For speakers of German only

April 3, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Austria, German, Television | 4 Comments
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Note: This is NOT a comedian. It’s Thomas G. Hornauer, an entrepreneur who earned billions with phone sex lines. This documents his motivational speech after he took over an Austrian (?) TV station. He’s Suebian (German) though.

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Adam Green on German TV

March 31, 2008 at 6:56 am | Posted in German, music, TV | Leave a comment
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Too bad I missed out on this on TV – I saw him once in a concert once. I quite like how Stefan Raab is using German (and the fact that A.G. supposedly (?) doesn’t understand German) to crack jokes in a potentially uncomfortable situation.

I love youtube! And I’d like to buy a bottle of fries

September 15, 2007 at 10:20 am | Posted in Comedy, German, Youtube | 3 Comments
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Once again: A piece for the German audience – the classic sketch “Palim-Palim” (an onomatopoetic representation of the sound of the doorbell in a grocery store), also known as “‘ne Flasche Pommes Frites (A bottle of fries)”, starring Didi Hallervorden and featuring Gerhard Wollner. The sketch appeared in Hallervorden’s show Nonstop Nonsens, which was on air from 1975 to 1980 and is still aired occasionally. I guess that in a random group of Germans, at least three would still know it.

SPOILER WARNING!

Two inmates are bored by their daily routine of sitting on their bunk beds (“I’m bored… if only I had known this before…”). They decide to play shop, a shop in which the doors are always unlocked (that’s a pun). When they open they door, it goes “Palim-Palim”.
At first Gerhard is the shop-keeper. Didi enters the store and asks for a bottle of fries, an unexpected request for Gerhard. He tells Didi to try again.
Didi does his Palim-Palim routine again and this time asks for … a small bottle of fries. Gerhard suggests they swap roles so that Didi will learn how to act as a customer.
Now Gerhard enters the store, yet is asked by Didi whether the door bell was broken (no Palim-palim was to be heard). “Door’s already open”, Gerhard says, and proves it by opening and closing it (and making that sound) again.
Gerhard approaches the counter and says that he would like to buy some fries.
“Well”, Didi replies, “do you also have a bottle with you?”

Ahem. Maybe this is another example of German humour, but most Germans quite like that sketch. And if only for nostalgic reasons. Didi has indeed for years been one of the most anarchic comedians the country has to offer (and probably still is the most anarchic one, besides Helge Schneider, if you look at the current generation of German comedians).

Here is a transcript of the sketch.

Duits en Dutch en Nederlands

September 6, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Posted in German | 4 Comments
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De meneer Andrew vond het grappig om te beweren dat de Duitsers feitelijk ‘Dutch’ praten, en de Oostenrijkers Walloons. Da’s natuurlijk niet helemaal fout, en om hem dit de bewijzen zal ik nu voor een tijdje op ‘Hollands’ (Nederlands, ‘Dutch’) bloggen. Een goede oefening voor mij om mijn Nederlands niet helemaal kwijt te raken!

De heeer is er van mening dat ze met hun beetje Oud Engels in staat zouden zijn om dit te lezen en te begriepen. Welaan: Begin maar met je vertaling! Ik zal het zeker prettig vinden.

Het adres van mijn nieuwe blog, ookal heb ik er nog niet zo erg veel geschreven, is …iets met Piefke… – een Piefke is het woord wat de Oostenrijkers graag gebruiken om naar een Duitser te verwijzen.

Behind the scenes…

August 28, 2007 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Blogging, German | 14 Comments

… I have been starting a German blog, the URL of which I am going to post here when the time is right. Not that I didn’t have PLENTY of other things to do – yet I feel I need a German outlet, which is my native tongue anyway. It actually feels a bit odd to write a blog in German – surprisingly, kind of as if I was further away from myself, or at least putting on some kind of voice, in order to find the right on.

Which kind of a blogger am I?

May 17, 2007 at 11:36 am | Posted in Blogging, English, German, Life | 10 Comments
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There seems to be a general consent that there are two kinds of bloggers, even if the lines and criteria of distinction are often dissimilar.

Greg Knauss, emulating Jason Kottke, thinks that the two kinds of bloggers are the referential and the experiential one:

The referential blogger uses the link as his fundamental unit of currency, building posts around ideas and experiences spawned elsewhere: Look at this. Referential bloggers are reporters, delivering pointers to and snippets of information, insight or entertainment happening out there, on the Intraweb. They can, and do, add their own information, insight and entertainment to the links they unearth — extrapolations, juxtapositions, even lengthy and personal anecdotes — but the outward direction of their focus remains their distinguishing feature.

