Friday, September 30, 2011

Books I've read in 2011 - September

Battle by Sara Villius
Gud og hver mann by Eva Lundgren
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Luftslottet som sprengtes by Stieg Larsson - AUDIO
Den lukkede bok by Jette A Kaarsbøl - AUDIO
The Sooterkin by Tom Gilling
Mordet i Eiffeltornet by Claude Izner
Den hellige liga, volume 2 by Alexandre Dumas
Bønn til månen by Fatima Elayoubi
Cleopatra - A Life by Stacy Schiff - AUDIO
Arsenikktårnet by Anne B Ragde - AUDIO
Barnegråten ingen hørte by Gitta Sereny
En lykkelig mann by Arto Paasilinna - AUDIO

Ungdom by J M Coetzee

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quote of the Week

From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.
Helen Hayes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Måtte pesten ramme dem

Jeg er som (muligens) kjent ikke registrert på Facebook. Har aldri vært det, vil aldri bli det, savner det ikke. Dette er hovedsakelig fordi jeg ikke gidder å surre meg borti enda noe mer vås på nett som jeg kommer til å kaste bort altfor mye tid på. Selv om de nok har en del suspekte ting for seg er jeg ikke i utgangspunktet anti-Facebook.

Dét er det dog andre som er. Sjekk denne fantastiske kommentaren fra kommentarfeltet på en artikkel i Dagbla' i dag om at Facebook spionerer på dere alle sammen. !!!1! Signaturen svidd har skrevet dette. LIKE.

At etteretningsorganisasjonen Facebook gjør dette burde bare overraske eremitter som lever i skogen uten avis,radio, pc eller tv.

Facebook har vist forrakt for eiendomsrett, privatliv,mennesker,samfunn lover og regler samt folks siden starten men fremdeles fortsetter folk å frivillig raportere om alle bevegelser, omgangskrets og alle hendelser i sitt liv til disse kriminelle svina.
Det trenger ikke svare for lover og regler for de er for mektige til at noen får gjort noe med dem.
Når man ser på selskapets etikk så bør man kunne forvente at de før eller siden bruker allt de har på deg , mot deg om de kan oppnå noe med dem.
Man får ikke gjort noe med dem og ingen kan stille dem til ansvar så slutt å gi bort livet deres til facebook det er ingen som trenger liveoppdateringer om farge og kosistens vær gang dere driter.

Slutt å bruk facebook for dere gjør oss alle til slaver når dere akksepterer ALLT .
Lurer på om facebook er noe populært i tidligere stalinistiske land..tidligere DRR f.eks.?
Regner med de setter litt mer pris på å ikke bli holdt øye med av fremmede til enn vær tid?
Måtte pest ramme ledelsen i både google og facebook


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snake in the sand

Check out this fantastic postcard that I got from Switzerland a few weeks ago. Isn't it wonderful? May be my favorite postcard this month. I had to look twice before I realized what it was exactly. :-) I love it. More snakes on postcards!!

I really don't understand how anyone could see this and think that reptiles are horrible monsters or totally uninteresting. These creatures are marvels of the natural world. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wangari Maathai 1940-2011

Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking.

She died yesterday. What a life she had ... and what a great thing she achieved. Billions of trees ... and so many good thoughts spread to so many people.

I think I want to plant a tree.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Congratulations to Catalonia

September 25th, 2011 - a day to remember. Today the hopefully last ever bullfight was fought in Barcelona. Catalonia has made a great stride for animal rights in Spain, when they decided a little over a year ago to ban this repulsive tradition as the first region in the mainland kingdom (the Canary Islands had the foresight to do so twenty years ago). Good for them, but first and foremost good for these poor animals that will no longer have to suffer a confusing and agonizing death as entertainment for a bunch of bloodthirsty degenerates.

This latter group will actually benefit from this also, since while emotionally stunted people may find it amusing to watch animals being tortured, doing so contributes to their moral corruption and general mental decline. In the long run it'll be better for them, even if they don't have the brains to comprehend this themselves.

It is possible that this good news is premature, since the pro-animal torture camp are looking to prevent the law taking effect (as it is intended to do on January 1st, 2012) by gathering a certain number of signatures in favor of continued torture. So let's all hope that Catalonian lawmakers have cool heads and some sense of empathy.

