German loosely translated as I am an outsider. Yes I was and now I am.
What does that mean?
It means I worked there for a year. The German plant manager showed me how to savor dinner wine. I lit fireworks from Teufelsberg, saw the real Bavarian castles and still have “undocumented” pieces of The Wall. We had to scurry away from an anti Berlin 2000 Olympics demonstration because I didn’t know the language yet. We were silly tourists wearing the bright yellow Berlin 2000 T-shirts in the heart of the east, where they wanted other city improvements for that money. The markets sold food in alien looking packages. I got cursed out in German for standing in a bike path and only my airplane pilot skills allowed me to survive driving on the autobahn. Mid-year and finally developing a routine I thought of it as a time machine. This was America 20 years ago in spirit. The work ethic, the people, the pulse of a city in transition from pre-WWII in the east to a modern Berlin and an even more westernized Munchen. Decades of culture span in such a small geography.
It was eye opening to hear Germans in their native language talk of vacations in Cuba or watch the deliberately santized version of CNN you get in other countries. The richness of that year though became a let down on the return home. It felt like I was living the script of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Why were people so mean, downright evil. The local catholic church refused to let my daughter attend classes with her friend. We responded by dropping out which did turn out well. It kept my son out of one of the churches that launched the pedophile priest scandal. I was questioning “my” culture,”my” government becoming an auslander at home.
Stable in my job I started a late in life business degree which brought me in another direction. I recall being seduced by the dark side in one assignment,
Develop a marketing plan for wireless television. Simple right, but I was an engineer and launched my group into a for sure market. The concept for wireless TV was to be delivered by the then expanding cell phone network via a proprietary new video compression technique. Unknown to the subscribers however was that the network was two way thus allowing our fictional company to sell information back to marketing groups. Later courses in the curriculum led to research on global affairs, an elective called futurism and yet another leading to the study of ancient civilizations. Most of the class read the book by William Knoke titled Bold New World and parroted back it’s talking points while my spirit compelled me to trash it’s very core beliefs.
The professor was from Switzerland and yes, I got an A.
What I did develop though was an internet search habit with the curiousity of a three year old. These were the glorious Bush bashing years in this “post 911 world” coupled with the re-education gulag of the company “roll out” of Sarbanes-Oxley. Drove me further into the auslander category and into spiritualism. Everything from Nostradamus to Hopi indian prophecies and “the Illuminati”.
The minds of millions switch instantly off in response to other keywords like Illuminati,Bohemian Grove and Bilderberg and or are flooded with other dis-informational splinter theories. This prevents the Gandhi phenomena of people uniting against them(see futurism). The other problem is the 5%/95% sociopath ratio. The 95% of non-sociopaths naturally project/assume their goodness onto others thus not seeing or able to believe such evil from those 5% sociopaths who do control the earth.
Yes my worldview is light years away at times. Think of me as the Jedi master of paranoia while I just think of it like the Boy Scout motto Be Prepared. Both of us are passionate about our beliefs and we have that common thread of seeing an improvement in the condition of mankind. We are on different wavelengths, even live in different worlds in this regard but that only means we listen to very different drummers. My evil may not be yours.
In the 1980s my Soviet boss was asked the question, what do you think of America.
He said Now I have lived in two socialist countries.
You are a product of your culture so does salvation involve removing yourself from it? In this world I think that is a good start.
Had to add the post script Swine Eleven!