Coded green.

Tuesday 29 April 2003

Spring tree

Pic of the day: Hopefully very unoffensive picture. Spring is definitely visiting our long and thin subarctic kingdom.

News from Norway

So, I'm trying to catch up or at least not fall further behind. Thus, a small and rushed entry. Not that I'm sure you can see the difference. Sometimes I think too much for my own good while writing.

Anyway, I'm having a heavier workload than normal now, although I try to chill it so I don't need a sick leave this year. I'm not sure whether it will work, but on Thursday is a day off (Socialist High Holy Day, May 1) and that should help. The work leaves me so tired that I fall asleep before 2 in the night!


Now the big news here in Norway this evening is the birth of the first little royal here in Norway for 30 years or so. Maud Angelique is the daughter of Princess Märtha Louise and (one must be allowed to assume) her husband, the failed novelist and drug-glorifier Ari Behn. The King and Queen of Norway, being for the first time proud grandparents, have publicly acknowledged that the little girl looks similar to the prince and princess when these were children. I suppose it is up to Mr Behn's family to decide whether the child looks anything like him, but I would not be surprised if it does. The princess is a very romantic type of person, and seems to genuine like the loser.

Anyway, Mr Behn is not important in this context. It's the princess that counts. In the unlikely and lamentable case that our Crown Prince (throne heir) Haakon Magnus should die without a heir, the throne of Norway would eventually fall to this baby. Starting from this generation, our monarchy has embraced sexual equality. However, being born under the old rules, the prince is still the appointed heir, and his firstborn child should become the next in line.

Both of the royal children have married commoners; indeed, as one commentator put it, more common than common people ... both of the royal marry-ins are associated in the public mind with pleasure drugs and substantial non-marital hanky-panky. This is a big difference from some other royal houses of Europe, in which it is the monarchs and their kids that have a history of wild debauchery (as has been the way of monarchs throughout recorded history, with a few noble exceptions).

If we are lucky, the entire sorry set-up with kingdoms and nations is gone by the time this baby has grown to maturity. The illusion of human borders will have to go. It is a shame that people in this day and age still regard lines on a map as real, instead of just that ... line drawings by people with too much time on their hand. It is one world, and neither poisons nor viruses show the superstitious respect for line art that humans do. It is time to wake up and smell the napalm, people. We've danced this sorry dance for more than long enough.


In vaguely related news, if only in my overly connective mind, there's the hospital pig picture case. In the district hospital here on the south coast of Norway, the door's to children's rooms have easily recognizable animal pictures so the kids can easily find their way back. One of the pictures was of a pig. An informal letter to the hospital mentioned that this was objectionable to Muslims. (I would suppose also to Jews, but there aren't many Jews in Norway and they are not eager to come here either, after the Germans killed almost all of them in the 1940es while Norwegians politely looked away and then grabbed their property.)

The pig picture was removed, and all hell broke loose. Admittedly, the hell was mostly engineered by bored local media, but it has spread to the national media by now. What's next, will we have to remove all references to pigs in our school books? Will we have to remove the cross from our flag? (Muslims probably have some sore teeth about the crusades, where cross-shaped flags first came into vogue.) What do these people think, they can come here and tell us how to live?

While I generally agree that Muslims who come to Norway should just deal with the fact that this isn't an Islamic country, there is also the small detail that they did not protest the pig. Someone else just happened to mention that it was offensive to Muslims, and the director decided it was time to let the pig go. It was not a big deal to anyone until some people decided to make a stink.

Of course there will be some people who think that if Muslims don't like pigs, they should go home to Arabia. And if Jehovah's Witnesses don't want to celebrate Christmas, they should go home to Jehovah. The Nazis tried this approach, but history has judged that the Nazis were losers.

I have heard it said that the victors write the history. But prophets write the history before it even happens. And the prophets have written that the people of Earth shall make their weapons into farming implements and no longer learn to wage war. It may not come cheaply, but one day we will be there. One day all will know the way, inside themselves, with crystal clarity.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: I do not regret
Two years ago: Forgettable Sunday
Three years ago: Hot spring
Four years ago: Superheroes are too built

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