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Campaign Slogan in Germany: "Yes, Weekend"

In my last post, I complained about the boring German election campaigns. At least some comedians try to add a bit of humor, reports Spiegel International:

A bona fide party called Die Partei (The Party) is campaigning with a satirical program to rebuild the Berlin Wall, turn eastern Germany into a nature reserve and populate it with the nation's pensioners.

And one of the country's best-known comedians, Hape Kerkeling, has formed his own mock party that's "conservative, liberal, left-wing and a bit ecological" and pledges to provide free cosmetic surgery for everyone.  Its catchphrase, possibly based on a misunderstanding of Barack Obama's famous slogan, is "Yes, Weekend." And it wants to abolish the eagle as the national symbol and replace it with the "Federal Rabbit."

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John in Michigan, US on :

From the Spiegel Intl article: "Unfortunately, Germany's Federal Returning Officer, in charge of reviewing parties' applications to register for the September election, doesn't see the joke. He has barred Die Partei from the election on the grounds that it isn't serious enough." This could never happen in America, where due to our Constitution it is impossible to ban any party or political movement. They would have to resort to other means to prevent it. For example, perhaps they could disqualify a party because there was a coffee stain on their ballot application. So you see, our Constitution really is better!!

Zyme on :

I loved seeing reaction of the leader of "Die Partei" when his party was barred from the election: "I find it astonishing that in an established democracy such a farce is possible. I would like to point out to you that the last election supervisor treating small parties in a similarly undemocratical way was executed by an allied tribunal in 1946." :-D John: "This could never happen in America, where due to our Constitution it is impossible to ban any party or political movement." But John wouldn't we first need to find out how our established and most democratical parties would be able to protect our beloved democracy when just about everyone can compete with them ??

John in Michigan, US on :

Also, I am curious about the new party slogan, "Yes, Weekend". Was the slogan originally in English, or in German? If German, is that a literal translation? Is that sort of word-play very common in German? For example, the popular expression "[url=http://german.about.com/library/blwortjahr.htm]Alles wird Knut[/url]" contains a basic, [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym]homophonic[/url] word-play (substitute gut for Knut which look similar in print and I think sound nearly the same also). But "Ja, wir können" (Yes, we can) and "Wochenende" (weekend) don't really have this homophonic quality...or do they? Is there another word for weekend (or we can) that makes this work better? Can any of our resident German speakers help?

Luke on :

Hello John! There is no German background for the "Yes, Weekend!" slogan. Horst Schlämmer (the character played by Hape Kerkeling) explained that he heard Obama saying this on his election campaign. "Was dieser Alamaba kann, kann ich auch!" Later he found out that he misheard. Yes, we can - Yes, wee-ken(d).. It works best when said by Horst Schlämmer who always mumbles a little. You could check his youtube videos (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIx5Zj3jNA0). Best regards from Kiel, Germany Luke

Luke on :

Oh, I just wanted to make sure that this campaign is more or less advertisement for Kerkeling's new film "Isch kandidiere"(I stand for election (?)).

John in Michigan, US on :

Hi Luke, I will watch the video and see if I can hear the phrase. Thanks!

Joerg Wolf on :

The German election campaigns are pathetic. A politician from the Christian Democrats is promoting herself with her boobs: [url]http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,641634,00.html[/url] The Greens as well: [url]http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,641577,00.html[/url]

Zyme on :

Don't be so negative, they have to distinguish themselves somehow! :)

Kevin Sampson on :

Wow! Looks like a 'wardrobe malfunction' may be imminent.

John in Michigan, US on :

