Lately, Europe & Me has been consistently running out of time. So, we decided to go and find out where the heck all this time really went. No worries though, this is not a discussion on the same name novel by Valentin Proust (AKA Marcel or Rocco) – a rather tedious affair, focusing on involuntary bodily discharges in French high society at the turn of the 20th century. They must have had quite a lot of time then to philosophise on time lost in bathrooms. Of course, with advances in medicine, nourishment, and modern labour people have become progressively accustomed to less incontinence and a lot more checkboxes in their daily schedules. Nowadays, nobody in their right mind would spend time to sit and write seven volumes of that, much less read and discuss it. Instead, here is a report on an investigation we undertook in all corners of Europe to study how Europeans lose their time.

Romania. Exorcism

Believe it or not, in some parts of this funky country, priests still lose their time trying to cure drunk syphilitic bachelors by reading sermons over their head and expelling whatever demons they could be holding to. Completely pointless, if you ask us. If anything, they should be trying to contain the foul presence in, rather than risking their health extracting it out. At least for the sake of the rest of us law-abiding citizens, who leave the office at 8 pm and have no time for such nonsense.

Bismarkians have become too relaxed in their daily live. While at the same time, the world has been behaving as if it has a huge itch that needs to be scratched.

Germany. Muscle relaxation

Itch relief, German style | Picture: purpletwinkie, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

Germania isn’t the birthplace of the greatest theoretical claim of our time – that constant human unhappiness is a condition rooted in bad sex. The credit here goes to fellow Eastern Germans and their most renowned psychoanalyst Wilhelm “the Third” Reich. But it was in Germany where people took steps to put Wilhelm’s inventions to practice. Taking advantage of a varied palate of therapeutic devices aiming to relax their muscles and relieve them from the damning effects of neurosis. As a result, Bismarkians have become too relaxed in their daily lives. While at the same time, the world has been behaving as if it has a huge itch that needs to be scratched.

Italy. Reviving good manners.

Ah, the old Apennine misfits. Losing so much time dragging that boulder up the Corno Grande. Chasing their dream with fervour – to make people from all backgrounds feel at home in their country. Peninsula inhabitants still remember times when anyone would do the impossible to make sure that their guests are feeling welcome and appreciated. Like giving visitors their last rat, dooming themselves to starvation. In richer times, they would even throw newcomers fish, game or home-made pasta. Until the European Union brought forward the undeniable truth – you can’t keep your human face while thousands of pairs of teeth are threatening to sink in your prosciutto.

Balkans. Everything

The Balkan heaven as seen for the first time by Gulliver | Photo: Mathieu BrientCC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

Balkaniaks are a special breed. Ever since they were visited by Gulliver a few centuries ago during one of his odd journeys, they have been biding their time in emulation of their otherworldly messiah. Since Gulliver was basically a jobless vagrant, who abandoned a perfect profession to ramble, Balkan inhabitants usually jump from banquet to banquet and do nothing in the meantime. Life cornerstones, such as family, career and religion are only drawn in during election times, when Balkandroids choose any buffoon who promises to perpetuate individual passivity on credit.

Spain. Job seeking

As numerous studies on career prospects among young Iberians have attested: there are none. But there is so much to be done in the absence of employment, education or any discernable future plans. One can go work the land for instance, returning to satisfying early occupations, such as cattle herding, bean harvesting or operating agricultural vehicles. Another avenue is menial work, where the top-notch industries of knitting and kneading have undergone a resounding comeback. Of course, there is an alternative even for those that feel lack of work should not just mean finding a substitute occupation. Hanging out with the patriots has proven beneficial for many. Particularly knowing that they will put the country back on track, given one-two centuries to deal with all the migrants.

But why go the extra mile? Why feel so cozy and relaxed when you can just be mildly satisfied. Why make an effort to accommodate people when you can just be reasonably detached and non-threatening?

Denmark. Being nice.

There is certainly no need for Danes to be all nice and happy. Of course retaining some form of basic understanding in human relationships is always welcome. But why go the extra mile? Why feel so cozy and relaxed when you can just be mildly satisfied. Why make an effort to accommodate people when you can just be reasonably detached and non-threatening? Figuring out the answers to those issues will certainly call for further review of being Danish, but popular media tells us that superficial niceness often covers some dark secret lurking at the back, like vampirism and masonry. If it is genuine – why don’t you just wipe off that stupid smile of you face, bitch?

Europe. Procreation and populism.

Sophia the robot ready to help European populists | Photo: Web Summit, CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

By now, it has become fairly clear that Europe won’t last much with the current crowd. But that does not mean people have to worry and follow suit with their uteruses. As the solution has already been discovered – the robot Sophia. Judging by first media appearances it is far cleverer than vast swathes of European population, while gender and race can be adjusted based on preferences. Substitute two thirds of the inhabitants of Europe’s financial capitals and nobody will ever notice. In the same time, the continent’s far-right populists can easily adjust their agendas based on market demand: you want to instil fear from black migrants – you just apply skin with the respective colour tone. Religious intolerance is even easier to upload in the robot’s system, reducing the need to spend exuberant amounts on fake news and trolling.

EU.Bothering.

The EU has had its fair share of debacles to deal with in the last few years, ranging from swine flu to an American president coming straight out of the darkest corners of the Willy Wonka factory. But what has stricken the supranational organization the most is the aversion of its own people towards regulation. “Et tu, Brute?” have been the words repeated in every corridor of the EU’s sprawling institutional shebang. Particularly, when a couple of cocky punks have refused to suck it up and accept a few migrants or leave altogether, thinking they will be better off un-regulated. But why bother so much with all those shitheads? Why not just leave them to their own devices and wait until they come back banging on your door until their fists start bleeding? Yes EU, just close shop, take your hat and go home. The rest will resolve by itself.

Cover photo: Irmeli Aro, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

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    That guy is the guy you hooked up with at the summer festival

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