“I feel proud to be a duchess,” Ms. Janssens said from the tower, which is decorated with swords and animal-skin rugs. “If I had the money, I would pretend to live in those times all day long. This was a glorious period in the history of Belgium. It was far less stressful in the Middle Ages, because there were no phones and no vacuum cleaners.”
I've taken the silliest quote, I admit, from a fairly smart article on the appeal of a sanitized, simplified Middle Ages to a Belgium having vast difficulty imagining its own present and future. The author even manages to link these two facts:
- "Medieval history faculties are no longer lacking students and report a surge in Ph.D. candidates."
- "In contemporary Belgium ... a far-right movement known as the Vlaams Belang ... calls for an independent Flanders and rails against multiculturalism and what it calls an invasion by Muslim immigrants in particular."