The Viridian Design Movement

From: Bruce Sterling []
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 6:50 PM>/p>

Viridian Note 00343: More German Greens

Key concepts
German Green party, German politics, German commentary, Alexander Schuth
Attention Conservation Notice:
It's even more German than it was in Note 00342.

Entries in the Biofuture Robot Dog Contest:

Laura Sterling
Mark Simpkins <mark*>
Paul Jimenez <pj*>
Giles Turnbull <giles*>
David Rice <david*>
Duncan Stewart <stewarts*>
David Bergman <bergman*>
Eric Nehrlich <nehrlich*>
Matt Jones <matt*>
Dave Phelan <dphelan*>
"Four Eyed Dog" <dog*>
Clara Park <clara*>
Reid Harward <mudlab*>
Tracey Callison <tracey*>
Jonathan Blocksom <blocksom*>

"Let's face it, in 2002 it's not enough to just come out with a toy. You need a whole product line if you want any channel power. Introducing dogg13z (tm) connected companions, accessories sold separately. As imagined it's ready to roll in time for Christmas 2003, and I've also made a few guesses about how the toy could evolve in the future."

Jonathan Blocksom GollyGee Software, Inc. --

Chris Snyder <chris*>

"Submitted for your consideration, the Snunk! While not exactly a dog, it is the biofuture robot pet I've always wanted."

Simon Desrochers <simond1999*>

"Here's the Desrochers Bros. entry for the Viridian Bio- Future Dog Contest. We had quite a good time doing this. Other images of the concept will be available on request. Simon Desrochers, with the help of my two brothers Louis- David and Francois."

Adrian Cotter <acotter*>

"I of course had planned to have this all done last weekend, not to be at the last moment again. But alas. In any case, here it is, in all its silliness." Adrian Cotter

Christopher Schmidt et al <chris*>

"Here is our late-night contest entry. Thanks!" Christopher Schmidt Alison Anne Barnsley Tom Keegan San Jose State industrial design students

Joe Gregorio <joe*>

"Ok, so it's not really a toy for the 9-12 market, but I had a lot of fun with the idea." joe

Carl F. DiSalvo <cdisalvo*>

"Here you will find our entry for Sniffles, the robotic dog that sniffs out trouble."

Ed O'Connor <>

"Here's an entry for you. Regards, Ed O'Connor and Rick Boersma."

Dawn Danby <danby*>

"For your partner in crime. Thanks, as ever." Dawn & Paul

Dawn Danby <danby*>
Paul Waggoner <paul*> - Fast Secure Web Email for Canadians

Allen Wong <>

"A BioFuture Dog for a Messy World: Puffy the Purifying Poodle"

David Nelsen Epstein <samsa*>

"So I have had bronchitis for a month. . I think it has destroyed my aesthetic organs. . . Well here is a deathbed attempt at the contest." David Nelsen-Epstein "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)"

mindlace <viridian*>

"Here is my text-only (scanner down) last-minute contribution to the robot dog contest. I have not talked too much about materiels and focused more on play style. Thanks, ethan"

(((As you can see, we have had a last-minute flood of entries, including one mysterious 60-megabyte package that torpedoed our WELL email. Is your Biofuture Robot Dog entry listed here? If not, send it in immediately! We expect a final decision from our GBN judges after October 3.)))


Wow! It's an actual Viridian EMPLOYMENT AD! Totally unheard-of! And it's for a web designer! In e-commerce! Watch out, Core77!

", the nascent site that lets people design and create their own bumper stickers (and is currently giving away free, FREE THE MOUSE bumper stickers in honor of the Eldred v. Ashcroft Supreme Court case) needs a programmer, dang it! We need a web/e-commerce savvy individual to help with our catalog- and shopping cart- functionality.... which isn't quite as boilerplate as it sounds, in our case. Java experience is a big plus, because then you can also help fine-tune our unique, online sticker-making application. WE HAVE REAL MONEY TO PAY YOU -- Not much, but it spends. Email

(((And now: some cynical, highly informed commentary on German Green politics by an actual German Viridian, Alexander Schuth of the Viridian Curia.)))

Re: Viridian Note 00342: German Greens

Alexander Schuth <Alexander_Schuth*>
Mon Sep 30, 2002

My commentary below on Note 00342. Cheers, Alexander.

>"(...) The Greens had 51,000 members in 1998. Now they have only 46,000.

The Greens used to be anti-nuclear energy, anti-nuclear arms, strictly pacifist and ecological. And they led Germany into the first war since WWII (yes, we didn't have any for over 50 years). This new belligerent tooth cost them dearly.

>Greens' triumph was due to Fischer, the revolutionary- >turned-realist whose personal charisma the party traded >on ruthlessly.

Yes, "ruthlessly." When the Greens went into parliament, they introduced a rotation principle. After half of the legislative period, the holder of the seat would step down to let the next in line have it. That was in the 80s, and when "Fundis" - fundamentalist greens - and "Realos" - realpolitically oriented greens, spearheaded by Josef Fischer - started to differ much about which political course to support in the first governmental alliances, the Realos abandoned this principle, so their power base did not fall into the hands of eco-extremist Fundis.

