The more astonishing thing? This is the first I'm hearing about it!
Despite the fact that Belgium is struggling to form a coalition government - and some Flemish factions are even muttering about secession, this crisis hasn't appeared in a leading story anywhere in the American media (as far as I know.)
This surprises me, because we've all been excitedly reporting on the political upheavals in Algeria and Egypt, while a first world nation has been cruising along without anybody at the helm for almost a year now!
Not only that, but this meandering monarchy is home to the headquarters of the European Union, no less (and since we were talking about undemocratic ruling authorities, you can't get away without mentioning the EU.)
sexually assault a CNN reporter yet.
Instead, protesters are refusing to shave and handing out free chips (and that's just not worthy of column inches in the Wall Street Journal.) Some students even stripped naked (and that's just not allowed in the columns of the Wall Street Journal.)
Belgium's most famous resident, Tintin, was an early opponent of journalistic impartiality, and has already toppled governments in Eastern Europe and South America. He'll have fun in his hometown!
Actually, my theory is slightly less cynical than that.
The fact is, Belgium's a disgustingly civilized place, and even in the midst of a political crisis, seems to be sailing along quite happily.
Countries like Egypt, on the other hand, recently exchanged a dictatorship for an interim military junta (I'm not exactly sure WHY we're cheering so heartily about it on Facebook) and will doubtless do what every other Middle Eastern country seems to when offered the bounty of free and fair elections: Vote in an autonomous, fundamentalist regime that turns out to be worse than the fat freeloader they just dethroned.
So really, by comparison, Belgium's political problems are small potatoes (French fried, dipped in mayo.) What's more, being attached to neither oil, nor the Middle Eastern balance of power, nobody in America could care less about them.