Rob Beschizza at 7:39 am Thu, Feb 14, 2013
Ina Fassbender photographed this papier-mache figure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, suckling 'Greek', 'Spanish', 'Portuguese' and 'Italian' piglets at Cologne's Rose Monday carnival procession.
Previously: Pixelhead masks that make you look like a pixellated German Secretary of the Interior
Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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Could you put this behind a NSFW screen maybe?
I know they aren’t real or human boobs, but my boss might not care.
Your boss sounds deeply disturbed.
I’d like to point out that Ms. Merkel’s name is kinda close to Ferkel (as written on the boat) which means piglet and – by association – mucky pup and (hermless) pervert.
I think the message is also along the lines of the xenophobic and racist PIGS acronym for Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
It’s doubly insulting. A six-teated sow is worthless!
The same week that mass demonstrations block an NPD event, this happens. Is it an East/West thing? I guess my Greek friend that will be attending the RWT university next semester wont’ have a great time…
Mind you that this display is not for a political demonstration, nor are these puppets covered in swastikas, nor are they meant to be put on fire. The people standing on this chariot will shower spectators with caramel candy. It is made for a carnival parade, the point of which is to *subvert* all rules of normal life (as in, drink too much, swear, show your boss the finger, make un-PC jokes and make out with your neighbour’s wife) in the week before the catholic 40 day period of fasting. Therefore, you should not be worried for your friends.
Hey, at least that NPD event was blocked.
All the Greeks around here seem to be quite happy they are not in Greece for the time being.
I predict your friend will have a great time at the RWTH.
edit: boingboing – take all my comments or leave it. comment deleted
That is sexist and xenophobic bordering on racist. It’s disgusting, and roughly comparable to a bloated Michelle Obama suckling Mexicans and Guatemalans. Bad, bad, bad taste.
I see it more as Nationalist than anything else. Definitely highly xenophobic and troubling, regardless.
“sexist” – why and how? Because a female pig is portrayed with breasts? “xenophobic” – why and how? Those foreign pigs look rather jolly and I don’t see how anyone is supposed to be frightened by them “racist” – why and how? They are all identical looking pigs and they portray nationalities not races. Also your comparison makes no sense as Michelle Obama has no political power and is not responsible for financial support of Mexico and Guatemala.
sexist because they’re portraying a woman as a) a pig and b) as primarily being defined by a sexual characteristic.
In this giant political cartoon they are portraying countries as a sow, with sucklings sucking of its teats. The big pig, it has a Merkelesque face, symbolizes Germania. The sucklings symbolize EU members with insane fiscal, economic, tax and other policies that will cost the German taxpayer incredibly much money. Danke Merkel.
The float is an exaggeration of the perception common in Germany those countries were actually receiving the gazillions, while in reality those piglets would more accurately be painted with bank branding.
blockquote>”xenophobic” – why and how? Those foreign pigs look rather jolly and I don’t see how anyone is supposed to be frightened by them “racist” – why and how? They are all identical looking pigs and they portray nationalities not races.The fact that they look jolly is part of it. Have you been reading coverage from Greece? Do they sound jolly? Well-suckled? “Frightened” is a non-sequitir, the float depicts Greeks, Portuguese, and Italians as lazy, useless moochers. It’s intended to stir feelings against an “other”, in this case people of different nationalities.
Here’s a definition of xenophobic: unreasonably fearful of or hating anyone or anything foreign or strange.
novium already gave you a good answer to why it’s sexist.
Sexist because Angela Merkel’s sex is emphasised, unlike a male politician’s would be. Xenophobic (xenophobia =/= racism though they go hand-in-hand) because it portrays entire nations as being freeloaders taking advantage of Germany. Those nationalities are often target of prejudice because they’re seen as more mixed, darker peoples, and that’s rarely a coincidence, and I wouldn’t doubt racism. It’s pretty damn blatant, so I’d say you’re willingly missing it (I mean, not xenophobic because the pigs are jolly? Are you serious? Minorities and foreigners are portrayed as jolly, unconscionable freeloaders all the time.)
This doesn’t even need explanation in the 21st century. I suspect you’ve been trolled.
Also, after forty years of failure, why are there still so many people who think the answer to a recession is austerity?
Sober analysis of economic history can be clouded by pig boobs.
fakefighter explains it very well.
I suspect qwrtyp is not trolling or dense, just unaware that whole countries and their populations are actually being called P.I.G.S (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) Perhaps s/he thinks the pigs imagery is some crazy idea just for the carnival. Whereas the PIGS acronym has been used in the media and in public discourse by officials, journalists and other people who should know better.
