Book Analysis

We are big fans of Iceland: The place, the soccer team, and Arnaldur Indridason.

Sidebar: We saw the Iceland soccer team play a FiFA qualifier in Reykjavik in 2002 or so.  They tied an eastern European team, Romania, we think.  The echoing cheers of Is-land and the folks that looked like Vikings made the game great fun.  We enjoyed, on TV, their success at the recent European tournament.  End Sidebar.

Arnaldur has written many books about Inspector Erlendur but we just finished reading a stand alone book: Operation Napoleon written in 1999.  All the books are written in Icelandic and translated into British English.  It might be described a political fantasy that pokes fun at Americans and Icelanders alike.  What got our attention was this on page 50:

“They [American politicians] were always putting themselves centre-stage.  Especially Democrats, with their demands for open government, for having everything transparent and above board.”

When we first saw it we thought that Arnaldur was just another clueless European leftist but the rest of the book led us to believe he as capable of deeper insights.  We would like to ask him but we think it is tongue-in-cheek.  Remember that is was published in 1999 so it was written during the height of one of the Clinton scandals.  Democrats arguing for open government would have seem dated by then.  Certainly Obama has convinced everyone that the Venn Diagrams of open government and Democrats do not intersect.

European Pedestrians

Jay Nordlinger, in his Stockholm Diary at NRO, notices Swedish pedestrians:

Swedish pedestrians wait patiently at stoplights — when there are no cars coming. My American legs can’t. They just can’t. (See? It’s not me, it’s the legs.)

We have not made it to Stockholm but have found this behavior in England, France, Germany, and Poland.  In fact, when our American legs walk against the “red man” there is likely to be comments from the Europeans.

Sidebar: In Europe the pedestrian walk signals are red and green as opposed to the white and orange we have in the states.  In Europe, we signal our spouse with “green man”, meaning it is time to cross.  The American alternative can be a little tricky in the big cities.  End Sidebar.

In our experience, only the Irish are immune from total allegiance to waiting for green man.  We look forward to additional investigations.