"What's the difference between a German and a shopping cart? A shopping cart has got a mind of its own."
-- Quote stolen by Wikileaks from a Podesta email that they hacked into.
Basically, this email of an intellectual nature went out and John Podesta and Hillary Clinton got copies, and what the wordy piece of email suggests is that the German integration and immigration policy didn't really have much thought put into the the idea of "who" you were inviting.
I read the piece and they comment very strong at the front of this.....there are various societies that you'd like to recruit from (Hindus, Chinese, Asians, Jews).....where you can show they are great contributors to society. And then, there are various groups which have marginal contribution to society (of which the Islamic religion is mentioned more than once).
The theme of this email exchange is that Germans don't do a lot of thinking. The typical German doesn't have a mind of his own, or do a lot of thinking.....and if they do....it's thinking thrust upon technology, development, or fixing a problem.
I've lived around Germany for a number of years and have admired the amount of thinking put into certain products (cars, washers, cellphones, etc). Guys sit around their garage and develop things that show a lot of initiative. The immigration program? Well.....no. The asylum program? Well.....no. The integration program? Maybe there's some thought but it's marginalized and limited. The education system in dealing with a number of foreign students? Marginalized.
Oh I admit, there are people there who are university-degreed and fully capable of taking on this task. But it seems like it was their year to slough off and just day-dream. Maybe if you'd had some leader-director-Chancellor to kick butt and fire people.....some things would have had planning and thought attached to them.
The thing about this quote....is that it's not really a "joke". It's a slam against German mentality and the inability to think about consequences. You have some European intellectuals who in various ways dislike German intellectuals. I don't sit around and think much about this, or why there is some ill feelings between the two groups. Maybe one group is made up of mostly rocket scientists while the other is just made of guys who read Chaucer or Hemingway.
Will Germans hate the joke? I think the smart guys....the intellectuals will be a bit angry that they were 'slighted' in this commentary, and that Hillary Clinton was part of the slam on them. Most Germans....the non-intellectuals will listen to the joke, and tell you a better joke....like: “Hell is the place where the English cook, the Italians control the traffic systems and the Germans make TV programs.”