It is glorious
Radio Catalonia, whose glories consist in:
- Being Radio Catalonia in Catalan
- Using Real Audio, with no stupid pop-up player window to
frustrate non IE users
- Having people talk very animatedly in an obviously Romance
langwidge I don't know, interspersed (once to date) by exceptionally
bad singing and (quite often) a machine going "boing".
(We are some of the way to making our Catalan survival kit, so we
thought it might be nice to hear some, you see.)
2005-02-18 pre-samwidge (zulu)
The year is 50 B.C. Gaul is entirely occupied by the
Romans. Well, not entirely... One small village of indomitable Gauls
still holds out against the invadors.
Traditional Asterix Preamble
The year is in fact 2005, the Romans are the EU and the indomitable
village is Catalunya, but apart from that...
Spain is referending this Sunday, and some of the sillier Cataloonies
the big picture
Catalonia is fiercely protective of its own identity. Outside the
cathedral in Barcelona, young and old gather every Sunday to dance the
traditional round dance they call the Sardana.
One of the young men is wearing a T-shirt saying, "Me, Spanish? I'm
As a rule of thumb, Varied Reader, if your ideological committments
lead you not to shun and utterly neglect folk dancing, there is a
serious risk that you have gone astray.
And the Cataloonies have done just this: wishing to evade the heavy
yoke of Spain, they seek to seek an independent Catalunatic state
within a federal Yoorp by voting to reject the EU constitution, since
it doesn't grant any official status to their ancient and glorious
This isn't a case of cutting off their nose to spite their face
so much as disembowelling themselves to cure a tummy-ache: it is
without question the stupidest political gesture I have seen proposed
in connection with the EU constitution, and I live in Blighty. Stop
it, which is to say, at once, silly Catalunatics!
[Tops Asterix in
Apparently, an hour is my upper bound for OU homework, in which time
I can write about two-hundred (200) words.
They think we should be doing about sixteen (16) hours a week, so I'm
relying heavily on the fact that I'm not exactly new to study to keep
up. More interesting will be when we get full-sized essays to write:
2000 words is a lot (10) of 200s. (I'm writing on paper, using the
loose-as-a-goose scribble and savage technique I developed writing on
computers; it's a mass of crossings out and overscribblnings. Looks
wicked cool if you ask me.)
It is the new sensation that's
sweeping the internation!
97 procent av polackerna säger sig vara troende jämfört med bara 37 procent av tjeckerna.
97 percent of Polishes say they believe [in God] compared with only 37
percent of Czechs.
Polandland isn't getting off of my "avoid" list anytime soon with
figures like that, for sure. But whence such figures in the first
[Tidskriften] Det Bästa har låtit nationellt ansedda opinionsinstitut
genomföra utfrågningen i 14 länder: [...].
The periodical The Best has commissioned nationally-respected
opinion surveyors carry out the survey in 14 lands: [enumeration
The report is from London, but we've never heard of such a 'bladet in
silly England. Anyone recognise it?
UPDATE: It is the Reader's Digest! Thanks, Simon!
It is Americain(e)s arranging ever more overstated ways of popping
the question of marital relations! And it is vair
Comme le note joyeusement un célèbre avocat spécialisé dans les
divorces, "plus la demande en mariage est théâtrale et romantique,
plus le divorce est prompt et disputé !"
As a famous divorce lawyer gleefully notes, "the more theatrical and
romantic the proposal, the sooner and messier the divorce!"
There was a bloke on rec.travel.europe asking or enquiring
where to propose during a trip to Venise and we were like totally
"Noooooooooo!", at least in our head(s).
It is Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin, but only in my head!
It is also a nice Aftonbladet feature
on prinsesses doin' various its for themselves, illustrated with a
fine foto of kronprinsess Vickan of Sweden in her
Skaffar girlpower, for sure!
And the most excellent of 'bladets has even a
powerprinsesspicturespecial, linked from that page  and an "Are
YOU a powerprinsess?" quiz. (Wasted on us - we aspire to Prinshenrik
status at most.)
All of which has been onbrought by the feministe slant to prinsess
Madde (of Sweden)'s arthistory dissertation:
Prinsessan Madeleine hyllar drottning Victoria i sin c-uppsats i
- Hon skriver med ett feministiskt perspektiv, säger konstnären Ernst Billgren.
