Just Above Sunset
May 15, 2005 - Protests in Germany

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Only in Germany?  Note this -


Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature flag portraits of US President George W. Bush into piles of dog poo in public parks. Josef Oettl, parks administrator for Bayreuth, said: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2,000 to 3,000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time."

The series of incidents was originally thought to be some sort of protest against the US-led invasion of Iraq. And then when it continued it was thought to be a protest against President George W. Bush's campaign for re-election. But it is still going on and the police say they are completely baffled as to who is to blame. "We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act," said police spokesman Reiner Kuechler. "But frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red handed." Legal experts say there is no law against using feces as a flag stand and the federal legal experts say there is no law against using feces as a flag stand and the federal constitution is vague on the issue.


And here is photographic illustration for those who are curious.


I passed this item along to my email discussion group, asking if my three friends in European could verify this news item.  An urban legend, or true?


Before the crew in Western Europe could answer, our high-powered Wall Street attorney, from his office more than thirty floors about Battery Park, sent a thought - I think one should ask where John Kerry has been of late.


Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta, ever sensible, commented –


It occurs to me that those that who theorize that this is a protest against Bush might just have it backwards.

Might it instead be a protest against those who think nothing of not cleaning up after their dogs?


Then our expatriate friend, late of Beverly Hills out here, who is moving away the temptations of Paris for the solid stolidity of Belgium, sent this -


There is certainly ample opportunity, given the copious number of dog piles one sees on Parisian sidewalks, but I have not seen this particular form of protest.  For some inexplicable reason, the Belgians seem to clean up after their dogs, so presumably some other venue for protest is necessary.


Our high-powered Wall Street attorney, staring down at the Statue of Liberty in the harbor far below his office, considered what alternative form Belgium protests could possibly take - Belgium Lace Doilies with Bush in the center?


Ric Erickson, editor and publisher of MetropoleParis, clarified matters.


This is an old story.  The first time I saw it they said they were trying to catch the culprits, maybe burn them at the stake.  Bayreuth in Franken is considered to be honorary Bavaria.  In Munich they say Prussia starts 'north of the Main.'  Before the Wall came down Prussia represented everything wrong with Germany. (see footnote)  Maybe it's the zone these days.  Bavaria is pretty conservative so they might be offended by little Bush flags sticking out of dog poop.


On the other hand Bavarians are earthy.  Pig shit is often mentioned.  If you eat pig a lot then pig shit could be kind of noble.  No pigs without shit.  But hardly anybody eats dogs, so I guess dog poop is just a nuisance there like it is everywhere in the funky western world.  It's ghastly in Munich too, where there's always a bit of morning dew on the stone sidewalks and people don't look where they're going.  I think dogs - those little wire-haired Dackels - in Munich probably eat a lot of pig.  Munich is a nice place but a lot of the better districts can look a bit like slippery pigpens in the mornings.


Putting colorful flags in the dog poop is probably a public service. I don't think the French would decorate it with flags.  In France shit is merde and that's all there is to it.  It's natural but nobody wants to make a monument out of it.  You don't even see any at the beautiful cow show.  I was surprised at how few pigs were there.


They say the Paris street cleaners pick up and cart away six tons of crap per day.  A lot of visitors complain about it but they are pretty efficient.  If you don't get before noon you don't see that much; 5.96 tons is already gone.  Try telling visitors to sleep until noon if they don't like shit.  Some people act as if it's a stinky prank Parisians are pulling.  I don't think so.  Parisian bathrooms aren't all that fancy so the dogs go elsewhere.  It's natural, common sense.


Footnote: In Hamburg, which is not Prussia, they say the Balkans begin south of the Elbe.  In Berlin, which is in Prussia, nobody is sorry about inferiority complexes.  Berlin is an island that ignores Prussia.  They've been there before.


Ric knows – before launching MetropoleParis he was a journalist in Germany.  He had many jobs in Germany.


Our high-powered Wall Street attorney, staring out at the Varazanno Narrows Bridge far in the distance, falls into reverie -


As a young lad of ten or so, I was vacationing with my family in Europe for the summer.  I was quite fascinated by the woman defecating on a street corner in front of a rather well known art museum in Paris.  A strange memory, non?


Ric in Paris to our friend in Manhattan - Early impressions are the best!  Treasure them.


Ah, but if this all is too ripe for you, our Just Above Sunset columnist Bob Patterson suggests this - no fuss, no muss.




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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