What if a belief you deeply held and one that’s reciprocated by your entire social circle is actually wrong and harmful? In the spirit of my last blog, I want to tell the story of how I changed my mind on a major issue. The position I want to challenge is deeply engrained in the DNA of the mainstream environmental movement, especially here in Germany: the opposition to nuclear power.
In countries, such as Poland and the Netherlands, learning German is on the rise. Yet, in the U.S., it’s been declining for the past hundred years. Numbers of students learning German have decreased from roughly two million in 1910 to a little over one million today. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that German programs have been closing all over the U.S. The very liberal arts college I attended as a bachelor student in Indianola, Iowa – Simpson College – eliminated its German program a few years ago. So in preparation for this German American Day (Oct. 6), I decided to attempt to do some PR for German.
Recently, while I was surfing the web, I came across something that almost knocked me for a loop. It’s nothing bad, just a 58-letter word. So let’s hear that drum roll….
That word is: Kurz-fristen-energie-versorgungs-sicherungs-maßnahmen-verordnung.
After a storm of protests from enraged parents concerning issues of (mis)representation and cultural appropriation in the new children’s movie, The Young Chief Winnetou (2022), the German publisher, Ravensburger Verlag, withdrew the companion book and puzzle to the film. Soon thereafter, the main German TV station (ARD) announced they would no longer broadcast the popular Winnetou movies from the 1960s based on Karl May’s novels. Everyone seems to have their take on the current controversy; yet, there’s been some criticism regarding issues of paternalism due to the lack of Native voices in the debate. That’s why the American Studies Blog has gone directly to the source and interviewed Drew Hayden Taylor acclaimed Canadian Anishnaabe author, frequent flyer to Germany, and creator of the documentary, Searching for Winnetou (2018).
Everybody hates Cars 2 – and I just don’t understand why. First of all, let me make a confession: I’m 25 years old and a Disney nerd. I love watching animated movies – as long as they’re well made. And Cars 2, even after more than ten years, is still my all-time feel-good movie.
It has everything you could wish for: Uplifting words, funny jokes, and a world you can lose yourself in. There’s barely anything that’s hateful or triggering, and I love joining the characters on their journey. Yet, most critics have characterized Cars 2 as violent and illogical, calling it the worst Pixar movie ever – and I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could I feel so differently from everyone else?
Memories are stories we tell ourselves.
One man’s trash is another’s treasure.
Vladimir the Small, as history is sure to remember him, has pulled the iron curtain off the trash pile and ordered it rehung. His security blanket. Thirty years exposed to Western ideas of choice – enough of that. Obedience or destruction, enough choice for his people.
The good old days.