Prinsess Madeleine lauds queen Victoria [of Sweden] in her
c-uppsats in arthistory.
"She writes from a feminist
perspective", says artiste Ernst Billgren.
It is certainly handy to be able to use your family's sommarhome as
the basis for an arthistory project, isn't it?
 Don't miss this one, whatever you do. It has Mette-Marit in a
boiler suit and Kronprinsmary gingerly admiring a large gun!
The thing about France's Die Welt, and many other 'bladets,
is that a given article is only available free within a limited period
of time. Which means that saving a link to one's own 'bladet may well
leave the mustard uncut. (Oh, incidentally, that uncut mustard!)
What is needed, for those of us who may want to whip one out at some
future who-knows-when is a kind of web cache specifically for such
somethings. (We will cheerfully neglect the legalities or otherwises
of this, for sure.)
But vanilla web caches do not distinguish between important 'bladet
articles that you wish to archive for future use, and the usual random
drivel that sloshes through your browser as you voyage or journey
through the internets: a new purpose-built web-cache is required.
So far I've put together about fifty (50) lines of Python, using the
anydbm (storing) urllib (fetching), sgmllib
(parsing) and BaseHTTPServer (serving) modules, and I am now
a good somewhat of the way there. Python, kids: use Python!
"I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch--
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!"
[From The Huntning of the Snark, of course]
Yes, it those Bremerhaven pingvins again! But while we've done it in
Norwegish and Swedish, it is today time for the up-Frenched version,
courtesy of Die
Welt. First a vignette:
Intrigués de voir trois couples de manchots mâles devenir
inséparables, puis, faute d'oeufs, tenter de faire éclore des pierres,
ils ont cherché à vérifier si ces oiseaux étaient homosexuels, ou
s'ils s'étaient accouplés entre eux par manque de femelles.
Intrigued by three pairs of male pingouins become inseparable, and
then try to hatch stones for want of eggs, they have tried to find out
whether these birds were homosexual, or if they had paired up among
themselves for want of females.
Objection, M'Lud! This anthropomorphising of pingvin "intent" is
And then a reference:
[L]e naturaliste américain Bruce Bagemihl [...] recensait dans Biological
Exuberance - ouvrage chaudement accueilli par la communauté gay lors
de sa parution aux Etats-Unis, en 1999 - plus de 300 espèces d'animaux
pouvant entretenir des relations homosexuelles.
The American naturalist Bruce Bagemihl survey more than 300 species of
animal capable of maintaining homosexual relations in Biological
Exuberance - a work warmly welcomed by the gay community on its
publication in the USA in 1999.
(The next block in our OU course is on identities and the such like,
and sooner or later we'll be up against Judith "The Bottlebank" Butler
and frankly smuggling pingvins into the debate is about the only
aspect we're looking forward to.)
It is Farinelli
How to make a sound-alike castrato when these days all the
boys have their bits? With the white heat of technology, what else?
Take Derek Lee Ragin's contre-ténor (we like contre-ténor, which is more of
a yelp than a bellow) and Ewa Mallas-Godlewska's soprano (we are not
for of sopranic shreiknings in general, but still) and add a dose of
the boffins from IRCAM, light the touchpaper of blueness and retire to
a safe distance:
L'empreinte vocale de chaque artiste a donc en quelque sorte, été
"photographiée", les fréquencies constitutive de chaque voix étant
identifié voyelle par voyelle. Cette "fusion des timbres"par les
techniques de traitement numérique des sons donne aujourd'hui use voix
inédite et hors portée des performances humaines actuelles sans tomber
dans la piège de la voix sythétique.
The vocals [sic] "print"of each performer has thus, in a sense, been
"photographed", the constituent frequencies of each one being
identified and analysed vowel [sic]. This "fusion of timbres"by
digital sound treatment has created a totally new voice surpassing the
possibilities of current human performances while avoiding the trap of
the synthesised voice.
