Azara Blog: Germany observations

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Date published: 2008/04/19

Germany of course has a pretty good public transportation system (although no doubt the Germans gripe about it just like in every other planet on the face of the Earth). The Karlsruhe area has an unusual system in that the ordinary train tracks are shared with the local trams. No doubt some clever bureaucrat decided this was a clever idea many years ago. But the difference in speed between the best national trains and the local tram is large, so this is perhaps not the best use of the track. (And the trams need two types of power converters to cope with their own track and the train track.)

Germany does have litter and graffiti on the streets and Germany does have drunken yobs on the streets, so just like Britain. Of course the academic middle class people in every country always focuses on its own population as somehow being uniquely squalid, and allegedly uniquely at this point in time. Needless to say this is just silly.

The British always claim that their television is the best in the world. Unfortunately you just have to watch ITV after midnight to see how low British television can sink. You get this young "pretty" woman trying to get callers to ring in to win prizes (an amount of money of the order of a couple of thousand pounds). The callers have to find some specific word, from some selected set, in an N x N table of letters. The calls are expensive and not only do most callers not even get through, but even those who do get through and do suggest a valid word usually don't win because the programme producers have deliberately inserted easy words into the table which are not the ones that are in the selected set. This is trash TV.

Unbelievably German television seems to have sunk even lower. On one of the channels there is a young "pretty" woman with oversized breasts dressed in a bikini. Here the idea is not to find words but to spot the difference between two pictures (so the kind of thing that five year olds can already do). No doubt the odds of getting through and winning are just as low as in the British case, and the prize is of a similar magnitude. What makes this programme particularly bad is that supposedly if someone wins the prize then the woman will remove her bikini top and, even worse, the woman pleads with the viewers to ring in because she allegedly really wants to remove her bikini. This is super-trash TV.

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