Boston Blatte

Raised in Boston, remade in Sweden

Archive for August, 2010

Buying Bergman: Death requires no passport

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

You too can bid on Ingmar Bergman‘s canceled passport at Bukowski’s Market (formerly Auktionskomaniet.) I’m tempted. Ingmar Bergman passport Link to auction.

Of late I am a bit addicted to the on-line auctions. (We need a lot furniture and things -like art- after moving from a little 1-bedroom apartment to a house.)

That leaves me vulnerable to buying things I plainly just don’t need but am oh, so intrigued by. The estimated value of the passport is 5000kr but currently bidding is at 6700 with 10 days left, so I have a feeling we’re going to see this take a run and pass 10,000. Thankfully, that financial reality leaves me out –especially considering there’s a 20% commission to pay.

But it leaves me mulling about what it would be like to have that kind of memorabilia in my possession and what it could be worth in 30 years. Bergman has only been dead since 2007. Retirement fund?

I think I’ll have to stick to traditional saving vehicles for my retirement, but I am still romanticizing the idea of owning a tiny bit of something so personal of someone so culturally influential, all the while within my niche all things Swedish.

Ain’t gonna happen for me, I’m afraid.

(for those who aren’t familiar…)
Ingmar Berman is world renowned for the iconic direction of The Seventh Seal döden

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Flying the skies of Stockholm: 100 years of flight

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Stockholmers love flight. A whole mess of us paid tribute to 100 years of flight in Sweden at this weekend’s Flight Festival, Stockholms Flygfestival, at Gärdet We attended yesterday, a beautiful late August Sunday. I am so grateful that this vibrant city, Stockholm, with its abundant green areas, can host a flight festival smack dab in the midst of it.

And despite the popularity of the event, Stockholm is a small town. I stopped counting the number of people we knew whom we bumped into while we were there Sunday. Ok, I shouldn’t have been surprised to run into members of our skydiving club since 3 of our members (along with 4 wingsuit flyers from another club) dropped in -literally- by parachute. I didn’t film it, but so far I’ve found two YouTube videos already uploaded. (Simultaneous hook landing and high-speed landings.)

One of the highlights was the attempted flight of the Blériot XI plane. She never got more than a few meters off the runway on Sunday. (Saturday wasn’t as windy and she got air (video)) This bird is very similar to the original plane that Carl Cederström flew in 1910 -also apparently somewhere at Gärdet. Here’s the Technical Museum’s video of the first flight after restoration.) Here’s the Blériot as she passed us.

Purely coincidentally there were other older fliers in the air above (and slightly north of) Stockholm this weekend. While not as old as the Blériot (92 years old), two of our active club members (Holger and Klacken -both pushing 80) were soaring through the air at our drop zone. Karin Lien Olofsson while practicing with her new camera, recorded one of their jumps (YouTube link).

It does go to show that we don’t stop playing because we grow old but rather we grow old because we stop playing (yes, stolen from a greeting card.)

Here’s to blue skies for years to come.

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Blatte 1, Blottare 0: Unsettling event on Långholmen

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The “perp” (or perve) on Långholmen was actually a voyeur so the “blottare” (Swedish slang for an exhibitionist) in the title employs a great deal of poetic license. Unfortunately, it still does not adequately achieve the ick level that accompanies the event today. Mostly because the “victims” (though I don’t think Sweden has any criminal voyeurism laws on the books ) were all pubescent girls.

Now Swedes, and especially Swedish children, are not particularly prudish and the flashes of public nudity (pretty much exclusively at places people swim/bathe) can ironically occasionally offend the unwilling non-Swedish observer. But it’s deeply unsettling when you witness, confront and confirm a voyeur of pubescent girls changing innocently (and relatively discretely) out of their swimsuits on a public beach in central Stockholm.

What also disturbs me (this was a real-life event for me and I’m not really thrilled to have it as a living memory) also takes into account how we (that’s all of us) are so unsure of how to evaluate and then confront someone we suspect (and the perves know it.) Also, how our prejudices want to discount anyone young and decent looking from being “icky”. This guy was in his early 20s and clean cut –so unassuming.

It was my friend who had noticed him setting himself up in spots on the grass to observe a changing girl. When she called my attention to it I saw that he even went so far as to stretch his neck to get a better view if a passing/shifting person obstructed his view.

My blood started to simmer. But how do you know? How can you be sure?

There’s a point of no return in me in these types of circumstances; the point where I’m in for the count and if I come out bloody it’s the risk I’m willing to take. That point occurred when I confronted him asking in Swedish “Vad gör du” –What are you doing? –And we quickly arrived at his arrogant response along the lines of “So what you (or the Police who I had threatened to call) gonna do about it?”

He couldn’t speak Swedish so this was all in English (Yay, I MUCH more aggressive and scary in English.) The arrogance faded fast when I told him that I would photograph him and show the police his picture. He didn’t like that and quickly covered his face.

I never did get a good shot of him, but I did run him off and planted the fear of a crazed American mom on him.

This is one shot I got of him. wanker
He’s in his early 20s, somewhat Asian looking, wears black wire glasses. He takes out his phone to take pictures and he targets pubescent girls.

Give ‘im hell if you spot him (or anyone for that matter)

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