- 11 June 2003
- No. 2,590 (cartoon)
- I dont think I can stand this any more.
I think you will.
- 12 June 2003
- Nothing Better with Which to Alter Art
- Recently, Ive been drinking apfelwein by the liter for two reasons.
1. Its ridiculously hot in Frankfurt.
2. My local dealer sells apfelwein in frosty, efficacious, one-liter bottles.
I find that Im very productive when Im quaffing apfelwein. Theres a reason for this, and its printed on every bottle: nach bester alter Art. Although I know very few German words, its obvious that this means something like, theres nothing better with which to alter Art.
- 13 June 2003
- Seeing Juliana Again
- I was walking along the Main when I saw a incredible cat flying from tombstone to tombstone before it made a spectacular leap to the top of a back, marble crypt. She assumed the pose of a sphinx and stared down at me. It took me a while to recognize that the cat was Juliana, a woman I hadnt seen in well over a decade.
I suppose I should have asked her how she became a cat, but I didnt. It was delightful to see Juliana again; I always wondered what happened to her.
- 14 June 2003
- The War is Over
- The cement columns on an air vent outside the Frankfurt train station are cast at an angle that reminds me of a swastika. I wonder if thats intentional or if Im imagining things? Having been raised on television shows about World War II, its hard to hear German being spoken without thinking of Nazis. Nevertheless, Germany seems decidedly less fascistic than the United States these days.
The Second World War now seems to be losing its resonance as an experience; its fading into history like all the other wars before it. The border between Germany and France is almost invisible; I didnt even notice it when I drove across it a couple of times in the last few days. Now, all Europeans have more or less the same ambition: accumulating more euros.
Last night I visited a friend in Germany, someone Ive known for a decade. Over beers, he mentioned something in passing that I hadnt heard before: his late father was in the Luftwaffe during the war. I replied that my father was a cook in the U.S. Navy. The fact that our fathers foughtor at least cookedon opposing sides didnt make either of us the least bit uncomfortable. After all, we were born long after the war was over, and that was a very long time ago.
- 15 June 2003
- Crystal Nacht Bar
- After visiting the magnificent Jewish Museum in Berlin, I headed to the monstrous Estrel Hotel for reasons unmentionable. There, in the basement, I found the Crystal Nachtbar, which translates to Crystal Night Bar.
Its one thing to let old wars slide into history, and quite another thing to name a bar after the pogrom violence on 9-10 November, 1938. I wonder if the people who came up with the name were anti-Semitic idiots or merely ignorant morons? I was tempted to start smashing windows, glasses, and bottles, but I wasnt sure how the German legal system deals with such political statements these days.
I didnt go in the Crystal Nachtbar (in the Estrel Hotel, Sonnenallee 225, Berlin 12057), so I dont know if they provide customers with crowbars or if patrons are expected to provide their own.
- 16 June 2003
- Ive banished a few words from my vocabulary, words such as nuke and tits (and every other euphemism for breasts and most other body parts). And when it comes to art, I have never, ever used the absurd word, postmodern. The work Im making at the moment is modern, so postmodern work cant possibly exist. Ive been saying that for years, but do the academics listen? They do not.
And so it was that I was delighted when Hans showed me an envelope labeled Postmodern. Of course! Although postmodern is an oxymoron when it comes to discussing art or culture, it makes perfect Teutonic sense when used to describe contemporary German mail delivery.
- 17 June 2003
- Sex, Bitte
- Gunther and I were in an elevator when an attractive woman stepped in, looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, Sex, bitte.
I was speechless; nothing like that had ever happened to me. Although I knew the answer would be a variation on no, but thanks for asking, I couldnt think of the right words. I was working on a response that included the possibility of espresso when the woman spoke again.
Sechster stock, du penner! she commanded, with no trace of a smile.
Let me translate that for you, Gunther said cheerfully. She asked you to push the button for the sixth floor, and called you a loser.
I was relieved that life had returned to normal.
last weak |
©2003 David Glenn Rinehart