Have a good slide!

Or so the Germans say (Guten Rutsch!), for Happy New Year!

That ought to be easy enough this winter. It’s been the coldest December here in Germany since 1969 (before global warming started screwing everything up).

So slide well into the new year–and slide responsibly.

Der Dezember war zugleich überdurchschnittlich feucht. Am Flughafen in Frankfurt fielen insgesamt 59 Zentimeter Neuschnee, so viel wie noch nie seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen.


“Handy” finally verboten!

It’s about freakin’ time somebody got rid of that awful “English” word–and all those other so-called English words and phrases that Germans are always throwing around here so disrespectfully as if they were, I dunno, English or something.

Every time I accidentally use the word handy in English conversation (with other native speakers who don’t speak German, I mean) they look at me as if I had just arrived from Mars.

Germany’s Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has finally struck a blow for German (and English) language preservation by enforcing a ban in his ministry on the use of what Germans working there think are English words and phrases.

Handy is one of them, like I said. Another favorite of mine that I hear in Berlin all the time is Coffee Togo. Well that’s how they pronounce it. I swear. Apparantly many Berliners are actually convinced that the coffee you can now get in those portable styrofoam cups to take along with you is from the country of Togo.

Another good one is life. You know, as in “Life Show?”

Or how about Pizza Hut? Many Germans pronounce it as the Transport Minister would expect them to and actually think that the place is called Pizza Hat.

So knock yourself out, Herr Ramsauer. Help preserve my language. You can crack down on abuse like this as often and as hard as you think necessary. Please. I mean, bitte.

Gegen den Mainstream zu leben, kann schließlich ganz schön in sein.

Chaos must be well organized, ja?

Germans, being born anarchists (and born Germans), are genetically programmed to be aware of how important it is that the chaotic and deteriorating world in which we live continue to degenerate, but to have it do so in an “orderly chaotic” and therefore German manner.

That is why the Chaos Computer Club, holding its 27th annual Chaos Computer Club Congress in Berlin this week, has expressed Chaos Computer Club Congress Concern Concerning the recent hacking attacks against “Mastercard und Co.” in wake of recent WikiLeaks revelations (the leaks themselves were carried out quite orderly, causing complete chaos, so they were OK).
It appears that these attacks are in fact against something called Chaos Computer Club “hacker ethics” and the interests of those who genuinely strive for a truly transparent society (albeit a deteriorating and chaotic one) and they kindly request that such disorderly chaotic attacks cease immediately, or something.

I tell ya, it’s a dog-eat-dog-hacker-gegen-hacker world out there.

“As the world becomes more chaotic, we can help.”

Germans Prepare For Next Hi-Tech Threat That Isn’t Quite There Yet But Threatens On The Horizon Already Anyway So-To-Speak

Or threatens in front of your bedroom window, or could. Potentially, I mean.

The ghastly Google Street View Scare hardly verdaut (digested), Germans everywhere are now about to be threatened by the threat of threatening private “mini me” drones which will soon be everywhere, omnipresent and ubiquitous, all at the same time, and will threaten German privacy in ways that haven’t even been imagined yet–but just be patient, they’re working on it.

Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner, along with the good folks over at the Left Party (of all people), are concerned that these new-fangled devices will soon be able to break privacy laws that, well, haven’t even been written yet either. But they’re working on that too.

Interestingly, the firm producing these things is located in a place called Kreuztal, in Germany (well I thought it was interesting). These babies are Made in Germany, in other words. So why all the excitement? Germans would never threaten German privacy like American Internet companies would, would they? I don’t know, maybe it’s more like “Be the first Spitzel (informer) on your block to have one!” kind of thing or something.

“Schon mit den kleinen helikopterähnlichen Hobby-Modellen kann man rechtlich schnell an Grenzen stoßen.”

“Aloof, elitist and indecisive”

Damn. And that’s coming from a German journalist dude too. And who knows more about being aloof, elitist and indecisive than they do?

“Barack Obama was the biggest loser of 2010.” Looks like once the going gets tough enough (for Obama), the German intelligentsia get going (as in abandoning ship).

Now, just days before Christmas, Congress has ratified the New START disarmament treaty with Russia. … Will Obama build on this victory? The opposite is much more probable.

Dean vs. Reagan?

No, not Dean Reed, James Dean.

Although Red Elvis would probably have more supporters here in Berlin’s Senat today if it came to such a bout–and might yet get a street named after him here one day too, which is more than you can say for Ronald Reagan.

What the hell am I trying to get at here, you ask? I don’t know anymore. I seem to have forgotten. Oh, yes. Now I remember.

Germany’s defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has just called to name a street or a square in Berlin after Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth coming up on February 6.

No big deal, right? Only you must keep in mind that this is red-red Berlin (SPD and the Left Party) and that we are still in the here and now and folks like these don’t even want to commemorate Mr. Tear-down-this-wall-Mr.-Gorbachev’s birthday, much less name a street after him. They only name streets after romantic revolutionary figures like Rudi Dutschke.

Or as zu Guttenberg put it so well: “It would be a welcome event to name a street after this great honorary citizen and provide evidence that red-red gratitude doesn’t have to end with Rudi Dutschke.”

FDP Berlin representative Martin Lindner hastened to add “You are being blind to history and presumptuous not to properly acknowledge this great and steadfast friend of Germany.” Lindner had proposed renaming Berlin’s Central Station’s Washington-Platz in Reagan’s honor back in 2004.

Quite provocative from Guttenberg & Co., I find. They know perfectly well that there’s no way in hell Wowereit and his Linke friends (link can also mean deceitful in German, by the way) would ever allow themselves to stoop to honoring such an über-Feindbild (longstanding mega-enemy stereotype) like that.

Politiker von CDU und FDP unterstützten die Forderung Guttenbergs und äußerten Unverständnis dafür, dass der Berliner Senat keine Gedenkfeier für Reagan plane.

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s and Your Canned Goods Out!

Oh, my, God. The Scheechaos (snow chaos) has now reached Berlin! You know, like the Red Army once did?

What’s even more shocking is that it’s reached the taz too (the newspaper for all the lefty-anarcho-chaos experts living here). And even more shockingerer still is that Berlin’s environmental minister (yup, cities like Berlin have one of those) Katrin Lompscher (Left Party not Green–can’t you be both?) has called for a freakin’ Krisengipfel (crisis summit). You know, just like the one they had recently somewheres but I can’t remember where, about something, but I forget. Only this Krisengipfel will be worse, or better, or whatever.

We’re all going to die or something!