Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Obamamania in Dresden (Nu Glaar, We Can)

Tomorrow, Barack Obama is coming to Dresden. And the city is FREAKING OUT. It's quite impressive. The newspaper has been running articles on it for 2 weeks. The Dresden police have been rehearsing for the visit the same if not longer. The city has even set up a website specifically for the visit:

Obama will be here I believe less than 24 hours total. He will make no scheduled public appearances. He will give no speeches. But that doesn't matter. The hype is out of control. Not being one to ignore hype, I got involved with Nate and Cliff and we conceived and designed the following graphic:

For those not familiar with Dresden, the building there is the most famous Dresden landmark, the Frauenkirche. Below, "Nu glaar, we can" is a shout out to the Saxony German dialect, where instead of "ja" you sometimes will here "nu" for "yes". "Glaar" is a phonetic spelling of the Saxon "klar". So it's meant to be a "yes we can" with a local appeal. Cliff and I have made it into stickers. I'll write it again here "nu glaar, we can", in case anybody sees a sticker and googles it - this is where to give credit/hate.

To give another example of the mania surrounding Obama's 18(?) hour visit to Dresden, every single tram in the city, as far as I can tell, has been outfitted with a banner declaring "Welcome, Mr. President!". This has been on the trams for the last week.

Air Force One is scheduled to land at the Dresden airport sometime tomorrow evening, along with ELEVEN other planes of support staff. And that doesn't include the giant C-5 that landed at the airport a few days ago and unloaded a helicopter and limo that will be Obama's transportation while he's here. Less than a day!!

Anyway, the city seems to be encouraging people to get out and about to perhaps catch a glimpse of the president - but with no guarantee that he will even appear in public. Also, a sizable fraction of the Altstadt around where Obama will be staying will be off limits to almost everybody as a security precaution. You're not even allowed to swim or fish in the Elbe tomorrow - special orders. I think I'll go out to check out the commotion, maybe to the airport, maybe around the secure area. The city apparently is planning a celebration nearby featuring American activities such as "cheerleaders" and "mechanical bull-riding" (no joke, check out the webpage). If I see anything interesting, I'll post more.


Kat said...

hey, no offense, but i can't see no hype or freaking out around me.
The hype is "hyped" by the city itself, i guess,because what is more embarassing than a city full of people who just don't care if Obama is coming to shake hands or not?
Dont get me wrong. I like him, at least from what I've seen from him so far. But he's not MY president, i never elected him, so honestly, i couldnt care less.
But hope you get to see a bit of him.
Cheers, Kat

Alex said...

I agree. When I say the "city" is freaking out, I mean the city, as the the political/public relations machine, not the people in it. That's why I say the "hype" is out of control.

I find it quite amusing and peculiar.

However you feel, the leaders of the city seem to feel this is an EXTREMELY important occasion. I actually find it more embarrassing somehow for Dresden of the importance/effort being expended on this, than if nobody showed up. I mean, they are trying to get people to cut out little obama flags and wander around the city waving them mindlessly for two days, haha.

But good to see you identify with and take pride in being a Dresdner that doesn't give a shit about the American president.

p.s. now bow down and worship him. doooo it.

jeff said...

holy crap dude. I'm coming to Dresden on Thursday too! maybe i'll see the prez hanging in front of Bahnhof Neustadt pounding a Radeberger and smoking butts. Updates will follow.

Stanklin said...

Si Se Puede!

Märii said...

I´ve got one question: Did you sold the stickers ?

Alex said...

Didn't sell the stickers...just gave them away......