The Middle of Fucking Nowhere


This is Berlin

Where SoHo is so over

NoHo is no more

The hip and happening districts here are all in the MoFNo (Middle of Fucking Nowhere).

The MoFNo isn't just limited to a static piece of land, though, with boundaries as concrete as a fence. No - the epicentre of cool is defined as being any place that everyone else isn't, and has never been: it is continuously dispersing even as people flock to it, like a tail pursued by its comet.

In Palma de Majorca, the locals blame Germans who flee to their beaches for spoiling their coastline, now southerners fleeing to Berlin are blamed for spoiling the city, as well. Blamed for bringing the cold iron fist of law down in their wake, condemning the residents to eternal flightiness. Both complaints are expressions of the same illness: discomfort within one's cultural skin, a skin shaped by outsiders and authorities we can't see.

In the Berliners' devotion to vagueness, I see the idea of having a centre or a core being made redundant.  As if the only way to exist freely here is without the burden of having to matter, to mean anything, to have any effect or even a place to exist. Only then, in a vacuous state, is one shapeless enough to transcend the myriad walls of authorities, laws, territorial fences, rules, rules and more rules that surround German life. It's the only way to pass through them without being harmed, I guess.

But it's an extreme of idealisation to think that every good spot in Berlin mystically dissolves just as soon as it's been discovered. People here seem to be afraid that, if anything becomes fixed in a set style or position, the rules limitations won't be too far behind: the MoFNo will become bureaucraticised all too soon. Become like everything else, nailed down and cemented into place by strangers you are helpless to affect. 

Well, maybe they're right. But eventually, you just run out of places to run - and then you have to stand your ground. 

Even Revaler Strasse was once in the middle of fucking nowhere...

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