Get Your Popcorn Ready

It’s May Day in Berlin! And Berliners are big on tradition.

May

Tuesday I watched the riot . . .
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ’em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

Berliner Polizei rechnet mit heftigen Krawallen – 5300 Beamte im Einsatz

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Finding Friends Now Illegal In Germany

If you had any friends, you wouldn’t have to find them, right?

Facebook

And trying to find friends who aren’t your friends yet would only be an imposition and a possible violation of their Gott-given data privacy rights.

So just why are you trying to find these friends, anyway? Do you have some hidden agenda we don’t know about? What are you really up to? And, more importantly, why are you standing on ze corner?

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has upheld a 2014 judgement that Facebook’s Friend Finder feature is illegal under laws concerning both unwanted commercial promotions and data protection, following an appeal by the social media giant.

The album (Weasels Ripped My Flesh) also documents the brief tenure of Lowell George (guitar and vocals), who went on to found the country-rock band Little Feat with Mothers bassist Roy Estrada . On “Didja Get Any Onya?”, George affects a German accent to relate a story of being a small boy in Germany and seeing “a lot of people stand around on the corners asking questions, ‘Why are you standing on the corner, acting the way you act, looking the way you look, why do you look that way?'”

I’m The Stress

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have just found out that stress is not only stressful, it is even contagious.

Stress

But it doesn’t stop there, folks. It is so contagious that you can even get it just by watching German TV.

And this is supposed to be news? I’ve known about this for years. The German TV part, I mean.

“I am gross and perverted. I’m obsessed and deranged. I have existed for years, but very little has changed. I’m the tool of the government and industry too, for I am destined to rule and regulate you. I may be vile and pernicious, but you can’t look away. I make you think I’m delicious, with the stuff that I say. I’m the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet? I’m the stress oozing out from your TV set.”

Wer den Fernseher einschaltet, um abzuschalten, sollte das mit Bedacht tun.

Guy Paid To Warn Germans About Too Much Video Surveillance Warns Germans About Too Much Video Surveillance

This guy and millions of other Germans, too (although they don’t get paid and therefore do it for free).

Video

Datenschutzbeauftragten (data protection officers) are just that way over here, whether they’re Datenschutzbeauftragten or not.

It doesn’t matter that most of this video surveillance might be taking place for a reasonable reason (like crime prevention/fighting – think Boston Marathon), there is clearly a pathological fear of being watched in play over here (and not just over here, either). It’s a sign of the times, I guess. I know. It’s only paranoia (but I like it).

Oh. This suddenly reminded me of some old lyrics (sort of) to Frank Zappa’s Didja Get Any Onya?

…Years ago in Germany when I was a very small boy, zere was a lot of people standing around on ze corners asking questions: “Why are you standing on ze corner, acting ze way you act, looking like you look? WHY DO YOU LOOK THAT WAY?” And they ask me and I only would say: “I don’t . . . I don’t know, I’m just standing ’round ze corner waiting here . . . just in . . . in ze evening, and . . . and it’s so nice outside . . . the night is so nice . . . why . . . are you just asking these questions . . . ”

“Offenbar scheint eine notorische Neigung zu bestehen, Nachbarn zu überwachen. Und eine pathologische Befürchtung, überwacht zu werden.”