If they don't, and this grotesque tradition continues, let us hope that all future fights will end like this.

On a personal note, I was in Barcelona earlier this year, as you may remember. We drove by the bullfighting arena a couple of times, and I was ... impressed, if that's the word I want, by the size of it. It's a very large place, I remember thinking it must seat a hell of a lot of people. Now it says in the papers here that the arena was sold out for this last fight, and that this means an audience of 18.000. Well, the story was also on the Daily Review, and they of course had pictures ... moving pictures even ... that I got the impression were from tonight's fight. Did anyone else see that? Because seriously, that place was not sold out. Far from it. It was more than half empty. If that was tonight, then one may have reason to hope that even the Spanish aren't an entirely lost cause.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quote of the Week

My thinking tends to be libertarian. That is, I oppose intrusions of the state into the private realm -- as in abortion, sodomy, prostitution, pornography, drug use, or suicide, all of which I would strongly defend as matters of free choice in a representative democracy.
Camille Paglia

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Bård Hoksrud

Yes, I know the headline is flippant - he hasn't been imprisoned and of course he won't be, either. But it's my blog and I'll be flippant if I want to.

Brief recap: Progress Party MP Bård Hoksrud was in Riga recently and made the mistake of visiting a brothel, where he paid an employee for sex. I call it a mistake because he is married, and had not agreed on this visit with his wife beforehand. The visit to the brothel, not to Riga. ;-) I feel really bad for his wife, this must be so upsetting for her.

But for the media, it's a goldmine. Because, get this, here in Norway it's illegal to pay for sex. It's legal to sell it, just not to buy it. Screwy, I know. But it's even crazier than it sounds - it's even illegal for Norwegian citizens to pay for sex in countries where it's legal to pay for sex. You know, like in Latvia, say. So now that Hoksrud has been busted for this, he has committed a crime ... it will go on his criminal record and he has to pay a fine of 25,000 crowns. And he will go down in history as the first Norwegian ever to be sentenced for this crime. Poor guy.

How did he get busted, you ask? Well, he went on this trip not as an MP or as a party representative, but as a private citizen. Yet he traveled with two, or was it three, members of the party's youth organization. Not sure what's up with that, but he's relatively young, 38, so I guess they're his friends. Ahead of the trip, someone tipped off our biggest commercial TV channel, TV2, that Hoksrud was going to be using prostitutes while in Riga, so these damn hyenas sent over a camera crew that filmed the man with a concealed camera. They interviewed the prostitute and I don't know what all. Now they pretend to be proud of themselves. Scum.

So, talk about questionable tactics ... and for something so irrelevant to the general public. Not that I had a lot of respect for TV2, or the media in general, before this, but now it's definitely dropped several notches. If only they would be honest and admit that they do it for the ratings ... but no, it's for the public good. Gag me with a spoon.

One of the most annoying things about this is that pretty much every reporter you can find says that it's total BS what the Progress Party is saying that the media is out to get them and is giving them a much harder time than everyone else. Of course not, it's because they really are worse people than others, so they bring it on themselves. And then on the Daily Review tonight - this Hoksrud thing was the lead story - there's another piece of news about a mayor somewhere in ... Oppland county, I think? ... who's being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. Supposedly he's been having sex with a girl who was only 13 when it started. Bad and wrong, totally. But was he named? No. Was the town named? No. Was his party affiliation given? No. Remind me again, how many hours did it take before Trond Birkedal's name was splashed all over the front pages ... ?

Anyway. This post is basically to say that I think TV2's methods are completely beyond the pale and that I think it's horrible how Hoksrud has been put in the metaphorical stocks after this happened. The law against buying sex is ridiculous, and it's absolutely idiotic that it supposedly applies in other countries too. Yes, I do get the argument that those who make the law should also follow the law. But some laws are just wrong. I wish I could say that I think that as a principle, I think the law should be obeyed, regardless of what it is ... that this is essential to the functioning of a civilized society ... but I don't really have any principles, and I break another law every day with a clear conscience and never a second thought. It's a bad law, it should be broken. And I can certainly not accept that Norwegian law should trump the laws of other sovereign states in the territories of those states.

