Browsing All Posts filed under »berlin«

Idomeneo Without Violence. Almost.

December 22, 2006


by Michael Scott Moore The only violence at the Berlin Opera on Monday was done onstage, when King Idomeneo came out with a bag full of heads and placed each of them, carefully, on chairs: Buddha, Jesus, Poseidon, Mohammed. One man yelled “Aufhören!” Someone else yelled “Weiter so!” and then people booed and cheered. For […]

Berlin: Ost-Block

December 19, 2006


by michael scott moore

In Faust's Metropolis, Alexandra Richie's fat history of Berlin, there's a quote from Communist officialdom on the occasion of Bruce Springsteen's debut in East Germany, with a little album called Born in the USA:

[this] does not represent the importation of bourgeois ideology — neither does it mean that the fans of Bruce Springsteen in the GDR would prefer to have been born in the USA, as the lyrics of the title might suggest. Nor does this mean that we regard Bruce Springsteen as an advocate of Socialist ideology. And least of all should it be seen as an indication of a pragmatic surrender of socialist views.

Priceless. I remember Reagan misinterpreting those lyrics, too.

Berlin: Nazis creeping in

November 11, 2006


udo voigt.jpg 

by michael scott moore

This appalling man Udo Voigt is not just head of a marginal neo-Nazi party but now a duly-elected politician in the Treptow-Köpenick district of Berlin. He's the guy who said, last year in a town called Gera, in a speech delivered between sets by white-supremacist hatecore bands, “We don’t want a multicultural society! We know what that brings! In Berlin we’ve learned about the first school without a single German child. Should this be the future of Germany?… [Read more…]

“Anyone who wants this to be the future of Germany should vote for the established parties! Whoever doesn’t want this to be the future of Germany should send the NPD to the national parliament!… [Read more…] We need, in Germany, at last, a true national politics. We have a dream — that the Federal Republic of Germany should go into the dustbin of history, as quickly as possible, just like the GDR. That’s our dream. We dream of a free and prosperous and peaceful Germany for true Germans […] We have the blood of our fathers flowing in our veins and we are proud!”

Berlin: Canning Mozart

October 10, 2006


by michael scott moore You know there’s something wrong when a country’s politicians make tougher noises about free speech than its established artists, even if the artist in question directs a traditional and heavily-subsidized opera house in west Berlin. Kristen Harms at the Deutsche Oper canned a revival of Idomeneo this fall because of a […]

Berlin: Germans Have No Sense of Personal Space

September 19, 2006


rushhour berlin.jpg 

by michael scott moore

Is this true? Or is it just Berliners? Since I moved here I've noticed that German strangers, as a rule, don't try to maintain the regulation* 18 inches off my person when I walk down the street or try to shop in a crammed grocery store. What they do, instead, is lurch in front of me if I happen to be in the way while I scan the cheese.

Berlin: Anti-Semites Everywhere

August 22, 2006


by michael scott moore Utter malicious nonsense about Günter Grass can be read here, here, and (for old time’s sake) here. Normally I like Hermann the German’s blog, but he leads the pack with a sentence that sums up the posturing of the peanut gallery: “One of the leading German Gutmenschen of the past two […]

Berlin: Irresistibly Beautiful Armpits

August 8, 2006



by michael scott moore

This is a deodorant ad in Berlin. The caption means (yes) "Irresistibly Beautiful Armpits."

For me armpits have never been much of a thing, but I have noticed a distinct change in European women's shaving habits since the Wall fell. When I was in Germany and France and Spain at the end of the 80s you could still make a joke about riding public transportation and being shocked -- shocked! -- by the masculine underarm hair on otherwise stunning continental women.

Berlin: Some like it hot

July 24, 2006


  by michael scott moore  You, wherever you are, might think you’re having a heat wave. But Berlin has been like a Swedish sauna for two weeks. It’s hard to believe this place ever gets cold. I’ll admit London may be worse ("The London underground system, the oldest in the world, was a furnace on […]

Berlin: Concrete Balls?

July 12, 2006


            Fabrica blog reports on a less savory aspect of football mania: Mark Frauenfelder: Two men were arrested in Berlin on suspicion of filling soccer balls with concrete and then placing them in public areas with signs encouraging people to kick the balls. Police said they had identified a 26-year-old […]

Berlin: Mama Mia!

July 7, 2006


by michael scott moore  The first goal Italy scored last night, in late overtime, happened so fast that most of the crowd on Zionskirchstrasse failed to notice. But it was like the shot that killed the President. "Why’s that Italian player celebrating? Oh God –" All of Berlin fell silent, I think, except for some […]