In light of German politicians’ inability to form a government, the German Question has been turned on its head. Post-Cold War, the German Question asked how the unification of East and West Germany might be achieved without creating an economic and political juggernaut, with all the baggage that prospect carried.
Suddenly now, wonders Handelsblatt Global, is Germany “becoming incapable of assuming enough leadership to guide and champion Europe in a globalized world?” In the same week, Matthew Engel’s Travels in Belgium, the dysfunctional, fractured state at the heart of the EU reminds us that that country “went 589 days in 2010-11 without a fully-formed government.”
Meanwhile, Brexit still means Brexit and we can all see how that’s working out. Just ask, (among just about anybody else) anyone living along the once and future Republican/Northern Irish border.
Can European governments govern? That is the new European Question.
I don’t suppose one needs to live a life of perpetual astonishment. After all it’s adaptive to forget. Our daily grind is perhaps easier to endure in a state of mild amnesia. Muscle memory sets in, routine takes over, and one day seems the same as any other. But days go by, the years hum along, and one can careen towards senility without being unduly startled by anything at all. Surely, there are times when we must be released from our moorings and free ourselves up to notice the peculiarities of everyday life.
Liam Heneghan on travel, at Aeon.co. Photo, the Liffey River, Dublin.
Brexit, which was supposed to be about “taking back control” from Brussels, has actually given a great deal of control to a Northern Irish party that no one in Britain votes for.
- Fintan O’Toole op-ed in the New York Times.
Belfast Castle, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Padraig stops Declan and asks for the quickest way to the pub.
Declan asks, “Are you walking or driving?”
Padraig: “I’m driving.”
Declan slaps Padraig on the back and says, “That’s the quickest way.”
Where better for Christmas? Here’s an HDR of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Click it to make it bigger, and see a few hundred more HDR photos on EarthPhotos.com. Happy holidays.