Moving to Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg, the breeder capital of the known universe, was a complete accident. For someone who is completely anti-reproduction (I mean c’mon—look at all the global overpopulation, shitty governments and lack of food and work for the existing people), being surrounded by the squeals and squalls of infants all day long is some sort of existential hell on a Sartrean scale.
Foreigners in Germany don’t have a lot of options as to where to live--unless they are the typical yuppie manager transplants working for an uberconglomerate company (or trust fund hipster douchebags). Most of us just take our chances with the real estate riff raff; most of the time we are lucky to take whatever we can get. I have been told both implicitly and overtly that I was not welcome as a foreigner: “Too much hassle, paperwork, credit risk, yada yada sieg heil yada.” It could be worse: I could live in one of the cheap shitholes passing themselves off as the New Artist and Hipster Hoods; neighborhoods with names rhyming with Schmeukoelln or Schmedding.
So we took a flat in ubergentrified Prenzlauer Berg, where prams push us off the sidewalk and into traffic (with sneers). In warm weather we open windows for air; ahhh, the fresh smell of shitty diapers and screeching newborns. We’re so lucky to be part of the swirling cosmic cacophony of creation. In P’berg they shit out new babies every month and leave them by the open windows to screech their little lungs out. Just when one baby stops crying, another scheissmaschine in another fenster takes its place. Rarely are they ever synchronized.
Rather than complain (too late?), I decided to do a bit of research. Apparently, German parents are privy to die neue Schule of child psychology, which simply states: ‘Let them cry. Do not give in to the child’s every whine and whim. Leave them alone for hours and they will be better citizens for it.’ I believe the child care professional they follow is Dr. Josef Mengele. He too chose to ‘test’ an infant’s resolve, its alleged need for parental attention, by leaving it alone for days at a time. His research proved that, left alone long enough, an infant would stop crying altogether. He was a groundbreaker, that bastard.
It seems pretty obvious that Berliners are being paid to breed. I can’t figure it out otherwise. I personally don’t see using my down time and underemployment as an opportunity to bring a screeching little mini me into this fucked up world. But Berliners do. They get paid to breed, and no number of children seems to be too much for the system. Sounds like a government think tank at work: solve the massive Berlin unemployment problem by PAYING PEOPLE TO BRING MORE FUCKING UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE into the picture. I hate U.S. government policies, but Jayzus, Europe seems to be willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to social and fiscal policies.
‘But db,’ you might ask, ‘what makes you think that these P’berg parents are merely white trash breeders out for a quick government baby buck every nine months? What if they are middle-to-upper class working parents with single moms on maternity leave?’ Glad you asked. Well, the simple answer is: the middle class is too tired and worn out to breed; upper class yuppies don’t breed anything but more material possessions. The parents are both too career driven to think of having children and too stressed out after their stupid, meaningless jobs to procreate. Procreation takes time. It’s a full time job. You’ve got to try every Kama Sutra position from morning til night to guarantee progeny payload every nine months.
And who has that much time on their hands but the unemployed?