Lawlessness under the German Flag

Lawlessness under the German Flag

Lawlessness under the German Flag

People celebrating the German team’s four scores yesterday were fired at,  apparently from the neighborhood, in Bremerhaven. Two of the fans were reportedly injured with air gun bullets, one of them while at the wheel of a car participating in the party.

I love soccer, but I dislike much of the “fan culture”. Many flag-vaving people probably know little about soccer, and they seem to believe it’s a god-given right to turn themselves into a big festive nuisance with a chorus of klaxons. In fact, it’s an irregularity, and a silly one at that.

Which is no excuse for opening fire. But I can’t see why a huge piece of entertainment business – and that’s what the world soccer cup is after all – should entitle people to disturbing neighbors either. My feeling is that the shootist(s) and his/their targets (if indeed participants in the parade) were part of the same kind of audience. Shit happens when too many people are losing the plot.

Zi-lu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?”
The Master replied, “What is necessary to rectify names.”
“So! indeed!” said Zi-lu. “You are wide off the mark! Why must there be such rectification?”
The Master said, “How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish.
When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded.
When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”
(Analects XIII, 3, tr. Legge)

Meantime, some of the press seems to be at war with the names, too. Scenes from a defeated country, Der Spiegel‘s online edition subtitled one of its  reports from England. Or, as the Hanoverian Rat sees it:

Gosh! So the BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) liveticker ran the first verse of our national anthem – “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”! And a mindful Spiegel Online reader took notice! That was really important.

But we are at war, aren’t we? Didn’t we defeat England yesterday? Didn’t you say that yourself?

May I tell you, the one who chose this glorious subtitle, something? Either you haven’t quite got over the – failed, after all – Blitzkrieg, or you confused the two halves of the playing field in Bloemfontein with Merry Old England – the Lions caught two firebombs goals on each side of it, didn’t they?

In the latter case, I suppose you are either a jerk, or wish to be considered one.

What I suppose for the former case – please don’t ask me.

Yours truly

Tai De


Dumbing Down, June 20, 2010

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