Sunday, 24 September 2017

Piss-Poor Performance

The German Bildungsideal has a lot going for it, comprising, as it does, not only formal training in scientific methods but a wider cultural education. When striving for Bildung, as opposed to mere training, one acknowledges that the world is a diverse place with innumerable strands of history, all equally worth pursuing, and that knowing something about things that perhaps at first feel unfamiliar may enrich not only one's life but one's research. This is what Nazis and misogynists the world over fail to understand - that diversity is a strength, not a threat, and that homogeneity stifles academic pursuits.

In short, hanging out with different kinds of people will most likely enrich one's life, in ways one cannot foresee. We have the great fortune of spending a fair amount of time hanging out with awesome Swedish teachers, who seem to be in possession of arcane, almost occult, knowledge. For instance, one of them pointed out to us the other day that Swedish reggae is a real thing. We embraced this factoid with gusto. Enthusing about it in a social media forum, another awesome Swedish teacher of our acquaintance informed us that not only has Swedish reggae been around for yonks, there are even diverse kinds, including feminist Swedish reggae!

As we pointed out in a previous blog post, "We like, at the Privy Counsel, to be seen as competent people. When you are a self-professed intellectual, you set your standards high. [...] in most areas of life we like to think of ourselves as clued-up and capable. Our source criticism is rigid, our soap is the monkey-friendly kind, and we wouldn't dream of using a semi-colon where a colon is clearly indicated." However, in our ongoing efforts to achieve Bildung, we are ever delighted to come across something we didn't know existed, especially when it is something delightful like - raarrrr! - kick-arse feminist Swedish reggae!

At other times, one learns things that are in no way surprising or new, but are nonetheless incredibly depressing, such as the fact that there are 35 urinals for men in Amsterdam, but only three for women. A Dutch woman was arrested for urinating in public the other day, and was reprimanded by the judge, who claimed that she should have used a male urinal. Clearly, Bildung is not a requirement for Dutch judges. If it were, the judge in question might have realised that actually, there are numerous anatomical, social and safety-related impediments to women who wish to use a urinal designed for men. We once tried to use a urinal in Hoxton Square, London, one new year's eve, but had to give up, despite being armed with a Shewee. There was also the time when we almost got in trouble with the police for urinating in Golden Square. And another time when we faced the dilemma of not finding a toilet in a park, and worried about perverts hiding in the bushes. Really, the lack of female-friendly facilities in the world's public places is upsetting. As anyone will testify who has ever squatted behind a shrubbery in mid-winter, worrying about being raped, there is a massive need for public urinals for women.

Before we combust with rage over the rampant misogyny in evidence everywhere, let us enjoy some soothing pictures from a very dear Lithuanian friend of ours, who recently experienced numerous adventures in Belgium:

Beer and books! Is this the perfect toilet??

Lithuanian Friend says:

Wonderful local bar in Belgium and it felt so nice in this toilet with [a book wallpaper]

As everyone who lives with a chronic pain condition is aware, sometimes a hot bath is the only thing that helps. As, further, everyone who does daily battle with the fuck-ups that comprise the world we live in is aware, sometimes a hot bath, preferably with a glass of wine, if one can get over one's paranoid fear of ending up an alcoholic, is the only thing that helps. We love this picture from Lithuanian friend of a bath tub in a Belgian hotel room. And yes! that's right! That is Emer O'Toole's Girls Will Be Girls on the bathside table.

A bathtub, and Emer O'Toole's Girls Will Be Girls - is this the perfect hotel room??

Let us move on to today's Festive Video. Feminist Swedish reggae. You're welcome.

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