Hoksrud was against the law from the start, is still against it and voted against it when it was passed in Parliament. As, IMO, every sensible MP ought to have done. (And maybe did ... >:-) I am absolutely not a Progress Party fan, but I am totally with them on this one. Would our politicians really accept this in reverse? In Spain, for instance, the age of consent is 13. Here in Norway, it's 16. Is it OK for a Spanish citizen to come to Norway and have sex with 14-year-olds? If not, why? That's the law in his country, after all. But no, it wouldn't be OK, because Norwegian law applies in Norway ... just like Latvian law applies in Latvia, and under Latvian law it's perfectly legal to pay for sex. So that this is even an issue is ridiculous.

What should be the case under discussion here, and what TV2 should be looking into, is who tipped them off and why. Does someone want to get Hoksrud out of politics, and if so, why? Someone clearly has a grudge against the guy ... and it's someone pretty close to him too, obviously. Now that's something I find interesting. But obviously that doesn't sell as well as a sex scandal. >:-(

A pundit was on the Daily Review tonight too, discussing the whole thing with some talking head from TV2 ... he said that the problem here is the techniques the reporters used, and that even though 'no one condones what Hoksrud has done' they totally crossed the line by following him like they did. Which, yes, was a gross invasion of his privacy and they should be prosecuted for it. But I want to say that I for one do condone what Hoksrud did. I have no problem with it. It should be legal. Yes, it was wrong of him to hurt his wife's feelings as he has no doubt done ... but that is the only thing he has done that any of us can condemn him for. But just paying for sex? I personally would never be a prostitute and my instinct is that it must be a pretty shitty job (but I know I'm wrong in some cases), but if one party is willing to pay and the other party is willing to sell, then I really don't see the problem.

Hoksrud was on the news too, and he was interviewed by some NRK reporter who stuck a microphone in his face while he said all the usual things about how he was so sorry and it was a crazy mistake and he's never done such a thing before. The reporter actually had the gall to ask, 'Can you say with your hand on your heart that you have never paid for sex before?'

Hoksrud was all contrite and said he totally accepted culpability, etc. But what he should have said was, IMO:

That's none of your fucking business, bitch!!

It's none of any of our business. This is between Hoksrud and his wife. I don't know what political life in this country is coming to if this is seriously as big a deal as all that. The guy is human, OMG, stop the press! >:-( Aside from the fact that I would never vote for his party, if I was in his constituency, I would seriously consider voting for him now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I've been waiting many years to be able to say this, and I wasn't sure I ever would get the chance to, but finally, at long last, it's happened. I saw my doctor yesterday and asked about a referral to an ear/nose/throat specialist to see if anything can be done about my throat, which just will not ever clear up ... it's starting to really drive me up the wall and I'm sure it's even more annoying to those around me. O. says he's gotten so used to it though, he'll miss the sound of me constantly clearing my throat if I do get it cleared up. He won't know where I am if I go all quiet like that. :-D But seriously ... it's annoying and probably not healthy, and it's pretty close to something my father has been having trouble with since forever, so it's probably smart to have it looked into as soon as possible.

Anyway. I asked about this, and we also talked about the headaches I get sometimes for no apparent reason. She thinks these two things may be connected ... something to do with my sinuses. It's going to be looked into - I'm going to get an MR scan to see if there's anything visible there that can explain this. So, I am very happy to say that finally, I am going to get my head examined!! :-D

I'm sure many of you reading this will agree that this is long overdue.

Ooh, and happy 30th to Findabair!! :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Turtle from above

I took this picture of Raphael on Saturday. I really like it, because it shows his 'turtleneck' so well ... the fold of skin around a turtle's neck that appears and disappears when they retract and extend their heads. It's as soft as velvet ... which you can actually kind of tell from this photo. :-) It also shows the long claws on his front feet, which look like enormous monster claws in this picture. I like that. :-D

You can also tell very easily from this picture why these animals have some issues with depth perception.

Aw, his little face. :-) Look at his precious little squishy nose. :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't be too sure

Well-known Keanuquote:
I used to have nightmares that they would put 'He played Ted' on my tombstone.

