Yesterday I gathered all the evidence I needed to prove something I’ve been pretty sure of since my first week here. The Germans are out of control. I’m serious. I can prove this one. And just saying this, especially to the whole free world, will make them want to arrest me. Yes, them. As in all Germans. I’ve lumped them all together and don’t even feel bad about it and here’s why.
There is such a thing as the German Insult Law. This law is primarily used to protect the “honor and dignity” of all German law enforcement and government officials (yes, including the President) Yeah, wtf. It exists, it’s insane and it’s a CRIMINAL offense. Furthermore, it is commonly used in punishing “mere criticism of government policies or public officials, to stifle political discussion, and to squelch news and discussion that governments would rather avoid.” Get.the.hell.out.of.here.
Now, that’s not even the part that makes them crazier than a one-eyed bear. What’s even crazier is that they use it on each other. In order to create a more peaceful environment here, here are things that are NOT acceptable ways to behave, under said Insult Law (featured here: ://www.hqjmtc.army.mil/Organization/Special_Personal_Staff/Staff_SJA/Staff_SJA_FactSheets_Documents/German%20Law%20of%20Insult.pdf)
Now, let’s go over my favorite offenses that are punishable by fines and up to two years imprisonment.
1. Giving someone the one finger salute. Don’t even try it. They can sue you. This includes while driving. ESPECIALLY while driving.
2. Calling someone a name that is insulting. Some of my favorite words have been banned for the purpose of this insult law: Assclown, asshole, douchebag, dick, bastard–all not allowed. Jackass, the C word (my mother hates that word), and bitch…not allowed.
3. Throwing your hands over your head after being cut off in traffic…not allowed. Any sort of waving motion in front of your face (think jazz hands) to express anger…not allowed. I was told it’s the equivalent of the middle finger. Who knows.
4. Don’t use the word pig when referring to or addressing a police officer. I don’t understand why people love this anyway. And no oinking, because that’s disrespectful too. (that one is my interpretation only)
4. Tapping your head in traffic, as though to say, “What? Are you a goddamned moron?” while staring at the moron who just cut you off…not allowed. Really, Germany?
5. Referring to a German woman as “lady”….not allowed. No wonder the old women around me behave the way they do. Lady, for the record, is not insulting. Miserable, crotchety shrew is insulting.
And now for another fun law: The Blasphemy Law. DO NOT start hating on God and probably all of his friends. Don’t do it. But for the sake of making a point, I”ll post this, which I found in reading up on these laws. And yes, I know. I just secured my spot in hell. Surprise, surprise.
So, those are my favorites. Now here are a few other things you can sue your neighbors for.
1. Not taking care of your lawn.
2. Being too noisy on Relaxation Sunday. (no one is allowed to work or be loud here on Sundays. It’s bizarre.)
3. Not shoveling the snow before 7am. Yeah, like that’s going to happen any Saturday or SUnday morning.
So, there is some proof for you. Out. of. Control. Really. I think this is common European practice, though, as so many countries have these laws, meaning so many other people around the world just LOVE to sue the bejesus out of each other. It must be like a game, punishing each other all the time. This just would not work back in the states. For one, half of the population would be in jail or in court daily due to running their mouth. All of NYC would be in jail for giving the finger, cutting people off and acting aggressive towards each other (not allowed here). And good god. We just had eight years of GW Bush. How many people would be in jail right now for criticizing his brilliant effort at ruining, I mean running, the country?
I’m not going to even get into what happens if you are charged, arrested, etc. It’s absurd. All I know is that I’ll be keeping my finger to myself and my insults quiet. I will admit, though, Germany (and whoever else practices these laws) is probably a more peaceful (less insulting, maybe) place than the U.S. will ever be, which is really odd considering that whole thing that happened here, say 50-60 years ago….
Either way, as respectful as I’ll be while living here, I’m proud of my mouth and my freedom back home to run it. Final (personal) thoughts on this? Suck it up, Germany. You’re acting like an insecure, 14 year old girl. Grow a pair and stop being such a sally.