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Finland for Thought | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

Finland for Thought
             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

Moi! Thanks for visiting!
I have a new blog: BETTER! FUNNER! - come say hi!
Be sure to check out my new book: "How to Marry a Finnish Girl"
And find out more about me: www.philschwarzmann.com

...Enjoy!


26.1.2012

My new blog: Better! Funner!

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 7:22 pm

Okay, so it’s clear I’m not blogging on Finland for Thought anymore, but I think seven years about Finland is plenty. I published a book, escaped to San Francisco, drank heavily, and launched a new blog: Better! Funner!

It’s written and curated by yours truly. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made me laugh from around them internets. Would love to hear what you guys think. It’s hopefully better and funner than this blog. :-)

Enjoy!

28.4.2011

Mr. Hakkarainen goes to Helsinki

Tags: Politics — Author: @ 8:57 pm

Check out this idiot from Perussuomalaiset, Finland’s racist party…

8.2.2011

CNN’s Richard Quest reports on Helsinki’s snow battle

Tags: Helsinki,Life in FI,Video — Author: @ 11:25 am

25.1.2011

The A-Team of Finland

Tags: Video — Author: @ 11:44 pm

From Sunday night’s Simpsons. Watch this before YouTube take it down…

12.1.2011

Finnish or retarded?

Tags: FI vs. Foreigners,Video — Author: @ 8:48 pm

From last night’s season 3 premiere of Tosh.0 – Is this guy retarded? Or just speaking Finnish?

16.12.2010

Bring Conan to Finland!

Tags: USA! USA!,Video — Author: @ 5:06 pm

Jimmy Fallon sucks. And so does Jay Leno. There is only one late night talk show host: David Letterman. Oh, and Conan.

After Conan O’Briend’s departure from The Tonight Show and move to TBS, no Finnish broadcaster has yet to pickup Conan’s new show. And the Conan fans in Finland (the ones who don’t know how to use BitTorrent) are mad, real mad. So mad they’re organizing a rally tomorrow (Friday) in downtown Helsinki.

And Conan has a personal message to everyone attending…

14.12.2010

Why do Finns eat meat drowned in marinade?

Tags: The Welfare State — Author: @ 2:06 pm

…supposedly this book will tell you. “Quasi Democracy: Finland’s Fall From the Cradle of Innovation To the Abyss of Stagnation” was just translated into English and is available to download for free.

“What has created this culture of forced uniformity? We believe that the crisis has its roots in the era of so-called Finlandisierung, or Finlandisation.”

This book is the long-awaited abridged English translation of Lumedemokratia (Quasi-Democracy, 2008), which sparked a vivid debate about the nature of Finnish society, from recent history to the present day. It condemns the economic policy pursued during the great depression of the 1990’s and Finland’s continued failure to revamp its suffocatingly rigid labour market structures.

The authors, Katja Boxberg and Taneli Heikka, claim that Finland still lacks essential elements that earmark a genuine Western democracy and true market economy; for this, they argue, we have to thank the ubiquotous Finnish consensus and the disgraceful era of “Finlandisation”. This is a book for anyone wondering why Finns “eat rubbery cheese, dull plastic-wrapped bread, and meat drowned in marinade”.

15.11.2010

Dennis Miller rips Finland on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Tags: Politics,Ridiculous,Video — Author: @ 9:02 pm

“The best part about living in Finland is that they don’t get Newsweek magazine”

30.10.2010

Westend – Bitchin’House [VIDEO]

Tags: FI vs. Foreigners,Ridiculous,Video — Author: @ 6:44 pm

You’ve all seen the viral video of the Rastafarian who shows off a house in Westend, Finland’s poshest neighborhood? Well the real estate agent, Lea Jakama, got a few of the translations wrong, so I fixed them… :-)

27.10.2010

How-to throw a Finnish party

Tags: How-to,Life in FI,Ridiculous — Author: @ 6:50 pm

Yo, I think a party’s about to break out… (is marijuana legal in Finland now, and I didn’t know??)


Photo from my local KK-Market

16.10.2010

Kimmo Wilska does stand-up comedy!

Tags: Bad Boys, Bad Boys,FI vs. Foreigners,Finns,Video — Author: @ 11:07 am

So just 24 hours after Kimmo was fired from YLE after many long years of service, he takes the stage at the English Comedy Club at Manala in Helsinki to tell his side of the story, answer some questions from the audience, and do a little stand-up comedy!!