The experiential blogger is inwardly directed, drawing entries from personal experience and opinion: How about this. They are storytellers (and/or bores), drawing whatever they have to offer from their own perspective. They can, and do, add links to supporting or explanatory information, even unique and undercited external sources. But their motivation, their impetus, comes from a desire to supply narrative, not reference it.

Aaron Brazell proposes that

There are two kinds of bloggers: those who blog for themselves, and those who write for others. The first kind of blogger writes as an outlet for themselves; the second type tries to meet the readers’ needs. The problem comes when the first type tries to be the second type and fails.

A chap who calls himself Sirbastian Manning takes a technological approach:

There are two types of bloggers.
1. People who use premade software. These guys usually have loads to write about.
2. People who make their own software to blog with. These guys usually have nothing to write about (some do though).
I fit into the last group of people but now I’m using wordpress so I should start writing more.
Maybe tomorrow.

And cartoonist Jeff Danziger knows the ultimate truth about the two types of bloggersūüôā

Jeff Danziger

So which kind of a blogger are you? Which kind of a blogger am I? For the time being, I would simply describe myself as a blogger who has at one point made a resolution to write on post per today. That’s a statistical approach, but the rest follows from this. A certain quantity counts. And at the moment, I am also a blogger who considers reconsidering this resolution, as I feel I don’t really have the time for it – neither for writing about the things that do REALLY matter to me,

(e.g. about the annoying campaign of a club called Familiennetzwerk, i.e. family network, who are rallying to spread the word that day care children are severly traumatized and that there is no other way to protect a child’s sanity than by mothers’ giving up their jobs; recently on a television program, one of their spokes persons claimed that every third child in Sweden – a country where day care centres are not considered prisons, but a place of early social integration – was neurotic, basing her ‘research’ on just one Swedish publication by a woman who could, upon request, not produce any evidence for her findings; but the Familiennetzwerk doesn’t care, everybody can sing in their choir, for as long as they sing their tune… *grrrrrrrrr*)

nor for reading all the blogs out there that interest me. And if you have got just 11 blogs on your daily reading list, like I do, and you have another, presumably ‘real’ life to tend to, the demands of both tend to collide.

I am also considering writing in German – when I started, writing in English also meant to not align myself geography, which also lead me to the misspelling of the name of the province I live in, i.e. Vorradelberg. And know that I know that I am going to move away (relatively) soon, I might want to. Align myself. Geographically and linguistically. But then Cabbage, Lallopallo, Whetted and Nova wouldn’t be able to ‘read me’. Hmm.

The green white partybus:-)))

May 2, 2007 at 2:02 pm | Posted in German, police | 4 Comments
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As recommended by Jetsam: German football fans (a predominantly male species) regularly partake in a certain ritual which involves squatting on the floor first (1), engaging in a bit of antiphonious call and response (2) and concluding with bout of jumping up and down, clapping their hands and singing ‘Humba humba humba t√§ter√§√§, t√§ter√§√§, t√§ter√§√§’ (3).

The example below was recorded during the soccer world cup – German police men are not exactly known for their friendly attitude towards football fans, so this is a pleasant surprise. The guy sticking his head into the ‘green white partybus’ [one of the lines used in (2), green white being the conventional colour of German police vehicles] is using their electronic megaphone, with his chant blaring from the the roof of the car:-) Nice!

Hans Sachs, Schuhmacher und Poet (1491-1576)

April 30, 2007 at 7:01 am | Posted in German, Literature | 2 Comments
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hans SachsHeute ist mir nach einem deutschen Post zumute, wie auch anders, wenn mir Hans Sachs, der wortgewaltige Spr√ľcheklopfer der fr√ľhen Neuzeit zwischen die Finger ger√§t:

Der Hans Sachs, der war ein Schuh-
macher und Poet dazu.

