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You don't suppose they're talking about the watch pocket, do you? A classic of prejudice supported by misinformation.


Over the line, Howard.

Don't we have an installation there?

Move em out.

A shame, was one of my fave cities when I did my tour of Europe.

Howard, you're out of your element.

I do not know what other Jeff signed up above, but I agree. It was over the line: about 20,000 miles over the line.

Was that translated correctly? The writer describes European Spirit as "frustration" and "hunger". Is this a two phase process and are well into phase one?

Um - can Howards comments be edited please - its really not required

Bye Howard,

Those kinds of comments are not welcome here.

---Ray D.


Sorry about that, dude... it occurred to me immediately after I posted that there was another Jeff posting here. A brainfart on my part. :-)

Wow. That little pocket in my Levis is for bullet storage, when I always thought it was for a pocket watch or pocket knife. You learn something new every day!

I smell bullshit, though. Leaving aside the fact that denim pants weren't manufactured in quantity until almost 1900, no gun-slinging cowboy would ever wear Levis. In fact, few cowboys ever wore denim pants. Denim is NOT a great cloth for the type of work they do.

That little tiny pocket is also a stupid way to store ammo. It's difficult to pull stuff out of that tiny pocket in a hurry, and considering the small number of rounds that could be carried it seems rather pointless. And consider that for much of the time their pants were WET. Pulling ammo out of that tight pocket when wet while under attack by Indians? I doubt it ever happened. You try getting something out of that pocket when your pants are wet.

Soldiers and others working on the frontier stored their ammo on their belts. They could get to it fast and they could carry more of it. For pants they wore heavy wool primarily.

Not only do the U.S. forces have "an installation" in Heidelberg, it happens to be the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe. During the '80s, 10% of Heidelberg residents were Americans. And another 20% were university students. Sensitive as I am to anti-American sentiment in Germany, and saddened by it, there's a slightly different situation in Heidelberg. It may be more like the town-gown conflict that occurs in university towns all over Europe and the U.S., especially in smaller cities like Heidelberg. The townies hate the students, and yet depend on them frequently for their livelihoods. Oxford has it/Cambridge/New Haven/Providence, etc.

And, duh, the pockets are obv. for watches. That's why they're called, and are exclusively called, "watch pockets."

I actually wanted to write something about the RNZ not being worth the paper it's printed on.
It's a province newspaper, packed with spelling errors along with the opinions of Elementary School drop outs, playing journalists... but i kinda lost my motivation to do it... so i guess this will do... for now

Hmm someone should tell this newspaper (with their apparently expert research department) that denim jeans are worn by neo-conservative, fascist, homophobic, gun owning American rednecks and if they want to prove their solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world they should not wear "any" pants.

Prior to World War I, thousands of young American men studied in German universities. It really was the place to get a good education if your family could afford it. Sure, Heidelberg was scenic, but I think the decision not to bomb that city had its roots in a kind of reservoir of goodwill built up over the years by those who studied there. Said another way, the teachers of those individuals who prosecuted World War II had a connection with German higher education. Yes, I am aware German was outlawed as a subject during World War I, but that didn't last long.

The Germans had a good German teacher during WWII. His name was Eisenhower (Eisenhauer).

--1900, no gun-slinging cowboy would ever wear Levis.--

Think strategically-located rivets and campfires.

"But apparently, even today, there sits deep inside our forefathers who emigrated the fear of Indians and horse thieves. Fears we can’t convince them to forgo. Crazy."

This person must not have ever visited rural America where police response times to a robbery can be up to an hour response. Guns aren't a just response to fear. They are insurance.

Even a basic look at the Levi Strauss company's past shows that it's quite obvious that miners, prospetors, and farmers were their customers - the "protetariat", if you will...

Sure, Heidelberg was scenic, but I think the decision not to bomb that city had its roots in a kind of reservoir of goodwill built up over the years by those who studied there

Like Wiesbaden, the decision was pretty much one of foresight and siting of future HQs. Over Heidelberg, they even went as far as dropping leaflets saying "Heidelberg weden wir verschonen, denn hier wollen wir wohnen." ("We will spare Heidelberg because we want to live here"). I doubt that goodwill played much of a role there.


Besides the obvious old East Block propaganda style of misinformation about watch pockets, this article employs a more subtle technique that is used often by German Journalists.
I observe this technique so often in Germany that I wonder if it might be one of the standard procedures of journalism here.

It might go something like this:

- Assume you are psychic, and you can read the minds of anyone and everyone in the entire world.
- When you want to criticise people, reveal what bad things they are thinking. (Especially effective when these people are actually doing good things like rescuing thousands of tsunami victims)
- Do not research any other possibilities.

Applying this procedure in this case results in “...fear of Indians and horse thieves. Fears we can’t convince them to forgo. Crazy. “

It is remarkable how often journalists presume to know everyone’s thoughts and motivations.

@ apex

Do you have a source for that anecdote? It is highly implausible.

The USAF started bombing German targets in 1942; the RAF in 1939. Very foresighted of them to know where the US was going to locate headquarters in 1945. And it was really tender of "Bomber" Harris to spare the headquarters of the Americans, truly allied solidarity to be proud of, particularly during the two years that the US was neutral.

Alternatively, the US may not have identified any militarily important target there, in which case "precision, strategic bombing," the USAF doctrine at the time, would not have supported targeting Heidelberg.

Mannheim was bombed extensively, just 12 miles away. There are a number of variations on Apex's anecdote in circulation. Another has some general sparing the town because he'd studied there, which would go in the goodwill category.

As much as I hate to reinforce the "cowboy American" stereotype, I have to tell the truth. For several years I delivered pizza in a bad neighborhood here in the US, and I always carried a (legally) concealed handgun for self defense. Guess where I kept the extra magazine for my Glock 26? Yep, you guessed it - in that little pocket on the front of my jeans, tactfully hidden by an untucked shirt.



