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Don't Mention the War! - Riffs and Licks
Don't Mention the War!
The New York Times yesterday had a hilarious article on Richard Desmond, the publisher of the Daily Express in London, responding to a potential offer by German publisher Axel Springer Verlag's offer to buy the competing Telegraph. In a meeting with Telegraph executives, Desmond goose-stepped Cleese-like around the room with his finger under his nose, invited the Telegraph's publisher to "step outside," and finally led his executives in singing the banned first verse of "Deutschland Uber Alles" as the other group walked out of the meeting.

The Journal's edit page today followed up with an uncommonly amusing piece, perhaps defending Desmond, though it's hard to tell, but outlining the history of anti-German English humor.

It quotes ads by Spitfire Ale, made in the county of Kent, that feature slogans like Goering, Goering, gone and Spitfire -- downed all over Kent, just like the Luftwaffe. (The beer company's web site calls it "quirky World War [Eleven]-themed advertising," which is amusing although the thought of nine more of them is a bit bleak.)

Amusingly enough, the front page of today's Daily Express blares "Stop Le Nazi," responding to the UK visit of Jean Le Pen.

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Current Music: Guy Clark, A Nickel For the Fiddler

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bobhowe From: bobhowe Date: April 27th, 2004 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a theory (of course) about the English habit of Teutonic chain-yankery. I think because the British were scared really badly about the possibility of a Nazi invasion, but never actually suffered one, they have this lingering anger at the Germans that was never discharged.

The French, Belgians, all the rest of the Europeans, had the worst thing actually happen to them, and so in an odd way were more ready to move past it.

When two kids brawl in the schoolyard (assuming it's with fists and not 9 mm automatics), the tension is discharged: the pecking order is settled, one way or another. It's when the battles are unfought, or indecisive, that the taunts continue back and forth.
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