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Finland for Thought » 2008 » November | 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

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30.11.2008

The Archives are the blog’s penis

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 11:59 am

Check out Finland for Thought’s Archives on the righthand column. It starts from March 2004 and works its way upwards month by month.

Is all that really necessary? Has any reader ever been wondering, “Hey, I wonder what this asshole was writing in like, June of 2005?” Of course not, the Archives are the blog’s penis and we bloggers just like showing it off – the longer we write, the bigger it gets.

 

 

25.11.2008

Moomintroll is Gay

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 10:30 pm

That is what the Swedes say. Or actually one Swedish publisher namely Stefan Ingvarsson in his blog in Aftonbladet. According to Ingvarsson Moomintroll and Snufkin are lovers, while Snork Maiden is their fag-hag. They have a difficult relationship as Moomintroll is monogamous while Snufkin is an anarchist who leaves on his trips to the south (sex vacations on Pattaya?) and abandons Moomintroll who gets upset if he doesn’t return in time.  I could have my dirty mind go on with the function of Hattifatteners, not with Moomintroll though as everyone knows Moomins are so fat because while they eat all the time Tove Jansson forgot to draw them an asshole. Hemulen also is an evident cross-dressing gay as he wears a purple gown.

I can’t really fathom where do people get all this latent homophobia from. I can understand someone going after Teletubbies as they’re so darn annoying, but the Moomins! Couldn’t they just leave childrens’ books alone for crying out loud? Though the original cartoons were quite anarchistic and the moomins weren’t all that “for children only” smoking dope and whatnot… but still. And yes, Tove Jansson lived with a woman so what?

Moomintroll:”I woke up at night and couldn’t sleep”
Little My:”ha ha”
Moomintroll:”What are you implying?”
Little My:”I know what you were doing, I was awake too.”
Moomintroll:*gulp*
Little My:”You were with Snufkin.”

God hates Finland

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 8:59 am

LOL!! This church is hysterical. Finns are a bunch of Godless people? I know!! That’s one of the reasons why I love Finland so much!

They attempted to do this last year in Finland, but according to them, it’s illegal to picket “God Hates Fags” in Finland (is it?). Now they’re picketing outside the Finnish consulate in Oregon.

Kalevi K. was at the scene! Here’s some photos…

Anyway, there were 4 or 5 people there protesting, the girls were 16, 17 and 25 years old. Would have thought teh 16 year would have been in school? These people were nice, but very very nieve. They had no idea way they were there. They kept repeating over and over again, probably what their dad told them to say…


Since when did Finns ever have asses like that?!


Yes yes…you’re embarrassed cause you’re lunatic father forced you to come here?


Pretty hot!! …for a fag-hater and all. Maybe she’d move to Finland with me?


It’s got to be hard to hold up those signs all day.


*President* Antichrist Obama to you, bitch!


“Hi Mom! Look at me! I’m an attention whore trying to get on Finland for Thought!” LOL!!


“Filthy, Foolish, Finns!!” Uhh uhhh, how about “farty”! and “fat”! …and “fartheaded”! We’re so clever…

18.11.2008

Rich Hall doing stand-up in Helsinki Wednesday night

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 2:53 am

UPDATE: Bad news, this event has been canceled all together… :-(

Comedy fans in Finland rejoice! Legendary American comedian and former Saturday Night Light cast member, Rich Hall, will be performing at the Peacock Theatre in Linnanmaki this Wednesday Night along Canadian comic Craig Campbell.

Best of all, it’s hosted by the funniest guy in Finland, Rich Lyons!! If you’re a reader of Finland for Thought, you’ll love Rich Lyons, he’s a professional comic from New York who’s lived in Finland for 10+ years, and has all sorts of hysterical shit to say about Americans and the Finns. It’s like this blog except more funny and less retarded.

