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2004-11-26 15:25

Yoorpean 'bladets go compact

The organically-grown Danish Informationbladet is compactifying. ("One point or two?", mathematicians familiar with British habits and customs will chortle.) But what caught our eye was this:

I England omlagde vores samarbejdspartner The Independent sidste år avisen til kompaktformat, og for kort tid siden fulgte selv konservative The Times efter.

In England our collaboration partner The Independent put out a kompact format newspaper, and a short time later the conservative [Murdoch] Times followed suit.

I don't buy Engleesh 'bladets, but if I did I'd certainly choose the Indybladet. So I naturally find myself asking or enquiring: What is the nature of this collaboration or partnership between these two such 'bladets?

When my li'l sister lived in Japanland she got the Grauniad Weekly delivered and it had a deal to recycle articles from Le Monde and the Washington Post, and now I get snail spam from Le Monde advertising its own Sélection Hebdomadaire, but not the existence of any partnerships, although the weekend Monde publishes a selection from the NYT (in Engleesh with cute glossaries for the Hard Words and Obscure Idioms).

But what deal do the two I:bladets have going? Enquiring minds need to know, and so do I. (Starting with a Google of your choice and the two search terms Independent and Information will get you nowhere, if you are I, that's for sure.)

(PS: The wind's too high for hoppning, chiz chiz.)


2004-11-26 buttergoose (utc)

Polandland Speshul Feecha!

0. Polandland, you say?

They're next door to the Ukraine! They're after our yummy lard! They're in the EU!

But what do we really know of Polandland who only places other than Polandland know? Hmmmm?

1. La Pologne? Isn't it terribly cold there?

I demand that you read "Vocabulary" by Winslawa Szymborska in either the glorious prose-poem version sanctioned by Mr Faber Mr Faber (it is the nation's poets of which is being spoken at this point):

"In stanzas composed of raucous whooping, for only such can drown the windstorms' constant roar, they glorify the simple lives of our walrus herders."

Or, if you'd rather, in a blanker sort of verse

In their milk-toothed stanzas
the chaotic footfalls of dockworkers scan.
They can translate the worst howling blizzards
into meek songs praising the virtues of sealskin.

2. Pigs in Polandland!

The BBC sent some mealy-mouthed muesli-munching moaner (only kidding, Julianna Kettlewell!) to find out if Polandland's adoption of intensive farming methods will turn out to be an environmental disaster or just a ecological catastrophe:

Poland, whose nostalgic landscape would almost befit a Thomas Hardy novel, has pressed the fast-forward button. Foreign owned companies - like the US pork giant Smithfield Foods - are taking root around the country, ready to collar the European pork market.

Small crumbling sheds housing half-a-dozen pigs are giving way to rows and rows of uniform grey factory buildings, inside which thousands of porkers fatten at minimum expense.

A spokesperson from Smithfield Foods probably neglected to say, "Them ain't no pigs, purdy lady, them's hawgs!"

3. See for yourself!

Why not lay your next holiday trippning to the heart of the "new" EU? Eastern-Europe's Warszawa can city for most - at reasonable prices:

Hvorfor ikke legge din neste ferietur til hjertet av det nye EU? st-Europas Warszawa kan by p det meste - til en rimelig penge.

Why not lay - oh, wait; we did that bit.

The new Arcadia shoppning complex claims to be Yoorp's largest!

4. A blogue!

Meech in Polandland! In Engleesh!


2004-11-26 09:36

Travelling first class through this world of woe

I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
While traveling through this world of woe.
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright world to which I go.
I'm going there to see my Father;
I'm going there no more to roam.

Cheer up kronprinsess Mette-Marit, it's only Thailand!

- Det gir meg en ekstra glede introdusere norsk design her i Thailand fordi dere selv er velkjent for skjnnhet og design innen produksjonen av kunsthndverk, sa kronprinsesse Mette-Marit i sin pningstale, iflge NTB.

"I declare this something open!" said kronprinsess Mett-Marit in her opening address, according to me.

