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.

No Taxation Without Decent Stations!

You say you want a revolution? Then GEZ out on the street and do something about it, people. “Public” TV? Sure. As long as the public has a choice about being forced to finance it or not.

GEZ

Since the 1970s, every German household with a television or radio has paid a monthly fee, called the GEZ, to finance public TV and Deutschlandradio, the national public radio network.

But in 2013, the government began to require every household and business to pay the approximately $20 monthly fee even if they don’t own a TV or radio…

In a sign of growing resistance, Beitragsservice issued more than 25 million warnings to households last year for not paying the fee, a 20% increase over 2014, according to its latest figures.

480 Millionen Euro nur fürs Personal: Das plant das ZDF mit Ihren GEZ-Gebühren.

At Least They Got The Dominatrix Part Right

I love Conan O’Brien. But I have to agree with this article here that his show didn’t seem to get much right during his trip to Berlin (to be aired tonight). When it comes to Berlin, I mean.

Dominatrix

The US comedian came to Berlin in the summer to shoot material for an on-the-road version of his show. Word has it he visited some of the capital’s grungier clubs and generally took in the city’s alternative scene. So why to God does the teaser to his show involve him dancing in lederhosen to the music of a moustachioed accordion player? It is about as accurate as a German going to Honolulu and filming himself line dancing in cowboy garb.

“Me going to a dominatrix seemed like it would be compelling. And it turned out to be even more compelling because she didn’t treat it like a joke! She wanted to put things inside of me and do things to me, and I kept trying to stop her but keep it on the line where it would still be comedic but not break my marital vows.”

German Of The Day: Liebling

That means Liebling (favorite, darling). You know, like Liebling Kreuzberg? That was one of my Liebling TV shows I used to watch way back when in a place they used to call “West Berlin.”

Liebling

Manfred Krug, Mr. lawyer Liebling himself, passed away today. An interesting character, somehow managing to be successful and remain popular on both sides of what they used to call “the Berlin Wall.” Rest in peace.

Er war unser “Liebling Kreuzberg” und die Personifizierung eines Berliners, dabei stammte er aus Duisburg: Manfred “Manne” Krug.

Plans Already Well Underway For Next Year’s Last Place Eurovision Showing

For Germany, I mean.

ESC

German producer Stefan Raab has already developed a so-called Vorentscheid or preliminary decision show to let German Eurovision fans experience up close and personal and far in advance just which German act will fall flat on its face in 2017.

A jury of representatives from the German music business has already been selected that will in turn select one unlucky winner to represent the Federal Republic during the international TV song competition as it is systematically shamed, disgraced and humiliated for the third year running at least.

Versteht nur Stefan Raab den ESC?

Sharia Police

Sounds like it would make a good cop show to me.

Sharia Police

I know. To give the German version an interesting twist they ought to name the main cop dude something bizarre like, I dunno, Sven or something.

An Islamist preacher suspected of leading self-styled “Sharia police” patrols in a German city is going on trial in Duesseldorf.

In 2014, Mr Lau is said to have led a group of men wearing high-visibility vests emblazoned with “Sharia police” on patrols in Wuppertal, western Germany in a bid to enforce their ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam.

What Germans Do In Their Free Time?

Free time

One popular thing these days is stockpiling food.

Arming themselves is another favorite pastime at the moment, too.

Losing confidence in the future is also big. But that’s always among the the top ten German free time activities anyway so, well, let’s move on (yeah, to the future).

Once they’re done with those they also enjoy window surfing (put that towel down first!), having fights about opening and closing windows and shaking their heads in disgust.

In surveys over the past 25 years, watching TV has been the unchallenged most popular pastime of the Germans. Through the introduction of TV sets in households in 1984, television consumption has continuously increased. This year, 97 percent of those polled by the “Hamburger Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen” said they watch the tube at least once a week – and that it is their favorite leisure activity.

“There Is No Plan B”

When it comes to Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.

Merkel

I can understand that and I value her candor. I would just really appreciate it if somebody could tell me what her Plan A is.

Speaking on German public television on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the policy of open borders for migrants would remain. Merkel dismissed a “rigid limit,” saying, “There is no point in believing that I can solve the problem through the unilateral closure of borders…”

Merkel’s party faces elections on March 13 when voters elect new regional parliaments in three of Germany’s 16 states. It is the first poll since the migrant crisis began.

Meine verdammte Pflicht und Schuldigkeit besteht darin, dass dieses Europa einen gemeinsamen Weg findet.”

Family Brown

Satire alarm! Please remain calm.

This neo-Nazi dude had a one-night-stand with this Eritrean chick seven years previously who is now being abgeschoben (deported) because of Ausländer raus (foreigners out) and all that so now he has to take care of his daughter who was the result of their short liaison.

Der guckt nicht traurig, der guckt nachdenklich. Er hat sehr viel nachgedacht früher.

PS: Today’s your last chance to get your FREE COPY of the highly acclaimed Smashwords ebook The Little Red Book: Of Little-Read Jokes about the Enlightened Left, which I can also highly recommend as I did the highly acclaiming part, too.