And very fantastique it is too. This Frankencyborg "Farinelli" is
the Van Halen of eighteenth-century Italian operatechnics: what is, we be
beseech or implore you, Varied Reader, or could possibly be not to
That's not a very hypothetical situation, you will promptly remark or
observe, but so much the better for our questionanswernings. We may begin
by reproaching Google News for not speaking 'Wegian. (No biscuit,
Google News!) They have Östria, das Schwitzyland and Germania in
German; it would delight us - and surely Danmark also - for them to
bundle Scandiwegia (inc. Swedophone Finnland) as an undifferentiated
Making, under the circumstances, the best we can of a bad job, we
resort instead to German and ask (or enquire) Wieviel Scheechaos
["snökaos"] gibt es?
1 - 10 von ungefähr 431 für schneechaos.
But how much, you might legitimately wonder or muse, of this
Schneechaos is the sort of premium Swedish snökaos on the back
of which this 'bladet's reputation rests?
1 - 1 von 1 für schneechaos schweden.
See? Expressen is
talking it all
up about some admittedly very regrettable snökaos
trafficdeceasenings, but then goes on to plead or entreat:
Hur har du drabbats av snökaoset? Skriv till [Expressen] och berätta!
Have you been hit by the snökaos? Write [to Expressen] and tell us!
Why not write instead to a German 'bladet, since they seem to be doing
more not knowing about these such things.
In central London's most densely-touristed regions there are often
Aberdeen Steak Houses to be found, resplendently bedecked with
red-plush-seated booths themselves just as resplendently bedecked with
We have wanted - we have wanted so badly! - for decades to visit or
frequent such a red-awninged establishment! We shun, disconsider and
utterly disclaim interest in their upstart green-awninged rivals, the
"Scotch" Steak Houses: it is Aberdeen and only Aberdeen to which we
So, given that the Dowager Countess away and the château was deserted
and we were not waited-on hand nor were we waited-on foot, we resolved
to take ourselves out for Sunday luncheon at such a somewhere.
Alone, since in our many saunternings in London we are most often
accompanied by foodistes such as are given to sekking sustenance in
establishments slightly too smart to let us in unbooked, or else by
perons in command of their senses who would observe instantly that
such somewheres exist only to fleece touristes and the simple-minded.
But we left London long-enough ago to pass for a touriste, and besides
our mind is far from complex, and our resources can stand a little
Which is certainly just as well, because parting fools ("customers")
from their money is very much the order of business chez
Aberdeen. For examples: a cover-charge, unheard of elsewhere in
London, of 90p; overpriced steak; and brutally hard selling of the
frankly astonishingly-priced accessories, none of which are included
(a modest bowl of chips ("fries") with plenty to be modest about? Two
quid to you, sir or madam).
And while the steak itself was good but not great, nor even within
aspiring distance of greatness, and we notched up a bill of thirty
(30) quid with tip while eschewing either starters or desserts, we
had, it is only fair to say, a totally fantastic time: we were
fulfilling a cherished dream, and when persons tell you, as they often
tell us, to live your dreams, they do not - and with good reason -
say much of anything about the sensibleness of your dreams.
We were not offered, as others subsequently seated were, the intimate
seclusion of upstairs. Nor did we wish for it: we had a ringside view
of the inside-out goldfish of the world, from which personfish in
abundance gawped in at us.
It was busyish when we arrived, at about 14:00, and it was busyish
when we left, after 15:00. It was also, we add for completeness,
dusyish during our stay. (We were just off Piccadilly Circus, and the
second and smaller one towards, since the first and bigger one was
And we sat on our plush red seat in a window booth, reading Rilke,
more content with life and lunchning, possibly, than ever before
(although we have often eaten better, cheaper food in better company,
If we never go back - which is by no means to say that we would put it
past us - we are nonetheless very glad to have been.
§1. Des von Bladet.
We get a few of these, but we never use our name without linking here,
so we are slightly mystified to be also searched for.
§2. Heidegger fat ugly nazi
That we are the top Google match for this gives us intense pleasure,
§3. Define apathy and use it in a sentence
Make up your own joke; we can't be bothered.
2005-02-14 samwidge (zulu)
It is more on the gaypingvincouplesag!
The sultry penguinesses being despatched to address the situation (it
is only, you see, that they need the eggs) are from Sweden, as it happens.
