Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The emissary

I'm afraid of Americans

As you monkeys know, I am prone to angry outburst about the Great Devil, America. I was hoping it could go on unchecked forever, but now it has finally caught up with me. I have received an open letter from our friend the rat-killer, hauling me over the coals. Go read that first, and then read my reply:


Dear B1,

I’m glad you like the blög, and I certainly don’t expect you to agree with everything I write. I understand your need to defend your country against what you perceive as unfair, or at least unconstructive, criticism. Also, I’m not really certain what foibles are, but I’m sure I have lots of them.

Let me first point out that SHÄDY ÄCRES has no specific political agenda. We are not a political publication. We’re not the news, and we’re not about science, art or popular culture either – we’re about Finnmärck. I do sometimes write what I think about current geopolitical issues, and I suppose that means I had this coming.

You have opened up a very large debate here, one that I’m not sure we have room for, and that I’m not afraid to shy away from - I’m proud to say that I’ll walk away from any discussion if I have to. But since it’s you, our number one customer, I want to do what I can to accommodate you.

I sense that I have provoked you partly by the style of my political writing (the shrill voice of a nanny on the playground), partly by the intention of my writing (the smug look on my face as I press “publish”), partly by the content of my writing (throwing rocks at the barn to impress my friends), and partly by not putting my opinions into practice (being like Switzerland).

OK, why not. Let’s step outside the cardboard illusion of SHÄDY ÄCRES and talk about politics.

Your first grievance is the lack of an analysis in my political writing here, and you’re absolutely right. Not because I don’t have an analysis, but simply because I don’t always choose to share it in this forum.

I am a socialist. There, I said it.

It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s just the way I was brought up. Maybe I’m not a very good socialist, but I try to be. I go to the socialist church where I was baptized. I sing the socialist hymns and say the socialist prayers. I go to socialist confession. I donate money to the socialist church fund and sit on the socialist church committee. I once even met the socialist pope. Come to think of it, I’m really one fucking devoted socialist.

I became an activist at age seventeen. At first I was involved in an ad hoc organization of political (as opposed to occupancy) squatters. We were working to establish an autonomous youth centre as a base to fight an out of control boredom problem which was turning our friends into heroin addicts. After two years of constant conflict, a series of violent clashes with police, and unrelenting negotiations with our incompetent local authorities, we finally achieved our aim. I am proud to say I was delegated to the negotiation team, and ultimately entrusted to sign the agreement that got us the house and cemented our victory. Unfortunately we later lost the house in a poker game, but that’s another story.

Since those days I have regularly been involved in some type of political activity or other. As an expatriate I don’t get to vote as often as I would like to, or run for office, but I try to compensate. I’ve been under the red flag all my life. Sometimes it had a little black in it too.

I have gone to all the protest rallies. I have handed out all the leaflets. Come to think of it, I wrote those fucking leaflets. I’ve even been known to throw a cobblestone or two in my day. There’s also a rumour going round that the reason we don’t have those nazi skinheads in our fair city anymore has something to do with me. I should know – I started that rumour. Yeah, and I spent some time in prison for civil disobedience, that has to count for something.

Today, I am a card carrying member of two socialist parties, one Danish and one Norwegian. Being troubled by a recent, disturbing shift in Scandinavian politics I have become increasingly concerned with immigrants’ rights, and I am therefore an active member of the local party committee for ethnic equality that Sara and I helped set up. I must say I hate the paperwork but what the hell, it’s all for the cause.

If I didn’t have to work half the time, get drunk the other half, and in addition to this publish an immensely popular blögzine about Finnmärck, I would definitely do more. I want to do more. In fact, when the revolution comes - or the American invasion, whatever comes first (we have oil) - I plan to put my military genius to work for the good of the people. One way or another I am destined to become a revolutionary hero, don’t you think?

Now, I can fully understand your reaction to my tirades about America. I wouldn’t like it if someone said those things about my country. But then I don’t live in a capitalist gangster state holding the world at ransom. Geographical, cultural and political distance obviously makes it hard for me to explain my opinions in a way that makes sense to you, but I’ll give it a whirl.

You describe yourself as an American libertarian, proud of a family heritage rooted in human rights and minimal-government pacifism.

From my point of view - that is, from the perspective of Marxist class analysis – those civil liberties that you eulogize are a sham, your so-called democracy is merely a white supremacist contract on which the bourgeois hegemony rests, and the great melting pot is a racist lie denying the reality of national oppression which is the defining feature of American life. I’m not talking about your foreign policy now, and I’m not trying to prove a point. I’m just stating my beliefs.

