Sunday, May 19, 2019

Heja Norge

Vi kan väl passa på att hylla Norge (eller var det Nordnorge? Nej, det var ju Makedonien). Det gick ju lite bättre för deras disco-jojk än förra gången de jojkade i en ESC-final circa 1978 eller så. Sedan är det ju kul att de ural-altaiska språken gör comeback i ESC-sammanhang, jag har noterat att varken Finland eller Estland vill sjunga på sina modersmål numera, ha ha. Synd bara att finalen var på den 18 maj, inte 17 maj, men man kan ju inte få allt här i världen.

Inte ens i Keiino sameby.

None dare call it Satanism

This clip from Thomas Sheridan inadvertently shows that occultism is cultish, Satanic and that the fair Christian knights had a point when destroying the pagan sanctuaries. Almost made me reach for holy water...and a sword. (He mispronounces "Iamblichus", by the way.) 

Ställ upp för San Marino eller håll käften

Helt gratis foto från Wikipedia

Ursäkta, men fick Madonna verkligen 14 miljoner kronor för det där usla framförandet i Jerusalem?

Hade jag varit ESC Big Israelish Boss hade jag sagt åt "världsstjärnan" att vill hon vara med får hon ställa upp för San Marino, och därmed basta.

You gotta be hard on the divas!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Diversity training

The diversity of the Alt Right is truly stunning. I´m beginning to suspect that the Alt Right is more diverse than the liberals at this point. I mean, the main representatives of the Alt Right are: an Azerbaijani immigrant from Iran, Barack Obama´s Kenyan brother, a White supremacist claiming to be an American Indian, another supposed White supremacist who works with Jews, gays and Sikhs, a pro-Muslim Serbian-American Jew, a Catholic Jewish homosexual poser with a Black boy friend, a Green frog, and a 14-year old girl who is really a boy (the latest addition to the Alt-bouquet). 


Somehow, I suspect that this is a transitional phase we´re going through, and that the real beast, if and when it comes, will really be blonde!

A blonde female, perhaps? :P 

"De kan väl köpa elbil istället": Varför arbetarklassen aldrig kommer att stödja radikal miljöpolitik

Min rubrik är medvetet provokativ, men den här typen av problematik är knappast lätt att lösa... 

Priviligierad politiker uppmanar fattiga arbetare att köpa elbil

Friday, May 17, 2019

Heil Schicklgruber

Hopefully not an urban legend 

This is a review of a Swedish book titled “101 Historiska Myter”. The authors, Åke Persson and Thomas Oldrup are two history nerds who previously edited, respectively, the Swedish and Danish editions of the magazine “Allt om Historia”. Their book, published in 2010, busts (or supposedly busts) 101 historical myths, urban legends and misconceptions. Or supposed myths, urban legends and misconceptions! Inevitably in a book of this type, some claims are stronger than others, many are nit-picking, and a few are flat-out wrong. Conversely, some popular urban legends about history are not covered, such as the claim that Sweden and the micro-nation of San Marino have been technically at war for the past 400 years or so. Is there a sequel somewhere? Still, the book *is* good and I recommend it both as light bedtime reading or as a passage way to more serious research on the topics covered. And no, I haven´t double-checked every claim by ÅP and TO, so I presumably have something to do this summer, as well…

Some of the tall tales covered are well known and apparently still quite common, such as claims about Napoleon´s diminutive height, Marie Antoinette´s splendid recommendations concerning finer pastry (actually a double tall tale, since the statement falsely attributed to her wasn´t originally about cake!), the existence of Pope Joan, Mussolini´s expertise in making trains go on time, or the idea that people during the Middle Ages assumed that the Earth was flat. Others strike me as more “nerdy”, such as the claim that Hitler´s real name was Schicklgruber (used to believe that myself – imagine the comedy if Nazis at Nuremberg would shout “Heil Schicklgruber”). I was disappointed to learn that Henry VIII only executed two of his queens – he has nothing on George R R Martin! It also turns out that Greek and Roman art wasn´t all white marble, nor did most Romans wear white togas. Wow, does this mean that all of Neo-Classicism is based on a ridiculous misunderstanding? Another red pill: ÅP and TO claims that Albert Einstein, wait for it, was *good* in school! Blasted. I *did* know that you can´t see the Chinese Wall from the Moon, or that Vikings didn´t have horns on their helmets.

The book becomes more problematic when claiming that no matriarchy has ever existed, as if the term “matriarchy” only means one thing, or archeological excavations could only be given one possible interpretation. The authors take a surprisingly positive view of the Viking Age, claiming that the Old Norse were really a bunch of rather nice chaps all things considered, a claim I think could be problematized by some competing archeology nerd. Their foray into the morass of Bible interpretation also strikes me as perhaps a bit too daring, since the source material (the Bible itself) is highly contentious in its own right. But the biggest howler is surely the bizarre claim that the US Civil War wasn´t for or against slavery! No?! What was it about, then? And why did the slaves mysteriously become emancipated at Union-held territory? Of course it was about slavery. Only Kluxers and ultralefts deny it. Another howler can be found in the chapter discussing Muhammad´s supposed pedophilia. There are indeed different ideas within Islam about when Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha, but the authors end up claiming that pedophilia is essentially a social construct. (Perhaps slavery and trafficking are other ones?) Ahem, no guys, pedos are pedos…

Finally, I noticed that since the book was written, Sweden has gotten another “real” saint: Elizabeth Hesselblad, properly canonized in 2016.

