Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mugabe and Zimbabwe

I know in theory that taking a non-aligned political stance internationally is good in theory. It makes the citizens feel safe, and more, it reinforces the liberality of other countrie's rights to choose. I really do like Sweden because of our neutrality and non-alignment, although I have to say that I strongly believe it has more to do with Sweden's incapability to defend ourselves if we ever got into a war rather than as a fighter for liberality. Especially when looking to the Swedish domestic politics where the social democrats, who are anything but especially liberal, have ruled the country for most of as long as I've been alive, and for the greater part before that as well. Sweden has got a sceptical view of the more liberal, capitalistic parties and has also got a history of being a bit wary of international cooperation when it comes to the EU, EMU and NATO. Swedes tend to vote against these political unions, and when we joined the EU, the decision was won by 4% of the voters (52-48 in favour).
Sometimes, I do, however, wish that we would take some kind of political standpoint when it comes to people suffering in the world. Gordon Brown has gone out and said that Mugabe must go, and now the archbishop of York has done the same thing.
The fact is that people are dying as a consequence of this tyrant. 13,000 people are infected with cholera, the inflation is at 231,000,000 per cent. This is not the time to stand idly by and respect Zimbabwe's rights to have its own rulers. Because the fact is that Mugabe did not win a free and fair election, and people are dying. When people are dying, that's where the politeness stops. When someone threatens human rights, that's when you do something. Take a stance. Do someting, say something! Sometimes silence is just a quiet acceptance.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Doing Something Properly

My Latin teacher in high school once told me that I was really good at taking control of something and doing it properly when I really wanted to. This was after I had effectively gotten my grade up from a B2 to an A1 from one semester to the next, with a year's break in between when I studied no Latin at all. From getting average grades on my tests, I now aced all of them with no exceptions.
The thing is that I am good at getting things done properly if I can be bothered. It's just that usually I can't. Something which I actually blame my teachers for. Not my Latin teacher, she was lovely, but the others that did not give me half of the challenges I should have had as a kid. Them not challenging me has lead to me being this lazy person who doesn't really make an effort because I know I'm going to get pretty good grades anyway. In fact, my biggest challenge in uni so far has been to learn how to study properly. Something which I still do not master to this day. Although I have to say, Hobbes is a close second. He's tough that one. But oh so much fun.
In either case, I'm sitting here now with a sociology essay to write for tomorrow. It's about the effect globalization has on women, a subject that really interests me, something which is part of what I hope to work with in the future. Not necessarily the effect globalization has on women, but definitely something that has to do with the gendered inequalites in the world.
So, this essay. I started it about an hour ago, and have already got around 500 words down, with about 1500 to go. Whatever stress I might have been feeling, it's definitely not there now, because this essay has been like one of those I used to write. I read a bit, play some Nintendo DS, read a bit, don't really care about it, and somehow, through that process an essay takes shape in my head. It's there in my subconscious and all I have to do is write it down. I think it only happens when I don't really care of the outcome of the essay, and since this essay is the only first year essay I write, I really do not care about the grade. Firstly, because it is first year and does not matter at all toward my final grades, and secondly, because I do not plan to take sociology up to honours anyway.
Well, well. I have to keep on writing this essay. Hopefully I'll finish early so I can read this week's issue of the Economist. I might even go to the gym if my muscles can handle that after yesterday's muscle tone class.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


It's official. I am not human. I had this incident happen to me that probably should have upset me greatly, but I literally felt nothing. Watching it and thinking about it did not stir a feeling in me. At the moment I was actually very afraid for my own well-being. I am not going to say what this incident was about, but it wasn't anything as serious as death, so it wasn't shock or something like that, because it was totally expected. But it scared me oh so much that I did not feel a thing. I wanted to feel something, but where I should have been upset and angry I just said "hmh" and then started thinking about something totally random, for example what I would have for dinner the next day. That's how unaffected I was. And that is not a good sign for me if I still want to be seen as a human. I'm not sure that's at all possible anymore, I'm afraid.
But to take this to a different instance, these people in the article are not human. They're even less so than me. You do not trample a person to death for a 50" plasma tv and then not care about it. That is inhumane. And seriously shocking. How could anyone do that? I am reading the communist manifesto at the moment, and I'm starting to think that Marx has some valid points. Sociological, not political. I am still a liberal capitalist through and through who believes that the world can only gain from less rules. In some instances, maybe not when it comes to the credit crunch. But sometimes you have to take away some liberties to create others. Anyway, my thoughts are with the family of this man, who had to experience something so cold and brutal. Humankind at its worst.

