Archive for May 2013
As an expat I have only casually followed the news of the ascension of King Willem-Alexander in the homelands. I assume it’s been a proper party and a slightly more-special-than-usual Queens/Kings day over there, orange-themed as always and lubricated with booze.
It’s been surprising how much attention there has been for the change of regent in the Netherlands here in the UK. I thought it was just the Dutch media who would publish an article every time one of the royals in our big neighbour farts. I feel proud – in an awkward sort of way – to see that the Dutch royals have their personal lives scrutinized just as much in the UK.
The coverage was fairly predictable. There was the rehashing of the background of the Oranges (Wim-Lex once had the nickname “Prins Pils”, etc) and then the discussion about how all this compares to the British crown (when will dear Liz step down?). The only somewhat interesting topic was the whole “koningslied” debacle. E.g. the coverage on Have I Got News For You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICOo4SC-gbM
One Bloody Thing After Another by Joey Comeau
Picking a book merely based on the back cover blurb doesn’t always work out. It did for me in this case. One Bloody Thing After Another is as funny, weird and charming as it promised it would be. For a horror book, the characters are surprisingly winsome.
This is one of the best books I have read so far this year.
Why I Write by George Orwell
One in three books I read these days is written by Orwell. This is another collection of essays (Why I Write, The Lion and the Unicorn, A Hanging, Politics and the English Language), which overlaps with some of the other collections of essays I’ve read earlier. Why I Write is mildly interesting. The essay on socialism is longwinding and outdated. Politics and the English Language is good and still relevant.
Lamb by Christopher Moore
The first pages of this book express the hope that the reader find whatever they are looking for: that they will be offended, laugh or have their beliefs confirmed or challenged. I wasn’t specifically looking for anything, and I was not in the slightest offended (and I have a hard time imagining that any sane person would be), nor in any way enlightened. As for laughs, there were some pretty funny moments but overall the story was disappointing. If you’re looking for a funny and clever take on the down-to-earth life of a possible messiah in Judea during the reign of Augustus, watch Monty Python’s Life of Brian instead.