Elvis Thinks All Politicians are Vote Whores, Not Me

"You know, maybe they're right," I said. "Maybe the German language is becoming to anglo-americanized."

Elvis, My Innerly Swine-Hound and I, were watching TV. In it, a literature critic named Karasek and a minor politician from the conservative party CDU were talking about how Germans are losing their language and will soon speak only English. Examples: Coffee to go, long-lasting lipstick, and more. There were a lot of examples. Plus, the CDU had just brought up some kind of proposal to re-Germanize the language. That was apparently the occasion of the talk show, though I hadn't heard about the proposal myself.

"After all," I said, "If a party as serious and important as the CDU gets interested in language, there must be something to it."

"Hansen, you're an idiot," said Elvis. "And you're as naïve as all the other idiots out there. You're so naïve, if a..."

"Okay okay already, I got the point," I said.

"If political party starts worrying about language, it's never about language," said Elvis. "What do these guys know about language? It's about votes. Here's some smalltime politician looking for attention, so she takes a subject that people think they understand because they watch TV and hear someone say an English word like 'team.' They open a newspaper and see an advertisement that uses an English word or whatever and they think: Oh my God, we're losing our language. And here's this woman who has no idea what she's taking about, ready to save them. Besides, they have already lost their language already – to the French."

"The French? You can’t just..."

"Of course French, you numbskull. Karasek is right – he knows a lot more about language than this woman. Half of German is already French. The other half is Latin, The next half is… well whatever. Language is there to be renewed by outside influences. If you don't have outside influences, you die. That's why languages die every day, not because they aren't kept up by language museums, but because they can't keep up with modern life and become obsolete."

"I thought languages die because some other bigger, stronger language comes along..."

"You don’t know anything about language either, do you? All these tribal languages dying of in the desert or in the jungle somewhere? They're dying because they've become obsolete to their speakers, and so the speakers are speaking some other language. Go with modern life or die, that's my message to the German language. Without outside influences, German would be dead. Germans wouldn't know how to look something up in Wikipedia because there's no 1000-year-old word for Wikipedia."

"Yeah, but we're talking about…"

"That doesn’t matter to politicians, though, all they see is the opportunity to take center stage and look like they're worrying about important things. It's like you Americans with your panic about tits on TV. Janet Jackson bares her breast and everyone thinks their children are going to hell. The Americanization of the German language is the Janet Jackson Tit of Germany. It's one of those things that politicians love because they know how easy it is to use to manipulate the voter with. And the people are stupid enough to go with it. And so are you apparently."

"I didn’t say I agreed," I said, in my own defense. "I just said maybe she has a point."

"Well she doesn't, idiot."

"Are you finished? Are you going to let me say something or not?"

"Sure, dimwit. But how about getting me a beer first?"


Anonymous said…
Aloha Eric,

Wow is all I can say. No other comment just wanna say BRAVO in French :-)

Eric and bon courage pour la suite...



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