As a Greek, I find it both offensive and inaccurate (in that only a small sliver of the help Greece has received has actually reached Greece. Most of it went to european banks and creditors).
The float is a trolling device, not qwrtyp. Most Germans know quite well that the Greeks are in deep trouble.
It’s more tongue in cheek.
This is Karneval; Narrenfreiheit (jester’s privilege) predates freedom of speech.
It is situated in a unique cultural context:
Stasi document pulled from chancellor Kohl’s butt:
Chancellor Schröder flashing his own party:
Hitler defecating the NPD party:
The USA defecates chancellor Merkel:
George Bush and Saddam Hussein as gay lovers:
Maffia sodomizes Berlusconi:
Obama farts in Lady Liberties’ face while presenting a dove of peace to a sleepy German Michel:
Conclusion: this is not unusual at all, during the fifth season.
At least the depictions of Italy, Spain and Greece are not being defecated by somebody.
And the depiction of the German chancellor is no less of a pig than they are.
I think in this context the Merkel float becomes less offensive.
I wish we had these floats in the US, rather than the Rose Bowl or Mardi Gras floats. On second thought, maybe not: I don’t want to imagine what the Tea Party would come up with.
well, there’s one good thing about the existence of this; that it’s allowed to exist, and presumably paraded, means that freedom of speech is currently healthy in Germany. (it could be otherwise)
I’d like to note, that the ceremony of dragging over the top caricatures of political viewpoints trough city streets at a special yearly occasion isn’t something you will understand if you’ve not grown up with it.
The whole purpose is to be as offensive and crass as you can be. If people are not being offended, you haven’t tried hard enough.
*putting away the economics spreadsheets* Ah, now I get it. I think I can get behind this kind of thing. I can think of some stupid opinions in my own country that I’d like to make a joke of.
Judging from the reactions here, Cologne carnival officials offend with German efficiency ;)
In Basel nobody would bat an eyelid at something like this :)
Honestly, this is far more complimentary to the politician than it is to the other countries. She’s at least a provider, the rest are bound to her teats of “austerity”.
That’s my problem with it. Germany was the first country to start fudging numbers that eventually led to the current economic crisis. The EU let them get away with it because, well, [David Mitchell] they’re Germany [/David Mitchell]. Once they had done it, there wasn’t much they could do about everyone else doing it.
Meaty Merkel mammary moguls make mouthwatering money milk. Mandatory Männerbrüste month?
Bird-like butt bare bunga bunga Berlusconi breeds belching bull’s beckoning bovine behind: Buongiorno, i’m bbback!
The sign on the well reads: Wunschbrunnen (= wishing well) – out of order
The Vandals stole the handle.
Handle vandal scandal?
…..or maybe it was the Visigoths
“Voluntary Visigoth vandalism verboten,” vents vain vagabond veteran viewing volksführer’s venerable voluminous vanilla varicosities. Vibrant virtuous Venus vassal versus vapid vexatious vestigial Victorian vanguard ventriloquist vowing vitality via value vivisection.
Everything else aside, those are some shapely breasts!
Let’s quietly reflect on that last sentence.
The jester’s mirror says: ”Nun sind unser zwei” (Now there are two of us)
I call bullshit.
I have (“Pleitegriechen”) and the Focus campaign as well.
But judging the Germans by their tabloids is – bad judgement.
There simply is no anti-Greek frenzy. Indifference maybe at worst.
The pig-human hybrid theme is strikingly similar to the sculpture “The Young Family”
The PIIGS import from Germany.
This float is moronic on multiple levels, but I’m surprised that no one has noted how improperly attired the little pigs are.
They should not be wearing national flag diapers, but rather diapers with the logos of German banks. This is not a ‘bail out’ of Greece and others, it’s a bail out of their creditors–mostly German banks–who did pretty much what the predatory lenders in the U.S. did to Americans.
It’s a travesty!
The Greeks have been agitated into calling every German politician a Nazi.
And now many Greeks are calling the Germans Nazis because they dont come there for holiday anymore.
If you really want to generalize do it on both sides please.
This happens everywhere. I am Spaniard, Catalan, and here, in the north, you can see the same kind of feeling related to the south of the country (they are lazy, get the money doing nothing….). The medecine to fight this perception is knowledge, culture and empathy. By knowing others it is easier to understand them. Meanwhile we have to accept that somebody make fun with papier-mache about something that it is in the head of a lot of German people. I hope that this helps our politicians to make good use of the funds received.
I think you mean “sexist and xenophobic.” Germany is actually screwing over Greece with forced austerity, not nurturing it. Also, depicting her as a sow?!? UGH.
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