Miscellaneous: April 30th, 2007 by JS
‘It must be ghastly to be a royal’. Usually when people say this, they are either letting you know that they are dyed-in-the-wool royalists who admire the plucky devotion to duty of our beloved leaders, or they are convinced republicans who want to make sure you know that while they hate the hereditary system, they have nothing but warm feelings for its main protagonists.
This morning I found myself uttering the same words, when I saw this promotion in Aftonbladet for a television programme asking viewers to choose a boyfriend for the already-spoken-for Crown Princess Victoria:
While this must be a pain for Victoria, it must be even worse for her poor boyfriend, Daniel Westling. The couple have been together for five years, yet as far as the tittle-tattle mongerers in the press are concerned, Victoria should dump him in favour of some film star or Eurotrash royal.
Indeed, even when you speak to many ordinary Swedes, they’ll say in an uncharacteristically snobby way that Westlind isn’t ‘prince material’.
Surely the whole point with royals is that they are selected randomly, whether that be by birth or by marriage? Is it too much to ask in 2007 that Victoria be allowed to make up her own mind about who she wants to marry?
Miscellaneous: April 23rd, 2007 by PO
The New York Times has an interesting interview with Saifa Benaouda, the 17-year-old girl who travelled from Sweden to Dubai on holiday and ended up in an Ethiopian prison via Somalia.
They [her captors] said her boyfriend had recruited jihadists in Denmark in 2004.
“I told them they were stupid,” she said. “I told them they were full of bull.” Her boyfriend was not yet a Muslim in 2004 and had never been to Denmark, she said she told them.
Her challenging manner earned her the nickname Crazy Inge from the other prisoners, she said. Ms. Benaouda said she spoke out because she had been brought up in Sweden, where women speak their minds.
Miscellaneous: April 15th, 2007 by blog
The LA Times has jumped into the name game for baby Metallica. Since the Swedish Tax Authority won’t let a couple in western Sweden name their little girl after the heavy metal band, entertainment writer Chris Lee has a few suggestions of his own:
Still faced with the task of naming their little Iron Maiden, the parents might consider these other rock act monikers:
• Pantera or Sepultura. One evokes minx-ish forcefulness and the other, a certain Satanic majesty. Added value: Either name could lay the groundwork for a career in porn, lucha libre or thrash metal.
• Mastodon. Although it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the name could work for a youngster with a healthy ego or morbid obesity issues.
According to an article on Thursday in newspaper Dagens Nyheter, American radio deejay Don Imus is in hot water after having made racist remarks on his MSNBC radio show ‘Imus in the Morning’. At an NCAA women’s basketball championship between the University of Tennessee and Rutgers University, Imus described Rutger’s team – mainly comprised of African Americans – as a bunch of “nappy-headed hos.”
Dagens Nyheter translated “nappy-headed” as “diaper-headed” (blöjhövdade), which would be a rather juvenile insult, but hardly worth the uproar it’s caused in the US (which has subsequently led to Imus being canned by NBC). While a “nappy” in British English would refer to something covering a baby’s bum, according to Merriam Webster, in American English it describes the “kinky” or “fuzzy” hair characteristic of black people. In the 1950s, it was used as a derogatory term.
Imus deserves to lose his job, and Dagens Nyheter ought to get a better dictionary.
Miscellaneous: April 12th, 2007 by PO
If there’s one thing Sweden does well, it’s ice. So much so that the House of Sweden in Washington D.C. has had large chunks of it transported from Lapland for use in a series of ice sculptures on the banks of the Potomac.
The Washington Post has the story of what has become of the 20 tonnes of ice from the Torne River.
This ice, harvested in Lapland and used to construct the city of Jukkasjarvi’s famed Icehotel, has inspired a scene in the James Bond film “Die Another Day” and an ad campaign featuring Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. It is, quite simply, exceptional H2O.
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