Forgive me for getting personal, but we’re all friends here, and I have to say it: it’s the end of my second year since moving back to Berlin, and it’s been a really rough year. I’m a tough person, but if you hit a coconut with a hammer enough times, eventually the juices all spill out onto the ground. But I have a promise to my readers not to turn this blog into a journal, and so I won’t say any more than that here.
Last time I got to that point, I decided to move back to Berlin. This time, I’m moving again: into the internet, full-time. I am leaving my job and am going to begin studying web design, web development and hopefully also digital animation, and I’m going to become an Internet Person.
The Internet – and I do mean that as a kind of place, an abstract area containing villages and folks and communities – is a mindblowing thing. It’s so much more than just an information mine and entertainment console. It is a place where hundreds of thousands of people are every day creating just so very much free, interesting, thoughtful, creative and fascinating stuff. And although most people know of the forums, the wikias and the reddit strings, once you begin to learn more about the internet as a place in itself, you see that it really is like a village – maybe even more like a flat share. Internet People know and interact with the slightly awkward members of the household – the porn, the abuse, the various ‘isms’ – with a gentle chuckle and a heartfelt belief that everyone probably would get on with each other much better if we all just made a bit more of an effort. And then Internet People, unlike politicians or protesters, tend to actually exemplify that belief. They make important videos, encourage better communities, and do dumb viral stuff like chucking a bucket of ice over their heads and accidentally raising millions of dollars for just one charity. (And no, ALS, you may not copyright the ice bucket challenge, no more than I can copyright covering my knees in jam and then licking them in the name of the RSPB.)
In the last year, I haven’t enjoyed much in my own life to foster hope about. But I have watched things on the internet grow and achieve worldwide attention: things which the more cynical me would have expected to simply wither and die, poisoned by humanity’s own uselessness. In just a short blog post I cannot even begin to summarise the dynamism, philanthropy and intelligence of what is happening in the good parts of the Internet. But I can see the good parts getting bigger, richer, and realer, and I want in – now.
I’m going to have the time and the energy – and finally also the know-how – to make Guten Morgen Berlin what I have always wanted it to be, and to make it worthy of the now hundreds of new followers we get here each week. I’m going to make Guten Morgen Grammar! a full and free resource for anyone trying to learn German. I’m going to bumble around as a freelancer for a while and be my own boss. I’m going to do things that feel inspiring, constructive, and new. And yes, I’m going to be poor for quite some time, so I’m also going to be blogging about the myriad joys of German red tape which is already starting to weave itself around my ankles as I head quickly towards unemployment. Let the festivities commence!