Archive for October of 2009

October 31, 2009
Speaking of German Culture

Offered without comment ...

October 30, 2009
Hiply Hectoring Hipster People

You've got to take a look at this, SureShot told me, it's just my thing. Ich werde ein Berliner, a blog by "Wash Echte", an English-speaking foreigner who lives in Germany and is chronicling his experiences in Berlin, as featured recently in the Tagesspiegel. One could certainly think I'd be interested, considering that I've now been in Hamburg for 23 years, over half my life, and I worked in Berlin for the past two and half years, living in an apartment in Berlin-Mitte until this past July.

What a disappointment, then, to go over there and find something so suffocatingly awful. It turns out, unfortunately, that our author Wash Echte is a pretentious, narcissistic poseur who has devoted an entire blog, since November of 2008, to sneer at "German people" as sneering, pretentious, narcissistic poseurs. The real target here is the urban hipster culture, certainly easy enough to pick on as excessively self-important and shallow, but Wash Echte refers to them indiscriminately as "German people" and badgers them with as much shallow, self-regarding hipness as he can muster. (The author's gender is not specified, as far as I can tell, so I'll just call him "him".) Such a thing might actually have some entertainment value -- Freudian projection as performance art, a maudlin display of someone shifting their own failings onto others, flamboyantly played out on the Internet so that all the world may marvel and gape. But for that, there'd have to be some sense of humor or irony, and there's nothing of the kind to be found here. It just drones, on and on and on.

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October 28, 2009
Stackenblochen

I am a little annoyed and amused at once by these kinds of American stereotypes about Germans. At best it's a bit dense, and the part at the end with the Nazis beating up a woman for no good reason is gratuitously nasty.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I once had a neighbor who really did Stackenblochen on his desk, arranging all of the objects on it so that their sides were parallel with the edges, and got annoyed if anything was off-kilter. That's just one example, but I can't deny that this kind of the thing is entirely not unheard of around here.