Whenever I go back to the U.S., I feel raped by hype.
Everybody has shiny white teeth; everything’s fantastic, wonderful, or inspiring; Jesus and/or God loves everyone (yes, even you!); stores in which you’re buying stuff feature expensive flat-panel television screens everywhere telling you to buy even more stuff; colorful new creams, gels, auto cleaning products and medicated inserts boast of miraculous powers; and tough, smart "winner" lawyers are promising you nothing less than justice itself. As in the following ad. Note that it consists not of sentences, but of clusters of words and phrases that evoke associations of trust and authority in focus groups:
Then I come back to Germany, and breathe a sigh of relief. Nobody’s trying to be superhuman here, not even the lawyers. Here’s a video from the homepage of the law office of Werner Siebers (G) quite obviously made by Siebers himself, quite obviously working without a script:
For those of you who stubbornly refuse to learn German, he begins by noting how uncomfortable it makes him to talk about himself, then describes his practice areas (criminal defense and auto accidents), and ends by asking you to visit him if you have a relevant legal problem, because "maybe something will come of it."
I call it Germany: A Place to be Human™.