Reading on the train: good humor in misfortune

The current issue of the magazine "Leselok" proves that the railroads can even do self-irony. And how does ARD compare?

When will the glitch on ARD be fixed? Good question, it looks good, but it’s still annoying Photo: agefotostock/imago

As we all know, Leselok is a must-read for all media journalists. You know, the children’s booklet published by Deutsche Bahn, which for some reason is only available on request with special ICE tickets.

Corporate publishing is the new German word for this kind of thing, and it’s used for disdainful self-promotion. And here it comes: The current issue of this Leselok proves that Deutsche Bahn is even capable of self-irony!

In the comic strip with the little ICE train, the ticket vending machine is broken again. "The computer systems have only just been updated. It’s a real pain in the ass!" says the railroad man standing next to the machine. Which, of course, never exists in reality, when the vending machine is broken/the train is delayed/the connection is gone. Then a technician shuffles into the new digital territory, nonsensically lining up for all he’s worth: "Dit Problem liecht bei Kollehje Compjuta."

And then he blames it on modern – guess what! – technology. Inside the machine, the big K.A.U. has taken over all the programs. And now, as so often happens in the real ICE, the software is fighting itself. Spoiler: In the end, of course, it was due to a piece of chewing gum in the coin slot. But the approach is good, even if it’s not as far advanced as the good old BVG, which has been taking itself for a ride for a while now.

The wrath of the people

When it comes to disruptions, of course, the public broadcaster knows its stuff. "User reports indicate that Das Erste has been having problems since 9:40 pm. Are you having problems, too? Write a comment below" it then says on

According to unchecked statistics on the site, 75 percent of the disruptions are due to television, 18 percent have no sound, and the rest can’t cope with the website. Which, similar to the railroads, spurs Volk’s ire. "When will the disruption on ARD be fixed? This has been going on for 1 month now, that it always flickers and you can hardly watch the movie sensibly. It is annoying. The main thing is to collect GEZ," is one comment, for example.

Of self-ironic reactions of the transmitters is unfortunately too little known. But that takes the edge off all the unhappiness and puts people in a good mood. The rbb also proves this with its campaign "Blob nicht langweilen! Tagesthemen" tried something new last Friday, when the best band in the world played the jingle for artze Deutsche Fernsehen. That, too, should be part of the mandatory program for everyone and not just for contributors. It’s a pity about the 18 percent who unfortunately had no sound or jerky Internet because their data volume had already been used up.

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