When your Quaker forefathers came to America eleven generations ago they may have been persecuted, but they were still fortunate enough to come with two passports: One an official English document, the other their white skin.

There is nothing extraordinary about this. The various European immigrant groups all shared that experience, English, Irish, German, Scandinavian, Slavic, Italian – even the Jews: One or two generations of discrimination followed by quick assimilation, the rate of which differed only in the degree of urbanization they were used to from home, and the proximity of their language and culture to that of the English.

For the other peoples who inhabit North America, the Americans of non-European descent, the red, the brown, the black and the yellow, the story is a little different. I’m sure you’re aware of this.

You live in a world of privilege which is guaranteed by the white supremacist contract. That’s your problem. I live in a scary, destabilized world dominated by a rogue superpower. That’s my problem. I don’t see it as my responsibility to offer any kind of solution to this predicament, I’m merely pointing out the obvious.

What you see as me being smug is in fact something very different: It is fear. Fear of you. I am genuinely frightened by America, and I have been all my life. I don’t know how to communicate this to you without talking in headlines, but that’s what it’s like to live everywhere else on this planet right now. Even in tiny Scandinavia, the safest place on Earth.

As to your kind offer, I feel it is a poisoned cup. Your antiquated two-party system feels like a choice between drinking a glass of piss and a glass of blood. And I’ve seen your media, it’s not left wing, believe me. You don’t have a left wing.

But since I feel as strongly about voting as you do, I don’t want this opportunity to go to waste. I therefore request your permission to entrust your ballot to my brother Martin, who has a clearer head than mine, and knows more about American politics.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world. And good luck with the rodent infestation. You should really be grateful it’s not storfs.

Sincerely,

Mikkel

P.S.: Sara’s running for the city council, albeit far down on the list of candidates. If you lived here you could vote for her. I know I’m going to.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why the nightshift sucks


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Modération

This is a sad day for Finnmärck Blögzines everywhere.

The present crisis cannot be ignored. After a grueling eight minute meeting our staff union has decided to accept the offer from Edouard de Rothschild, as well as the cynical recovery plan that involves the elimination of dozens of jobs here at SHÄDY ÄCRES.

In many ways SHÄDY ÄCRES has become a seismograph for the processes that the internet media are going through everywhere in the world. The proud era of svada journalism is coming to an end. This blögzine that you people see on your screens is becoming a luxury item.

We have to face the fact that the social debate no longer takes place on web pages, but inside people’s heads.

Telepathy is the new heart of communications, and svada journalism has become a product for a limited elite. A blögzine that doesn't adapt itself to the laws of the new world will quickly find itself in an existential crisis. Regrettably, we didn't understand these social changes in time.

In our hearts we have reconciled ourselves with the inevitable. There will be unwelcome changes at SHÄDY ÄCRES, this blögzine that in the not-so-distant past was a symbol of change and hope. We are sad, for ourselves and our colleagues, who were among the standard-bearers of the Singular revolution. But we see no other option.

Today we institute comment moderation.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Nordisk Råd

Hallaisen kamerater. Jeg bliver nødt til at spørge jer til råds i en sag som ikke angår de engelsktalende, derfor dette ældgamle ninjatrick.

For et års tid siden faldt jeg over en nystartet blog som så ud til at være skrevet af en fjorten år gammel pige. Hun havde skrevet to-tre poster med haltende digte, men havde endnu ikke fået en eneste kommentar. Udfra den øverste post at dømme var hun ved at give op, og det var jo lidt synd.

For at glæde hende (og selvfølgelig vinde hendes tillid så jeg senere kunne voldtage og dræbe hende) lagde jeg derfor en lille opmuntrende hilsen. Det skulle vise sig at være en fatal fejl som har forfulgt mig siden.

Det var nemlig slet ingen lille pige, som jeg var blevet ledet til at antage af de naive tekster, og ikke mindst det søde profilbillede af en hvid, fluffy kanin der holder en fjerpen. Istedet var der tale om en granvoksen, åbenbart psykisk syg englænder med et imponerende fritidsproblem.

I kan ikke have undgået at lægge mærke til ham. På trods af at jeg dagligt sletter tre til fire af hans mest volapykkede kommentarer insisterer han alligevel på at bombardere os med sit tågede savl. Det er mildt sagt røvirriterende.

Gudskelov virker det dog som om hans sindslidelse er cyklisk, for med jævne mellemrum forsvinder han, gerne i lange perioder af gangen -- for så at vende tilbage. Enten har han kun adgang til computer når han er indlagt, eller også er det omvendt, hvad ved jeg.

