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The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.

By FRANK JACOBS [Big Think] – Another solution to dealing with the potential divisiveness of diversity, and if done in good humour at least a lot funnier, is the great European Shouting Match. Let it all hang out! Air that mistrust! Calling each other names establishes three things:

(1) that nobody is exempt, neither from feeling superior to others nor from being looked down upon by others. At least in this, everybody is equal. In the Republic of Mockery, we are all both givers and takers.

(2) that familiarity breeds contempt. Most often, the deepest disdain is reserved for the closest neighbours, from whom distant strangers would have a hard time distinguishing us. Inversely, those distant and/or obscure members of the European family are damned with faint put-downs of the who-the-heck-are-they-variant.

(3) that the sum of these insults says equally much about the nationality doing the shouting, or at least the perception we have of them: Germans are materialistic and utilitarian, the French still dream of la gloire, the British cherish their splendid isolation, etc.

The last map in the order as they are shown here seems to have been created by in June 2009 Yanko Tsvetkov to accompany an editorial in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the others apparently are variations on that same theme by the Bulgarian-born, London-based designer of the first one. Some of these maps also recently featured in the Daily Mail, at which point they appear to have gone viral, as testified by the large number of readers sending them in (see below). Even though a grain of truth might be mixed in with some of the descriptions on the maps, this blog in no way endorses any of the sentiments they express (3).

Europe seen by the Germans

Continued at Big Think | More Chronicle & Notices.

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