Good point, prinsess, and well made!


2004-11-25 16:14


Americans may do unspeakable things to punkins to celebrate the opening of the Christmas Shoppnings but Yoorp, as ever, goes one better: it's hoppning time!

P fredag skal det norske hopplandslaget ut i sesongpning i finske Kuusamo.

On Frejasday the Norwegish team will be taking part in the season opening in Kuusamo, Finlandland.

It's the time of year when we start taking a slightly less casual interest in Hufvudstadsbladet: if Aftonbladet has a weakness, it's its skihoppning coverage.


2004-11-25 11:32

The beginning of the end, for sure

Forget your puny general strikes; this time it's serious!

rets Grand Prix-vinner, Ruslana Lysjytsjko, sier hun vil sultestreike til sttte for Viktor Justsjenko som hevder han vant valget i Ukraina.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest Winner, Ruslana Lysjytsjsko, says she will go on hunger strike in support of Viktor Justsjenko, who claims he won the election in Ukrainia.

Hoorah! (Can I take this opportunity to bitch pointlessly about 'Wegian transliteration schemes? Justsjenko is bad, but Lysjytsjko?!)


2004-11-25 10:22


1. Lard, glorious lard!

As the Ukranian lard crisis deepens, over at th' Timber abb1 offers us some useful advice:

My wife likes good salo. She says you can't get decent salo either in Switzerland or France, but if you drive thru the Montblanc tunnel to Aosta, Italy - they sell excellent (according to my wife) salo there. We almost always stop there to buy some salo. They sell it in every alimentari. I'm pretty sure salo we buy in Aosta is Italian product, not Unkranian or Polish, but it's exactly the same (or better). I hope this helps.

2. Low-fat disaster: Panic and minor injuries

Ett kraftigt jordskalv som mtte omkring 5,2 p Richterskalan kndes i stora delar av norra Italien tidigt p torsdagen. Skalvet orsakade panik och en del mindre skador.

A powerful earthquake, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, was felt in large parts of northern Italy early on Thorsday. The quake cause panik and a quantity of minor injuries.

3. Our new catchphrase:

Urk! - vilken lskig lsk!

I cheated and read the label on the foto: it's a green bean casserole soda.


2004-11-24 17:05

Kiev Chicken

I still don't know anything about Ukraine, but that's a headline and a half, isn't it?

Come on you good guys!




(Update: Looks like it's been declared for the Bad Guy. It's been a rubbish year for elections, isn't it?)


2004-11-24 14:56

Yet more smrgspost: special that surfeiting the appetite may sicken, and so die edition!

1. My, what a big crowd you have!

All the better to depose you with, my dear!

(Sadly, we have no grasp of Ukrainian politiques. But that sure is a big crowd, for sure.)

2. Snkaos [Serving suggestion]

Please to try your nice snkaos with lightningslipperiness :

Snkaos - och nu vntar blixthalkan

Snkaos - and now lightning slipperiness is expected

Flash freezes is that? Or black ice? Anyone?

3. Ampelfrau!

In Zwickau gibt es seit Dienstag die bundesweit erste Fugngerampel mit einer Ampelfrau. Statt eines Mnnchens mit Hut leuchtet hier eine Dame mit Rock und Zpfen in Rot und Grn.

In Zwickau is it seit Tuesday the bundesweit's first pedestriansignal with a signalwimmin. Instead of a mannikin with hat leuchtet, there's a wimmin with coat and Zpfen in red and green.

Eastern Germany's hypercartoony Ampelmann (the male version) is an icon of former east Berlin, and presumably beyond. Just look at the picture and it'll all make perfect sense.


2004-11-24 12:54


1. The crazy thing is I really will miss it

Magyar Hirlap, a leading Hungarian quotidien has had its quota:

Triste fin pour le Magyar Hirlap. Ce quotidien rput, ancien journal communiste qui a gagn ses galons d'indpendance et sa crdibilit sous la dmocratie, a cess de paratre le 5 novembre aprs trente-six ans d'existence.

