Friday, July 04, 2014

The fourth of July

Not that the Google doodle reminder was needed; today sees the World Cup match between France and Germany. Given my own biography I will be happy to see either side emerge victorious. But the encounter on the football field this evening set me thinking about patriotism and nationalist loyalties.

I was wondering if I had anything to say which might be fitting on Independence Day 2014, but concluded that this year even more than in the past I find America a difficult subject to deal with.

Yesterday I was browsing in the newly opened shop selling 270 different kinds of beer. I spotted Spitfire - The Bottle of Britain. This brewery based in the county of Kent has a certain understanding of patriotism. Their advertising combines a good measure of self-mockery and the timeless ruse of 'being beastly to the Germans'. 

I think that if there is a point I want to make with this post, it is that what I miss in the Americans' celebration of their national day is any trace of humour, there is no joyous nudge-and-wink which expresses unassailable self-confidence. They tend to take themselves awfully seriously on the far side of the Atlantic, at least until the traditional barbecue or picnic gets started.

Oh well, France versus Germany will also be a serious matter for those watching television with me in the café later on. One notes... Germany: approval rating 60%... France: approval rating 20%. Of course that is for the respective heads of state, not the footballers.

I think my shopping will include a couple of bottles of Spitfire today... seems somehow appropriate!

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