May 2009


Silly German Politics

I’m in Regensburg for the Regensbloggers‘ Apartment Warming Party.

While my hosts are busy setting up, I am exploring Regensburg—I’ve never been here before and I have to confess, it’s a charming city. I can immediately see why its popular with tourists from both abroad and Germany.

The Regensburg Dom is a beautiful structure that dominates the city’s skyline//but like most cathedrals, it is located in the middle of the city its hard to get a photograph of the entire façade—it really reminds me of trying to get a photo of the façade of buildings in Prague, where buildings are tightly packed and its impossible to back up far enough to get both the top of the spires and the front doors far below.

Strangely another feature of Regensburg reminds me a lot of Prague—you wind around narrow twisty streets and suddenly one appears at the base of a historic bridge, with a tower gate between you and the bridge. I had that vague déjà vue feeling that would otherwise indicate that the matrix is shifting around me.

However I am pausing, theoretically to work, but instead I find myself wanting to comment about German politics. Really I think this is the first time I have wanted to actively say something about what the Bundestag is considering, ever.

The Bundestag is, with the encouragement of Chancellor Merkle, attempting to, of all things, ban paintball.

Now I have never once played paintball, but I hereby declare that this ban is one of the most ridiculous and idiotic proposed bans I have ever heard suggested.

The ban comes in response to the horrid school shooting that happened earlier this year in Germany. The ban was proposed because the shooter liked to play paintball.


He also apparently liked to play violent video games, but there’s no word on a proposed ban on those. I suspect he also liked to breathe air, drink water, and watch TV, yet I have also not heard of any proposed bans on doing air, water, or TV.

This kind of proposed ban is amongst the more asinine responses to a tragedy like this—it’s akin to putting the only pig in Afghanistan in isolation because Swine Flu broke out in Mexico—oh wait, that actually happened.

Maybe it’s more like proposing a sweeping law with a clever name like “USA Patriot Act” that takes away civil liberties in response to a well planned and calculated terrorist attack—oh wait, that actually happened.

The point is that this kind of knee-jerk reaction to an incident doesn’t actually address the root-causes of school shootings. It’s a band-aid approach that serves only servers to put simple-minded individuals nervousness at ease in the same way that making people show identification in order to fly around America makes simple-minded people believe that the TSA has great security.

Requiring ID and Banning Paintball only helps convince simple-minded people to vote for you.

Without actually making the world safer.

3 comments to Silly German Politics

  • Ed

    …or Egypt killing hundreds of pigs because of Mexican Swine Flu. (that actually happened too)

  • Prashanth

    Well….when they could not ban a extreme right-wing political party, at least they are happy banning something!..

    “We know what banning means…look!”