Al Burian

Travel

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.
Al Burian
10.22.13
Travel

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...
Al Burian
7.9.13
The World Hates You Issue

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...
Al Burian
5.13.13
Music

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...
Al Burian
4.29.13
Travel

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...
Al Burian
3.7.13
News

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...
Al Burian
1.25.13
News

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.”
Al Burian
12.13.12
Travel

Resist Control: A Guide to Riding Berlin Public Transportation For Free

Riding without a ticket, or schwarzfahren, is something of a national pastime in Germany, and probably nowhere more so than in Berlin, whose citizenry the reigning mayor, Klaus Wowereit, once famously described as “poor but sexy.”
Al Burian
11.28.12
News

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
Al Burian
10.31.12
Travel

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.
Al Burian
10.24.12
Music

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...
Al Burian
10.1.12
Music

An Interview with Jack Terricloth of the World/Inferno Friendship Society

The fundamental message of the World/Inferno Friendship Society is Hope. You don’t have to give up your ideals. The average 20-something thinks, “I’ll do this for a few years and then get a real job.” There is a whole alternative culture out there. You...
Al Burian
9.25.12
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