An open letter to the Coen Brothers
Dear Joel and Ethan,
This story will very soon be a film. Please make sure that you two write and direct it. You are the only people who could do justice to the farcical nature of it.
Newly discovered documents have revealed that Nazi officials got themselves into a bit of a tizz over a Finnish dog which raised its paw in response to the command "Hitler". According to AP, piss-taking mutt Jackie was owned by pharmaceutical company boss Tor Borg, whose German wife Josefine was known for not being …
If they wanted their dog to insult Hitler they would have trained it to urinate on command, not raise its paw. When I was training a puppy I thought it was amusing to use certain pages of a newspaper for the dog to do its business on... photos of a particular prime minister. A number two right on the face was particularly hysterical. Ahh, toilet humour, can't beat it.
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog."
"Just months before making the name of Germany mud forever, Nazis had nothing better to do than kill off civilians and amused themselves with the attendant logistics"
"Just hours before an heroing in Berlin Bunker, Nazis had nothing better to do than play games on maps of Germany with nonexistent armies"
I would have to say that Germany has redeemed itself. It is now one of the last bastions of personal liberty left in this world. Thanks in large part to the experiences the country had under the Nazi regime, the country as a whole is very sensitive to any infringements upon personal liberties by governments or by corporations. They are one of the few governments to stand up to major corporations that screw regular people and are even one of the loudest detractors of dangerous cults like Scientology.
Germany – whatever her past sins – is forgiven. She has become one of the – if not the – greatest places on Earth to live. I would trust the Germans - or the EU - to protect my freedoms far more readily than I would the Americans, Australians, British or many other western countries. From Nazi Germany to defender of the common man and potentially one of the last remaining hopes of free and liberal thinking individuals everywhere in less than 100 years.
Germany is certainly moving in the right direction…and with impressive speed.
Is Germany really a bastion of personal liberty? If it was you'd be allowed to do *anything*.
There has been a huge swing away from the Nazi past, but that is perhaps just an over reaction to distance Germany from the Nazi past.
If Germany was truly open to personal liberty you'd be allowed to say nice things about the Nazi past, but you're not allowed to hold neo-Nazi rallies etc as you can in many other countries.
btw: I'm not at all pro neo-Nazi, but surely freedom of expression should allow all points of view.
You must be a Tea Party member.
Personal liberty is balanced against the needs of the many. Let me clarify this for you:
1) The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one).
2) The needs of the few (or the one) outweigh the desires of the many.
Germany does an absolutely fantastic job of balancing individual liberties against the needs of society as a whole. Now, I wouldn't expect a Tea Party member to understand that. Their viewpoints are so unbelievably pro-corporatists anti-government they border on anarchists wanting to actually volunteer for indentured servitude. (Some Tea Party members actually would be just fine with selling people into slavery!)
I don’t know how much you know about Germany, but I know quite a lot. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching it and talking to numerous people there as I prepare to apply for a visa and hopefully obtain citizenship. Germany is not a country that “represses” anyone or restricts their freedoms of speech or movement without a damned good reason and a absolutely enormous amount of furious debate.
The society has moved quite a bit past “trying to distance themselves from a Nazi past.” The concept of personal liberties is burned into the very soul of this country. So is the concept of challenging the rise of dangerous cults, organisations (Like the Tea Party) which seek to sell your personal liberties to businesses with a sly wink about “freedom,” or any other organisation that threatens to do serious harm to the fabric of a functional, economically powerful social democracy.
Germans don’t have the mentally strangled concept that “the government is automatically an evil boogyman in all things.” The German government can probably be trusted with most things more than any other government on Earth. Not only that, if they do get uppity, Germans have more power over their government than do Americans, Canadians or the British. You see, lobbying – while impossible to eliminate entirely – is heavily restricted in Germany. Germany votes actually count for something! They also have procedures in place to remove their sitting members of parliament in the middle of a term if they happen to prove to be working against the best interests of the people.
Germany have strong FOIP laws that ensure most of what their government does occurs under an extremely powerful microscope. More importantly, they have programms in place to actively encourage voter participation in the political process that results in a country without nearly as much voter apathy as you find in the rest of the western world. Folks in Germany know what their government is up to, they have the power to affect that government directly and they /care/ enough to get off the sofa and hold a damned protest or five when the time is right.
All in all, Germans don’t need to be afraid of their government. Their government is rightly and properly afraid of the Germans.
Overall, the banning of organisations like Scientology and neo-nazi groups isn’t “the government boogyman” restricting the liberties of individuals. It is /the people/ making a decision that these groups are a direct threat to the needs of the many. There aren’t many reasons why one should ever condone the restriction of any individuals freedoms…but the kind of threat these groups represent to the bulk of society is indeed one.
You may not agree – hell, if you’re Tea Party then you’re likely so indoctrinated that you can’t actually grasp the concepts laid forth through the haze of misinformation and fear. Still, I believe it to be the right, true and proper way to run a society. Mind you, I believe in something greater than myself. I believe that /the people/ are more important than my personal self.
That isn’t a belief in religion, sonny. It’s a belief in a fundamental right and wrong that transcends religion, transcends politics and should transcend the haze of personal selfishness and entitlement that clouds certain societies. I can’t explain it to you – I am not a philosopher – but those of us who believe in this set of ethics would give our lives for it. Our ancestors fought in world wars because they too believed it. Your ancestors fought in those same wars for the same reasons. The difference is that in some countries – the US and Australia predominantly – this message has gotten horribly corrupted over time by the selfish interests of greedy corporates.
It isn't "the government boogyman" I fear. It isn't even Nazis. (I know for a fact this world would rise up against them once more.) What I fear is the insidious corporate anarchists slowly gaining hold in western countries. I refuse to be beholden to a corporation. I refuse to give up on my fellow man simply because a corporation wants to make profits selling insurance, education and dozen other products that are far more efficiently handled as public social programs. I refuse to believe that my fellow men are “moochers” and “Trying to cheat the system – and me out of my tax dollars.”
Instead, I will flee to a country where this isn’t true. One that will stand against the tide. The country that will defend what is right and good about this world and stand up against that which is wrong. That country sir is most definitively and resoundingly not the United States of America. That country is Germany. She and her sister countries in the EU are in my personal opinion the last true hope of preserving the concepts of personal liberty and far more importantly those of /social responsibility/ left in this world.
If you can’t understand that, then I pity you, for the chances are that you never will.
So does this mean it's likely today that if someone in the UK taught their dog to cock a leg at the sound of 'David Cameron!', or roll onto it's back and wiggle its legs in the air waiting for a tummy tickle at the sound of 'Tony Blair!' whilst naming it 'Cleggy', that person would be questioned under the old photographer's favourite, Terrorism Act 2000, and placed under surveillance by 'Five for the next 20 years so that Harry Pearce knows *exactly* how many times a day they fart, where they go for a haircut and in which post office they pay their bills?
Why did not call them "Grauniad" as is the received usage? I was very confused and had to look up the original article - only when I saw the correction of a typographical error at the page's foot I recognised what paper you were talking about.
Please think of your continental readers and do not make comprehension of your texts needlessly complicated by not keeping to proper and usual terms.
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