Songs of the Unknown

With the Olympics in high-gear, the New York Times has a collection of national anthems of countries that won the gold medal in the last couple of days. I was briefly listening to the Dutch anthem and I noticed that the youtube recording included the first two verses of the song. Probably 95% of the Dutch don’t make it that far: if you know one of the 15 stanzas, that’s more than enough. People who served in the Dutch army, probably (still) remember the endless ceremonial requirements when this song was played. (The ‘Wilhelmus’ at Wikipedia).

Yesterday, I watched ‘Animal Farm’ on Google Video: this movie features live animals (I was going to say ‘live action’) and was filmed and distributed in 1999. The movie stays fairly close to Orwell’s famous novel, except for the happy-end, which was probably added because, you know, if you live in the US and are under the impression that your country was solely responsible for the end of the Cold War, well, there you go.

And to talk about US politics, I briefly read about the very first McCain vs. Obama debate in front of a religious (“Social Conservative”) audience. I was wondering what could help Obama’s slumping campaign, and then I was thinking, maybe he should just choose Clinton for the VP slot1. For some kind of reason, I think that’s the only way the Democrats can safely get into the White House.

1Update (08/21/08): It looks like David Gergen thinks the same