Hofftastic Sankt Pádraigstag

I missed the parade for The Hoff.
St. Patrick may have driven the snakes from Ireland, but David Hasselhoff was there to drive the developers from the East Side Gallery, and I guess the later is more relevant for me now. Snakes get a bad rap, they’re not so bad.
It was madness. The media were all gathered patiently to await his arrival at Yaam and they all jostled for a piece of the big man when he arrived. He took it all in his stride, the rugged face of freedom.
The Hoff was charming, effusive, and good-humored as he lectured Berlin’s head-honchos on the merits of preserving mementos of the city’s turbulent history. Perhaps in an effort to appeal to their greedy ways, he pointed out how much money the East Side Gallery generates through tourism.
“It's like tearing down an Indian burial ground. It’s a no-brainer,” he said as he posed beside a sign saying, ‘The Wall must stay in in one piece, not in slices.’
He blasted the authorities for tearing down the crosses at Checkpoint Charlie there to remember victims who perished while attempting to reach the West.
“This is not the first time they’ve done it,” Hoff said, in reference to the gobshites in charge.
“This last piece of the Wall is really sacred,” he said. “It keeps the memories of all the families, the thousands and thousands and thousands of families, that were torn apart, alive.”
He added that it was important to keep mementos for the world to remember the Cold War division and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Some idiot asked him about the potholes and acid rain in East Germany, before I asked him, “What happens next?”
He didn’t know, but launched into a very entertaining monologue in which he made it very clear how important it is to him personally to keep the East Side Gallery intact.
“I loved that memorial,” he said. “It's like Anne Frank's house. It's a sacred thing.”
Afterward, as he was signing autographs, he said he didn't think he could afford the patch of land “but we can raise the money.”
Then he joked, “David Hasselhoff is going to police the Wall.”
Too many were outside when the presser ended, so they were all forced back in. That’s when I seized my chance. I saw the ‘Save East Side Gallery’ poster he had been holding up was still on the table, I grabbed it, and asked him to sign it. He did!
As he was signing, I told him I admired him for sticking to his guns and fighting for what he believes in. “Thank you,” he said.
It’s true. My estimation of David Hasselhoff has risen immeasurably. I didn’t really watch Knight Rider when I was a kid, and was more interested in his co-stars in Baywatch – Erika Eleniak was my first love – but to the begrudgers who take the piss and badmouth his East Side Gallery involvement, well, he’s doing more than you are.
The crowd went apeshit when we finally emerged and made it to the Wall itself. There were too many people, nobody could move. One guy in a silver skin-suit and jocks was dancing like a madman to The Hoff’s hit ‘Looking for Freedom’ to show him his gratitude for getting involved. He was hilarious, brilliant.
His girlfriend reckoned there were 100,000 people there, “easily way more than the last time.” A Polizei reckoned there were slightly more people than two weeks previously, so probably around 7,000. At first he said, “zu viel.”
When The Hoff made it to the van to sing ‘Looking for Freedom’ I knew it couldn’t get any better. People were even climbing the Wall to get a better look. I sought my own freedom and hurried down to Kreuzberg for what was left of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The green-clad folk were leaving as I got there – bah! – but those remaining had taken up residence in a beer garden with a stage where participants were being taught Irish dancing in the muck. It was authentic if nothing else.
The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking and talking. The naggins of vodka were unnecessary and ill advised though.
The Fernsehturm was green as I cycled home, as if it too was feeling the affects of too much alcohol. Such compassion. I love that Fernsehturm.
Meanwhile, the East Side Gallery’s fate remains murky and Hoffnung of a satisfactory outcome appears to have dropped despite his involvement. The diggers were back on the site this morning, and a spokesman for the investor Maik Uwe Hinkel told the Forum StadtSpree this evening, “We're going to keep building.”
Hinkel himself didn’t attend the meeting because of threats he received by email, but his associate Jürgen Scheunemann said it was too late for negotiations to buy back the land and that Living Bauhaus was going ahead with plans to build in any case.
Of course Hinkel has no interest whatsoever in history, culture or keeping open spaces along the river for residents. All he gives a shit about is money. Fuckers like that symbolize all that is wrong with governance when money is allowed dictate policy.
The Hoff says the only way you can fight money is with money.
“If it goes to the next step, we’ll come back with a huge concert and really rock Berlin,” he said.
Please Hoff, Berlin needs Hoffnung now more than ever before.

This video is by Luci Westphal, who has a habit of shooting cool videos. Check out more of her stuff here: http://vimeo.com/luciwest


  1. Well I had no idea The Hoff was in town at that thing. I knew he was 'involved' in some detached way, but: someone forgot to tell me and I got tired of Googling the news every day. GOTT DAMMIT!!! This kind of thing is EXACTLY WHAT I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO PHOTOGRAPH!!!! It's equal parts shitty city planning, historical preservation, kitsch pop songs and sad sack anti-hero has-beens all rolled together in one fucking place. AND YOU DIDN'T TELL ME!!! (waaaaah, I told you when I was going to the first ESG protest) Either shoot me a 10c text next time or send me a link where I can find out this kind of shit in a timely manner. And YEAH. I watched every episode of Knight Rider when I was a scrawny, pimply teen. Loved that car, even though its voice was a bit faggy.


    1. Man, I know you mean it in a humorous way but you have to cut out the homophobic shit. I've gay friends and gay readers and it makes me uncomfortable to read it. I imagine it makes them uncomfortable too.
      Sorry you missed The Hoff. I thought everyone knew. Twitter's where it's at now, where you'll get all the news before it happens. I actually thought I'd see you down there, especially as I said I was off Paddy's Day and all.
      But don't worry, this East Side Gallery story isn't over yet. You'll have your chance again. I'll shoot you a text the next time I'm heading down there, unless the fuckers tear it all down when I'm in Ireland next week. I wouldn't put it past them.

    2. Thanks for the reply, both the promise to keep me in the loop (you my ninja on da inside), and the heartfelt p.c. chastisement. It gives me a chance to apologize for any harm I may have done to those who don't know me or my m.o. And a chance to make some fantastic excuses, db style:

      1) I meant the term in the British sense; y'know, 'cigaretty.'

      2) Gay means the person, 'faggy' is the attitude. You can love one and disdain the other, at least in my sense of the meaning of freedom of speech.

      3) A gay columnist named Dan Savage wrote a column called 'Hey Faggot!' with a disclaimer that his intent was to take back the word from the haters. He took a lot of flack from the gay community, but in the end he was allowed to say it as an insider. The way only Black people (or certain Italian-Americans like Tarantino or Travolta) can use the 'n' word.

      4) Dunkin' Berliner is a personnae. A Homeresque, ignorant, donut munching fool with a penchant for anti-p.c. snark. Like it says on the first post of my blog, the disclaimer, the caveat, the label on the tin:

      This blog could be politically incorrect at times. If you are a sensitive little flower with pc mind control issues who can't handle naughty words or any of the other terms of endearment which may be found in the redneck sililoquys to follow, then, pretty please. With sugar on top: Piss right away off."

      And by that, I mean piss right away off in the kindest sense of the phrase; and not directed at you of course. ;) I'm very glad you kept reading anyway, knowing who I am and what I am attempting to do with the language and the culture and the silly ways individuals and groups view both.


    3. The mutha fuckaz did it again!


      I'm going tomorrow to wail at the Wall.


    4. The fuckers waited until I left. Sickening.


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