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The Selfish Idealist

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If you do things for yourself, do you have to be destructive towards the world? Life can be made fairly good both for you and for the rest of us.

Maybe you'll not only help out, but even give everybody a good laugh from time to time.

The moon, an old friend.

Be brave, don’t be so brave

Comment Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 16:35

Is your highest duty to defend your country…with a gun?

Actually, I believe quite a few here in Europe would see it differently.

For my part, as I have said to you already, I feel that maybe the foremost duty of a politician is to avoid war, not to plan for it.

To do that…you have to make plans…for peace.

Why…do you consider your country to reach all across the world?

Why do you consider it lawful and ok to attack foreign people, even officials, in their own country, and call it defense of yourselves?

It’s weird.

You know what?

On that video…

You look almost like you’ve found yourself, as is the cliché expression is here.

You look rather friendly, in a very strange way.

You…also look like a boy who finally got down to doing what mom told him to do.

You are…I can’t quite find the English expression, but the way one used to look in my childhood when you were a good boy and happy for it.

Opprømt.

You can probably find someone who knows enough Norwegian or maybe Danish, to explain this word to you. It’s a pretty old-fashioned word which you maybe find mostly in literature, but it means something.

It’s how you describe someone coming home with his first girlfriend or something. Telling dad that you got drunk for the first time, and it was ok.

You have red cheeks.

You sound actually happy, humble, almost.

You call that general a terrorist.

You believe that to be a reason, if it is true, for doing…anything?

Of course, a human can’t go much farther than killing another man or woman.

You caught him in the act? …of planning things?

What…do you know of, understand, about democracy?

Dictatorships are known for killing people because of thoughts, because of words that are said or written. Because of plans.

Ok, he’s a general.

But he doesn’t live in the States. He’s not a subject of the United States. Even if he were, you would not have the legal right to gun him down.

He’s probably done things too, but don’t you think you should leave that to the Iranians?

“I terminated him”?

You killed him.

You seem to be a religious man, at least you go to meetings and let yourself be prayed for.

If I were a relative of yours, I would say, go to church, alone, and if you go to a service, stay for a while after it is finished, and think. 

Pray, with no words, just let God, if you are actually a believer, be there.

Let God be there, and see what happens.

Don’t ask for anything, just be…open.

Actually, you should do something like this regularly.

It doesn’t have to be going to church, just go to a place where you think it’s calm and where you are yourself and can think soundly.

But if you go to church, then pray for the man you killed, and for the many men and women who will be killed in the war that will hit us all if you don’t stop it.

You.

If you’re not able to pray for yourself, light a candle for yourself. It’s supposed to accompany a prayer, so that maybe, if you think about that candle, the thought and the prayer follow you for a couple of hours, after you have left the church.

I feel that a public position very often is a stupid position. Everyone seems to have opinions about you, and when the shouting starts, no one can really hear much, not even from a position…on the street.

But if you do stupid things when you’re on the top…

Why do this?

Someone, maybe many people, must have abused you or stopped you, probably, to make you look like that in a situation like this – stopped you mentally, from reaching a pretty important goal in life: To accept yourself.

I mean, we all have problems with ourselves.

No one is…perfect.

On that video, you look happy.

It’s not a sound thing to be happy because you have killed a man, or even, when you have just killed him.

Let alone happy for starting a war.

A war doesn’t solve problems, it creates problems.

It creates above all, death, and it creates destructed houses, and it creates refugees…

I’m not saying the general is an innocent man. Probably not, but I don’t know anything about him, not more than I know, in general…about Iran.

None of us are, of course, innocent, but what you accuse him of…check out your own country’s history. You don’t even have to know very much, it is enough to mention South America. I think still many here can remember Chile. That also gave us refugees, I know one.

Sometimes the situation somewhere is difficult to understand, or we, the newspaper readers, don’t have enough time to follow every conflict in the world, or every conflict that you, the united States of America, is involved in. But I have heard the noise from Venezuela, Colombia etc. right now, or recently.

I can hear hatred in your voice when you talk about islam.

can tell you that the more I learn about people I meet, the more I love them, and the more I like their culture. Their ways of acting, talking, their food, music, the whole package. Humour.

Islam is not one thing, as Christianity is not one thing, although there are of course some common features with both.

No, I don’t think you should get hung up with the bad sides of anyone, really, if you can avoid it.

