Friday, April 02, 2010

The Little Mermaid

Today is going to be a multi-hero day, that is if I can avoid passing out from hunger first. This weight loss thing is just not worth it. The pensive looking fellow above is one Hans Christian Andersen, born this day 1805, in Odense, Denmark. If any of you bother to use Google's homepage today, you will notice that the word "Google" is highly stylized with a drawing. That drawing is to celebrate M. Andersen's birthday, and it from his well known story "Thumbelina" Andersen's ancestry remains a bit of a mystery, and there is some speculation that he may have been a bastard son of some Danish royalty (Fredrick VI took an interest in him, and paid for part of his education). By the age of 14 he had moved to Copenhagen, and was trying to become an actor. He almost made it, and if it had not been for puberty making his lovely soprano voice change, the world might have missed out on a lovely, and talented writer. After an unhappy period of schooling, he published his first novel in 1835, and it was an instant success. However, it is not for his ability as a novelist that he becomes today's hero, we all known the stories that he wrote that Disney (the bastards) have made part and parcel of our culture. Stories like "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Princess and The Pea," amongst others are still fantastic reading today, whether you are a child or an adult (or like me, somewhere in between). Try to read them for what they are, awesome stories of adventure, and joy. Do not try to put too much thought into them as being some symbol of his possibly homosexuality (Andersen was one weird cat, he marked on his calendar the days he masturbated in red ink). He had some unrequited love for members of both sexes (the most famous being the Swedish opera star, Jenny Lind), but for the most part, he was living the celibate live. Whatever life it took that made him able to write such brilliant stories, is fine by me. There are statutes in his honour all over the world, including one in Central Park. So, for writing stories that show us that ugly ducklings can turn into beautiful swans (yes there is more to that sentence than meets the eye), Hans Christian Andersen (April 2nd 1805-August 4th, 1875, at the age of 70), you are my (219th) hero of the day.

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