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1. After 5 years in Munich, i find i have almost nothing in common with my colleagues. Those i befriended in 2011/2, like Toddball, now seem juvenile and thuggish to me, feckless and criminal and untrustworthy; which makes me wonder if i was also so, in 2011, or if i merely found them amusing then and have now lost my taste for the criminal American element.
i bumped into a young British English teacher by chance as he was explaining cricket in the teacher room to a German teacher; we struck up a conversation and then met for a drink. His name is Gamgee and he teaches Physics at an international school, also does McLingua to supplement his income. He admitted “I just don’t like Americans, there’s always something wrong with them” – an sentiment i have come to share, though it is partly generational, for among my colleagues the older Americans, or the gays, tend to be okay, funny, interesting; but those my age or below are:
i) Female: bland, nondescript, impervious to irony, ambitious, grinning, Left-wing, aggressive;
ii) Male: clad in gangster rap t-shirts, boast of their criminality (drug dealing, theft, assault), shady, duplicitous, sneering, superficial, full of “yo homey, whassup my man?”, uneducated, wilfully ignorant, Left-wing, don’t even try to learn German.
2. i wouldn’t ordinarily have much contact with the Americans, but that when i teach the Arbeitsamt classes we have a designated derelict building in a shithole ghetto, and a teacher room, and since i don’t want to spend my break talking to my students i usually retreat to the so-called teacher room. There, the Americans dominate. California Jesus is one of the main Arbeitsamt teachers, because he can’t do anything else – most company groups stare in amazement at this baseball-hat-wearing “yo whassup homey” surfer dude bro, and then ask for a real teacher, but Arbeitsamt are just happy to be entertained.
Every single altercation i’ve had with colleagues has been in this one teacher room, in the Arbeitsamt ghetto. Typically, i’m talking to a colleague like Toddball or one of the okay Americans (i.e. over 50) and then a Female or California Jesus, eavesdropping, rebukes me, e.g.:
Toddball: El-bow, what you bin doin, nigga?
Elberry: Nothing much. Had this cool student at X, he –
California Jesus: Oh man! What you always be talking sheeit about them companies, man, no one wants to hear that punk ass shit!
Older American: Yeah, man, so like fucking last week I had this fucking hot student, early 30s, it’s a fucking group but only she fucking turned up, and she was fucking talking about her fucking boyfriend, heh heh heh, she was fucking undoing her top fucking button cos it was so fucking hot in those meeting rooms, heh heh heh.
Elberry: Oh yeah? Was the door closed?
California Jesus [sitting on his usual seat on the windowsill]: What the fuck, “was the door closed”, what kind of creepy-ass shit is that, man? Fuck, nigga!
This is a man who has slept with several of his students, i think some post-dating his girlfriend getting pregnant with their first child (second on the way), but an interesting hostility is developing between us, i think because he is a pure ignoramus, proud even of his ignorance, and although i never talk about anything fancy (books, politics, history, etc.) with my colleagues, they sense that i’m not of their kind, and they despise me therefore. i try to say as little as possible – even laughing at jokes has earned me rebukes, weird though it sounds. i gather that if i am to be allowed in the teacher room i must sit silently in the corner and not talk until talked to, and then only with Yessir and Nossir and Sorry sir.
i encountered a similar hostility in office work, where left-school-at-14 types would snarl “think you’re better than us?” if i so much as yawned. i never talked about my background but, alas, my face and voice and speech betray my ancestry and place. In our modern egalitarian days, this will excite hostility; i am reminded of a scene from Alan Furst’s The Polish Officer, where De Milja, a Polish aristocrat and intelligent officer, has to survive in the world of NKVD and Gestapo:
A uniformed NKVD guard looked through his documents, reading with a slow index finger on each word, then handed them back silently. He got out of Rovno on a dawn train to Brzesc, near the east bank of the river that formed the dividing line between German and Russian occupation forces. On this train, two men in overcoats; one of them stared at him, and foolishly, he stared back. Then realised what he’d done and looked away. At the very last instant. He could see from the posture of the man – his age, his build – that he was somebody, likely civilian NKVD, and was about to make a point of it.
De Milja’s heart hammered in his chest, he felt prickly sweat break out under his arms, he did not even dare a glance to see if the man had accepted his ‘surrender’: breaking off eye contact. Could not put a hand on the VIS, just tried to shrink down into the seat without a single sign of bravado. He was strong. And unafraid. And the way he carried himself, people knew that, and it would bury him in a hurry if he didn’t learn some other way to be in public.
