The Germans may have their Würste, in all manner of intriguing formations, as I have noted earlier. But on one thing at least the Danes comprehensively beat the Germans – in the grossness of their sausages. To wit:

IMG_1328 (2)a

They call this a Fransk Hotdog, but it looks more like a dog’s dick. Note the ring of mayonnaise at the base.

Even more inventive is:

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Correct me if I am wrong, but that bun looks remarkably like a pair of bum cheeks.

P.S. Given the popularity of these items and given the obvious fact that they are decidedly bad for you, I am struggling to see how the infamous homo economicus fits into this picture. Isn’t he supposed to determine, rationally, what is to his own benefit?

Lenin spent a good deal of time in Finland (which he loved), Sweden (where the socialists had their conferences from time to time) and Denmark (where he spoke on occasion). Not that he was so fond of the latter place:

Who says that in our day there is no trade in human beings? There is quite a brisk trade. Denmark is selling to America for so many millions (not yet agreed upon) three islands, all populated, of course.

In addition, a specific feature of Danish imperialism is the superprofits it obtains from its monopolistically advantageous position in the meat and dairy produce market: using cheap maritime transport, she supplies the world’s biggest market, London. As a result, the Danish bourgeoisie and the rich Danish peasants (bourgeois of the purest type, in spite of the fables of the Russian Narodniks) have become “prosperous” satellites of the British imperialist bourgeoisie, sharing their particularly easy and particularly fat profits.

Why so negative? Denmark was the Scandinavian empire par excellence, so much so that Lenin finds the talk at the time of a Danish identity or need to guard the state a bit of a joke. May well apply to its restrictive and xenophobic policies these days:

The masses of the Danish people passed through the bourgeois liberation movement long ago. More than 96 per cent of the population are Danes. This alone proves what a crude bourgeois deception is the talk of the Danish bourgeoisie about an “independent national state” being the task of the day! This is being said in the twentieth century by the bourgeoisie and the monarchists of Denmark, who possess colonies with a population nearly equal to the number of Danes in Germany.

Collected Works, vol 23, p. 135

Almost nothing escapes Lenin’s critical gaze, not even margarine:

Margarine is cheaper than real butter. Butter is too costly for the vast majority of the population in the capitalist countries. The workers earn so little that they have to buy cheap, low-grade, substitute food products. And yet the workers are the chief consumers. There are millions of workers, and only hundreds of capitalists. And so the output of cheap substitutes is growing daily and hourly, along with the unheard-of luxury of a handful of millionaires.

K’noath! Even margarine is a signal of class conflict. And where is the conflict the sharpest? Denmark:

It appears that the greatest consumer of margarine is Denmark—16,4 kilograms (about one pood) a year per in habitant. Next comes Norway—15 pounds, Germany—7.5 pounds, etc.

Denmark is the richest country for butter output. Danish butter—real butter—ranks among the finest grades. The world’s biggest and richest city, London (population, including that of the suburbs, about six million), prefers Danish butter to any other, and pays the highest price for it.

Danish well-to-do peasants, but above all the Danish capitalists, make a good deal of money from the butter trade. And yet Denmark is the world’s biggest consumer of substitute butter, margarine!

What is the explanation?

It is very simple. The vast majority of the Danish population, like that of any other capitalist country, consists of workers and propertyless peasants. They cannot afford real butter. Even the middle peasants in Denmark, being in need of money, sell abroad the butter they produce on their farms and buy the cheap margarine for themselves.

Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 18, pp. 224-5.

Next time you consume butter or margarine, think about it: you can’t escape class conflict!

An ideal place in the world would have stunningly hot summers by a beach like Newcastle in Oz and fucking cold winters like the one under way over in Denmark and northern Europe in general.

From my longer reply to Niels Peter Lemche, due out tomorrow in Bible and Interpretation. Biblical scholars like to claim that the Bible is vitally important in the modern world, Lemche included, which of course inflates their own importance. I have been guilty of the same, especially when pitching for some cash. Not quite as important as we like to think, it seems:

Let me offer a few sobering statistics from a country close in demographics to Denmark (where Lemche teaches), namely, the Netherlands. If the Bible is read at all, it is by a highly educated, Protestant minority. (By contrast, if the poor read any scripture, it is the Qur’an.) Both possession and use of the Bible continue to decline sharply in what has been termed “Bible fatigue.” A paltry 13 percent of the Dutch population read the Bible on a regular basis. Further, 87 percent of those who do not read the Bible want to have nothing more to do with it. Of the dwindling group of those who read the Bible, only a quarter regard it as offering moral guidelines as to how one should live and act, and even fewer see it as a source of inspiration. And if we focus on that even smaller group of those who do seek inspiration, then they simply do not see the Bible’s central message as either world domination or transformation, a call to end inequality or poverty. Instead, they are interested in personal security, salvation, Jesus as the truth, Jesus as the light in the world, a handhold and a lesson for life.

Assuming we can extrapolate the Dutch results to Denmark, then Lemche is a scholar of a text that has appeal to a rapidly shrinking minority of wealthy Protestant individuals. Not quite the superstitious hordes rushing from the jungle to seize the world that Lemche imagines.

What makes a place sensual? Is it topless bars or erotic dancing? Is it a dubious reputation, like Paris or Rio? Is it golden sunsets, beaches and fine wine – the sort you see only on tourist advertisements? Is it, as Annie Sprinkle once opined concerning porn and erotica, the whole chicken or a feather?

