One could easily get the impression that the economic crisis has sort of, at worst, brushed over here and that the world “outside” has very little to do with the “devil take tomorrow”, “carpe diem”, “la dolce vita”, “que serra”, “live and let live” “Weltanschauung” that perseveres in southern Bavaria at this time of the year in particular, but never quite goes away the whole year round. No coming to grips with the nitty- gritty of the world outside, of the starving millions, of the news behind the news, the real news. Here, no gripes about social injustice and for the “Hartz 4”, unemployed, social security dependent, underclass, no climbing the barricades and there is always enough there for another “mass” of cold beer; there will be no red flags on the streets of Munich.
For my part, I am drawn to think about Winston at the end of ‘1984’ when he sits outside the cafe waiting, waiting for what? Still, there is a trifle more on offer here than there was for Winston; bike rides through beautiful countryside, the “panem et circenses” of digital television, iPod, Apple,Champions League football, silly newspapers, good food and, should ego decide to go off the wagon, good beer. Wouldn’t have been enough to stop a Michail Lermontov or an Ivan Turgenev from going mad, and, just as the Nihilists in 19th century Russia, sought refuge in their Nihilism to escape the Narodnik reaction to the assasination attempt on Alexander I, the escape from “reality” here for your “intellectual” can be found in literature, film, music, in the superficiality of a “Zeitgeist” that allows us to say everything and anything we want but criticise nothing really and, “abseits” from the nitty-gritty, with the sun beating down on Ludwig Strasse, what would we really want to criticise?
The picture was taken yesterday Munich
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