North Korea Demands Film Not Being Shown At Film Festival Not Be Shown At Film Festival

And when North Korea demands something, the Berlinale listens.

Interview

Organizers here quickly buckled under pressure and have now sheepishly agreed to take the film not being shown on their program off their program immediately. The wussies.

Somewhere along the line, because of the February 5th start dates, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry misinterpreted that The Interview was an official entrant in the 65th annual Berlinale. As a result, North Korean’s state-run broadcast issued a statement demanding that the film not screen at the festival, which it’s not and never was scheduled to. An organizer for the film festival spoke to the North Korean ambassador to Germany to clear up the misunderstanding.

German Of The Day: Die Initiative Ergreifen

That means taking the initiative. You know, as in arresting two Salafists in Berlin Wedding on suspicion of recruiting fighters for Isis in Syria?

Salafists

And it’s about freaking time, people. And congratulations to Belgium on their fine catch, too.

Following the recent attacks in Paris and the thwarting on Thursday of a terrorist plot in Belgium, 250 officers simultaneously raided 11 addresses across the German capital.

All Together Now!

Here’s where we say this had nothing to do with Islam (other religions have this kind of stuff done in their names all the time, you know).

Charlie Hebdo

And getting back to Pegida… How could anyone possibly have anything bad to say about the potential Islamization danger in Germany? Or, well, in France for that matter.

“All diejenigen, die bisher die Sorgen der Menschen vor einer drohenden Gefahr durch Islamismus ignoriert oder verlacht haben, werden durch diese Bluttat Lügen gestraft.”

Pegida? Kögida? Bärgida?

This is all starting to bug me a litta…

Pegida

Germany is preparing itself for the first wave of PEGIDA demonstrations of the new year. The anti-Islamization movement has been steadily growing in popularity as the demonstrations reach their fourth month.

On Monday, the first marches of 2015 will also see the first turnout of protesters in the country’s capital, Berlin. Playing on the city’s bear mascot, “Bärgida” currently has just short of 600 people listed as attending on the Facebook event page. More are expected to march on Monday evening, however.

3000 Bombs In Berlin

Oddity 12. Germany is the only place on earth where huge underground bombs are regularly unearthed all around the country and this barely even makes second page news. In fact most Germans directly affected by these excavations are more annoyed by them than anything else. They grudgingly leave their homes for a few hours until the bomb crews disarm or detonate the damned things.

Bombs

Berlin authorities believe 3000 bombs still lurk beneath the capital and experts warn that some are growing increasingly dangerous as they rust and their fuses grow more brittle.

54 Tonnen Bomben, Granaten und Munition aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg sind im vergangenen Jahr in Berlin gefunden und entschärft worden. Seit Ende des Krieges vor 70 Jahren wurden nach Polizeiangaben mehr als 1,8 Millionen Sprengkörper vernichtet. Nach Schätzungen der zuständigen Stellen beim Senat liegen aber weiterhin 3000 Blindgänger aus dem Weltkrieg im Boden der Hauptstadt – auch in der Nähe wichtiger Verkehrsknotenpunkten wie Bahnhöfen oder dem Flughafen Tegel. Genau kann das aber niemand sagen.

The Fall Of The Berlin Mall Of Berlin

Jeepers. That didn’t take very long.

Mall of Berlin

This is not just any mall, mind you, but the hubristically named Mall of Berlin—the largest Germany’s capital has ever seen, including not only shops but (as yet unfinished) apartments and a hotel. And guess what? While it’s only been open since the autumn, the whole project is already bombing…

It’s not that Berlin’s government and developers don’t have the guts to take on major projects to transform the city. They just really suck at them.

The End Of An Aura

It’s amazing these sleeper trains have lasted as long as they have, if you stop and think about it.

Night Train

Saturday marked the end of the line for this Paris-Berlin sleeper, at any rate. Slow food might be able to make a stand here and there but it looks like slow travel is definitely out.

Deutsche Bahn, the German rail network which operates the sleeper said the service was incurring debts over €20 million a year and losing out to cheap bus connections and easyJet which offers a regular service between the two capitals. Along with the Paris-Berlin sleeper, overnight train services linking Berlin with Copenhagen and Amsterdam are also being axed.

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.

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