Friday, August 23, 2019

Has Trump looked closely at what he’s trying to buy?

Narsarsuaq is a rare place in Greenland with farms.
     NARSARSUAQ, GREENLAND: It is an eight hour flight from Chicago to the southern tip of Greenland, not counting the hour drive from Keflavik International Airport to smaller Reykjavik Airport for the hop from Iceland, across the Denmark Strait, to the southernmost town of this very northern island, 2/3 of which is located above the Arctic Circle.
     Actually, “town” is an exaggeration. Narsarsuaq has only about 150 residents, making it more of a settlement. Which might come as a surprise to, let’s say for example, a newspaper reporter rushed here by editors frantic to get boots on the ground at the scene of the latest international crisis.
     If you assume that there being flights here—$1,800 on Icelandic Air—by necessity means there is also be a significant community waiting, well, let me set you straight. It’s austere.
     Eight hours is plenty of time to brood on Donald Trump’s gambit to buy Greenland, which at first, I assumed had to be a joke (the poor Onion, how do they cope?)
     The truth came as a surprise. No, “surprise” is too weak a word. When I read he cancelled an actual state visit to Denmark over its refusal to sell Greenland, I was dumbfounded.
     Okay, not “dumbfounded.” That’s an average day.
     ”Superextradumbfounded” perhaps—a very Greenlandic way to express something. The common language here is Danish, with many speaking English. School children are also taught West Greenlandic, an Inuit language where computer, ‘qarasaasiaq’ translates, poetically, as “artificial brain.”
     Trump said the purchase would be a strategic move, which really doesn’t explain why he wants Greenland. Maybe he feels an intellectual kinship. One visitor described Greenland as “spectacularly barren,” which also describes the interior landscape of our president.

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  1. The good citizens of Greenland deserve the right to hold a plebiscite on the matter of which country to belong to. Choose between good old USA, the country of choice where peoples from around the world clamor to enter, or a loser country like Denmark although I suppose they are good enough to have a pastry named after them. Trump needs to get his act together and do right by Puerto Rico ASAP, who wants to belong to a country that treats it's possessions like dirt. It wouldn't surprise me if the Greenlanders gum up the works with a winning write in vote for Canada. That would make P.M. Mette Frederiksen look the fool. It would also make Trump look the fool, but too late he already is one.

  2. I've heard that calling the place "Green Land" was a con job by the Vikings who stumbled on it a few hundred years ago, like selling "beach front" property in Florida in the good old days of free lance grifters.


  3. Had the leader of Denmark so desired, she could have noted that Mr. Trump is the greatest, most successful leader in the history of democracies, a master negotiator who also happens to be the most virile, handsome man in human history, she could have worked him to give Denmark New York City. Flattery is his kryptonite. He is the most predictable, easily led human to ever come off of the cosmic assembly line.

  4. Tom Lehrer was the greatest musical satirist in history, sometimes even surpassing Cole Porter for lyrics. But Real Life has outdone him. I wish he'd come out of retirement in his 90s and snark at the GOP and Trump, but he won't, because Trump's insanity dwarfs anything he could write. As the old saying goes: "You can't make this shit up!"

  5. Coincidentally, his Copenhagen concert, which contains some of his best work, can be found on U tube. The audience reaction is interesting. Some of the Danes didn't seem to be getting the jokes.


  6. Our Cleveland PBS station ran it a couple of nights ago, during Pledge Week. Might have been a language barrier, but I've heard most Scandinavians are somewhat fluent in English, and probably were in 1967 as well. Maybe it was the slang or the idioms...they might not travel well. (Lost in translation, nyuk nyuk). He did a few one-liners in Danish and there were subtitles shown, while the Danes laughed.

    What was most unusual to me and my wife was the way his audience clapped rhythmically and in unison after their initial rounds of applause. A collegiate thing? A Danish thing? We were rather puzzled. It sounded exactly the way the crowd sounds during a close ballgame at Wrigley, when the Cubs are threatening to score.


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