Photo by Stevan Sheets (navets; Flickr CC)
That'll teach me. Trust the spiralling absurdity of the world – or the British government – to take my innocuous and flippant comments about riots and ice cream and project them into the actual world. Perhaps it was fate. Or I may have unconsciously harnessed my psychic tendencies. And then turned to sarcasm.
Anyway I read this in the Guardian last week: "Anderson Fernandes, 22, appeared before magistrates in Manchester charged with burglary after he took two scoops of coffee ice-cream and a cone from Patisserie Valerie in the city centre. He gave the cone away because he didn't like the flavour." (Coffee ice cream? It seems this Anderson is a man of sound judgement and generosity.)
David Cameron, it seems, is determined not to go down in history as a prime minister who is soft on ice cream crime. In fact, I think the British government should have a poster with Cameron's face on a giant sun, like the disturbing baby in the Teletubbies, melting the ice cream of crime with the heat of his righteous and podgy anger.
But forget about all that, my generally frivolous attitude was also highlighted last week when one EXB reader accused me of trivializing police brutality in Germany – and he concluded with the injunction "to read the local press."
So I did, and look what I find – cars in Berlin being set on fire every night. Fifteen one night, 10 the next – 35 cars have been burnt this week alone. That makes 300 since the start of the year. Apparently, there have in fact been riots going on in Berlin all along. Just very slow and subtle ones. That's how Berliners protest against the capitalist system – they set fire to cars at night in passing, as an afterthought.
Our old friend Dieter Wiefelspütz has described the arson attacks as a "precursory stage to terrorism." That's right, these are terrorist beginners, possibly taking a first arson course in a Volkshochschule. Like everything else in Germany, you can't call yourself anything until you have an Ausbildung. That's where those English kids went wrong. You shouldn't try to run before you can walk when it comes to civil unrest.