Start with the cool things, then see what is possible.

I think it has become a pretty normal thing to think, here in Oslo, that there are crazy people everywhere. 

But you don’t have to support them in their madness.

I would say, better to meet everyone in their sanity first, so that the madness and crazy things can find their place in safe surroundings.

Fun.

Jokes.

Sports. Be a sports shooter, why not?

Or find yourself another sport to participate in.

Go to a game.

Listen to whatever music.

Go for a walk.

Be cosy, if you get things out that way, and if you can get close enough to someone.

If I can’t live like this, this is still what I want.

I have bad sides as well, I act stupidly, cowardly, whatever, but seriously…

Starting a war…and why?

If you don’t know the consequences of this, maybe Europe can help you on the way. 

I think, as I’ve said, mentally, we’re not more than just about finished with the second world war. 

Even I, who are born in 1963, don’t want more of that stuff. It took me my life until now to sort out just a little bit how my parents actually took it, because they hardly told me anything about it. They must have been afraid more or less their whole lives, in a sense, experiences, in their childhood, that was not really finished in their heads.

A war contains arguments, that is what I frequently say. This is actually a sad fact, because discussions should happen with words. The aim of a discussion is to find out something or to solve a problem.

So use words, not weapons.

Go see a John Wayne movie instead of this, and instead of feeling as high up as him, afterwards, think of it as a game. Not quite real.

Shoot.

Ha ha, just kiddin’.

You can call it sublimation.

It means that you feel the same things when you watch the movie as you would have if you did for real the things John Wayne do on the screen.

YOU GET IT OUT OF YOUR MIND THAT WAY.

Some of he shit we all carry.

That’s one of the ideas with art, of all kinds, sports, whatever.

Be a fucking monk this time, Don…

Overcome yourself, if that is necessary.

I don’t want more sad faces from the Middle East flooding in, because some people here gets so stirred up when they see a hijab somewhere, they can’t think anymore.

Everybody needs peace. 

We all want it.

So give it to us.



Too much carbon dioxide

Comment Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 01:10

You know, Don, the scientists who actually do research on the climate, all agree.

There is no disagreement in the basic facts among them.

That you have a degree or a PhD in another branch of natural science or another branch of science…it doesn’t necessarily give you expertise on this issue.

Some say that carbondioxide is a “life giving” gas, part of nature.

Yes, it is, but in addition to this, we pour it out, so all in all it becomes too much.

The basics are actually as simple as that.



Gas

Comment Posted on 19 Dec, 2019 14:19

You know…mister…president.

I’m going to say something about climate change, because, ehm, actually, you don’t get it.

Honestly.

I haven’t heard all you’ve said about the topic, but a little. Some politicians here, I think, say fairly the same.

You talk about clean air, the best water etc, that you want that and at the same time a strong economy, industry etc.

I don’t know if you keep those promises or whether those things always go easily together, but obviously, they are important.

You’re 76.

I am 55, and I was an environmental activist when I was a teenager, in the 70s and 80s. 

Climate change was not an issue then, but pollution definitely was. There was sulphur dioxide coming in over Norway from Britain, and from the European continent, the rain contained this stuff, it made the lakes here sour and the fish died.

There were local problems.

Stuff like that.

Pollution.

I don’t know whether all those problems are solved by now in our part of the world, but everywhere I think practically everybody knows that you can’t just dump waste in nature, or let out stuff into the air, if you do it, it will have some consequences in nature, of some kind, and of course consequences for us, humans, as well, in the end.

There were people talking, back then, about pollution, the way some talk about climate change today.

The way you talk about it, perhaps. 

I think, basically, they did not believe that it was a global problem or a general problem. They had done what they did for a long time, others before them, and they couldn’t understand that they couldn’t go on with it. 

But we obviously managed to convince you and your generation about those things.

Or you convinced yourself. Anyway, the things were what they were.

The reason this became a problem that we had to solve, that it was not any more only a local problem, must have been that the size of the industry increased, along with, of course, the number of people.

Few people, little production, simple technology, less problems of this kind. 

You burn your garbage somewhere and no one cares, because there is not so much garbage and not so many people.

The growth in wealth leads to problems, actually, but also the growth in creating that wealth in more complicated ways, with more technology, more fuel, more processes, etc.