'Used to', you say ...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Noe å huske

Et interessant innlegg i Aftenposten har gitt opphav til en ganske interessant debatt. Der har en av deltakerne skrevet en kommentar som jeg synes er så bra at jeg ikke bare vil huske den for fremtiden, men jeg vil gjerne dele den med verden også. :-)

Før du leser videre nedover, husk at:

å ikke samle frimerker er ikke en hobby,
å overleve er ikke en måte å dø på,
AV er ikke en TV-kanal,

å ikke spille fotball er ikke en sport,
tomrom er ikke en planet i bane rundt Sola,
fred er ikke en form for krigføring,
og ateisme er ikke en religion.

Så hvorfor identifiserer ateister seg da som ateister?

Fordi ateisme er som å ikke samle frimerker i en verden der nesten alle samler på frimerker; der nesten alle studerer sine samlinger for å finne ut hva som er rett og galt og hvilke lover man trenger; der de starter kriger med hverandre over hvor på et brev frimerkene skal sitte og hvilke kanter de burde ha; og hvor nesten alle tror at Posten skapte universet.

I en slik verden ville nok afilatelister fått en identitet ganske fort.

Les absolutt debattinnlegget også, det er verdt det.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stop forwarding that crap to me

I'm sure everyone who reads this has at some point or another - overwhelmingly likely more than once - received forwarded emails that are nothing but worthless crap. 'Warnings' about viruses supposedly going around or scams being worked, that anyone would know was bogus after three minutes on Snopes. Really badly done 'illustrated poetry'. Chain mail. Just BS that takes up space in your inbox and wastes your time. We've all been there. So of course, Weird Al has made a song about it.

Please note that I am not particularly bothered by such emails myself ... I have mostly sensible friends, the few people that forward crap to me don't read this blog AFAIK. So don't be upset, this is probably not directed at you. ;-) But the song is soo cool and the video so well made that I just have to post it. You'll like it. And if you like Jim Steinman, you'll love it. :-)

Widescreen here.

I like Jim Steinman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Farmers' market FTW

We started our cultural explorations tonight at Matstreif, the farmers' market, and we ended up spending like three times as much time there as we had expected we would. It was fantastic, best farmers' market I've ever been to, absolutely wonderful. Biggest Matstreif ever, I suspect, and really an experience. Don't miss it. :-) It's on tomorrow too, ten till six on Saturday. You should definitely go there if you have the chance. Lots of free samples of yummy foods from all over the country, and endless shopping opportunities for things you don't find in stores. :-)

Don't miss Masstua and their amazing jellies (especially the raspberry and redcurrant one, it's to die for) and Romstad Farm with the best butter EVAR. Seriously, you'll never believe how good it is. And that's just two of soo many. :-)

Ooh, and here is that raspberry and cheese ice cream cone. So creative, I love it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What a weekend!!

Seriously, if you're in Oslo this weekend, you won't know what to do with yourself. There's SO much going on, almost too much IMO. Would have been better spread out over two weekends. But what are you gonna do. Try not to miss the best parts, I guess. :-)

Tomorrow night, Friday, is this year's Culture Night. All over town. There are so many cool events and places to go, I can't even begin to list them. The program is here, check it out. If you can't find anything to interest you, you must be the most boring person on earth. Oh, and all the events are totally free. :-)

Also tomorrow, plus Saturday, is Matstreif, which is basically a farmers' market, usually really good. It's open till eight tomorrow and ... five or something on Saturday. It's in City Hall Square. Will probably be hard to miss if you're in the area. :-) They have had the coolest ads around town this past week, I love the one with the cheese and raspberry that look like an ice cream cone. :-D

And finally, the whole weekend, Friday through Sunday, is this year's Bookfest. It's in a bunch of different venues - there's a lot of stuff going on at the Opera House, there's things at the various publishing houses, I hardly know where it all is. The program's here somewhere. Not as good as last year, I don't think, but still stuff worth seeing. Ooh, and free movie screenings on the Opera roof. Anything is cool on the Opera roof. :-)

Have fun!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jeg skulle nesten ønske ...

... at jeg bodde i Balsfjord. For de har nå offisielt den kuleste lokalpolitikeren noensinne i kommunerådet sitt. (Eller er det byråd? Er Balsfjord en by? o_O Alle slags tullesteder kan jo bli by i våre dager.) Han heter Helge Solvang, han er 98 år gammel og når han ble spurt av VG på nett hvordan han kom til å bli som politiker var dette svaret hans:

Jeg skal være som Fantomet.
Hard mot de harde.

