And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Donald, The Germans, And Angie.

Wednesday morning

Central European Time,

I woke to find a not finished US election,

a huge uproar

“will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he,”

CNN talking and talking and talking,

the German news explaining

and explaining,

and explaining,

or, well, ….not explaining.

And all from the politician’s understanding of politics.


what was good enough for courtiers before the French revolution-

court intrigue,

is fine with us contemporary politicians:

get what you can,

wheel and deal,

break into others’ offices,

and computers,

start whisper campaigns,

poison the well…

I served seven years in a political organization over here,

against my own better judgement-

I was right-

hoping to introduce some new ideas,

and new organizational forms,

to save some of the

outmoded  and decaying choirs

of the over a million singers in the singers’ union-

all being used for political purposes by their representatives.

I stayed on the sidelines.

Studied the goings-on.

Refused to get involved in the corruption.


And mean-spirited little people.

Not my problem.


will take care of it for me.

In His time.

Back to politics.


about an hour after I woke up,

just tucking into a bowl of oatmeal,

I heard the “little” people,

who aren’t so little, are they?

elect a president.

A historic moment.

Over good old midwestern oatmeal with raisins.

My politics, their politics…

Who cares.

I am proud.

And prouder still


doing a quick veg and milk stop later,

I heard the local Gutenberger discussing the election.


not remembering that I am an American,

( I don’t wave the flag except among dear friends)

they talked freely.

And not about what was being said by politicians

on German news.

The gist was:

“Politicians are politicians,”

“we’ll see what really happens in the next couple of months,”

“we can’t wait to see the real battle between that tough-talking orange person

and  our teflon-fist-in-the-badly-made-suit lady chancellor,”

“he was just set up by Putin anyway as an ad campaign,”

“now let’s see what he’s really made of

when he has to face his helpers.”

And finally…

this being a Very Catholic area,

“let him go.

Let the devil have him.

All of them.


All politicians.


Followed by a description of who won the card game last night and how much,

(“he owes us all a drink”)

the village news,


since I had by then packed my groceries and paid,

and was on my way out the door,

an attempt was made by one of the card-playing brothers

to sell me the local newspaper.

At which point I reminded him,


that I don’t read German newspapers,

since I am an American.

And the newspapers’ reporting of facts,

have nothing to do with what I,

as a non-European,

see as truth.

And being Bretzelbacher first,

and German second,

they apologized sincerely,

which I brushed off as not necessary-

their village-

From pre-Roman times-

asked who I voted for-

which I also brushed off,

secret of the ballot,

and bid them all “tschuss.”-

the local form of adieu.

I would see them soon.

And that,

in my opinion,

is the basis of the whole Brexit-Trumpxit business.

I would see them soon.

Not at a board meeting of an international company,

a security council meeting of the UN

or a barbecue for 1.3 billion Chinese

in my backyard,

or trying to discuss how far international waters extend,

while dunking the newly apprenticed printers’ devils,

now both male and female,

here in Gutenberg land,

but friend to friend,

in church, school, community work,

or festivals,

where everyone in the community takes part.

And everyone knows who people are,

because they know them.

As faces.

And by their deeds.

And the tales of their common tribe, community, nation.

Too big is too big.

People are people.

And finance is not people.

I smiled all the way home.

copyright 2016

2 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Donald, The Germans, And Angie.

  1. I’m not surprised people around you took such close interest in the US Presidential election. Politics in the US affects most countries in the end and will certainly affect Germany. The politics in China and Russia have a tremendous influence around the world too, but are far more opaque and so more difficult to follow. Frankly speaking, I wish the result had been different, but reality goes where it will and we all just have to respond as best we can.

    Liked by 1 person

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