What Me Worry? Watching From Planet Europa

Good weather in Hamburg

Equinox brings sunshine

While the USA burns and police rampage, killing anyone who dares to even look askance at them, and while the fascist machine gets its gears well-oiled for the massacres to come, Hamburg is experiencing a late resurgence of warm weather and sunshine. It won’t last of course. The equinox is here and after this brief window of warmth and sun, the darkness will descend and our six months of chilly misery will begin, until sometime around the next equinox in March, when we will once again be watching the sun rise ever-higher into the sky. Not that it will necessarily bring warmth and good weather when it does that, but at least we will know that behind the clouds up there the orb is climbing steadily to its zenith.

The disastrous political situation in the US will eventually cause problems for us over here in the (currently) neutral zone. Americans are not well-liked anymore, and since some American lady turned out to be a Covid-19 super-spreader in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last week, the Likes for Yanks have dropped considerably. But eventually, if the trend continues, the American Reich will make itself felt through frenemies like the UK and Hungary and Poland and, not far behind them, perhaps Italy. Though to tell you the truth, nobody believes Italy will do anything rash because the politicians are well aware of the fact that an Italian (kinda like me) is only interested in enjoying life by eating well and making as much love as possible before La Morte comes to pull you into the underworld. Oh, and of course the underworld that is in the real world would never stand for an entity that could potentially stop their lucrative business in sex, drugs and rock and roll.

What is it like to watch you poor Americans?

Well, picture a huge 53 QT Stainless Steel Stock Pot similar to this:


And then imagine it is filled to the brim with water and that water is boiling. And not far away from this massive pot is a tank full of water which contains numerous lobsters. They have been caught and their pincers have been made useless as attack weapons by thick rubber bands, and yet, though they can’t really fight, they are alive in the water, all crowded together to be sure, but somehow it seems that despite the crowding, life will go on as before, perhaps, hopefully, well, maybe, who knows? They don’t because they cannot see what I see from over here beyond the boiling water. I see the stainless steel Stock Pot. And I see the lobsters. And I know what is going to happen to those lobsters. And, my American friends: You are the lobsters!

There is a website which attempts to convince people that you can be humane when killing a lobster. This is what they say:

Is there a humane way to kill a lobster? What’s the best way to kill a live lobster for cooking? There is much debate on whether lobsters feel pain or not, but we believe a quick plunge into hot water will make for a quick death.

There is not much debate on whether human beings feel pain or not. They do. We do. And given the fact that the authoritarian enemies among you are not known for their humaneness, they might not deal out a death which is quick and painless. In fact, it may very well have many of the trappings of a previous regime known well in history to have created wonderful places to gather people together so that they could be guarded well by as few soldiers as necessary. These wonderful places are called concentration camps precisely because they concentrate prisoners in one location. And of course our frenemies in Britain used them with great skill in southern Africa during their war against the Boers.

Many people now prefer to call these establishments internment camps, but basically they are the same thing. Lots of people who could possibly cause trouble for the rulers are placed in one place surrounded by fences and watched over by people with guns. And of course where I live now, in Germany, the camps became famous for their Arbeit Macht Frei slogan worked into their wrought-iron gates and plastered over their entrances.

Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany. Photo: Danny Antonelli.

So while I enjoy the last vestiges of a summer that barely showed itself this year, I see from afar what you poor lobsters cannot possibly understand. I see you being de-clawed, stacked up in one place, and very unmercifully eliminated from the game, like that fly Bukowski eliminates from the game at the beginning of one of his novels.

It’s true. I’m currently a pessimist as regards the future of the USA and of course by extension the future of Europe and the rest of the world. The madmen sitting atop the structures of power have a total disregard for the planet Earth and its inhabitants. But here I am on planet Europa gazing at the slow-motion collapse of civilization that has begun over there in the western half of the planet and will slowly but surely jump across the pond to engulf Airstrip One (as Orwell liked to call it) and then come here to where I eat a croissant and sip a large Milchcafe at a Jewish cafe that has sunshine in the morning on all its tables outside on the sidewalk because nobody sits inside anymore during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Each time I stumble across the BBC web page or Huffington Post or CounterPunch, my pessimism gets another boost and only the sun on my face keeps me from descending into a dark melancholy. But soon the sun will be gone. What then? What will I do?

I’m trying to keep busy, working on my artistic projects, earning some money from people who pay for my other more technical skills. Artistic projects have stopped earning significant amounts of money, you know. Back in the 80s and 90s when I was quite au courant, the pennies from heaven made my life quite pleasant at times. Of course, being a sensible person, I never gave up using my other skills to earn steady hard cash. And now even that is drying up. Besides this pandemic thing, apparently, when you get older people tend to not want to work with you anymore. I feel like an old Inuit being put on a little floating iceberg and pushed out into the foggy ocean.

And yet: What Me Worry?

I’m watching a whole nation being destroyed, its good, thinking masses being eliminated, its future more firmly under the death grip of oligarchs than ever before. And these oligarchs laugh at the revelations of their own scandalous behavior, as the Collateral Murder, Panama Papers, Snowden revelations, Blue Leaks and the FinCEN files spill over the digital world, nothing happens to them. They rise from the mud like Golems that cannot be killed.

I’m over here. You’re over there. You’re yelling and screaming as you get dropped into the boiling water, and there is nothing I can do to stop the slaughter. But rest assured, I will start to worry soon enough.

Remember this guy? He was a lobster that didn’t have a chance either:

Salvador Allende-Platz, Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Danny Antonelli.

Danny Antonelli lives in Hamburg, Germany.