Helge Solvang for president!! :-D

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote of the Week

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
George Bernard Shaw

Monday, September 12, 2011

I love Norway

Check this out. No beer sales today September 12th 2011 due to elections. Gotta love it.

I haven't been feeling too good about this election ... several reasons for that, one of them being that I've been so conflicted about what to vote. Basically I think all the political parties suck ass and I don't want to vote for any of them. But I have to vote. Also the campaign in general has been so crappy ... I haven't followed it, it's all just talk, and coming from the wrong people too. Argh. What to do?

Well, obviously, the thing to do is to read all the party programs and then decide based on that. I basically just need a party whose basic outlook I agree with and who are sensible on the majority of issues ... public transport, privatization, housing, the woodline, parks and green areas, integration, schools ... things like that ... plus there are a few specific issues that I feel strongly about that I need to know where 'my' party stands. Local issues here in Oslo. I am against the sculpture park at Ekeberg, I want the Munch museum to stay at Tøyen and I don't want the viking ships to be moved.

So, I ended up a first time voter for the Green Party. And even though I haven't been enthusiastic about this election at all, I feel pretty good about it now, I feel that I have contributed and helped make a difference, because the results are coming in and the Greens now look set to get a seat on the city council for the first time. Yay. :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Superfantastic book

I just finished reading this book and it is beyond amazing. I LOVED it. Which was almost a little unexpected ... I was prepared to be disappointed by this, because I've read one other novel by this author and that book was seriously beyond brilliant. It was one of the best books I've ever read. Cloud Atlas - an absolute cornucopia of inventiveness and imagination. I don't use this word often, in fact I try to avoid it, but that book was awesome. So I was rather expecting that this newer novel ... well, not that it wouldn't be good, I thought it would be great, but I felt that the author had set the bar so high for himself that he wouldn't be able to reach those grand heights again. And maybe he didn't, but ... this book is so different that it hardly even compares. It's wonderful, it's an experience. I can't recommend it highly enough.

And I can hardly say anything about the plot, either ... it's set in Japan in the years around 1800, most of the story takes place at a Dutch trading station in Nagasaki. It's all fascinating. If I start telling you about it, I don't know when I'd ever stop. :-)

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell.
Read it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

OMG squee!

Even though I only have reptiles, I am actually a dog person ... I mean, in addition to being into reptiles, I also love dogs. I used to have a dog ... for over twelve years, I had the most adorable and charming cocker spaniel you could ever hope to meet. :-) Dogs are fantastic animals. I don't have a dog now though, and I probably never will again. :-( Partly it's because they are so relatively demanding and I would feel pretty tied down if I had one of them to take care of ... it does mean a lot more scheduling and so on. And I'm so lazy. ;-) I live alone so all the effort would have to be made by me. That'd be a major stumbling block if I was considering getting a dog again.

But mostly it's because I'm allergic to dogs. :-( Well, to furry creatures in general, but for obvious reasons it's more significant that I'm allergic to dogs than to any other critter. I've always been allergic, but I didn't really take in how much while we had the dog, who I loved so much and would gladly suffer for. But I do get a reaction basically every time I'm in a home where a dog also lives. Unfortunately. I love dogs so much that I could never bear to get one and then have to give it up three weeks later because my head explodes every time I see it. That'd break my heart. So, no more dogs for me. :-( But of course I love seeing other people's adorable dogs. :-)

And here's one now! Check this out, it's actually even beyond adorable. Widdle baby doggie watching - and listening to - wolves on Youtube. Ayooo ... !! :-D

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Turtles in a puddle

The other day the weather was nice enough that I took the turtles out after work ... or at least it seemed to be nice enough, but it turned out that the lawn was incredibly wet, just about soaked through. It's been raining a lot lately. :-) There was so much water that I couldn't sit down even though I had brought something to sit on. (Sitteunderlag - what on earth is that in English??) I walked around ... but took my sandals off because I was walking in water anyway, so I might as well be barefoot. :-)

The guys aren't really used to being out in the wet ... getting natural sunlight is one of the reasons for taking them outside, so they only go out in nice weather. They're used to the outdoors being dry. :-) So this was a little odd for them. The little guys eventually found a puddle, and hey, this was fun! Strange-smelling water, but fun. It was fun for me too to watch them. As soon as they were in water Herman started trying to eat things. :-D

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Brand new board game!