Anyway, the Greens always played their personnel down, to keep political and party posts separated (e.g. SPD's Gerhard Schroeder is head of SPD and the head of government. CDU's Helmut Kohl used to be boss of CDU, the CDU's parliamentary fraktion in Bundestag, and be head of government). The Greens by contrast put party and programme out front.

This time, however, they abandoned this time-honored tradition, putting up posters saying "Second vote = Joschka-vote." (You get two votes in federal elections - one for your area's direct candidate, one for the parties' state-wide list of candidates. So you can split your vote, as many did in my state of Hessen: first vote for SPD direct candidates, second vote for the Green party list). The Greens strongly marketed Fischer's persona. A smart move, considering that he is the best foreign minister since Genscher of the liberal FDP and the most popular politician in Germany (pre-election surveys gave him 70% of the population seeing him as most popular). But the Greens also severed many traditions from their old streetmarching days.

Talking about streets: yes, Joschka Fischer used to be a streetfighting Marxist thug, from the legendary Frankfurt leftist circles (which had communist to terrorist flavors, at least since the student rebellion of 1968, which took mainly place in Paris, Berlin and Frankfurt, with many ideas going back to Frankfurt's lecturers Marcuse, Adorno, etc. - the whole social studies posse called "Frankfurter Schule"). But that was the 70s. Other alumni of these streetfighting years became social workers, satirists, or they run an internationally renowned old school-cabaret now called "Tiger Palast". Fischer was ruthless in his later Green party career, fighting down opposition with any means, trying to get things go his way. And usually, he succeeded.

>"They also won their first outright constituency seat >through anti-war campaigner Christian Stroebele, who >drove a small electric car throughout >his campaign. (((Beep-beep!)))

Stroebele got his seat in Berlin through a genius campaign: "Vote Stroebele = torture Joschka."

The Green party didn't even put Stroebele on the state list for Berlin state, so if he would have failed, he wouldn't have made it. The Greens HATE Stroebele. He's old school Fundi, strictly pacifist, and opposes any compromises that the Realos plot: "Go to war? Fine with us, if we get to shut down the nuclear reactors..." etc. Stroebele doesn't deal like that. He doesn't play along, doesn't like dancing to Fischer's tune. Great guy, good entertainment. He's quite a loose cannon.

One or two days before the election, a neonazi moron attacked Stroebele with a steel pipe while he was manning his campaign booth in his constituency, beating him on the head. Stroebele was hospitalised shortly with serious concussions. Maybe getting a pipe over the head swung all those nice votes for him. I wish more pols would try that next time!

The SPD-Gruenen-coalition has only a very thin majority, so Stroebele might become a serious risk to their legislative votes in Bundestag.

>"The Greens took special issue with chancellor candidate >Edmund Stoiber's failure to appoint a person responsible >for environmental affairs in his much-publicised shadow >cabinet.

And still Stoiber got an outrageously great result for a guy from Bavaria! THAT really scared me. Who wants to be governed by crooked politicians from a state with absolute one-party rule since 1949? Especially if they are the direct political heirs of former Nazi-ideology-teachers- turned-prime-minister-of Bavaria, Franz-Josef Strauss? That's like a prosperous North Korea with leather pants!

Allow me to offer to you these two tasty bits of popular opinion on this topic:

Links: Re: Bundestagswahl: Anti-Stoiber-Song ("Berlin, Berlin - du gehst nicht nach Berlin" - football-fan-like chant as killer refrain "You won't make it to Berlin") which really made headlines.

The guys who did this went on MTV and the like. Serious press. Plus they're good folks, I know some of them.

Tanz den Berlusconi: Click on "gallomat" and download.

This is a contemporary cover version of D.A.F.'s (Deutsch- Amerikanische Freundschaft = "German-American Friendship") classic new wave song "Tanz den Mussolini" ("Dance the Mussolini... And now dance the Adolf Hilter..."). See if you can hear out some current pols from this new version. It's basically the "Neue Mitte"-thing (the new middle = not leftist, not rightwing). Supposedly the mainstream... Only the mainstream today is what rightwing was ten, fifteen years ago.

>(((Yeah, but who cares? We're rich businessmen!)))

Exactly. And they all got their cozy hideaways in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, up on mountain sides, just like (and where) Adolf used to: "Dat guy knew what was good!"

>(((Too bad it's political suicide everywhere but Germany and >far from a majority taste even there.)))

The problem is Eco tax ain't very eco. The revenue doesn't go into anything green like it ought to, but rather into pensions and social security. Big-car owners curse it or - if they REALLY can afford to laff off the couple of bucks - they joke about burning a couple extra liters with their big cars "to help making old age safe for the needy."

Next time you pass through Rhein-Main airport, gimme a ring and I'll buy you a beer.

Cheers, Alexander

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O

Go back to the Viridian Design home page.