... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Monday, January 17, 2011

178: Currywurst, glühwein and riddled with bullet holes

Missed last night’s blog due to unforeseen (no doubt soon to be discussed) events forcing the necessity of an after work drink.  My mathematical prediction was that I would be missing my next post seven days after the last one.  In actual fact it was only five days, sad face.  This makes the decreasing spiral into a pattern of 16, 11, 5 which is a sequence which seems to have no meaning whatsoever.  That’s a little disappointing because I could really do with a little meaning right now.  Perhaps the relevance of the numbers 16, 11 and five can be found on a dartboard, but my mathematical brain is far to tiny, shrivelled and crushed under the weight of my daydreaming brain, to make anything out of the numbers in question.  So unless I have a sudden leap of inspiration or am enlightened in some other way, I’ll have to abandon my search for meaning.

In other news I’m sad to hear about the imminent closure of the Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin (“East Berlin fights back against the yuppie invaders”).  I visited Tacheles on a uni art trip in 2006, which happily coincided with my 24th birthday.  Berlin presented a picturesque blanket of ice and snow (which unfortunately rendered the perfectly named Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe inaccessible to the public) and a perfect condition for currywurst, glühwein and sightseeing.  Tacheles is amongst the greatest sights I have ever seen; a huge run-down former department store/Nazi prison, riddled with bullet holes on the exterior, haunted by terrible memories on the interior, re-appropriated into a haven for artists. 

Floor after floor of affordable studio space are connected by a densely graffitied stairwell.  It’s the kind of place the world needs more of, but that we are gradually getting less of as developers tear them down or remodel them into expensive designer apartments.  I was under the delusion that Tacheles was protected from this sort of culturally insensitive butchery, but evidently I was wrong.  Perhaps I will never visit it again.  I urge you to see it before it is gone.  P.S.  kebabs in Berlin are miles better than they are in England.

I have loads of photos of Tacheles and Berlin, as well as a little video footage of the graffitied stairwell.  I must dig them out from whichever hard drive they occupy and create a little blog- based memorial.

A snide and humorous David Mitchell rant against the silliness of Nick Clegg’s phrase “alarm clock Britain”, has set me off thinking about an almost entirely unrelated tangent.  How did people get to work on time before the invention of alarm clocks, before electricity, or even before normal people could afford a wind-up alarm clock?  Were they all just massively self-controlled Zen masters able to will themselves awake at the exact correct moment, or were they just turning up for work as and when they made it?  Either way they both sound like a huge improvement on the current state of affairs; being forced out of your slumber by an incessant beep, or even worse lying awake waiting for the beeping to start.  Occasionally someone will have the bright and wholly original idea of using a favourite song as an alarm call.  Unfortunately this has the predictable effect of rendering said musical masterpiece immediately annoying by its association with being rudely wrenched into the waking world.

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