Producing more stuff, sometimes of better quality, sometimes not, but of course, filling stomachs and making people a little more relaxed when it came to the issue of poverty.

But this, the CO2 thing, is not really about pollution.

CO2 has always been there.

It is a gas that we breathe out, as you know. The plants take them in etc. 

Everybody knows that. I don’t know who discovered this, but it is old knowledge.

It’s kind of strange that everybody don’t seem to know about the greenhouse effect in the same way, because that is also not exactly new knowledge.

I learnt about it in grade 8, maybe, around that age. 

The climate problems was not an issue back then. 

It’s just that when you burn things that contain carbon, you produce carbon dioxide, normally, if the burning goes on in a sufficient amount of air.

I have an edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, from around this time, the early 80s, and it mentions the climate problems as we know hem today, as a possible problem in the future, suggested by some researchers.

I’m definitely not a chemist or a natural scientist, but carbon is everywhere in the living world. Coal is mostly carbon. Oil contains a huge amount of carbon. Natural gas too. And other stuff.  Wood, plants. I think even humans contain a lot of it. 

Well, in motors, power plants, that covers a lot, doesn’t it? – we burn oil and gas and coal.

And out comes – CO2.

The carbon connects to oxygen in the process.

Pff, pff.

All the time.

You start your car – pff pff, a little CO2, unless it is an electrical one.

If you warm up your house with oil – pff pff…

You cook with gas – pff pff…

If your electricity comes from a power plant run on coal – pffff pfff. Bigtime.

That’s a fact.

Sorry to say this to you.

Norway is a pretty hilly country, so we have a lot of waterfalls, and they were made into power plants 100 years ago, roughly.

We used to have cheap and “clean” electricity. The rivers suffered, I believe, but at least – no CO2 from the production.

Now we’re also a pretty big oil producer, so we contribute substantially to the world production – of CO2. Pfffff pff. 

We got rich on that production. Well, well.

Today there is around 0,04 % CO2 in the air around us. A little less than a half percent.

Still, it’s one of the gases in the atmosphere regulating the temperature on earth.

As I said, I think I learnt it at school around age 14 or 15.

The greenhouse effect.

A French guy, a researcher, used that expression for the first time in the 1820s, and during the 1800s the fact was established, that CO2 is a climate gas, contributing to the regulation of the temperature on earth.

99% of the atmosphere, by the way, is about 30 000 km thick.

There are  5.15×1018 tons of gas all together in the atmosphere.  That means…

5 150 000 000 000 000 000. 

Roughly 5 billion billion tons of gas.

That’s the whole thing, including oxygen and nitrogen and CO2 and the rest.

The amount of gas in the atmosphere, all of it, is biggest near the surface, and it gets thinner the farther away from the ground you get. There’s no clear limit to where it ends, but it gets thinner and thinner and in the end it’s almost nothing.

And then…nothing.

Nada.

What’s inbetween the planets and even the moon is actually nothing.

Empty space.

Can you believe that?

can hardly believe it, or imagine it.

But it is true.

The atmosphere contains about 78% nitrogen and 21 % oxygen. So those two combined is about 99% of the mass of gas that we breathe in and that surrounds us.

The 0,04% of CO2 weighs 3000 billion tons. That’s a figure from 2015, according to English Wikipedia. I mean, the amount is rising.

Then there are noble gases, very little. Argon, mostly, a few others. They’re actually called noble gases, I had to look up the English word, it sounded  a little weird.

Then methane, laughing gas (actually, yes, nitrous oxide), ozone, and CO2, all of these socalled climate gases, contributing to the regulation of the temperature on earth. 

Vaporised water too, the same, also a temperature regulator. Skies, fog, etc.

Parts per million is another way of measuring chemicals, meaning the number of molecules of something, a substance, compared to the total you measure. 

400 ppm of CO2, in the air, was reached in 2019.

400 molecules of CO2 per every million of molecules of air.

Doesn’t sound much.

But it’s enough to scare researchers who deal with climate. 

The figure is rising.

Has been doing so for quite a while.

Before the industrial revolution, the amount was about 280 ppm.

CO2 contributes only to a part of the temperature adjustment on earth. 

There are other gases, and of course other factors. 

Local temperatures…also not the same as a global temperature average.

But the reason everybody is upset about CO2 is that it is the one factor that is really increasing. A gas that we, the humans, make in abundance right now. 

