Snobs of Old Europe (Jens Schroeder in Australia)

Behind the scenes of BlogCampaigning, I'm often giving Jens a hard time for not contributing more often. Some of it is good-natured ribbing about how he's lazy, some of it is a little more serious. The reality is that for the past few months he's been busy finishing up his PhD, and is now on a speaking tour of Australia, so I really shouldn't be so hard on him. (Espen, however, has no excuses.)

Part of Jens's hard work has paid off in the form of recognition by the Sydney Morning Herald, which published an excerpt from the abstract of one of his presentations:

"For Europeans, as the Swiss banker father of a friend of mine once said, Australians are the plebeians of the Western world.

"The clichés were presented by the editor-in-chief of the German broadsheet Die Welt, Thomas Schmid, last year in an editorial. He argued that Australia lacks civilisation, everyone is dressed informally, there is a lack of social differentiation and the only thing setting the upper class apart from the middle is its higher income.

"It is an empty place with nothing in the middle—in geography nor identity. These are prejudices Australians have had to deal with almost since the arrival of the First Fleet, a fate they shared with other New World societies such as the United States."

Read the full article here.


If Only Canadian Politicians Sent Interesting Txts

In two stories I read last week (both from Textually), it is revealed that the private lives of European politicians and their mobile phones are way more interesting than what we've got here in Canada. First, French President Nicholas Sarkozy ends things with his wife and shacks up with former model Carla Bruni. Then, he tries to get back together with his wife via text message 8 days before he is due to marry Bruni. If that isn't enough, someone has taken the last-minute txt and turned it into a song. (Have a listen on the singer's MySpace page - it's actually kind of beautiful) And in Finland, the current Prime Minister recently dumped a girlfriend (who he met online) via a txt message. Her response? To write a tell-all book and pose naked in a magazine.

Aren't Europeans (particularly the French) supposed to be suave ladies men? I mean, c'mon guys...these moves are amateur at best.