I'm sure ol' Levi Strauss knew what the exact circumference of a Glock 26 clip was, when he designed the pants in the mid 1800s.

First, I would like to thank Davids Medienkritik for providing the opportunity to observe and report on goings on in German media as well as for being kind enough to post my occasional observations.

One commenter wonders if the piece about the crazy Americans was translated correctly. Actually there was one significant mistake. I was within minutes of departing for a business trip last Wednesday when the article appeared and in my haste, there was one word that frankly, I had never seen before. After failing to find it in two German dictionaries I decided to omit the word rather than risk not finishing the submission. The word, "bellizistische" was in the last sentence. Had I included it, the last sentence in the posting would have read:

"Those who want to walk around fully correct in their criticism of America should remove this war-mongering detail."

Heidelberg has a split personality. It is staunchly anti-American in it's politics and population but it works hard to ensure this fact is not known by Americans. When the SPD Mayor Beate Weber was elected, one of her first decisions was to provide space heaters from city funds to the protesters who camped in front of the entrance to the American base during the first Gulf war so they could express themselves in comfort. She later refused to invite American military representatives to participate in the city ceremonies held every year to commemorate the victims of war. The Bundeswehr along with others complained loud enough to have the decision reversed in subsequent commemorations. In 2003 there were daily demonstrations in front of the American base by students from the nearby gymnasium. The Americans wrote a letter to the State Minister of Education, questioning why there appeared to be so many school holidays. In reality, left leaning school teachers were letting the students out early every day. After the State officials were infromed the protests stopped. Heidelberg's most famous example of political correctness was the "Wall of Shame." During the early days of the war in Iraq Heidleberg's citizens assembled an interlocking wall of wooden blocks on the town's main square. Dubbed the "Wall of Shame" each block was inscribed with sentiments of peace such as F**k Bush. The wall stood for months but the city fathers had a problem. Heidelberg lives and dies on tourism. Especially American tourists. And some of these tourists were stopping to read what was written on the blocks. So a way had to be found to remove the wall without sacrificing political principle. The city decided to send the wall on a world tour where Heidleberg's principles could be admired by a wider audience without offending free spending Americans. For you see, in Old Europe, every principle has its price.

My take on history, I guess, is pretty flawed. After reading this and many of the other portions of this site I guess the Germans actually resent our occupation of their destroyed country, its reconstruction, and our having defended it for decades against the Soviets.

The only reason the Sickle and Hammer never flew over western Europe was our military might. Next time, I guess we shouldn't bother. Personally, if I were a citizen of any western European country, I would spend the rest of my life kissing the US on the butt for the sacrifices our country made to free them from Facism and having kept them free from Communism. Of course, this is coming from an American point of view. I guess no one there cares anymore.

Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned in my thinking. Perhaps I'm not being very "progressive" in wondering about this. But it's a bit hard for me to forget, as a fourth generation Infantry Soldier, the price my family and many other families paid to keep Europe free.

DL said: [quote]Personally, if I were a citizen of any western European country, I would spend the rest of my life kissing the US on the butt for the sacrifices our country made to free them from Facism and having kept them free from Communism. [/quote]

That's strange D-L....my reading of history must be equally flawed: damned if I can find any mention of US forces engaging the Hun at either the Battle of the Marne or the Nazis around Calais in 1940.....in fact your ambassador to Britain at the time, one Joseph Kennedy, flew home to advise FDR that Britain was a goner and he should give us up to Hitler.....if it's okay by you I'll leave the ass-kissing to our beloved Great Helmsman, Mister Bliar.

@ The Other Jeff
The History of Denim/Levi Jeans


" ...1890: 4th pocket added to accommodate coins and pocket watches..."

Just a few points from someone who has spent almost his entire life in Heidelberg (24 out of 25 years).

1. Just for the record: It's the first time I hear the term "wall of shame" applied to the monument made of wooden blocks. The name given to it here was "protection wall for international law".

2. The anecdote about the leaflet saying "we're going to spare Heidelberg" is indeed very questionable. According to many historians and journalists (including those writing for the paper criticised here) don't believe it ever existed. People claiming to have seen the leaflet still fail to bring forward any evidence.

3. Alright, the writer of the article in question fell to the wide-spread urban myth about the ammo pocket. Blame him for a lack of research.

4. One of "the corner"'s major stylistic techniques is irony. Does that ring a bell? Not that I am particularly fond of "the corner" or the RNZ in general - quite the opposite is true. But please don't read this stupid little article as an honest, heart-felt commentary. It's a desperate attempt to be funny every day - and fails in doing so most of the time.

5. As I mentioned, I've been living in Heidelberg for quite a while. I don't think that some of the contributors here are right in calling it a very anti-American town.
Please don't make the same mistake that outspoken German pro-Americans often make by taking criticism of policies of the US government of the day for general anti-Americanism. This is simply not true. Personally, I took part in some of the demonstrations outside the headquarters in spring 2003 because I felt going to war on Iraq without a UN mandate was not right. This does not make me an enemy of the USA in general, does it?

6. The same goes for the town of Heidelberg. Tourists from America are still more than welcome here, just as anyone from any country in the world.

7. Heidelberg, as well as Germany in general, is very grateful for America's commitment against Nazi terror in WWII.

8. There has indeed been some conflict between the American forces and Heidelberg citizens; especially when local farmers were about to have their land disowned for an extension of Patrick Henry Village. The US government's decision to remove most of their soldiers from Heidelberg has been met with a certain positive feeling. But the motivation for this is the prospect of some hundred spare appartments (one of Heidelberg's current problems) rather than a general antipathy against the troops.

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