The fight for freedom is always easier than the practice of freedom
- Matjia Beckovic
A couple of days ago I was sitting in one of the city’s countless alternative cafes trying to cool myself down with copious amounts of chilled alcohol. The establishment, opposite a sushi bar and an overpriced organic supermarket, was run as a collective and prided itself on its left-leaning credentials. Stuck to its walls were countless posters, as well as the requisite graffiti, that reminded everyone that Capitalism sucked harder than a hoover on amphetamines. Or something along those lines. Which is all really well although “preaching to the converted” did spring to mind, but mostly I was very hot. My attention was instead directed towards the menu, in the hope that this would provide me with a much needed icy margarita. The drinking list was disappointingly short though, with much space devoted instead to views the establishment found offensive (how about a lack of margaritas?). I was gently reminded, among other things, that sexist, homophobic or racist comments would not be tolerated, you know, because they’re positively embraced in the rest of Berlin. But not here. Here would-be offenders had been given a written warning.
“Whoa, you know, the other day this guy came in wearing a KKK robe made from old copies of Playboy and DEAD KITTENS and asked me if I had Feuer to burn a picture of Harvey Milk, and I was like, you haven’t read our menu, that is SO totally not on”
“Whaaaaaaat? And it was written down and everything. Man, that’s outrageous! I’m SO unbelievably outraged that I’m going to start a FB group. Thank God for people like you though, shining beacons of civil rights.”
“Who does he think we are? Starbucks?”
Having read the eager manifesto and being on the left side of the political spectrum myself, I thought I could escape the evening without treading on anybody’s toes, but the list was so comprehensive that following it was akin to dancing the tango with a millipede. So if any of the friendly waiters happened to have overheard me, I’m really sorry, guys. My comments were taken out of context. As a white middle class woman myself, I think that Naomi Klein is an awesome author and clearly in touch with the less privileged in society. Her magnum opus No Logo, which I have had the pleasure of reading, is an brilliant, inspiring and above all nuanced reflection on the role played by corporations in today’s society. Before Ms Klein and her Promethean Feuer,
mankind humanity lived surrounded by unicorns and rainbows, blissfully ignorant of the inherent deviousness and EVIL espoused by corporations. I especially like how she, instead of highlighting potentially useful activities like pushing for new legislation, instead encourages readers to attend another yet amorphous demonstration against “globalisation”. It leaves would-be leftists like me with more time to enjoy wine and, you know, get properly outraged.