May. 14th, 2011

marshtide: (Oscar - a-ha!)
Just to point out: Valborg & I have started actually using Robots in Tutus, our blog for all that is queer. We've got a whole bunch of things lined up, ranging from the ridiculous and sparkly to more serious analysis. (As previously noted, Valborg gravitates towards the former and I gravitate towards the latter, but we are not without crossover in these fields.) Recs, trope analysis, discussion of homophobia & transphobia in anime & manga, discussion of awesome individuals and historical movements/events/misc, queering robots, LOOK AT THIS PICTURE IT IS GREAT... and so on!
marshtide: (Mårran)
First, a question!

Does anyone have any suggestions for some kind of way of hanging crutches from a wheelchair so that they stick up and no-one has to keep hold of them or worry about them, I don't know, launching a sneak attack on the wheels?

Context )



Next: [personal profile] pulchritude asked: Anything you want to say about things you find interesting about Swedish culture (particularly as a Brit), things you didn't expect, things that you find really different from ~Swedish stereotypes~ would be lovely :)


Which is one of those questions which is SO BIG that I kind of don't know where to start. But since I posted about my impressions as a new arrival last year, it's probably appropriate to take a shot at it! One Year On, etc.

So let's try...

Swedish stereotypes?

There are a whole bunch of stereotypes about Sweden, of which I probably only know a few, and they presumably vary wildly by context and country. Outside of Northern Europe I think a lot of the stereotypes are actually fairly pan-Nordic; inside Northern Europe it's really really confusing.

Re: the pan-Nordic thing, there seems to be a general confusion about which country up here is even which; various relatives find it basically impossible to remember if I've moved to Sweden, Norway or Finland, although they do know it's not Denmark. (I haven't the heart to bring up Åland.)

And sometimes Sweden also gets confused with Switzerland, which is just kind of bizarre. The first two letters of the name are the same. That's basically it.


Anyway, to get your Nordic stereotypes straight: Norway = fish, oil and a sickening fetish for finding new ways to throw themselves down mountains; Finland = alcohol and knives, plus is actually populated by elves; Denmark = really happy (possibly because they're drunk); and Sweden = stuck up their own arses. Way up there.

Unfortunately the last one on the list is, on a political level, probably completely fair. SWEDEN: the would-be guiding moral light of everyone ever. Naturally not hindered by the fact that arms manufacture is a mainstay of the national economy.

(Valborg also notes that according to Finnish stereotypes, Sweden is basically really gay. Or, as she puts it, "remarkably homosexual.")


Images of Sweden range from some kind of liberal utopia with rights for all to a degenerate and immoral socialist or possibly even seekritly communist hell-hole which will bring down civilisation as we know it. The former, in absolute fairness, has been fairly actively promoted as a national image. See: would-be guiding moral light. Let's take a look at that one. )


To get back to stereotypes, Swedes are said to be, variously: repressed, sex maniacs, extremely shy, stuck up, very informal, obsessed with rules, horrible drunks (especially on holiday, especially in Denmark), suicidal, tall blonde blue-eyed beautiful elves, godless, and possibly ruled by a feminist hive mind. But also crazy rapists. And speakers of an impossible language.

Re language: Swedish is not a difficult language to learn if you are an English speaker. They're fairly closely related and also have a bunch of common influences. If you've heard that it's impossibly difficult you may be confusing it with Finnish, which I assume is not actually impossible either but is probably at least trickier than Swedish, as it's not a member of the language group to which both Swedish and English belong.


Re sex: it probably is easier to talk about sex in Sweden than in the UK, for example. That does not mean that people are actually having more of it. It just means that the UK is more conservative.

Similarly, how much more rape actually goes on in Sweden than in the rest of the world is something I think is pretty questionable, since you can't really get a comparative measure of the percentage of victims who report their rape across different countries. I'M JUST SAYING. I am all angry goddamn feminist over a lot of aspects of the treatment of rape victims in this country. But I'm also sceptical of the idea that this is some kind of specific Swedish or Nordic problem.


Re alcohol: OK, OK, Northern Europe has, collectively speaking, something of a booze problem. And alcohol is more expensive/restricted here than in Denmark. Fill in the blanks. ("Norwegians go to Denmark to get drunk too!" Valborg protests. "Danes just like them more. Because they're so... Norwegian...")


Also, I was kind of surprised when I came to Sweden how un-blonde people are, since a lot of other people have commented specifically on it following visits. I mean, there are blonde people. But at no point did I find myself walking around going, wow, everyone sure is blonde here! It's possibly more noticeable if you come from a place where very few people are blonde, I guess, but from the UK to here? Not that big a leap.


Right, that's long enough already. I'm going to stop now! If I try to tackle the rest of the question right now then everyone will fall asleep. Got any other Swedish stereotypes that you've heard around?

Photo dump

May. 14th, 2011 10:55 pm
marshtide: (Lake)
Photo dump from my latest couple of daily shuffles )

(Basically, I try to take myself out of the house daily, and shuffle a little way around the area. Since it's the same general area all the time - given that I can't go that far - I try to find random details to take photos of to keep myself entertained. Now I'm done throwing post after post at you for the day.

Also, Eurovision: I should never listen to the lyrics. I need to basically work from the assumption that they're all terrible love songs and that listening will make me angry and hold mental score purely based on the quality of hats on show.)

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