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Friday, March 9, 2012

European Values in Action

On my way to a small gathering last night, I saw this fine example of openness as a "European Value". (Sorry about the dark tones; it was way past sunset, and Stadt Berlin is rather parsimonious with street lights around here.)


The sticker is posted at the stop of bus M29 toward Hermannplatz, on the corner of Glogauer Str and Reichenberger Str. The "U" in this context (whom "Berlin" doesn't "'love'") are the mothers, mainly from somewhere between the Bosphorus and former-Soviet-Chinese border, who will be getting on the bus with their baby carts. And/or any and all flaneurs of the neighborhood. Understand this well: someone has designed and printed these stickers, paid for them, and distributes them in Kreuzberg--a part of Berlin that is really, really difficult to see as anything but a multicultural haven and a global artists' settlement. That takes thought, focus, preparation, time, effort, and a great deal of ill will. Bravo.

Then, at the party (in Schöneberg) the host relates the following story from yesterday morning. A neighbor--a Japanese woman with a Spanish husband and a small baby--goes downstairs to the ground floor hallway of the mid-bourgeois building she lives in, only to find the cart of their baby filled with--bouquets of flowers for International Women's Day?

No, not really. What then?

Garbage.

Yup.

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cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta