#126: Fireworks ban, a prison Christmas, elections again
World War I is also over
Hello 20 Percent,
I’ve been back in Germany less than a week after a US vacation and I’m still jetlagged. I’m walking around feeling slightly more tired and stupid than usual. It’s ketamine without the Berghain. And it’s particularly frustrating because I was jetlagged the whole time during my vacation as well.
Jetlag is like male pattern baldness and the whims of German bureaucrats: it sparks universal sympathy, is the basis for endless myths and is backed by unsatisfactory science. Really, it’s just that while our biology is rooted in nature, our over-active noggins have exempted us from the natural world with things like jet propulsion and pineapple on pizza.
The penance is jetlag and weird, hairless patches. And German bureaucrats.
Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be catching up on sleep.
Berlin corona stats for Friday, November 11
New cases in one day: 1,153 (2,012 Tuesday )
Total deaths: 5,017 (+39 over Tuesday )
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 186.5 (201.9 Tuesday )
🔴7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 9.7 (11.8 Tuesday )
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 4.9% (6.2% Tuesday Green again!)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
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Federal elections to be repeated too
Berlin will have its own version of the mid-term elections — Germany’s parliament Thursday said the country’s capital will have to repeat the September 2021 federal elections in 431 of its more than 2,000 election precincts because of abnormalities, according to the Morgenpost. Officials have already ordered a do-over on the elections of the Berlin parliament that were held at the same time. Many election offices ran out of ballots or gave voters the wrong ballots in 2021 after the city struggled with running the annual marathon as well as the election on the same day, the bureaucratic equivalent of chewing gum and walking at the same time. Since so much has happened since the election, pundits say the vote could change the composition of Berlin’s government (but not the federal government though it will serve as a measure of public sentiment). Dates haven’t yet been set because there are court cases pending.
Christmas at Plötzensee prison
It’s not just Berlin grocery and department stores that got a jumpstart on Christmas — Berlin’s prison administrators too leapt on that bandwagon. Yes, prison administrators. About 160 prisoners received Yuletide pardons and were sprung by the end of October, according to Tagesspiegel. Among those pardoned, 57 were reportedly in for theft, 20 for assault and 18 theft of services, which is legalese for Schwarzfahren (riding public transit without a ticket). Most would have been out by January anyway. The pardons are intended to make the return to civilian life easier because getting a job and apartment is more difficult during the Christmas season.
Insincere fireworks bans (again)
After announcing 50 firework-free areas during the wholly unnecessary but beautifully chaotic New Years bollern (setting off fireworks) last year, Berlin officials said there will be at least three firework-free zones this Silvester (though anyone who’s lived here more than a week knows there will be no meaningful enforcement). Setting of fireworks at Alexanderplatz, the area around that massive public apartment building on Pallasstraße in Schöneberg and some streets in Moabit will be illegal on Dec. 31/ Jan. 1, according to RBB24. That seems to be unfairly targeting one specific demographic, no?
Art: Queerness in photography
Photography space C/O Berlin is hosting a triple show on queerness in photography, exploring the representation of identity, gender, and sexuality through the nearly 200-year old medium. One part showcases crossdressing since the 1860s; another shows us Casa Susanna, an American community of trans women and cross-dressers in the 1950s and 1960s. A third section, titled Orlando, was curated by actor Tilda Swindon, who played the gender-nonconforming lead role in Sally Potter’s 1992 film Orlando, based on the eponymous novel by Virginia Woolf. Runs through January 18. The info.
Germany signed an armistice on this day in 1918 that ended World War I. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany’s last Kaiser, had stepped down two days earlier and entered exile in the Netherlands, ending the rule of monarchs in Berlin. The Hohenzollern, the Prussian royal family, and Dutch royalty were linked through several marriages and Dutch royals even campaigned for the return of Germany’s monarchy.
Recommended event: Dark Mode comedy
Saturday, Nov. 12 8pm at Z-Bar (U-Rosenthaler-Platz, S-Nordbahnhof) - Comedy so dark even a German winter's light will blind you after the show! We have Berlin's best and darkest comics, headlined by Tyrone Stallone - an American comic from Los Angeles. He has performed all over the world and supported Ari Shaffir (Comedy Central This Is Not Happening), Phil Nichol (Everybody’s Talking About Jaime), and plenty more. Tyrone hosts and produces multiple shows, and he is one of the funniest and most twisted comics on the European standup scene. A must see unleashed in front of you: the most shameless audience in Germany! Supporting Tyrone are special guests Sofia May, Rob Moriarty and Zackarias Branzell!
As a special treat for 20 Percent readers use the promo code 20percent for an additional 20 percent off! Seems self explanatory, doesn't it? Foolishly made other plans for tomorrow night? Check out our upcoming shows here!
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