German culture has much to be proud of. Things like Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck, Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy, and Jochen Busse’s “Denglish sketch” all spring to mind after just a brief consideration.
So I don’t want you to think I’m thoughtlessly bashing German culture just because I believe that being made to stand in front of the world holding a Bambi, a frail baby golden deer, is like being forced to stand in front of your first lover naked holding your own poo.
The Bambi is given out every year by a jury of editors from the Burda house, who edit all these magazines. But they don’t just, for instance, give out a prize for the best singer/actor/flower-arranger every year, since in fact; they have no expertise in these arts. Instead the jury rewards people who have “done something special – moved, touched, entertained, or helped.”
Hence, the categories are pretty abstract. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, for example, won the “Millenium- Bambi”, for giving his opinion on TV a lot, while Gwyneth Paltrow carried off the “Film international” Bambi, because her “authenticity” distinguishes her from “some of her colleagues”. In other words, it all sinks into a sticky, insubstantial dough.
In those pictures, you read the panicked, existential question behind the eyes of the celebrities clutching their foolish statues: “Why am I here again?” You are here, Gwyneth, because the editor of Bunte thinks you are “always ready to hide your beauty in your role”. Yes, that’s the best anyone could come up with to explain your presence in Wiesbaden on a cold November night.
Perhaps the height of the emptiness came in 2007, when Tom Cruise picked up a Bambi for “courage,” because, well, he played a courageous person.
So really, giving Bushido the “Integration” Bambi for being “an excellent example of successful integration” is no radical development. He may be homophobic and misogynistic, but he says he’s changed his ways. His lyrics certainly suggest an appetite for experimentation: “A cock in the arse, a cock in the mouth. A cock in the cunt, now we’re really fucking.”