På en måde har han været som et slags husspøgelse (eller måske snarere en dement havenisse) her på SHÄDY ÄCRES. Han dukker op fra tid til anden, pludrer glad sit vrøvl, og bliver så borte igen. Jeg har da også indtil nu vurderet ham som harmløs, og derfor givet ham lidt spillerum – måske for meget.

I det sidste har han været mere end normalt aktiv. Han har bl.a. oprettet tre notitsblokke hvor han klippe-limer vores stof ind og kommenterer lidt for sig selv. Han har ligsom udfordret mig til en eller anden form for skrivekonkurrence, tror han. Der er en god portion selvhenføring ude og går.

Jeg har selvsagt ikke lyst til at fodre hans sygdom. Det virker også som om det bare opmuntrer ham at jeg sletter hans kommentarer, og hvis jeg blot ignorerer ham bliver kommentarfelterne simpelthen uudholdelige for alle andre. Så nu er spørgsmålet – hvad skal jeg stille op?

Gode såvel som dårlige råd modtages med kyshånd.

Doddo

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hvor viktig er Brann, egentlig?

Det har jeg tenkt på i det siste. Hvor viktig er Brann, egentlig? Etter at Brann tapte mot Rosenborg, og bekjente av meg så det sure fjeset mitt, kom det spørsmålet: Hvor viktig er det, egentlig?

Etter å ha lest, hørt og til dels opplevd enkelte Brann-supporteres herjinger de siste ukene, det vil si kasting av alt fra cola til egg, knusing av stoler, drapstrusler og generell aggressiv oppførsel, spør jeg meg selv det samme: Hvor viktig er Brann, egentlig?

Det er selvfølgelig viktigere at livet ellers fungerer: at man klarer å nå sine mål, fullfører sine studier, har jobb, kjæreste, og omgåes mennesker som vil en vel. Brann kan ikke hjelpe oss med viktige arbeidsoppgaver, avgjørende eksamener eller ekteskapsproblemer. Men Brann kan gi oss håp og glede, og samtalen vil aldri gå i stå når to Brann-supportere møtes.

Da jeg var syk (obs: blir litt personlig her nå, ja) og lå innlagt på kreftavdelingen på Haukeland var det vesentligste å bli frisk. Alt annet var selvfølgelig underordnet. Men samtidig var Brann viktige for oss fotballinteresserte vestlendinger som var innlagt der. Det var Brann som ga oss et positivt felleskap. Det var Brann som fikk oss til å tenke på noe annet. Det var Brann som ga oss noe å snakke om, noe som ikke handlet om sykdom.

Når Brann hadde vunnet smilte plutselig alle på den ellers så triste avdelingen. Leger kunne starte tunge pasientsamtaler med en lett henvisning til Brann, og pasienter med mørke fremtidsutsikter fikk noen etterlengtede lyse øyeblikk.

Og slik har det alltid vært med Brann. Brann er verdens naturligste samtaleemne. Brann er glede og trøst. Brann representere samhold og fellesskap. Brann er tro, håp og kjærlighet. Brann er ekte lidenskap.

Vandalisme, mobbing og aggresjon har ingenting med Brann å gjøre. Det er på tide å ta klubben vår tilbake. Det er på tide å vise at vi ikke lar oss knekke av verken tap eller tullinger. Det er på tide å hylle klubben som sørger for at følelseslivet vårt aldri er tomt og kjedelig.

Doddo

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rattus Finnmaercus

I stumbled across this great new blog aimed at people who like people who hate rats. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Last night


I had a weird dream. I was throwing heavy paper staplers as if they were throwing knives - first aiming them, then chucking them over my head at an old man. It was because he smelt really bad. The staplers hit his knees. I smiled, suddenly feeling embarrassed.

Let them eat creme caramel

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just saying


Space tourism

What a
stupid
idea.



Do you
know how
cold it is
in space?!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ergonomics Anonymous


1) Don't you dare move too far right or too far left.

2) Don't you dare move too far up or too far down.

3) Just sit quietly and keep your big mouth shut.

4) And another thing: Your ass is too fat. You know it's true.

5) Better get a tattoo at the small of your back. It'll make you feel free.

6) And grease those elbows! It’s all about output.

7) Do you need a massage? Tough. You're not getting any.

8) No, don’t take your eyes off the screen!

9) Are you getting those headaches again? Here, take a pill.

10) Who paid for your computer? That's right, we did.

11) Tap tap tap. Tap tap tap. Like a good little girl.

12) Remember, if you slip up here, you’ll keep falling forever.

13) We've located you in this hellish, white vacuum for a reason. Never forget it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tenderloin and stories from Uruguay

Checking for satori enlightenment


No - nothing yet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My morning so far


A unique peek into the life and work of a tortured genius (me).