The two men got off the train one station before Brzesc. From the platform, his enemy squinted at him through the window. De Milja stared at his shoes, a proud man subdued. The Russian didn’t buy it; with a certain casual violence he turned to get back on the train and, de Milja was sure, haul him off. But his partner stopped him and grabbed the shoulder of his coat, pulling him, with a joke and a laugh, along the platform – they had more important things to do. From the corner of his eye, de Milja could see the Russian as he glanced back one last time. He was red in the face. The man, de Milja knew beyond a doubt, had intended to kill him.
i have once or twice snapped back at the Americans but there’s no point – nothing to gain, they would only the more viciously despise me, and since i am now in the Arbeitsamt centre twice a week, it’s better to just keep my mouth shut and at best voice platitudes about the weather. Out of curiosity, i mentally logged the topics California Jesus deems acceptable, and they are as follows:
iii) Going to beer gardens
iv) Going to the Isar
vii) Things he’s stolen
viii) Bitches he’s fucked
ix) Horror and action films
This assertive mediocrity is typical of modernity – an anti-egalitarian, anti-intellectual impulse, the resentment of the slime and sludge as the first amphibians crawl onto land and taste the air.
3. Last week i taught an editor of some big-ass German newspaper, was surprised to find him (i think) younger than me, but then i’m now 40 and so most successful people are young enough to be my children, and regard me with pity. He was nice and intelligent, though oddly (given his section) ignorant of the Alt-Right, so i educated him on Hillary’s denunciation. An amusing moment:
Elberry: i’m from a shithole called Huddersfield, about 30 miles from Manchester.
Journalist: Do you know Bradford?
Elberry: Unfortunately, yes, i went to school there for 8 years. [i then named the school].
Journalist: I taught German there!
Turns out he was in Bradford, doing some kind of course at the so-called university, and worked as a teaching assistant at my school, 15 or so years ago. We even know some of the same teachers, which is kind of bizarre.
4. i was brooding on the parallels between my Elberry life and the early 20th C life to which i am closest (there are apparently two others, more or less overlapping, which i don’t remember and feel little for, even as i can see the similarities). He was, and became increasingly, a traditionalist. As Elberry, i perceive that my Elberry life was designed to insulate me as much as possible from modernity, and allow an umbilical cord to Western tradition – i remained inert until i was 20, bored rigid by school, and largely ignored/despised by my family; thus, when i began to read age 20, i was almost a tabula rasa, and then i awoke.
My school was an old grammar, from the 16th C i think, a huge stone building full of deranged paedophiles and sadists (the teachers); and Hitler Youth rugger buggers, Muslims, rapists, and sadists (the boys). i was always stupid and bottom of my class, a reaction to the boredom and structure and also my own physical exhaustion & malnutrition, as i had to spend about 4 – 5 hours a day getting there & back by public transport, and usually subsisted on a chocolate bar for lunch, no breakfast, because my mother told me we were too poor to afford lunch tickets (at the same time, my father had 6 cars); i guess i was eating about 600-800 calories a day for most of my teenage years. i quite enjoyed some of the classes till we got to age 13 and they began on the GCSE curriculum – at that point, every class became tedious, the teachers uninterested, each lesson geared towards the exams. i was also bottom of my class at A-Level, my brain only waking up a few months before the final exams – fortuitously, since it meant i suddenly went from getting Cs and Ds, to straight As, and even that “awakening” was just a faint stirring, enough to master the trivia of school.
Although, in the 80s, corporal punishment was illegal, many of the magnificent old chaps still ruled by violent means, and brooked no insubordination. i was pushed around and got a clipped ear once or twice, nothing serious, and the best thing was the atmosphere – in many ways, it was the school of To Serve Them All My Days. There was a subterranean lineage and tradition, so even if i learnt virtually nothing, i was at least not contaminated by modernity.
After escaping, i first studied a science degree at a grim Northern shithole, but dropped out and pursued my real interest – English Lit, at Durham. It’s only now that i appreciate how protected Durham was against the barbarism of the Left, of Feminism and egalitarianism, for actually no one took Literary Theory seriously, even those who taught it. i lived for 2 years in a 18th C building just under the millenia-old Cathedral, had (some) tutors who read virtually nothing later than TS Eliot, and could read and speak Latin as they would English. i really had no idea how degenerate and debased the modern world had become, and when i left i was essentially a late 19th Century man; and hence, unemployable.