Also, I just wanted to note that hedgehog is such an awesome word. The imagination when they named the animal. A hog who lives in the hedge. It is perfect! And it seriously draws me into daydreaming about all the leprechauns and whatnot that we can't see!

Friday, November 21, 2008

US as a superpower, or the end thereof

The Guardian has this article on the US National Intelligence Council newest report on the future. Say what you will, but the current wobbly economic climate has brought one positive thing with it: the US seems to finally have woken up. Their position as a superpower is not something to take for granted anymore. To keep their position they are going to have to do something.
Unfortunately, the gloomy report is quite scary as well. I usually can't wait to see what's going to happen to the world, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I'm not sure I want to live in the 2025 that this report describes. A world with few resources, nuclear threats and major global environmental problems. Hopefully though, the US will take these warnings seriously and start doing something. And if there's someone who can, it's Barack Obama.
But then again, the US reminds me of a certain someone in my life that whenever you start to hope, you always fall flat down on your arse again. Hope is a dangerous thing. I'm better off sticking to my chosen path of cynicism.
Read the article,it's well worth it, but beware, it might give you nightmares!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Murdoch slagging the media

My friend pointed this out to me. I have to say, well done, Mr Murdoch!
I especially enjoy the bit about the American study:

Murdoch continued: "Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone. A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."

To be fair though, the media in America created this stupidity they find in their readers through constantly manipulating them. I'm not saying European media is much better, but I'm just saying there is a reason why we know where Australia is and a surprising amount of Americans don't.

In any case, he is right. The blogosphere is massive, and the right people can exercise an astonishing amount of pressure.
Unfortunately, this also tells us how susceptible we all are to the media, something which is quite scary.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just For the Record

Just for the record, I did actually write my conclusion for my Hobbes essay like the one further own. Except, I did use fancier words and made an argument of it. Also, it was fully in English and no Swedish words mixed in.
I need to not leave essays to the last minute so I actually have the energy to write a proper conclusion. That's today's life lesson.
On that note, I am going back to watching Doctor Who and ignoring my upcoming sociology essay.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is a conversation between me and my mate Christian:


well, can there be a commonwealth without sovereign

10:05pm Linnea

According to Hobbes, no

10:05pm Christian


10:05pm Linnea

because all men are like squirrels, little warrior squirrels who run around and try to get as many nuts as possible

Obviously, Hobbes owns an army of these battle squirrels as he IS FUCKING NUTS AS


are you writing that in your essay?

10:06pm Linnea



I'm not writing it in my essay because I don't want to fail intentionally.


I have now come up with the perfect conclusion to my essay about Hobbes's Leviathan:

"Hobbes's Leviathan leaves just as many loopholes as a a Swedish hushålls-cheese, and when Hobbes himself is trying to tie it all together he succeeds in running around in circles, chasing his own tail"

And today's song is: Anathema - Better off Dead

Monday, November 10, 2008

Continuing Yesterday's Topic

This whole deal with love is actually quite annoying. I mean, everyone's talking about it enough as it is, and now I'm doing it as well!
I just wanted to share this Valentine's card with you all. As we say in Sweden - KLOCKRENT!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

George Bush is a lovely man!

Here's an article about what what the lovely current president of the United States of America is contributing to the world.
My favourite sentence is "One of George Bush's first acts after becoming president was to stop all US funds to foreign organisations that helped women in any way to get an abortion, including providing advice."
Isn't he a great, great man?

