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      Al Burian

      Al Burian

      Al Burian, born 1971, grew up in North Carolina (state motto: “to be and not to seem”) and lives in Berlin. He is the author of numerous books: "Burn Collector," "Natural Disaster," and "Things Are Meaning Less." He was a founding member of the punk/hardcore band Milemarker.

      By Al Burian Oct 22, 2013

      An Occupied Cinema in Rome

      The Cinema America in Rome has been taken over by squatters, and they have been showing great films. When I visited recently, there were screenings of the hip-hop classic Beat Street and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

      By Al Burian Oct 22, 2013
      By Al Burian Jul 9, 2013

      Partying in a 14th-Century Czech Castle

      It was late afternoon, and a crowd was slowly gathering in the main courtyard. Pivo stands doled out beer for 25 crowns a cup under a clear blue sky. I made the mistake of referring to the event as a festival, and Aran politely corrected me. "We don't use…

      By Al Burian Jul 9, 2013
      By Al Burian May 13, 2013

      Crossing the Danube

      Between World War II and the fall of Communism, many fled Soviet-controlled East Germany and headed westward. The stories of these defectors have been exhaustively documented, but much less is known about the few who headed against the tide, west to east,…

      By Al Burian May 13, 2013
      By Al Burian Apr 29, 2013

      Saturn Dogs: Noise and Sushi Dinner in Berlin

      This multi-level approach fits well in Berlin, where the idea of a band already drifted away from traditional musical and instrumental concepts years ago, and where the art scene has been forced into adapting the scrappy attitudes and strategies of musici…

      By Al Burian Apr 29, 2013
      By Al Burian Mar 7 2013

      Berlin's Suicide-Proof Nuclear Fallout Shelters

      The first 3,000 people to line up in an orderly fashion would be allowed to file in through a door and enter an air-locked decontamination chamber, under supervision of machine-gun-toting guards. A face behind a glass window would then instruct these luck…

      By Al Burian Mar 7 2013
      By Al Burian Jan 24, 2013

      Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and the Infinite Sadness

      A popular figure since the first Angela Merkel cabinet, Karl-Theodor's political future seemed secure after he became minister of defense in 2009. In early 2011, it came to light that he had plagiarized portions of his PhD. During the ensuing scandal, Kar…

      By Al Burian Jan 24, 2013
      By Al Burian Dec 13, 2012

      Hunger Strike Against the Welfare State

      The very phrase Hartz IV has come to have a certain social stigma attached; in German vernacular it is almost synonymous with "loser" or "bum." "Hartz IV kids" is the equivalent German derogatory euphemism to USA's "welfare moms."

      By Al Burian Dec 13, 2012
      By Al Burian Oct 31, 2012

      Voter's Guide for the Indecisive

      It's an unproven sociological model, but why not give it a try? Let's put women in control. Men have had 4,000 years in power, and during this time they have consistently done nothing but wage genocidal wars and raise taxes on the poor

      By Al Burian Oct 31, 2012
      By Al Burian Oct 24, 2012

      A Visit to the German Hygiene Museum

      Underneath the pompous illusions of class or caste, we all share an essential animal trait: we have bodies. And our bodies are gross. To believe otherwise is simply a matter of fooling yourself by not looking too closely.

      By Al Burian Oct 24, 2012
      By Al Burian Oct 1, 2012

      Going Gray with NOMEANSNO

      Nomeansno's music might be described as a virtuoso mixture of progressive rock, punk, and jazz fusion. In their 33 years of prolific existence, the Wright brothers have seen punk rock, new wave, post-punk, hardcore, indie rock, alternative and grunge go b…

      By Al Burian Oct 1, 2012
      By Al Burian Sep 20, 2012

      Mob Rule at Mauerpark Karaoke

      This is Andy Warhol's prediction come to life: "in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." Warhol overestimated the individual's fame allotment by about eleven minutes, but the basic principle is there.

      By Al Burian Sep 20, 2012
      By Al Burian Sep 10, 2012

      Berlin Story: Adieu, Tacheles

      This is typical of the strategy used in dealing with squatters: offering a ten or twenty year amnesty period, after which the original occupants have moved on, passing the torch to a younger, more complacent generation, who are easily steam-rolled in the

      By Al Burian Sep 10, 2012
      By Al Burian Aug 21, 2012

      Berlin Story - Peaceful Revolution

      I find it inspirational to see the two things that I considered so subversive and revolutionary in 1989, punk bands and underground zines, now officially laminated and sanctioned as being just what I thought they were.

      By Al Burian Aug 21, 2012
      By Al Burian Aug 7, 2012

      The Grinberg Method

      Sandra sat me on a massage table, naked feet forward, and proceeded to ask me the standard opening questions of psychotherapy. Instead of meticulously taking notes, she responded to my answers by squeezing my toes and kneading my feet. This was weird, but…

      By Al Burian Aug 7, 2012
      By Al Burian Jul 30, 2012

      Bringing Hate Back Into German Politics

      As a German citizen with the right to vote, I consider it my civic duty to inform myself about current events. This has proven difficult, because German politics are exceedingly boring. The two major parties, the Christian Democratic Union [CDU] and the S…

      By Al Burian Jul 30, 2012