Et glemt vers som forandrer det hele

Måske er det en af det 20. århundredes mest misbrugte sange: Nordahl Griegs Kringsat af fiender. Sådan tænkte jeg i hvert fald længe. Som kampsang for fredsbevegelsen har den fået et skær af det sentimentale, hvor kontrasten mellem »granatenes glidende bånd« og »som om vi bar et barn / varsomt på armen« bliver det bærende […]

Ritualets grenser – Ritualbegrepets nytte og skade

Det finnes en grad av søvnløshet, av drøvtygging, av historisk bevissthet, som skader det levende og til sist leder til dets undergang, enten det handler om et menneske, et folk, eller en kultur. Nietzsche: Om historiens nytte og skade (1, iii) Hva tjener vi på å kalle noe et ritual? Hva er det vi med […]

Some more about Rudolphus

First a little background: Some days ago, my friend Kevin Edelvang, organ grinder at St Stephen’s Church in Copenhagen, sent me a funny little text that started with “Reno erat Rudolphus”. I thought it might be fun to find a Gregorian hymn melody that would fit the metre, and slip the song in at some […]

En strategi om religion og fornuft

This is a post about islam. Or maybe not – it’s mostly about the value of having a society that is based on secular, rational principles. It’s in Danish, because it relates to a discussion that was going on in Denmark over the summer. Hvorfor er det nu, at det for medier og politikere er […]

Four Simple Facts

Whenever I’ve been concerned, these past few weeks, about the future of Egypt, Libya, Tunis, and the other countries where the people (the People? which people? — Sorry, just a digression) have been revolting; about why the revolters are chanting “Allah’u akbar”; about what is true and what is not about Al-Qaida and the Muslim […]


I thought I was going to take a break from this now, but there is one more thing I need to state more clearly, and thanks to all who have reminded me of this (and I’m not being sarcastic here): Everything I’ve said about truth, propaganda, and predetermined morals could and should be used against […]

Cultural Boycott — some reflections

A week ago, I started my cultural boycott of Israel, in direct response to, but not caused only by, the events surrounding the murders (or war crimes) on the Freedom Flotilla. These are some reflections on the boycott itself and on the reactions it has caused. What is a cultural boycott, and is it fair? […]

St Stallman: A Hero of the Highest Order

“I’m not God — I’m just a saint.” Richard M. Stallman The Phoenix > News Features > Tilting at Windows Richard M. Stallman is a legendary figure without whom the world would have looked very different, and one of those few whose initials — RMS — is a concept, on a par with JFK and […]

Church of Bob

Here’s to memories, to constancy, and to humour: The Church of Bob This is the story: Ten years ago, I was sitting on the lawn outside the library with a beer and my good friend and fine Dylan interpreter Lars. Somehow, the similarities between Bob and Jesus came up: Carpenter/Zimmerman Jews from the north going […]