14.11.2008

Slaughterhouse 2084

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 8:02 pm

A modern day farce

Politicians in all countries seem to be able to start a leapfrog competition out of the blue. One minor brainfart and soon frogs start leaping out of politicians’ mouths left right and centre, only its blogs that are the culprits. And the more the politicians explain what they really meant the worse it gets. Just like the Watergate building break-in was a small article in the back pages the continuous denial of involvement only poured more and more gasoline into the fires and we all know what that ended up with. “I am not a crook.” As I said a while back Finnish politics has not been this much fun to follow since the Yoga Fliers ran for Parliament.

There isn’t exactly one thing that alone would be such a disaster, but the total of the past week is a chain of events best described as political correctness, stupidity and vicious sarcasm gone mad over equality, tolerance, freedom of speech and political liberties.

The storm in the Duck Pond

Four young men in Espoo were thrown in jail because speaking Swedish to the police, the tablods ripped. Not caring to mention the youth were in a house, at an 18-year ods birthday party, with about 50 other people, and rather were arrested for speaking up at the police, which gets you in jail for sure in these parts. The Sami council objected the use of “Two Language One Nation” slogan as the Sami are a recognized minority language. Before the Swedish Folk Party had time to get all indignant they got a massive wedgie when the aide of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Equality , the SFP chair,Stefan Wallin, state secretary Stefan Johansson went and groped two women at the Swedish Embassy’s reception on the Swedish Day. He promptly resigned. Of course the Fashion Police Resident Lenita Airisto went ahead and derided “Finnish Men” who are always drunk, cannot dress, act nor even speak proper, and was given a wee bit of a retort for claiming Finns speak “Monkey English”. Despite the short burst the whole issue might have been forgotten unless the SFP crone Maria Björnberg-Enckell elected to the Helsinki Council hadn’t written in her blog a pretty much “better people” comment to the lines that the reason the aide misbehaved was due to him being born in Korppoo (i.e. small hick town) and being overwhelmed being exposed to the cultured society such as the Swedish Embassy… we’re waiting for the duelling banjos.

The war between Green Women and Dr. Evil

A Finnish-language blog called “Scripta” authored by the linguist Dr. Jussi Halla-aho was a catalyst for the mayhem that followed. He has written for some five years very acerbic essays opposing the joys of multiculturalism. Lets say like Voltaire, his sharp tongue and acrid wit belie his seriousness of intent. The “official truth” in Finland has been promoting multiculturalism. However the multiculturalism they have elsewhere in Europe doesn’t always match with the noble aims. And while people have started questioning the policies almost any objections have been slammed down by the racist card. No debate against the “official truth” and no veering from the idealistic “chosen path”. But in the internet blogs and websites have sprung up though mainly then concentrating on the failures and ment to be offensive. Denying a debate is never a good idea if you wish to keep a consensus.

When the “True Finns” had made their landslide victory two weeks ago Dr. Halla-aho running as an independent predicted “it only starts now”. And he was correct, the initial shock and awe was replaced by pulling out the racist card and dismissing the True Finns as right-wing racists as some of the people elected were also members of the Suomen Sisu nationalist movement. The Minister of Justice being grilled of the fiasco regarding the electronic voting blunder was quick to make a statement she later said was misquoted that due to the win over the True Finns the Councils must receive training over tolerance.

As the True Finns were so morally objectionable the press and media had a field day taking quotes from here and there and churning out statements of how wicked the True Finns were and how the nation had “voted wrong”. A television talk-show had a field day over quotes from Dr.Halla-aho’s blog. However they forgot that they could not fool the people as the original texts were in the internet and the discussions flared within a few days so that people who had never heard nor paid any attention went to see for themselves what the uproar was all about.

