Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Danish National Symbol Vandalised, but Maersk Opera remains intact

The little Mermaid, the most popular tourist attraction in Denmark, was vandalised the night before March 8th, probably in celebration of the International Women's day. The statue was painted green and had been given a dildo in her hand.

The little Mermaid is so quintessentially Danish that each day of the year one can see crowds of Japanese and Americans nurtured from childhood with the silly stories of Andersen flocking around it with their cameras. It is all there: The eternal drama of ice and water, and how man overcomes these elements of nature: H.C. Andersen fairy tale, - donation to Copenhagen by one of the big industrialists of the time, Carl Jacobsen, 2nd generation of the famous Carlsberg brewers. He was the man who rode down the streets of Copenhagen in an open chariot throwing carnations to humble men and women, less fortunate than himself, but showing all signs of gratitude to the great man, even though he had turned a significant part of the population into alcoholics with his cheap, mass-produced beer.

The tradition of merging the muses with big business has continued to the present day, when the owner of the giant Maersk line has donated an opera to the City of Copenhagen, also at the entry to the harbour opposite The little Mermaid.

This opera is placed in straight line from the Royal Castle Amalienborg, the Sully royal statue in the castle square, and the "Marble church" behind the royal castle, thus signyfying the holy trinity of big business-church-monarch, as it is constructed in an almost parisian parody of straight-line baroque Napoleonic harmony; with royalty and Christian church in the other end of the majestic line, the unity of the three is symbolising the apotheosis of Danishness in the Dane's profitable struggle to rule the waves. By this tax-deductible gift big business and the profit motive has been turned into the God of the land. No other nation on earth has equated church, royalty and the interests of big business in such a harsh way.

The issue of women's rights is serious enough in the Mermaid Kingdom, however. Denmark prides itself with being advanced in the welfare discipline of bestowing equality on its citizens, but in the area of women's rights and equality of gender much remains to be done. Women's wages are only little more than 80 per cent of men's. The present government's neo-liberal market-based economic policy makes it difficult to do anything effective to redress these imbalances.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duck, you have a fine way with words !,, Truly an informative description you set forth here. Personally i have often wondered at the apparent Danish acceptance of the corporate greed of the CIA bed fellow, Mærsk . From the theft of the Danes natural resources in the North Sea, to the distruction of Denmark as a seafaring nation, by that i would guess that the ratio of Danish nationals employed as sailors,,,, contra the number of 3rd world cheap labor sailors,,is not a statistic that one could use to convince anyone that Denmark is currently a seafaring nation..... YOur article clears up a few questions that have been bothering me, informative and well writen. Thanks.

2:42 AM  

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