Or is it? Nope! It was published in 2009. I am so slow. I need to pay more attention to these things ... I wasn't even aware it existed till today. o_O But of course, as soon as I saw it, I had to buy it. ;-) Tanumine and I were hanging out after the BookCrossing meetup, and of course we had to stop by and check out Outland in their new location. (They've moved about thirty feet down the hall; looks nice, lighter than the old digs. :-) I caught sight of this game and decided to buy it in about two seconds. It's the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, one of my favorite games. Like the first game it's based on a real brick of a novel by Ken Follett. I haven't read either book ... yet, anyway. I plan to, definitely. But first, I will play the game! :-) If it's half as good as the first one it'll be worth the money. :-)

More on this later ... I will be making a video review of this for Youtube. Sooner or later. :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Latskap? Whatever

De fleste som leser dette har sikkert hørt Richard Dawkins' lille aforisme om at vi alle er ateister. Gunnar skrev et innlegg hvor han regnet litt på det der for et par uker siden. Der har det oppstått en delvis interessant debatt. Den har sklidd ut, nå snakker folk om gudsbevis og sånt. Gjesp. Jeg slang ut en kommentar som hørtes flåsete ut men som jeg mener 100%. Jeg fikk et pussig svar ... pussig fordi jeg hadde fått inntrykk av at han som skrev det er en fornuftig fyr, men tydeligvis ikke bestandig. (Antar at det er samme fyren som skrev de kommentarene jeg syntes var fornuftige, i hvert fall. Ikke så godt å vite på nett bestandig. o_O)

Det svaret inspirerte meg til å skrive denne bloggposten. Tar den på norsk siden det opprinnelige innlegget og kommentarene er på norsk. Jeg skrev, og som sagt mener jeg det fra dypet av den sjelen jeg ikke har, at jeg virkelig er så glad for at jeg gir så fullstendig faen i alt som heter gudsbevis og argumenter for guds eksistens og alt det våset der - jeg sa ikke faen da, prøver å være litt mer høflig borte enn hjemme, liksom - sånn at jeg kan bruke tida mi på mer fornuftige ting.

(Merk at jeg skrev at jeg kan gjøre det. Hvis jeg ville det altså. For det meste ser jeg selvsagt bare på søppel-TV, spiser sjokolade og hører på Millennium-trilogien for femte gang.)

I alle fall. Dette fikk en tilsynelatende fornuftig kommentarskribent til å anklage meg for intellektuell latskap og for å lese rosablogger. Dere som kjenner meg kan kanskje gå god for at 'interiør og sminke' ikke står øverst på lista over ting jeg beskjeftiger meg med, sånn generelt? (Det ville vel fremmede skjønne ganske fort også antar jeg hvis de fikk se leiligheten min ... eller fjeset mitt.) Jeg må si at jeg synes at dette er en urimelig påstand, og jeg trodde som sagt at denne fyren var mer fornuftig enn som så. Jeg håper at det bare er leseforståelsen hans det er noe feil med. Det kan egentlig se sånn ut. I hvert fall.

Alle former for latskap appellerer sterkt til meg, men den intellektuelle typen prøver jeg så godt jeg kan å unngå. (Den er heldigvis på mange måter den minst krevende å motstå. Man trenger ikke reise seg engang.) Men hvor mye energi skal man egentlig bruke på å argumentere mot nissen? Folk debatterer oppad vegge og nedad stolpe om hvilke egenskaper guden deres har, hvordan den gir seg til kjenne, hva den vil, hva den har gjort, hva den tenker, hva den mener og jeg vet ikke hva det er for noe alt dette sludderet folk kaster bort nærmest uendelige mengder tid og mental energi på. Det må de vel forsåvidt få lov til, dessverre. Men jeg for min del ser overhodet ikke noe poeng i å bruke verken tid eller krefter på å diskutere egenskaper og meninger som det påstås skal tilligge en skapning som ingenting tyder på i det hele tatt eksisterer. Jeg sitter ikke her om kveldene og begraver meg i argumentasjon for eller imot at Odin ikke ville ha vært allvitende uten input fra Hugin og Munin. Jeg driter i det, for han fins ikke!! Han fantes ikke i vikingtiden heller, han var bare innbilning! Innbilning, hører dere!!?

