Remember Christian Wulff, former German president who was forced to resign last year after a very underwhelming scandal involving an unremarkable house in a suburb of Hannover, a free Skoda and holidays on the island of Sylt paid for by wealthy businessmen? (More on the whole sorry saga may be found here and here) And do you remember his glamourous blonde second wife Bettina who had a tattoo and a rumoured scandalous past and was widely disliked for being young and blonde and pretty and having a tattoo and a rumoured scandalous past? (Last seen while sueing Google over the autocomplete feature and peddling her autobiography to underwhelming interest). Well, yesterday Christian and Bettina Wulff announced their separation and Christian Wulff has already moved out of the house over which he lost his office. Apparently, there were already widespread speculations about the Wulffs splitting up – that’s another rumour I completely missed.
Well, Bettina Wulff always struck me as the sort of woman whose main aim in life seems to be becoming the trophy wife of a celebrity. Once the celebrity’s fame fades, the glamourous wife often leaves for greener pastures. Bettina Wulff won’t be the first and she won’t be the last. But while I certainly don’t consider “glamourous celebrity trophy wife” a valid career, the soon to be former Mrs. Wulff certainly doesn’t deserve the vitriol poured over her in the German press. Here are two examples, both from Die Welt, a paper published by the Axel Springer group which led the charge on Wulff last year in order to push their preferred candidate Joachim Gauck. Though I have to say that a Joachim Gauck – Bettina Wulff hook-up would be fitting, because if there’s one person who’s an even bigger opportunist than either Wulff, it’s Joachim Gauck.
The German edition of Sesame Street celebrates its fortieth birthday today. Amazingly, the program was considered highly controversial in Germany in its early years, because the “ghetto landscape” where the show was set had nothing to do with the lives of German kids (me: “Wow, you mean that was supposed to be a ghetto? Cause they looked quite different in Mississippi.”) and the pedagogic contents were problematic (counting and the alphabet are problematic?). Here is an article from the Spiegel from 1973 about the controversy. In the end it was the kids who voted with their eyeballs and enthusiastically watched Sesamstraße, which is the German title of the show.
LitReactor has an interesting article on Tolkien’s influence on heavy metal music of all things. Come to think of it, all of the heavy metal fans at my school (we called them “Heavies” back in the day, though they preferred the even sillier term “Metallist”) were into Tolkien and coincidentally also D&D.
Ken Liu talks about translation, specifically translating fiction, on the blog of Ksenia Anske. Found via SF Signal.
All About Romance‘s annual reader poll is open, so if you’re an occasional romance reader, go and vote for your favourite romances of 2012.