Monday, April 28, 2008

on blogging

if i had a faq (which i obviously don't) the first question on it would ultimately be why i blog; to which i have no real answer. but! to question number two, i do! i thought i would share that with you. so;

q: why do you blog in english, when you're a native swedish speaking person?

a: there are really two reasons to why i blog in english. the first is that since i have friends outside of sweden who doesn't speak swedish it's easier to just do it in english, cos everybody speaks english.

the second reason goes a few years back. when i started studying english at the university (as part of my teaching education) i almost at once felt i had to practice my writing in english and figured blogging would be a good way to do that. so i started my old blog - which is now shut down for several reasons, one being the content of it was a whole lot more personal than this one and i really wouldn't want any of my pupils finding it - and maintained it for about two and a half years, about a year longer than i studied. in retrospect i think it was a good thing i did it cos it did help me with my writing. just writing essays and reviews and stuff we did in the different courses is hard when you're not used to using a language that way. granted, i've studied english all through school since i was 10 (like everybody else) and have been reading mainly english and american literature since i was about 18, but writing is different. or, at least to me it was.

during that time i guess i just got used to writing in english, cos once i'd shut the old blog down i felt i needed to create a new one. i've also found it convenient keeping a blog to entertain my language skills, cos being out of college and nearly only speaking english to 9th graders has a damaging effect on them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

why i loved the 90s pt 2

i love this video - dirty boots by sonic youth - cos it has everything. awesome music, teenage love, 90s (anti-)fashion, live concert, boys with long hair. it just goes to show that wearing way too big a band t-shirts and having sloppy hair - that's so obvious in my teenage photos - was right on the money! it may not seem all that pretty through today's eyes, but it was then.

as it were, my parents didn't want to pay for extra tv channels back then so i only ever watched mtv at my friend's, but i did record a few 120 minutes and guide to alternative music (with toby!) and i watched them over and over at home. this video was on one of them so i must have seen it a hundred times. i fell in love with it from the beginning and as it usually is with sonic youth; there is no falling out of love with them.


battlestar fun


found via adama for president 2008.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

brave old world

poll closed. here's making sure the world never forgets;

(as for the two of you who haven't read it yet. READ IT! there.)
1 vote for "it's brilliant!"
1 vote for "well, the plot is dull but the idea is awesome!"
1 vote for "he needs to work on his characters that huxley."
1 vote for "it's ok"

no one thought it sucked. thanks, readers.

adding to that, i actually found another old short review i wrote just after finishing reading this book. i don't think i've written any more, so this is the last. dated february 2006.

i finished reading huxley's brave new world and i must say i'm kind of disappointed. after all, it's supposed to be a classic. (if you haven't read the book, maybe you should stop reading this post now.)

while i think the background is really good; the descriptions of society, all the details, and the whole idea that's, imho, very thought-out; the actual story is un-interesting and the characters flat. it feels as if novel was the wrong form for huxley's ideas. first, the only interesting parts of the actual story is the societal descriptions and some of the long conversations between some of the characters. the rest is a series of un-interesting drama without much empathy and situations that are strained to produce dialogue; interesting for the most part, but weird. as for the characters i find them very rigid and stereotypical. the thinkers, and also most of the people in respected positions, are (obviously) men, and the women characters are, despite the accepted promiscuity in both genders, the "every one belongs to every one else" slogan and the lack of domestic situations, still made out to be more sensitive, stupider and more suppressed than the men, even in the civilized world. also all the interesting conversations were carried out by men. (why is it so common btw, in dystopias, that even though the writers create a new, different society, women are still suppressed? doesn't imagination cover women? even orwell, who i love, describe women in an objectifying way.) i don't care that it was written in the 30s or earlier; i have to ask more of an obviously talented thinker.

i can clearly see why this is an important book, but having said that it feels as if huxley didn't know how to present his really good idea so he made up a story and a few characters to carry it, and failed. unfortunately. i had high expectations on the novel, so maybe that's why i'm disappointed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


My Personality
Openness to Experience
You rarely get angry and it takes a lot to make you angry, however you experience panic, confusion, and helplessness when under pressure or stress. You get overwhelmed by too much noise and commotion and do not like thrill-seeking activities. You are reasonably interested in the arts but are not totally absorbed by them. You dislike confrontations and are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny your own needs in order to get along with others, however you feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. You are well-organized and like to live according to routines and schedules. Often you will keep lists and make plans.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

Monday, April 14, 2008

lovin poppy

originally written in february 2006 and posted on my old blog:

dear poppy z brite,

ever since i read drawing blood about ten years ago, i've considered you to be one of my favorite contemporary writers. i'm a slow reader, i probably average about 15 books a year, depending on what i'm doing for a living at the time, and i like to jump from writer to writer, which makes getting through an author's bibliography a long journey. i also, somehow, made a thing out of reading the rest of your books in order (published order i guess), which i haven't done (and the lazarus heart is still sitting on the shelf looking sad and abandon), but anyway, i just recently came to liquor.

i've read what you've written online about your "horror readers" being upset about your change of scenery and topics, and although i've always felt as if what i've liked about all your writing and your stories goes beyond the topics, i do indeed love them too, and admit i did have that genre thought in the back of my mind when i first started reading liquor.

but you proved me right. what i like about your writing absolutely goes beyond the topic. i loved liquor. the characters are brilliant, the story is interesting and believable, but mostly, the flow in your language and the way you write is just excellent! i could feel the excitement, i could smell the food and i just instinctively wanted to cook when i read it. just as i instinctively wanted to drink chartreuse (a decision i came to regret) and fuck trevor, years ago.

i'm convinced you could write a manual on how to clean a noisy machine in a factory and make it seem like the most interesting job on the planet.


update, written today:

dear poppy z,

i'm currently reading prime, and is about half way through. i just felt the need to once again bow my head to your excellent writing. i'm really sorry for even doubting your ability for a second!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

why i loved the 90s pt 1

it's weird when something you enjoyed in your youth suddenly (well, it sure feels like suddenly) is becoming retro. i'm not that old, am i?

enjoy the juliana hatfield three's spin the bottle.

Friday, April 11, 2008

the brave new world

so, you might have heard that ridley scott is interested in doing a movie of huxley's brave new world. ridley, the old man - a sir now apparently, who has produced and directed two of my favorite movies, blade runner and alien, and several other quite good ones - thelma & louise, 1492. i know, that was years ago, but still, couldn't be too bad, could it?

i wrote a piece here on what i think of the novel in question and since it came up again, i'm curious, how do you, my readers, feel about it? so i put up a poll here to the right. please click! thanks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

quoting without context

i regularly read the i blame the patriarchy blog, as seen linked to the right. today i obviously stuck gold with a post from last week. i like this following part so much i simply have to quote it, but i'm far too tired to write something about it (the post i'm linking to, not the story behind it) myself, so, by all means, read it yourselves. you won't regret it, i promise.

That’s the thing about patriarchy. It does the defining, not you. That’s what makes it the dominant paradigm. You can abstain from sex, you can fuck your way across the universe, you can be a stone butch dyke with a utility belt, you can get your boobs amputated and your uterus ripped out, you can be sex-neutral in your own crackpot mind, you can be ugly or hawt, you can be the Democrats’ presidential nominee, you can even age out of desirability, but you will always be defined in terms of, and used according to, that which the dominant culture describes as your essence: sex. Or, as you are alternately defined: a receptacle for the perpetuation of male supremacy.