Hvor mye tankevirksomhet må jeg bedrive i forhold til Odin og hans magiske tryllerievner før jeg ikke er intellektuelt lat lenger?

Jeg synes slett ikke at det er intellektuell latskap å gi beng i gud og Jesus og hele bøtteballetten, sammen med julenissen, påskeharen, tannféen og Mr Hankey. Tvert imot synes jeg at det er moralsk latskap å kaste bort tid på dette utdaterte tankespinnet.* Vi lever i en virkelig verden, folkens!! Full av alt mulig rart og utrolig som faktisk beviselig virkelig finnes! Mennesker sulter i hjel as we speak - akkurat det bryr jeg meg litt mindre om, men tigrene dør ut og elefantenes samfunn kollapser. Biene forsvinner og matproduksjonen sjangler på kanten av stupet snart. Mikronesia synker i havet og de aller fleste fiskestammer er redusert til en tragisk rest. Dere som sitter og surrer om tanker om det høyeste vi kan tenke oss og kritikk av Anselm, polyteisme og kontigente guddommer ... dere burde faen meg skamme dere!! Hva feiler dere?? Se dere rundt! Bli voksne, legg fra dere dette ubrukelige våset og gjør noe nyttig!

Eller sagt på en annen måte:

*Mr Hankey er ikke utdatert da, selvfølgelig. Det sier seg vel nesten selv, men.

Monday, September 5, 2011


You know a lot of people give Keanu Reeves shit, I know, I was one of them until I saw The Matrix. Then I just wanted to apologize for everything that I had ever said about him. He was just working away at his goal not listening to any of the assholes like me, and he fucking did it, man. I just love The Matrix.
Quentin Tarantino

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quote of the Week

Og så går det opp for meg: Jeg streber etter en god utdannelse for å kunne bli akseptert av disse ekle menneskene. Jeg kan sikkert bite tennene sammen i noen år til og gjøre ferdig graden, men vil det gjøre meg lykkelig? Hvordan kan jeg være Marius hvis jeg kun innfrir deres forventninger? Når man tar imot råd og anbefalinger fra foreldre, glemmer man at de er gamle mennesker med egokonflikter og andre psykologiske problemer som gjør at de projiserer dritten sin. De tror kanskje de hjelper til, men i virkeligheten hjelper de kun seg selv.
Alexander Aarvik, Skuddsikker

Saturday, September 3, 2011

There's no such thing as a free circumcision

So, there's an election coming up - only municipal and county, but still an election - and of course the media's chock full of all kinds of 'hot issues' where most Norwegian politicians actually more or less agree, if you really look into it, but they have to pretend to totally disagree and be appalled at the others' irresponsible ways. Oy vey. I hate election campaigns. I never watch the debates or anything ... it's pointless, and for this election that's coming up now it's really beyond pointless, because it's a local election but they've still got party leaders on the debates. Now that seriously pisses me off. They should be quarantined. I'm supposed to be voting for people here in Oslo, what do I care what Jens Stoltenberg or Siv Jensen have to say? Fuck 'em.

But anyway. That's not really what this blog post is about. It's about one of these issues that isn't very hot, but maybe should be ... as in, maybe we should be talking about it more. I've just seen it mentioned in a few places, a few short newspaper articles. It's one of these things that we can't really have a big debate about, because that'll be offensive to religious minorities, and ... Well, people are chickens, basically. As well as ignorant. I really don't think that a lot of people who 'don't see the harm' in male circumcision have really looked into it. I wonder if those politicians who want circumcision - or male genital mutilation as we might just as well call it - to be freely available are aware that more than a hundred baby boys die in the US every year as a direct result of their circumcisions. I would love to ask some Health Department officials about that. Hmm.

In this country, hospitals used to circumcise baby boys up until 2004, but then they stopped. Now our government wants to reintroduce the practice. A lot of surgeons don't want to be part of it, because they know that it's a totally useless and potentially harmful practice that will of course take resources away from surgeries that are actually necessary treatment for other children. You know, sick children. But the government wants to force it through anyway (what a surprise) and want to offer, in their phrasing, 'free circumcision' to parents who want it for their sons. o_O

In the past I've written about how public debate is skewed in this country because we talk about side issues or we attack things from totally the wrong angle ... we don't discuss the real issues, we always get sidetracked. This is nothing unique to Norway, of course. It happens everywhere and all the time. And this is a really good example of what I mean when I say that we talk about things the wrong way. There's no such thing as a free circumcision.

