Saturday, August 9, 2008

Snack Point Charlie

I'm in Berlin at the moment. I have to be up early in the morning, so I can't go to the apparent best club ever which Junior Boys led my friends to last week, prefacing a 48 hour odyssey that ended without shoes in Kreuzburg for one of them. I only have one pair of shoes with me anyway, and I probably don't have that kind of stamina in me, so I'm going to be dull and blog some bits and pieces.

I got my mp3 player, along with a camera, stolen in the "Party-Room" of a hostel in Munich of all places. This has led to a quite surprising result. When you don't have the option to listen to Times New Viking at full volume whenever you want, you end up much more aware of the music being played on the PA in receptions, restaurants and shops. The song in your head isn't of your choosing any more. This is especially important when you're spending a month staring out of train windows for between four and nine hours at a time. The soundtrack of your life is out of your control.

Mine, so far (because every journey further than a walk to the shops has its built-in soundtrack) has been as follows: Bad Boys For Life by Puff Daddy, Without Me by Eminem, the zither theme from The Third Man (since Vienna), Nantes by Beirut, everything by the Pet Shop Boys (thank you German radio), Mercy by Duffy, that song by the Rasmus, Nessun Dorma by Paul Potts.

I miss Times New Viking.

A few observations from Berlin: at some sort of ersatz Nazi museum on boards near the last stretch of the Wall, I noticed the phrase "Unsichtbar gemachte Geschichte" - history made invisible. It was about the rebuilding of Germany after the war, and having been here for nearly a week, I thought that described the way things are here really well.

It's not that they're allergic to history in general - they're proud people, and there are the same monuments and symbolic statues and museums and things here that there are in Vienna and elsewhere. It's just that they skip straight from Bismarck to JFK. For something so unavoidable anywhere in Europe, it's kind of remarkable they manage not to Mention The War. Obviously it's for the best, and I'm sure it's just one of those things known and not spoken. But that's just my one-visit, one-week observation.

I'm going to go do something else now, maybe eat Vietnamese food. Bruce Springsteen just came on the radio where I am. I am not happy at the prospect of having it in my head for the day tomorrow, no matter what Dan, Rory or my parents say.

In other news, Dublin Duck Dispensary are playing Hard Working Class Heroes, on the Friday at 7.30 in Andrew's Lane. "Unmissable". Check out the Hot Press review.

Tschuss, Blogosphere.


Rory said...

prefacing a 48 hour odyssey that ended without shoes in Kreuzburg for one of them.


Adam said...

Ah Hot Press. They never fail to amuse.

Gardenhead said...

I dunno, Karl when I was last in Berlin I noticed a muted and respectful undercurrent of historical awareness. There are many small memorials and of course the Jewish museum, also there was a theatre version of the Tin Drum on. I guess it's not outrightly explicit, but it is there alright.

Karl said...

I don't know. They have the Holocaust in comfortable headspace by now, and there's no skipping over that. But that's something that was done secretly by a group of mentallers, so it's easier to separate from.

The War itself is a different story though. That was a whole people involved in something that ended up with firebombing and destruction of the country. That sort of thing fucks with how a people thinks of itself. My impression of Berlin was that they have decided that psychoanalysing it isn't worthwhile, so they just didn't rebuild the eagles.