Making Sweden 5% nerdier than it has to be.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Swedish Nerd and A Staple of his Childhood

Two days ago the first official trailer for the final installments of the Harry Potter film franchise. It's a good trailer. Plenty of big bombastic scenes with the heroes looking desperate, large amounts of fire, a dragon, armies of wizards and witches rushing into battle and plenty of confrontations between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). But it wasn't any of the larger than life special effects or dramatic scenes or epic music that got to me. It was these two tag lines.

The Finale of the Worldwide Phenomenon

The Motion Picture Event of a Generation

More specifically it's the words Finale and Generation. It just sort of dawned on me that I'm part of that generation that's refered to there and that this will probably be the last big thing regarding Harry Potter. It was just a bit of a surreal moment for me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wedding, a wedding, we're going to have a wedding, a wedding!

Poor little Sweden.

It doesn't quite seem to be this country's year now does it.

Our entry in the Eurovision Song Contest got out-voted and didn't go to the finale, causing an embarrassing hissy-fit with the swedish people.

And our national team in football flat out lost and didn't get to go to the world championship in Africa. I don't really know how people reacted to that but I bet that it involved lots of swearing and disappointment.

In short, this country needs something to cheer up its spirit. Something that doesn't happen on a regular interval. Something that's a bit extraordinary. Something that the media just won't shut up about.

In short, again, it's rather lucky that our crown princess is getting married tomorrow.

The extraordinary bit is that she isn't just going to marry some random foreign royalty but a man of the people. A personal trainer/gym owner/entrepeneur named Daniel Westling, who in a cute little coincidence has the birthday as the current King of Sweden. So the whole thing has a sort of modern fairy tale wibe to it which people love.

Personally I have no love or hate for the royal family of Sweden. They could stay or go and I'd barely raise an eyebrow. But I do have to admit that seeing Daniel and Victoria together is a bit nice. They look genuinely happy together and the clip of them announcing their engagement is actually touching. I just like seeing happy couples. Which is good in this case because, like I hinted at before, the media will not shut up about this wedding.

I know that it's a big deal and all but it gets a bit annoying when basically every channel has at least one program dedicated to the wedding itself, the royal family as a whole, Victoria and Daniel as a couple or royal weddings in general. And it's not just television. In the papers people on the streets and celebrities have asked boring generic questions about how they feel now that this is happening. There was even a paper that had what was basically a fan fic about the couple five years from now, was a bit long-winded and had a predictable twist at the end, written by an acknowledged swedish writer.

And then there's the newspaper that had a rather detail layout of the wedding and what route the couple will take after he wedding so that they can wave to the people. I'm most likely being irrational about it, but isn't that the kind of information that creepy and dangerous people could use to... I don't know, assassainate one or both of them. Or just be an asshat and do something silly like streak in middle of it all? But they're going to have like 2000 policemen guarding the whole thing. Meaning that it's a perfect time to commit a crime in Stockholm as long as you stay a fair distance away from the wedding couple.

But overall the only really interesting thing that's popped up in the news because of the wedding has been the inevitable bit of controversy. In this case it's all about who will walk down the asile together with Victoria.

You see, in Sweden the tradition is that the bride and groom walk down the asile together to signify that they are truly equals that have chosen to make a commitment towards each other. Following this tradition would mean that Daniel and Victoria would be walking down the asile together.

But a short time ago there was the announcement that Victoria's father, the King, will be escorting her down the asile. It's Victoria's own choice but it has sparked a large debate. On the one hand, it is Victoria and Daniel's wedding and they have a right to do it however they want. But at the same time there's a chance that because they do then many other wedding couples will follow in their footsteps with the father handing over the bride thus further breaking the tradition of equallity in swedish weddings.

Personally I'd wish that they would stick to the swedish tradition. But that's not because I'm a traditionalist of any kind. I just think that it's a nicer sentiment behind it.

When a father escorts the bride to the groom it kind of seems like she's just some piece of property that is getting pawned over to a new owner.

When a couple walks down the asile together it's like they're walking on the path towards their future together as one. I just like that one better.

There's some news that a compromise would be that the King will only escort Victoria halfway down the asile where Daniel will be waiting and from there they will walk the rest of the way together.

Yeah, that's doesn't really change anything. It's not the distance that's the point of debate, it's that she will be escorted at all. But in the end it's Daniel and Victoria's decision to make and that alone seems to have gained them the favour of the populus, at least if we are to believe this site. Hopefully this won't mean that there'll be a rise in fathers escorting the brides down the asile.

Escorting controversy aside I can be happy for Victoria and Daniel. In fact, I'll be extra happy for Victoria. Due to her honeymoon it seems like she won't have time to sit through that god awful televised show where her birthday is celebrated by various artists and she has to sit on the front row smiling for cameras when she'd probably want to do something less public. At least this year she won't have to sit through that shit.

Good for her.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Trekking with Sharkazzz

So today I did something different and calm after turning in my final essay for the term. I went to a Star Trek... movie day I guess you could call it.

My friend, whom I'm going to assume still wants to be called Sharkazzz instead of his real name, found a Star Trek fan club/society based in Stockholm and found out that they were going to have a gathering that was sort of open to anyone, who was willing to pay, he asked me to tag along. I figured that it could be fun and I'd always wanted to see a larger group of Star Trek fans so I agreed. Basically they had hired a small movie theater where they would show episodes of the various Star Trek series for a total of twelve hours.

Overall it was fun. The theme of the episodes was supposed to be fathers and sons and it overall held up pretty nicely but was something of a strech in a few episodes that they showed. Also, there was a clear over-abundance of Next Generation episodes, six while the other series only got one each. A bit boring since I've seen like 90% of the TNG episodes but what are you gonna do.

The fans themselves amounted to about 20 with only few dressed up in costumes, all of them human star fleet commanders. I had hoped for a bit more on that front. Generally they were male (shocker!!), with a few women, in the ages 25 and up and most of them were a bit overweight. So besides the gender ratio being flipped, and there being much fewer attentees, it was sort of like the Angel convention I'd been to a few years ago.

As for the episodes. They were are generally good, but there's one moment that I remember distinctly.

Captain Kirk from the original series had a most peculiar fighting scene. It looked sort of normal for the 60s, fake but full of energy, then Kirk pulled of a strange attack on his oppoent. At least it looked strange. Kirk's adversary was down on the ground and the brave captain was going for the finishing blow. Kirk runs up to his foe and leaps at him with a flying kick. That's what I assume it was supposed to look like. What I saw was Kirk's feets and legs going past his oppoent's head but the opponent still fell down as if he had been hit. A common mist-step that one can most likely find in loads of tv-series and movies. What made this one particularly memorable was that due to Kirk's angle it looked like he was hitting the bad guy's head with his butt. I actually LOLed at that. It was just funny.

Nothing much else to say really. The other friend that Sharkazzz had invited, and paid for, left sort of rudely before even the halfway point with no real good explanation. Though, it just wasn't his thing really and I wouldn't want to be something that's not my thing for twelve hours either. They're having a facebook argument about it now.

Then Sharkazzz left because he was dead tired, this had caused him to arrive annoyingly late this morning. But I'm used to that. Also they were going to show episodes from two other non-Star Trek scifi series. Sharkazzz being the Trek purist that he is didn't want to stay around for that. I did and discovered that Battlestar Galactica is really weird unless you've already seen the rest of the series.

Overall, a pretty fun and lazy day.

Oh and the lyrics to klingon songs are strangely, yet somehow understably, similar to the lyrics of Dragonforce songs.