15 June 2012

Friday Double: (12) Odd notes from Euro 2012

It's been interesting to watch the amazing amount of influence that the English-speaking world has wielded at the Euro 2012 tournament.  Stadium announcements in English have been a FIFA standard for several World Cup cycles, so hearing those again in Poland and Ukraine came as no surprise. On the other hand, as the Russian national anthem played before the Russia-Poland match, there was this:

'Cause racist taunts and marches on Warsaw weren't provocative enough.
[Reuters/Pascal Lauener]
Never mind the 45th-level D&D warlord, who, Russian state network RT tells us, is a heroic figure from Russian history. The important part here is the caption. I can understand why PA announcers are using English, but why would a group of Russian fans use English on that banner? Why not regular Russian, or even Russian transliterated into Latin characters? Are that many Americans blowing off Miami-Oklahoma City for this?

And how about the music?

You may have not heard "Kernkraft 400" referenced by name, but if you've watched East Coast college football at any time during the Obama administration, you've probably heard fans singing caterwauling along with it.

Alas, it's made its way to the PA systems at Euro 2012, and through to the fans. "Kernkraft 400" isn't just about the worst fight song ever, it's one of the worst techno tracks I've ever heard.  Heck, it's not even original; the appropriately named Zombie Nation, a German group, stole it from a Commodore 64 game.  How Canadian hockey fans (yes, Canadians) managed to turn this German annoyance into a global one is beyond me.

Anyhow, here's a sports mix, because my alternative today was the was the Hymn of the Russian Federation.  Feel free to gong this at any time.

Even more interesting than chants imported from eastern North America is what plays when the contestants enter the field for the first time. The first time I paid attention to the background music, before the Germany-Portugal match, I thought immediately of Mass Effect 2, perhaps the first video game to ever run a Super Bowl ad. A little digging confirmed my suspicion: the score for that trailer was original to that ad, and it's what the Euro 2012 honchos are using to introduce teams to the playing field:

"Heart of Courage" is a nice, simple tune that does exactly as composer Two Steps from Hell intended: it builds dramatic tension just quickly enough to create an appetite. It works the same for Euro 2012 games as it did for that video game. And like the English-captioned Russian banner and the ridiculous fight tune, it points to increasing American influence on non-American events.


Matty Boy said...

I'd love to see some artist better than I am draw the cartoon character from behind, shoulders sagging, sword and shield dragging on the ground with the motto "This is Russia, walking home from Poland".

Abu Scooter said...

This weekend's lesson is that, for some teams, talent can be negated the asshole quotient of their cheering section. Good riddance to the Russian fans.

Also, too: I want that the Dutch were drinking all week.

Abu Scooter said...

Oops. Make that what the Dutch were drinking.