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Crazy names

June 22, 2012

Bild* reports that some idiot tweeted that German soccer star Mesut Özil isn’t a “real” German and shouldn’t be allowed on the team. Only people with “German” names on the German team, or so the idiot would like it to be.

The family has sued against whoever tweeted. The idiot wasn’t quite stupid enough to do it under his/her real name. I’m surprised there was grounds to sue – sure, the utterances are racist assholish bullshit, but I wasn’t aware that it’s illegal to be a racist assholish idiot. Minister of the interior Hans-Peter Friedrich says in Die Welt** that unfortunately it won’t be possible to do anything, since the constitutional court won’t let him save everything that takes place on the internet. Poor guy. He just wants to keep a record of everything everybody does, says, reads and buys. What could possibly go wrong? Friedrich also thinks it’s horrible that the German fans were screaming “victory, victory” on territory occupied by Germany during WWII. Because, y’know, that’s the first thing on anyone’s mind when screaming “victory!” in a soccer stadium…

Anyway, if we’re going to choose the German national team players by their names (which is a horrible idea, and I don’t actually support it, but if) I think there are some worse names than Özil. How about Schweinsteiger? (Scene: husband and me watching a soccer game on TV, Schweinsteiger gets the ball. Me: “Schweinsteiger? ‘He who walks on pigs’?” Husband: “Yeah, that’s the nice translation…”) Or what about Philipp Lahm? Yep, it means “lame”. Great name for a professional sportsman, huh? We were watching the game between Germany and Greece tonight, and the commentators accidentally said some rather funny things thanks to that. “Remember, you can go to our homepage and rate the performance of the players. – Lahm.” “Greece is just standing around. That’s Lahm.”

* “Bild” (meaning “picture”) is the trashiest, tabloid-iest of all German tabloids. Originally called “Bild-Zeitung” (“illustrated newspaper”) until it was ruled that they were too lax with the truth to be legally allowed to call themselves “newspaper”… The outrage over the tweets has been published in many places, but Bild were the only ones stooping low enough to relate what was actually said instead of just writing “racistic attack on Özil”.

** Another German newspaper – a serious one.

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