O-Ton Hans Sachs. Wer kennt ihn noch? In der Volkstanz- und Trachtengruppe meiner Mutter ist er wohlbekannt, dort spielen die aktiven Mitglieder (50-60j√§hrig) den passiven Mitgliedern (70-90j√§hrig) allj√§hrlich am Dorfabend ein Hans-Sachs-St√ľck vor, dieses Jahr Das K√§lberbr√ľten Selbiges St√ľck wurde auch schon Mitte der siebziger aufgef√ľhrt, wie Fotodokumente bezeugen, und sicherlich auch in der Zwischenzeit. Was allerdings kein gerechtfertigter Anlass zum Unken ist, auch nicht, dass die sp√§teren Meistersinger ihr Regelwerk zur Beurteilung so streng angewendet haben, dass die Kunst im Keim erstickt wurde (mehr dazu in Wagners Meistersingern von N√ľrnberg).

108 Schauspiele, ca. 1800 Spruchgedichte und 4275 Meisterlieder soll der singende Schuhmacher verfasst haben – ein Meisterlied war ein Lied, dessen Text und Melodie der Autor selbst verfasst hatte, um es beim Zunfttreffen vorzutragen. Haupts√§chlich Handwerker schlossen sich den Meistersingerz√ľnften an – welch ein Luxus und wie sch√∂n w√§re es, wenn Handwerk und Bildung im direktesten Sinn der Menschenbildung auch heute noch zusammenspielten:-)

Ich selbst lieb√§ugele ja mit der Idee des Einrichtens einer Toastmaster Gesellschaft, auch wenn mir derzeit die kulturellen Ressourcen dazu fehlen. Zudem m√ľsste ich mich in einer Gegend wohnhaft befinden, in der ich etwas von dem mir Angeeigneten an meine Umgebung und Umwelt zur√ľckgeben wollte, und das ist hier derzeit nicht der Fall (w√ľrde ich auf dem Dorf wohnen, auf dem Mutter wohnt, w√ľrde ich wohl bald dem Volkstanz beitreten, um dort ebenfalls Hans-Sachs-Spiele zu spielen, aber ein solcher Umzug ist auch sehr sehr unwahrscheinlich in irgendeiner Zukunft)

Da in unseren Zeiten die Frage des Im Beruf Erf√ľllung Findens eine gar √ľberm√§chtige spielt, w√§re das nicht ein sch√∂ner Gedanke: Dienst ist Dienst und Schnap ist Schnaps, den Schuhmacherleisten am Tage und des Abends die Meistersingerzunft! Schon allein der Gedanke einer regelm√§√üigen Einkommensquelle, die einem erlaubt, die Freizeit zu verbringen mit erg√∂tzlicheren Dingen wie der Wer war eigentlich Hans Sachs? erscheint mir wunderbar. In diesem Lichte bin ich immer noch erleichtert, dass ich den Doktoratsversuchungen nicht erlegen bin, wer braucht das legitime kulturelle Kapital? (Billige rhetorische Frage, den mit einem M.A. steh ich ja auch nicht als Waisenkind da).

Zur√ľck zum K√§lberbr√ľten: Ein ungeschickter Bauer, kaum ist die B√§urin aus dem Haus, l√§sst den Hof verkommen, die Katze das Fleisch fressen, das Kraut verbrennen, das Schwein in den Garten und das Kalb im Brunnen ertrinken. Vor R√§ue versucht er, es wieder gut zu machen – indem er einen K√§se bebr√ľtet. Bei den Eiern klappts ja auch. Die B√§rtin h√§lt ihn nun g√§nzlich f√ľr vom Teufel besessen und schafft es mit dem Pfarrer ihn von seinem K√§senest herunter zu holen:

Der Pfaff
Mein Hans, was wollst du br√ľten aus?
Der Bauer
(schreit, zeigt ihm einen Käse und spricht)
K√§lber! Seht’s Wahrzeichen wohl,
Der Käs, der steckt von Maden voll,
Unten und oben, hinten und vorn;
Das wären eitel Kälber worn,
H√§tt’ ihr mich nit davon gerissen.
Der Pfaff
Hans, ich wollt’ gern von dir wissen,
Wer dich die Kunst gelehret hat.
Der Bauer
Furcht, Sorg’ und Angst mich lehren t√§t,
Welche ich hatt’ zu meiner Frauen.
Der Pfaff
Sag’ uns die Wahrheit, la√ü’ uns schauen
Wie sich solch’ alles zugetragen.
Der Bauer
Die Sach’ mag ich euch gerne sagen:
Doch daß ich sicher vor dir sei!
Die Bäuerin
Ja, du sollst sein quitt, ledig, frei,
Ich muß doch sein mit dir erschlagen.