There is no doubt that this gas is coming out of our factories and power plants and cars. Trains, even, planes. You know, everywhere, every thing that uses a combustion engine, also.

You burn fuel.

The amount of CO2 in the air is increasing, simply because people get richer, production rises, people can afford to buy more and more things that are coming out of those factories.

You produce more, you burn more fuel.

You transport the stuff around the world. The ships, cars, trains, have motors. 

You just check your own statistics, or anyone else’s.

Normal measurements have been made since the 50s, from the air on the ground or upwards in the atmosphere, and to find out things before that, you basically go to glaciers, or ice in the Arctic or the Antarctic, and you take some samples from down below, and you bring them up. 

In the samples, there are bubbles of air, and since those bubbles stay there – it’s been frozen for a long time, you know! – those bubbles can be from way back.

And from how far back? 

That’s the kind of things scientists know, how long the ice have been on a specific spot on a specific depth.

So they’re able to tell the amount of CO2 many years back…hundreds, thousands, and they can make a graph.

The climate researchers are, among other things, afraid that the permafrost is going to go away. You know, in the Arctic, the ground is normally frozen even in summer, if you go just a little below the surface. You check for yourself how deep down. 

But thaw, in the ground, in the Arctic.

There are signs that it may happen. Then also CO2 which is bound…in the ground, will come up. 

No scientists who actually deal with climate issues seem to be in doubt about the basics in this problem.

Some retired people, or people who work in other fields, protest. 

Along with people who honestly don’t know much about science.

As I see it the whole thing is a consequence of getting rich enough…to deal with poverty.

A fantastic thing in itself.

I believe that historically, poverty is not going to be the biggest problem on earth in, say, a 100 years.

Maybe even long before.

That’s…huge. Historically, really big. 

Think about it. It’s been the biggest trouble for the biggest part of mankind. Always.

Poverty has really been reduced, only the last 30-40 years. The last 100 too.

So…that’s fantastic, right?

But…side effects.

To solving that problem.

Yep.

I think that this is…how do you put it?

…the big picture.

You eat more, you produce more, you burn more fuel, you produce more carbon dioxide, which is a result of every fire, every combustion that happens.

Pff pff.

You try to deal with that.

Sorry, edited after publishing.



Too Much Respect, but Which Way?

Comment Posted on 07 Oct, 2019 19:25

I saw a movie the other night, “Barn”, Children, by the Norwegian director Dag Johan Haugerud.

I can truly say that in many ways I have never seen a more unrealistic Norwegian film, both the environment and the characters are, if my experience as a teacher is worth anything, pretty far out as a description of a school and its inhabitants.

I would like to send my congratulations to the ones who have instructed the actors, though, because for the first time I see my friends and colleagues, a familiar environment to me, represented on film in a pretty realistic way when it comes to both verbal language and body language.

But the trouble is the story, how they think, what they actually say.

The setting is a school somewhere in Oslo or one of its suburbs, the filming has been done in the city and close to it. Two kids of 13 quarrel, and the girl actually kills the boy with her sack by hitting him. 

In itself not a very realistic story so far here in Norway, even though probably some people fear something like this is going to happen, after reading about school shootings in the USA. I still think Norway is a much calmer place in many respects, but the talk these days is loud.

The father of the boy is what we call a populist, Progress Party (FrP) politician, and I believe the headmaster of the school is a social democrat. They have a secret relationship, and the headmaster chooses to keep this a secret even after the boy’s death, until it can no longer be hidden.

This is just one of the things that seems to me wildy unrealistic: Not to say anything when actually your boyfriend’s son is killed on your school – I simply don’t think it would happen. It would be one of the first things in the mind of a headmaster or a teacher if such a thing should be happening.

Practically all reactions from teachers in the film are what you could call too nice, even sloppy, in dramatic and really demanding situations. The film smells all the way of those comments or reactions to what outsiders think is a lack of ability to give rules, set borders, etc, basically the call for discipline, another thing which I would believe still looks very different from the inside of a classroom and the outside. 

To become a teacher and survive as one you have to not only address this question, but you have to solve it, in your own way, there is no way around this and has never been. Of course there are natural talents here as everywhere else, I have met people who do it naturally and claim they didn’t have to work for it, but normally you start in chaos and have to establish order in your own way. If you can’t manage this I think you normally leave the profession, it is too difficult and unpleasant to go on working if you don’t fix it.

