Eh Game

Morrissey compares British patriotism at London Olympics to 1939 Germany

Andrew Bucholtz
Eh Game

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Morrissey, seen performing in Israel in July, recently compared Britain to 1939 Germany.

Perhaps it's not surprising that the former frontman of The Smiths is being depressing, but Morrissey might want to look into a little thing known as Godwin's Law.  The British singer apparently isn't particularly happy with the patriotism being shown around this year's London Olympics, and that's fair enough. However, he chose a rather unfortunate analogy to make his case this week, comparing the patriotism of British Olympic enthusiasts to that seen in Nazi Germany in an open letter posted on his true-to-you.net fan website:

"I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event. Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism?

"The 'dazzling royals' have, quite naturally, hi-jacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. It is lethal to witness. ...

"As I recently drove through Greece I noticed repeated graffiti seemingly everywhere on every available wall. In large blue letters it said WAKE UP WAKE UP.

"It could almost have been written with the British public in mind, because although the spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain, the 2013 grotesque inevitability of Lord and Lady Beckham (with Sir Jamie Horrible close at heel) is, believe me, a fate worse than life. WAKE UP WAKE UP."

There are good reasons to be skeptical of some of the blind nationalism that can arise around the Olympics, especially in a host country, and not everyone's obliged to like or agree with them. However, this is a pretty far-fetched analogy. Last we checked, Britain was putting on a sporting event, not preparing to invade Poland, and Morrissey would do well to heed Basil Fawlty's famous "Don't mention the war!" advice:

On a serious note, people really should realize by now that making these kinds of comparisons to Nazi Germany isn't going to end well. Yes, Germany in 1939 was rife with nationalism, but nationalism alone doesn't always create a horrific dictatorship, and comparing Britain in 2012 to Hitler's Germany is one heck of a stretch; it's also horribly offensive to those who were affected by the Nazis' actions. No one's forcing Morrissey to go around waving the flag and praising Britain's Olympic efforts, but this isn't the best way to offer serious criticism.

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