Monday, April 24, 2006


A bum wrap

Regular readers of Simply Appalling know our utter contempt for tabloids—too many pictures, not enough words. But sometimes they're our only source, as is the case today in which the European scene is epitomized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bottom.

Frau Merkel's bottom
Frau Merkel's reputed bottom
The British tabloid The Sun exposed Chancellor Merkel's attempt at a cover-up while she was on vacation in Italy. The Sun resorted to that lowest form of humor, the pun, in commenting on Merkel's rearage and headlined its coverage with "I'm big in the Bumdestag." The London Times revealed that "the 100-word piece ... contain[ed] eight puns about bottoms."

I haven't been able to locate all eight, but here's a sampling—

Feel free to invent a few, if you're the sort who would sink so low.

The German tabloids are taking the photo's publication as an insult to womanhood or Germanhood or whatever, though Der Spiegel tried to diffuse the tension with a quote from a Times correspondent—

The publication shows that Merkel has arrived in the class of Caroline of Monaco. It shows she's taken seriously. The curiosity has now been satisfied.
I'm sorry, Spiegel, but that ass is not in the class of Caroline of Monaco's.

Despite Der Spiegel's efforts to put this latest revelation in the best light, students of Anglo-German relations will recognize the unmistakeable signs of a fissure.

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