Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Sick European Relationship with Power

Amazingly, this came from a Bertelsmann mock-blog of all places – one called “Sight and Sign” which normally lauds all things “culturally” European except for the occasional New Yorker or Vanity Fair article to try to give it a “global” look.

The broadcaster ZDF has co-financed the 60th birthday celebrations for the Minister President of Rheinland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck, who was also the chairman of ZDF's board of directors for many years. The blog Achse des Guten (axis of good) quotes a letter from ZDF to a viewer who had asked for more information: "Originally, ZDF had considered honouring the longstanding chair of its board of directors with a special event that would give the executive management, the members of the ZDF supervisory board, as well as the staff the opportunity to show their reverence for Kurt Beck. The minister president made it clear that personal gifts were not desired and that the expenditure for the reception should be kept within acceptable proportions. For that reason, the government of Rheinland-Palatinate and ZDF agreed to host an event together. Indeed ZDF is essentially funneling its limited contribution to this event into technical-organisational support as well as a cash contribution."
A local politician on the take, the need to “revere” his somehow, putting him on the board of one of Germany’s most influential broadcasting outfits... sure. Sounds fair that is, if you’re the type that likes to lick the boot that kicks you.
(And what form did their reverence take? Did they kiss his ring?)
Historically speaking, if that is European culture you’re talking about, then the answer would be yes.

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