The Little Exploding Mermaid
September 17, 2003 6:44 AM   Subscribe

The Little Mermaid Explodes. This is only the latest in a long series of indignities suffered by Denmark's national symbol. Why are people so into this sort of thing?
posted by alms (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I spent last week in Denmark. I find this hard to believe of such a nice place. Still, kinda amusing at the same time.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:55 AM on September 17, 2003

I have a tendancy to only take American exploding statues seriously.... ya know, since I'm from the U.S. n' all. So it's likely I will make fun of this. That cool with everyone?
posted by Witty at 7:28 AM on September 17, 2003

I thought about posting this too, if only to mention the great uber-Danish name "Jakob Svensen" and his wonderful quote:

"She's not that beautiful. She's not that big. She is not art. She is a bit disappointing actually."

After which I planned to suggest they re-assemble her in a Home Depot, but that would have been making fun of this also. Oh well; carry on.
posted by yhbc at 7:36 AM on September 17, 2003

Maybe it was some Brits doing a test run for David Blaine.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:04 AM on September 17, 2003

"The police are taking the issue seriously. The Copenhagen Police Homicide Unit has been ordered to head the investigation."

Perhaps they're taking it a little too seriously?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:14 AM on September 17, 2003

Zen, you beat me to it. What the hell are they doing?

Or is Denmark such a peaceful place that the Homicide Unit is going around taking on any jobs it can find?
posted by twine42 at 8:30 AM on September 17, 2003

Homicide units generally take high-profile cases of any kind, as they're the most experienced detectives. Homicide detectives in Baltimore, for example, have investigated fraud perpetrated by a Maryland state senator, and more than a few kidnappings.
posted by headspace at 8:44 AM on September 17, 2003

Now we know where Bart Simpson gets some of his ideas.
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:49 AM on September 17, 2003

Wait, they have weapons of mass destruction in Denmark? So that's where they went.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:58 AM on September 17, 2003

I was in Copenhagen only a couple of months ago. The Little Mermaid was nothing special, but the city is beautiful. Expensive beer, mind.
posted by salmacis at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2003

After Heinlein's stern lecture re the merits of Rodin and the Mermaid in Stranger in a Strange Land, you have the nerve to sneer at this sacrilege, this desecration?

Oh wait -- this isn't alt.fiction.scifi?

n'mind --
posted by tspae at 9:08 AM on September 17, 2003

I think the Danes' attitude to the Little Mermaid is just a long-running version of Londoners' attitude towards David Blaine.
posted by riviera at 9:22 AM on September 17, 2003

There's some sort of 'frozen head of Walt Disney' joke in here but I can't quite piece it together . . .
posted by cinderful at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2003

I, for one, wish Disney had never made that movie. Granted, that's strictly personal (my MeFi username is my real name), but perhaps the Danes agree with me.

I'll pipe in that Copenhagen is one of the most delightful cities I've ever visited.
posted by arielmeadow at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2003

I hate the thought of vandalizing or destroying any public art, even art I do not like.
posted by Danf at 11:00 AM on September 17, 2003

This, of course, is self-hating vandalism; once the culprit is caught, some will try to dismiss it as "performance art", "teenage nihilism", "harmless protest" or some such nonsense, but whoever did it should go to jail. Public and private property must be equally protected, and the destruction of a national symbol has terrible psychological consequences. What people think about the statue itself is immaterial; it's the evil behind the gesture that should be taken into account.

To this day the French complain about the German horses being tied to the Arc almost 150 years ago, so I think Denmark should pay close attention to these seemingly innocent acts of barbarism.
posted by 111 at 12:21 PM on September 17, 2003

I was always amazed that anyone would let their child watch the movie. It was so misogynistic. However, I don't remember hearing anyone complain at the time so maybe I just mis-read it.
posted by rdr at 1:33 PM on September 17, 2003

Remember the penis on the home video cover?

Haw haw!
posted by cinderful at 4:53 PM on September 17, 2003

A couple of summers ago I sat near the pier where the Little Mermaid is placed and was enjoying the light night, the company of a couple of friends and a good bottle of bordeaux when a small group of tourists approached us and asked for directions to the mermaid. We told them to go back the way the came and look closely -- it is a lot smaller than most tourists seem to think. And though it is very poetic and pretty, it really isn't spectacular.

To locals it has always been a bit strange that to many tourists this is a must-see, but I guess it is the only real well-known landmark in Copenhagen, and thus people need to get their photos taken with the Little Mermaid as evidence of their stay here.

And even though most Danes think it is a bit ridiculous, they also take pride in that people from all over the world come to Copenhagne to see her (and hopefully to see the beautiful city and the friendly natives as well), and therefore they care about the Little Mermaid. This particular attentat was likely part prank, part political (almost coincided with 9-11), but mostly it was botched as they were unable to retrieve the Mermaid / blow her to smithereens.
posted by cx at 3:26 AM on September 18, 2003

Speaking of the danish homicide commission; Rejseholdet is a really rather excellent TV series.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:58 AM on September 18, 2003

I have a tendancy to only take American exploding statues humorously.... ya know, since I'm from the U.S. n' all. It's a defense mechanism. So it's likely I will not make fun of this Denmark thing. That cool with everyone?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:28 AM on September 18, 2003

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