Tourist Season in Western Sweden

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Tourist season has begun. Hordes of Germans and Dutch and their cars usually flood into western Sweden when May/June starts, but today I even got behind a slow-driving, confused and ugly French car. Worse than any actual French car (Renault, Citroen or Peugeot) is a Nissan Juke. I think this is one of the ugliest cars with THE dumbest car name possible. Who chose “Juke” and what is it even supposed to mean? (“Please meet not only our least favorite car of 2012, but our least favorite car of our quarter century lives.“)

It’s also a time of year when people decide to put giant, handmade, ugly neon signs that read: “VÄRNING! ÄLG!” (“WARNING! MOOSE!”) everywhere.

Elg Norwegian warning sign

Elg Norwegian warning sign

In most places in Norway and Sweden there are actual signs that warn of moose – but here in this rural area it is all a DIY effort. The Norwegian signs (the real ones) look like real moose, but the Swedish signs, if you don’t look carefully, look a bit like panthers. Haha. Beware all those wild Swedish panthers.

Swedish älg warning signs

Swedish älg warning signs

The earlier cited article about Dutch people in Sweden actually made me think of a point that I sometimes question (and it’s not why someone writes the word “assassinate” as “assinate” and posts it on their blog): immigrants (those who have moved completely by choice, like the Dutch woman cited in the article, often report the following feeling: ““In the Netherlands, everyone is always in a hurry. When I went back there recently, I kept thinking: ‘Do you ever take the time to live a little?’.”

This made me wonder whether immigrants (again, by choice) are just by nature more “slowed down” in many cases than those born in a certain place. That is, it is easier to opt out of (or never join in the first place) things that are sort of like family and social obligations that one is often subject to at “home”. My life for example was always full of obligations, greater speed and involvement and integration where I came from – and no matter how I aimed to integrate and ingratiate (haha), I still was kind of “apart”, which naturally slows me down. Did I entirely choose to take the time to live a little or is it a matter more of circumstance because I am not totally integrated and also don’t feel like I have to fit into some preconceived idea about what I have to do and what is expected of me? I hear this “moving abroad helped me take time to live a little” – and immigrants often credit the “slower, more appreciative culture” to which they have moved – but I doubt very much that it is wholly or even appreciably attributable to the adopted country’s culture (in many cases) as much as it is the immigrant’s interpretation and place in that culture.

Sound du jour: John Grant – “That’s the Good News

You cannot trust me/I will stab you in the back/I’ll sell your grandma on the street to buy some crack/if crack is not available, I’ll buy gelato/you have to take things as they come that is my motto…

I have been fucked over a thousand times or two, and now I feel that I must take it out on you…

Forms of corporate suicide

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There is the literal idea of the corporate suicide, such as the spate of suicides at Orange and Renault in France, with Renault even anticipating and preparing for more suicides post-industrial espionage scandal. Or more recent exec suicides in Switzerland. What motivates or drives employees in the corporate world to this place of final despair?

There is the figurative idea of corporate suicide – what kinds of things can one do to commit his/her own form of corporate suicide? Something that causes one to fall out of favor?

It is too surface level and too far outside of everything to fictionalize, really. I skim the surface of my own life lived in the corporate world – wandering like a zombie through the halls teeming with those inoculated against reality by the shakedown of corporate life and language. I remain with calm, collected surface, never disrupted, but screaming underneath. I am reflecting on the painstaking choice of words reserved only for writers who have all day to think and no sales to make, no “value proposition” to introduce to shareholders and stakeholders.

But what about the non-corporate environment? The working world with production schedules to meet? That environment is equally tired, painful – fraught with the dangers of unaccomplished and dissatisfied late-20s to early-60s women all introduced too early to middle-age and its indignities, particularly for women. Rote, miserable work in production industries, visiting the “smoke shack” for smoke breaks, some with long coiling hairs growing from the face. Some incompetence. Some absenteeism until enough “occurrences” have accumulated to get them fired. Yes, even a legitimate illness is counted as an “occurrence”. Even in this environment, a lot of corporate bullshit language trickles down although the “troops” suffer less of it – subjected only in quarterly company-wide meetings to the talk of it. But where is the walk of it?

 

Luddites eventually cave and ramble in blogs

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Moments like these, so very quiet and all alone, climbing into bed, I am not sure what to feel.

I think too much, which leads nowhere. Taking words at face value and wanting to believe them but second guessing belief and churning through aspects of disbelief, not even sure why there would be cause for someone to mislead. The doubt is always there, pervasive and tiring, nagging at me as I try to go to sleep for just a few small hours.

The quiet masking the noise in my brain, an onslaught of rapid-fire thoughts: reflecting on weird things like how people throw around the word “sapiosexual” as if it will win them points. How youth’s wildest women turn out to be soccer moms who throw tame Super Bowl parties. How it’s so French to make references to corporate suicides en masse (thanks to dismally unhappy employees of Renault and Orange offing themselves in short succession). How there is a difference between communicating because you want to tell someone something and communicating just to put a salve on your guilt about how you failed to communicate at some point before. How much time I have wasted trying to be polite and preserve harmony when all I wanted to do was get rid of someone. How frightening people’s eyes can be sometimes. How I may once have been a luddite, but there is no turning back after you embrace technology.