Posts tagged "Germany"
Homeland Insecurity

Homeland Insecurity

Seeing this photograph of graffiti in Stuttgart transported me back to my time as an exchange student in Germany. Not so much for the cleverness of the critique it implies — though I do appreciate it — but because I spent much of my stay asking myself the very same question, “What the fuck is Heimat?” More»

Traumatized by Fascism

Traumatized by Fascism

People with direct experience of totalitarian regimes are understandably wary of iconography. When you’ve been exposed to stylized images of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and their ilk day after day, year after year, seeing anybody flattened into a stereotype is unsettling.  And when that celebrity treatment has explicitly political implications, the anxiety mounts. More»

The Problem With Austerity

The Problem With Austerity

When the House and Senate budget talks got underway a few weeks ago, Paul Ryan, the GOP’s lead running dog on economic policy, reiterated the party line: The current situation is unsustainable. Negative consequences will fall hardest on the poor and the elderly. Therefore, sacrifices must be made…by the poor and the elderly. More»

Death Panels in Germany?

Death Panels in Germany?

The turmoil in the United States surrounding the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”, has baffled onlookers around the globe. Most Americans pay far more for their medical expenses than people in other countries. Yet a sizable percentage of them seem to equate this state of affairs with freedom. More»

Promoting Post-Tourism

Promoting Post-Tourism

For over a decade, artists and intellectuals have been touting Berlin as an alternative to overpriced and overpopulated metropolises like London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. And even now, despite a rising tide of gentrification, the city’s rougher neighborhoods remain a bargain for people with a bourgeois support network. The problem, though, is that long-time natives of these neighborhoods typically lack one. More»

Ruts Never Sleeps

Ruts Never Sleeps

Drummer David Ruffy and bassist John “Segs” Jennings peer out of the poster announcing a German tour this past weekend for their legendary punk-reggae band Ruts DC as members of a unique club within the first-wave punk generation. Theirs is one of the few bands that has endured the slings of mortality during both their salad days and in their later revival years. More»

Is Anti-Semitism the New Black?

Is Anti-Semitism the New Black?

The unfinished project of Enlightenment has been traversing an especially dark stretch of forest lately. From restrictions on traditional Muslim clothing, to strong resistance to the building of mosques and Islamic cultural centers, much of Europe has seen a sharp rise of what might be called intolerance of intolerance. More»

Audience Participation Advised

Audience Participation Advised

Everyone likes street art. Where there’s a mural, chances are, there’s someone taking a picture. Given the decline of music as a counter-cultural idiom (at least a mass one) it seems like eyes are focused on visuals. At least those with something to say. Considering the depressing political climate of the past decade, at least there’s a heart still beating, somewhere in the arts. More»

We Are All Edward Snowden

We Are All Edward Snowden

The slogan sounds so good that it’s hard, at first, to register its strangeness: “We are all Edward Snowden.” Consider how many people had access to the same information he did, whether at the NSA or the private contractor where he was employed. But only he made it public. More»

Anarchy in Turkish

Anarchy in Turkish

The consensus is clear. Middle Eastern equals conservative. So Westerners have come to assume after decades of politically over-determined news coverage, and militaristic foreign policy posturing, by the United States and its allies following the Iranian Revolution. The assumption is universal. Even Israel is subject to this distortion, albeit for different reasons, stemming from its conflict with the Palestinians. More»

Dear Ex-Nazis

Dear Ex-Nazis

You may have seen these posters plastered all over Germany. ‘Operation Last Chance’ is a witch hunt calling for all those who were Nazis and have yet gone unpunished. To be imprisoned and to rot. The organisation behind it says they have never met a Nazi who showed any remorse. This begs many questions. Is this true?  More»

Social Justice (in English)

Social Justice (in English)

English used to be synonymous with tourism. Visit any European city, and the chances were, if you saw something written in English, it was aimed at foreigners. Or, depending on where you were, American forces stationed in the area. Particularly in Germany, which boasted amongst the largest concentrations of US forces stationed abroad during the Cold War. More»