October 3rd is German Unity Day. It has been often said that there would be less Anti-Americanism in Germany, if Germans would be more patriotic. Anti-Americanism has been described as:
inverted nationalism for people who think nationalism isn't cool. (think about it, what better way to believe in the superiority of your nation without being explicit about it?)
The American Enterprise Institute's James Q. Wilson writes in the American Spectator about "American Exceptionalism". Among other topics he points out:
While 71 percent of Americans say they are "very proud" to be in America, only 38 percent of the French and 21 percent of the Germans and the Japanese say they are proud to live in their countries. And Americans are much more committed to individualism than are people elsewhere. Only one-third of Americans, but two-thirds of Germans and Italians, think that success in life is determined by forces outside their own control. (...) Americans typically have a low opinion of our governing institutions, especially Congress, but an exceptionally high opinion of the constitutional system of which they are a part.
Many people from all over the world have praised the relaxed, joyful, healthy patriotism during the world cup. Some German newspapers called it
"party-otism." So... In order to reduce Anti-Americanism, let's promote some fun patriotism with the trailer of a documentary about the German national soccer team at the world cup this summer. Your browser should display a video to your right. If you don't have a Flash Player plug-in installed to play the trailer, you can download it from Macromedia or read about the movie at Deutschland. Ein Sommermaerchen. It is probably not a coincident that cinemas premiere this documentary on German Unity Day. American influence: Notice that Podolski even sleeps with one of Lance Armstrong's Live Strong yellow wristbands (first few seconds) and Neuville's Texas style Hook'em Horns salute in the shower. There are many more substantial US influences, like the American fitness trainers the head coach Juergen Klinsmann brought over from California. He also inspired and pushed his team with Eminem's song "Lose Yourself" (Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity / To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment / Would you capture it or just let it slip?).
Still, it's not easy being German... ;-) The guy in the second video is not afraid to out himself ;-) This MTV spot could be considered controversial. Of course, Germans are not really discriminated. There is a lot of real discrimination against many groups. That is a serious problem. Therefore, please, do not consider this spot as making fun of real discrimination. Just laugh about the German stereotypes, which are shown in a funny way.
So true! Whenever they can "forget themselves", Germans are so much happier. Like this summer. They were allowed to be happy about being German for once and took advantage of it. Too bad the World Cup is only every four years - and not here every time.
The German identification of nationalism with patriotism, and both with problems, is understandable. But nationalism isn't an automatic negative, and still less is patriotism. I hope you come to enjoy it.