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Finland for Thought » USA! USA! | 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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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…


Finland: Best Country in the World?

Tags: FI vs. Foreigners,Life in FI,News,USA! USA! — Author: @ 3:41 pm

Newsweek magazine just awarded Finland “Best Country in the World”, and the entire nation is buzzing! Well, it’s more a mixture of patting themselves on the back while saying, “What? Really?? Finland??? Are you serious?”

I guess attributes such as weather, culture, diversity, and food weren’t determining factors in their study. So what was..?

For this special survey, then, NEWSWEEK chose five categories of national well-being—education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment—and compiled metrics within these categories across 100 nations.

I love how YLE feels the need to mention Finland’s top rivals – Cause it doesn’t matter how well or poorly Finland does, as long as we’re better than Sweden and the US…

Finishing after Finland were Switzerland and Sweden. The United States was in 11th place. The final three were the African nations Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

This Newsweek article makes me feel like Jim Carey in The Truman Show – Remember that scene where Truman wants to see the world and visit Fiji? Then the newspaper reports his town was voted best in the world, so no need to ever leave, the only way out is drowning yourself in a boating accident.

So congratulations, Finland! In other news: Newspapers from 94th ranked Ethiopia had this to say about 95th ranked Mozambique: “Suck it!” And tomorrow, Weather.com rates their best countries in the world, and Finland comes in dead last.

I’m off to Google where the hell “Burkina Faso” is.

Photo from Marc Louwes


Two murdered at Finnish McDonald’s

Yet another shooting in “safe” little Finland. Sad. But I guess it’s no surprise since Finland has the third highest firearm ownership in the world.

I wonder when Finns will start being scared? Well as long as it’s a foreigner a who shot up the drive thru, we’re all still safe…

A shooting incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Porvoo has claimed two lives. One person was seriously wounded.

The injured survivor of the shooting was rushed to hospital in Helsinki and was reported to be in critical condition. The wounded man is a resident of Loviisa born in 1982. The two dead were both from Askola, just north of Porvoo and born in 1982 and 1965.

Police suspect that the shootings followed an argument that arose in the queue for the drive-through. Three of those thought to have been involved in the incident, two men and one woman, were apprehended by police on a highway outside Porvoo. An unregistered automatic handgun, believed to have been used in the shooting, was found in the car. The three were taken into custody for questioning.

The victims and the three now in custody did not know each other.

The shootings took place just after 2 AM on Tuesday morning.

Back in Baltimore you’d never dare to mess with people in a drive thru lane at 2am…cause you might get shot. Maybe we should have the same thinking in Finland?

Photo snagged from Freedom Phoenix


The United States according to the Finns

Tags: FI vs. Foreigners,Finns,USA! USA! — Author: @ 5:09 pm

Finns have the ultimate love-hate relationship with the US: Finns love Hollywood films & TV but hate its dominance over local productions. Finns love American brands but hate American consumerism. Finns love American foods but hate the slothful culture. Finns love the English language but hate its erosion of the Finnish language. Finns love the diverse American offering but aren’t fans of diversity themselves. Whenever you hear that something in Finland is becoming more American…it’s never a positive statement.

Finns often mistake real life America with what they see on their favorite American TV shows and movies. Couple that with the Finnish press’s sensationalism of American culture, it makes for some interesting stereotypes. And American tourists do little to expel these stereotypes. When abroad…

- Americans are loud (“HELLO, WE’RE FROM AMERICA!!”)
- Americans are ignorant (“America is the best, so this must be shit”)
- Americans are arrogant (“Speak English, asshole!”)
- Americans are demanding (“I need to speak to your supervisor!!”)
- Americans ask stupid questions (“Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your country?”)
- Americans aren’t geography buffs (“Is Finland the capital of Sweden or Norway?”)
- Americans dress poorly (“How does a Hawaiian shirt, University of Michigan cap, shorts, and white tennis shoes go with my fanny pack?”)

Ever wondered what’s it like to be the first white person in an African village? Speak with an American accent in a Finnish town on a Friday night. The locals will flock to you like drunken zombies. But instead of touching your hair…they’ll ask your thoughts on Barack Obama. Or they’ll tell you of their uncle who spent a year in Canada during the 80′s. They’ll remind you that American “football”, makes no sense as a word. And Budweiser is NOT good beer.

In the workplace Americans are not to be trusted. They make promises they can’t keep. They brag about things they don’t have. They act as barnstormers wanting to change everything. They know everything. They don’t understand the word, “humility”. Their pushy tactics have the reverse affect on a Finn.

And when you befriend an American, you’ll surely be confused with questions such as “How are you?” (which translates to “Hi!”) and “I really like that!” (which translates to “I’m just being nice”) and “That’s interesting!” (translation: “I don’t understand that.”) and “Let’s get together sometime!” (translation: “Fuck off and die.”).

While Americans and Finns have their differences, the similarities are vast: Both love sports, both love Finlandia vodka, both love guns, both have problems with crazies shooting up public places, both hate the Russians, both love The Simpsons, and both think Conan O’Brien looks just like Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

(for more on this, check out “Finland is like a Mac, the U.S. is like Windows“)


The U.S. ambassador to Finland is very active on the internets

Tags: FI vs. Foreigners,USA! USA! — Author: @ 12:56 am

The newly appointed United States ambassador to Finland, Bruce J. Oreck (yes, from the Oreck vacuum brand), has a blog which he updates quite often (way more than me lately)!

He even has a Facebook Fan page, Flickr stream, Twitter page, and YouTube page. Cool! With all those pages to update, I assume he spends most of his workday screwing around online – I mean, what else would an ambassador do!?

And how did Bruce become ambassador? By buying it of course..! I wonder how much a few years in the Finland embassy costs? My guess is that he donated more money to Obama than let’s say, the ambassador in [insert African or Middle Eastern country here]…

Bruce J. Oreck, for ambassador to Finland. Oreck, a lawyer who previously served as general counsel and vice president of his family’s famous vacuum company, bundled more than $500,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign. He and his wife, Charlotte, also bundled another $75,000 Obama’s inauguration. [...] Along with his wife and children, he has contributed $261,550 to federal Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 1989. That includes $9,200 to Obama and $1,000 to Hillary Clinton last cycle.


The Big Bang Theory learns Finnish

Tags: Culture,FI vs. Foreigners,Language,USA! USA!,Video — Author: @ 11:16 am

Sheldon learning Finnish in the Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 12…

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