is gone back to from whence he came…
Would love to take
but as I heard Mr. Pendennis protest,
jag är trött
jag är trött “
There’s nothing to compare with the Swedish Summer,
absolutely no thing, no place
not even Tomas Tranströmer
if they were here
could really fully capture it in the countryside
or in the Old Town
and transmit it to us in so many words
wherever we are.
I’m here in Dear Old Stockholm
This summer I guess that nearly all roads lead not to Rome but to London and the Olympic Games,
our new national asset and Eurovision Queen
has sufficiently advertised
so we will continue to attract a lot of Germans, other Europeans, Russians, Chinese and Japanese visitors and a great many Swedes will also be finding their way to Thailand, to France, to Italy, to Greece, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean.
But if it’s beaches and sunshine that you’re after, here are a few tips about the best beaches in Africa
More news about the country of Beach No. I :
Homosexuality? I don’t suppose it’s exactly some matter about “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”
Sweden has come a long way in what could be favourably called “Gay Emancipation”; recently, there was all that rub-a-dub about Sizzla both in Stockholm and in what some now consider sin city Number One, namely Tel Aviv, currently the Mecca for gay people.
Others say that it’s like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah
For better or for worse, Sweden hasn’t quite got there yet, but people who are much more current with such affairs than I am say that Sweden is well on the way and may arrive by noon tomorrow.
As a radical kind of Palestinian would be most likely to observe,” At least the holy land of Sweden is not under occupation by the Homosexuals and the Lesbians…”
Sweden is emancipated alright, the only problems still on the back burner is all about women’s salaries being equal to/ catching up with that of Swedish men, for the same services rendered.
And yet, in spite of all this tolerance and acceptance of gay liberation these are some of the stories that we don’t hear about -
And yes there are other stories and mortal worries that contradict what the Iranian President once famously said: “There are no homosexuals in Iran!” (By which he surely did not mean to say that they had already hanged each and every one of them)
I met her in the subway this morning and the inevitable question was fielded for me to bat :
The question : “Varifrån kommer du?” ( “Where do you come from?”)
And I told her : ” Helvete” (Hell)
And that was the beginning of a misunderstanding
and also the very end of the conversation.
Who knows, perhaps she had seen a picture of me ” Wanted: My runaway slave.If you see him anywhere, please report to me or to the nearest police station.”
Anyways, back to what our Prime Minister Fredrik the Great Moderate said about the Swedish Model, that it is in constant need of renovation and should not become some sort of – museum – that’s the word he used, museum, it should not become a museum - even a modern museum like that
one, I’m sure where the women
“come and go,
talking about Michelangelo”
The headlines tell it : that there has been some head-butting in Sweden. Great Reinfeldt has been butting heads with the formidable, and also great, Heavy Metal Stefan Löfven. Of course, such headlines could give the wrong impression to the hooligans and barbarians in distant lands, that in the Swedish Parliament people literally lock horns (like Billy Goats) for mortal combat, and then some head-butting follows. It’s our duty, we have to tell them that it was nothing violent, there was no spontaneous combustion, no Guy Fawkes and no ticking bombs, no blood, just special (very civilised) healthy head-butting in the best of our non-violent Swedish Parliamentary tradition. As Carl Bildt would have been pleased to note during the solemn days of the Iron Curtain, “not like some of the fist-fights that have broken out from time to time, in the Russian Duma.” We are a more peaceful people. At peace with ourselves, at peace with our neigbours and at peace with others. Even Carl Bildt’s good friend/fiend Urban Ahlin ( no love lost between them) would not take off his shoe as Nikita Khrushchev did, just to hammer home a point at the UN. Should Urban Ahlin do such a thing he would surely not only be censured by the Central Disciplinary Committee but also face a vote of no confidence and immediate expulsion from Sweden’s Social Democrat Party, on his return home to Sweden, for showing such unbridled Ukrainian passion…
Just now I’m finding it very strange, almost incomprehensible that despite all the important issues taken up in that debate on national TV by the leaders of the main political parties in our Sweden, reported in The Local as “Reinfeldt and Löfven butt heads in first debate” , that this was only able to generate a handful of responses on that thread in the Local and any more commentary seems to have completely dried up after that.
No, THE SWEDISH MODEL is very much alive thank you, it’s alive and well taken care of by the very efficient and well-run physical & mental health programme, thank you. And Heaven Forbid that it will ever become a museum. or petrified or ever mummified.
Of course, by the Swedish Model, Fredrik the Great Reinfeldt must have meant THE SWEDISH MODEL and no other – the Swedish Model and not any other model, not even ” the Conservative Model” or ” The moderate Party’s model” or the ” Private Insurance Model”
After all, it’s all because of the Swedish Model that the Great Fredrik’s chum David Cameron, suitably impressed by the kinds of miracles we have been performing over here, came to Sweden to be taught a lesson or two about how we do it. And after he had seen for himself with his own eyes and believed, he did sing the praises of the Swedish Model.
There is a tendency, especially among the uninitiated (the fundamentalists) to take some metaphors too seriously – they take such metaphors to heart – as the centre of gravity from which to launch their arguments or attacks ( some kind of fantasy poetry versus philosophic prose) and unfortunately, sometimes metaphors – even political metaphors can be understood or interpreted in too crude and in all too literal a manner.
Now that the Socialists in France are on the March (and I think in Greece too - the Welfare net is important in their dire circumstances) – that’s probably why I heard my friend from La France laughing so uproariously now that Sarkozy’s gone or so I thought ( the Arabs don’t like him, they say even Gaddafi’s ghost must now be haunting him) so I went over to see what was making him bubble with so much mirth and he asked me to look at this: that’s why he was laughing when he heard the word museum and very co-incidentally, he happened to be laughing about this
Now notice they say ” The Swedish Model”, not “The Swedish Social Welfare Model”. It’s a well known fact that some of the conservative politicians are not as enamoured of Social Welfare-ism as the Old and New Labour people in Merry England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales or our local Social Democrats here in Sweden. So they tend to leave ” Welfare” out of the great name ( “The-Swedish-Model”) partly for ideological reasons - at least they do not want to make it the centre-piece – not even when it comes to the welfare and well-being of all the citizens of the Commonwealth/ Common Wealth, the wealth we have in common….
N.B: Sweden gives the most foreign aid per GNP ( in the world) - and the old Social Democrats ideal has been considerably jazzed up since Gunilla Carlsson started running things.
Anders Borg was also praised recently in the US, for the Swedish Model and the fact that it’s breathing and is not a museum piece means – at least obvious to all sentient beings that the Swedish Model is neither static nor standing still which does not mean to say that it is never in need of being upgraded, reformed, pruned, adjusted, fine-tuned….as the requirements may be.
On no account should the Swedish Model ( in the singular) be conflated with these
A few moments with Tomas Tranströmer
Now that the winter’s over, nostalgia.
I read Robert Bly’s translation this morning, page 4 of his ( Bly’s) “The Winged energy of delight”
A stark contrast to the opening two paragraphs of Ayi Kwei Armah’s
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