Al Burian

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.”

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • Gérard Depardieu Ruined My Day

    Working at a wine shop is great, except for one slight hitch: I know absolutely nothing about wine.

  • 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...

  • Artists No Longer Welcome in Berlin

    What Berlin does have going for it is great ambience. It is really fun to just hang out. So the pressure becomes intense, with everyone struggling to do the bare minimum they possibly can and yet still qualify as creative, thereby maximizing the time...