Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 12:43 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 12:43 | SYDNEY

Episode 6: The Germans


Sam Roggeveen


12 October 2009 10:15

I've noted before the habit of some commentators to lapse into lazy stereotypes when it comes to Germans, and here's another classic example, from the NY Times' account of last weekend's FIFA World Cup qualifiers:

Contrast this fever, this uncertainty, this Maradona mania to the Teutonic way that Germany qualified in Moscow on Saturday. There, with Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev sitting glumly among the 84,500 audience, Germany came, stole the only goal of the night and thoroughly, methodically, almost with sterility, became the first visiting side to beat Russia on the artificial pitch of Luzhniki Stadium.

But my goodness, the Germans can make it hard to resist cliche:

What on earth does the German government think it’s doing? According to the Sunday Times, its diplomats are briefing journalists that it trying to ensure Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, is impeached for failing to ratify the Lisbon treaty...The Times has even managed to find a German diplomat dumb enough to give the following quote (whose idiocy is such that I wonder whether the paper simply made it up): 'If the president is obstructing the democratic process and opposing the decision of parliament as well as the will of the people, he is moving beyond the law and will need to face the consequences.'

BTW, if you're wondering about my headline, see here.