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Motorboating Political Carnival Float

21 Feb Posted by in Holidays | Comments
Motorboating Political Carnival Float
While watching the Düsseldorf Carnival parade on TV, at first glance, I recognized the lady’s face on the float and then immediately busted up when it looked like a little Napoleon Motorboating the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. I saw the “Merkozy” tattoo painted on her arm and knew the man wasn’t Napoleon, but wasn’t sure who he was.

I’ve been a complete dead-beat when it comes to any world news for the last few months…ok, more like the last few years, but I’d like to know how many others actually know who the two of these characters are supposed to be and why they are engaged in such a compromising position? (I’ve already given one name.)

I’m willing to bet that more people in the US know the term “Motorboating” than the number of people who know “Merkozy.”

So for the Europeans, Motorboating, according to Wikipedia, “is the placement of one’s mouth into the area between a person’s breasts, followed by a rapid shaking of the face in a side-to-side motion while making a sound similar to that of an outboard motor.”

While watching the parade, I quickly grabbed the camera so I could later ask my husband what was with the float.


The Motorboating float actually depicts the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy with Merkel. The term “Merkozy” was coined much like “Brangelina” because both political figures have been seen a lot together. Too bad they hadn’t animated the float to make Sarkozy actually Motorboating.

Then a few minutes later, another Merkel float went by, and then another. In between baby cries and nap time, I saw four floats featuring Merkel.

Apparently the Germans like to make their floats into satirical political cartoons and I’m sure my college Communication 101 class would have a grand time writing an entire Rhetorical Criticism on each of these floats, but I will keep the explanations as brief as possible.

After checking with my husband, this is what I learned.


Tandem Bike – This float depicts Merkel with her political party’s acronym, “CDU,” and directly behind her the German political party, FDP. The two parties are on a tandem bike because they somehow need each other in order to make the bike move. However, the CDU is the larger party of the two and perhaps the FDP is depicted as a skeleton because it is a smaller party therefore, not a “whole” person.


Burning train - This float is referring to the European economy and portrays Germany pulling or driving the rest of the countries as they go up in flames; Greece’s flag can just barely be seen, and my husband and I weren’t sure which country was supposed to be already in flames at the end of the train. The people on the float are wearing a large 1€ coin on the front of their costumes and the German newspaper, roughly translates to, “Today we laugh at the TransEuroExpress.” I guess they are trying to find humor during an economical crisis.


Financial Umbrella – This float is supposed to be Merkel protecting or rescuing Europe with her financial umbrella. Looks like she can’t quite cover everyone though. And on a side note, I’m not sure why she has harry armpits or why the Germans are so infatuation with her boobs. She’s always wearing conservative clothes in the media and either she needs a better support system or her boobs really aren’t so big.


Upside-down President - This float doesn’t feature Merkel, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Christian Wulff is Germany’s former president who stepped down last Friday, 17 February. The story behind this float is a little bit lengthy, but essentially the bird on the float may have lost his feathers because in real life, Wulff just may actually be picked apart for allegations of accepting a luxurious gift before he was President. As an American, the story is odd considering all of the money, gifts, and favors that are exchanged in US government.


To the left is the tail end of the Wulff float. “Gauck” is not a new type of Kinder egg to be hatched, but the last name of possibly the new German President whom would take office starting 18 March. The four major German Parties on a high level have agreed on Joachim Gauck, which may be why the egg is cracked and starting to hatch. Now an election committee will review.

I get the feeling that the majority of Germans have a better grasp on what is going on in German politics as well as world events more so than most Americans follow even just American politics (current Presidential spots not included). Perhaps, being that Hollywood is in the US, it is a bit of a distraction.

I can’t stand on a soap box myself since I openly admit I haven’t been following much of any news that doesn’t involve friends and family updates on Facebook or how many times my son has pooped for the day.

As Americans, the majority of the population doesn’t seem to go the extra distance in finding out what happens in the world, let alone care. And I understand why those who do take the time to research refer to everyone else as a flock of sheep following the masses.

Even before I moved overseas, my knowledge of world politics has never been a strong point and I’d like to blame the American media for lack of mainstream global reporting. I do think German media does a better job; often times I overhear my husband talking to my parents about global events, and not everything he mentions from the German media has been covered in American media.

And now, as an American living in Germany and having a language barrier as an added obstacle, it definitely takes more effort in keeping abreast of global events (yes, pun intended).

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