The opening shots in the war on menstrual poverty have been fired

It’s a red-letter day in Scotland. As the DR headline puts it, “Starting today it’s free to menstruate in Scotland.” Menstruation has always been free of charge in Scotland, as far as I can tell, but beginning today tampons and menstrual pads will be available free of charge to that country’s menstruators. (Really to everyone: apparently…

On the slaying of monsters

It’s Sankt Hans Aften tonight—St. John’s Eve, in English. It’s the Danish (and Scandinavian) celebration of the summer solstice. All across the land, tonight, Danes will gather around bonfires, enjoying picnic dinners with friends and neighbors, singing songs, and simply enjoying the long and beautiful evening. It’s an enchanting tradition. In many cases, the bonfires…

Awakening to Wokeness

Tom Jensen is the editor in chief of Berlingske Tidende, and after years of coddling the American left he seems to be waking up to the fact that something is rotten in America: I’m not “cisgendered.” I’m a man.Tom Jensen, Berlingske.dk, May 1 Jensen is apparently trying to bring his newspaper’s Danish readers up to…

Chardonnay Journalism

Personal update: Covid appears to have completed its course through our household. The girls are back in school and Herself is up and about, although the virus seems to be lingering with her. And once again I was left untouched as covid struck everyone around me. One would think that by the time February 2022…

“Now it’s Christmas again… and Christmas lasts through to Easter”

This is my nineteenth Christmas in Denmark, so the Danish Christmas traditions no longer trouble, discomfit, or surprise me. They’re the traditions my own children have grown up with; I’ve not only metabolized Danish Christmas internally, but helped advance it forward to a new generation. And yet it was never my intention to raise my…

A Comedy of Comity

There was an interesting piece in the Washington Post the other day. Denmark appears to have beaten covid-19 — for now. Here’s how it did it.Michael Bang Petersen & Alexander Bor, Washington Post, Sep. 20 The lede is: “For the most part, Danes avoided blaming and shaming their fellow citizens.” That’s more than a lede:…

Genies, Camels, and Toothpaste

Toward the end of August, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke announced that Covid-19 would lose its standing as a public health emergency (in Danish, a “samfundskritisk sygdom”). The Health Ministry’s press release was headlined “The government will not extend the classification of covid-19 as a public health emergency in Denmark.” A TV2 article about the…

Use Mascara!

It was a refreshing three weeks of vacation. I’m tanned, rested, and ready for whatever the rest of this year wants to throw at us. (If the rest of the year is listening, that was not intended as a challenge.) We spent two weeks down in the Algarve, sunning ourselves in the Portuguese sun and…

On the Burning of Witches

Today is Sankt Hans Aften in Denmark: St. John’s Eve. The holiday is a celebration of John the Baptist’s birth, which the Gospel dates six months prior to Jesus’s: thus St. John’s Day is six months before Christmas. (More or less: changing calendars over the years have resulted in the slight offset.) Skt. Hans Aften…

World Champions

I had some other stuff queued up to write about today, but all of that has to be set aside. As everyone in Denmark and very few people in America know, the Danish national handball team defeated Sweden 26-24 last night in Cairo to win the world championship. (The US team qualified for the tournament…

Dillermania

Stephen, Buddy! Thanks for making time for me. I know you’re crazy busy and I don’t want to waste your time, so I’ll get right to it. I’ve got the next big thing in kiddie shows. I’m serious. This isn’t a pitch, Stevie. It’s a gift. No, you know what it is? It’s a fucking…

American Conditions

I don’t know how I overlooked this early December opinion piece in Berlingske: it’s hard to think of a headline more appropriate for this blog: Stop the Americanization of Danish Culture, Jacob Mchangama, Berlingske.dk, 7 December I should remind non-Danish readers that “Amerikanske tilstande” translates literally as “American conditions.” The phrase has a long pedigree…

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…

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…

For meget er aldrig nok

Stupidity has metastasized in America. We can start with an article from DR: “Slut med hvide stemmer til ikke-hvide roller: ‘The Simpsons’-karakter får ny stemme,” the upshot of which is that the role of Carl Carlson, voiced for more than three decades by Hank Azaria, will in the premiere of their 32nd season be voiced…

Karen

DR has been thoughtful enough to prepare an “explainer” video on the Karen meme. I’d intended to give it a pretty thorough going-over on Friday, then RBG died and threw the universe off its axis again. (And also, it’s a DR explainer about a stupid American meme. If you don’t strike in the heat of…

Efterår

It’s the last day of August, so I want to take a moment to address one of the few things that’s always bothered me about Denmark. Here’s the Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition of autumn: Autumn, season of the year between summer and winter during which temperatures gradually decrease. It is often called fall in the United…