But there is a generation gap and different ways of thinking about this. A big issue in itself, but not one with an easy solution.

You could maybe say that all the lines in the dialogues could in themselves happen, be seen as realistic, but put together in the way that it is done it loses the main point. No school would react as feeble and both unresponsive and unresponsible as is the picture here. A lot of important discussions stops just before a crucial point is about to emerge, before one really goes into matters, because, either the headmaster have to run to some administrative appointment or write a report, or the colleagues and friends are too shallow and unrealistic to actually tackle the problems at hand. They stop at the worry level.

Many of characters are unusually neatly drawn for a Norwegian film, but what they actually say is one-sided or as I said, downright unrealistic, seen as a whole.

Eastside-westside is an obvious theme in the film too, but the differences between those two sides of the city are not very clearly delineated.

This can very often be the case in everyday life in Oslo too, but even if the two parts of town is merging, the line between upper and working class is still not gone, and this story is confusing some things which can be seen and understood as separate phenomenons, which they still are to a certain extent, and historically it was definitely so. 

Maybe I don’t know the east side if the city well enough, but some of the dialogues seems too much likeWest End to be realistically East End dialogues to me, maybe because of the background and the education of at least some of the actors, I don’t know. Maybe this is the whole problem.

But it is sometimes a confusing mix.

Basically I don’t believe that any Norwegian school, or maybe any school, would react both so almost unemotionally and so feeble to a kid being killed by another kid at school. That the father was contacted only after several days, both by the school and the parents of the girl is not to believe.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I have been teaching in both a vocational school with basically eastside kids, and a very oldfashioned (and nice) school with an overweight of west end kids. 

I feel the whole story ends up practically as a lie, not least because the character drawings for once are very professionally done. I do not claim that this is the intention, absolutely not, but the effect in my mind.

It seems too much based on official, newspaper versions of school dramas, and I believe that as in any other profession, some things may be hidden in everyday life to give oneself the possibility to work, and many discussions in public are also very often going to unrealistic places because of the heat of an argument.

The least realistic person on the screen is actually the father of the boy,  a shallow and hero-like character which I have never met the like of in Progress Party circles. Their biggest problem is, I think, too strict upringing and too much humbleness, but in my experience it comes out more in politics these days, on a friendly level they are to me often very sympathetic and fun, but there may be professional problems among them because as I saidtoo much humbleness, especially towards theoretical education. Status and confidence are central problems, the feeling of too little of both, and professionally at least more than privately.

It is maybe not fair to talk about a group, sociologically, like this in public, but it is an issue which has to be addressed, and a film is also a natural place to do it. 

 This film is also full of accusations of condescending attitudes towards the FrP-politician from the teachers, which mostly stand uncommented. Although this absolutely exists in real life, it goes both ways, and I feel everyone is trying to behave and go big rounds with temselves to be accepting even to unrealistic comments and demands.

In one of the scenes the father is presented in a way that is not far from propaganda, he reminds me of the picture drawn of Norwegian resistance heroes from the war, which has also been psychologically mainly uninteresting and one-sided on the screen.

The truth behind both types, in life, is psychologically much more complicated than both what has been shown in recent Norwegian films.

It is definitely a good thing that the issues are presented on film in a serious way, the conflict between education and “the school of life”. I look forward to the next time I see this done, but hopefully less full of suspicion, and actually giving a fuller picture of what goes on both in the common rooms in schools and in teachers’ minds, and in the minds of what is called populist politicians, which I suspect is as usual both simpler and more complicated when you get down to what is really cooking and what is actually the basis of problems and conflicts.

I hope we are on the way to normal communication and conflict solving also along these lines, and film is certainly a media suited for getting there.

But this film goes only half the distance in presenting the teachers and their workplace, and hardly starts on creating a realistic and interesting view of this politician’s world.

The story about the kid is also very much simplifying things, and I think brutalising something that is not obviuos, when the real explanation to why she killed her mate is some comment on her shoes that he made, or something similar. And the explanation to this is a couple where the mother gets into a fit, after the killing, towards her daugher, and tears off her headset because the girl sits in her bed and listens to Justin Bieber, for Chrissake, which is so forbidden in the mother’s mind. The father cannot even start to discuss the question of guilt, he excuses the daughter from the start practically to the end.

