I call it Hurt Feelings Burnout Syndrome (HFBS). With an emphasis on the BS. Oh man, I had to laugh out loud while reading the latest on the poor, misunderstood German front.

It appears that many German intellectuals are very concerned about how their European neighbors think of them (Germany) these days. Needless to say, it isn’t very highly at all. And some have come to the stunning conclusion that they are so disliked at the moment because, now get this, they are so big and strong. Imagine that.

Germany is the USA of Europe – only with a different history.

You don’t need to puzzle for very long about the question of why so much Nazi name-calling is going on at the moment: For the first time since 1945, Germany has appeared in full strength again. Not because anybody wanted it, but because the European debt crisis has made the most economically powerful country the most politically powerful one, as well. Germany is now intervening in the internal affairs of others in a big way.

Slowly but surely, the country is taking over a role for Europe that the USA has played for the rest of the world for so long, as being the country that uses (and sometimes misuses) its power, the country that is to blame for everything, the country that is supposed to save everything and is reviled for the way it does it. What has America not been accused of? The CIA has always been behind everything and American imperialism has always been the motivation.

How moving. Or something. And the rest of the story? Now folks are calling Germans Nazis again (as if they had ever stopped). Boo-hoo-hoo already. Come on, Germany. Wake up and smell the coffee. You’re the big kid on the block. Run with it. Enjoy. It comes with the turf.

And in a related story (I find), it turns out that Germans are also now “burning out” like flies (it’s hard to carry on when nobody likes you, I guess). This imaginary disease (yet another American import – are we having irony yet?) is currently running rampant among Germany’s workforce, with nearly 1 out of 10 sick days in Germany in 2010 being attributed to it (tendency rising). Another connection to US-Amerika? Oh my God. No wonder so many Germans are getting sick. Please note: The high-brow daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung questioned why burnout was being written so much about in Germany, while in France, which is economically a lot worse off, “it’s hardly a preoccupation at all.”

Remember: HFBS is incurable, but there are many effective treatments. One of them is shutting the #!?#! up.

Man braucht wirklich nicht lange an der Frage rumzurätseln, warum die Nazi-Vergleiche im Moment so oft gezogen werden: Zum ersten Mal seit 1945 tritt Deutschland wieder mit voller Macht auf, nicht weil man das gewollt hätte, sondern weil die europäische Schuldenkrise das ökonomisch stärkste auch zum politisch mächtigsten Land gemacht hat. Deutschland greift nun tief ein in die inneren Angelegenheiten Dritter.

Allmählich bekommt das Land für Europa eine ähnliche Funktion, wie sie die USA lange Zeit für die ganze Welt hatten. Als jene Macht, die ihre Kraft gebrauchte, manchmal missbrauchte, die an allem schuld war, die alles retten sollte und sich dafür beschimpfen lassen musste, wie sie es tat. Was wurde den Amerikanern nicht alles Übles angedichtet, immer steckte die CIA hinter allem Bösen, stets wurden die Amerikaner des Imperialismus geziehen.

PS: I hate to admit it, Germany, but I guess we’ve got more in common than we would like to admit (thanks for the idea, Old Phat Stu).

2 responses

  1. Not sure I would be quite so sanguine about advising our German pals just to live with the resentments of other countries. Sometimes, those countries have a point.

    The US and Germany are at about the same level when it comes to believing in their own exceptionalism, certainly from a cultural standpoint. (http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/11/17/the-american-western-european-values-gap/ and scroll down to the “I believe my culture is superior” question.)

    And when one has that sort of “sensitive”, but mildly dismissive, attitude toward those with less power, bad things can happen.

  2. Well, I was actually being a bit sarcastic there (thanks for the interesting link). I think other countries certainly do have a point and that Germany goes through the motions of caring about their concerns, and maybe even truly does care, but in the end it doesn’t really matter because every country is always looking out for its own interests. When push comes to shove – and push always comes to shove – the bigger/most influencial country wins. It’s an odd parallel with the US, don’t you think? Nothing the Germans do now is right, they’re only looking out for number one, they are only trying to dominate Europe with their soft hegemony, etc. Sounds familiar, right? The main difference between us, I think, is that the Germans truly have a need to be liked (just because of their history or is there a deeper reason?) whereas most Americans could really care less in the end. Americans have seen what happens when you care about what others think and act accordingly – they still piss on your leg. Why? You’re just too big. They want you to go away. So it’s back to square one again.

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