Saturday, January 13, 2007

Espresso, huge maps, civilized debate

So I’m up bright and early, thanks to prisoner 01, drinking an amazingly nasty brand of espresso that I bought by mistake, and listening to Leonard Cohen whine about his women. He really should be whining more about his money instead these days. Women and money… What else is there to whine about? Well, my espresso for one. Tastes like gritty tar with a bit of sugar to be honest.

My huge map is coming along fine, thanks for asking. It’s a political map of Europe 1939-1945 in a scale of 1:6 million Jews. It’s for a board game I’m making, called “spot the similarities, idiots”. It’s for the American market. Happy five year anniversary, guys! You must be so proud.

Sorry about that. I just happen to find that the best way to keep myself awake in the morning is to shout simplistic anti-American slogans and shake my fist. You should try it.

For some reason I love maps, so much in fact that when I left the army I liberated a complete set of NATO restricted 1:50.000 bridge and cross country movement maps of the Danish islands Sjælland, Lolland and Falster, detailing amongst other things all passable routes for medium tanks and APCs into the Danish capital. Unless of course by any chance you are from the Army Audit Corps, in which case I didn’t and this is fiction.

Yesterday I returned to work after my measly two weeks leave and I kept thinking to myself: What am I doing here and where the hell is the baby? It really pisses me off that society (yes, I’m talking to you) thinks so little of my parenting skills just because I have a set of penises instead of a breast. I may look strange with my shirt off, but I’m not an animal you know.

So here’s what I propose: We double the 54 week maternity leave AND we make it mandatory! Yes, I know exactly what all you educated middle class feminists out there are thinking: He wants us back in the kitchen, the fallocratic bastard. Shut up bitch, I wasn’t finished:

We double the 54 week maternity leave; we make it mandatory… and then we GIVE ONE HALF OF IT TO THE FATHER!!!!!

Whoa, what a mindbender. Try to get your head around that one.

Yes, I can see your head is spinning. Equal rights for BOTH genders? Validating the role of the male parent while at the same time supporting the position of the female in the job market?? Combating employment discrimination by dividing the risk of pregnancy FIFTY-FIFTY??? But, but… ARE YOU INSANE????? No I’m not, you ass-guitar. You’re not listening. Try to follow me on this.

But, but… Wouldn’t it be really expensive to take so many combined annual workloads out of the market? Wouldn’t it eat a big chunk out of the economy? Yes it would, you snot-monkey, but I have a plan for that too.

Here’s what we do: We double the 54 week conscription and expand the call-up to include assignments in the entire public sector, thereby filling the gaps with cheap labour. Yes, I know exactly what all you spotty teenage boys are thinking: Why should WE bear the burden? That is like totally unfair, dude. Well, put a cork in it, penis-anchovy, and hear me out:

We expand our current conscription system, introducing a universal two year mandatory state service… and then we MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MEN!!!!!

Whoa, what a mindbender. Try to get your head around that one.

Yes, I can see your head is spinning. Equal duties for BOTH genders? Free, unskilled labour for every public arena? Using a large, enrolled work force to solve the staffing crisis in the healthcare sector?? Making young men and women serve in the police force or as aid workers in the third world in exchange for the right to vote??? But, but… ARE YOU INSANE????? No I’m not. I’m so sane that I just solved two major societal problems before breakfast.

Now if could only make a decent cup of espresso.

Move along.


Blogger anne said...

Mikkel, I agree with everything you said here. Parenting, to be done correctly, is a two-person job, and dads are needed as much at home as moms are needed in the workplace.

After my 10 week (!!) maternity leave was up with my daughter, and I went back to work full-time, my husband took a week of vacation to be a stay-at-home dad for that time. It was the best experience for all three of us: the baby thrived just as well with the way each parent did things (differently, but effectively); my husband was confident he could take care of her on his own; and I was relieved to know I could still function as an adult outside of my home in the same manner I did before I became a parent.

What my husband did for one week is extremely rare in the US today. As you may be aware, paid maternity leave here ranges from 2 weeks to 6 weeks on average. If the mom wants more time, she has to take it as vacation or unpaid time off. Dads are offered no such benefit at all - they have to take vacation or unpaid time to be home with the newest member of their family.

In our case, we have a great daycare situation that allows both of us to work full time, and enables our kids to interact and learn in a safe and stimulating environment. We have been at the same daycare center for 8+ years; we value the staff for their consistancy and care of our children. There has been minimal turnover in the core staff in 8 years, so the teachers have a grown-up role in our kids lives similar to that of aunts, uncles and grandparents.

We are very fortunate - I hope the life you and Sara have created for your family is as fun and comforting as ours is.

