The Turnaround Has Been Achieved

I didn’t think I would be seeing this in my lifetime, folks, but Germany did NOT get last place at the Eurovision song competition last night in Kiev – a century-long Eurovision tradition, as you know.

Deutschland

They came in second to last (thank you, Spain). I can hardly wait for next year’s show!

Ja! Deutschland ist nicht Letzter. Trotz der leichten Verbesserung ist es ein Debakel für die deutsche Delegation, die in unendlicher Arroganz mal wieder alles falsch gemacht hat, was man falsch machen konnte.

German Of The Day: Mediale Erfindung

That means medial invention. Take the Schulz effect, for instance. Please.

Schulz

Remember the good old days when medial inventions used to last for years? You know, things like Waldsterben (the dying of the woods) or Rinderwahn (mad cow disease)? Now you’re lucky if you can get three months out of one (the Schulz effect, for instance, was created and released from the laboratory just this past February and officially died yesterday).

I dunno, I think it’s this young whippersnapper snowflake generation these days with all their wall-to-wall social media and instant gratification issues. No respect, I tell you. Well, kids, each generation gets the medial invention it deserves so this one’s for you. And you have no one else to blame but yourselves. Three months. Pitiful.

In February, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz was riding a wave of popularity. Now, his party has lost two state elections in a row and another state vote is looming on Sunday. Can he get his campaign back on track?

Alles ist Albigs Schuld – finden Schulz und die Bundes-SPD.

Germans To Develop On-Demand Flying Car Service

They’re going to call it Über.

Über

A GERMAN tech firm has vowed to develop a five-seat “flying taxi” after it successfully carried out a test flight of a smaller airborne automobile.

Munich-based Lilium said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical take-off and landing, could be used for urban air taxi and ride-sharing services.

Berlin Doesn’t Need A New Airport After All

You know, the new one that still hasn’t opened yet and perhaps never will? No. Berlin is already number one when it comes to airports. So let’s move on already, people.

Airports

1.  Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF) in Deutschland
2.  London Luton Airport (LTN) in Großbritannien
3.  New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in den USA
4.  New York J. F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in den USA
5.  Brüssel Charleroi Airport (CRL) in Belgien
6.  Lima International Airport (LIM) in Peru
7.  Rom Ciampino Airport (CIA) in Italien
8.  Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) in Deutschland
9.  Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Frankreich
10. Paris Orly Airport (ORY) in Frankreich

Sure, this is a list of the world’s worst airports (according to a survey taken by eDreams), but still. Both of Berlin’s airports under the top ten. Nice try New York and Paris but toodaloo muddafrika…

Zwei deutsche Flughäfen unter den Top 10.

Is That All You Could Find?

501 German oddities?

Dog

I know, I know. There are way more than that. Just consider these 501 oddities to be, you know, Oddities 101 or something.

“Hermann, thank you for your blog and books, I am hooked. I recently picked up 501 German Oddities and couldn’t stop laughing. I am German, but live in Boston with my husband, who is from the area and grew up here. We cracked up so many times and just had a blast reading your book. It was actually eye opening at times to the both of us and explained some “odd” behaviors of mine to him. Super grateful for the book and can’t wait to see more blog entries. All the best, Marina.”

Limited time ebook offer or something, folks. Also available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.

Berlinale Has Numbing Effect On Audiences This Year, Too

It numbs them with its politics. And its smugness. Intentionally so. Every year. And if you don’t have the “correct” kind of politics and smugness, it will numb you all the more.

Numb

The opening night of the Berlinale was all about politics, from the red carpet, where Green Party politician and Bundestag vice president Claudia Roth sported a black dress adorned with the word “Unpresidented” in large letters – an apparent dig at U.S. President Donald Trump’s spelling aptitude and/or his perceived behavior as commander-in-chief – to officials and speakers taking the stage to talk about free speech, free art and resistance to oppression.

“It’s kind of an antidote to massive budget films with millions of special effects and stuff, which in the end creates a kind of numbing effect: I want more, I want more, I want more.”

What’s So Tricky About That?

“The trick is to try to create the sense that the people at the time don’t know what’s going to happen,” says Tykwer (director Tom Tykwer, Babylon Berlin). “No one in 1929 could have imagined what would become of Germany.”

Babylon

No offense, Tom, but no one at anytime can ever imagine what is about to happen. That’s the way of the world. But good luck with your TV series anyway.

Ordinary, Babylon Berlin certainly is not. Based on the series of novels by German writer Volker Kutscher, its a Raymond Chandler-style crime story — about a German detective, Gereon Rath (played by Volker Bruch) sent to Berlin to investigate a porn ring run by the Russian mafia — set against the social and political upheaval of Germany in 1929. when the world’s most modern and progressive society is threatened by rising right wing extremism and a world economy teetering on the brink.

“Babylon Berlin” wird die teuerste deutsche TV-Serie. Sie startet im Oktober auf Sky, ein Jahr später in der ARD. In Clärchens Ballhaus wurde nun ein erster Clip gezeigt.

“Overwhelming And Sustained Public Presence”

That’s what the English term fake news has in Germany. And that’s why it just won Anglicism of the year 2016 (that’s bigger than the Oscars over here, folks).

Fake

Fake (pronounced “fack” as in Fack ju Göhte) and news (pronounced “noose”) is more than the sum of its parts. Much more. It fills a gap in German vocabulary that would otherwise not be filled. That is, unless you filled this gap with fake German news, a term for which there is no proper German term. This is because all the news here is fake, always has been (state-run TV, know what I’m saying?). But it’s all good clean fun and nobody gets hurt feelings because Germany is a benevolent all-intrusive kinda state, right? Not always has been, but still.

„Fake News“ wird im Englischen den Angaben zufolge etwa seit dem Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts verwendet: Damals seien bewusste Falschmeldungen in Zeitungen ab und an so bezeichnet worden.