Sie haben das Recht zu schweigen. Henryk M. Broders Sparring-Arena

Henryk M. Broder

12.07.2000   13:02   +Feedback

Fremde Federn: Florian Keil

One World? One Parade?

I’m back in Bonn after spending the weekend flaneuring through the streets of berlin, as a participant observer somewhere between the techno masses and the curious onlookers - roaming with the rest of generation X through the streets and in the subway system of Berlin.

The first encounter with the phenomenon was on the autobahn, where one got the impression the whole of Europe was on its way to Berlin, with thousands of cars filled with kids and painted windows - all noticeably excited to be part of the mass hysteria still to come. It was here on the streets and in the resting areas along the autobahn where I first encountered the motto or message of this year’s parade - banners on windows conveyed the story - the principle - the reason for it all: one world…one parade. Love parade 2000. No more. No less. That was the so called unpolitical / political message. In reality it seemed more like the excuse to throw one of Europe’s largest outdoor parties. Like Disneyland it reminded me of the hyperreal…mindless fun, entertainment pure for the masses, combined with the aura of the new capital trying to celebrate itself. The love parade is but a street festival reflecting our need to fill the gap left by our oversaturated selves, capitalism’s futile attempt to break all records and the boredom and routine of our daily lives. The irony is the parade itself was itself suffering from this boredom, as it was and felt like a repeat of the one(s) that came before. But it came worse. Because where entertainment meets the masses commercial propaganda dominates. Ultimately this modern urban spectacle was also oversaturated with adds from the latest internet startup, popular TV networks to condom makers and the ever present competition between the DJs and their supporting labels. Yes, Berlin was alive this weekend, the center invaded by over a million aliens - most of whom were uninterested in, no, almost blind to the city which hosted them for the weekend. Ironically for me…

It was mainly the city itself which provided the subject for passion and reflection this weekend. It was the flair of this once (still?) divided city with its contrasts, its seemingly forgotten urban jungle and the facade of the new. Especially the old apartment blocks in the east and the hidden cafes and bars. Berlin is full of them. And so many of them convey this relaxed feeling, each representing its own meeting point for individuals young and old. An aura of creativity and engaged communication, an element of heimat emanated from the warm glowing rooms. It was in one of these cafes, where I first felt berlin-and liked it. The rest was uninspiring (electronic) noise…


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