With that I leave you for now. Almost. I already mentioned that the book, surprisingly enough, doesn´t mention the “state of war” between San Marino and Sweden. Here are some other claims which may or may not be true, but which certainly merits a mention in a book exploring urban legends about our past: Lenin or Stalin called pro-Soviet fellow travelers “useful idiots”, Khrushchev threatened to nuke Amerika hard by saying “we will bury you”, Hitler was an occultist and Satanist, George Orwell was anti-socialist, Alexander the Great was homosexual (or Greek), the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD, the Soviets defeated Hitler all by themselves, Swedish king Karl XII brought the Travelers to Sweden, St Erik led a Swedish crusade to Finland, Karin Söder was the first female party leader in Sweden, well, you get the drift…

Thursday, May 16, 2019

There will be thirty years of war

“Ett stort lidande har kommit over oss: Historien om trettioåriga kriget” is a 600-page book in Swedish on the Thirty Year War (1618-1648). Who would read it? Since its been published in a paperback edition, probably quite a few. The author, history professor Dick Harrison, is well known for writing huge popularized tomes about everything from Swedish medieval history to global slavery. He at least indirectly inspired Jan Guillou´s popular Arn novels, the plot of which is set in Sweden and Palestine during the time of the crusades. It seems Guillou was drawing heavily from “Jarlens sekel”, a Harrison book about 12th and 13th century Sweden, for the historical information in his novels. If anyone will turn “Ett stort lidande har kommit over oss” into a novel remains to be seen – a horror story would perhaps be more natural! That said, I suspect the book will become a classic in the popularizing genre, not least because of Harrison´s extremely fluent style of writing.

The Thirty Year War wasn´t a pretty story. Harrison, who is a left-liberal pacifist, is equally critical of both Catholics and Protestants, painting a picture of an extremely brutal and many-sided conflict in which the civilians always ended up on the losing side regardless of religious affiliation. The Thirty Year War was fought with large mercenary armies, and the soldiers systematically plundered and laid waste to both enemy territory and “friendly” regions. After three decades of armed conflict, large portions of Germany were virtually depopulated, and it took almost a century for the country to recover from the blow.

One thing I didn´t realize before reading Harrison´s book is how broad in scope the Thirty Year War actually was. It was really a series of partially interlocking conflicts fought in many parts of Europe concurrently. And not just in Europe – the newly minted European colonial powers also took their conflicts to South America, Africa and Asia, making the Thirty Year War the first “world war” in human history. I knew that the Portuguese and the Dutch were fighting it out on the Gold Coast, but I never made the connection to the Thirty Year War before. It seems you learn something new every day! In Sweden, of course, the war is mostly associated with our very own warrior-king Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) who was killed in combat with Catholic imperial troops at the battle of Lützen deep inside German territory. “The Lion from the North” indeed was an important player in the war, Sweden becoming a regional great power in the process, but Harrison broadens our vision…

Despite being 600 pages long, the book nevertheless feels only half-done, probably since it contains relatively little analysis, the emphasis being on the mere facts of the war: the battles, the shifting alliances, the constant war crimes. The author has tried to combine a perspective “from above”, from the world of kings, emperors and military commanders, with a look “from below”. How did everyday life look like during the war for mercenary soldiers, people traveling in the rear of an army, civilians in cities under occupation, or people of the wrong faith caught behind enemy lines? I´m frankly surprised anyone survived this orgy in bloodlust, rape, brigandage, famine, cannibalism and pestilence. If the author has any theory of history, it seems to be that the chain of events is propelled forward by a combination of chance and the sheer will of strong personalities, until everything gets out of hand and the events acquire their own (often bloody) logic. Only after the Thirty Year War, when strong modern state institutions emerge, does the role of the individual in history diminish. 

In his other books, Harrison seems to reject grand narratives and all-knowing theories about the “meaning” of history. Often, we don´t really know what happened at all, due to the paucity of reliable sources. Prestige or ideological conviction (sometimes fanatically held) plays a more central role than material factors in the strict sense. But ideological conviction is, presumably, idiosyncratic. In “Ett stort lidande”, Harrison suggests that the Thirty Year War might have stopped much earlier than it did, if chance factors had turned out differently or cooler heads had prevailed.

With these caveats, I recommend this doorstopper to my Swedish readers. Welcome to the world of Wallenstein, Ferdinand II, Frederick the Winter King, Cardinal Richelieu, WIC, VOC, Gabriel Bethlen and, of course, Gustavus Adolphus…

Vilken annonsbyrå ligger bakom det här, då?

"Fria Tider" lackar ur på att USA-vänstern vill censurera en 14-åring. Okej, men hur var det nu med högerdrevet mot Greta Thunberg? Borde inte Soph (som 14-åringen heter) också stanna hemma och läsa läxorna. Eller?

Fria Tider hyllar baserad 14-åring

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Next time, just run

Interesting clip from YouTube about martial arts and why they *don´t* work. In real life, just running away is a far better "technique" in many situations!

Macron eller Orbán?

Varför anses det vara en stor skandal om man inte anser sig kunna välja mellan Macron och Orbán? Macron, är inte det den där presidenten som skjuter demonstranter på Paris´ gator? Han som försöker censurera sociala medier inför EU-valet? 

Varför är han "bättre" än Orbán? För att han är "folkvald"? Tja, det är Orbán också, för att inte tala om Donald Trump! 

"Men de vann inte the popular vote". Nähä. Och? Polens regering vann "the popular vote", detsamma gäller regeringarna i Italien och Österrike, och hur var det egentligen med Janukovitj, Erdogan, Hamas och Bolsonaro? 

Så återigen undrar jag: Varför är Macron bättre? Och vi vet alla svaret: för att han vill privatisera och antas stödja massinvandring. 

Vi inväntar med spänning resultatet i franska EU-valet. Apropå "folkets röst"...