The main purpose of this blog is to

  1. support open-ended debates of topics that have to do with German or German culture as viewed from the US, or as they intersect/differ from/align with American culture. I will try to mediate based on my experience as someone who grew up in Germany and has been living in the US for more than 30 years.
  2. allow friends of mine to pursue other topics of mutual interest, which may include, but are not restricted to, topics in architecture and design, which is my professional background.

If you are interested in starting a thread on a certain topic within the purview of this blog, please send me an e-mail to that effect—if you have an introduction to introduce the thread, please include it in your e-mail. I will then create a post with an appropriate title and display your reasoning for creating the thread.

To be understood up-front:

This is not a daily blog—I cannot come up with some topic for discussion every day. Readers should also know that I never studied German or German literature formally at a university; i.e. my knowledge of the language and culture stems strictly from the fact that Germany is my country of birth and that I lived there for the first 35 years of my life (interrupted only by 2½ years spent as a grad. student in the US).

Readers should also understand that I have been living abroad for over 30 years now: I'm no longer familar with the current "scene" in Germany, which I experience only during infrequent visits. And no, I can't answer questions about the recent spelling reform.

Rules of engagement:

We will not discuss religion in any serious way. This rule reflects my disastrous experience with trying to do this on other blogs. Initially, I also included politics among the topics to be avoided—for the same reasons. But the election of 2008 proved irresistible for some readers who clearly enjoyed discussing events as they unfolded on a day-by-day basis with like-minded friends. We did not get into any trouble (i.e. had no visits from trolls and other unpleasant creatures) basically because we operated underneath the radar of political blogs. Unless this situation changes, we may engage again in political discussions. BTW I get profoundly saddened when I go back to those discussions: How optimistic we were, and how badly disappointed we (or at least I) have become since.

Personal insults will not be tolerated; i.e. I will ruthlesly exercise my power to delete comments that I find offensive. I'm very tolerant, though, in that regard; e.g. I did not see a reason to delete a comment advertising an escort service in London—I thought it was funny that the spammer selected the "German comfort food" thread to place the ad.

Note added in January 2014: To my delight, this blog has, up to a week ago, been flying underneath the radar of German Oberlehrer who infest other blogs and make them all but indigestible to me (if you go to the above link, you'll see why). But alas, this period of bliss has ended—the first Oberlehrer have found my blog and have gone on their customary hunt for nits they can then pick. It's often clear that they haven't even read the post they are responding to with any care—as soon as they find something they can object to, they post their comment, and they do this in a tone that makes it clear that they are not in the least interested in discussing the issue at hand. They do this only to demonstrate their superior knowledge to the world. As I said, I'm not fond of these people and it does not take much to make me delete any evidence that they ever trolled my blog.

Last change made to this page on 30 January 2014

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