Would Numbers Lie?

News products can be that way. On the one hand the numbers tell us today that the mood in the German economy has picked up yet again and that German companies are looking ahead to 2015 with renewed confidence.

Positive

At the same time we read how Germany’s National Office for Statistics has determined that one in every five Germans is a victim of poverty.

A contradiction? Not necessarily, I guess. That’s why everybody’s kind of happy sort of around here these days. And that’s why I, for one, believe everything I read.

Die Stimmung in der deutschen Wirtschaft hat sich im Dezember erneut verbessert: Der Ifo-Index legte zum zweiten Mal zu.

World Pain In The Butt

Why do Germans always have to pick out these fancy-dad-gum-new-fangled German words of the year like Lichtgrenze (light border or boundary) when they’ve already got a perfectly wunderbar selection of traditional German words of the year or at least I think they ought to be for crying out loud?

Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz (world pain), for instance, has to be one of my all time favorites because, well, it’s just about as moany, whiney, lamenty and Germany as you can possibly get.

Now available in the U. S. of Amerika for a limited time only! I hope.

Disillusioned? Has your initial idealism been ground into cynicism? Dismayed by discovering how things really work? There’s a term for what you’re suffering: Weltschmerz.

The Bigger They Are…

Airbus Group NV (AIR) raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.

A380

Bis heute hat Airbus Bestellungen für 318 Exemplare der A380 erhalten. Das ist nur gut ein Viertel des Bedarfs, den Airbus einst vorausgesagt hatte.

German Tree Hugger Forcibly Removed After 130 Hours

From her tree. In a place called the Hambacher Forst. After occupying it in the name of tree love (a bad energy company wants to cut down the tree for bad energy purposes).

Tree hugger

The traumatized tree refused to comment and is being treated for hug burns.

Mittels einer Hebebühne holten die Höhenkletterer der Polizei die Aktivistin gegen 11.30 Uhr von der Plattform, nahmen sie in Gewahrsam.

Look Mom No Cables

Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to high-rise building can sound both thrilling and nerve-wracking. That idea is soon to become a reality for global transportation manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, who is set out to test the first units of their cable-free MULTI elevator system once the testing tower in Rottweil, Germany is complete by the end of 2016.

Operating on a circular system, the elevators will be able to move vertically and horizontally in a loop at a speed of 5 m/s, powered by new linear motor technology similar to that of the Transrapid magnetic-levitation train. Passengers would have access to an elevator cabin every 15-30 seconds with a transfer stop every 50 meters.

I Love A Parade

For decades, neo-Nazis have traveled to the southeastern German town of Wunsiedel, where Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, was buried until 2011. The right-wing extremists march through the town in commemoration of Hess year after year, glorifying the horrors of the Third Reich.

This time, however, everything was different: Although Wunsiedel’s inhabitants had observed the march from a distance over the past years, this Nov. 15, some of them welcomed the neo-Nazi protesters effusively with rainbow confetti and even cheered for them. What had happened?

No, the residents of Wunsiedel — most of them skeptical and critical of the neo-fascists — had not suddenly turned into Nazi sympathizers.

Instead, the group Rights versus Rights (Rechts gegen Rechts) had come up with a new way to protest the annual neo-Nazi march: For every meter the neo-Nazis walked, local businesses and residents would donate $12.50 to a nongovernmental organization devoted to making it easier for neo-Nazis to leave behind their hateful politics.

Why Germans Are Desperate To Ignore A Dangerous World?

Desperate? I think determined is the better word. Why? Because they can. And this is just what Germans do. It’s never been any different here (not in our lifetimes).

Disneyland

Imagine being born and raised in a place that is cut off from the rest of that yucky world “out there,” just like your parents before you. In an amusement park kind of way, I mean. You know, kind of like Disneyland? Only they call it Deutschland instead.

I spoke about the relative weakness of NATO, about the failures of European foreign policy, about Russia’s use of money and disinformation to divide Europe and the United States. The crowd and the other panelists nodded—and then almost immediately changed the subject. Instead of NATO, the German audience wanted to discuss genetically modified food and chickens washed in chlorinated water.

“When I think of politics I think about my neighborhood, street lights and construction permits.”

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