In my dark nights of self-contemplation, I often find myself lingering over Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the US cable series that releases the inner 13-year-old like nothing else – and I wish I could blog about that instead. There just aren’t enough instances of slow-motion bloodshed and homoerotic cries of triumph in modern German politics.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun and all informing the world about the government’s latest half-baked PowerPoint-based plans. This week, for example, I watched Social Affairs Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière give a press conference about the government’s five-point scheme for improving education opportunities and filling the huge lack of a skilled workforce in Germany.
But did they suggest scrapping the country’s very crap three-tiered school system? Did they bobbins. That would have made too much of a difference. Instead there were handouts with coloured arrows pointing to various “targets” for the next few years. “Targets” are the German government’s equivalent of the bland semolina pudding I was served at school.
At no point during the press conference did von der Leyen say, “I must grind that cock-eater’s pride beneath my heel!” or carve some drops of gladiator blood from de Maizière’s chiselled chest and mix it with wine to concoct an aphrodisiac. Similarly, de Maizière never said anything about “embracing suffering” or “caressing and fucking death,” and neither of them suggested we all go and ravage some slave-girls or crucify a narky gladiator. Even if they had, they wouldn’t have meant it.
Not that I think it would be a better world if they did do things like that. It would probably be worse. But if they’re not going to undo social injustices A LITTLE TINY BIT, they could at least use more swear words and fake old-fashioned syntax when presenting their anaemic plans.
See what you can achieve with these two simple elements. In Spartacus, a mardy Gaul has just uttered the delightful phrase: “The two of you would present a challenge equal to piss and shit.” Taking up that baton, von der Leyen could have said, “The government must aim to slide its engorged cock into the cunt of Germany’s lack of a skilled workforce,” or de Maizière could have said, “I will laugh like a giddy maiden as my bloody thumb gouges out 275,000 more university places by 2014 as if they were eyeballs.”
That would mollify my inner 13-year-old a bit, and maybe even make me believe in one of their soft, pudgy targets.