Meanwhile the Green Women had noticed the vitriolic debate over the slanders over their beloved multiculturalism and picked up a comment in an old post in the blog of Dr Halla-Aho. Called “Multiculturalism and Women” (EDIT: Translation of the original article from another blog) the entry was regarding some rapes in 2006 when Helsinki rape statistics had surged and he had written, in an entry he said could have been better:

“The number of rapes will increase in any case. Therefore, as more and more women will undoubtedly get raped, I sincerely hope that at least the right women, the green-leftist reformers and their voters, will find themselves in the clutches of the rapists, who randomly select their victims. Rather them than anyone else. With people like that nothing else works, except when their own multiculturalist views turn against them.” (translation from the HS Int’Ed)

Which the Green Women obviously got extremely upset about and demanded a criminal report being filed as the entry “clearly promotes rape”. Nevermind the Greens should be very quiet about digging up old statements as their philosopher Pentti Linkola had openly written that the managers of industry should be executed among some other direct action pamphlets. The discussion over the issue is about the equivalent of Verdun in the net as now every assclown in the market is trying their best to fuel the flames.

2084

The unfortunate school shootings the past two years had started the government pondering over the control of the internet, and it was the consensus that as the internet is evil it must be controlled to save the youth.  The police reported in a brief that they had been monitoring the internet prevented a number of school attacks and “sent people for treatment”.

Was it not in the DDR and the good old USSR the dissidents got sent to the mental asylum?  So who says only the youth need to be saved. Also the immigrants must be saved from these wicked racists questioning multiculturalism. And while we are at it, why not save the poor politicians. After all several politicians had had to close commenting on their blogs because the public wasn’t understanding their best interests but were being all mean. Does this mean in a few years then anyone opposing the “official truth” and “chosen path” – off to the asylum with you? By 2084 we should have black helicopters and “thought police” as we already have political correctness,  email monitoring and foundations for a Ministry of Truth.

The chair of the “The Council for Mass Media in Finland” made a speech at the 40th anniversary of the council mentioning about curtailing the internet and subjecting it to the Council for Mass Media due to and other nice ideas. The local chief editor of the Hustler magazine went Larry Flynt on him. A complaint with the Council for Mass Media over the statement of the chair of the Council for Mass Media as he had mentioned pornography as one of the vile and wicked things that ought to be censored from the internet.

The fat lady sings in the end

Interestingly, the Ombudsman for Minorities has taken a pretty neutral stance on the whole issue. While the demonization of the True Finns was at its fashion stage she kept her cool not joining the bandwagon. But it may be she is an old fox – while a few years back she was smothering the discussion – any discussion – portraying the Finnish immigration policy in a bad light, she has now said there should be an open debate without “borderline opinions” rather finding a consensus. Oh, and why is the Minority Ombudsman careful of not stepping into the quagmire? Well, after all she is the human rights lawyer who was instrumental in importing the Somali refugees from the USSR in 1990. I guess it was a well played card to gain a seat in a shelter job, after all we wouldn’t need a Minority Ombudsman to deal with the troubles if we wouldn’t have troubled minorities needing an ombudsman.

The big mainstream political parties have also come forth stating that there needs to be an open discussion and tackling the problems. Now I wonder why you require 5 years of offensive blog posts and diarrea hitting the fan before you can have the sensible people actually take a stand and agree to disagree? Well, its better late than never but this discussion really should have taken place 10 if not 20 years ago. And hopefully – finally – at last they will not only start organizing the Finnish classes properly but implement an English user interface to the MOL job search engine. Can’t expect bloody miracles in a day.

Curtain and applauses.

Probably the heated debate and flamewars will continue, but hopefully the sensible brigade will take over once the intolerance of the tolerants has burned off.

After all, if you demand tolerance you may not yourself be intolerant.

13.11.2008

Another Fine Solution

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 10:08 pm

The workers of the Solna branch of the German LIDL in Sweden had a brilliant an idea of how to take care of the homeless problem. Really does make you think of how cruel life even in a civilized welfare state like Sweden can be. For starters, you need to be destitute to go to LIDL in the first place let alone skipdive.

I wonder if that would have been adapted to the USA by Wal-Mart if the Republicans had won?

12.11.2008

Enjoy the Christmas cheer with Itella and Customs!

