But seriously, I am writing today because a new magazine has hit the stands over here in Germany. Its title? “The Germans” – no, the magazine is not in English.
More surprising is the first cover (right). And even more surprising is the description of the cover at Die Zeit:
Das Titelbild zeigt einen nackten, bärtigen Mann im seichten Wasser liegend und ein auf seiner Brust herumturnendes Kind.
Translation: the cover shows a naked, bearded man lying in shallow water with a child playing on his chest. No mention of a clearly visible limp penis (I can't wait to see the statistics for my page impressions now).
As chance would have it, it turns out that there is lots of evidence of nudity being a non-issue over here in Europe. For instance, Apple continues to ban certain books from its store because of nudity. The Europeans don't understand why a private firm should be able to do what governments should not, and there's something else that I don't get – why can't Apple have European censorship standards in its European stores, where I can't even buy a lot of stuff from the US because of stupid licensing restrictions?
The movie Love, Actually is another great example. It is rated R in the United States, but 6-year-olds can watch it in Germany (see the list of international parental guidance categories for the movie at IMDB). The movie is one of my favorites, and I watched it with my kids when they were 11 and 14; the movie has a couple of quite funny scenes where a couple standing in as lighting doubles get to know each other in various scenes for a porn movie (I'm going to have to monetize this site after this post).
In contrast, movies that contain a lot of violence generally have lower age restrictions in the US than they do in Germany.
Hope you enjoyed this post – given that it is hosted by Google, another US firm, it may not be up forever...