Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hochlander Fünf: Die Hoffnung

Or “David Hasselhoff Returns to Berlin Lookin’ For Freedom”

Thank the tiki gods; the Hoff is on the case.  Just when all Berliners had lost hope, just when the Evil Capitalist Swine were about to tear down a protected (nod wink) historical monument, aka East Side Gallery—the Hoff swooped down from the sky like a hawk to save our dignity and maybe even our Berliner jelly donuts.

The man is all about dignity.  Sure, his hero’s cape is stained with (hamburgers, beer and puke) the excess of his slow decline into the dustbin of kitsch pop culture history. Yes, he talked to a car in a tv series.  Sure, he ran slo mo on fictitious beaches watching bouncing breasts as his mostly teen audience watched his bouncing belly.  Und jawohl! He sang in German on stage to throngs of squealing mädchens.  He also wore a sparkling lounge lizard suit at the Berlin Wall in 1989 and sang ‘Lookin’ For Freedom.’  And that’s all you need to know.

I’ll take any hero I can get.  Because the gentrification war is not being won by anyone but the Usual Suspects, Those Who Hold All the Cards: The Man.  I’ve read the comments on the news forums.  Nerdy lawyers types suggest that all property is for sale to the highest bidder—who have the right to do whatever they see fit with that property. On the other extreme, drugged out party kids want to have techno raves and free love on the former Death Strip behind the wall.  And the rest of us wonder just how in the fuck the status of a public historical monument can be sold for a few million to shortsighted investors.

I’m just going to come out and say it:  Berlin tourism ain’t all dat.  With the exception of a handful of architectural pieces of antiquity and a few trendy neighborhoods, Berlin is just a vast expanse of disco dance floor space waiting to be filled with a vast expanse of empty heads looking to bob those heads in/on ecstasy.  These poor but sexy kids dance the night away while their parents sell the few meager scraps of heritage left.

The excitement of an ever-changing, culturally evolving city is quashed and quelled by simple, stupid, base profit motive.  The East Side Gallery / Berlin Wall monument is number 2 on the list of tourist attractions.  Brandenburg Gate is number 1.  I don’t even know what the others are, there are so few left.  War razed Berlin, developers raped Berlin.  High rise luxury condos in Berlin are about as out of place as high rise luxury apartments in Warsaw. The end most certainly does not justify the fucking means.  And the mean fucks are fucking Berlin. Meanly.

An aging icon girds loins for war.  Stained and stigmatized, our icon finds renewed hoffnung (hope) decades after the shame, the derision and the controversy.  The icon has been cleaned up, propped up and presented to the masses. Some want to forget the aging icon and bury all associated memories at the end of its heyday in the 80s.

But the Hoff and the Berlin Wall are still standing.  For now.

UPDATE: The fuckers managed to steal (for it is theft clear and simple) 3 more sections from the wall before I could write and upload this story.  Either I need to speed up or developers need to slow the fuck down.


  1. As a way to prop up a sagging, uh, career, Hasseldinksbumps was as opportunistic as any property developer in trying to get some free me-me-media time. I hope he did some good for the cause, anyway.

  2. I'm sure the Hoff's agent threw a bucket of cold water on him and his floorburger and stuffed him on a plane to Berlin. Be that as it may, the Hoff dragged much needed media circus attention to the Wall by showing his anemic support. Did he baptize Berliner believers and waltz sandaled feet across developer skulls? Hardly. Does somebody need to draw a line between corporate and public interest? Oh yeah. Unless we want to admit that all governments, history and culture are for sale to the highest bidder.


  3. I think you need to explore Berlin more Grumpydunks. The East Side Gallery is a long stretch of ugly scrawl. If you want good street art there is much better to see. As for Berlins other tourist attractions, it just happens to have some of the best museums, art galleries, music venues, restaurants, shopping streets, zoos gardens and public parks, in Europe. Then there is the Fernsehturn, Schloss Charlottenburg, the Reichstag, Gendarmenmarkt, river and canal trips, the olympic stadium, boating and sunbathing on the Havel, skating and cycling the Mauerweg, hiking in the Grunewald, swimming in the Muggelsee .... the list goes on, and thats even before using Berlin as a springboard to Potsdam, Spreewald, Babelsberg, Spandau, Oranienburg, Brandenburg, Havelland, Uckermark ... Sorry if Berlin doesn't live up to New York or San Francisco, but hey man, this is Europe. We've had the crap beaten out of us for centuries and every few decades we've got to clear away the rubble and rebuild. Time to move on ... and we dont need some fat aging talentless has-been loud American coming over here and telling us how to run things (I am talking about Hasselhoff natürlich ...)

  4. I love how whenever I do what I do here on this blog (rant, sometimes comedic, sometimes not), some Euroweenie steps in to give out the same old tired cliches: 'Berlin ain't S.F. or N.Y., if you don't like it, A) get out more B) go home.' (and by Euroweenie I mean all the other people who comment Anonymously on my blog, naturlich...). In over four years I've seen incredible things all over Berlin and beyond; most of my list includes both some and none of the obvious things on your tourist list (this blog ain't a tourist guidebook which points out the obvious scheisse to consumer travelers, it's happy horseshit designed to keep me from losing my dubious English writing skill). Yes, Europe has been shitkicked; duh. The shitkicking I'm ranting about is how shocking it is to see what a big fat whore Berlin is (scroll down for earlier posts on the Bearwhorebeast); culture and history has less value than short sighted bubble economies and real estate development schemes/scams. Why spend the money to renovate 'a dodgy stretch of ugly scrawl'(opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one), place dozens of metal plaques designating ESG as a DENKMAL--only to tear it down to make space for yuppie fucking condos. Nigga PLEASE.