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samivel
184583.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:53 pm Reply with quote

costean wrote:
Could it be something to do with the moustache? Stalin's (reasonably) similar upper-lip apparel became a symbol for what some political scientists call 'gulag communism'.


I think moustaches have more of an across-the-board appeal to dictators - you wouldn't want to miss out Saddam or Hitler, and they're hardly communists.

:)


Oh, and the 'leper priest' Father Damien was Belgian. Belgians voted him the greatest Belgian of all time in a 2005 newspaper poll.

 
costean
184585.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:58 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
... Philippa of Hainault, was French though (I looked her up thinking that she might be another Belgian).

I looked her up and was disappointed to find that she was not from Essex.

suze wrote:
As for Dr Evil's Belgianicity, well yes it's doubtful. He is after all pretend! All the same, in the first movie he alleges:

Ah, pretend is he? I will take your word for it. Now you mention it lugeing in Rangoon does sound a little suspect. Although, it does have something of a Noel-Cowardish-type rhythm to it.

 
costean
184586.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:03 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
I think moustaches have more of an across-the-board appeal to dictators - you wouldn't want to miss out Saddam or Hitler, and they're hardly communists.


In the horseshoe-style classifications of dictators there is not a great deal of difference between any of them. Moustaches are just a giveaway.

 
Heleendje
184610.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:30 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:

Oh, and the 'leper priest' Father Damien was Belgian. Belgians voted him the greatest Belgian of all time in a 2005 newspaper poll.


That was more like a national television event really... we're easily entertained.

 
AlmondFacialBar
184613.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:39 pm Reply with quote

father DAMIEN? as in this guy?



"father damo is cool, ted!" ;-)

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Ejob
184614.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:42 pm Reply with quote

costean wrote:

Audrey Hepburn (actress)

As far as I know Audrey Hepburn was half Dutch (and half British) although she was born in Belgium.

 
Ejob
184620.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:56 pm Reply with quote

costean wrote:
Breugel was, according to the Enc Brit, Flemish and
Quote:
born c. 1525, probably Breda, duchy of Brabant [now in The Netherlands]

So not really Belgian.


96aelw wrote:
96aelw wrote:
I haven't been able to establish yet if she was born in a part of the County that's in Belgium these days.


And neither, it seems, has anyone else. 'Flanders' is, it seems, as specific as it is possible to be about her natal locale. Still trying to get somewhere with the height.


Maybe I'm wrong, but as far as I know, "Flemish" refers to a resident of Flanders, which is (in it's entirety) part of (what is now called) Belgium. So Breugel and Matilda maybe weren't Belgians since the country didn't exist at the time but sure would have been had it existed.

 
suze
184628.  Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:38 pm Reply with quote

I don't think that is quite correct.

The historical county of Flanders included some of what we now call the Nord and Pas-de-Calais départements of France, and a small area which is now in the Netherlands (south of the Westerschelde).

To this day, there are villages in north eastern France between Lille and Calais which are predominantly Dutch speaking while the people of Dunkirk (a Dutch name) are mostly bilingual - French is gradually taking over, but some older people don't speak it fluently.

The word "Flemish" is a bit of a minefield, and linguists these days try to avoid using it. While it's conventionally understood to mean "Dutch as spoken in Belgium" that's not strictly accurate - some Belgians speak standard Dutch, some French people speak so-called Flemish, and in any case there is more dialectal variation within the Dutch of Belgium than there is in the Netherlands.

The use of the word Flemish to denote "a person from Flanders" is widespread enough, but potentially misleading too - the Dutch speaking region of Belgium (Vlaams Geweest) is larger than the conventional understanding of Flanders.

 
Ejob
184654.  Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:11 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I don't think that is quite correct.

The historical county of Flanders included some of what we now call the Nord and Pas-de-Calais départements of France, and a small area which is now in the Netherlands (south of the Westerschelde).


You're right of course, my mistake (that is, I should have thought of the Dutch part which I'm well aware of, and I'm sure you're right about the French one).

Quote:

The use of the word Flemish to denote "a person from Flanders" is widespread enough, but potentially misleading too - the Dutch speaking region of Belgium (Vlaams Geweest) is larger than the conventional understanding of Flanders.


