Germans Get Naked; Kafka Goes to B-School

Two articles new on Slate today, both about subjects near and dear to my heart.

First off, yet another thing I adore about Germans: Their blasé attitude toward beach nudity. FKK FTW! Sure, my own skin may burst into flame upon contact with direct sunlight, but that doesn’t stop me from being pro-skinnydip ON PRINCIPLE. More “clothing optional,” less prudery, Amis!

Then, a trend piece on a fascinating new idea for business school: Not a terminal MBA, but an interminable one. An MBA that never ends. Business classes to which you “subscribe” for the rest of your synergistic days. Yes, I got in a good Kafka reference — what am I, a farmer?

These two articles — like the vast bulk of what I write — have nothing to do with, and are not interested in, bashing academia. People (by which I mean “trolls”) often forget (by which I mean “ignore”) that the vast bulk of the Schoeuvre consists of good-natured trend pieces like this. Sometimes they don’t get the virality because they don’t piss anyone off (sometimes, like the naked-beach one, they do well simply b/c they are about nudity, or German grocery stores, which we have all established that everybody loves). I hate to provide so many living reminders of the rather banal fact that I largely earn my living as a legitimate culture journalist, but here you go.

5 thoughts on “Germans Get Naked; Kafka Goes to B-School

  1. 1. I need to hear more about “Dissertation Emergency!” and
    2. When I turned 13, I was in Jamaica (my step-dad is Jamaican). My mom thought it would be a great idea to take me to a really pretty beach with some friends, where I was presented with a birthday cake and a picnic and swimming. Well, apparently, a couple older, not in shape German dudes thought it would be nice to join us… 100% nude. It was, um, not what 13 yr old me had envisioned for my birthday party.


  2. In your slate-article about nude Germans, you made a typo : “Schawnz” is in fact “Schwanz”.

    But I agree with you, it’s at first surprising and now quite nice to be free to be naked (or not).
    This naked swimming and sunbathing etc. applies especially to former East Germany.


    • Ha. thanks! I am a very sloppy typist. Schwanz was actaully the first German word I learned, because some friends in high school were playing the “penis game” (where you take turns yelling PENIS in an otherwise quiet setting–mature, i know) and we had a German exchange student with us, Christoph, and so I wanted to include him so I asked how you say penis in German. LOL.


  3. Considering that an MBA is the new JD that you can “do anything with”,* an interminable MBA seems like a Sisphyean descent into the 7th circle of hell.

    It also speaks poorly of the school’s alumni donation rate if the only way they get money is to have students in school FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

    *Not actually true.


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