Cancel All the Things

As the annus horribilis 2020 draws to a close, the media are full of the usual “year in review” pieces. Australian wildfires, the deaths of Sean Connery and Eddie Van Halen, the murder hornets, the BLM “movement” and civil unrest, the American election, Tiger King, and, of course, the global pandemic and its consequences. People…

IKEA for the Soul

I’ve spent a lot of time among Danes defending America from basic misconceptions about the country, and a lot of my time among Americans defending Denmark in the same way. I’m not talking about politics, but much more basic stuff. Geography. Climate. Cuisine. Education. The practicalities of daily life. Denmark and the United States are…

Titular Privilege

The American chattering class has been entertaining itself for the past couple of weeks with Jill Biden’s insistence on being addressed as Doctor Jill Biden. The right has been mocking her for it, the left has been attacking that mockery as sexism. Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an…

Algorithms Amok

I could go to any number of Danish or American articles for this, but let’s take one NPR article as our crash test dummy because it’s the one that caught my eye: Stanford Apologizes After Vaccine Allocation Leaves Out Nearly All Medical Residents, Laurel Wamsley, NPR.org, 18 December It’s a simple story: the leadership of…

Now They Tell Us

The headline is the story: Two years ago Denmark had 900 inpatients during the worst flu epidemic in a long time, but the system didn’t collapse, Signe Stoumann Fosgrau, Berlingske.dk, 18 December Remarkable! Not the information itself, but the fact that we’re first hearing this from the press a full nine months into the pandemic….

(E)quality Control

A few recent and unrelated stories in the Danish and American news are worth considering together: Bodega owner fined for offering free shots to women, Christian Krabbe Barfoed, TV2.dk, 16 December Cornell offers ‘person of color’ exemption for flu vaccine requirement, Benjamin Zeisloft, CampusReform.org, 7 December Tulsi Gabbard introduces bill that ties Title IX protections…

It’s All Good

A specter is haunting Europe. Europe in meltdown as Covid death tolls soar and progress unravels, Emma Reynolds, CNN.com, 11 Dec Europe’s Deadly Second Wave: How Did It Happen Again?, Josh Holder, Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Allison McCann, New York Times, 4 Dec …it’s not the specter of covid, but the specter of broken journalism. From…

The Cost of “Free”

Pretty much everyone knows Aesop’s fable of the ants and the grasshopper: the grasshopper frolics the summer away while the ants work hard to set aside enough provisions to survive the winter. Come autumn, the sick and starving grasshopper begs the ants for food. “You made music all summer,” the ants say, “now dance!” And…

Lys i Mørket

Do you know how Chicago was founded? It was a bunch of New Yorkers who said, “You know, I love the crowds and pollution and crime and filth and high prices here in New York, but dammit, the winters just aren’t cold enough…” That’s one of two classic Chicago jokes I know. (I’ll get to…

Steffen Kretz Has Success Selling Lies about American Politics

We have a saying in English that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. It’s related to the old injunction to get the log out of your own eye before you point out the mote of dust in your neighbor’s. A Sunday article by the rabidly anti-Trump, anti-Republican Steffen Kretz, our taxpayer-funded USA…