It is too stupid to be believed.

This part of the story, the killing, which is supposed to carry much of the drama, is taken from a granny’s unrealistic and bad dreams, not from the real life of a teenager. It probably exist bad feelings of this kind, when the talk comes to fashion, style and popularity, but as usual, sorry, as what you so often read in the newspapers, the focus seems all wrong, it is what it looks like if the 13-old thought and lived like her granny, which I think everybody by now should realise is not the case. To understand the next generation is not as easy as that.

It would be almost interesting, but very cruel, to see what the film actually goes a long way in suggesting, that a 13-year old is really evil, actually she starts to look like the main character in All about Eve.

That’s almost where the director is going.



What’s your move?

Comment Posted on 16 Sep, 2019 08:24

So…this is not so well done.

It looks, from out here, just as an excuse to bomb Iran.

You know, Don, no one doubts the US ability to perform military strikes.

No one doubts that you are strong over there.

But…we may sometimes doubt your mental sanity.

All cultures have brilliant sides, and stupid ones.

Of course.

But some stupidity stays at home, other things hurt others…more.

The USA have started quite a few wars during the last 80 years, contributing substantially to the amount of refugees entering all countries of the world. Of course, wars would probably have happened somewhere without you, but one must say you have contributed.

You have a ridiculously high military budget, the world’s largest per capita, I think.

This move looks stupid.

Why would a country like Iran do a thing like this in a situation like this?

I’m not even sure that a small group would do such a thing, knowing that…some people in your administration is just waiting for a reason to bomb Iran, to destroy the regime in Tehran.

So maybe they gave the opportunity to themselves?

It looks so much like a US setup, it’s almost comic.

That history with the tanker…

Not quite convincing either.

You know…sir…you’re actually not entitled to use the world as your battlefield.

To protect one’s country…I would say it is a last resort, but it is considered, by most, a right to do so when you have to.

But you’re not doing that.

You’re attacking another country which lies not even close to US coasts.

It’s all about oil, isn’t it?

We’re not so happy about American money everywhere, either.

I don’t see a lot of money as…success.

Helping others…helping the world. 

That’s success.

To give…is to get.

If you give aggression…you might easily get aggression.

If you give love…

It’s not an easy thing to do. 

I’m not saying I manage all the time.

It takes not only a good heart, it also takes cleverness.

Your heart is always in a concrete situation, and it’s not the same situation all the time. It depends what you do.

You have to think out what’s best.

Not only for yourself, you have to think about others too.

Both, I would say, is an ideal. But you often get something out of helping others.

You need to be someone to be able to give others something.

At least this is partly true.

I don’t mean someone big, just someone, as opposed to…no one. Some people are treated so badly as a kid, they have very little left of themselves when they grow up. 

The things that happened to you still sit in your personality.

You often don’t feel yourself if you’ve had to take too much beating.

It’s much more common than you should think.

I think everyone has had some such experiences.

It depends how bad it feels, and what part of you it occupies.

And the shit that you received, or the shit that the beating created, has to come out somehow, somewhere. 

The art of living…many things, but one of them, to create something sound out of the shit of your life.

Art, sports, hiking, I guess those are the most common means here. Eating together, actually, too.

Meditation. In church, in nature, anywhere.

To get rid of some problems, to get some air, give yourself a break. 

To get…real.

And that thing with money…they don’t really give you a life, do they? You need money, of course, and yes, they can be used creatively or destructively, but…

Actually you create a life out of something else.

Working for others, not yourself.

Working for yourself is ok, I guess, but if you do only that…I don’t think that’ll work.

Working because you love something, either the thing you do, or the things that it creates.

Caring.

Giving love to your kids.

Thinking about what they need.

Giving unconditionally to someone, with a risk of being hurt or with the risk of being…what’s it called?  Turned away. Dismissed. No, thanks, I don’t want your love, your attention, whatever.

If you really want something.

To risk the danger of looking stupid, if you need to say something plain…and nice.

Not easy.

It has to be true, too.

Honesty is considered very important in my country.

Being able to receive from others.

To actually receive compliments, love.

I find that difficult.

We don’t want the world to be swarming with…your refugees.

Maybe you could take them all on?

I don’t know…a few hundred thousand Iranians? A million this time?

They are actually pretty nice.

I like them.

