SATURDAY BRIEFING?It's, Um... Saturday?
Feb. 14 - This is an interesting time for me. I mean in that in the Chinese sense. My Danish wife and I are expecting a Danish child here in Denmark, a country whose customs still bewilder me and whose language still evades me, and my projected income for this month, and all foreseeable months, is approximately zero. More succinctly: I'm an ignorant unemployed foreigner who's knocked up his wife.
In addition to being an interesting time for me, it's also a lot of time for me. I only need to do three things a day:
(1) Work out at the gym.
(2) Post my moronic drivel on these electric pages.
From time to time I also have to do laundry, or go shopping, or empty the garbage, but those activities can usually be postponed.
I'm not asking anyone to cry me a river. The DMG and I are muddling along just fine, although it's disconcerting to find myself cast in the June Lockhart role. Several times already in this young year I've been snippy with the DMG because she came home late from work and a dinner I'd worked hard to prepare had gone cold. "I don't mind if you're running late, babe, you just need to call me so I can time dinner to be ready when you get home." Words every young American man dreams of saying.
(Is that sexist of me? I don't think so. In fact, based on the characters of the DMG and virtually every other significant female figure in my adult life, I think it's fair to say that if I'd actually ever been a sexist, I would no longer be in possession of my testicles. And yet I may be sexist after all: I think women are the stronger sex almost every way but physically. That's one of the reasons I keep going to the gym—I'm damned if I'm going to let go of the one advantage I've got.)
Am I the lord high king of digressions, or what?
All of this was supposed to be simple declarative paragraph in which I set out my topic: since I've got a lot of extra time on my hands, I'm going to put a little more time and energy into this website. For one thing, I'm going to start blogging on weekends (for example, today, which happens to be a Saturday in Denmark). For another, I'm going to make some changes to the site.
I've already been making some. You may have noticed that I finally went through the archive and added titles to all the bloggish entries back through early 2003. You may also have noticed that I've joined the Expat Express webring, or that I've provided "Permalinks" on the bottom of my daily entries. I've been adding more photos to the bloggish. For example, this one:
A duck in Frederiksberg Garden.
There'll be more changes, but I won't write long, stupid, rambling narratives to introduce all of them.
This will inevitably have one of two possible outcomes: either I will spend hundreds of hours revamping the site only to end up ruining it and driving all my readers away, or I'll be right in the middle of some massive website overhaul when I'll suddenly be swamped with freelance work. (Which reminds me: if you've got some freelance work to throw my way, I'm open.)
* * *
For your weekend reading pleasure: The war on words continues.
That piece reminds me of an advertisement I saw on the side of a bus the other day. The bus was roaring by me on Falkoner Alle in Frederiksberg at the time, so I didn't get to read the entire ad, and I haven't seen it again since. (I haven't been out much since.) In bold white letters against a black background, the add proclaimed, "Fuck dig, [name]!" (I don't recollect the Danish name.) I think it may have been an ad for a radio show: I have an impression of having seen call-letters, or a frequency.
"Fuck dig" means exactly what you think it does: it means fuck you. And being on the side of a bus, of course, the ad is visible to everyone the bus drives by or near.
This got me thinking about how we'll raise our bean. (Everything gets me thinking about how we'll raise our bean, except for those things that get me thinking about how we'll screw up our bean. There's considerable overlap.) Since the bean will be brought up half-American, half-Danish, we're going to have to handle some tricky moral questions because there are very different standards.
In the states, you don't see buses emblazoned with advertisements shouting "fuck you" at the world. Here, obviously, you do. In the states, you don't see television promos that feature grown men's hairy scrotums (scrota?) swinging between their legs as they climb into hot-tubs. Here, horrifyingly, you do.
Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with the word "fuck." It is, after all, just a word. I can't see myself washing the bean's mouth out for using such language, or demanding to know where he or she heard it. I'll know exactly where he or she heard it, or saw it: everywhere. And yet I don't want the bean showing up for his or her first day at kindergarten and shooting off a lot of potty language. What I'll have to do, I've decided, is explain to the bean that language is the most wonderful, magical, powerful thing in the world, and that, like all power, it can be used to help, hurt, impress, demean, and so on. I'll explain that some people are prone to being hurt by very little words. In other words, fuck is just an arrow in the quiver of your vocabulary. Never use that arrow, because it hurts some people very badly.
There are other "dangerous arrows," of course, but I don't see why this logic wouldn't work with all of them.
Ah, I'm sure you parents are saying, so that's why he's called This Moron! And you're probably right. I haven't read a lot about logic being especially useful in raising children. We'll see.
Nudity on television, however, present an altogether different issue. Frankly, I'd rather have our bean grow up seeing overweight, middle-aged men's scrotums, overweight, middle-aged women's sagging breasts, and the gelatinous glutei maximi of middle-aged persons of both sexes on television than anything so crude, contrived, and stupid as Janet Jackson's strangely gilded nipple protruding from a breast as revealed by the aggressive hand of a male assailant.
We are all nude under our clothes, and we're not all supermodels. Why not let the bean grow up with a realistic sense of what most people look like under their clothes? Surely it has to be healthier than growing up, as I did, dying to know what they looked like, and only being able to satisfy that yen through the grace of glossy magazines full of pictures of flawlessly airbrushed young women?
And yet, on the other hand, I did grow up like that, and I don't think I'm any more or less damaged than any of the guys my age I've met over here, so it's all probably meaningless in the end.
Pretty much everything is, I suppose.
NEW! The Moron's Index
Bean Counter: 13 weeks + 1 day
Days Remaining as a Smoker: 1
NEW! Dagens Ord (The Word of the Day)
Nøgen. Naked, as in Far, far! Den mand er nøgen! (Daddy, daddy! That man is naked!)
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