June 14, 2004

Saturday in Pictures

(Click on any of the pictures to get a larger version of that image.)

Yesterday was a busy day for us. We can start with the cutest pictures first -- in the morning I went grocery shopping, and came back with Scout's favorite German dog treat, the Frolic brand "Wonder Bone" (see this previous blog entry for an explanation of its wonders):

The multi-colored Frolic Dalmatian on the package is your guarantee of total dog-mesmerizing quality!One sly-lookin' Hund.
Enough looking cute; now it's time to get down to some serious chewing.

Later in the day, we went downtown. It was a big day: this weekend was the culmination of EuroPride 2004 -- billed as Europe's largest gay and lesbian event -- and the festivities were kicked off with a parade winding its way through downtown.

The pride parade highlighted some big differences between Germany and the United States. For one, the parade was being broadcast live on TV by NDR, a government-sponsored broadcaster:

. . . imagine the uproar in the US if a publicly-funded broadcaster chose to spend its budget and broadcast time showcasing an "alternative lifestyle" parade! (And one that included graphic sexual imagery, at that -- there were a number of dancing condoms making their way down the street ...)

All of the parade 'floats' were flatbed trucks, some more elaborately disguised than others. Prestige points seemed to be awarded on the basis of whose truck had the most elaborate DJ platform (and the loudness of your techno music), how many balloons were attached to your rig, and the relative coolness of whatever souvenir you were throwing out at the crowd.

In another illustration of differences, both major German political parties, the CDU and the SDP, were represented in the parade, along with floats from some of the smaller parties. In America, the Democrats and Republicans are competing over how little they can do for gay people, so as not to alienate the Joe Sixpack Evangelical Christian vote -- while here, each political party was fighting to establish itself in the minds of the crowd as more gay than any of its competitors!

The streets were packed.
Since the parade was taking place along a main shopping street, this made for some interesting spillover, like the two drag queens who held their own mini-parade through Karstadt's cosmetics department.

After watching the parade for a while, we took care of some other shopping. Here's Shelby inside her favorite store, Lush, on Spitalerstraße.

Posted by Kevin at June 14, 2004 12:29 AM