But why should we do it?

enjoy immigration to my country, but some people here don’t.

I’m a little tired from explaining to them that refugees come for a reason.

As I see it, you create part of that reason.

You’re about to do it right now.

RefugeesI don’t think they want to move.

Don’t you think they’d rather be home, like you and me, we like to have a home, don’t we?

I enjoy my city and my room, the view over the small river and the trees outside.

The sound of the tram passing by.

I would like others to have what they like.



Integration

Comment Posted on 28 Aug, 2019 23:17

A lot goes on in Norwegian newspapers and among people right now, I’m thinking about discussions about immigration and cultural meetings in general.

I am sympathetic with the voices that speak of being colour blind as an ideal, I feel that what you do and say should normally be the proper criteria for becoming an insider, not where you come from. There are functions that demand insider knowledge, but I feel that where you come from should not be the general criterion for participation, rather what you can contribute.

But you should know that this question, Where do you come from? has a tradition as a completely normal icebreaker in Norwegian conversations. It does not necessarily imply anything else.

Consider also that identical words, in many other connections, in our language, can cover a huge variety of meanings, that Norwegian, I believe, is a language with a lot of special features in that understatements, insider humour (and not one type, many), humour with double and triple meanings, hints and allusions, the tone of voice, give the words its final meaning, in short a language which covers itself up even for native speakers, so that in a time where suddenly everybody meet because of the Internet, all those double meanings and hidden irony become problems even for inborns, because the expressions and ways of communicating have belonged to special groups and in specific settings, they have not all been common language and have not always meant the same.

Also think about the cultural isolation we grew up in (I am 55) – where other cultures were far away and for many of us not well known.

We are in some ways a young nation, and have had little time to get used to The world will live as one.

Be a little patient, and if you grew up here but was born into a “foreign” or foreign family, just see the whole integration thing as a process.

I want it to happen, and I am not alone.

Even if some hasn’t gone into that process, many of us have, and it probably needs to go through some specific stages even if they come late or for some reason are postponed.



Seriously, Don

Comment Posted on 07 Aug, 2019 17:09

It won’t work, you know.

Every country, every people on earth basically wants to rule themselves.

I don’t find that difficult to understand.

Even if your country is ruled by brutal people, a dictator, an outsider can’t fix that.

If someone seriously attacked my country, I would stand back to back with my own (and hey, this also means people from all over the world who have moved here and become Norwegians to the extent that please them, and me. I know them well enough. They love Norway as much as I do.)

I’ve been pretty much involved in political discussions here in Norway, conflicts, of course, too, but if someone actually interfered or attacked us, I would not care about internal politics. I would join my political opponents in the ways that I would find useful and necessary. If it was necessary and useful, I would have things going even with people I really dislike politically.

I wouldn’t hesitate.

You cannot spread democracy or freedom by military means, economical pressure…in short by any sort of serious pressure.

You have to wait and discuss.

That’s democracy, actually, another side of it, that sometimes you’re not having it your way because if you do, you’ll fuck up the whole system.

You don’t know what a foreign country needs, either.

You’re not a crusader, you know.

You shouldn’t be a crusader, either, that’s not your role as a leader of the USA.

We don’t need that.

To actually attack someone because they don’t treat their citizens ok is like…fucking for virginity.

I think that’s a very old joke among some of my friends.

And what you will achieve is a lot…dead people, many, refugees, another wave of refugees who will maybe come here.

They will certainly be going somewhere else, they won’t stay in a war zone.

A destroyed country is perhaps not exactly an easy place to be.

You’ll be left with even another country that you actually will have to…rule.

Govern.

If you don’t see the ridiculous about that…you may perhaps see…some practical difficulties?

You’ll be violating principles and creating chaos.

Here in Norway we will have to go into new discussions, quarrels, about how many refugees we have room for, it will squeeze us and our internal conflicts and disagreements, and I don’t doubt that the same will happen in all countries that will have to deal with the refugee crisis that will suddenly appear.

All of us, basically, will feel this.

I missed the details in the news of that part…of the tanker no. 1 taken into Gibraltar and the tanker no. 2 taken in the Hormuz strait, but it all sounds more or less criminal if it is part of a stupid political game.

Do you know, mista, sir, that right now people are dying in Iran because they lack insulin, and other medication?