Meet me on the banks

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Life in the slow lane

The getaway

I've been in the dark for 12 days

But now I'm busting out with my very own high explosive baby Jesus, as used by Christian fundamentalist suicide bombers all over the world. So boy do I have some advice for you, pal: Stay on your feet, watch your back, sleep with one eye open, vote red, eat green, don't be yeller, don't be blue, go chew on a shoe. See what I'm saying?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Restoring the terror balance

Great news! We have started our very own SHÄDY ÄCRES nuclear weapons program. I was able to aquire a little uranium on the black arms market, dirt cheap -- Sara is in the kitchen enriching it as we speak. She has scheduled a test detonation next tuesday, and I've already begun building a strategic missile system in the bathroom. Watch that Richter scale!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Let's take a walk

I just woke up from a terrible dream where I was at a defence budget meeting with this woman and she kept calling the conscripts "students". I tried to correct her, but one of the negotiators on my own team was constantly interrupting me. Then I woke up with a cramp in my right calf. The weird thing is that the other one was still grazing quietly on the clover.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

We're nesting

We've been throwing out stuff and rearranging books for a while now. Now we need a name. We have a long list. My latest suggestion was Brutus. Help.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Music of the Spheres

Friday, October 13, 2006

The concept of Kausality

Our old mate Kaus is opening his photo exhibition No Holds Barred today, so anyone in Lüleå should make their way down to the Küntshall and see it tonite.

Kaus is an iron communist from the outskirts of Finnmärck, and has been known for his wide variety of very manly activities. But as someone said the other day, "he wouldn't hurt you if you stuck a pencil in his eye".

I never sleep

I just wait.

In the shadows.

With my eyes closed.

Snoring.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Appendectomy

Today we have removed our appendix. We were simply getting too many hits on search phrases like "anorectic rape porn", "german pedo stories" and "governess spank giraffe". It was starting to freak us out.

Thankfully, tomorrow is the international liver awareness blah blah can't think of a joke. Well, well. I'm off to patrol the frontlines of utilitarianism.

So long and thanks for all the porn

America, we need to talk. Look, this is just not working out. We really like you, but there's just no real chemistry between you and us anymore, is there? And besides, we're going through a selfish phase right now.

No, no - it's not you. We really like you. And we don't have to end it end it, we can just take a little break. We'll still see you in the UN of course, but we can't NATO you anymore.

No, don't cry. No, please don't - oh, great. Here come the waterworks.

OK listen: Stop the show. It is you. Is that what you want to hear? Lately you've just let yourself go. You're too fat, goddammit. And you're so... Angry all the time. The lying, the stealing. The yelling. The constant abuse. We're afraid to take you anywhere. You know how we feel about the scenes you make in public. It's embarrasing.

And it's really heartbreaking, because you have so much going for you. We've loved you so much. But we have to be honest with you, we have to take care of ourselves. We're not sure what your issues are, but you clearly need to work some things out for yourself. You're a grown nation.

We're leaving now. Take care, America.

We'll always have Normandy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We built this city (Lüleå) on rock 'n' roll

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ARGH

It's 05:32 and I'm ready to leave the house and go to work. I just got kicked real bad in the stomach too. Mikkel went to bed 30 mins ago.

Monday, October 09, 2006

This is ridiculous

It's 17:50 and I just woke up from a good night's sleep.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Emotional blackmail and relatives



It's a metaphor. The meat is me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sick of America, tired of Europe



When did America declare war on Europe?

American government agencies, acting on nothing more than incidental evidence and religious prejudice, arbitrarily abduct European citizens. American government agencies transport European citizens to secret prison camps where they are kept indefinitely without the right to a fair trial. American government agencies subject European citizens to torture.

It makes me want to fly European airplanes into American government buildings.

(But I'm not going to, because that would be insane)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Punch my kidney

We're almost there. Tonight we made the old switcheroo.

The late Victorian salon is now on the opposite side of the chimney. All the stolen books have been categorized. Some of the chairs are upside down. I think I may have developed telekinetic abilities. Other than that, nothing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I hate literature

After two straight days of tidying we're proud to say we are now almost done with this corner of the livingroom.

What a milestone. Stay tuned for more of the same.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thumbs up for huge eight-legged kittens

We can't come out right now. We're busy.

It's time for the big annual fall cleaning, you see. The SHÄDY ÄCRES HQ will be taken apart and put back together again, hopefully in the correct order.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nostalgia

I was looking through our bookshelves today, and found these scribblings on the back of my old copy of Elsa Beskow's The adventures of Petter and Lotte. Roughly, they translate into: My Daddy is Satan. April 12th, 1985. Daddy's birthday. 8 1/2 years old.