On Politics

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you saw the image/link I shared. It’s from Anti-Rebuplican Crusaders by the way of Re-Elect President Obama and shared by someone on my friend’s list. The image features a picture of and quotes George Clooney. The quote goes:

I’m disillusioned by the people who are disillusioned by Obama, quite honestly, I am. Democrats eat their own. Democrats find singular issues and go, ‘Well I didn’t get everything I wanted.’

I’m a firm believer in sticking by and sticking up for the people you’ve elected.

If (Obama) was a Republican running, because Republicans are better at this, they’d be selling him as the guy who stopped 400,000 jobs a month from leaving the country. They’d be selling him as the guy who saved the auto-industry. If they had the beliefs, they’d be selling him as they guy who got rid of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ who got Osama bin Laden. You could be selling this as a very successful three years.

– George Clooney

Now, let me start by setting something straight: I’m not an anti-Republican crusader. I’m certainly not a Republican, either. On the contrary. But as the old quote goes: I may disagree with you, but I will fight for your right to have your beliefs/opinion/etc.

But I do think that Clooney has a point. I think that there is way too much mudthrowing in politics these days (also in Denmark) instead of acknowledging the actual accomplishments – and it overshadows the actual accomplishments. I honestly think that if the oppositions spent their energy on what they stand for and cooperate on what they actually agree upon (environmental issues, anyone?) instead of denying that there is actually something they agree with their opposing parties upon (12 minutes extra per day, five days a week or an extra hour per week of labor? Anyone?) or trying to trip their opposing parties in order to maintain their own or get (back) into a position of power, politics would be so much more effective as well as attractive. So much more would be done, and people like myself wouldn’t give up on political activity as easily or find the news so uninteresting and discouraging.

To be honest, I am one of those who was quickly disappointed after the latest election in Denmark (efterløn – anyone at all?). But I tend to forget three of the initial and instant accomplishments of that election:

  1. We elected our first female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
  2. We changed the political color, thus having a left-wing government after a decade with a right-wing government.
  3. Every time I start feeling the disappointment sneaking in, I always think of what the alternative could be, and think that at least we’re going somewhat in the right direction by now.

Win-win-win!

Another thing I just realized was that they haven’t even been governing for 100 days yet (although we are almost there – the election was on September 15th), and I remember being puzzled by the people criticizing Obama for not accomplishing what he set out to accomplish before or about the time when his 100 first days had gone by. So this is also a note to self about just taking a step back, chill out, and give the politicians a bit of space to do their thing.

I do see the point that there sometimes may be a need for “watchdogs”, but there is a difference between keeping people to their word and throwing mud at them. Parts of that difference are respect, reason, and common sense. And may I add to that that it takes more than 100 days to get through some things and more than one electoral period to get other things through? Just sayin’. With the risk of coming off defensive, I can also inform the uninformed that the Danish system isn’t just bipartial (although it’s usually the leader of the Social Democrats on the left and the leader of the Liberal Party on the right who goes head to head for the position of Prime Minister); the Danish system is multipartial, meaning that a government usually consists of at least two parties who have to agree upon a government platform to govern from – thus naturally compromises have to be in the mix. As for now, we have the Social Democrats, lead by Thorning-Schmidt, flanked by the Social Liberals on the right and the Socialist People’s Party on the left having to govern from their platform while the Red-Green Alliance are yanking their chain from the far left. This also gives me reason to think that we might have to add about a week or so to the 100 days, as that was the time it took the three parties to agree upon a mutual platform to govern from.

You’re asking who I voted for? Well – that’s for us all to know, but for me to write a separate post on. If you know me well you already know, if you know me and the Danish parties you may be able to guess, and frankly I don’t think my confused pile of evenly confused thoughts on that subject fits into this post.

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Follow Friday #1!

On Follow Friday this week:
1. Introduction
2. Podcasts: Danish version (one in English) (feat. Rosenkjær-foredrag, De Sorte Spejdere and Det Nye Talkshow, Clement Kjersgaard).
3. Twitter
4. Next week on Follow Friday
5. Drop me a line.

