False memory syndrome

I’ve known this town and some of its ways for fifteen years but this is the first time I have been here for the 1st of May.

Traditionally Walpurgasnacht and the day that follows are occasions for throwing rocks at the police but I am old, tired and retired and, in any case, it was never really my style. If you declare open war on the state you are a fool. The state has more weapons.

On Oranien Str a bin is overturned and set light to. The cops are out in force. A punk lights a firecracker and throws it into the street but in my fastest, quietest shoes, I know that none of this concerns me.

Earlier in Simone’s flat I talked with Lorr about Heidegger, the elusiveness of Dasein, its resistance to translation. She showed me her photographs. We drank Camparis.

A little stoned, the conversation turned to Die Toten Hosen, a band I first heard when I was thirteen or so. Seized with sudden nostalgia I waxed lyrical about half remembered songs but found to my embarrassment that the sounds emanating from the stereo were of an entirely different provenance. I’ll just sit quiet in the corner. Ignore me. Hell, give me a break, it was twenty seven years ago.

Am Mariannenplatz hören wir zu einem Band. The badly set up PA kept us pinned down in an endless guitar solo. A funk rock nightmare. The Kurds linked their fingers and danced for Ocolan’s freedom. Am Lausitzer Platz the Maoists made hoarse speeches. Here, twenty years ago today, there was a riot and today die Polizei, in military fatigues and helmets, remain attentive. The ethnologist, whose name I promptly forgot, took photographs then made her excuses and left. The applause seemed as much for the performance as for the content of the speech. A helicopter circled overhead.

On Naunyn Str Killer Hakim delivered his set but the beats were better elsewhere. Everyone was suddenly an entrepreneur, beer was sold at varying rates and glass crunched underfoot. I stopped to watch a group play traditional Turkish songs on Adelbert Str, noting the differing temperature of the street.

Outside Trink Teuffel, Ectomorph pounded out shrecklich metal and um die ecke a group of over made up teenagers lip synced ost rock as drag queens on stilts prowled the Kiez.

Earlier, outside the Bethanien Haus, rays of sunlight formed a corona in the smoke of barbecues, as close as SO36 comes to the Brocken Spectre but close enough for me.

More photos of SO36 at: http://picasaweb.google.com/david.e.selden/SO36