Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Post #50

October 15, 1844- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche born in Röcken, Prussia. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

"Vielleicht weiß ich am besten, warum der Mensch allein lacht: er allein leidet so tief, dass er das Lachen erfinden musste."
"Perhaps I know best why it is Man alone who laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

From today's Spiegel:
East German Jokes Collected by West German Spies

(Hans-Ulrich Stoldt and Klaus Wiegrefe)
"Political jokes thrive in dictatorships," says Christoph Kleeman, a former official from the Birthler Authority, which was set up after German unification to manage the archives of the East German secret police, or Stasi. "Anyone who tells one or laughs about one creates democracy for a brief moment, and brings the regime leaders down to his level."

"Telling jokes was playing with fire," says Kleeman. The Stasi had 91,000 employees and a network of around 189,000 civilian informants to spy on the East German population of 17 million. It regarded every political joke as a potential threat. Anyone who poked fun at the representatives of the organs of state and society was subject to prosecution.

A few highlights:
  • Did East Germans originate from apes? Impossible. Apes could never have survived on just two bananas a year.
  • What would happen if the desert became communist? Nothing for a while, and then there would be a sand shortage.
  • Christmas has been cancelled, goes another joke. Mary didn't find any diapers for the baby Jesus, Joseph was called up to the army and the three kings didn't get a travel permit.
  • Why can't you get any pins in East Germany anymore? Because they are being sold to Poland as kebab skewers.
. . .

New Haven weather at 1:30 p.m./weekend forecast:
This is not okay.