By AXEL HACKE, SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG MAGAZIN. N. 32 – 11 August 2017.
English version from the German by J.D. Ian Barton & Dr. Salvatore Ivan Italiano;
© (2017) Lawinwordsblog.com
What an erotic shop in a victuals (1) market has to do with Donald Trump
and the dragging of water bottles …
I walk from my neighbourhood to the victuals market. There was in earlier times on the corner in front of the market stalls a store for plants, garden supplies, seeds and pets.
Now there is a sex shop, sorry: „an erotic lifestyle shop.“
In the shop windows one can see on white pedestals dildos, vibrators and other equipment for self-fulfillment in yellow, green, violet, pink, rosé and rainbow colours. Everything is garish. Paola, my wife, gets upset: That is in plain sight of four year olds! Why is it allowed?
When somebody at the victuals market exposed himself the police were called and many reports were circulated about that – what an impertinence. I also did not like this and would instead have preferred to see the seed shop: the flowers at the entrance door; that fits with the market. It is really not right that parents are obliged to become business people and to explain away the colourful items in the windows.
Not a problem, says my old friend Bruno. It can all be explained briefly and vaguely and a moment later the children have already forgotten about it. In their world it is not important. And one could not get seriously upset about a sex kiosk at the market, when on a Smartphone today Porno of any kind is available, no matter if at a mall, at the town hall or on the way to the Church of the Holy Spirit. Anytime and everywhere.
I find here the very question: should you come to terms with an issue that is not in order and unique in human history because there are other things in even less order?
There was an article in the Guardian about the pornification of our daily life. It read: in the world of Porno every desire can be immediately fulfilled. This is the very belief that every wish can and should be fulfilled. This is totally false. In no way is this only about sex. Online shopping, television commercials, fast food, even the way people continuously drag a bottle of water around with them: all of this has more to do with porno than one thinks. It gets on your nerves to patiently await the fulfilment of every wish.
Incidentally, we have seen Donald Trump, the porn star of politics. During the election campaign he promised immediate solutions to all problems – while removing all negativity from his television shows. And the fact that he has so spectacularly failed in the White House shows how much pornography has to do with real sex: little.
Is that an item of news? Recently clearly yes. Life holds, after all, ready obstacles not present in the immediate world. These obstacles have a lot to do with other people conflicts and they do not simply happen and cannot be dealt with as you choose.
On the one hand, solutions to such conflicts are to be searched and found. It is a long, slow and, if it goes well, a satisfying process. On the other hand, we have the difficult factual reality that in the interim people confuse reality and real sex with Porno and Reality Shows. This has nothing further to do with the shops at the market, it is not obviously a Porno shop. However, it is ugly and I find it annoying.
Am I therefore a petty bourgeois? I rather find it petty not to get upset about it, because of a fear of being seen as a petty bourgeois. What should one do about it? I can take a different route to the victuals market. Only when the entire market is an erotic lifestyle shop and vegetables are only available at the street corner will I remind myself of it.
(1) Disclaimer: The original German article uses the name ‘Viktualienmarkt’. We at Lawinwords understand the meaning of a ‘Viktualienmarkt’ – half of our professional life operates between London and Turin via Munich (Germany). However, given that our professional translation philosophy is one of ‘domestication’ we have preferred to translate ‘Virtualienmarkt’ by rendering it with words whose translated style accords with most English speaking societies.
Axel Hacke thinks with nostalgia on times past when sex shops were to be found on shady corners of the station district and where you could creep in unnoticed with your coat collar raised up. Only when inside could your valued colleagues of Feuilleton be met. Ah, I thought it was Playboy, he said. I was on the search for an Interview.
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