5. Naturally, i have continued in this vein. In the eyes of the world, a rampant failure; in the eyes of my colleagues, a freak and book-reading, like, fucking punk-ass Brit, man. All well and good. There is however a secret lineage, surviving across lives because it has no earthly descent and reckoning: it is without fruit, but nonetheless propagates, and flourishes. Those in this descent will most likely not attend school, or learn nothing there – Varg Vikernes says it best:
1. i’ve survived summer, the most perilous time of year for an elberry. Spring and autumn are always the seasons of change for me, after the hard stasis of summer & winter. At the moment i feel like the last rat on a sinking ship, as the whole of Western Europe will collapse into Balkans-style civil war in the next ten years or so; and a surprising number of my colleagues are quitting:
1.1 The Cop: he was knocked off his bike, and then got a complaint from a hotel where he’d taught a McLingua crash course for a large engineering company. His version runs that everything was disorganised, no one knew where equipment was, and in true Cop fashion he let them know this was unacceptable. i dare say he got in people’s faces, and i can’t imagine him going beyond the limits of standard venomous German grumbling, but he has an aura of violence which amplifies matters somewhat; in this, similar to Morgana who could say things which, on paper, would sound merely aggressive and nasty, but with her evil goblin/Borderline look, talking with her was somewhat akin to being stuffed in a bag with a dozen rabid raccoons, and then being thrown into the sea, and eaten by a shark.
The Cop had always nurtured the illusion that, because he can be a good teacher (i.e. when students cooperate fully), and is reliable, McLingua valued and respected him. After his bike accident none of the management or sales team even asked if he was okay (he had “bone bruising” and could hardly walk, but continued working for McLingua). And then they chided him for getting in the face of the incompetent hotel staff. He had, apparently, garnered a reputation as a Nazi, amusing given he is a Zionist and i’m far more to the so-called Right, but then i don’t look the part.
The Cop has a rich wife and doesn’t need money, so quit. It’s quite a shock, strange as it sounds, for he was a decade-long-staple of the McLingua teachers, one of the few who persisted while young pampered millennials came & went. It’s like David Bowie dying all over again.
1.2 Big Ben – an American, think i wrote about him earlier but can’t find the post (perhaps deleted). He’s probably mid-30s, well over 6 foot, fat, alcoholic, from some rich man town outside Detroit, left his family when he was a teen and worked construction, went to university and studied History, speaks now a faintly-American English accent, vaguely 19th Century to my ears; he said he spent some time in his late teens locked in a room watching Anthony Hopkins films, and absorbed the voice. A deeply strange individual, he speaks excellent German, doesn’t read but speaks literate English (unlike most of my colleagues), is a fan of shows like True Detective and The Thick of It. i always found him fascinating to talk to, but at the same time couldn’t trust or get a sense for whoever he really was – perhaps much as the lesser man has always responded to me, which suggests Big Ben is actually the Übermensch, by god.
A month ago he told me he had to give up alcohol after a hernia, and also feels generally weakened by “German meat” – he said he visited his family in America and “after eating American chicken, I felt power in my body again”. He does, at times, radiate a slightly serial killer vibe. And now he will move back to America, to eat meat, after a decade of McLingua.
Curiously, he is a very good teacher; between classes he groans lugubriously about the job – much the same problems i have – but his students universally admired him, and i walked in on one of his classes and was faced with a totally different persona. As he said, when last we met, – I never applied myself to this job. I couldn’t accept this as a career, so I never learnt anything about how to teach languages, or teach anything. This was always temporary. But then it went on too long to be temporary.
– What are you going to do back in America? i asked.
– Anything except this. I have to get my car fixed up, then I want to drive around. There are wastelands, like Mad Max territory but without the cannibals and warlords, there’s just nothing there. I’d like to drive around these places, eating meat and feeling strong again. Germany took my balls away. I have to regrow them.
