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May the 1st Manifesto


I am constantly living under pressure, the Berliners are awfully mean, and they nag me to come with something new. But I'm not a machine, I'm a human being, and what's more a pariah. I am not at all a highbrow; I am an artist of survival. During all those years I suffer of fever what to come up with? I've become nervous. I talk to myself, if I eat or drink, it's always as if someone was after me, I can't normally talk to people anymore. What's more I've become rude and cocksure. Oh dear, they've ruined my psyche, those Berliners, by rising they demands. One day I am going to fell, my head upside down and go straight to nuthouse. I'll leave them all alone in the end, but for now, till I am still sane, I don't give up. Although the battle is lost, one thought is bothering me: what new? I must be ready months before and my companions are by their names and actions true failures. Working with them it's a Lord's cross. During the Christmas Eve, the most pleasant holiday, the table was richly set for the feast. Strengthened with Christmas carols, praising merrily the miracle of the child's beget, I got lost in thoughts and afterwards unfortunately a doubt came. I would winter in my homeland, but than at the end of April, Berlin again. What would I bring there? I spoiled my Christmas Eve with trouble. Under pressure or not till May I need to invent something. And when I thought »May« I came up with an idea: I could use the workers' class holiday. I have not much in common with communists or the party, but with Marks' philosophy certainly. I am a part of lumpenproletariat, and I decided to make that group my audience. The poster heading »May the 1st Manifesto«, written in big, red letters. Below the addressees »Whores, beggars and artists«, with this one move I put together every social sponger, not paying taxes. I told them right away »Unite, the situation becomes screwed up and it's going to be worse!« I explained the situation in fallowing lines of my proclamation. »Soon Our Dear Sisters Whores will pedal their asses for beer and cigarettes«. Than I mentioned my nation »Beggars will become uncountable and hardly any homeless will manage to sell his newspaper«. And at last those who suffer most: »and when it comes to the artists, they can be divided into army divisions and sent to help Americans, as miraculous weapon to deprive the colonies.« My explanation: The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany doesn't allow taking part in any kind of imperial turmoil. The law is good for young mortals' sake but the society suffers supporting the hangers-on. And than I came with conclusion: »and that would solve the trouble, but it is impossible to be done, and that's why they bite on the bit«. That way the beginning of my manifesto was logically composed. But it was easy to criticize, and now it was necessary to offer a solution. Finally I got it: we need to act together, and I put it in fallowing words »I, the Emperor of Clochards propound you to build the House of Freedom«. I built this or that all my life, so I knew what to start with. To fulfil that idea I needed working force, which didn't make any problem, there was plenty of it, even more than needed, and there was no trouble with building material as well. I thought for a while and suggested »the walls will be made of needless sculptures and we will decorate it with painted plastic«. I got first hand information from the Failures, that no painter ever earned anything, what was worse they only lost by buying booze for their exhibitions. But how to decorate the House of Freedom inside? I came to not so foolish idea, naked chicks are always attractive, if only they are nice looking. So I wrote »we will decorate it inside with naked dancers, so that they don't turn somersaults and make any fuss, we will tackle them to walls«. That's how I solved architectural problems. And than I started to think, scratching my stupid head, what should be the institution's function in order it was useful. I saw a lot of foundations, they always depend on state money, but they wouldn't share with us, we needed to cope on our own. My association wouldn't kiss asses. We are banned from salons. And go to hell! We will manage ourselves. Being angry with bureaucracy I decided that the homeless selling their newspapers would muster pedestrians right through the doors of The House of Freedom. And later I started to think what to do with caught up clients and my idea was as fallows: »In the first chamber, the caught up fellow will be welcomed by the thrilling orchestra – each musician playing according to his will. Nearly deaf he will move along into next room. There he will see actors committing hara-kiri, and with disgust he will move along«. Bored with long lasting thinking I decided to finish the delinquent off. »In the last chamber the whores will take his wallet and the moment of sharing profits will come…« How to do it smoothly? There is no-one who could give advice, neither Saint Peter nor the old sparrow. I had two quenchers to clear my mind, and I found the best solution seeing needs in right order. And that was what I had decided: banknotes over 50 for whores, than the artists, small change was for the beggars. I breathed a sight of relief. Money is the worst problem for humankind and I managed to solve the issue. All right than, but how to manage with that business? The Emperor is not by any means an accountant. Whom should I bother with responsibility? I started to pick my nose but instead a loogie I found an idea. It is common knowledge that film directors are the best overseers. If they get a script they stick to it and they have experience in dividing money, they don't work for little. Without hesitation I made my mind: the directors banned from Babelsberg would be in charge of fulfilling the script and dividing profits. Fuck! Now my hands were clean I left the job for roustabouts. I achieved everything I wanted, now I needed to complete the manifesto well. Slightly nervous I started to scratch my ass and the idea came: »And what the hell! We'll still be living!