"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right" (Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address)
(If anybody is offended by the following, I would like to remind him of the proviso one often finds below the copyright remark of many books, telling us that any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental).
I have very intelligent friends.
When they travel, they visit museums and churches. In the big cities they catch from the bus also a glimpse of the slums where anything is so terrible dirty. In Germany something like that is simply unimaginable. We have abolished Marx’ proletariat a long time ago and introduced instead the welfare state that often does not provide any welfare at all. That is the progress that separates us from "Villas" and "Favelas", for which of course the relative governments have to be blamed which are antisocial and thus always are to be found to the right from the political spectrum of my friends.
My friends sympathize with Che Guevara and love the musical “Evita". Unfortunately circumstances do not allow for a pilgrimage to the Che’s tomb, but there remains always the mausoleum of Evita Perón. Specially now, where the Argentinean Peso is so low and the Euro is so high priced.
They also sympathize with Yasser Arafat, may Allah have mercy on him. In the conflict between Israel and the Arabs, they only close ranks for the public image with the Israelis, it’s like a beauty contest – due to our Holocaust past. But really they see the Israelis as the continuation of the Yankee imperalism. Of course they are not against the Jews, god forbid, but they notice - particularly abroad – if many shops are closed on Jewish holidays, and then they murmur mystifyingly: here you find them again, the rich Jews.
My friends like to eat and to eat well, especially in countries where this is cheap. In this respect the present rate of exchange of the Euro works miracles. Nevertheless they do not visit the really expensive restaurants. Although not because they could not afford them. As a matter of fact they also could have dinner in such places, but they don’t go in order to show solidarity with the people less well situated and because you will find there only the nouveau riches which in spite of their money are not considered by my friends as part of the elite.
My friends profess progressive ideas. They believe in the climate change and drive instead of a sumptuous BMW (a "climate pig") an Audi A6.
They are against German troops in Afghanistan because the Americans want them to be there. And it goes without saying that the Americans are in Iraq only to protect their interest in the Iraqi oil. The Americans are fools and always think of the one thing: money, quite contrary to my friends who do not complain about their small pension of something like 3,500 Dollars a month. A woman friend of mine translates her hatred against anything that is American even to CNN, as she considers one of their woman commentators as disgusting: fat and ugly.
My friends have also a very critical attitude. They are proud that they cannot be tricked into anything or fooled. They are certain that John F. Kennedy has been the victim of a conspiracy and that September Eleven has been orchestrated by the Bush administration.
As for me, I think they should have been grateful for an day of George W. Bushes presidency as he served them day by day in a huge number of comments to German media outlets as lightning protector for their hatred against those foolish, pompous, imperialistic Americans.
Now they (the Americans) have got this new man, this charismatic Afro-American, close to Jesus Christ Superstar. Of course one cannot be against him – but wait and see. Perhaps he will prove to be a fake and convert himself with time going on in only another ugly American.
If you are still in doubt, my friends are regular Germans: they swim with the mainstream, consider themselves as being progressive (if labeled “liberals”, most of them don’t object, although that doesn’t mean that they will vote next time for the socialists). They are self-opinionated and overly didactic.
Therefore we still will remain most highly esteemed, but will we ever be loved?
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