And of course I recorded it and put it on YouTube… :-)

15.10.2010

Church is Gay

Tags: Politics,Traditions — Author:   @ 4:55 pm

The Finnish national broadcaster YLE had a tv-debate over Church and gays last Tuesday, aptly named Homoilta (Gay Night), there has been propositions of amending the law for gay marriage, or actually “gender-neutral-marriage” that would replace the current marriage laws and registered partnership laws. The debate went fine – so fine that after listening to the Christian Democrat’s Päivi Räsänen and Evangelic-Lutheran reverend Leena Huovinen and bishop of Tampere Matti Repo voice their opinions, a record of 5500 church members have so far resigned through the free-thinkers’ website www.eroakirkosta.fi in only four days. Update Monday 18.10, the amount has risen to 20 000, normally there is a peak in December as the “church tax” (*) liability depends on the membership at the end of the year. As the average payment of tax per member is 300 euros, its estimated the church has lost about 6 million euros.

(*) To those readers who are unfamiliar with Finland, the Ev-Lut. Church is one of the “State Churches” with taxation rights, to which traditionally 85% of the population belongs – and pays about 2% church tax – how many people actually go to church on a Sunday is maybe 2% of that, most people seldom visit unless its for a baptism, confirmation, wedding or funeral. The church also gets taxes from businesses, which none of them are tax-exempt, so tbe it a halal butcher or a kosher bakery – all pay taxes to the Ev-Lut Church. The church does have obligations, such as maintaining graveyards etc. but most of its historical chores, such as keeping population data has been taken over by the government.

The new archbishop Kari Mäkinen is “bewildered and sorry” of the reaction. He would rather see people would stay as members and voice their opinions within the church, but I guess the old “voting with your feet” and with your purse is a more effective way to convey your message. This might imply, that the conservative opinion within the church and among Finns has seen a rise, but people do then also vote with their feet as for some conservatives the church has had too liberal opinions. Tightrope walking trying to please everyone.

For those who understand Finnish (and can get the feed) http://areena.yle.fi/video/1354542
No doubt it’ll eventually end up in youtube with subtitles.

It is here! Or sorry excuse of snow.

Tags: Weather — Author:   @ 4:27 pm

Promises, promises. The first snow of theis winter was falling today. In Helsinki its more or less a sorry excuse of sleet, but if you go check out say the traffic condition cameras, there is a sprinkling almost across the whole country. It will melt off probably a few times, at least here on the coast.

Actually, I was testing the new layout… do other people have that soldier girl popping up??? Philistine, don’t phuxor a working layout.

13.10.2010

Shame on YLE! Support Kimmo Wilska!!

Tags: Finns — Author: @ 10:43 pm

If you’re a foreigner in Finland, you’ve seen or heard Kimmo Wilska. Known as the “Barry White of Finland” thanks to his deep, sensual voice, has been the voice of YLE’s English radio and TV broadcasts. And loyal readers of this blog know Kimmo well as he’s been an active commenter since Finland for Thought’s early days.

On this morning’s broadcast, during a segment on Finnish alcohol licenses, the always jolly Kimmo Wilska apparently played a little joke for his colleagues, which accidentally got caught on air (see video below). The state-run YLE promptly fired Wilska for this funny mishap.

Like you need yet another reason to not pay your TV license, here’s another. Shame on YLE after the years of service he’s given. If you feel the same way, be sure to join the Kimmo Wilska Support Group on Facebook. 23,000 fans and growing! With skills and a voice like Wilska, let’s hope there’s a silver lining here and he lands his own talk show!

UPDATE: YLE has forcibly removed the YouTube video claiming copyright law, even though there are GAZILLIONS of other YLE videos on YouTube. They seemed to be particular angry about this one, but here’s another version…

11.10.2010

Performing Stand-up Comedy on a Helsinki Tram #FAIL

Tags: Culture,FI vs. Foreigners,Ridiculous,Video — Author: @ 11:05 pm

What would happen if me and two other comedian friends performed stand-up comedy on a tram in Helsinki, Finland? …in the middle of the day?? …in English???

Part of Helsinki’s Culture Tram (sponsored by Korjaamo), myself, comedian Louis Zezeran, and comedienne Zoë Chandler perform an hour of stand-up on the 7A tram line during afternoon rush hour last Tuesday.

We document what happens (booing) and what doesn’t happen (laughter)…

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