German Of The Day: Sitzfleisch (vs. Aussitzen)

Take Angela Merkel. Please.

Merkel

To have Sitzfleisch (sitting meat) means, on the one hand, to be able to sit still for the long periods of time required to be truly productive; it means the stamina to work through a difficult situation and see a project through to the end. On the other hand, it can also refer to someone who doesn’t know when to leave. You know, like the guest who won’t go home or the chancellor who won’t go home, either?

Aussitzen (sitting something out), however, is to deal with a difficult situation or crisis by not doing anything about it. That is, to just wait it out until it finally goes away – or until the person waiting it out claims that it has gone away. You know, what Angela Merkel and other politicians like her regularly do?

“German condenses what would take about seven or eight words in English into one particular word. The humour comes from the density of the word and the fact that it expresses something in such condensed form that we can’t get anywhere near.”

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Riots? Havoc?

The Riots in Chemnitz and Their Aftermath.” Strange. I must live in another Germany than the one Der Spiegel is reporting about. I can’t find any serious reports about riots or havoc having taken place in Chemnitz. But what can you call “serious reports” these days, anyway?

Chemnitz

Maybe, just maybe, these riots and this havoc stuff is going on in another parallel universe we are all familiar with: The parallel universe of the Brain Police mind. As usual, the story one wants to tell depends entirely upon what one insists on looking at.

In Chemnitz, refugees find themselves under threat by neo-Nazis and hooligans. Politicians have pledged to take a hard line against right-wing extremist violence, but they look helpless nonetheless. Meanwhile, the right wing seems to have the upper hand in Saxony.

Ruhige Nacht in Chemnitz. (That means “peaceful night in Chemnitz,” as another report put it).

Not One

Not one balanced, objective review anywhere. Much less a friendly one. Everything negative and hysterical, as usual. But that was to be expected before this book was even published.

Sarrazin

Thilo Sarrazin, the man German Gutmenschen (do-gooders) absolutely love to hate (and he’s SPD, for crying out loud), has done it again. His latest book, entitled Hostile Takeover, is another attack on Islam in Germany. Needless to say, everyone is enraged and outraged and every other kind of rage there is to be about it.

To sum it up (according to the article I linked to) he maintains: Islam is a backward religion incapable of reform, inherently violent (the step from Muslim believer to Islamist terrorist being merely one of degree), intolerant and xenophobic and that the Muslims in Germany are openly attempting to out-populate the Germans, which of course isn’t terribly hard to do. So… Where’s the controversial part of this book that everybody is all upset about? I mean, what if any of this didn’t we already know?

Vom gläubigen Muslim zum islamistischen Terroristen ist es für Sarrazin nur ein gradueller Unterschied.

How State TV Works

When it comes to the news. Pretty much as you imagine it would. It’s kind of like CNN, only you have to support it with your tax euros whether you want to or not. And there is even less accountability, believe it or not.

Tagesschau

Take a recent murder case in Offenburg, for instance. Please. In what appears to be an unprovoked attack, a Somali migrant is reported to have stormed into a family doctor’s surgery area and stabbed the doctor to death. The man then attacked and wounded a medical assistant before fleeing the scene, where a knife was found by police.

Although clearly of great public interest – it was everywhere else in the papers – Germany’s Tagesschau news program chose not to even mention it. The program’s editor-in-chief doesn’t seem all too concerned about the harsh public cirticism that followed this omission, however. Why should he? It’s not like he can be held accountable or be fired for anything. And the show must go on.

“Wir berichten in der “Tagesschau” über Dinge von gesellschaftlicher, nationaler oder internationaler Relevanz.”

And What About The Illegal Aliens From Outer Space?

World famous for opening their borders to illegal aliens from anywhere and everywhere else in this world, German Green politicians were recently stunned to discover that their government has failed to adequately prepare for the possible arrival of illegal aliens from other worlds.

Aliens

“So how do you organize a welcome party for an alien race?” asked a flustered CDU politician during intense questioning. “You planet!” the Greens shouted back.

The German government says it has made no preparations for the possibility that aliens might land in the European country.

In a response to questions from opposition Green Party lawmaker Dieter Janecek, the government said “there are no protocols or plans for a possible first contact with alien life.”

“A first contact on German territory is extremely unlikely, based on today’s scientific knowledge.”

Just Like That Japanese Reactor

Not quite as dramatic, granted, but just like how Fukushima took down the nuclear power industry in Germany, all it takes is a collapsed highway bridge in Italy to suddenly put Germany’s bridge infrastructure in full tilt crisis mode. You gotta worry about something, after all.

Bridges

The latest reminder of the risks of aging infrastructure came Tuesday, when a highway bridge in Italy collapsed, killing at least 35 people. Germany is also exposed. Its once-envied network of roads, bridges and railways are decaying due to decades of underspending. The country has fallen to 15th in road quality behind Oman and Portugal, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings.

Autobahnbrücken in Deutschland – Jede achte Brücke in schlechtem Zustand.

German Of The Day: Allzeittief

That means all-time low.

Trend

According to the “Germany trend” survey taken by the ARD, the popularity of Germany’s dominant sister party union of CDU/CSU (Angela Merkel/Horst Sehofer) has dropped to 29 percent, its all-time low. Meanwhile, the ostracized right-wing populist party AfD has climbed to 17 percent, its highest rating so far. If an election were held this Sunday, the union and the SPD (the current grand coalition government) would no longer have a majority and land at 47 percent.

Now I’m going to go way out on a limb here but I think all of this has something to do with Germany’s still unresolved migrant crisis.

Union sackt auf Allzeittief – AfD steigt auf Rekordhoch.

Germans Sitting Too Much – In Drafts

Whether at work or in front of the TV, Germans spend around 7.5 hours per day sitting, a study has found.

Draft

But worse still, much of that time these Germans are sitting in deadly German drafts (see German oddity 14).

14. A real German is a faithful practitioner of “Stoßlüftung” or inrush airing. This is when someone quickly rips several windows wide open for a few minutes to let some fresh, preferably ice-cold arctic air into what had been your warm and cozy apartment or office up until then. When it comes to leaving windows open for a longer period of time, however, Germans are clearly divided into two distinct ideological groups. The first group is the “shut the window right this minute because there’s a draft” faction (Germans are terrified of drafts). The second group is the “open the window again immediately because it smells like the cat house at the zoo” faction. Strangely, these two groups appear to be equally distributed in homes and offices across the nation so the fun with windows never stops here.

Fresh air or deathly drafts? Germans’ belief in the myth that breezes make you sick is completely overblown.

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”

 

When They Go Low We Go Lower

Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, trying to move beyond a bitter dispute over migrant policy that threatened the coalition, has fallen to its lowest level since 2006, a poll showed on Sunday.

Angie

But Angela Merkel keeps on smiling. I don’t know what they pump her up with but I want some of that stuff, too. Reality enhancement enchantment medication, I figure. “It’s good to be the Empress.”

The Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with the conservatives in Merkel’s coalition, failed to capitalize on those losses, also falling one point to 18 percent.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was unchanged at 15 percent while the Greens rose 2 points to 14 percent, their best showing this year, according to Bild am Sonntag.