Oh weh. Oh weh. It’s beginning — Apparently they’re about to rename Dortmund’s Westfalen-Stadion (The Stadium of Westphalia, to translate it in the most dignified manner) to Signal-Iduna Stadium. An impassioned outcry against the proposed move can be found here.
My very respected ladies and gentlemen, I come from the place where the Houston Astros baseball team play. They play now in Minute Maid™ Park (which used to be Enron Field, before Enron had, err, certain difficulties). Notice how nobody even cares whether it’s a ‘field’ or a ‘park.’ When the next company buys it, maybe they’s rename it ‘palace’ or ‘clown’ or ‘sock.’ Who cares what you call the stadium? The important words are the corporate designation.
Germany, by contrast, is supposed to be the land where some things are Not for Sale. It’s the land where books all have to be sold at the same price, to enable the survival of neighborhood bookshops like the fabulous Bibabuze, 100 meters from my front door. It’s the land where cashiers get to sit down while they work. It’s the land, in short, in which the people occasionally yank the chain on the pit-bull of capitalism, whack it across the nose with a newspaper, and yell "No!", before it tears another hole in the country’s cultural fabric.
And now this. Signal-Iduna Stadion. No matter how cool that name is (much better than Düsseldorf’s limp ‘LTU Arena’), it should not happen.
Stand up, Dormunders. Do something. I’m counting on you.