7:11 pm  
Blogger anne said...

Oh, and another thing: and if conscription is mandatory, why not make it across both sexes?

In my opinion, women are as capable as men at just about everything, so why restrict the group that benefits itself and the country (or is scared of going to war) to just 50% of its citizens?

No, I am not some liberal lesbian commie, I am just amazed by the culture that continualy puts forth the idea that women are incomplete unless they have a man in thier life. If we keep insisting that women are "too delicate" or some other such nonsense to survive in the world by their wits and their brains, there will never be a shift in general thinking that it is as important for men to be home with their children as it is women.

Everything popular culture suggests is for girls / women to learn to attract and keep a man... because they will be unable to function unless he is part of your life.


It is imporant for everyone to learn to take care of themselves first, and then see if their life can be better / richer / more fulfilling if you join forces with another grown up. The key here is GROWN UP. The idea that you can just do the minimal amount of work to attract someone to take care of you is a BIG problem... no one said it would be fun and easy all the time, but no one should be saying that you should depend on other people for your well-being and happiness, either.

Maybe I feel so strongly about this topic because something my parents did or said (or did not do or did not say) enabled me to think I could do anything, and that I was capable of becoming anything I wanted, if I worked hard enough. My parents made it quite clear that paying for a college education was the responsibility of each of their six kids - there was no money for my parents to do that for us, so if you were going to get a better-paying job than one that just a high school diploma would afford, you better figure out how to do that. The result of my parents' upbringing is six relatively self-sufficient adults, who never thought for one minute that someone else would take care of them.

Since I have both a son and a daughter, I am equally concerned that the draft may be reinstated in their lifetimes, and that one or both of them will be called up to serve their country in some capacity. All I can hope is that both of them are afforded the same choices when it comes to jobs... be it in the military or in the business world. We are trying hard to raise responsible, independent people here, and sometimes it is an uphill battle against everything that shrieks of self-importance and whining.


okay, I fell better now...

... except for one more thing: people who are independent and self-assured and able to take care of themselves seem to be infinitley more attractive to other people who are self-reliant themselves... so in the end, joining forces with another like-minded grown-up is not so difficult after all.

Thanks for letting me rant!

8:14 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

The feminists don't want equality. They want to be in 100% power. If they had it there way, they would be allowed to kill all the men they don't like, and put the rest into slavery just so they can feel powerful by wearing those stupid looking womens suits. This crap doesn't happen in places like mexico and honduras where the real men know how to deal with the crazy feminists.

9:47 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Dave has issues.

9:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:26 am  
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12:28 am  
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12:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, comrade. (but sorry Dave, not with you.)

in my last job I had a fellow reporting to me whose wife had a baby and he was required to submit a two week vacation request to stay home after the baby was born. and, oh yeah: he only HAD two weeks of vacation available to him, period.

babies being babies he didn't know exactly when jr. was going to come knocking, so I said: give me your request, and I'll fill in the dates and submit the paperwork once the day arrives.

I don't recall whether or not that paperwork ever made it to HR...

p.s. lasse: I think it's time to lay off the coffee.

5:31 am  
Anonymous Maître said...

All I have to say at this point is that one should never intrust women with money... And for the expresso, you just know where you can come to get it.

12:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cripes! you people should all go work for Parks Canada where my married friends both work and each got to take 6 months off for their baby.

4:19 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

That's a bit of a commute for me.

4:48 pm  
Anonymous ion said...

It's fascinating how many grand problems one can solve by applying the MANDATORY wonder cure.

10:51 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

Well, here it's done like this: I get 52 weeks off work, and the State pays me 80% of my usual monthly wage, plus we receive the mandatory child benefit, equivalent of usd 155 per month (as do everyone with one child). Also, Mikkel gets a total of 8 weeks with pay off work.

1:08 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Ion: You mean like the MANDATORY law against axe murder? If you press me I think I can come up with a few good reasons why some rules should apply to all citizens in a society, yes, even the king.

The alternative is some sort of laissez-faire anarcho-capitalism which, well, sucks ass from my collectivist viewpoint.

Let me put it this way: I think civil rights should be sacred, and for precisely that reason they should be balanced by duty.

2:41 am  
Anonymous ion said...

I was thinking more of the mandatory cure for old age, long term sickness, etc.

Joke aside, I am with you 99% of the way, but I still believe people should be convinced to do the right thing, not forced to.

For a collective organization to function, people need to see the benefit from acting to the greater good, in every action. This will is what holds civil righs and duty sacred, not mandatory force.

If the duty is held attractive in terms of life support and social status, it could be beneficial for enough kids to go for it.

10:24 am  

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