I didn’t think I’d live to hear one, but WIDI is a German language podcast (by Igor and a different Johannes) about technology that adds a unique perspective and a more systemic approach to the mix. If they manage to keep it niche, this will be a must listen for a German language audience.

German podcast update

I’m swapping out Lage der Nation whose popularity has led them to lose focus and believe in their own hype for FAZ Einspruch.

Einspruch is solely focused on legal issues which is what I listened to Lage mostly anyway. In Lage I had to skip the regurgitation of international issues for a German audience (much better covered elsewhere), the explanation of very basic facts (like where Venezuela is located) and the incessant mansplaining. After a while not that much was left.


I thought I had come up with the clever portmanteau “komplischwierig”, a combination of “kompliziert” (complicated) and “schwierig” (difficult). Unfortunately a quick Google search showed eight prior results where people have used the word.

The other German neologism I thought I could claim was “Fleischglück” but of course I’m not the first person to come up with that either.

Capitalism is magical

A story I meant to write up for a while is my discovery of the German rap formation K.I.Z. (Kapitalismus ist Zauberhaft) and with that German pop culture that is actually worthwhile and fun.

I was cycling through Berlin when at a traffic light a car full of women next to me was bouncing to some heavy beats. The lyric I caught through the open window was “Sie klatschen aneinander bei der Double Penetration”. That of course piqued my interest.

The story does not end well. I overtook them at the next traffic light and I was sure that they would not appreciate my vehicular cycling. Indeed they didn’t and they honked at me when they overtook (a particularly bad habit of Berlin drivers). In the spur of the moment I shouted the F-word back at them and I didn’t expect it but that did shut them up.

After that incident I listened to a bunch of K.I.Z. and found their lyrics to be funny and smart. Their general modus operandi seems to be lots of clowning and ironizing topics by taking them to their utter extremes.

A great example of this is the song “Ich bin Adolf Hitler”. I actually had to look up whether K.I.Z. were nazis or not. Irony in Germany can be difficult to gauge. They also had a song about Jörg Haider called Straight outta Kärnten. I was on holiday in Kärnten this summer blissfully unaware of its dubious reputation.

K.I.Z. is a breath of fresh air in German popular culture. It does not take itself or anything particularly seriously and that is something Germany could use a great deal more of.