Thursday, June 13, 2024

It feels like the social order is crumbling in Germany

It feels like the social order is crumbling in Germany.

The rise in political violence combined with a rapidly shifting party landscape in which a right-wing force is emerging as a major player reminds many Germans of the 1920s and 30s. AfD politicians and voters have long been called ‘Nazis’ by their opponents, but now a new spate of scandals has sparked fears that far-right sentiments may be more embedded than political polling suggests. 

Over recent months, videos have appeared of people singing Nazis slogans to the 1999 party tune L’amour Toujours by the Italian DJ Gigi D’Agostino. In October last year, young people sang ‘Germany for the Germans, foreigners out’ (Deutschland den Deutschen, Ausländer raus) when the song was played at a harvest festival in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Recordings were posted on social media, and it became a trend with further cases being reported to the police across the country.


It then made the headlines when a group of revellers at an exclusive bar on the island of Sylt filmed themselves singing the ‘foreigners out’ version. One man was seen doing a Hitler salute and mimicking the dictator’s moustache with two fingers. The footage went viral, and the German press, politicians and public figures condemned the group as ‘champagne Nazis’. In another incident, students of the private school of Louisenlund in northern Germany were caught doing the same thing at a school party. Such blatant disregard for the country’s post-war taboos by members of the wealthy elite cast unsettling doubts over the idea that this only about the great unwashed.


The New Generation of Online Culture Curators

The New Yorker [unpaywalled]: “In a digital landscape overrun by algorithms and A.I., we need human guides to help us decide what’s worth paying attention. 

The current Internet landscape sometimes feels like the Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker”: directionless, inexplicable, bound to change in confusing ways. Our social-media feeds don’t offer much except the forward acceleration of algorithmic recommendations. Google and other forms of search are becoming clogged with content generated by artificial intelligence. Knowing what you’re looking for doesn’t always help you chart a path, because niche communities can be difficult to locate and to keep up with. 

We are in a transitional phase of digital culture, and thus more in need than ever of friendly faces, personable human guides (not unlike a “stalker” in the Zone), to help us navigate this treacherous ground. Such guides go by many names—call them influencers, or content creators, or just “this one guy I follow.” Guided by their own cultivated sense of taste, they bring their audiences news and insights in a particular cultural area, whether it’s fashion, books, music, food, or film…

Curation takes work, and like any other kind of labor it is only sustainable if it’s reasonably compensated. Gee monetizes his account by creating sponsored content on TikTok, primarily for audio-equipment brands. Magasin earns the majority of its revenue from affiliate marketing—for every reader who clicks a link to, say, a new Proenza Schouler cashmere sweater, and buys one, Reilly earns a commission based on a small percentage of the sale price. 

Before Magasin, Reilly worked in e-commerce fashion writing at the magazine InStyle, highlighting new product releases and deals. That approach provided inspiration for her newsletter, and set her apart from other solo fashion commentators: “I didn’t want it to be something that was a diary; I wanted it to be a service,” she said…”