Media: March 20th, 2008 by KA
It was supposed to be the private joke of a German PR agency, but a spoof which features German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück rapping a song called “I love cash” found its way online recently. The agency, artegic AG created the site to celebrate the completion of a joint project with the Finance Ministry press department.
Steinbro generally makes a gruff impression, but his office said he enjoyed playing with the site options that allow internet surfers to “pimp” the face, outfit, headgear and flow of the official. (Pimp the face??)
“Why not?” his colleagues told news agency DPA. “It suits his sense of humor.” Not to mention, it’s kind of fitting for the man in charge of Germany’s coffers to have a big gold grill and some bling.
Miscellaneous: March 14th, 2008 by JS
Germans are well-known for being sticklers for titles, but when it comes to academic titles only German doctorates count, as many American researchers are finding out to their cost. A number of US academics based in Germany have faced action from prosecutors for daring to assume that a Phd from an Ivy League school might entitle them to call themselves ‘doctor’. As this article in the Washington Post points out, Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger had better be on their guard.
Germany’s Eurovision entry No Angels have been accused of plagiarising another artist, Steffi List, in a case being investigated by radio station NDR. It’s unlikely they’ll get far, though – accusations like this are two-a-penny in Eurovision.
Indeed, during last year’s heats in Sweden The Local reported accusations that The Ark, which went on to represent Sweden in Athens, had plagiarised its song from a sixties hit. The claims went nowhere, though, and it seems unlikely that No Angels have much to worry about either. Judge for yourself:
German television is finally to show ‘Allo ‘Allo, the British TV comedy about the Resistance in World War II occupied France.
The 1980s classic BBC series is essentially a farcical look at European countries’ stereotypes about each other, and manages to warmly mock not only the Germans, but also the French, Italians and the British themselves. In ‘Allo ‘Allo, the French and Germans understand each other perfectly, while the Brits (speaking a kind-of Wodehousean English), are unintelligible for all.
The middle-ranking German officers are a bit venal (they spend much of the series trying to smuggle out a painting, ‘The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies’, wrapped up in a knockwurst), but are as scared as everyone else of the senior generals and the Gestapo. The Gestapo agents are kinky, limping, leather-clad pervs. The French, with stereotypically complicated sex lives, resist the Germans by night and collaborate by day. The Brits, dropped in as undercover agents or stranded as downed airmen, are portrayed as twits, speaking such bad ‘French’ that they constantly risk blowing their cover.
It’s as much a comedy about Europeans’ views of each other as about the war or the resistance. The humour might have dated a bit by now, but there’s plenty here to make a German audience laugh. Here’s a clip of one episode that illustrates the point nicely:
Miscellaneous: March 4th, 2008 by MY
The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff in the closing days of the Second World War has sparked the imagination of the German public in recent years. Nobel Prize winner Günther Grass wrote about it and now German public broadcaster ZDF has a ratings success on its hands with a TV mini-series dramatizing the deadly Soviet submarine attack on the ship transporting German refugees over the Baltic Sea. The show has been getting big press both inside Germany and abroad such as this recent article in The Independent.
“Nazi Germany’s responsibility for the Holocaust meant that the plight of the Wilhelm Gustloff remained a taboo subject for decades after the war. There were fears that it would be seen as an attempt to equate German suffering with that of the Jews in Auschwitz.”
Miscellaneous: March 4th, 2008 by JS
Germans’ have developed a taste for fine food over the past decade – but only at the top end of the market. Poorer Germans eating habits are getting worse, according to this article in the International Herald Tribune:
“We have more and more people in Germany who know what they are doing when it comes to eating,” said Gunther Hirschfelder, a professor at the University of Bonn. “But the other side of this societal development is that we have a growing underclass that is detached from the phenomenon. We don’t have a single eating culture in Germany, we have a divergence of cultures.”
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