more. Or drink less beer.
    So does this mean you will be off covering something out of town?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Or in town? That game with the round ball everyone around here seems to get so excited about?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry Ian, I thought I'd replied but see now I didn't. Guess I should pay more attention too. Or drink more beer.
    I'll be in town whatever happens. I'll be covering football, but I see now that Germany are playing the Faroes in Hannover on the Friday, so I may have to go there then, but I'll definitely be around for pints at some stage or (all going well) several. And yes, it's that game with the round ball. The Germans hate cutting corners so they love round balls.

    ReplyDelete