Das Fernsehen der fr√ľhen Neuzeit:-))) Den ganzen Text gibt es beim Projekt Gutenberg. Sch√∂ner sind die Texte bei den Wikicommons, da in Originalsatz erhalten, aber da gibt es das K√§lberbr√ľten nicht. Aber auch h√ľbsch: Der schwangere Pawer (der schwangere Bauer).

My grudge against U.S. America 30/40

March 22, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in German, Guantanamo, Sick | 6 Comments
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Last night I thought: I’d really like to design an “End Guantanamo” logo to stick on my blog and share with others. Just read an article in the Spiegel earlier about the ‘trials’ that have started now in Guantanamo and that seem to have more in common with a drumhead court-martial than with regular legal proceedings. Geneva Convention, anyone? It makes me sick to think that there are people who have been held in prison, tortured, humiliated for five years now, trapped in a legal black hole, by a country that claims to be the beacon of hope and freedom. Just imagine it were you now, held in Guantanamo, just because you did some translation work for the Afghan authorities, not knowing that some of them were Al-Qaida – like one of the guys the Spiegel article was about… it makes me so incredibly sick. Five years of your life… try to recover from that. If you ever get out, that is…

Being German, I also want to ask: Why doesn’t anybody use the term ‘concentration camp’ for Guantanamo? It _is_ the right term. And anybody who ever wondered how all those things could have happened in Germany, how millions could be killed without the German citizens noticing and reacting: Where is the reaction of American citizens now? How can Guantanamo exist, continue to exist, without anybody ever intervening? And why is there no decided response from the global community? Shouldn’t the USA be kicked out of the NATO, their citizens no longer be granted visa to other countries, US embassies be evicted, and presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of all countries declare their disgust with America’s delusion of grandeur? ‘Home of the free’? Dear my American friends who read this – I know what you think of Guantanamo (and if you didn’t we wouldn’t be friends), and so I trust that you won’t take personal offense. It just make me so sick…

I don’t think I’ll get my blogosphere chores done today either:-(

Nike Cricket Crazy Commercial for India 11/40

March 3, 2007 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Food, German, Globalization, Indian, Lent | 5 Comments
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If I hadn’t started a blog and hadn’t stumbled over Neha’s Blog, then I would miss out on so many things in the arena of global popular culture! I still have no idea whether I will ever make it to India (I have the secret hope that a friend of mine who is going to get married to an Indian-American is going to celebrate twice and that I’ll be invited to the Indian ceremony:-) but nevertheless I love all things Indian. Today she recommended Nike’s new commercial, tailored to the taste of Indian audiences: Cricket Crazy!

Speaking of globalization: In the case of this commercial it seems as if some South American rhythms have crept into the tune. The downside: It’s great to have youtube, in particular if you don’t have a TV, but some things just have to be watched on a big screen to catch on. Silver screen would be even better – for comparison, I have also included the Nike basketball commercial which struck everyone when it first appeared in the movie theatres. The vibe doesn’t really come across on youtube.

LentDaily Lent (Day 11): I am now beginning to fantasize about food that contains sugar. A piece of classic German fruitcake from the pan would be the best, made from yeast dough covered with plums and with cr√®me fraiche poured over the hot cake. Quetschekuche mit Schmand… drooooool… Actually, a cuppa tea with milk AND SUGAR alone would be really nice right now.

Helge makes Lent music 7/40

February 27, 2007 at 7:36 am | Posted in Comedy, Culture, Entertainment, Film, Food, German, Lent, Posts in German | 8 Comments
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LentToday I propose a combined Lent & Life post in which I declare Helge Schneider the perfect composer and performer of Lent music. Those who keep regular contact to the German language sphere will certainly know his hit single “M√∂hrchen” (Little Carrot) from 2003. In this song, he proposes to abstain from drugs and to have carrots instead, using the following memorable lines:

Mariejohanna is nich gut
Mariejohanna is nichte gutta
Mariejohanna is nich gut
Makt dir auch die Futte kaputt

Tuma lieba die Möhrchen
Tuma lieba die Möhrchen Mama
Mama lieba die Möhrchen
die Möhrchen aus dem Glas.*

I also love the video, for its low budget production and Helge’s acting:

The Lenten lifestyle is further propagated in his latest hit, K√§sebrot (cheese sandwich), featuring a German K√§sebrot, which has very little to do with a cheese sandwich actually, even though that is probably the best translation. Just like bread from the UK or US has very little to do with German bread. That’s one good thing about being German: We may not have humour, but definitely absolutely the best bread ever. Some lyrics to accompany the video (and no meat, sugar or alcohol in these either):

Käsebrot ist ein gutes Brot
Käsebrot ist ein gutes Brot
Käsebrot, Kä-Kä-Kä-Käsebrot
Sexy Sexy Popäsebrot

Zeitungsinserate
Liegen auf dem Tisch
Doch ein St√ľckchen K√§se
Schmeckt auch gut zu Fisch**

I’m not so sure whether Helge Schneider is also the suitable ambassador to propagate German humour, but I cherish the idea that he is something like a weirder Weird Al Yankovich. Anyway, Helge is beyond argueing for me. Earlier this year, he played Hitler in Dani Levy’s Mein F√ľhrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler which met with great expectations which it apparently didn’t meet (mainly for not being able to decide between a comic and a moralist approach). I did not see it, although my spontaneous reponse was that, if anybody could play Hitler, it would be Helge, the muttering comedian (think of Charlie Chaplin’s gibberish when he played Adenoid Hynkel in The Great Dictator). Helge also has the reputation of a top notch musician, playing the piano, saxophon, vibraphone, accordion, guitar, bass, violin, ukulele, recorder, drums, trumpet, Hammond organ, church organ and cello (and probably more. he keeps adding). I guess that also doesn’t quite come across in the examples of music above.

Helge Hitler

Translations:

*
Maryjane isn’t good (3 times),
it ruins your brain too (or your feet, depending on the interpretation).

Rather get the carrots,
get the carrots, Mama,
Mama rather the carrots,
the carrots from the jar.

**
Cheese sandwich is a good sandwich (2 times)
Cheese sandwich, Che-Che-Che-Cheesesandwich
Sexy Sexy Shmeesesandwich

Classifieds
Lying on the table
But a piece of cheese
Goes also well with fish

Germans have no sense of humour and detest playfulness 5/40

February 25, 2007 at 1:12 am | Posted in Culture, German, Internet, Lent | 11 Comments
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The last time I wanted to access Xing it was temporarily offline. The notification was posted in English and German – and they did not not even try to translate the joking remark about magic into German. Germans don’t like poking fun at such situations. They want precise information, an apology and a swift eradication of the problem.

Germans are not funny

LentMy daily Lenten note (Day 5): Meanwhile – although I am in the conventional sense always a wee bit hungry now – I begin to notice that I want to eat less. As a late snack, I had a jar of cottage cheese and could barely finish it. Had it been a normal day, I am sure I would have had plenty of hidden sugars yesterday – maybe honey nut flakes as a snack or of course a slab of Nussstrudel. Maybe it’s sugar that makes us even more hungry.

Carnival Photo Report, Pt. 2

February 16, 2007 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Film, Food, German | Leave a comment
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Friday, February 16. The day after Weiberfastnacht went by calmly. Carnival is a love-hate thing for many people – it’s impossible to engage in it half-heartedly, and one can easily grow tired. I wasn’t in the mood for an encounter with hordes of drunk and mega horny people in costumes on Friday – also we had a bit of an accommodation problem and wanted to leave Cologne the next day at 7:23 in the morning.

So we spent most of the day walking about town, went to a One-Dollar-House twice, i.e. to a second run cinema where you pay very little for a ticket and get next to no service, but what do you need really besides a pop corn making machine in a cinema?

The first film was a nightmare: Klimt (2006) by Raoul Ruiz, which pretended to be a biopic of the live of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. I was surprised to learn that it was an Austrian-French-German-British coproduction, as it offered itself like a U.S.American fantasy about the sexual life of European artists around the turn of the 19th century. It was the first time in ages that I left the cinema after having watched only half of the film. That was when Klimt’s mother asked what he wanted for lunch on Sunday. “Goulash”, he said, and his sister wondered, “You can’t get enough of your Goulash”, upon which the mother had a fit of hysteria, screamed and threw about pieces of the puzzle she was working on, being joined by the sister who also slapped her (own) face. Nikolai Kinski is also in it, and so desperately trying to channel his father that the first three minutes alone are reason enough to leave the theatre. People don’t have sex in the brothel, but the women wear moustaches.