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 6:10 pm

I ordered Christmas gifts together with one workmate from the USA. The value marked on the package was 80 dollars, or about 60 EUR. Itella stopped the package and offered to handle the customs declaration, for a price of over 20 EUR. Because I didn’t feel quite right paying Itella 20 EUR so I could pay customs about 10 EUR, I said “no, send it to customs.”

Now the fun begins. I called customs 3-4 times and let it ring about 3-4 minutes each time. Finally the switchboard operator was able to connect me to a number that someone acutally answers. I explained that the items in the 60 EUR package are 2 Christmas gifts from 2 different people to 2 different people. It was non-negotiable. I have to make a 1 hour drive to customs so I can pay them 10 EUR.

Does this tempt me to lie about the value of things I ship? Yes. They don’t make it easy to for you to pay them the money that they think you should pay them. This has been a pain in the ass. If you want me to pay you money, send me my package and a bank account number and I will pay the money. Why do you people have to make it such a pain in the ass? After all, I paid to have the item shipped to my mailbox.

The Transgender Vicar

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 2:48 pm

It seems that the discussions of allowing women to be priests in the Finnish Evangelic-Lutheran Church get a wholly new aspect when the vicar of Imatra announced he was going for reassignment surgery.

Olli Aalto, the Lutheran Vicar of Imatra, says that he has struggled with his gender identity for almost all of his 54 years. The struggle is now coming to an end. Aalto will take a leave of absence at the beginning of the year, during which time he will undergo and other procedures surgery to become a woman. Aalto says that the matter has been a cause for concern “ever since I was a little girl”.

The bishop and the wardens snorted their coffee, but apparently Finland isn’t quite the backwater as it is always claimed to be. The public opinion is rather supportive, even the more conservative members of the Church surely do have strong opinions.

8.11.2008

“Little House on the Prairie” is rated “R” in Finland

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 9:20 am

It costs 2 EUR a minute to have video content rated. Little House on the Prairie is a long series and would cost too much to rate, so the company marketing it decided to market it as K-18, which is what movies get when they are unrated. It is equivalent to “R” in the USA.  It has gotten negative international attention. I wonder what kind of people they are over in the rating bureau who wouldn’t know what kind of rating to give Little House on the Prairie and would have to charge the full 2 EUR a minute for the whole series. I wonder if there is a need for competition for this bureau -is it a government monopoly?

Article in Finnish about this on MTV3.

5.11.2008

President Obama

Tags: Everything — Author: @ 8:30 am

I just spent the entire evening in New York’s Times Square watching the election on the giant screens cheering on Obama with the thousands of others. What an awesome experience. The energy throughout Manhattan is unreal. Congratulations Barack Obama, and congratulations United States!!

…now will you fucking foreigners *PLEASE* stop hating us Americans!? (pretty please?) :-)

4.11.2008

Tax worker fined for snooping in friends’ tax records

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 10:21 pm

This was in Iltalehti yesterday. In the court in Jyväskylä a tax worker was fined  for snooping though her friends’ tax records. She admitted to being guilty of violation of her office and was fined 30 day fines, or about 600 EUR.

Silly, silly woman. If she had only waited a few months, she could have entertained herself till her heart is content with EVERYONE’S tax information by downloading it from the torrent trackers.

Tax Authority punishes this woman for invading peoples’ privacy, yet on the other hand letting everyone’s information end up in magazines and the internet. What a joke Personal Data Protection is in Finland.

2.11.2008

The legend of Mägi Päiväine

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 8:44 pm

I was browsing around in Ebay looking at an interesting coin, when I read this story. I don’t know if it is true or not – it sounds plausible. Maybe someone who reads this will know more about this and be able to comment.This text is from the Ebay seller’s entry (linked above). It is taken from the brochure that comes with the coin.

MÄGI PÄIVÄINE

If you have nerves of steel, patience and time, you can follow the lone dirt track over steep, rugged mountains and transverse the rapidly moving valley rivers to Mägi Päiväine, meaning Mountain Sun in the English Language.

