Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What is with all the Fight?

Ahem, let's take a ride on the Random Wheel

Poor little Mimi choked and sputtered yesterday while I tried to start her up after a week of ignoring her in cold weather... but last night and again this morning she woke right up with a roar. Love that scooter and the freedom she gives me even if these fall days have me arriving at my destination considerably more stiff and cold than when I started.

In the past couple of months I've been to both Lübeck and Lüneburg, small cities in the north of Germany. Personally I prefer Lüneburg between the two of them, but as for northern towns (not including Hamburg and of course Berlin which some consider flatly east), I still prefer Schwerin.

My gosh I've been becoming a bit obsessive about Urbexing. Germany has SOOO many abandoned sites, hospitals, military bases, tunnels and the like... and they're waiting for me to explore them. Of course it is not a hobby I can pursue on my own. Unfortunately it isn't strictly "safe" to walk around alone in 100+ year old buildings which are rotting away slowly, but they are so beautiful. It is interesting to watch as nature takes its course, slowly breaking down and covering up the things man has made. Yes, I've been filling up SD cards with pictures as well. Check out some of them here. If anyone would like to come with me, just let me know. I've got a list as long as my arm of places to go... Sweet No is simply getting tired of all this exploration.  

Rachael Maddow's show last night was dedicated to the showing of a documentary about the murder of Wichita, Kansas' own most famous abortion doctor. I lived in Wichita during most of this mess. The 1986 attempted murder of Dr. Tiller was horrifying and silly, the 1991 "Summer of Mercy" was a huge drain on the resources of the city. Driving down the highway adjacent to the clinic was like running the gamut of dead baby pictures. The protesters would do everything they could to draw attention to their cause, but the people of the city could have cared less and the great majority simply wanted them to leave. Even the Catholic Church nearby stayed out of the entire melee.

The man was performing a legal procedure. If they wanted to change policy, they should have worked within the legal system. Chaining themselves to cars and causing the waste of critical resources (police and fire) was not only wrong but unnecessary.

Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, the story didn't go far enough into those cheering on the murderer. The O'Reilly's of this world incited this type of behavior and are now running away from their culpability.

These people who make it their business to judge others should remember their Savior's ideas about "Judge not, lest ye be judged".
(OK, I'm jumping off of my soapbox. I just wanted to say that no matter your politics about an admittedly touchy subject, murdering the guy was an incredibly extreme way to deal with a situation which should have been covered by the courts. Check out the video here)

OK, um... breathe deeply ... and release.

It's clementine season again. No, it isn't time for the song to rattle around in my head endlessly (although it is certainly doing that NOW... thanks a lot!); it's time for the stores to fill the fruit section with citrus and more specifically, clementines! Man I love 'em!! The net of orange goodness sitting on my desk right now came from Spain. Hmmm. If that place has these things growing on trees, maybe I should just move there! I can polish off a kilo of these beauties in an afternoon, no problem.

Every night on my way home from work I pass by a Sparda Bank. Why are you telling me this Snooker, you might ask. Well, because after seeing the huge sign I immediately think of Sparta, the cat protagonist in the "Mean Kitty Song". Once I think of the song, then I start humming it in my head, sometimes even signing the words as I tool down the street on Mimi the scooter. Do you have or love cats or maybe just like guys in baseball caps? Check out the cute video. Maybe you too will find yourself humming this lovely little ear worm at strangely inappropriate times.  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proclaimed Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society have failed. I'm beginning to feel that being an immigrant in this country could get a bit harder, at least for the Muslims. Heck, even my sweet FIL read Thilo Sarrazin's anti-Islam book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab " (often translated as "Germany Does Away with Itself").  There has been talk (finally) of issuing identity cards to the country's foreigners as a better way to track who comes and goes.

I've often been involved in conversations where Germans are complaining about the immigrant problem in their country. After a moment or two they come to the realization that they are speaking with an immigrant at which time they often will assure me that I'm one of the "good" immigrants. Hmm... Any expats have a thought on this?

Been reading:
What Happened to Change We Can Believe In?

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G in Berlin said...

There's all types of anti immigrant sentiment. I think everyone can fairly say (and most Germans I know agree) that Germany has some xenophobia. As a foreigner, I have some anxiety about that. On the other hand, I go to German classes 4x a week and my kids are in German schools. I think Germany is absolutely amazingly good at the state support of integration. I am in a women's club where the same intake (3 years ago) can't understand a German waiter and my friend has a cleaning person (7 years here) who can't understand a request to come 1 hour later. I'd be annoyed, as a German, with the latter when they expect to be accepted here. You should google the Elizabeth Moon controversy to see it from the more nuanced (not Tea Party) US side: the problem seems to be the tendency to polarize, to not be able to see that integration is not assimilation and that there really can be threats to a tolerant society from too much tolerance of intolerance. I've been thinking about it a lot recently. Have you read the book-it's too difficult for me- but I am working my way through "Ein nasser Hund ist besser als ein trockener Jude" right now (with a dictionary in hand).

G in Berlin said...

I meant the Sarrazin- the book I'm reading is probably not in your genre.

C N Heidelberg said...

Who wants to come along to look at abandoned stuff? MEEEE!! Damn, wish I lived closer. It sounds awesome.

Snooker said...

@G - "threats to a tolerant society from too much tolerance of intolerance" Interesting thought

@ - Heidelbergerin, Come on up. Give me a weekend and I can show you some wild stuff!

Anonymous said...

Oh oh, me too! I want to be shown some wild stuff! Me too!

I'm with you on the Wichita thing. I remember when I was in jr. high/high school when we would drive down that highway and see the abortion protestors. Thinking about all that and the doctor who was murdered just puts me in rabid fits of rage and THAT'S not a pretty sight.

Anonymous said...

We had NPD anti-immigrant propaganda stuffed into our mailbox the other day. I looked around hoping to see if they were still leaving their slug-slime trails in our area, because I wanted to ask them if they were against all immigrants, or only the Muslim/non-white ones.

About Sparda bank: I always think of a little kid pointing at the place and saying Spar - da!

AstroYoga said...

I've been labeled as a 'good immigrant' too (suspect income levels, skin color and religion play some deep part in that classification). I have had the luxury of being able to come here with the time and resources to take German classes and practice my language skills without annoying people in a work environment who just need me to understand so they can do their jobs. If I had come here having to support a family withe income from a low paying job, I suspect I may not have fit in to the 'good immigrant' group.

I have an African-American friend here who was actually told by a worker at the Auslaenderamt that she should have identified herself as an American sooner. The implication being that she would have somehow gotten better treatment if they knew she was a 'good immigrant'.

Carola Bartz said...

I am a German living in California. I am a "good immigrant" in contrast to my fellow immigrants from south of the border. This kind of seperation seems to happen everywhere where immigrants appear in larger numbers. I'm lucky to have the "right" skin color and "right" religion, i.e. not being a muslim. We were fortunate that we had help in the beginning through the company my husband works for (the reason why we came here) including an attorney when we finally applied for the Green Card.

Most people here are not aware of what it means to be an immigrant (probably just like the Germans are not aware of that). There are a lot of anti-immigration voices which really is a shame.

You've got a very interesting blog here. I'm enjoying reading through your posts at the moment.