Oh, and for those who didn't get it - this is sarcasm, and not just a little. Look it up, it's a handy word.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Politics in Britain

Madeleine Bunting wrote an article in the Guardian this morning about the conservatives and how they're managing to get more support than labour. It's interesting how she explains that it's actually not about their politics, but rather about the political figures, the personalities, and not what they represent, that counts.
When I first moved here and started studying politics I quickly noticed how the political culture in Britain is so different from Sweden's. With only two parties that have started to step into each other's politics, it often comes down to who gives you the best feeling at the time of an election. That person is who will get your vote.
Also, to be honest, I think that in today's society, a lot of people are not as interested in politics as they used to be. Politics have become something for academics, and not even all of them. The language used, the way things are explained, it's not for everyone. It's hard to understand unless you have taken an interest in the area for years, or even have studied it.
Before I started really taking an interest in politics I hated it. It was all too complicated. I had no clue what those politicians were screaming about on the telly. And they all seemed so mean the way they kept saying nasty things about their opponents.
Having lived in Britain for a year now, it's even worse here. At least the nastiness. The political culture here, with only two major parties, gives room for a debate on a personal level in a totally different way.

Anyway, back to the point. I think Bunting has a very valid point the way she describes the political culture today, and what's more, that really worries me. You should not be voting for someone because him or her looks nice. You should be voting for a person or a party because you truly believe this is the best way for the country just now. This is what the country needs.
So people, start taking your social responsibility seriously, because you do decide the future, and the politicians need you to question them so they take every opportunity they can to make their policies better.

Monday, May 26, 2008

An Intelligent US President

Former US president Jimmy Carter shares his views on Israel's position on Palestine and nuclear weapons. I have to say that I think he seems like quite an alright bloke. As far as I can remember (and I can unfortunately mainly only remember the current President Bush) the US presidents have usually been of the species idiot. I can't really say I like Bill Clinton either, even though I can hardly remember any of his policies. Following his wife's campaign to become a presidential candidate I have, however, concluded that he belongs to the same species as Bush.
Were people wiser in the old days? I doubt it. The US history has suffered quite a few incompetent presidents, I mean, even the famous Lincoln himself had his weird policies.
Having spent 8,5 hours in the library today revising Khrushchev, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky and Bukharin it makes my day a little brighter to see a political leader who isn't totally stupid. To be fair, I don't even know if I would count Carter as stupid at all since I don't know what he did during his term of office.
Anyway, thank you Jimmy Carter for making my day a bit brighter and making me not lose all hope in political leaders. Really, thank you!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Violence in South Africa

This day started out as a really good day. My mom helped me get rid of my stress last night and I woke up and felt good, really good in fact. Then I started to read the newspapers.
BBC reports that people fleeing from Zimbabwe into the country are being attacked. So far, BBC states, at least 13 people have been killed. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish) reports that 22 people have been killed. Why!? Why do people have to do this to each other? Why can't we just help? After all, it does not come down to nationality, race, religion or anything else. We are all humans. You, me, the sweaty guy next to you in the queue, the dodgy-looking guy on the subway, even the little baby screaming so loud when you're hungover. They are all human, so why can we just not try to coexist in peace? I mean, for all that you know, that guy could be your relative.
Now I need more coffee to start this day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

While I'm doing poetry I'm going to take this opportunity to write down my favourite poem. It is absolutely beautiful. I love the supernatural element in it, and I think it says a lot about love. It's a story about a knight who meets an elf (La Belle Dame Sans Merci, which means "the beautiful lady without mercy"). I'm not sure if I have written it here before or not, but here it is anyway:

La Belle Dame Sans Merci (John Keats, 1884)

O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!

So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,

And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
“I love thee true.”

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept, and sigh’d fill sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep,
And there I dream’d—Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—“La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,

Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Speaking of Human Rights

This made me really happy. Let's hope the Church and the rest of the states catch on and realises that same-sex marriage isn't a sin. It is love in as pure a form as between a man and a woman. Something has to be really wrong when people are trying to stop love in today's world.

Blogging for Human Rights

Amnesty International is asking everyone to blog for human rights today to draw attention to the problems in the world when it comes to this issue.
For me, human rights, like equality, is something that people just should have. All the human beings, no exceptions. It is not a discussion matter, it is something that is evident.
Unfortunately there are idiots around the world that do not agree with me. To take a recent example: the government in Myanmar who refuse to let help into the country after the devastating cyclone that ruined a country where a lot of people already live under the poverty level. What really baffles me is why do they not accept help when people and organizations are more than willing to give it to them? There is no way the military regime can handle this alone. With that many people already living in poverty before the cyclone, it is quite obvious the country does not have resources to handle a disaster of this size.
What is really saddening as well is that in these kinds of regimes, Human Rights Watch has had to warn people not to leave their aid unattended, since the regime may steal the supplies, BBC writes. That is just plain horrible. They fear that over 2 million people in Burma can be starving and the regime wants to steal food aid. Once again, why?
Human rights is something that we all should actively promote. Join an organization, donate some money to causes supporting human rights, or just keep the discussion alive. As long as the word is spreading, more people can be mobilized, and those people who need our help have a bigger chance of being helped.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's a hit

I know I don't usually do lyrics, but these lyrics are just too good to be ignored. It's Rilo Kiley - It's a Hit. Even if the song wasn't fabulous, the lyrics would still make it an awesome song.

