Sunday, June 27, 2010
Germany and England
Once upon a time there was a Celtic tribe called the Britons. There were noble and tough, but by now they have been mated/raped out of existence, and that happened a long time ago. A thousand years ago it was the French, before them the Norse (called Vikings when they went to war), but before them in the 400's were three Germanic tribes, called the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes, who pretty much had their way with Britain.
And so the Brits' land went from being Britain, to The Land of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, to Angle-Saxon Land, to Angle-land, to Ang-land, to Eng-land, then the hyphen was eventually and blessedly dropped.
And then there was 1919, when this postcard was written by a noted German Physicist to his mother, Pauline:
Dear Mother, joyous news today. H.A. Lorentz telegraphed that the English expeditions have actually demonstrated the deflection of starlight from the Sun.
... Albert Einstein, postcard to his mother, September 27th, 1919
Remember that when England faces Germany today in the World Cup. Their history is inexorably intertwined. It has been said that if The Industrial Revolution had not started in England in the 1750's, it would have started in Germany 60 years later. Indeed, the Germans did pick up on the Industrial Revolution quite fast, which only encouraged more competition thus improving the wealth of both countries markedly.
I am looking forward to today's game, but the ultimate result matters not to me. I root for both teams, but mostly I root for good sportsmanship. It should be a great game, and better than USA-Ghana, it is to be hoped. May the better cousins win.
And never forget the Albert Einstein - Sir Arthur Eddington connection. All that did was simply change the world. Today's Cup match, in comparison, is simply a game.