DAILY BRIEFINGIn Praise of Danish Beachwear
Jul. 16 - I went to the beach on Monday with the DMB and a friend. The beach we chose, Bellevue, is a little north of the city on the awkwardly named ōresund, or "Ear Sound," the body of water between Denmark and Sweden that becomes the Baltic Sea to the east and Kattegat (and ultimately the North Sea) to the north.
The Danish beach doesn't differ from its American counterpart in any meaningful way. You've got your Danish sand, Danish water, Danish seaweed. Floating over it is the vaguely tropical scent of Danish sun lotion—and where that smell is weak, there is the added scent of roasting Danish flesh. (The Danish sun is apparently just as powerful as the American sun.)
The only real difference between Danish and American beaches seemed to me the number of topless women.
It is a difference that heavily favors Denmark.
I know I'm supposed to be blasť about exposed breasts now that I'm here in Europe. I'm sure my sophisticated friends in the states will shake their heads at my thoroughly American fascination with the mammary gland.
But the Danish men I've met don't seem to find breasts any less appealing than I do. After all, heterosexual men don't appreciate the female form because of some acquired aesthetic sensibility. It's part of our biological hardware. It's in our nature to find women attractive—biology demands it of us—and breasts are one of the most obvious outward manifestations of femininity.
Which is, I suppose, a very roundabout and self-conscious way of saying, yee-ha! get a load o' them hooters!
Kill, Kill, Kill
Fifty-two years ago today, The Catcher in the Rye was published. The book contained secret code words by means of which its author, J.D. Salinger, was able to communicate diabolical commands to his evil minions.
From my first book: "Salinger was a one-hit wonder. (He did write several other books, but these are of interest only to insomniacs and those with wobbly furniture.) The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, and Salinger subsequently hid himself away in the hills of Vermont, emerging from this self-imposed cloister only once, briefly, to serve as Prime Minister of Canada. For nearly half a century, The Catcher in the Rye has captured the imagination of the American teenager like no other book without pictures. Holden Caulfield, the hero and narrator of Salinger's slim classic, may be the finest portrait of twentieth-century American teenage angst bequeathed to posterity. Either him or Archie, it's hard to say."
"Anastasia Screamed in Vain"
Russian Czar Nicholas II was murdered with his family and servants by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg on this date in 1918. This included his daughter Anastasia, who may not actually have been killed with the rest of them but was almost certainly killed along with the rest of them despite persistent rumors to the contrary—even in the face of mounting evidence suggesting otherwise (except when interpreted differently).
Even if she wasn't dead then, she's certainly dead now. This has been scientifically proven by scientists who ought to know.
Mary Baker Eddy was born on this date in 1821. Ms. Eddy invented Christian Science, and was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 for having been the only American woman to found a worldwide religion without exposing her breasts.
On this date in 1935, the world's first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City. This is not significant.
Also born on July 16 were Barry Sanders (1968), Michael Flatley (1958), Bess Myerson (1924), Ginger Rogers (1911), and Barbara Stanwyck (1907).
It's La Paz Day in Bolivia and the Sultan's Birthday in Brunei.
© 2003, The Moron's Almanac