Även bland Kolmårdens pingviner förekommer både lesbiska och
-Vi vet inte varför, men det händer ibland. De är som vi människor,
en del föredrar någon av samma kön, säger Thomas Lind på Kolmårdens
Lesbian and gay couples occur among Kolmårdens pingvins, too.
"We don't know why, but it happens sometimes", says Thomas Lind of
Kolmården zoo, "They are like persons, some prefer someone of the same
What sort of "knowing why" could one wish for that is not simply this?
We watched the end of the England-France thugfoopball match in the pub
at Paddington station, cheering (very quietly) for les bleus.
Huit ans après sa dernière victoire à Twickenham, le XV de France a
réalisé un exploit retentissant en s'imposant, dimanche 13 février, en
Angleterre (18-17), conservant toutes ses chances de réaliser un
deuxième Grand Chelem consécutif dans le Tournoi des six nations de
rugby. Vainqueur miraculeux de l'Ecosse (16-9) le 5 février, le XV de
France s'est métamorphosé en l'espace de huit jours pour l'emporter,
grâce surtout à la botte de Dimitri Yachvili, auteur de tous les
points de son équipe, mais aussi grâce à un pack souverain, et un
Eight (8) years after there last victory at Twickenham, the French XV
realised a retentissent exploit in prevailing 18-17 in England
on Sunday 13 February, keeping hopes alive of a second consecutive Big
Chelem in the Six (6) Nations tournament. Miraculous victors
over Scotland (16-9) on the 5 February, the French team transformed
itself in a week to win, thanks above all to the boot of Dimitri
Yachvili, scorer of all the team's points, but also thanks to a
supreme pack and an efficacious coachning.
To say nothing, which is very flattering, of England's Wilkinson-free
kicknings, which were for the most part barely in the general
§3. Oh no, not again!
("Neeej, inte nu igen...")
It is, of course, snökaos!
Många trafikolyckor efter snökaos i Sydsverige
Many trafficunhappinesses after snökaos in south Sweden.
Is that a romantique gesture in your candlelight, south Sweden, or are
you just having a snökaospowerfailure?
Let us be florid and cumbersome, canzoni,
Since we have nothing in particular to say
And no one in particular to say it to.
Ach! These crowds - all these crowds! -
And we among them all alone,
An isolated, unescorted mote
In February's Leibsjahrzeitlich sunbeam!
Reflect, for example and for not the first time,
On Yorkshire wovels in "punk" and "club" -
Becoming, in a Berlineuse
with a seat at the Stammisch table;
But later, a children and husband at home
And sobbnings, and two (2) legs outstretched
Past your glumly faithful friend in the Ladies'
We've other tales, but let this one (1) suffice;
We're lonely, and it isn't very nice.
We have indulged in a flickning through Amssimil's Le Nouveau
néerlandais sans peine, and we are impressed!
We grind what is left of our teeths every time some silly English
phrase book talks of a "phonetic language", but the Frenchy-French are
not so stupide:
La grammaire est relativement réduite; l'orthographe, presque
phonétique, tient en quelques règles.
It is the spelling which is phonétique, silly Englishes! The
spelling or orthographie!
And it all seems jolly well thought out and everything. It's just a
shame that Dutchy-Double-Dutch isn't high on our list of langwidges to
learn in the immediate, really.
It is still going very badly. Luckily, I am lunching with a reformed
general relativiste tomorrow, and relativistes are very good at
differential geometry, and my whining skills are such as to get the
job done, preferably by somebody else.
It is Turkey! It is, though, relocated to London!
This exhibition explores the art and culture of the Turks from Inner
Asia to the Bosphorus over a thousand year period between 600 and 1600
AD. Their journey incorporated many different centres of power and
artistic traditions. The story begins with the Uighurs, a nomadic
people of Central Asia and China, and ends with the Ottoman Empire
from the reign of Mehmet II to Suleyman the Magnificent including the
fall of Byzantium and the spread of Ottoman rule to include Mecca and
We remain slightly puzzled that an upholstered sofa or divan without
arms or a back could establish much of an empire, even in the Balkans,
but our thirst for knowledge will surely be sated and then some
It is differential geometry and it is hard!
I have three (3) books concerned largely with differential geometry,
and I have not yet succeeded even in being able to translate their
statements and remarks between the various notations they like to use,
nor with random stuff off of the Interweb.
