Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Now we know where the next series of The Wire is going to be set

I've only been to Amsterdam once (and, no, not to smoke pot...that was in Maastricht), and this was a few years ago, so I'm no expert on the place.

And I am aware that, yes, the city does have its criminal element. And there have been some signs that efforts may get underway to re-narrow the framework in which some drugs can be legally consumed or sold. (Which would still leave the Netherlands a long way from anything remotely like US drug policy.)

Still, I like the spirit of the video response someone made to comments recently by Bill O'Reilly and his Right-Wing Blondie Squad about that fair city.

(One question: do...they...clone...them?)

I feel this way not least because such comments are of a piece with a lot of right-wing commentary on Europe, i.e., uninformed, biased, exaggerated and...just plain bizarre.

I mean: 'out of control'? 'Anarchy'? A 'cesspool'? Amsterdam? What have they been smoking?

The crazy nature of O'Reilly and his flaxen-haired crew's comments is apparent; but I think the award for quality nonsense has to go to Margaret Hoover for her strange non sequitur in that excerpt that teaching children about safe sex has brought organized crime to Amsterdam. Yes, it's in there: shielded as it was by its incomprehensibility, it may have slipped past you.

'Cesspool.' Yeah. Funny, that term sounds more applicable to a certain 'news' channel than than any major continental European city I know.

(Some similar kinds of comparison figures on drugs are available here.)


mikevonProra (weird, weird place) said...

Just back from that Europe myself, actually. Went to Germany. Mezzo Mix isn't what it was, but the real Spezi remains superb. Heard about the new German word? Now that Okay is officially a German word (that's what I was told anyway), everyone is now saying "okeyer" as its superlative. Or whatever. Mind you, you are in Germany so you should know. The Baltic Coast is brilliant. Didn't meet a Brit for 10 days. No stag dos in Wismar. Yet.......

The Wife said...

There is of course always "Schwipp Schwapp".

mikeovswinton said...

Never came across that. What does it mean? I should indicate; I rather got the opinion that the people I was with would have favoured an on the spot fine for the use of "okayer". They also disagreed with my assertion that Spezi is Germany's greatest contribution to Zivilisation. But I was only joking, wasn't I. Wasn't I?

mikeovswinton said...

Oh, its a version of Spezi made with Pepsi. That's just so wrong. The real thing is just more okayer. Why don't we get Mezzo Mix and Schwipp Schwapp here in Britain?

The Wife said...

"Why don't we get Mezzo Mix and Schwipp Schwapp here in Britain?"

Because you're not the master race and Britannia does not rule the waves of Spezi.

I think Mezzo Mix has been advertised for the past couple of decades with the slogan "Cola küsst Orange." Aren't we cute and cuddly? No need to fear a people as stickily ingenious as that.

Just to make sure: I is joking!

mikeovswinton said...

Yeah but we do get cherry coke and there's even versions of fanta cut with some other "fruit". The Wife ov Swinton's theory is simple - its the colour of Spezi that prevents us Brits from taking to it. Discuss. BTW on an unrelated point - I'm having great difficulty picking up "Angel Pavement" by JB Priestley, but I would note that "English Journey" has been republished by a publisher in Ilkley. Presumably a hatless publisher.

The Wife said...

On Ilkley moor baht'at?

Priestley is hatless in Bradford, if I remember rightly, but then that 's a quasi Stalinist statue anyway. The most East German piece of public adornment in Britain can be found in Birmingham: A fountain with loads of shiny happy labourers marching towards a brighter future.

Re: colour me beautiful - I don't get the British reticence vis-à-vis pop mixed into a darker shade of diarrhea. There's plenty of brown stuff in the Anglo cuisine. Such as prune juice and summer pudding.

The Wife said...

The Birmingham sculpture (not fountain) that I referred to is "Forward" by Raymond Mason. Was, that is, for this is an ex-sculpture. It was destroyed by arson in 2003:

Somehow I seem to have missed that.

It really was a frightful piece of humourless socialist realism, but that's no reason to burn it down.