The following press release just landed on The Punch’s desk. We have decided to publish it in full.
Ja, guten tag and wilkommen to a sneak peek of ze exschiting new Auschtralian media landschcapen.
As you Auschtralians may know, ve here at ze Deutsche media group Bauer have purchased your magazine company ACP because ze private equity firm zat previously owned ACP prefers to lose money on ze markets.
Zis acquisition means a big shake-up. One of ze first changes you vill notice will be in Ze Logies, your glamorous television zeremonie, vich vill now be run with precision like never before. Ve are even considering rewarding zose personalities who actually possess ze talent, ja?
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Like kitsch, schnauzer and – to a lesser extent – gemütlichkeit*, schadenfreude is one of those excitingly guttural expressions that has hitchhiked its way from Germany into English-speaking countries such as Australia.
The loanword is a combination of Schaden (harm) and freude (joy), and describes pleasure taken in other people’s misfortunes.
It’s a phenomenon which can be observed with increasing frequency on internet sites such as failblog.org which revels in human error, embarrassment and outright idiocy.
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It is not often that you wake up on a Saturday in Sydney and have a choice of rallies to attend – but this is exactly what happened last week.
In case you missed it, the two rallies were organised in support and opposition to the proposed “price on carbon” strategy put forward by the Federal Government.
Being excited by a bit of political expressionism in a city where Saturday morning priorities are usually shopping and cappuccinos, I decided to attend not just one but both.
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It’s a balmy seven degrees in London today so it would be pretty chilly on the roof of St Paul’s Cathedral in Westminster. Good thing that there is a lot to think about.
A convoy of British fire trucks will take to the streets to mark the 70th anniversary of the “darkest day” of the London Blitz; when German forces dropped 10, 000 incendiary bombs on the city, starting 1500 fires and adding to the already tragic loss of thousands of lives.
Hundreds of people are expected to gather around the city to remember a very significant day in the nation’s history.
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“Deutsches Reich” or the Weimar Republic was was adopted in Germany on this day in 1919 to replace the imperial government that had ruled for centuries.
And it’s Wednesday at The Punch, so what else is on your mind?
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Travelling in northern Europe, ‘the War’ is never far away: from the way that people feel about Germany’s performance in the World Cup, to the bullet scares on churches and town halls, the designs of cities such as Rotterdam that where flattened in air raids, to more in-depth conversations about identity and nationalism.
As an Australian who has not spent much time in this part of Europe until recently, this is quite surprising. Like most Australians, World War II feels to me in the distant past and rarely thought about, whereas here, its memory is alive and present.
A friend of mine highlighted an example of just how nearby the War is for many Europeans even of more recent generations.
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Kevin Rudd’s earwax-eating heroics are nothing against Germany coach Joachim Loew who has been captured picking his nose and eating the bounty on camera - and it’s not the first time it has happened.
In the clip above Loew, who is not only the most devastatingly effective coach in the tournament but also the prettiest, makes a deft little move to grab the, er, ball before dummying once, twice, then finally sliding it home. Into his mouth.
This was during the game in which Germany knocked out England in the World Cup. But Loew has form on this. See the next video for some armpit sniffing and more digging for victory…
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SOME Australian voters might view their prime minister as a process-driven, even slightly nerdy, policy wonk but he is in fact a fun guy according to his German counterpart, Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Speaking after the two met in the fabulously large yet sparingly furnished Chancellery - said to be the largest government headquarters building in the world - Dr Merkel described the process of dealing with Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the Australian Government as ``a lot of fun’‘.
The clean lines and huge scale of the Chancellery building, itself a monument to Germanic excellence in design and architectural boldness, seemed a perfect counter-balance as the two heads of government fairly droned on in the all-too-familiar monotonal language of power-politics. But despite Mr Rudd lasping briefly into the most technical of bureacratese with a reference to ``programatic specificity’‘, (which as the name suggests, means bugger-all) Dr Merkel said, the issues and challenges made the relationship enjoyable.
``It’s actually a lot of fun to work together,’’ she said welcoming Mr Rudd formally to her country.
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