Dashed shame about Magyar Hirlap, what? Dashed fine paper, by all accounts, after the Reds were booted out: independent, and reputable. But after thirty-six years it's had it as of the 5th of November.

Courrier International and the Beeb both orfen used it as sources, as all fans of recycled central Yoopean news will be aware. A sad loss.

2. Foopball and Tact

It's behind the paywall, but I only need a sentence of XL:s Lars Nylin - for it is their he! - remarks on the great individuals of bygone eras. In particular, the greatest of them all Johan Cruyff and the state the Nederlands national team was in when he signed for them:

Drtill: hans Holland var avsevrt smre n Sverige. De orangea var mjligen p Norges niv.

What's more, his Holland were notably worse than Sweden. The Orange was possibly about Norways level.

We would hate for any Norwegishes to have missed that.

3. A prinsess

Oh, hello kronprinsess Mette-Marit of Norway!

We admire, in the absence of bonnets (Mette-Marit! Put a bonnet on, love! You'll get frazzled in the Thai sun!) the fotocaptionwriter's grasp of precedence:

Hellig. Mette-Marit og Haakon Magnus utenfor buddhatempelet i Bangkok.

Holy. Mette-Marit and some prins outside the Buddist temple in Bangkok.

It was built i 1782 after Thailand's capital was moved from Ayutthaya by king Rama I, Aftenposten thoughtfully informs its many readers.


today now (utc)

Slavering Smrgspost

1. Slavering Slavoj!

We won't attempt a translation of any of this essay on the Culture Wars itself, but check out the footnote:

Texten har tidigare publicerats i London Review of Books.

This text was previously published in the London Review of Books

And now it's in the mighty Aftonbladet, also our preferred source for prinsessgossip and snkaos stories. Really, Varied Reader, Sweden is the land of newspaperly milk and honey, and Aftonbladet is its river.

2. Oops!

Suppose you were the only person who neglected to bring your boat out of the water before a big freeze; you might feel a bit foolish.

Suppose, further, that you were also the weather person from whom everyone learned of these impending freeznings; how might you feel then?

- Pinsamt. Det var sonen som upptckte det. Jag svor en lng ramsa, sger [Meteorologen Lage Larsson, 58].

"Embarrassed. It was my son who realised it. I uttered an extended sequence of rude words", said meterologue Lage Larsson, 58

3. Slavering Slavoj!

Not one (1) but two (2) of his Swedished books are reviewed. Where, you ask or enquire, are they reviewed? Why, Aftonbladet, where else?

Slavoj Zizek - hans bcker r nu versatta till 22 sprk.

Slavoj Zizek - his books have now been translated into twenty-two (22) langwidges.

They're even available in Engleesh! (Although this may be partly because they're typically written in it.)


2004-11-23 tea (utc)


1. My German?

Almost dysfluent:

Prinzessin Mary trinkt Sekt mit Klaus Wowereit im Roten Rathaus

Kronprinsessmary drank the cellars dry with Klaus Wowereit in the Rotten Rathouse.

It is an Irish bar, m'lud.

2. Crazy Greek Nationalistes Shut Up About Macedonia!

Sort of:

Greek lawyers are threatening to sue the makers of film epic Alexander for showing the ruler as bisexual.

3. Gratuitous volcano link:

Mount Asama, one of Japan's largest and most active volcanoes, erupted today, rumbling to life with loud explosions. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

via Giblets of all entities. (We bow to Giblets's linkage with alacrity, for sure.)


2004-11-23 12:06

Why I am so very untranslated

It is Michael Hofmann on Friedrich "Please Hold" Hlderlin, mostly:

Many of the best poets give least in translation: Baudelaire, Pushkin, Mandelstam, Heine, Lorca, Brecht.

That's a remarkable thing to be in a position to say first hand, is it not?

