399,000 Euros

That’s what one regional director among the “public-sector broadcasters” (state TV) earns here annually – that guy down there. There a dozen or two of these directors out there, by the way.

Intendant

Why that’s more than the President of the United States makes (not that our current President particularly cares about what he gets paid).

Is TV that good here in Germany, you ask? Why yes, it is. Just ask that regional director. It is in fact so good that all Germans are permitted to finance it with a so-called Abgabe, or contribution. Contribution sounds better than tax. Contribution contributes more to the warm and fuzzy feeling everybody has here about state-run TV. And it also contributes to that guy’s ridiculous salary, too. But quality has its price. And as viewers are told time and time and time again, what they are watching is Quality pur (pure).

Wenn man immer geringere Bezahlung fordere, könnten sich am Ende nur noch Milliardäre leisten, eine öffentlich-rechtliche Anstalt zu leiten.

 

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Plague Beats Cholera

That was a debate? I’d say that’s debatable.

Debate

Aren’t these two the heads of the parties that form the current coaltion government in Germany? What on earth are two people who are condemmed to agree about everything they do going to debate about? That’s right. Nothing. And that’s what we got last night. A whole lot of it.

German of the day: Schnarch. That means snore.

The leaders of Germany’s two biggest parties went head to head on TV for the only time ahead of the September 24 vote. Merkel and Schulz sparred on topics ranging from migration to foreign policy.

 

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?