What’s in the walls of a city? As we walk through Berlin I ask myself, would we be able to feel the sinister atmosphere if it was not for our knowledge of the dark history?
Just 20 years ago this country had spies on every street, 90 000 people fully employed by talking notes on the “wheres” and “whens” and “with whom”s of their neighbors. Of course these people are still there, somewhere. Are they minding their own business or listening, remembering, abiding their time until another regime demands intense surveillance of their people?
As this guy, looming on the street, looking in, waiting, for something to see that can be reported.
Or is it a joke? A story about scale and perspective, making a toy world of all the things we believe are big?
Then I visited the emergency room in Trondheim. This hospital has a remarkable art program, you’ll see interesting, thought provoking or just beautiful artwork wherever you go. This one is a puzzle though. Why is a bear banging its head on the wall of a hospital? Is that the feeling you get as a patient in there? Or is the bear trying to break in? A tale of the fact that even concrete walls can not protect us when life hits hard?
Or as my brother said, she has pinched her nose, and the doctors will set her free! Then a friend said. Go look at the other side of the wall!
Today I did, for the first time.
It is still a bear though. Even if it just wants honey.
Our society is free, isn’t it?
When you discover someone’s poking their head into your communications, they are not spying, they are doing it for your safety. If everything you buy or say or write is stored for someone to analyze later, no one is invading your privacy, they are protecting you, so that you can keep playing in your small, ordinary, safe, world. One could not expect ordinary people to understand that, it is just a kind bear.
Of course anyone can say whatever they want to in a free society.
Anyone will understand that calling freedom of speech a constitutional right, does not prevent the defenders of the constitution from gathering, sorting, analyzing and storing all these free statements. You are free to say what ever you want, as long as you accept that just how free you are, will be decided later. When everything gathered are sifted, balanced and compared to that day’s priorities and doctrines. What if we are not allowed to take part in deciding these criteria? It is just a funny guy, don’t worry!
What if the bear starts growling?