1.3 Hillary – a hipster from, of all places, Texas, probably early 30s, utterly deracinated (as California Jesus noted “she don’t be speaking or dressing like no American”), a weird hybrid accent, weird lesbian haircut, lived a few years in Helsinki without learning any Finnish (“only the whores go to Helsinki”), has worked mostly in IT & Marketing. She worked at McLingua for about two months before getting a real job in Marketing. Our first conversation as follows, about a week after Brexit:
Hillary: Oh yeah, you’re, like, a Brit, that’s fantastic. So will Brexit affect you here?
elberry: Probably, but i voted for it so i can hardly complain.
Hillary: What? Like, you voted in Brexit, or you voted to leave?
elberry: i voted to Leave, by god.
Hillary: Oh. And you regret it now?
elberry: What? No, i’m absolutely delighted.
After this, all our interactions were marked by a sneering hostility on her part, and shrugs on mine. Like many women she is a natural scold and know-it-all who enjoys policing others, witness the following conversation in the teacher room:
elberry: That Bundeswehr class was pretty cool.
Toddball: A lot of beards.
elberry: But real beards, not hipster beards.
Toddball: Yeah, them niggaz weren’t hipsters.
elberry: You should only be allowed a beard if you’ve been trained to kill. It makes me sick to see hipsters with beards, when they’re just vegan Che Guevara-loving losers who couldn’t kill a squirrel with an Uzi pen.
Hillary [listening the whole time with a tense female look]: Whoah! There’s a lot of stereotyping going on here!
elberry: Yeah, there is. [elberry leaves without another word]
i was puzzled by her “do you regret it” question, then realised she’d been reading BBC and Guardian articles claiming that people voted to Leave as if on a whim and then immediately regretted it, before anything had actually happened (these articles came out within a few days, and so far nothing at all has happened politically). She probably also believes the stories that Britain is suddenly suffering a Brexit-earthquake-driven tsunami of racist massacres, and the only solution is to reverse the referendum and restrict future voting rights to Guardian-reading millennials who live in London, because they know best.
Nasty piece of work, really.
1.4 Two other teachers are leaving soon, both nice, neither remarkable or blogworthy. They will probably die in a ditch.
2. i’ve now been in Germany just over 7 years. Astonishing – that i speak still virtually no German (by my standards), can’t read anything serious without intense effort. i thought about relocating to Eastern Europe, as Germany will soonish collapse into civil war. i can predict that one of the safest places on the planet will be Slovakia, for the simple reason that the Viking lives there, and while he often says things like “God has plans for me, He does not want me gallivanting about having fun” he also has an odd habit of always living in the safest places on the planet, which are also the only places someone like him could survive. If he ever leaves Slovakia, you can be sure the Major Shit is going to go down there within the next few years.
But i feel rooted here, especially in Bavaria. There seems, as best i can discern, a kind of presence here, protecting the natural human culture – it could be that the culture has always been a bit different to “Germany”, so it resists in some sense the crass tide of modernity. i note many Leftist assholes come here for work, and live in quiet villages and towns, and then decry the CSU for trying to protect the state from millions of 3rd World rapists. The Leftists appreciate the safety and order, and don’t understand these exist because of the Catholicism, the conservatism, the traditions they hate and would destroy. Sorry, pal, but that’s the way it is – if you want to live in a cool hipster city where the police don’t do anything, and you’re surrounded by sand peoples, that’s fine, but you’ve also got to accept you’re going to get raped on average four times a week, and your dog will be stolen and made into a kebab, and your daughter will eat it, before she gets raped by a 42-year-old Algerian who will escape prison because he says he’s a 12-year-old Syrian called Mohammed, all praise the prophet.
3. i have wanted to leave this job for the last 4 years but there’s nothing else i could do, save cleaning and bar work, neither of which appeal. And an office job would drive me crazy now. So i try to make the best of it; i enjoy most of my classes, it is merely that i feel how little of my mind and knowledge is engaged – so today, i managed to talk about metallurgy with a steel Sales Engineer, and as is my wont talked about WW2 in terms of raw material supplies, and then with some regret turned back to the shitty McLingua books, with a heartfelt, – Well, i suppose we’d better get started on this chapter.
As Europe – thanks to people like Hillary – is now inexorably plunging into the great Race War, this all seems rather besides the point, but i take a certain pleasure in the fact that the Sales Engineer was a very genteel North African in his 50s, and the other student a kind of dim but sweet Turkish woman, and i hope that they survive the coming slaughter, that if the Titanic is going down, there are enough lifeboats for the good eggs. Not likely, of course, but if anything human survives the coming War i’ll count that a victory.