The next film we saw was Borat. Nothing much to say about it, not half as shocking (nor half as funny) as people claimed it to be. I had one epiphany though: If a man becomes really fat, you can no longer see his genitalia. I had always wondered about that.

We took one photo: of a Red Bull promotion vehicle after having bought Thai Red Bull at a Chinese store. It comes without the fizz, but apart from that tastes exactly the same.

Carnival in Cologne

Carnival Photo Report, Pt. 1

February 15, 2007 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Friends, German, Posts in German | 2 Comments
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Carnival in CologneThursday, February 15, Weiberfastnacht, i.e. the day before Shrove Tuesday in Cologne. People agreed that Saint Peter must be from Cologne as we were blessed with the finest weather in years: D√§ Petrus is ne K√∂lsche! I was a bee, and my boyfriend the cutest meadow ever. Later on, we danced Polonaise* in the backyard of a friend’s house. It did not matter that the sun did not reach us there: we had the sunshine in our heart.**

*) a stately Polish processional dance popular in 19th century Europe, according to Merriam-Webster

Carnival in Cologne**) Dat Hätz vun der Welt, jo dat is Kölle, dat Hätz vun der Welt, dat schläht am Rhing! Es och der Himmel öfters jrau, un dat Sönnche schingk jet mau, doch mir Kölsche han im Hätze Sunneschingk***

***) A translation into both English and German, as not all German speakers are able to comprehend the Colonian tongue.

Das Herz der Welt, ja das ist Köln,
das Herz der Welt, das schlägt am Rhein.
Ist auch der Himmel öfters grau, und die Sonne scheint etwas matt,
doch wir Kölschen haben im Herzen Sonnenschein.

Carnival in CologneThe heart of the world, yes, that is Cologne.
The heart of the world beats on the river Rhine.
May the heaven often be grey and the sun shine a bit dull,
but we Colonians have the sunshine in our heart.

Picture of the Polonaise below.

Carnival in Cologne

I’m hooked onto DSDS (German Popidol)

February 4, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Entertainment, German, Popular Culture, Television, Webfilm, Youtube | 4 Comments

There is no point in denying: These days, the lack of TV reception or a cable hook-up cannot prevent you from getting sucked into the abysmal depths of private television. You don’t need a TV set anymore, it’s all on youtube, clipfish, dailymotion (and in no time, all of us computer owners will be coerced to buy a TV licence…).

Nico RaeckeYesterday, for the first time in years, I went OUT in order not to miss a TV show… I watched the DSDS Recall show at my boyfriend’s flat – and unfortunately missed the first ten minutes in which the Nico Raecke story line was resolved. From what I could reconstruct based on the three seconds I managed to catch and what I found on several web pages afterwards, it seems as if Nico gave up, or rather, his probation officer forced him to resign from the show. According to a news report from RTL two days earlier, youth welfare took his four months old son and put him in foster care, allegedly due to the 17-year-old mother’s drug problems. What a story! It would have made an excellent piece of social porn (“Sozialporno”, m., being a term that is currently used in German to refer to reality TV programmes) and would have ensured high ratings. The (in that sense equally pornographic) picture above is taken from a dubious interview conducted by Berliner Zeitung. EDIT: I dug up the web video covering the bits from the show that I missed – but all pieces put together still do not form a coherent story.

Mark MedlockThat kid having gone, there are still enough weirdos on the remaining brigade of wannabe popstars to cause trouble. Camp boy soldier Mark Medlock has already shown that he’s prone to losing his cool (refusing to go on stage in the final round of the recall, then coming up to perform a rather freakish rendition of Summertime without piano accompaniment).

British sounding names are apparently en vogue:

Lauren TalbotHaving appeared with Mark in a duet before, Emily-the-Strange lookalike Lauren Talbot first botched up her final song, and then sang another, a very peculiar but interesting version of, again, Summertime. My prognosis: The two of them will cause some serious psycho trouble if they make it into the motto shows – and considering that the jury’s power is reduced to commenting from the next show on, we can probably assume that both of them already have enough of a fan base to continue.

Here’s a gallery of all 20 contestants – including two brothers and one half of a set of identical twins (and if the better half didn’t have to have surgery on a benign tumor, there could have been two sets of siblings).

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