This is not only because they are most inward with their own language, but also because they have left most trace on it. When you read Hlderlin, you see feints and variations that put him with Celan; it was reading Hlderlin that gave Rilke the impetus for his Duino Elegies (his "Gods" are like Rilke's "Angels", tutelary presences that don't quite convince us that they exist: "Celebrate - yes, but what?" Hlderlin writes somewhere, but it sounds eerily like Rilke). Sometimes reading him can feel as bitterly sacramental as Trakl, the great Austrian poet who took his life following the battle of Grodek in the first world war. All that doesn't really "translate". If you really want to read Hlderlin - or any one of the other great "national" poets - you should learn German (or Russian or French or Spanish).

Is it especially because that these are the poets of Great Nations that this is what we should do? I think I will pick a Swedish poet to make wild claims for (and perhaps even read): any suggestions?

It is also Nicholas Lezard on Ciaran Carson's translation of Dante:

Versions of Dante in English offer the reader almost unparalleled opportunity for learned snobbishness.

Learned snobbishness? Us? Heaven forfend and do please go on...

You can either try to get the sound right, and so lose out on the literal sense; or you can concentrate on the meaning, and miss out on the poetry, hoping, perhaps, to use your holiday Italian as a basis for understanding the original Tuscan while using a crib for the more arcane vocabulary. (It is, incidentally, quite possible to make yourself understood in Italy by using Dante's vocabulary, even though it's seven centuries old.)

In fact, my holiday Italian currently extends no further than the purchase of bus tickets. (In fact, it currently extends less far than that.)

If the vocabulary of the Inferno - for it is it! - turns out to be useful for any future Italian holidays, I'll have bigger and more pressing problems than that I don't actually know it, isn't it?


2004-11-23 10:59

Meet the new kaos, same as the old kaos

It takes talent to be surprised by the sn every year, for sure, but to be surprised every week surely takes genius:

Onsdag er det derimot utsikter til at det kan bli et nytt snkaos fr temperaturen gr mot pluss.

However it is anticipated that there could be new snkaos on Wednesday before the temperature gets above zero.

Meanwhile in Sweden:

nnu vid tiotiden tiotusentals hushll utan strm i stra Sverige till fljd av sn och hrd blst.

At ten o'clock there were still tens of thousands of households without electricity in eastern Sweden on account of sn and high winds.

This, too, happens every year.

[A big shout out to the snkaos krew of Anna K and Simon!]


today now (utc)

On not using a dictionary

(No Forren letters today; the snoekaos has meant that many of the lorries carrying them couldn't get through and they're being strictly rationed.)

The Swedish phrase "fraemre korsband", rendered with vigorous literalness, means "front crossband". But, suspecting it to be a medical term, we translate it into Graeco-Roman and immediately apprehend that it means "anterior cruciate ligament".

Funny chaps, Englishes, isn't it?

samwidge (utc)

An Injustice

I have a better singing voice than Ewan McGregor, and yet I have never kissed Nicole Kidman. That can't be right, surely?

(I saw Moulin Rouge on the telly. Great set pieces, less great otherwise, but this is Monday so I won't review it properly.)

2004-11-22 10:20

My nights were sour; spent with Schopenhauer

"Boombastic" Brian Leiter editorialises over at the Philosophy Gourmet Report, of which he is after all the editor. We take this opportunity to exhibit our skill at dialectical commentary:

A reflective, literate person will still find far more nourishment from the writings of Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, than from the attempts of some "analytic" philosophers to become free-lance social critics or purveyors of existential wisdom.


Yet as a discipline, in which students are recruited to do doctoral work, it is a bit silly to think that Philosophy Departments can train Nietzsches. Genius, one may hope, will find its way in the world without the benefit of rankings. But for those who want to pursue a scholarly career in philosophy, one can not do better than to pursue training in analytic philosophy--even if one plans to work, in the end, on Hegel or Marx or Nietzsche.


Or, by way of synthesis, it is agreeable to see it acknowledged that the superstructure of neo-scholastique filosofi is constrained by the infrastructure of academic meritocracy, but a reflective literate person is still going to be better off reading Nietzsche's texts than a neo-scholastique commentary on them.


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