Any chimp can play human for a day.
Use his opposable thumbs to iron his uniform
and run for office on election day
fancy himself a real decision maker
and deploy more troops than salt in a shaker.

But it's a jungle when war is made,
and you'll panic and throw your own shit at the enemy.
The camera pulls back to reveal your true identity.
Look, it's a sheep in wolf's clothing.
A smoking gun holding ape.

Any asshole can open up a museum.
Put all of the things he loves on display
so everyone could see them.
The house, a car, a thoughtful wife
ordinary moments in his ordinary life.

But if she breaks a smile, she'll give you away
'cause no one wants to pay to see your happiness.
No one wants to pay to see your day to day
and I'm not buying it either
but I'll try selling it anyway.

Any idiot can play Greek for a day
and join a sorority or write a tragedy
and articulating all that pain
and maybe you'll get paid.

But it's a sin when success complains,
and your writers block-it don't mean shit.
Just throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
Gotta write a hit
I think this is it.
It's a hit.

And if it's not,
then it's a holiday for a hanging
yeah it's a holiday for a hanging
yeah it's a holiday for a hanging
yeah shoo-bop-shoo-bop my baby

Any fool can play executioner for a day,
and say with fingers pointed in both directions
'he went thataway',
It's only a switch or syringe,
awh, exempt from eternal sins.
But you still wear a cross,
and you think you're gonna get in.

Ah, but the pardons never come from up-stairs.
They're always a moment too late,
but it's entertainment
keep the crowd on their toes,
it's justice, we're safe.
It's not a hit, it's a holiday
shoo-bop-shoo-bop my baby

It's a holiday for a hanging, yeah
It's a holiday for a hanging, yeah
It's a holiday for a hanging, yeah
It's a holiday for a hanging, yeah

I'm a holiday for a hanging,
I'm a holiday for a hanging,
I'm a holiday yeah
I'm a holiday for a hanging,

It's a holiday for a hanging, yeah

Ps. If you already didn't, read the lyrics through and have the current president of USA in mind...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good Luck Mr. Obama!

I'm crossing my fingers that Obama will win tonight's primary. I don't particularly like Hilary Clinton. I think her campaign is somewhat despicable with her husband being aggressive and her playing on people's fear. And today when I read this article where she says she will "obliterate" Iran if they launch a nuclear attack on Israel, I really wish she wouldn't win the party nomination for the Democrats. I don't really want another war and I think it seems she's more likely to resort to that solution rather than go the diplomatic way. Also, I don't think anyone who's been in the White House, so close to power, can come out of there without being corrupt, albeit slightly less corrupt probably than the Republicans are.
I might be wrong, I'm not claiming to be an expert on American politics, I just have a better feeling about Obama. Plus, someone who has such fabulous posters as Obama's "cambio" ones really deserves to win. I believe in change and I'm also totally weak for the Spanish language. (I tried to put up an image of the poster here, but because of Murano's internet it won't work, so you'll have to google it to see it in all its fabulousness)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Congratulations Kosovo!

So Kosovo declared its independence today. Congratulations to that! It wasn't really a surprise as it's been in the newspapers for a week or two. It still makes me happy though. It always does when an area of a country that quite obviously wants to become independent does so. I also can't understand the big uproar from Serbia. If they do not want to be a part of your country (and a unanimous parliamentary vote for independence quite strongly reveals that), let them go. You can't hold them against their will. There will be more conflicts that way.
I saw a car driving down Great Western Road today with the flag of Albania hanging out the window. The people inside were shouting and playing some music, probably Albanian. They seemed happy, so I'm happy for them!

Here are articles about the declaration of independence if anyone wants to read them:
Dagens Nyheter