“I used to think America was dreadful,” says German media artist Florian Thalhofer. “But now I’m going to actually prove just how sucky it is.” “And I’m going to tell everybody all of the awful things they think they already know about Germany,” says his American counterpart Mark Simon. “Not that anybody out there could care less or anything.”

The two touchingly naive artist types are planning to spend their own kind of biblical 40 days in the desert, traveling through their respective enemy territories on a quest for something they like to call “authenticity”. Worse still, they are actually going to film all of this nonsense and show it to others outside their close circle of friends or immediate family.

An authentically bad idea, anybody out there who has ever taken a step outside his own Dorf or cow town already knows what the two will find: Thalhofer will come to the realization that authentic Americans really are loud, pushy, superficial, overweight and under-cultured while Simon is doomed to discover that Germans are authentically pedantic and aggressive, obsessed with order, speed on the autobahn, watch way too much soccer and really do drink lots of beer and eat tons of bratwurst.

And this idea isn’t terribly authentic, either. This type of America/Germany bashing thing has been done before. In fact, it gets done every day of the week. It’s called “the news”, or die Nachrichten, if you prefer. And you can’t change channels, either. Not really. You can only change countries, or deserts, if you prefer.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

Be Sociable, Share!