Wednesday 11 August 2010

Woebegone: Torpor in Minnesota and silly season in Brussels

It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, is the standard opening of Garrison Keillor reporting on events in this fictional town in Minnesota, USA. The radio show A Prairie Home Companion is heard on public radio stations in the United States and known to Europeans through reemissions of National Public Radio (NPR) programmes and by national radio stations. (In Finland, you can listen to News from Lake Wobegon on YLE Mondo through national cable TV radio, or locally on FM in Helsinki.)

The probably best known Garrison Keillor quote wraps up his “home town” nicely: Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

Garrison Keillor’s philosophical chats are also available in print.

If it can always be silly season in Lake Wobegon, with a population of about 1,000, it is astounding that “Brussels”, the de facto capital of the European Union (population about 501,000,000), still takes the plunge into summer recess so seriously, as if the world stopped rotating for a month for the convenience of people working in the EU institutions: See upcoming events on European Agenda and EU Calendar.

With slightly different spelling: woebegone.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

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