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Comedian goes viral with 'Be Deutsch, Be Nice' video
Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Comedian goes viral with 'Be Deutsch, Be Nice' video

The Local · 1 Apr 2016, 16:29

Published: 01 Apr 2016 11:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Apr 2016 16:29 GMT+02:00

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Under the hashtag #makegermanygreatagain - a nod to populist US presidential candidate Donald Trump - the song "Be Deutsch" by German comedian Jan Böhmermann topped a million views within 24 hours with its lyrics hailing Germany's modern, liberal values and trashing its dark past.


"Be Deutsch! Be nice!" the sharp-tongued entertainer repeats throughout the song, redefining what it means to be a Bundesbürger (federal citizen).

Böhmermann, whose show Neo Magazin Royale is broadcast weekly on publicly-owned ZDF, borrows heavily from world famous industrial metal and hard rock band Rammstein.

The striking images in its video and strong political message assured a mass of reaction - both positive and negative - on social media after it was posted.

There were thousands of messages in praise of Böhmermann's latest video spectacular on Twitter, with one user saying "I can't decide whether Jan Böhmermann should represent us at the Eurovision Song Contest with Be Deutsch or extra 3 with their Erdogan track."
"Take that, you 'concerned citizens'!," another wrote. "Böhmermann has used the broadcaster fee for the public good."

Some people complained that despite its anti-nationalist message, Böhmermann was sparking a "contest to be better at being German" that wasn't particularly helpful.

In times of refugee crisis and a supposed threat to German culture, what is being Deutsch really about? According to Böhmermann, this is what it's not about:

1. Nationalists with torches and pitchforks

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

"Remember, remember the 9th of November...," sings the entertainer in the beginning, alluding to the infamous pogrom against Jews called Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, on November 9th 1938. We definitely don't want that again.

2. "Authoritarian nationalist dorks"

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Böhmermann selects a video of Alternative for Germany (AfD) leading light Frauke Petry to illustrate his idea of an "authoritarian nationalist".

The entertainer's lyrics also paint a picture of modern-day Germanness:

1. Socks and sandals

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Sandals against smelly feet and socks against the cold. Makes sense, right?

2. Birkenstock shoes

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Another German foot-fashion-fetish. The rest of the world will eventually come around to appreciate their beauty. They'll come around...

3. Bicycle helmets

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

There is in fact no German law obliging people to wear helmets. It's all for reasons of style.

4. Reserving sun loungers with towels

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Some things never change. Especially the German need to colonize lounging areas.

5. Döner kebab

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

And you thought all Bundesbürger ate was Schnitzel and sausage? Wrong! Those two have long made way for this greasy feast.

6. Sausages

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Alright, fine. They still eat sausages - but at least this time they're vegan.

7. Liberal

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Yep, the Bundesrepublik still feels pretty liberal when it comes to homosexuality (despite the whole lack of legal recognition of gay marriage thing).

8. "Everyone can do whatever the fuck they want"

Okay, maybe some people might find the kinky priest a bit too liberal.

9. Dosenpfand (refundable cans)

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Despite all how liberal Germans may be, they still follow the rules and are very conscientious when it comes to recycling and saving money. Also, how intense is this boy? There's good odds his name is Max.

10. Multicultural

Story continues below…

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Luckily, the face of Germany isn't all staring blond children. In fact, it's multi-faceted - and by and large, it seems to work.

11. A different kind of pride

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Considering the past of the country, there's really not much to be boasting about. So why not turn it around? Pride in no pride.

12. NICE

Photo: ZDF/YouTube screenshot

Despite all prejudices, Germans are actually genuinely nice. It's just taking some people a little longer to get used to the idea.

by Max Bringmann

SEE ALSO: Spoof hails Varoufakis as putting 'hell' in 'Hellenica'

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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