For me the criteria are very subtle, concerned above all the carriage of the body. Learned through a long, supple and largely sub-conscious apprenticeship by children and teenagers, the way we carry your body involves posture, shape and movement. For example, it concerns the way one stands, turns or tilts one’s head, holds one’s shoulders just so, positions one’s body in relation to others, interacts on the street, uses eyes and mouth, or moves one’s hands – in short, the way we are present in and with our bodies.

Reading such bodies requires a little intuition and much patience, but it’s deeply satisfying. So what are the most sensual places on earth?

Top of the list must be Ukraine. Ukraine!? Through a mix of fortunate genetics and excellent upbringing, Ukrainian women and men would have to be among the most sensuous on the planet. The way they amble among a crowd, the unconscious ability to move a thigh or slide perfectly shaped buttocks in a long stride is simply amazing. As is the turn-and-look movement while talking, the carriage of the head and the inquisitive eyes.

Russia is comparable to Ukraine, since they were part of the same country for many years, but some subtle differences soon show up. Ukrainians are more up front in their assessment of you, but not Russians, at least the ones I have met. Walk down a street and none of the Russian beauties looks at you. Or at least it seems as though they don’t look at you. No matter how surreptitiously you try to glance at someone passing, you never catch any one so much as flicking a look in your direction. And yet you get the distinct feeling that you are constantly being checked, surveyed, and assessed in the most sensuous manner possible.

Serbia wins a spot here since it is the historical point where many ethnic groups have fought, razed the city and then rebuilt. The result is a mongrel people, and mongrels are by far the strongest, healthiest and have the most positive outlook on life. As a result, Belgrade women have the smoothest, olive skin, taking every opportunity to show off as much of it as they can (at least in summer), long dark hair, lithe flowing bodies and the challenge of a direct and sustained look.

I can’t leave Denmark off the list, especially Copenhagen. The key here is the blending of bicycles and people. Flowing hair, long thighs descending into high-heeled boots, baskets overflowing with beer or bread or clothes, all moving in a slow, sensuous rhythm along every city street.

Greenland: an unexpected entry on this list, but Greenlandic people are stunning. Meet a tall, well-endowed Greenlander on the street, with jet-black hair and the tough eyes of one who has seen far more than you will ever hope to see, and you will be smitten.

Last for now is China, although this is a very subtle one. Initially I simply didn’t get it: Chinese people in China were, it seemed to me, as missing in sensuality as the many I had met in Australia. The men wore their pants impossibly high (amazingly avoiding the squeak I constantly expected) and the women were reserved, if not withdrawn. But then, after some time in China, the subtlety began to dawn on me: a fold of clothing at a metro stop, a surreptitious glance on the street, a careful move of a hip.

I can’t leave this discussion without pondering the most un-sensual places on earth.

USA: sorry, but you just don’t have it. Brash and awkward and botox ain’t sensual.

England: ditto, but worse. Everything doesn’t work here – posture, movement, carriage. A turn-off.

Germany: Big, clumsy and rough. For some, that may mean sensual, but not for me.

Latvia: curious one here, since the military-like precision of their manner may do it for some. Not me.

Norway: sorry about this Norway, but you are slick, glossy and a little obscene. Too much money and simply no sensuality; even in high-heels, you look awkward and ungainly. Go to Ukraine to find out how to do it. And running or riding about town in yet another expensive sports outfit is not sexy.

France gets a thumbs-down as well. I know many will be surprised at this, but France is just too self-absorbed, too convinced of its own sensuality that it’s like one great wank. Not much fun for anyone else.

Danish churches (Lutheran) are a fascinating refit of pre-Reformation churches. The images might have largely gone, but in their place are endless texts from the Bible. But at Jesuskirken, in Valby, Copenhagen, one enters the church and encounters these:

Apart from the surpise at finding out that Tacitus and Suetonius wrote in Danish, these texts are the two external references to earliest Christianity. But I can’t help wondering why a church needs needs external evidence for such a thing. Is not the Bible, if not faith itself, enough?

Much might be said about the ‘curious’ items one finds on a Chinese street-stall, as I found recently:

But nothing quite beats the French hotdogs that are, for some reason that is beyond me, freely available in Copenhagen:

To me they just look like dog’s dicks – erect ones:

Een klein land met rot weer = et lille land med råddent vejr.

Clever marketing ploy or genuine dumb-arse mistake? A newish range of organic skin products ‘from the hills of Perth’ was dubbed kussen. Now, in Dutch – the product’s founder’s mother was Dutch – it means ‘to kiss’ or ‘kisses’ (singular kus). Nice thought, really: these products ‘kiss’ your skin and bring it to life. Is this not ‘beauty care the way nature intended it’?

What was not intended or expected was the explosion of Danish interest in the new product range from the Perth Hills. On 17 January the Kussen facebook page had more than 30,000 hits, newspaper articles were written in Extrabladet (and here), and a kussen facebook fan club was established in Denmark, which now has more than 13000 members. The catch is that in Danish the word means ‘cunt’ or ‘pussy’. Try the following: in these quotations from the Kussen website and facebook page, every time you see ‘kussen’ read as ‘cunt’:

From the hills of Perth comes Kussen.

About Kussen.

Kussen does not test on animals, nor do we use any base products that are tested on animals.

I’ve tried Kussen and I would definitely recommend it to others.

Kussen is available to everyone! Do you know someone who has none?

Good morning from Australia! Does your day involve a little Kussen?

‘You smell so good I could eat you!’ Kussen foot scrub.

mmmmm – Cinnamon Kussen. Fits in your pocket!

OK, you get the picture. But interest is up and sales are pumping in Denmark.