Germans Feeling Gloomy?

Wow. We’ve never had that one before.

Gloomy

The German economy is booming. Unemployment is at a near-record low. In Europe and around the world, the country is seen as a beacon of wealth and efficiency.

So what’s so mysterious about their gloom? This is Germany. Duh. How could Germans not get gloomy about a situation like that?

But maybe, just maybe, with a little luck things will start to crap out here before too long and everybody can start cheering up again.

Es war einmal ein starkes Land.

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AI Don’t Trust You

But what’s new? Germans don’t trust any new technical development that comes along. Grundsätzlich (out of principle). New is scary because it always comes from somewhere else.

AI

So here’s another piece of news that made the news even though it’s not news at all: A YouGov survey has revealed that Germans are distrustful of anything that has to do with artificial intelligence. Not only is AI new (and from somehwere else), it’s, well, artificial. It’s not natural, you know? Non-organic or something.

Die Mehrheit der Deutschen steht einer Umfrage des Instituts YouGov zufolge dem Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) misstrauisch gegenüber. Nur rund jeder Siebte – 15 Prozent – denkt demnach, dass der Nutzen der Technologie gegenüber den Risiken überwiegt, wie die repräsentative Umfrage ergab.

World Ending Again

In Germany.

Heat

In a country where everyone is always complaining about the lack of sunshine, several consecutive months of heat and sunshine (in other countries referred to as “the summer”) have led the alarmist fringe of the population (that’s roughly 97% of the population) to the scientific conclusion that they now find themselves smack dab in the middle of a major “state of meteorological emergency” and are all going to die even before the sky gets the chance to fall down. If only the gray skies and rain would come back so they could bitch and moan about that again! As nature intended.

What makes summer 2018 an exception is the unusually long period of heat. Such a persistent period of fine weather, with lots of sunshine and little rain, occurs on average once every 10 years at most in the country. And given the lack of rain, it’s not the heat that’s the problem, but the drought — especially in northern and eastern Germany, where there has been virtually no rainfall in some places since May.

This may be due to climate change, but it may also be unrelated. Germany has also experienced extreme droughts in previous years. In 1992, for example, when wheat withered away in the fields, wells dried up and priests prayed for rain at church services. Or in 1971, when forest fires flared up in many places across the country. Or in 1947, when even drinking water became scarce.

“Somebody is always complaining. It’s sheer nonsense.”

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.

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

German Of The Day: Alarmbereitschaft

That means “alarm preparedness.” And you have just been placed in it. Or on red alert, if you prefer.

Bannon

Isn’t that sophisticated imagery? Get it? Really subtle. Or subliminal or something.

“Trumps ex-strategist wants to support Europe’s right” – Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

This “movement,” you see, is obviously no different than Adolf Hitler’s movement a few years back and all forces of Goodness and Niceness must be placed in Alarmbereitschaft immediately to ensure that they are and remain alarmed, or at least be prepared for alarm or red alert or whatever (with the emphasis on red). You know, like this guy here? No fifty shades of gray here, folks. It’s all perfectly black and white. Or brown, actually. So are you finally alarmed now? Me, neither.

Steve Bannon, der frühere Chefstratege von US-Präsident Donald Trump, will eine Stiftung gründen, die rechtspopulistische Bewegungen in Europa stärkt. Die Organisation mit dem Namen “The Movement” werde ihren Hauptsitz in Brüssel haben, berichtete das US-Nachrichtenportal The Daily Beast unter Berufung auf Bannon. Vor der Europawahl im Mai 2019 werde sie zehn Mitarbeiter einstellen.

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

To get this woman to do anything, I mean.

Merkel

Angela Merkel’s friends and enemies lined up in Berlin on Friday morning to defend and attack the chancellor after she stayed up for hours with EU leaders in Brussels hammering out a common European Union plan on keeping out more asylum-seekers.

The ultimate question was whether Merkel had found a deal satisfactory enough to appease her Bavarian allies. The Christian Social Union (CSU) precipitated a government coalition crisis in the past few weeks by insisting that asylum-seekers who had already registered in other countries be turned away at the German border.

“It is the result of a debate in Germany that the migration issue is finally being addressed more strongly at an EU level.”

Alle CSU-Forderungen hat der EU-Gipfel nicht erfüllt. Dennoch gehen die Beschlüsse so weit in Richtung Abschottung, dass selbst Kanzler Kurz zufrieden ist. Ein Erfolg ist die Einigung, weil Europa auf gemeinsame Lösungen setzt.

German Of The Day: Aktionskunst

That means performance art. And in one of the stupidist performances seen to date in Berlin, Greenpeace activists painted the streets around the Siegessäule (Victory Column) yellow. Greenpeace went yellow, in other words.

Greenpeace

They stole this idea from the ancient Egyptions, I believe, as they also worshipped the sun (it kind of looks like the sun, see?). The yellow paint, I think, representing, uh, sunlight or something and thus symbolizing, well, how the hell am I supposed to know what this symbolizes? Wait, I’ve got it now. It symbolizes just how awful coal-firng power plants can be for sun-worshiping Greenpeace Germans (yellow or not) and the rest of humanity for that matter and that they need to be shut down immediately or something. Big medicine, folks. Why didn’t somebody think of doing this before?

Die Berliner Polizei ermittelt gegen Aktivisten der Umweltorganisation Greenpeace – zum einen wegen gefährlichen Eingriffs in den Straßenverkehr, zum anderen wegen eines Verstoßes gegen das Versammlungsgesetz. Greenpeace hatte am Dienstagmorgen um 7.30 Uhr auf dem Großen Stern in Tiergarten gelbe Farbe ausgekippt, insgesamt 3500 Liter.

“Spying Among Friends Is Never Acceptable”

Go ask Angela Merkel, she’ll tell you.

Austria

Certain countries are above all that. Being located on the moral high ground like they are, you know.

Vienna has demanded an explanation from Berlin over reports that Germany’s BND agency spied on nearly 2,000 targets in Austria between 1999 and 2006. Austrian media said embassies were among the targets.

Top Austrian officials have called on Germany to clarify reports that its BND spy agency snooped on high-profile targets including embassies, international organizations, Austrian ministers and banks based in the Austrian capital…

Following revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the US for its extensive spying on targets in Germany. “Spying among friends is not at all acceptable,” she famously said in the wake of the scandal.

BREAKING NEWS: Germans Are More Negative Than Americans

When it comes to German-American relations, I mean. Like holy Scheiße! Who would have ever expected that?

Germans

And here I thought Germans were such positive, can-do people who  have always been so, you know, upbeat and cheerful about German-American relations. In the past, I mean. Right? This just doesn’t make any sense. It’s just not their nature. Somebody should double-check these numbers.

6 charts on how Germans and Americans view one another

1. Americans think U.S.-German relations are in good shape, but Germans disagree.

2. German attitudes toward the U.S. have turned sharply negative in the Trump era.

3. Merkel gets positive reviews from Americans, especially Democrats.

4. Many Germans see the U.S. as a top foreign policy partner; fewer Americans feel the same way about Germany.

5. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to see Germany as an important partner for foreign policy.

6. There are transatlantic differences about defense spending.

Only 11% of Germans expressed confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs in 2017, down from 86% for Obama in 2016.