Thank God I am not like other People

von Maximilian Steinbeis

When I was at the movies the other day, I saw a commercial that left me agape with incredulity: A young woman enters a butcher’s shop with a dusty neon sign saying “Internet” above its door. The interior is filled with dim, yellowish light, the display of bulging sausages is abuzz with flies, and behind the counter stands a blond giant with wild hair and crazy eyes and a cleaver in the hand. At a stand-up table, an shabby-looking skinny guy with humungous glasses slurps something brownish from a spoon and then sets out to trim his nose hair. “What’s that?” asks the woman as the butcher offers her a lump of grease. “Hate,” he says. “Would you like a little more?” Nah, the woman says, whereupon butcher and nose hair guy break out in moronic laughter and the horrified customer flees from the scene.

The message of this commercial by the newspaper taz is fairly obvious: Stay clear of all that online filth and read a good old newspaper instead. The taz – the lowercase spelling is very much intentional, as this newspaper is a product of 1968 left-wing counterculture and written and read mostly by middle-aged ironic liberals like myself, the sort you’ll find stirring their soy-milk moccachinos in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Cologne Südstadt and Hamburg Altona – the taz wouldn’t be the taz if it didn’t explain the deeper meaning of this little gem of cinematography on its corporate blog: The intention of this commercial is to “make palpable an Internet discourse encoded only by hatred and demarcation”. And what a resounding success it is by that measure, thank you very much indeed. It becomes extremely palpable how the discourse on hatred and demarcation is encoded by hatred and demarcation ...

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