It is said (admittedly by Ezra Pound) that among the troubadoobs of
Provence - oh those troubadoobs of old Provence! - it was considered
plagiarisme to borrow another man's meter.
It is suspected (admittedly by me) that differential geometers feel
much the same way about notation.
And I have just wasted ("spent") a great deal of time contemplating
the commutativity or otherwise of covariant derivatives. (They are
guaranteed to commute precisely in spaces of zero curvature, if you're
Breaking somewhat with tradition, we contemplate the impending
Prickly-Pear and its constitutional implications.
We are tired - so very tired! - of hearing persons reason that prinses
should be treated just like anyone else and allowed to marry who they
like and dress as comedy Nazis if they feel like it.
It is a silly argument and essentially a republican one: if prinses
are just like everyone else, what is the deal with the Public Gravy
and the Your Majesty mallarkey?
Prins Charles already can marry anyone he likes. What he can't do is
marry certain kinds of anyone and also continue to be heir to the
throne. Neither, incidentally, can I or anyone else, so he isn't
being singled out unfairly here.
§1. Dioxins considered as unyummy
It is Renato Panizzon, head of the dermatologie unit at the
Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV)! And he has some
somethings to say about dioxin poisoning, one of the occupational
hazards of Ukrainian politiques:
La chloracnée spectaculaire dont souffre Viktor Iouchtchenko n'est
qu'une des manifestations de son empoisonnement sévère à la TCCDD
(2,3,7,8-tétrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine), la dioxine la plus toxique que
The spectacular chloracnée which Viktor Yushchenko has is only
one of the manifestations of his severe poisoning with TCCDD
(2,3,7,8-tétrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine), the most poisonous dioxin
2,3,7,8-tétrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine?! The cads!
§2. That'll thrassle 'em!
It is Norway! Where The Kids are texting in their
many dialects! In some countries we could name, including one in
which, by an accident of birth soon to be corrected, we happen to
reside, this would be a source of outrage, but langwidge politics in
Norway is different:
Og Norsk språkråd gnir seg i hendene.
- Det er svært hyggelig at ungdom velger å skrive tekstmeldinger
på dialekt. Å ha dialektvariasjon gjør oss til et sterkere
språksamfunn, sier direktør Sylfest Lomheim til VG.
And the Norwegish langwidgecouncil is rubbing its hands.
"It is wicked cool that The Kids choose to write textmessages in
dialect. Having dialektvariation makes us a stronger
speechcommunity, innit?", direktör Sylfest Lomheim told VG.
§3. Birds do it!
It is gay
penguincouples in Germany!
Etter at fem pingvinpar i Bremerhaven Zoo hadde forsøkt å pare seg i
årevis, uten å få barn, ble det i fjor tatt DNA-prøver av parene.
Testen viste at tre av de fem parene var hanner som levde i et
After five penguincouples in Bremerhaven Zoo had paired up for a year
without to have childrens, DNA tests of the couples were done last
The tests showed that three of the five existing couples were living
in homosexual relationships.
The problem of supporting bigotted opinions with appeals to Nature, it
seems to us, is that Nature may have neglected to read the script.
(This is unlikely to bother any bigots, of course, since they are by
no means typically preoccupied with evidence.)
Ikea is of course very exciting - where else can you get salty
liquorice and herrings in mustardsauce in this benighted land? - but
En person knivhöggs, flera klämdes och många drabbades av värmeslag
när den nya Ikeaaffären öppnade i Edmonton norr om London vid midnatt
natten till torsdagen.
One person was knifestabbed, several crushed and many struck with
heatstroke when the new Ikeashop opened in Edmonton in north London at
midnight on IV-day ("Thursday").
Heatstroke, Englishes? Is there no limit to your silliness? Up to
know we have always considered ourselves a Londoner at heart; from now
on we declare ourselves to be ethnically a Berliner. Still, it could
've been worse:
När möbelvaruhuset öppnade i två städer i Saudiarabien i september
trampades tre människor ihjäl och 17 personer skadades i trängseln.
When the furnitureshop opened in two (2) cities in Saudiarabia in
September, three (3) people were trampled to death and 17 persons
injured in the crush.