My friends tell me you can hardly get anything in Iran right now, I believe they mean, in the shops:

You are hurting the people more than the leaders with your sanctions.

And I don’t think they will give in. The people.

You are part of a country even if you loathe what your leaders do.

A culture.

It is not possible to take that out of a man.

Or a woman.

People will think like I would have thought, don’t fuck up our country.

So what’s your agenda these days?

Weren’t you going to do something for…the people?

Your actions reach almost every country if the world, so seriously…

Have you got anyone to talk to?

If you don’t have an agenda, get one.

One that’s aiming for peace, not war.

We, the people, never actually want war or need war.

We want to go on having a beer or a coffee on the corner, to eat our neighbour’s food
because she sells it or because he invited us for lunch.

To deal with small conflicts and try to keep them…kind of small.

Keep that in mind. That’s the aim of the whole shit.

I mean, all of politics, simply.

To give all of us possibilities to live.

It is at least one way of seeing it, not the worst, I think.

I am sure you enjoy life as much as I do.

Eating, drinking, being with someone.

Watching the view from your window or just thinking of something that crosses your mind.

Feeling the stars over your head.

Breathing the air outside.

Walking a street that you like.

Going to a restaurant.

Thinking about the skin of your lover before she comes to your room.



D. goes to war?

Comment Posted on 31 Jul, 2019 03:07

So, Don…are you actually starting that war?

I mean, WW3?

World War Three.

Sounds like it, at least, from this side of the Atlantic. The Russians lining up with Iran?

Well, I wouldn’t know why and how. Maybe you would know.

It’s in the news here, that our government is considering sending troops down there.

Tell me, do you think you, I mean you Americans, are…defending your country in this way?

I didn’t know that it bordered on the…Hormuz strait, that’s the place, isn’t it?

I don’t know that much about international law, I’m not a lawyer or anything.

But I usually claim to have some knowledge about politics…I participate at least in private discussions now and then.

I write.

When you read about international law in an encyclopedia there is a lot of talk about principles. Some good principles, definitely.

But you also sometimes get the feeling that someone has whispered things to the author of the article, so the principles sound more like…what’s it called? Excuses, apologia? You know, ways of defending things that are not…quite as nice.

I would say attacking a country which you have to travel this far to get to…it’s not your territory, is it?

Those bases that you have…

WW3…perhaps…

Partly started by Donald J. Trump, American president in 2019.

Casualties:

Casualties?

How many millions in WW2?

Things go faster today, so maybe we’ll risk a little less.

How many casualties in the Gulf War in…what was it? 80-something.

How many refugees coming here if there is a war like that?

How many will knock on your door?

Refugee camps…

It’s going to be something in the history books about you anyway.

I mean, the position that you have is like that.

I don’t think…I feel that this time, the opinion here wouldn’t be too positive if we‘re dragged into your war.

Would kind of mean that we were involved in starting a big war too.

The politicians here are usually pretty weak when Washington says something.

I don’t think wewould like that, generally speaking.

We, non-politicians.

Can’t you get some other advisors?

Read something?

Did you read Catch 22, or see the film?

It’s actually fun, it’s from the second world war, in Italy. A novel, not a documentary.

Catch 22 is about this rule, paragraph 22…

The only reason you’ll get out of the war, if you apply for a final leave, the only valid reason to get out, is if you’re insane.

If you apply, it proves that you’re not insane.

So either way, you’ll stay.

It’s a fun read, and I think the film is maybe even better. I saw some scenes.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this.

Sanity.

Mental…sanity.

You started off there, kind of, didn’t you?

I would say, I’m actually not sure I agree with that much of what you say all the time…

But as I said, one good point I can remember, is that the government before you or some governments before you, made a mess in Iraq, and other places down there.

So…what do you do?

Sometimes there are things that can’t be done, rules that shouldn’t be broken.

Things you cannot do even if you really, badly want to do it.

Like putting priests out of power.

A country…is still a country.

It has even rights even if it is badly or strangely ruled..

There are laws that prevent another government from doing things.

And if the government doesn’t know this, there are still principles.

Even in politics.

International politics.

If you break them…you act partly as a dictator would.

As a king of long ago.

Really long ago.

Before law regulated things, the king could do what he wanted, sort of, at least not hindered by written law.

But actually, not now.

One should actually think that a right-wing government would understand it.

That is kind of strange.



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