Analogy For The Future (Part 1)

June 7, 2006

Part 2 is in the near future. Seriously.

Yet another instalment of Tommi’s ex-pat experience? Probably not. But this will be good enough to fill a blog post.

Subtitle to this post: A possible solution to western societies problems can be found in Germany. It’s hidden deeply in an analogy. Come along with me, try a bit of real nonsense.

Worst-writer has found what is wrong with Germany as of 2006 and this might apply to the whole of the world. Off we go to good ole’ sauerkraut country where the beer flows freely and so to do the Fräuleins.

I’m not sure if this is good or bad in all cases but, in Germany, it takes an Ausländer to figure things out. Historical examples of this include importing Austrians to produce television. This was the result of not being prepared for the inhumanly difficult task of actually producing quality entertaining TV after Germany’s rundfunk deregulation. Germans realised quickly that you can’t make TV with a bunch of pseudo-communist civil servants or a handful of bored professors and intellectuals. And it doesn’t stop there. In order to make TV funny they imported Dutch people, as well (because none of the Brits they invited would come). And then, of course, they imported Italian and run-away east-block and thrown away French women to expose their breasts in order to give TV a bit of spice. So much for the issue of being an Ausländer in Germany.

Also, to better set the mood here. Let me refer to a former statesmen who, at the time, was able to summarise Germany’s problems in relatively simple terms:

  • Bismarck: Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.
  • Wilhelm: Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.
  • Hitler: How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.

Germans haven’t found a simple way of likening their current problems with everyday, simple stuff. Just look at their tax laws. (I cant believe Wiki has an English article on the complexity of German tax laws.)

Now, I don’t want to wax myself too shinny here but I think I might have found what the Germans need. I haven’t put it into a nice little sentence worth quoting yet, but I have found it in the form of an analogy.

The Autobahn

If you’re interested in getting a feel for what it’s like on the infamous Autobahn then see my short story here. The German Autobahn is an amazing place in the cosmos of all things-worst. This is mainly because the Germans are able to build roads that are simply motherfucking good. Of course the friggin cars are ok, too, if you can friggin afford them. The only problem Germans have is, like other countries, they are a day-late and a Euro-short in actually building enough roads for all the cars they sell. But that’s not what I want to get into here.

If you drive the Autobahn on a regular basis – like I do – you might start noticing that life is a bitch not due to speed-limits or construction sites but because of the lack of understanding regarding the dynamics of modern life. And it’s the same for politics, right? Again, comparatively speaking, with their outrageous system of learning how to drive, Germans are actually quite good and I trust them when they’re on the right, left or front of the road. Hell, compared to America, where I learned to drive, I’d rather drive with the French around the Arc de Triumph.

Because of the dynamics of high speeds and cars that can go like a bat out of hell, the Germans have to eventually realise that there is more to life than left, right and front. Allow me to digress for another moment. Here some basic rules, written and unwritten, about driving in Germany. These same rules apply, relatively speaking, to running a country:

  1. Never pass on the right
  2. Use signals to change lanes
  3. Use left signal to pass – on the left only!
  4. There is a 20km/h cushion with cameras to avoid tickets
  5. Never break for wild-animals, domesticated pets or humans (if they’re on the Autobahn)
  6. Know your adversary buy understanding the engine designations which are posted on the rear of ninety-five-percent of German cars.

These rules are really cool and well thought out in a world where everything is right, left and front. But here’s the problem. What happens when right, left and front break down? Enter the fourth (dare I say) dimension of autobahn life. That’s right. Its time to start watching and proactively working with what’s coming up your ass.

A consumer driven society has become accustomed to focussing on one of three of the possible four sides of life. One of the reasons for this is that the three sides of life (left, right, front) have been sufficient up to, well, the end of the twentieth century. Theres simply been no need for the fourth.

Exit stage right. Enter globalisation stage…

Globalisation is ultimately nothing more than a backlash to the improper behaviour of the working class. (Think, if you will, for just a sec, of Plato’s tripartite.) The ruling class realised during the boom of the 90s that not only their existence was threatened but they were about to overwhelmed by group of people that were working harder than their grandparents, who whom ever they inherited from, ever did. They quickly discovered the weakness of the rising tech-nerds and countered. Enter G. W. Bush. Obviously this was easy coup de tat as the tech-nerds, confused by their sudden wealth, most of them looking like the Beverly Hillbillies with pocket protectors, didn’t invest any of their wealth in themselves but instead put all their money in the play ground of the ruling class, i.e. the stock market. And we all know what happened after that.

What does that have to do with the German Autobahn? The only way for things to work, politically and economically, is that the fourth side to life is allowed to enter the game. The ruling class knows this, btw. (And if you ask me, and no one will, there is a class that Plato forgot  but that’s for another post.)

