This weekend in Lüneburg was the, excuse me, Das Oktoberfest. It is nothing, so I have heard, compared to the real Oktoberfest in Munich. There it is inadvisable to look under the tables unless you want to look at a flowing river of puke and piss. In Lüneburg it was not so intense but interesting none the less.
On the first night, me and Jens didn’t go the Das Oktoberfest but instead went on a short pub crawl at the end of which we decided to stop at a Kneipe called “Zur Neuen Sülze.” Usually this place is pretty tough but tolerable. I had a really interesting birthday there. What we didn’t take into account this night of course was Das Oktoberfest going on about half a mile away. When the tent closed down at about three am, those who were not yet drunk enough came over to finish the job and do it right. Whenever I go there they are always playing really bad 80’s shit. I like to piss people off by putting “Playing With Fire” by The Rolling Stones and anything from James Brown. Last weekend was no exception. In went the Euros. We got some fries and sat in the corner out on the deck to observe the going-ons. This night was especially colorful. Nazi skinheads on one side staring down the Turks, Turks on the other side staring down the skinheads, and Hells Angels just waiting for the fun to begin. People making out and getting naked. Unfortunately it wasn’t anybody I would like to see making out and getting naked. Then some really funny guy (sarcasm) was pulling down his pants and farting in peoples faces. He was really amusing himself. I’ll think I will hold off going there for a while. It was a little traumatic.
Oh yeah. Back to Das Oktoberfest:
It was basically a fun fair with rides and games and a huge tent filled with long picnic tables, a non-stop oompa-oompa band in the corner, and lots of waitresses with medieval cleavage serving up the beer. So we went in and had a small beer. In the case of Das Oktoberfest, that means a half liter. We also had a few tasty sausages with mustard.
Fairs and carnivals always bring out a certain element of society that you usually don’t see that often. I mean, where else does one go to see a family of mullets? I’m not just talking one or two. I mean the whole family. 4 smaller mullets all following the Alpha-Mullet? A fun-fair/carnival of course. Where do they hang out during the day when there is no carnival? It’s not like they follow it around, thats what the carnies are for (Another social stratum in and of itself). Anyway, I digress. I’ll publish my essay on German Mullets some other day.
The highlight of my short visit to das Lüneburger Oktoberfest was during a song from the oompa-oompa band. Some elderly fella apparenly thought it was a group participation sing-along and proceeded to jump alone onto the table. After 5 seconds he fell onto the ground and immediately stands back up, uninjured, minus toupeé. He promptly picked it up, dusted it off, and plopped it back on his head. Needless to say it looked very unnatural after that. Sorta like a critter, or a tribble, or..something. I’m sure he had fun though.
Well, I was trying to take a pause from the news and other assorted media because it was just driving me crazy. It is just so depressing. The Man In Black, Ritter, and this:
In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al-Qaida cells but on people charged with common crimes.
The Justice Department said it has used authority given to it by the USA Patriot Act to crack down on currency smugglers and seize money hidden overseas by alleged bookies, con artists and drug dealers.
I for one welcome our new Orwellian overlords.
The nation’s schools are telling an unbalanced story of their own country, offering students plenty about America’s failings but not enough about its values and freedoms, says a report drawing support across the ideological spectrum.
Without a change of approach, schools will continue to turn out large numbers of students who are disengaged in society and unappreciative of democracy, the report contends.
I would like to support such a program but I can also understand why a lot of kids might feel the way they do about America’s past and especially America’s present. Take a look at this article published the day after in the Guardian concerning thousands of top secret documents that have been declassified in the last 5 years:
September 11 1973 was a day of terror and bloodshed in Chile. After months of rising tension, army troops stormed the presidential palace, leaving President Salvador Allende dead and thousands prisoners throughout this previously democratic nation. (Emphasis is mine)
Oh it gets better….
The top secret documents accumulatively detail the crude workings of Washington during the Cold War. “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup,” reads a CIA document from October 1970. “It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”
Read the article and then ask yourself how it feels to be a proud American. That is if your were lucky enough to be born in the middle of the North American continent. I’m all for teaching kids to love their country. It’s that love for one’s country that should inspire them to make it better, but hell can you blame them for saying, “Aw fuck it”? I don’t understand how when people hear about what went on in Chile, Viet Nam, Afgahnistan, Iraq, Central America, Panama, Etcetera, et-fucking-cetera, that they don’t get mad and demand that heads roll. Innocent people being killed for economical gain is not what I was taught to be American Values. Future History Teachers of America! Can we get some Truth? Die Zeit ist reif für eine Revolution.
War of words Interesting article about English words invading the German language. Sometimes I hear words that are obviously English but I have no idea what they mean because they are used in a completely different context. This is especially common in the IT sector, in which I work. Often I have no idea what someone is talking about and half of the words are in English. Kids on the street here are all about cool English phrases. “Whazzup” They often sound like they are trying sooo hard to be cool and I just laugh at them with bored amusement. I also hear tough guy english phrases translated directly into German. For example: aufsteppen for Step off! or “Ich werde dich kappen” for “I’m gonna cap you.” German kids with blue eyes and blond hair dress to the nines like hard-core thuggin’ gangstas but they have no idea that if they were to be seen like that in SouthSide Chicago or in Compton they would have their lilly white asses handed to them so fast. It is so weird how American pop culture is so prevalent everywhere. Not a put down. Just an observation.
There is not much new going on here. I’ve been having a couple of hard weeks at work. I wish I could get into it here but I can’t. I’ve been putting up with way more than I have to. I’ve been pushed real close to getting up and walking out. There is a stupid little stamp in my passport called an “Aufenthaltserlaubnis” that won’t let me do it.
Hello Rock. Say, do you know my friend Hard Place?
I did go to the Handwerkerstrasse in the Aldstadt here in Lüneburg on Sat. The Altstadt (old city) is the oldest part of Lüneburg. All the buildings and houses are carefully restored and they look really good considering they are all like 600(!) years old. Anyway, they blocked off the streets and even covered up all modern street signs and lights. The local craft guilds set up traditional workshops and hawked their wares. There was local brewed beer, traditional medieval food (uh no thanks, the chunky mustard looks a little too traditional. I’ll pass), and even a witch being dragged through the streets. Fun for the whole family.
I finished the Harry Potter book. Not bad, not bad. Little bit more psychologically dark than the others. Lots of British sayings like nutter and blimey!. They even say “Damn” and “Hell”. Sweet.
Here is a great link concerning the false notion held by many Americans who believe that Saddam Hussein was in some way responsible for Sept. 11. If you are one of the 45% of Americans who believe this, you are wrong and have been lied to. Have a nice day.
Here are pictures from my trip to America.