It can be said that Mägi Päiväine is one of the most isolated places on earth, but once there, you’ll discover a beautiful valley with rich soils and plenty of pure water. The surrounding mountains hide lakes of pure water and serve as a summer pasture for livestock. Still Mägi Päiväine is an exercise in survival against the elements. Her people have survived the harshness of mother nature and reaped her bounty. In short, they have carved out an uneventful but peaceful self-sufficient life.

Mägi Päiväine’s borders are hard to define. You see, the folks who call Mägi Päiväine home have lived here for generations with very little contact with the outside world. The high mountain valley and surrounding area has never been officially claimed, in person anyway. The size of Mägi Päiväine depends on who you ask. For certain, it does include the entire settlement valley and the land grazed by the cattle. The valley covers some 3.5 square miles.

Magi Paivainne is considered beautiful with steep mountains. Water is plentiful and a number of springs provide a bounty of very fresh water in the form of small streams and even a couple of small lakes. Valley soil is rich, producing good crops. The mountains offer excellent grazing in spring and summer.

Locating Mägi Päiväine on a map is going to be impossible. It is unrecognized. In fact, local old timers claim the communists began displacing the Veps and Ingrians after the Soviets came to power. Many went to Finland. The Veps and their neighbors, the Karelians and the Ingrians were considered a threat to national security. The Soviet solution was moving small communities to different areas. The people of Mägi Päiväine say they originally are from the Northwest Vologda district. It is told they sought isolation as a protection from the Soviets. So, the high mountain valley became the new home to this isolated group.

At the end of World War II, a small group of Russian soldiers found Mägi Päiväine. They were tired, hungry and suffering from exposure from the elements. The folks of Mägi Päiväine took them in, tending to the injuries of a couple of soldiers. The show of compassion was just what Mägi Päiväine needed. The returning soldiers set in motion a chain of events that would conditionally allow Mägi Päiväine to exist. Formal papers soon arrived stating Mägi Päiväine was an autonomous region. In essence, it was independence for the people and a guarantee that they could control their destiny so long as they did not interfere with the Soviets.

No records of these papers is found among the former Soviet government, it is told, by the folks of Mägi Päiväine claim to have the signed papers in the journals that chronicle life in this tiny region. The document grants Mägi Päiväine the right to be responsible for its own affairs and free from taxation from the Soviets as long as they kept to their land and did not interfere with the nearby communities.

Mägi Päiväine is home to about 100 people, living in a dozen households, who speak what many consider to be an almost dead language, Vepsa. They also speak some Karelian and Ingrian. In earlier days the Veps and Karelians, and Ingrians lived together. The lifestyle is uneventful. It cannot be said it is an easy life with Mägi Päiväine’s harsh climate. In fact, little has changed over the years. Life is simple and self-sufficient. Few have more than they can consume. Luxuries simply are not found. This is a small group of people who are close to the land. What we consider to be obligations or minor celebrations are cause for the whole nation, and I use that word loosely, to stop everything and celebrate together.

Traditions from earlier times are still alive and well in Magi Paivaine. The longest day of the year is cause of an all night feast and celebration. An after harvest feast, the tradition of May Day and a few others dot the annual calendar. Weddings bring everything to a halt for celebrating. Death stops all activities as everyone mourns. Religion is a part of everyday life. Orthodox Christian beliefs prevail but superstition is active. Watching the sky, certain celestial events are believed to affect life. The activities of certain animals and fowl indicate certain conditions. The list goes on.

Mägi Päiväine homes are fairly simple. There is a family room, kitchen, bedroom for the adults and one for the kids. Typically, a structure nearby acts as a storehouse for food. As families grow, more rooms are added.

Magi Paivaine has one store but no banks or offices. There are no Government offices, medical clinics or Churches. There is no electrical service or other conveniences. There are no police, nor is there an army.

Most merchandise is traded person to person. Religious services are held in homes. Even those selected to carry out the extremely minimal government functions operate from their homes. A school is located in a room built on to the house the teacher lives in. The quality of education is unknown but the population can read and write, using the Latin alphabet.

