Come along, please


“Come along, please” – The Man in the Woods by Shirley Jackson

16 thoughts on “Come along, please

  1. Fein – und sehr deutsch — very German with those repeated “forbidden” signs. I guess in the U.S. they don’t need to repeat but instead underline it with a gun shot :(

    1. Markus,
      I hope not all of us are violent gun owners. I have no guns. I hate both the NRA and the NSA. Most of us are aware of the problems here, but feel helpless in the face of all that money going to the lawmakers.

      1. I am sorry, James, I guess I was typing faster than thinking, and still shocked about the Montana incident. My daughter was in the U.S. on a school exchange two years ago…

        Of course there’s a substantial group of American citizens that have a more civilized understanding of society than what the NRA wants us to make believe is “American”. But as you said, money rules, wherever you look, unfortunately.

  2. James, Markus: I sometimes compare the US gun laws with the German “No Speed Limit” on the autobahn – free roads for free citizens. Okay, the correct translation is something like “free travel/journey/ride for free citizens” … I am sure, the big players here – Mercedes, BMW, Porsche – are happy about this slogan. And there are enough stupid Germans who think going with 200 km/h is kind of cool – or manly ;-)

    But indeed, the Montana incident is heartbreaking – although some of our media jumped at the chance to report about the growing number of burglaries in Germany. So much cynicism – sometimes it’s unbearable.

    Ah yes, I had been on a school exchange in New Jersey … decades ago when life and the world seemed to be much more easy.

    Regarding the signs … I always thought it might be a nice idea to start a kind of “German forbidden sign” project – like Martin Storz’ peace project … anyone can send in photos and I’ll publish them … but since I only know … a handful of German photographers and some friends it might be a .. little bit … lacking in content … but really, Germans are world champions in “don’t do that!” signs.

    1. My son, also James, lived in Berlin for 13 years and is about to move back to Europe. He told me that the real efficiency on the German roads is how quickly they can clean up and erase a terrible wreck after it happens. Therefore it didn’t happen. Probably funded by the very car makers you mention. We lost a good friend many years ago in a single car accident. It was an Isuzu Trooper, an ungainly SUV. Apparently the differential locked up and flipped the car suddenly. She was a lawyer and had told her husband if ever she had an accident to impound the car immediately. He did that. GM owned Isuzu at that point and tried to get that car every legal way they could. They failed and he got a huge settlement. So the car makers are very vigilant in that respect.

      1. Hm, I never realized we quickly clean up … must be because otherwise the guys in the Audis (I forgot to mention them above) can’t go 200 km/h on the n% on the German autobahn where in fact there is no speed limit.
        Free roads. For free citizens.
        Sad story :-(

  3. I cannot recall the name of the book, but an American photographer has put out a book similar to your idea. I believe that every sign has a no in it. No, over here, is almost the same as Verboten, which is so much harder sounding than forbidden. I’ll try to find it before Martina the researcher supreme does;-}}

  4. You win………..sort of. The DiPerna book is not the right one but covers the same subject matter. This was a real, in print, book that I saw years ago in a book shop. A whimsical idea that was fun to leaf through. The amounts of things that Americans are willing to say no to in a sign is amazing. I’ll keep looking.

    1. *smile* – I guess the idea is not that unique … photographing “No Signs” …. .

      And: I bet the Americans can’t compete with the Germans, though.
      We possess more evil umlauts!

      1. I wasn’t aware that there were benign umlauts. Anyway, you may keep them along with that weird double s. English is such a rabbit warren of rules and exceptions that we don’t need more symbols.

        1. I must admit “Evil Umlaut” is something I invented some years ago :-) … and that’s a sharp s, not a double one.
          The Swiss use the double s, we us the sharp s.

          This sometimes leads to funny misunderstandings. I am regularly reading the NZZ, a Swiss newspaper.
          One headline some months ago was: “Busse für Freier”. Meaning there will be a fine (Busse/Buße) for prostitutes’ customers (Freier).
          But since German German distinguishes between ss and ß, I originally read: “There will be buses for the costumers … ”
          Busse = pl. Bus, ie. bus.

          Duh,is buses the plural of bus in English? Looks really strange. Should be a double s. ….

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