Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Deutsche

Bryan is obsessed by Germans. He loves it when they play synthesizer music and dress up in skinny suits and dance funny. He loves that in the German language, a fork is feminine and a spoon is masculine, while a knife is neuter. He loves the way there is a certain shade of pink nylon that, when applied to a backpack, can only be of German manufacture. He loves how, when someone's speaking German, their mouth moves nearly twice as much as an English- speaking mouth does. I also suspect he loves that Angela Merkel totally rocks the decolletage and is all, "What are YOU looking at Nicolas Sarkozy? What's Carla Bruni wearing these days? A 32A? A 34B?"

So, tonight we watched a documentary about Krautrock, which is interesting like listening to a description of how a Geiger counter works is interesting. However, it got me thinking about Germany, because I realize I really feel for the Germans. This may be, in part, because I'm a Southerner, and when I go other places and tell people where I'm from, sometimes people ask me things like "So, what was that Civil War thing all about? Do you guys seriously hate black people or what?" This always makes me feel like I did when the college advisor in high school always got me mixed up with the really mean, bedraggled looking girl on the swim team. And sure, we looked a little alike, but my hair wasn't green and I knew how to string an English sentence together without using a foul expletive. And yet, every time I walked into that lady's office she gave me a meaningful nod and rifled thorough her filing cabinet and got out that other girl's file, and I'd have to correct her and she would giggle and roll her eyes and say, "Really, you could be sisters."

So, anyway, I started feeling sorry for the Germans tonight because this Civil War thing obviously happens to them all the time, but compounded by about a grillion. Strangely enough, the Nazis still touch a nerve with just about every single person in the whole entire world. In that documentary we were watching, there was an interview with this musician who was in an early Krautrock band, talking about being a "Hitler Youth," as in, he had been a child during WWII and had to goose step in the streets with all the rest of the Aryan kids. He didn't have much of a choice, much as I was not consulted about the Civil War. However, even though Oregonians sometimes ask me why "we" southerners hate black people so much, the fact remains I have the cushion of 3-4 generations to fall back on. All that Nazi business was going down within both my parents' lifetimes. Not only is that not much of a generational cushion, it's a pretty hard floor. I'm sorry, German people.

In conclusion, that's my issues essay for the week.

Auf wiedersehen!

No comments:

Post a Comment