Beginnings, Endings and Putin’s Cousin

Saturday, March 17, 2018
By Jes Rasmussen

ftr-danish-jesI love beginnings. Endings and what comes in between, I’m not too keen on. Beginnings are the best. We’re talking books here, not lives or love affairs. Well, maybe the very short love affairs but certainly not life.

Talking about the in-betweens. My birthday is on the first day of spring, and I can call myself an old-age pensioner. May it last long, this particular in-between. Forget about the ending.

Anyway, like I said, I love beginnings. I think I’ve mentioned before, that one of my favourite beginnings is “Call me Ismael” from Herman Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick.

Now I learn that American students who – except for the brave boys and girls in Florida fighting the rifle mafia and its protector, the golden haired, finger-languaged stand-up comedian in Washington – are among the world’s most politically correct, tight-assed, boring people you can imagine, and have demanded that Melville’s book go out of the college literature list.

Allegedly, because of the patriarchal theme in the book, I think maybe it’s the title. If he had called it maybe Mickey Mouse, there would have been no trouble on the savanna.

Denmark, I’m afraid, is as always following the bigotry lead from over there, calling crusades against anything that moves, and, still being on the move, I’m considering wearing sunglasses – even in winter – so nobody will see if I’m throwing an occasional look at a female body part passing by. And a sling for both my arms, so I won’t get tempted to touch any of these body parts and thus create scandal forever. Or at least for the rest of my short life.

Me, I’m just sitting here in my rocking chair somewhere in the old, cold kingdom of Gorm den Gamle and Hamlet reading Hemingway for the who-know-how-many’eth time. “Then there was the bad weather. It could come in one day when the fall was over.” Wearing sunglasses and double slings I find it hard to read and turn pages, but I keep on. I never give up.

Anyway the beginning is enough, isn’t it? Out of nowhere comes this sentence “Then there was the bad weather.” How’s that for the start of a book? Fantastic.

Anyway, he was right, old Ernest, then there was the bad weather. And it got worse. A farewell to February (again the beginning was better) has been worse than endings in books, even the in-betweens of books. As I try to turn a page with my slinged-up hand, the Siberian wind from the east howls around my rocking chair sanctuary throwing great snow masses around almost horizontally outside. Temperatures falling to 10-12 degrees below zero.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful but cold friendship with our eastern friends, the suppliers of the worst, coldest and snowiest winter for years. Don’t leave the door open, lest the snow comes in the parlor. Danske Bank did. Putin’s cousin and his mafia friends have found a haven for white washing money in Denmark’s major bank’s affiliate in Estonia. And after the washing, the Russian gentlemen were followed to the door with bows, smiles and servility. Again the snow came into the parlor. Banking is a dirty business, whether you look at it from the beginning or the end.

Last year Denmark was degraded to second in the international ratings of the world’s happiest nations. This year we were wiped off the number one rating of the least corrupted countries in the world. A prime minister with conspicuous connections to powerful fishing tycoons may have caused this, or maybe it was dirty money in the bank. Danske Bank, don’t come near my rocking chair.

Follow the money. Follow the snow. Follow the beginnings. Me, I’m just sitting here with my sunglasses, my double-sling and my long, woollen underwear, longing for Easter and my return to the Granada coast. See you there.

(Feature: Danish)

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