Maybe the strangeness from the EP elections is becoming the norm? Or, maybe it related to the Berlusconi? Have politicians are jealous of his success (so far)? Re boobs - in France that would be normal? I'm not joking (or at least, not joking very much). Seriously, it is no more strange than the new German friend, Putin, and his shirtless rituals. Re the Green's ad -- yes, it is somewhat racist, and sexist as well. It is an example of what the feminists call [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_objectification]Sexual Objectification[/url]. The generally negative stereotype of a black person woman as a sexual object is well known to everyone, or at least, it should be. Granted, we see this stereotype everywhere in pop culture, but the Greens should know better. The stereotype of predatory white lesbians exploiting black women is less well known but again that is no excuse, particularly for the Greens. The ad in effect says, if you are White and vote Green, you get a free pass. Of course, it will not get nearly as much attention as when someone on the right commits this type of blunder. Remember when Berlusconi described Obama as "[url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/11062008/news/worldnews/berlusconi__obama_is_young__handsom__tan_137390.htm]young, handsome and even tanned[/url]." It made headlines worldwide. Speaking of Berlusconi, I have yet to hear the French complain about how prudish and judgmental the Italian press has become. Rememer Clinton's interns and the nonchalant French response? Unlike Berlusconi, with Clinton there were credible accusations of rape ([url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/janedoe022099.htm]Juanita Broaddrick[/url]) and sexual assault (multiple accusers, including [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Willey]Kathleen Willey[/url].

Luke on :

Hello John! First: We don't really have those stereotypes in our society. Maybe because there are not many black people in Germany. Then I maximized the photo of the poster: "Der einzige Grund, Schwarz zu wählen". Uhh... That's too much. With this slogan the Greens cross the thin line between original and abhorrent. I know it's just supposed to be a word play but the slogan underlines the dominance of the white woman over the black. Without this slogan none would think of a illegitimate action. The Greens wanted to point out that they support homosexual relationships and wanted to distinct from the conservative "black" party CDU.. This backfired. Poor Greens.. they never seem to have the right touch with their posters.. Luke

John in Michigan, US on :

"We don't really have those stereotypes in our society." I'm sorry, but you need to examine your own society more closely. I don't know how you can look at the red painted nails of the white woman's hand and not think, "predator". Of course the ad is well done, they can pretend that the hand only symbolizes passion or lust...but there is more than that, or they're could be. The Spiegel caption identifies the woman in the Green's ad as "black". What does that mean? She certainly is too light-skinned to be sub-Saharan African. Is she Turkish? North African? Mixed-race? Is she one of the other non-white ethnicities of whom negative stereotypes are quite common in Europe and especially Germany? More important her actual ethnic background (after all, she is probably simply a model they hired) is her perceived or intended ethnic background. What did the creators of that photo want us to see? Most likely, they were trying to make people think of a generic, non-white person...fitting whatever stereotype (negative or positive) the viewer already has. The makers of the image don't seem particularly concerns that some of the stereotypes they trigger could be very negative. This is because the Greens think they can get away with it. Remember that if conservative media has any convievable, negative racial implications, it is assumed to be what the conservatives intended, even though most of the time the conservatives are not making a racial appeal. Why shouldn't the Greens be held to the same standard? After all, the Greens do have crossover appeal with certain populist groups that formerly were facists.... I am a little bit tired of Europeans pretending that Europe doesn't have a race problem. Slavery ended in America about 150 years ago, but, as they say, we are still dealing with the legacy. Slavery in Europe ended in 1990, and no, Communism wasn't race-neutral -- remember the Soviet propeganda re the Great White Russians? How many non-Whites were Party members? In parts of Germany, slavery ended about 1945. I think there might still be a huge legacy to be dealt with. Having said that, Europe in the late 20th century made progress on its race problems much more quickly than America did in the late 19th century. As to which society (US or Europe) has a bigger race problem in the 21st century...that is hard to say...it depends on which race you're asking about...

Zyme on :

"Maybe the strangeness from the EP elections is becoming the norm?" It may have a lot more to do with the growing competences of the EU. At least that is what the British assume when they complain about the hollowness of their national debates. When they have only a fraction of the power they used to have, they at least have to run a good show!

Don S on :

I like Die Partei. In the US we have had comedien Pat Paulson run for President, but he was surpassed by the cover boy for the satirical Mad magazine. "Alfre E.Neumann for President!". One stanza from Alfred's campaign song ran: "Alfred E. Neumann, though slightly subhman, Will win just like Truman did, from Missouri Back him today so the country can say: What, me worry?" (What, me worry? was Alfred's byline). And then there was the estimable Harold Stassen, who started as a serious politician and ended as a joke after running for President no fewer than 10 times.

Don S on :

Do you think they would allow me to join the 'Hintner Youth'. I may be disqualified on grounds of age and nationality, but I can wear fake bunny ears with the best of them!

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