Friday, October 1, 2010

Mother, Should I Trust the Government?

Two decades ago, The Berlin Wall came down.
On October 3rd, Germany celebrates its Reunification.
I lived in Germany in the late 60s & early 70s as a child in Heidelberg, and again in the early 1980s as a teenager in Schwäbisch Hall when my father was stationed in military service. My heritage is largely German, though typically mixed with Irish and English. My identity is informed by German culture (pre-Reunification) as much as it is by an American life in Montana, Alaska, or San Francisco.
The last time I was in Germany was 1984; the twilight of The Cold War.
As a student of History at university in the late 80s, the fall of The Wall and the concurrent revolutions beyond it was a moment that upended my all my thoughts. What had I known of the world, not just in books, but by the solid fact of The Iron Curtain and my sense of the borders of the country i had grown up in, its immutibility now challenged.
Twenty years isn't a long time, but long enough to wonder what has become of things in the aftermath, what lost opportunities, what miraculous gains, what a new world so much still with us.

Here is Pink Floyd's Mother performed in Berlin on July 21st, 1990 by Sinead O'Connor, Garth Hudson, Levon Helms, Rick Danko [from The Band] with Roger Waters.

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