Yeah, I know, I know. Late again. Forgive me for posting this on a young Saturday!

I think I already introduced the concept back when introducing the Music Monday this week. Anyway, here’s a quick intro again:

Twitter have tags on basically anything – mainly, I believe, because the users of Twitter are able to create them themselves – and two of these tags are #musicmonday and #followfriday. This has inspired me to blog on who and what I listen to and follow online; be it music, blogs, podcasts, RSS, Twitter…

First of all, I’ll take a look at podcasts. I know a couple of missionaries, of which I’m sure at least one of them want to keep up their Danish after they return to the US – and since I have a few favorite podcasts in Danish, I think it’s a good place to start! I know that there is a good bunch of excellent podcasts at the website of Denmark’s national broadcasting corporation/public service radio and TV, Danmarks Radio – you can find them right here.

I think I should start with introducing the first podcast I remember subscribing to (at least in Danish, since Jamie Oliver could have beat it to it): the Rosenkjær lectures with Dr.Med. Peter Lund Madsen.

The Rosenkjær lectures are the consequence of receiving the Rosenkjær award. The Rosenkjær award is given to an individual (scientist or cultural personality) being able to communicate difficult and heavy stuff to the public. The award is named after Danmark Radio’s first chief of lectures, Jens Rosenkjær. The position of chief of lectures was founded to have someone to keep track of the lectures being aired; not only when and where, but also who and what. The lectures were often of heavy scientific matter which can’t be made understandable by just anyone – let alone being understood through the radio, ie. with the listeners not having the ability to SEE exactly what was going on.
The recipant of the award holds the right (or rather: duty) to perform a number of lectures, which are then recorded and aired on the radio. You can also check out the rest of the Rosenkjær lectures.

I think that part of the reason why Peter Lund Madsen got the award is the first show he made with his younger brother, Anders Lund Madsen (they made three shows in total up until as I write). They’re both extremely entertaining. While Peter is highly academically educated (dr.med., scientist, professor (I believe, don’t hang me up on it) within the brain, and now educating himself within psychiatry – oh yeah, he’s as much a braniac as unhumanly possible. Litterally!), Anders is quite the unconventional journalist. He DOES have formal training, but he’s unconventional. If you want to check Anders out, take a chance on De Sorte Spejdere (The Black Scouts – Peter has had a couple of appearances through the ages) and the video podcast Det Nye Talkshow (The New Talkshow – which is the only show so far which hasn’t finished yet. Peter has had an appearance on here, too, on the New Year’s special).

Another journalist worth mentioning is Clement Kjersgaard. He may not have the same appearance as Anders Lund Madsen, but is equally entertaining. Kjersgaard has academic degrees from the University of Copenhagen, the University of Oxford, and United World College of Hong Kong. He is critical to just about every single one of his guests, no matter who they are, whether he likes them or not, etc. – one podcast worth checking out is Ugen med Clement (The Week with Clement), another one (which is predominantly in English) is Clement i Amerika (Clement in America).

Receiving the news of Stephen Gately’s death, all media mentioning his last Tweet, I quickly got on to following @theREALboyzone, @ronanofficial, @stephenofficial, and @MRMIKEYGRAHAM. Of course, I DO realize there’s not much point in following Stephen Gately nowadays, but still.

Anyhow, to mention some constructive following (yeah, so sue me for being eclectic enough to like some of the boyband music out there!), I believe that we should keep an eye on the country leaders around the World is doing. Now, I only have a minor handful of them on my following list, but here are some:
@BarackObama
@DowningStreet (the office, not a specific Prime Minister)
@LarsLoekke (the Danish prime minister)
@SFpolitik (my party)
@Christiansborg/politikere (a list of Danish MPs).

I’m not too sure of what I’ll be rambling about next week, but I’m thinking music, languages, or travelling. Whaddyathink?

Suggestions? Reactions? Comments?