Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Kinderfernseher / Children's Television

I got into a very lengthy conversation with my friend Dan this weekend about the different TV shows we watched as kids. I already knew that Sesame Street can be seen in most countries, but I learned that Sesamstraße has always been produced in Germany, not just dubbed from the American version. Subsequently there are different characters and plotlines. They have Oscar (Oskar) and Grover (Grobi) but no Big Bird and no Snuffeluppagus. Let me tell you, it's pretty weird to describe those characters and nobody has a clue what you're talking about.

We did confirm, however, that many of the short cartoons and skits shown in each program often came from the U.S. And so, for those interested, I offer you Rubber Duckie auf Deutsch.

For those with less patience there's also ma nah ma nah (or menomena, however you want to spell it) which is identical to the english version, except for the intro.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Es droht zu regnen!

Trebsen Regnen
It was at this point in our bike trip on Saturday that it threatened to rain. Then, it did. We got wet.

Kino und Pferde

The open-air cinema at the horse-racing track in Leipzig. We saw "Schräger als Fiktion." I was aggravated by the fact that Emma Thompson's dubbing did not seem to have a British accent, something that plays into the plot of the film. I realize that you have to suspend disbelief sometimes with Synchronisierung but I know what a british accent in German sounds like, and that wasn't it. They should show Guys and Dolls.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"Development Porn" and NGO imagery

The recent post on BoingBoing about the developing world being photographed by outsiders, i.e. photographers from the first world:

"Another interesting thing that this brings up is the relationship of the photo’s subject to the photographer. In the post, they mention the following fact: “Upwards of 90% of the images of the majority world that are seen in the western media are produced by white photographers from the USA or Europe.”

I'm not a photojournalist, and I've only barely stepped outside of the "western" world, but the topic still resonated with me. Taking photos of people I don't know always feels strange to me, regardless of the circumstances. When these two girls posed for me, it was because they had been taking pictures of us first. Maybe in Istanbul there's a few Turkish middle schoolers looking at a tiny cameraphone shot of a foreign tourist. Hopefully they're thinking she looks like she could be a native.

You can read the longer article about NGO imagery here. There is a picture in the article that also bears a striking resemblance to my own.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Posters, 2. Teil

Nevermind that my first set of poster pictures were back in the fall. Here's what's being advertised on the Waldstaße circa one week ago.

Campus Fest Poster
Campus Fest Leipzig. The t-shirts for sale at the event featured a similar logo.

Fireworks Poster
The World Pyro Award. I didn't go, but I did hear it while at the outdoor Kino the same evening.

Vanity Fair Poster
Vanity Fair's G8 issue. They did five separate covers. The only German celeb featured was Claudia Schiffer.

G8 Poster
"Ms. Merkel, you can make history at the G8 Summit. Put on the pressure, fight against poverty, hunger, and HIV/AIDS."

Soundso Poster
Wir Sind Helden, an extremely successful German band. One that, most importantly, sings in German.

Befreiung Poster
Day of Liberation -- "The destruction of Nazism and its roots is our solution. The constrution of a new world of peace and freedom is our goal."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Auf deutsch zu singen, Teil 2

I'm on a bit of a video kick, so here's another one.

Mia - Uhlala. This song is about as mainstream as it gets, but they've got elecctro roots, you can see it in her haircut. Basically I can't get over this video, it's like a shampoo ad. And also my dream Fahrradtour, through the forest and into the fields. And there are those energy-generating windmills in the background! That's how you know we're in Germany.

Auf deutsch zu singen

As a general rule, I prefer it when German bands sing in German and not English. It's unfair for me to judge them based on my own preferences and sense of what the "dignified" language choice would be -- when they sing in German they've basically kissed their chances at international success goodbye. With the exception of lap-pop or electronic acts, where (ironically) the English doesn't bother me at all.

The thing is, I used to think that songs in German sounded funny. Don't get me wrong, I think the German language is beautiful. Maybe it was just radio songs about "du bist meine sonne" and "Ich vermisse dich so" that made me laugh (although if they had been in English they would have made me roll my eyes). But I also knew that lyrics in German could be more than "eins zwei drei vier." So, with that, let me offer a few clips for your consideration.

Fotos - Komm Zurück. It's possible that I would find this song utterly annoying were it in English. But I like that they can make the phrase "Ich denk an dich immer wieder" really swagger.

When I saw them play last night they said their favorite band was particular group of men who wear angular costumes, modulate their voices, and hawk techno beats, And are definitely not Kraftwerk.

Deichkind - RemmiDemmi

Fotos cover this song to great effect.

Fotos - RemmiDemmi, Live in Lingen. Bear with the shaky camera for the sound quality.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Irgendwann, irgendwie haben wir etwas geschafft

Fotos beim Campus Fest
Fotos beim Campus Fest Leipzig. Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich die Chance hatte, sie noch mal zu sehen!
Miri: hüpfen!



Outside the University Library, the cute wide-headed boy who offered to carry your books for you.


Plattenbau 1
Wikipedia auf Englisch defines Plattenbau as "the German word for a building whose structure is constructed of large, prefabricated concrete slabs, a method often found in communist architecture in central and eastern Europe. The word is a compound of Platte (slab) and Bau (building)."

In Leipzig most of the Plattenbaus have been "modernized," i.e. painted up in bright colors.

Plattenbau 2
On the long drag of student dormitory Plattenbaus. This one looks like it is inhabited by families, though.

Plattenbau 4
Same complex, around the corner.

Plattenbau 3
My anti-Plattenbau sentiment is pretty strong, although for the German readers out there I recommend this essay froma young Wessi who learned to love Plattenbau. "Christina, 21, aus Hessen wohnt seit über einem Jahr in ihrer Traumwohnung im Plattenbau. Früher dachte sie, dass hier der Klassenkampf tobt. Heute gießen die Nachbarn ihre Blümchen." Tja.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May Showers

We've been having some pretty goofy weather here in Leipzig. April was splendid, full of yellow-flowered fields.

Rapsöl / Canola
I always wondered why we didn't have any Rapeseed at home, until I learned that we call it Canola. Think of that what you will.

In contrast, May has been one big gloomy raincloud.

Read More
Across the street from the current temporary bus stop in Grimma. That guy wants you to "read more."