Sunday, May 15, 2011

Enjoy Difference - Start Intolerance



Pro Sieben marketed their "tolerance day" big some weeks ago. It was not a big thing in the end. It was supposed to be about tolerance towards other cultures, but there was little impact that day on tv. Some stuff about prejudices, that's all.
Now, some weeks later, they go back to normal, and sacrifice their self-declared integrity at the altar of capitalism. Whatever it takes to make an entertaining show at low cost, they will do it.

So there was this show called Galileo, an "edutainment" thing. That means it looks like a science format, but in the end they only show you stuff that is weird but doesn't heal cancer or AIDS. While National Geographic shows you the most amazing animals, Galileo shows you the biggest pizza in the world, or "fake checking" youtube videos of cars with burning wheels or a guy jumping out of a swimming pool and landing on his feet.

The other day, they made fun of Singapore. "Singaporeans are bonkers" could be the literal translation. Then they did what they were good at: Taking a few things out of context and making them look like they are absolutely normal in that country. I am not talking about the usual suspects like laws in Singapore, caning in Singapore etc. The Galileo guy entered the scene at the airport and, "not having to look very far", he already saw the first "weird" thing. A woman at a store holding something that looks like a gun at people's heads. But it's only a fever detector, to see if people are sick. So they exchanged a couple of words, and then, for the first time, Galileo labelled the Singaporeans as weird. Because, at least that's the impression, EVERY DAMN STORE in Singapore has people at the entrance checking if you have a fever.

Next thing on the list: There is a building called Nirvana Memorial where dead bodies go after being burned. The place is full of Bhudda statues with laser beams, a monk who got imported from China and paid to perform prayers, and everything is expensive and fancy. And again they put the stamp on Singapore: How crazy, and how common in Singapore. Yeah... every Singaporean pays several thousand bucks to have their loved ones in a good state after death. It's not like they can't afford it, right?

Next stop: This weird cage thing. Even though I've been to Singapore twice, I must have missed the hundreds of bird cages that hang down from ceilings at EVERY corner in Singapore. And EVERY Singaporean likes to sit below the cages. They are up there so high so that the birds won't be stressed from people walking around. Oh yeah.... and people love birds so much in Singapore... sure.

Last thing to mention: SPI, Singapore paranormal investigators. A bunch of people that I have already heard about... cool. They are looking for ghosts, even with ghost-buster-like devices that measure electrical currents. Okay... in the end, they never find a ghost and the guy from Galileo tricks them with his cell phone that makes a spooky sound. Those stupid Singaporeans. They are so weird and silly, all of them. And all it takes to prove that is 5 Singaporeans out of 4 million... checkmate.

Well, I happen to live with someone who is from Singapore, and just to make sure I wasn't wrong, I asked her about this stuff. And to put things right: The fever checking was a useful method in times of the SARS disease spreading, and it was only for a couple of months. It's NOT common. Nirvana Memorial is largely unknown. Bird cages high up in the air are a hobby of just some Singaporeans, dogs are still a lot more popular as pets. And PSI can hardly represent the whole population.

What I hate the most is that Galileo sells prejudices for facts. They even said in the beginning that Asians always smile. Yeah. And then they take a couple of Singaporeans and draw the conclusion that all that these people do is also what every Singaporean, hell no, every Asian does!

I get cramps in my stomach imagining that in other countries in the world, people might see this kind of stuff on tv where all Germans are judged by the fact that 10 Germans go to a " who has the longest moustache" contest. Or wear Lederhosen and drink beer with a Wiener Schnitzel at the Oktober Fest. Not ALL Germans are like that. Please!

Even more absurd, after that part about Singapore, they came up with their next experiment: What you can glue together with gummi bears: Trucks, people to walls, etc. I am asking you: Who are the ones who are bonkers here? It's ridiculous.

I am not taking Galileo very seriously, but I was angry. I am not asking for much from an edutainment show, but if you try to make entertainment with educational stuff, at least sell the things that are entertaining but at least TRUE and free of prejudices!!!

I have had enough. I think I'll sit back now, let my moustache grow, get a beer, a Weisswurst and then I'll put on my Lederhosen, take my German Shepherd into the woods and complain about the negroes and the good old days when the F├╝hrer was still around (sarcasm!!!).