« Signed: »The Director of The House of Freedom, the Emperor of Clochards«. Wow! What a relief the Manifesto was ready. It would bring wiseacres to their heels and the Berliners would leave me alone for some time. But the euphoria slowly went down – having the idea means being only half way closer to the goal, and fulfilling it, it is a true torture, fighting with translators, graphic designers, a printing house and other conmen. I decided that the poster should be A3 size so the letters were easily visible, full of colours, with a current portrait of the Emperor. But my counsellor, »dictator« Kristina insisted that the portrait should be in darker colours. I am one of those who prefer to see their portraits in colour, but I accepted the critique with modesty and decided not to quarrel with a mare! I gave her place for peace of my mind. Than without hesitation I ordered 3000 copies. For Berlin it was like a drop in the bucket. It wasn't enough even to put one poster in each street and what about fans collecting effects of my work. How to reconcile arguing parts? I ignored the town's suburbs, I don't care about backwaters and I never go there anyway. I decided to focus on areas where I operate, not forgetting unfriendly Charlottenburg to irritate townsmen and bring them to their heels. Surprisingly but it is also the place where mentioned above sisters whores live. I wouldn't go from house to house. I am the Emperor not a postman. So I hanged my manifesto in the area of Savigny Platz. If they spotted it they would contact me. I gave the web address: www.heaven–st.Peter. The communists gather near Oranienburger Strasse. I didn't want them to think they had monopoly for making the fuss and brainwashing, I hanged over one hundred posters there. Beggars keep always close to the centre in every town so I left a few hundreds in Mitte. Other artists as it is commonly known are at Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichschwein so I left the same amount there. Before I started to hang posters I asked about legal aspects of it. It turned out that I should have approval from the Town Council. Ah go to hell! Since when does an Emperor listen to anyone? So wherever I could, most often covering other posters, I hanged my Manifesto. I learned how to make a glue mixture and with a big brush I spread it in chosen place, unfortunately I covered myself with glue as well. I wanted to see if the mixture was good, and on fallowing day went to check my posters. And I petrified – half of my posters were gone! What's the hell, were they torn away? So I hanged them once again and waited for vandals. Within an hour my posters were covered by other poster-hangers and their posters were covered by newcomers. It was a daylight robbery! The law of the jungle, the last one was right! So just to be sure I would be visible, I made last tour on the day proceeding May the 1st. There was a chance the posters would hang till the next day. Some of friendly bar tenders hanged my posters on their doors or inside their bars, in the best place near the beer tap. During the week before the holiday of the oppressed I distributed my posters among my fans so that they could pass the massage from mouth to mouth. It was unpleasant to me but I must mention that there were a few fellows who wanted to take profits from worthful aim and they asked me for addresses of marry ladies »for beer and cigarettes«. But I am obliged to keep secrets of confession; I wouldn't let to use information which I received from those who suffered from poverty. Get lost asshole! I said angrily. The walk was planned to form in Torstrasse, in front of the Emperors platform, or rather a trolley, vis-a-vis windows of the Polish Failures Club. On the last day before the holiday I checked the webpage www.heaven-st.Peter, and there was a crash! Nobody entered. But a sparrow reported me that the job centre bribed beggars, and right before the holiday gave them benefit. Now they were busy with consuming. Other addressees were quarrelling. I got a hint form a dept collector. Artists owe girls of the town for »the kilometres they drove« and they continued to goose up their bills. And the girls said enough, no more deals with debtors. So I decided to become a mediator in this payment quarrel. I called at the playground at Kollowitz Platz. The office of the Senate of Handicap Artists is there. I asked them when they were going to pay. And I heard: get lost. Shocked I dropped the phone. I tried to hit someone with my sceptre to peace my nerves but I found no-one. I could felt atmosphere of failure. I had so much good will, a brilliant and right idea and those who were quarrelling didn't care about May the 1st. I was waiting patiently in front of the Polish Failures Club and the Police units next to me. I informed them just in case, to make peace among girls and artists. The policemen were so bored, that they started to read my Manifesto, just to become familiar with the topic. Nobody, but one person came. He introduced himself: Mischiefer. I felt suspicious about his name and look. Oh hell! He must be sent by the Criminal Police. So I started to drawled my answers, I didn't know what he was up to? Maybe he was recording? I spoke hardly a word. And he was such a gasbag, that I soon felt sleepy. I was away with my thoughts, living down the bitterness of failure. All my effort went for nothing. Finally tired of listening to the wise guy I asked him why those quarrelling professionals wouldn't unite to act for worthy issue. Ego, said Mischiefer immediately. What »ego«, what does it mean? Than he said one single word: egoism. And he shut up. I started to say that word in various forms. I didn't notice when he vanished. Preoccupied with grammar I couldn't understand what he had meant. Pissed of with my effort to understand I sipped a beer and decided to call Saint Peter. He, although overwhelmed with work, came for a sec. He didn't want a beer, he was during a session of the Heaven Parliament and so it wouldn't be appropriate if he smelled with beer, but he explained me the philosopher: they dig pits for themselves. And he vanished.

(translated by Magdalena Połec)

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