I'm not quite sure about that: you make a linguistical disctionction where I am talking about the national/administrative one. (And I'm assuming that that is what the biographical information of all these famous Belgians is refering to). Maybe Heleendje could help me out here but as far as I know Belgium is a federation that consists of two "countries": Flanders and Wallonie (I'm really not sure about the English spelling of the last one). (Not counting Brussels which has a third seperate administration.) At least in Dutch - I think - it would be completely correct to refer to a resident/national of Flanders as Flemish.

 
costean
184762.  Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:35 pm Reply with quote

Ejob, you are quite right that the Kingdom of Belgium as we know it today has only been in existence since The Belgian Revolution in 1830. I think that for the purposes of this game (and game it is) we should regard the definition of being Belgian as someone who was born within the borders of what we now know to be Belgium.

Re Breugel, the Enc Brit seems to think that he was ‘probably’ born in Breda, and Breda is in The Netherlands so he was ‘probably’ Dutch. You are Dutch are you not? He was a good chap so claim him as one your own. If there was just a hint that he’d even been to Britain on his hols I would be trying to claim him as British. He didn’t (I don’t think) so I can’t.

Breugel actually finished 17th in the 2005 vote to find ‘De Grootste Belg’ but their definition was only that they had to have lived within the borders of present day Belgium (rather than actually being born there). QI is much stricter about these things!

Edit - spelling Dutch words wrong


Last edited by costean on Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Ejob
184764.  Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:41 pm Reply with quote

costean wrote:
Ejob, you are quite right that the Kingdom of Belgium as we know it today has only been in existence since The Belgian Revolution in 1830. I think that for the purposes of this game (and game it is) we should regard the definition of being Belgian as someone who was born within the borders of what we now know to be Belgium.

I agree. If I've given the impression to claim otherwise, then you've misunderstood me.

 
costean
184765.  Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:53 pm Reply with quote

Ejob wrote:
I agree. If I've given the impression to claim otherwise, then you've misunderstood me.

It is entirely possible that I have - my apologies.

Another famous Belgian was Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) – born in Ghent.

Well, apart from producing some of the world’s greatest actors, architects, artists, authors, emperors, explorers, historians, inventors, philosophers, scientists, sportsmen and assorted Nobel Laureates, what have the Belgians ever done for us?

This rather a good joke and I am immensely pleased with myself for having thought of it.

 
costean
184769.  Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:32 pm Reply with quote

I really do like suze’s suggestion of Charlemagne. When it comes to important historical figures they don’t come much more important (or much more historical) than Charlie. In some quarters he is regarded as being ‘The Father of Europe’. My new joke works even better then.

What have the Belgians ever done for us? What, apart from Charlemagne you mean.

This gives it a new, pithy, epithetic edge.

The only tricky bit is proving that he was actually born in Belgium. Most history books say it was Herstal (near Liege) or Jupille (now part of Liege). Although some other cities have been suggested. Does anyone have any info on this?

 
costean
184864.  Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:22 pm Reply with quote

While on the subject of ‘what have the Belgians ever done for us?’, there is also a new category: ‘what have the Belgians inflicted on the rest of the world?’ Oh yes, I mean The Smurfs.

I shall not annoy everyone by plastering these boards with ghastly little blue figures, so anyone who has never heard of a Smurf (there can’t be that many) will have to look them up. Here is as good a place as any.

The Smurfs (or Les Schtroumfs as they were originally called in French) have caused much debate amongst historians as to their actual nationality. The closest estimate is that they hail from ‘the forests of medieval Europe’. This is just fence-sitting, but you know what historians are like.

What is not in doubt is that they were the creation of Belgian artist Peyo (Pierre Culliford) in 1958/9. Also not in doubt is that they have proved immensely popular. Translated into many of the world’s major languages and appearing in theme parks, video games and in 2005 in a UNICEF advertisement.

And, as with anything benign, innocuous and aimed at small children controversy is never far away …

S:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smurfs

 
costean
184865.  Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:24 pm Reply with quote

The Subversive Smurf

The Smurfs have, at various times, been alleged to have been communist, Marxist, anti-semitic, anti-feminist and a front for the Klu-Klux-Klan (it is true!)

The communist/Marxist theories appear to have come about because of the supposed resemblance between two of the characters to Marx and Trotsky. While I am no expert in this field, I do find it difficult to see any similarities between either man and blue cartoon characters ‘no more than three apples high’. Also, quite why showing cartoon characters living in ‘a socialist, utopian paradise’ is corrupting to children escapes me as well.

There are many web-articles discussing this and while most are undoubtedly spoof pieces, it is, in some cases sadly, difficult to tell satire from pseudo-intellectual twaddle.

Straight Dope even has a piece on the subject demonstrating that it was taken seriously enough in some quarters to be thought worth rebutting.
http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/msmurfs.htm

<That’s enough Smurfs – Ed>

 

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