(We are very taken, incidentally, with the word
blåljusmyndigheterna "the blue light [=emergency]
Aidan Kehoe, occasional guestbladeteer, sci.lang regular and Neu
Okay, so Berlin so far is unreservedly fantastic.
And re our Berlinfilmbleg Anna K says:
'Himmel über Berlin' has, well, lots of Berlin. For more Berlin (and
much else), try also the excellent new film 'Head On' ('Gegen die
Wand'). Then there are films like 'Das Versprechen' (_all_ about
Berlin), 'Rosenstrasse' (1940s Berlin), and, well, there's one more
but I can't think of the title, will email later.
Sonnenallee is also in a Berlin that no longer exists - East Berlin
near the Wall before it fell. I don't like Lola Rennt. There is older
stuff - a film of the 1930s (1929?) novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, by
and passes on a Berlinfimlistning.
It is Ellen
MacArthur and she has sat in a boat for a very long time which is
nonetheless the shortest such very long time in the world EVAR!
While she was a-sitting in this such boat, as she was for quite some
time, one of the Radio Foopball ("Five") personnel was moved to remark
that this feat put the achievements of other sportspersons in
We can only agree: other sportspersons, unlike Ms MacArthur, generally
engage in entertaining activities that the public will pay good money
to see, and quite right too. Speaking of which, the cricket's
or will be in the weather improves.
2005-02-09 oomehead (zulu)
We are of the opinion that Mr Rilke's Duinesque Elogies are
written in hexameter. We like hexameter! We learn it from a
- Han ska skriva hexameter! Hexameter! Inte rimma.
- Vad menar du, hexameter, sa pappan.
- Ja såhär: Tamta-ratam-tarara-tara-tam-tam-tamtara-tam-tam, förklarade
"He must write hexameter! Hexameter! Not rhyme!"
"What do you mean, hexameter," said Moominpappa.
"Like this: Tamta-ratam-tarara-tara-tam-tam-tamtara-tam-tam",
Farlig midsommar/Moominsummer Madness, Tove Jansson (but our
translation since the official Englishing does something else and I
don't have it here anyway).
That's Swedish rules hexameters, of course, were it really does have
to end "tamtara-tam-tam":
HERCULES arla stod upp en morgon i första sin ungdom
fuller av ångst och twijk huru han sitt lefwerne böria
Skulle däraf han Prijs kunde vinna medh tijden och Ähra.
(This was before Sweden discovered spelling, of course.)
We don't know exactly what the score is with Tsky-Tysk hexameters, but
we already find them more sympa than Alexandrines, to say
nothing, which would certainly exhaust our competence, of Spanish
I had some yummy cow in the pub to line my stomach, but I don't think
it could 've been that. I'm not so sure about the kebab on the way
home, not least because I don't remember very much about it.
There weren't any pancakes (O, those yummy slender cakes, sacred to
great Pan himself! Yet again, a glorious Pagan festival - this time a bacchanalia
of cakes, golden syrup and bottled lemon juices - usurped by the
Jesusistes. Have they no shame, we ask or enquire; have they no
decency?) at all. Semlor, also, were lacking to the point of absence.
It couldn't have been the öl, could it?
It is Tödliche Schnee! We have now moved ourselves up to the
second level of Langenscheits easy readning materials in German as a
foreign langwidge which after all it is.
In this episode private detective Helmut Müller gratuitously forsakes
Berlin, where he lives, for Garmisch-Patacaketin, where a couple of
murders spontaneously outbreak for his solving pleasure.
Sadly the cast list at the beginning contains not insubstantial
spoilers; happily we consulted the dictionary but little and seldom
during the mysterious unfoldnings.
At over a fiver for under fifty (50) pages you would not mistake these
such pamphlets for bargains any time soon, but they do do the job.
More Berlin, next time, though, please!
It is Run,
(I lack a telly, of course, but I have lent myself my work laptop and
taken it home to watch DVDs, which are like videos only better.)
When we were young there was a programme on telly called Challenge
Anneka in which the eponymous Anneka was challenged (hence the
name) to perform a feat or challenge against the clock. About half of
the point of it, so far as we could tell, was that this such Anneka
would trot vigorously about, while her jiggling pertnesses were filmed
We think of Run, Lola, Run as a kind of gonzo remake of this
idea, except that it is an actual fillum, so Lola's jiggling
pertnesses are filmed from a variety of angles, including cartoon.
