Saturday, July 7, 2007
"It was kind of hard to concentrate on my own stuff," said Erik Denmark, a challenger from Seattle, Washington. "I felt the emotion of the event."
Indeed! If I were back in Brooklyn, there's no way I would've missed the Nathan's Famous hot-dog eating contest in Coney Island. The world's best competitive eaters gathered at the home of the world's most... er, famous hot dog maker, in the scenic Coney Island National Historic District. And, as the IHT reports, it was a scene out of Rocky: an unknown young American, left, defeats the lean, mean, foreign 6-time defending world champion (right), restoring gluttonous glory to the true home of overeating. Even the other competitors (including super-cute Sonya "the black widow" Thomas, who ended 5th with 39 hot dogs) were overwhelmed by the historic clash of titans. Jo-ey!! Jo-ey!!
I've forwarded this article to some euro friends, because it has really brought out the nostalgia, and it's something that nobody here seems to understand. When I describe how last summer's Brooklyn bbqs were spectacles of proud overeating--to the point where it was difficult to actually get drunk despite being surrounded by dozens of our own crumpled beer cans--after which I inevitably ended up passing out with a stomach ache, I'm met with confused headshaking. I'm asked why anyone would do that. I'm like, "Whaddya mean why?"
On days like this, how can I ever hope to bridge le fracture transatlantique?
Maybe it's just the frustration of the July 4th bbq that I never had, but I can't help but pine for Brooklyn this morning. A day at the beach, a ride on the Cyclone, a view of the projects, and the tasty treat of watching human freaks eat 60+ hot dogs in 12 minutes. So damn American it hurts!
"Joey Chestnut: American Hero:" coming to cinemas in 2008.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Dussen, Netherlands, June 22, 2007—Crop circles on crack? No, just a car driver on coke.
A panicking driver high on cocaine led several police cars and a helicopter on a chase through a rural area in the Netherlands.
After knocking over two apple trees and ramming a metal fence, he zigzagged through a grain field before being caught, local police said. (National Geographic News)
- he could've entered without attracting the attention of the authorities;
- the drawing would've been much prettier and less frenetic;
- plus he'd've avoided the apple trees and damage to his car.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Why so glum, Observer? All they’ve got to do is get everyone to ratify the former “constitution”, which while taking a new name and throwing a couple of key bones at nasty stragglers (Poland and Britain), remains virtually the same long, controversial document that was only recently rejected. If mighty Germany couldn’t solve these problems, what can we expect of puny Portugal?
“Lisbon must turn the outline agreed by EU leaders at their bad-tempered summit ten days ago into a 'reform treaty' – a document to replace the ill-fated European constitution that was rejected in 2005 in two referendums.”
Uh oh. How are they going to change the minds of the grumpy pessimists no-voters? Well, for one thing, they’re well organized:
It plans to have a full draft treaty ready for an EU foreign ministers meeting on 23 July, the day official treaty negotiations start and get the whole thing wrapped up by mid-October.
Great! Way to prepare ahead, guys, especially for a lazy-ass Mediterranean country! There’s hope yet!
But there are already signs it may not go as smoothly as Lisbon officials hope.
Ack! What could the problem be??
Poland is threatening to re-open a key part of the agreement, claiming that during the summit it was promised stronger powers to block decisions than is currently stated in the text.
Poland! Again! The twittering twins! They just won’t go away, will they, malditos gemelos de mierda! But wait-- what about the miraculous face-saving agreement struck in Brussels just a week ago?
Opening the negotiating door somewhat, foreign minister Luis Amado said that Lisbon "will have to clarify what really was agreed that night.
Doh! Wait—is this why people make fun of the EU?
Well, I for one love the soap opera. The high stakes! The colorful personalities making their mark on history! The inspiring need for former rivals to work together for the common good! The cute way that nice little countries can now talk tough to big ones!
Portugal, as your presidency begins, I salute you. May God have mercy on your soul and guide you through this troubled period. Don’t worry—it only lasts a few months! And hey—it’s not an impossible task, this “constitution” bit. After that, you’re practically home free. Right, EU Observer?
Aside from pinning down Polish and other leaders to what they agreed last month - Portugal also has to stop member states being sidetracked by the Turkey issue, which France is threatening to force onto the political agenda.
Doh! F*cking Turkey! F*cking France! F*ck!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Well folks, sometimes the right thing pops up at the right time. For example, just as my buddy Drew arrives in Belarus afraid of getting bored, cafebabel profiles an unlikely rockstar in the last bad-boy dictatorship in Europe. A cool Belorussian for Andrew to hunt down before he himself is hunted down for dissent-- nice timing! At the same time, as I'm desperately searching for a way to better focus my europe-ish (europy?) blog, and how to make the topic 'sexier' to the largely indifferent public, the EU drops this number on its YouTube site! There is a god!
There are so many one-liners to crack about this that I would like to hold a contest. Please come up with a quip, headline, or caption-like phrase for this friggin awesome EU video, entitled "Let's come together!"
I will happily list entries here. As always, a prize will be awarded to the best quip/caption/headline/joke about this video. (Last contest's prize, as some of you may remember, was a one way business-class ticket to Papua New Guinea.)
More on this groundbreaking piece of political propaganda later. I'm going to watch the video a few more times. And try to get my hands on the director's cut.
Until then, if you need some help deconstructing the film, find some reactions here, here, aki, hier, et ici. Une nouvelle Union Europeene plus sexy? Moi j'adore!