The Mägi Päiväine government is made up of a council of ‘ancients’ or elders who tend to the functions of government. This council elects a president who serves for a single 5 year term.

The duties of the President are varied and might be summed up as an administrator. The council acts as ruler, judge and advisor. In such a small community, the council has supreme power. There are unusual rules. For example, young men and women must choose a mate that does not live in Mägi Päiväine. This mate must agree to reside in Mägi Päiväine after marriage and must be approved. This comes via interviews with the prospective mate and a blood test. This is why many youth seek work in regional communities after schooling ends in Mägi Päiväine. Men tend to do agricultural work while the women generally work at domestic jobs.

There is no crime. Society is European in nature and in values. Most infractions are handed by the parties involved without intervention from the President who acts as judge over matters brought to him by the general population. If the decision of the President is not acceptable to one party, they may request a hearing by the full council with the decision of the council being final.

Mägi Päiväine’s Government has assigned the duty of tax collector to the President, but no taxes have ever been levied.

The President hold almost supreme powers tempered by the board but the people can call on the President’s ousting. This happened in the 1930s when the President ordered no publication or other form of media could operate without his approval. The people demanded the council act and the President was ordered to resign.

The people have small garden plots for the short growing season, much of which is canned for consumption in winter. Cattle is raised, especially for cheese and milk, although meat is much less frequent in the diet. Wheat is grown, providing flour, a staple in the diet along with cheese and milk. The primary occupation is producing wool to sell in regional communities. It can be said the people of Mägi Päiväine are neither rich nor poor. It would seem they have just what they need. This is because they are not a very materialistic society.

According to figures we have seen, Mägi Päiväine brings in about $4,364,000 in a recent year, however another figure is about 1.5 million less. We are then assuming the smaller figure to be profits versus actual income but we cannot confirm.

The Mägi Päiväine council has in recent years paid for the education of a young man and two young women. The man is now leading the church while the one of the women is schooled in education and one is now a nurse.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, Mägi Päiväine has allowed it’s hiding place to be known. The threat of the Soviet Government is gone. Still, those in Mägi Päiväine are leery of outsiders although their friendly attitudes easily chase their fears away.

Magi Paivaine has a long history of peace. In most small communities, there is an undercurrent of friction between families. These less than desirable qualities are not found here as all seem friendly and friendly. As a community they seem to realize it takes each member of the community working together to achieve the quality of life Mägi Päiväine enjoys.

One might ask why Mägi Päiväine has remained so isolated. The truth is there is little reason to publicize Mägi Päiväine. It has been queried why the citizens of Mägi Päiväine choose to stay in their isolated valley instead of returning to their homeland. The answer is simple. This is all they know. Even the memories of the oldest citizens is fading.

Mägi Päiväine Money

Local notes have been exchanged over the years using the denomination “poimda” meaning to pick, gather or harvest. It’s value is unknown and apparently never compared to other currencies to determine a specific value. It is assumed the value was determined by the person accepting the note as payment.

Coinage for use outside the community has been created recently in the denomination of 12 grains of silver or half a pennyweight. These coins have been minted since 2000, when they were released in anodized niobium, silver, bronze and copper-nickel to commemorate the year 2000. The anodized niobium was so successful, it is included in all successive mintings of 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 when bronze, copper-nickel and a different shade of anodized niobium is featured. The coins are approximately 18 millimeters and the number minted has been small.

Finnish people aren’t interested in reading about other peoples’ incomes…

Tags: Everything — Author:   @ 8:39 pm

Iltalehti had some article about how much Vesa Keskinen has to pay in back taxes and how they will have a “Suuri Veropaketti” on Tuesday, following the tax records becoming public again. (Yes, it will still happen this year.) They happened to do a poll to see if people were interested in it. Out of 5688 people as of 19:36 on Sunday, 88% answered that they are not interested.

So why does the Finnish government persist in making a joke out of 95/46 EC, which was signed by the Finnish government, and sell/give tax personal data to the press and whoever else without any protection if most people aren’t even interested in reading them?

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