Inside this month: Are bastards Denmark’s last taboo? – The Post

Inside this month: Are bastards Denmark’s last taboo?

She dreams of pumpkins(photo: Yayoi Kusama)
September 1st, 2015 7:00 am| by Ben Hamilton

Yes,” I told my daughter. “I guess you’re a bit of a bastard.” And the only one in her class, apparently. Divorces: ten and counting; bastards: still stuck on one.

So how did I get to this momentous point – besides the unspoken decision I was involved in 13 years ago, and 12 years ago and … you catch the drift.

Ah yes, I was watching Les Miserables, a privilege that has escaped me all these years, partly because I suspected it was rubbish. And then it dawned on me: the entire plot revolves around the shame of having a child out of wedlock. And a lot of coincidences. Think Great Expectations and then multiply by five.

“Well,” I explained. “Back in the old days, it was really uncommon for people to have children outside a marriage – I mean, how many kids in your class have parents who aren’t married?”

“Just me,” she said, and rather forelornly now I think about it.

A taboo in Denmark?
But surely this can’t be a taboo, I thought. In Denmark, the first country to perform sex change operations and legalise hardcore pornography – the land of liberation and absolutely no shame?

“But what about the kids with multiple half-siblings who have five different parents?” I asked.

“All married I’m afraid.”

They’re unshockable!
I can only conclude it must be their inability to resist a good knees-up.
Because the Denmark I know is unshockable. Controversial comedians leave disappoined when nobody jeers or walk outs.

The main attractions at the Tatto Convention go into a restaurant and nobody gives them a second glance.

Even the likes of Joe Orton – the taboo-tackling British playwright, whose play Funeral Games is being staged by the CTC – would have struggled here.

While Why Not Theatre’s Secrets, a collection of dark stories that are in parts embarrassing and grotesque, sounds like a reasonably uneventful day on Istedgade.

Festivals galore
Elsewhere, it’s a strong month for festivals, with the Blues Festival, World Music Festival and Golden Days all vying for your attention.

And also for exhibitions: Tolkien’s Universe, Trust and Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana are all worthy of your time.

But for real shockability? I think you need to call someone a bastard.

[related-posts posttype=post]