Rough past few weeks for Sweden. Just brutal.
First, Saab’s automobile division declared complete and total bankruptcy. Goodbye. Sayonara. Enjoy the fishing season in Kobe.
Then, 23 women and one man were convicted in Falu District Court of participating in a child pornography ring that resulted in 1,181 explicit images and 40 films being found on the man’s computer.
Also, the Swedish government continues to refuse to acknowledge that alleged secret CIA flights have been taking place over the country, despite the fact that some of the flights are thought to have transported suspects who were later tortured, and the Swedish head of the world’s “first international sex school” in Austria admitted the whole thing was an elaborate hoax. Great. There goes both those ideas for impressing my girlfriend.
To boot, Ibrahimovic & Co. (AKA the Swedish National Football team) lost against England for the first time in – get this – 43 years.
Oh, and H&M – which I always assumed could do no wrong – has kicked up a hornet’s nest of controversy with its new Dragon Tattoo Collection, a line of clothes based on David Fincher’s remake of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” that some have claimed glamorizes rape. Ouch.
On a more personal lever, the V?xj? Lakers continue to struggle in their first season in Elitserien, and at second-to-last place one has to wonder if they’ll be relegated next year. Back in the States, my beloved Boise State Broncos lost at home for the first time in 10 years, and now instead of playing for the National Championship are paired up against a 6-6 Arizona State Sun Devils team that just fired their coach.
To top it all off, my great nemesis – an ermine that lives near my flat whom I’ve nicknamed “El Diablo” – has returned: I saw him dart into the bushes while I was taking a walk yesterday afternoon. I’m sure he’ll strike when I’m most vulnerable – probably while I’m taking a shower.
All of it’s enough to make any man, woman, or child want to plunge themselves headfirst into a frozen river (without getting back into the sauna afterwards) or eat a blowfish at a disreputable restaurant after a few BASE jumps.
Maybe it’s a case of seeing the glass as have empty rather than half full. There’s bound to be some good news, right?
Well, the Danish investment firm Saxo Bank predicted that in the coming year the Swedish krona will replace the Swiss franc as a safe haven in a debt-riddled Europe, thereby strengthening the Swedish economy. O.K., so apparently Sweden’s the place to go if you don’t want to be stuck eating lima beans out of a can.
There’s also the news that Sweden has one of the most democratic Twitter accounts out there. An intrepid reporter at The Local named Rebecca Martin – who unlike myself actually organizes her thoughts into a cohesive argument when writing – discovered that by handing its official Twitter account over to regular citizens – including a priest, a teacher and a “coffee-drinking bull-dyke” – Sweden is defending its reputation as one of the world’s most democratic nations. Alright, the whole “free and open society” thing is covered.
But there can’t be any more good news, can there? I mean, really, what could be better than Sweden serving as the real “star” of the new “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” film with a score composed by none other than Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor?
The shortest day of the year is over. And Jul (otherwise known as Christmas, otherwise known as… well, you can’t get any bigger than Jul) is upon us.
So yeah, maybe things are better than I sometimes make them out to be. I guess sometimes I get a little carried away.
But what made me come to this revelation, you ask?
It was five degrees in V?xj? yesterday. Enough said.