Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Farting Puppets: The Terrific, Bizarre World of Danish Kids' TV

A little more than two years ago, Denmark’s absurdly well-funded public-television network DR spun off some of its children’s programming and launched a separate station just for kids. The new station was named “Ramasjang,” which means something like “hullabaloo” in Danish, and it’s amazing. I can’t get enough.

Ramasjang has everything you’d want in a children’s television network. It’s got a fake news program called "Gepetto News," starring a talking purse named Babe and a whole cast of puppets that look like drug-addled Jim Henson bizarros. It’s got earnest dance lessons meant for preteens that somehow don’t make you cringe while you’re watching them. It’s got a show [...]


Occupy Scandinavia's Long Winter

By all accounts, Scandinavia is one of the most prosperous, peaceful and income-equal places to live in the world. Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark hold four of the top five spots in the World Democracy Index (the U.S. ranks 15th). The Scandinavian countries are all the way at the top of OECD’s ranking of the happiest countries in the world (the U.S. is 19th), and they’re all the way at the bottom of the CIA’s ranking of countries by income inequality (the U.S. is 40th out of 140).

But when, on October 15, rallies inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement were held around the [...]