We will not discuss the plot, and we will certainly not spoil the
central conceit. Instead, we will remark that the moments that
especially caused our heart to lurch were those where we recognised
the Berlinness of the setting, which is Berlin. We have so very not
got over Berlin, it turns out, and it stole every scene it was in,
pertnesses a-jiggle or otherwise.
Recommendations for other films starring Berlin are certainly sought.
(We're just ordering Goodbye Lenin! from Mr Amazon's new
Jersey-based emporium as we write, of course.)
Unfathomable; capricious; irrelevant: we defy the most meticulous
theologian to persuade us these are interestingly different.
Let there be much rejoicing at those which are chosen and
fervent anticipation of those choosenings yet to come!
Slovenia, Polandland, Estonia, Andorra, Belarus: we salute you all!
Monaco, we do not especially salute since its chosen song remains
We rejoice also at this time in the return of the Prodigal
Hungary returns to Eurovision after a 7 year absence and will select
its 2005 entry in a national final at a date and venue to be
And we look particularly forward to Lebanon's debut in the contest.
Even with the Swedish groop Alcazar having defected from representing
Blighty at the last minute,
it remains a cosmopolitanly post-nationaliste contest, and quite right
The Estonian four piece all girl group Vanilla Ninja will represent
Switzerland in Kyiv.
They can hardly be worse than Céline Dion, isn't it?
We also enjoyed this observation:
However following Ich Troje's attempt to represent two countries in
Riga, no artist or group can perform for two countries in the same
We remember Ich Troje ("I, Jumper") well: they represented Polandland with a song
called "Keine Grenzen" ("No Borders") which's title and chorus were in
German. How very apt, indeed.
I have some Post-It(tm) Notes! And the packaging has some
translations, and they are far from good! For example,
There isn't any such Swedish word as "självhääftande"
("selfadheesive"), nor is it at all likely there could be. Double "ä"
just doesn't happen. Or,
- avtagbar notatblockk
Danish or Norwegish? Well, neither: "ckk" is by no means a starter.
"Notatblok" looks Danish; "notatblokk" looks Norwegish; "Notatblockk"
looks like a crass error: Google confirms all these guesses.
The question which surges to our mind, though, is just how do such
mistakes come to be made? Anyone who knew anything about the
langwidges couldn't make them, and anyone who didn't would presumably
rely heavily on dictionaries, which wouldn't either.
It's cute when French or Estonian hotels mangle their Englishes,
certainly, but it is shoddy to the point of rudeness when a
multinational allows such a wretched job of work as this to be
associated with a product which is, after all, hardly new.
The last time I bought clothnings was in Berlin, because even if you
never know for certain when you will meet the Berlineuse of your
dreams, during a trip to Berlin is surely a better bet than most. And
as it turned out I am very fond of German fashion, and I have worn
these those such clothnings extensively ever since.
And so this weekend I had special occasion to wish, as I not
infrequently do wholly unprovoked, that I were in Berlin, as I set
about my shoppnings. But why such shoppnings, you ask or enquire?
Simple: my Berlin shoes have been outworn - three months is about par
for shoes for me since I tend to walk in them, which the
manufacturers clearly did not expect or intend.
And also it is my first tutorial at the University of Openness
tonight, and, if the online conference is anything to go by, the
presence of me and the tutor will more than fulfil the maleness quota,
and who is to say that none of the many wimmins will be of the
eligible variety? An online conferenceuse recently bemoaned the
absence of eligible blokage in her first tutorial, after all...
In other news, I've just been handed a volume of Mr Rilke's finest
Duino-flavoured wibblings, which's frontispiece claims them
bilingually to be:
AUS DEM BESITZ DER FÜRSTIN MARIE VON THURN UND TAXIS-HOHENLOHE.
THE PROPERTY OF PRINCESS MARIE VON THURN UND TAXIS-HOHENLOHE
(This is the Leishman and Spender version: if you can't trust
poetrytranslationrecommendations from random persons on the Interweb -
in this case, mysterious reader MMcM - what can you trust, eh?)