Not A Speck Of Animal!

Not in this cola.

Unlike western or occidental cola types that apparently have all kinds of animal rests floating around in them (gelatine is used), new and improved (and oriental) Haji Cola is made in compliance with Islamic hygiene regulations and guaranteed halal, albeit admittedly “less tingling” than what you might be used to.

And the stuff is selling like halal hotcakes in Hamburg too, or might one day. But don’t worry, religion does not play a role here, folks (that’s why they call it halal?). Love does. The love of money. Geez, talk about your occidental attitude.

“Religion spielt keine Rolle.“

Forest Boy Actually Forrest Gump Boy

Berlin Police have now begun casting doubts about the truth of the story given by the so-called “Forest Boy” who claims to have lived in a forest somewhere for five years before showing up at Berlin City Hall one day to ask for help, just like that or something.

His recent refusal to co-operate in the investigation to help discover his true identity has made many here suspicious and has even led some officials to believe that he is in fact a “Forrest Gump Boy,” one of those simpleton-like boys who travel around the world in an attempt to meet historical figures, influence popular culture and experience firsthand some of the historic events of the early 21st century (not that anything of historic interest would ever happen here in Berlin, but still).

Dumm ist der, der Dummes tut.

Google Still Evil

But at least it saves German companies tons of money.

Something called the Institute for German Economy has just found out that fast research (and other services) carried out using Google saves German companies some 6.84 euros per employee per year. And how did they find this stuff out? I dunno. I guess they googled it or something.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to be helping the German national debt very much these days. In absolute terms, every German citizen carries 24,904 euros worth of public debt, whatever public debt is worth these days. Are we having a Greece here yet?

„Wirkungsvolle Online-Tools sind heute entscheidend für Umsatz, Produktivität und Innovationsfähigkeit vieler Unternehmen.“ 

I Can’t Look Away

Nor blink anymore. Remember the old days when addiction had to do with actual addiction? I mean, with an actual substance? No, I guess you don’t.

Anyways, a new fear industry report tells us that some 560,000 Germans are now “addicted” to the Internet. How shocking or something.

Addiction here means that these poor lamentable victims can no longer stop surfing on their own (that’s why they – and we – need the fear industry, see?). Like the helpless zombies that they are, these addicts live day and night (mostly night) in a so-called “virtual world” because it is there and only there that they can find fulfillment and recognition (albeit virtual fulfillment and virtual recognition).

And their addiction is in fact so way bad out of control that many of these victims (and I really want to stress the word victims here) no longer go to school, university or, gulp, even work (even when they have work, which most probably don’t, and which can also be very addictive, by the way, the work, I mean).

Doesn’t anybody out there care? Other than me (not)?

And doesn’t anybody out there other than me break out in loud laughter when reading ridiculous nonsense like this? Hello? Does anybody read me? Or am I lost in my “virtual world” again? Uh oh. The sun’s coming up.

Das seien etwa ein Prozent der 14- bis 64-Jährigen, sagte die Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung.

Pope Too Religious For Germans

Always talking about spiritual renewal, faith, the heart, love, apostles, saints and stuff like that, many German Catholics were clearly disappointed with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to his homeland over the weekend.

“It’s like an obsession with this guy or something,” one irritated non-churchgoer said. “All he ever talks about is freakin’ religion. He didn’t bring up sexual abuse, abortion, celibacy or letting women become priests once. Boring. I thought he’d never leave.”

The pope drew hundreds of thousands of German faithful to services held on stops during his trip, including a final Mass early Sunday that attracted about 100,000 people to an airfield beside Freiburg’s airport.

Abenteuerurlaub

Germans just love to go on vacation, as you know. And a lot of them are crazy about going on so-called adventure holidays. It is good for the countries they go adventure holidaying in, I guess. It promotes understanding or something, I think. And world peace.

Anyway, one German tourist vacationing in Afghanistan just had the adventure holiday of a lifetime and is now on permanent vacation, along with an unfortunate Afghan who was travelling with him.

Unknown gunmen killed a German tourist and his Afghan companion in central Afghanistan on Saturday. Two other Afghans were wounded when the gunmen opened fire on the van the tourist was travelling in, a senior police officer said.

In August: Two German nationals were killed last month while hiking in mountains near the capital Kabul. Their killers have not been found.

Is this enough “nature” for you?

No other animal has as many friends and foes, or is the source of so much friction.

The presence of wolves (in Germany) is turning upright citizens crooked and driving otherwise well-mannered conservationists berserk, triggering a wave of harassment, denunciations and lawsuits. Politicians, biologists, forest rangers, hunters, farmers and even city dwellers are involved.

Environmentally Motivated?

Berlin is more of a hartes Pflaster (tough pavement/place) than you might think (these guys are everywhere).

More and more locals are scouring the city’s streets and bins for empty glass and plastic bottles, which they can turn in to collect a cash deposit. Many of the bottle-collectors say they are forced to do it to make ends meet.

Consumers pay the deposit when they buy drinks in shops and supermarkets – eight euro cents ($0.10) for glass bottles and 25 euro cents for plastic ones. They get their deposits back when they return their empties.

Initially, it was mainly homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts living on the streets who collected the bottles. But recently, it’s been Berlin’s financially troubled pensioners and long-term unemployed who have turned to collecting the discarded bottles as well.

What Identity Do I Wear Today?

So what do you want, Germany? The Germans don’t even know themselves what they want with Europe and/or Germany: In a survey this September by Der Spiegel, clear majorities of Germans said that it wasn’t right to help Greece and other countries with the bailout fund and that Germany was not benefiting from the euro zone. But a clear majority also believed that European institutions should be given more power in a crisis. Classic German schizophrenia again or what?

Not that it matters or anything. In the final analysis nobody is asking you what you want: The European Union is a union not of peoples but of heads of state. “General Franco was a head of state, too.”

Nope, I still don’t know what “Europe” is supposed to mean here, but I keep getting the sneaking suspicion that I’m not the only one living in Europe who feels that way. It’s just that I, as a non-European, have the luxury of being able to admit that I don’t get it and that I don’t really care.

But as this latest crisis develops, one thing seems certain. Whatever Europe may be, it clearly has something to do with illusion.  Illusion with an s on the end. With lots of illusions. One illusion after the next. Here’s one, for example:

Europe is founded on the illusion of German money without German control. And that bargain has worked, until now, because of the way Germany sees itself within Europe (which itself, as the polls suggest, is an illusion).

“As a good German one has to be a good European.”

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