Sunday, March 06, 2011

From: Claudine Voelcker (claudine.voelcker
Subject: Sitzfleisch

Sitzfleisch is, like so many German words, a wonderfully concrete word: the flesh you sit on. Chancellor Merkel is described by many Germans as a person with a lot of it. Someone who will sit out anything without actually doing anything about the task at hand -- just sitting through her term.

Claudine Voelcker, Munich, Germany

Dear Ms. Voelcker:

You and your compatriots should consider yourselves fortunate to have a chancellor who practices sitzfleisch. In startling contrast, Americans are saddled with presidents who behave like bloodthirsty busybodies. No rathole anywhere in this vale of tears is so godforsaken these self-anointed Caesars can resist pouring American blood and treasure down it.

My compatriots seem nonetheless genuinely puzzled at the disdain in which they are held by increasingly wide swaths of the world's citizenry. ("They hate us for our freedom!") They likewise fail to make the connection between the ubiquitous U.S. military presence abroad and vanishing economic opportunity at home.

Sitzfleisch is a virtue. Blaise Pascal's immortal words never rang so true: "All human evil comes from a single cause: man's inability to sit still in a room."

Tony Pivetta
Royal Oak, Michigan



Post a Comment

<< Home