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:
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).