How to dispose of German politicians, the craziest football match of the year and some writing and genre links

This is how we dispose of politicians in Lower Saxony: David McAllister, minister president of Lower Saxony (in case anybody is wondering about the name, McAllister’s parents are Scottish), and much of his cabinet went for a ride in a dragon boat on the lake known as the Zwischenahner Meer today. The boat capsized, dumping Mr McAllister and his cabinet into the lake.

This is how they dispose of politicians in Bavaria: Also today, the secretary of the interior of Bavaria, one Joachim Herrmann, was supposed to officially start construction work on a new road, when a dedger capsized with Mr Herrmann still inside.

Luckily, no one was hurt during the boating accident in Lower Saxony, while the Bavarian secretary got off with a sprained ankle and some scratches.

It was supposed to be just a relegation match between Hertha BSC Berlin and Fortuna Düsseldorf about which club gets to play in the first Bundesliga next year, of little interest to anybody who is not a fan of either club. Though one of my fifth graders was positively electrified today, since he happens to be a Fortuna Düsseldorf fan for reasons unknown. In the end, however, it was the craziest football match of the year, which had to be interrupted twice – the first time, because fans threw lit flares onto the pitch, and the second time, because Düsseldorf fans invaded the pitch two minutes before the referee ended the match and refused to leave until chased off by players and the police, prompting a twenty minute interruption. I ended up seeing the final three minutes (plus twenty minute interruption) on TV, when I switched over, because Psych was just so bad.

In the end, Fortuna Düsseldorf ascended to the first Bundesliga, though considering how chaotic the match was I would probably have broken it off and either declared Berlin the winner (since most of the troublemakers were Düsseldorf fans), ordered a repeat match in an empty stadium or disqualified ’em both and promoted whoever was next in line.

Honestly, why do we even allow flares in football stadiums twenty-seven years after the Bradford City stadium fire? As for pitch invasions, the prevalence of those in Britain in the 1970s were a large part of the reason why the high steel fences were erected in British stadiums, which eventually caused the high death toll during the Hillsborough disaster. It’s also the memory of these disasters that makes me furious to see football fans behaving like jackasses today. I don’t want to see more people hurt in stadium disasters, because some fans can’t behave themselves. Plus, there are plenty of kids and teenagers in the audience, since the most fervent football fans are usually boys between 10 and 18.

And now for some genre and writing links:

At Booklife Now, Robert Jackson Bennett wonders about urban fantasy, genre definitions and genre boundaries.

Jay Lake has a great post about worldbuilding, technology and why doors shouldn’t slam on spaceships.

Jay Lake also points out this fascinating article on Rosemary’s Baby as a commentary on unease with feminism and the changing roles of women in the US in the late 1960s. The article also draws an interesting link to little known B-horror-films of the mid 1970s such as It lives and The Brood, both of which are pregnancy horror/monster baby flicks. I guess The Omen also fits in with this (though Damian was adopted, as far as I recall) and probably the vastly underrated The Fury as well.

Though personally, I’ve always found Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives a lot more horrifying in that respect than Rosemary’s Baby, probably because I really dislike the “evil child” trope and have always disliked it. Besides, when I first saw most of those films after private television finally brought them to our screens in the late 1980s, I was a teenager and more inclined to sympathize with the monster child than with the parents. But between those two and The Boys from Brazil (hapless women find themselves giving birth to and raising Hitler clones), I think it is safe to assume that Ira Levin had issues with women, pregnancy and feminism.

By the way, I’ve always found it striking how easy it would be to rewrite Rosemary’s Baby as a modern paranormal romance, since it basically has a very similar plot. Coincidentally, this also shows how much speculative fiction has changed in the past forty years, both with regard to the portrayal of women (Rosemary is everybody’s plaything) and the portrayal of the supernatural (sex with a demon was horror in 1968 and hot in 2012).

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3 Responses to How to dispose of German politicians, the craziest football match of the year and some writing and genre links

  1. Laran says:

    I am quite sure that flares are not allowed in German football stadiums and that the perpetrators smuggle them inside. As far as I know you are not even allowed to bring plastic drink bottles because they might be used as projectiles. The only time I ever visited a German stadium security was quite tight regarding those rules. And it was SC Freiburg vs. FC Basel…
    Compared to that I was a bit shocked at lax security in Newcastle Stadium – virtually non-existent for the family-block for which we had tickets. Everything could have been brought inside.

    One of my colleagues is from Düsseldorf and of course this was main topic today at our institute… (man, I hate football talk! I just have nothing to contribute). He told us that grass trophies from such games are very important to Düsseldorf fans. Last time Düsseldorf managed to get into the First Bundesliga, his brother in law pillaged a bit of grass out of the middle circle of the field on which the historic(!) game was played right after the game. Apparently this bit of grass was quite healthy and survived in a pot on his windowsill much longer than Fortuna Düsseldorf in the 1. Liga. Well, they seem to have a tradition of storming the field to get trophies out of the grass…

    • Laran says:

      (obviously, I have something to contribute after all… I suppose this is the involuntary “benefit” of German socialisation – no escape there)

    • Cora says:

      I’m also surprised about the flares, considering how tight stadium security normally is regarding plastic drink bottles and cans and the like. But I frequently see flares on the stands during football coverage on TV, so either they are inexplicably allowed into stadiums or security isn’t doing a very good job. I’m kind of surprised that Newcastle stadium security was so lax, considering that Britain used to have a lot of problems with hooliganism in the 1970s and 1980s.

      I did notice during the broadcast that some of the Düsseldorf fans started cutting bits of grass out of the pitch and after the match was finally over for good, the Düsseldorf fans started demolishing the goal as well. That must be a particular quirk of Düsseldorf fans, since Werder Bremen fans (and I know quite a few of the more rabid variety) happily collect balls and jerseys and even beer glasses autographed by the players, but they don’t show a lot of interest in patches of grass or bits of the goal. When the Weser Stadion was refurbished, the old stands lay in a big heep on one of the parking lots for weeks, easily accessible to anyone, yet no one felt the need to take anything.

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