This election campaign is like any other, it's presented as a smorgasbord of options for the voter and we just have to find out what we want. Do you want more of X, then vote Labor, do you want more Y instead, then vote Right. Or whatever. But it's presented so depressingly irrationally. It's not being talked about the right way. The question really isn't, do you want free kindergarten for all under-threes, or whatever, then vote Socialist Left. No. The question is, are you willing to pay, let's say 300 crowns more in taxes per month so that free kindergarten can be made available to all under-threes? That is what we should be discussing. Not only what we want, but what we are willing to give up to get it.

Because there's no such thing as free kindergarten. There's no such thing as free, full stop. No such thing. Remember those goddamn idiots who were in the papers last winter, or whenever it was, bragging about their foolproof system for tricking Ruter, Oslo's public transport company? They never bought tickets; instead, they paid a sum of money into a shared account which was used to pay the fines for those members who were caught riding the subway or whatever without a ticket. Since they were students, they were able to save as much as 2,50 per day by doing this. (2 crowns 50, which is like fifty US cents. Whoop dee fucking doo.) But of course they weren't doing it for the selfish reason of wanting to save money. Oh no, of course not. They were doing it as a quiet protest, as part of their belief that public transport should be 'free'. Give me a fucking break. I wanted to bitch slap these idiots, seriously. There is no such thing as free. Every service in a society has a price and something else has to be sacrificed to make it happen. Welcome to the real world.

Nothing is free, someone pays for everything. The way we've organized this society - which I believe is the best way - means that it's the tax payers' money that pays for it. Part of what this entails is that we all have to pay for things we don't need or don't want. Some people can't bear the thought of that; I personally don't have a problem with it as a matter of principle, but I do think that there have got to be some limits. A line must be drawn somewhere. Spend tax money on salaries for elected officials, sure, but let them pay for their own vacations. For instance. And another example, an even better one, is that while I do pay my taxes happily, I am not happy with the idea that the money I have worked for will be spent on letting delusional fools mutilate their defenseless babies because they think some murderous desert god is telling them to.

There's no such thing as a free circumcision, and I don't want to pay for it. But here's an idea: Take the money, and then give that extra funding to the Child Protective Agency instead. They obviously need it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy birthday

47 years old today. Pretty unbelievable.

OK, so this picture is from January. But still.

I hope he's having a really good day. :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Do you want to see an elephant?

Or several elephants? Then check this out - the EleCam over at, the home page of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. It's a fantastic place ... a home to old elephants in need, for as long as they need it. If you read some of the back stories of the animals who live there, consider yourselves warned, it's really heartbreaking. Some of them were taken from the wild as babies and brought to the US to be trained for circuses. I don't even want to think about the traumatic experiences they must have gone through. This was way back of course that these things happened, in the 60s mostly for the elephants who are at the Sanctuary now. Before this practice became illegal. The Sanctuary is a place where these amazing animals can retire and live out the rest of their lives in natural surroundings, not in zoos or circuses, but in as close to the wild as can be managed for them. Like I said, it's fantastic. :-)

There are three EleCams to choose from - the Asian Habitat, the African Habitat and what they call the Q Habitat. (Q is for 'quarantine', I think.) Elephas maximus there too. They have mostly EM for obvious reasons, but two LA too. If you try the cams, don't give up if there's nothing to be seen ... check back again, you never know what you're going to see. Quite a lot of the time there's nothing. The Sanctuary is huge, it covers more than 2700 acres, so even though there are several cameras in each habitat, and the staff try to keep them on the elephants, there are often no animals to be seen. But you never know what kind of luck you'll have. Tonight I got to watch Tange, one of the LAs, grabbing some pre-dinner browse at the edge of the forest. Her friend Flora wandered past too. And right now, Shirley, the oldest resident (born in 1948!) is standing in the middle of the road and ... pondering where to go next, maybe. Aw, she walked off. Fantastic. :-)

Anyway. You should check it out. If you like elephants, you really can't let yourself miss it. :-)