I don’t usually tend to panic when reading newspapers, but when German journalists start writing articles critical of the media’s “eternal ramblings about doomsday,” I get very nervous indeed. This is news, in other words, primarily because this isn’t news to me.
Evelyn Finger’s main concern here is the German obsession with “the” Krise (crisis) in general (crises plural) and the latest so-called Krise der Demokratie (crisis of Democracy) in particular.
“In the meantime (it started out long ago with “the oil crisis,” she believes) we have become all too accustomed to terms like education crisis, energy crisis, climate crisis and, most recently, financial crisis, debt crisis and euro crisis. We have all hoped that these crises would not prove to become any more threatening than they already are, especially since our linguistic capacity to express more crisis seems to have been exhausted: World financial crisis! But a new threatening term has been spooking the debates as of late: A crisis of Democracy. Is there really such a crisis or is the chatter about it the real problem?”
We all know the answer to that question, of course. She rightly finds this obsessive German Angslust (passion for fear) ridiculous and has no trouble exposing it for what it is; mindless, self-indulgent, neurotic nonsense. But I do wish she would have had the decency to have warned me first. I don’t like stumbling accross articles like this in German newspapers, articles that make sense by expressing something we used to call “common sense.” If I had wanted to read articles like that I wouldn’t have bought a German newspaper in the first place.
But thanks anyway, Evelyn. You may have shaken me up a bit, but I really do hope you have a pleasant week.
Das Wort Krise hatte seinen Schrecken schon fast verloren. Es klang in den letzten Monaten auch bei dramatischer Nachrichtenlage etwas schwach und durch häufigen Gebrauch abgenutzt.