Here Come the Testicle-Biting Optimists!

Urban density — lots of people living stacked on top of and right next to each other in lively little neighborhoods. You don’t get much of it in most U.S. cities, but you do in Germany.

Urban density means there are hundreds of people from all income levels and walks of life living within, say, 300 metres of your home. When you live in a nice, dense neighborhood, excitement comes to you; every time you leave your front door, something fun has happened.  In my neighborhood, the "German-Iranian Cultural Center" just inserted a marble plaque into the sidewalk commemorating Goethe’s praise of the Persian poet Hafiz.

Dike_geschaeftAnother recent addition to the neighborhood is a "store" called diesistkeineuebung.de (=thisisnotadrill.com). The cardboard man in the window is smiling and holding a sign saying "I’ve got a good feeling!"

What can you buy here? Hard to say. The website offers no products (or if it does, they’re well concealed), and describes its "motivation" thus:

This is not an drill, but instead an attempt to lead a more exciting, genuine, braver, better, life. We want to feel more joy, thoughtfulness, honesty, and courageous behavior again.

This is not a drill, becuase we are striving to do exactly what it is we always wanted to do. We’re trying, by thinking about what we do, to create new patterns of thought and achieve our own real, positive experiences.

This is not a drill, because we want to live this life actively and without fear. We are not a religious community and we don’t pretend to know the correct way forward. In the best case, we want to give others the courage to find their own lives.

The website offers advice on jazzing up your life, movies of art happenings by the "This is not a Drill" collective, and various odd, life-affirming texts.

They even offer "orgies", although you’re advised that sexual contact will only take place "with mutual consent" and isn’t really a "part of the happening." To sign up, you have to pay them 30 euro and tell them "what makes you sad" and "what you always wanted to do once inDu_wirst_eben_genaudike_aktion life", among other things.

Just across the street from their store, they’ve created a huge graffito (r) on the rear wall of a shuttered used-car dealership (nice symbolism). It reads Dike_kein_einbruch_schild"You’ll achieve exactly that which other people don’t believe you can achieve."

The icing on the cake is the warning sign (l) near the shop’s front door. It reads

"There’s no point in breaking in. If we’re not here, then neither are the computers. The guy who rents this place crashes next door, has nothing to lose, and will bite you in the balls! Don’t even think about it…"

5 thoughts on “Here Come the Testicle-Biting Optimists!

  1. Obviously, this “business” is only able to be open due to a government subsidy. Take away the hard earned taxpayers money that was given to this establishment and it would evaporate in an hour. It does not provide a service to anyone and should be allowed to die on its own terms (or lack of money).

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  2. *lol*

    I love the warning sign!

    And concerning this mysterious shop: Maybe you found the German version of the corporation that did all those things to Michael Douglas in The Game.

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  3. The way you are somehow trying to put a positive spin on gray, drab, post-war 60s, cookie-cutter apartment blocks is reminiscent of Soviet style propaganda. And as sickening. Walk down one of those streets, you can’t even see the sky for all the 5- and 6-story buildings to the right and the left. That regular people can’t afford their own piece of land is testimony to the illnesses of this society and their way of building things. I’ve been to countries far poorer and much more densly populated, yet everyone has their own lot. I’ve seen Germans pay a premium for “free-range” chicken eggs, by what act of submissiveness they accord their chicken a better life than themselves is a myth to me.

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  4. “This is not an Drill!”, but instead an attempt to lead a more exciting, genuine, braver, better, life. They want to feel more joy, thoughtfulness, honesty, and courageous behavior again. This is what eyerybody does an therefore this is a genious way to earn money. Therefor “This is not a drill!” is not opened due to a government subsidy.

    “This is not a Drill!”, becuase they are striving to do exactly what it is they always wanted to do. This is what everybody says to do but never does. They’re trying, by thinking about what they do, to create new patterns of thought and achieve their own real, positive experiences. This is how to create a better future. This is the future.

    This is not a drill, because they want to live this life actively and without fear. They are not a religious community and they don’t pretend to know the correct way forward. In the best case, they want to give others the courage to find their own lives. Whoever attacks it is jealous of it. Beware of a guy who has nothing to loose!

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  5. Whoever wants to know something about it – “Please come in!”
    “This is not a Drill!” but a shop with a door to step in with a friendly human being you can talk to.
    Yes – it is real and I´m alive.

    vvv@diesistkeineuebung.de

    Valentin von Vacano
    Merowingerstraße 28
    40223 Düsseldorf

    Germany

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