Keep in mind, politicians are all clamouring to stop the fourth side of life. That’s because politicians (all of them) are in the hands of some corporate overlord. And so. The reason the Autobahn (metaphor for western governments?) unfortunately doesn’t work anymore is because people don’t understand that in order for traffic to flow consistently drivers must not only watch out for what is in front, to the right and left, but also what is behind and cumin up their ass. Drivers on the Autobahn must adjust, matching the dynamics of all directions. Does this idea blow anyones mind? Think about driving and not only watching the front and all sides but also the back. What a great idear, eh! To add to the flame, a driver should also be able to understand the dynamics of the rules posted above especially the last one. So. Am I advocating a class society determined by our automobiles?

Who knows? But here this: wake up sheople.

What is clear is that something has to happen so that I can drive my new Audi from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf in an hour. That would be really kraut-cool.

Rant on.


Blind Text And HDT

Subtitle: How Not To Get A Job

Oh, the nonsense. Who wrote it best? That would have to be Henry David Thoreau. My man. Wish I had the balls to live in hut and eat tree bark. Wish I had a friend who would afford me the land on a lake. One of my favorite HDTs:

”The opportunities of living are diminished in proportion as what are called the means are increased.”

What does HDT exactly mean by that? I think he means there ain’t no opportunity no-more. Period. I believe him more and more. I’m unwilling to submit myself to the McJob culture of modern times so I have been unemployed since the year of our lord 2001. I mean, employment is the ’means’, right? Or is buying the ’means’? Wait…

I haven’t bought a new pair of pants in three years. It’s the year of your lord 2006 and I’m actually sewing holes in throw-away-society socks bought at the stores founded by Sam Walton who was so smart about the ’means’ of diminishing proportions.

Not giving up, though. Trying. For example, since I write so much, my girlfriend thought I should try and get a job as a journalist for a German periodical, writing in English of course. Here’s what we put together as part of the material to promote my skills. Kind of silly, I know, take it with a grain of salt or the spit of a frog. My girl wouldn’t let me send it though because she said it was

1. incomplete

2. not serious



”Für mich ist Tempo nicht entscheidend”

Ich bin Blindtext. Von Geburt an. Es hat lange gedauert, bis ich begriffen habe, was es bedeutet, ein blinder Text zu sein: Man macht keinen Sinn. Man wirkt hier und da aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen. Oft wird man gar nicht erst gelesen. Aber bin ich deshalb ein schlechter Text?

SPIEGEL: Would you like to work for Spiegel’s influential and growing English site? TGS: Sure.

SPIEGEL: Are you a native English speaker?

TGS: Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

SPIEGEL: Are you a gifted writer with several years of professional editorial experience and extensive knowledge of international politics and cultural trends?

TGS: Well… not really. But… I produced a book once for a mid-sized (and very old) German software company. The book is called Electronic Business. I managed the whole production of the book. I was also asked to write an article for the British magazine Knowledge. Yeah, I did it during that the dotcom stuff  you know the stuff the Germans never quite understood.

SPIEGEL: Are you fluent in German?

TGS: Scheiflt ein Bür im Wald?

SPIEGEL: Do you possess a minimum of three years of professional experience in print or online journalism?

TGS: Sorry. You might want to let me slide on that one. You see, Im like Germanys worst nightmare. I know you guys like the back of my. I also know that which made you. Its kind of like looking at yourself through the eyes of your maker.

SPIEGEL: Pardon the bad cultural analogies, but are you someone who constantly flips the channel between Phoenix and Arte and is as comfortable reading Goethe as Wladimir Kaminer?

TGS: Your analogy would probably work better if you contrasted Arte with a Privatsender. Goethe bores the hell out of me but I did read some of his stuff. I prefer Die Leiden des jungen Werther. Vladimir who? Ok, I looked him up. Reminds me of a former Russian friend of mine, also named Vladimir, who came over at the same time as your friend. I produced a few plays with him as director and royal pain the ass. Yeah, those Russians today… they should better concentrate on doing things that might be interesting to the world instead of coming over here to finally afford 4-ply toilet paper. SPIEGEL: We look for a person with a great knack for editing, writing, reporting and translation. TGS: Good for you.

SPIEGEL: In addition, candidates must be capable of paying rigorous attention to detail and have the ability to work independently in a fast-paced newsroom with daily deadlines.

TGS: Deadlines, and meeting them? I did that at McKinsey. I can deal with editorial pressures. SPIEGEL: Candidates with Internet savvy will be given strong preference…

TGS: I worked intensely on the installation and development of an e-commerce platform for Philips in

Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Stockholm. I was also the Internet guru for the consultancy Booz-Allen- Hamilton. Now look at me… I’m writing this weblog.

SPIEGEL: Would you be willing to work as a freelancer as well?

TGS: Sure… I’m so willing all you have to do is ask and I’m on my knees or bent over – which ever way you cho(o)se…

Rant on.