Monday, 19 July 2010

On Die Welle

I have recently fallen head over heels in love with It's bloody brilliant. At first I did wonder whether it was really worth the money - I can only have two DVDs at home at any one time and, though I watch them soon after they arrive, I'm piss-poor at remembering to post them back. Then I realised, months into my subscription, that I can actually watch hundreds of films ONLINE. This amazed me and I dived headfirst into an ocean of highbrow foreign film. I've nothing against Hollywood; sometimes it's just what I want to see. At other times, however, the snob in me demands cultural sustenance so that I can sound cultured in front of people who don't know me [people that do know me will not be fooled into believing I am cultured by any amount of obscure cinematic knowledge].

Last night I chose Die Welle (The Wave). [See, that was snobbish in itself; I patronised you by putting the translation in brackets as if to say "LOOK AT ME AND MY GERMAN LANGUAGE SKILLS" when in reality I don't speak any German. None at all. You watch, soon I'll be littering my posts with ever so impressive continental and cultural phrases like zeitgeist, milieu and...and...champignon]. So, I chose this film, and I saw that it was good.

In brief, it's about a teacher attempts to liven up a week long project on the dangers of autocratic government with some unusual teaching methods. Apparently this is something that is taught fairly often in German schools and, rather than force his students to sit through another recap of the Third Reich, he moulds the class into a miniature autocratic society. It soon spirals out of control, with tragic results.

This got me thinking. I am, of course, not going to pursue world domination [so you can calm down, Gnetch] and I'm fully aware that autocratic government is a very bad thing. However, it's summer and it's hot, and the heat shortens my temper. It's as if the sun forces all the people that annoy me onto the streets, ready to inconvenience me as I make my way through an already difficult day - suddenly a society with me at the helm seems a little more tempting. As I was between books today, I dedicated this morning's train journey to the development of my manifesto.

My first act would provide a long overdue upgrade to the London Underground network. Fact: it needs air conditioning. Second fact: it irritates me when I see livestock transported along motorways in lorries with more ventilation than I have during my daily commute.

My second act would remove all this economy malarkey which confuses me so. Currencies, exchange rates, inflation, recession...there's simply no need. We'll trade in pebbles, and all pebbles will be equal, and all will then be well.

My third would ban slow walkers from the streets during rush hour. I don't expect everyone to walk at speed at all times, but people should appreciate that when I need to be somewhere, I don't want to match their dawdling pace. The same goes for suitcases and, I'm afraid to say, pushchairs.

My fourth; a nationwide ban on whistling in the workplace and in public spaces. Whistling irritates me, especially when it is tuneless. I'd rather people sang a song as they walked (quickly) down the road - in fact I would reward them for this.

At this point I realised that my policies had begun to infringe on people's civil liberties. Oddly enough, some people actually like whistling. Plus, I suppose it could be considered unfair to keep the dawdlers, mothers with young children and travellers with suitcases cooped up indoors. Who am I to decide these things? Despite having no actual power at all, the slightest, smallest idea of it went straight to my head. Within hours of watching a film detailing the ever-present dangers of autocracy, I had become a tyrant. Stay away from politics T - it's not for you.

Put. The. Manifesto. Down.


  1. Don't worry, Cuz. I'm calm. But what really scared you? The torture chamber I made or the fact that you'll be stuck with Bieber inside it? :P

    I must say, your manifesto is awesome. Don't worry about affecting people's freedom to do what they want. Tuneless whistling is very annoying. And about the air conditioning, I'd say, when we rule the world, I would have the whole world air conditioned during summer.

  2. I'd be so behind you on the dawdlers policy!

  3. I read the wave in grammar school - pretty scary stuff! it's a true story too, I gather...

    I think it's really easy to dictate - I often catch myself thinking that all dawdlers should be shot.

  4. I go with your second and third act! I hate slow walkers too because i walk fast. If they would walk in the same pace with me, i wouldn't have the urge to kick the person in front of me hahaha kidding!