Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Word or Two about Television

I know I still need to do my "Wrap-Up" entry, telling you about all the wonderful changes I notice in myself and how America differs from Sweden, but since that requires thought and effort, that will come after I am done with my final paper.

Ranting does NOT require effort.

Being the football/soccer fanatic that I am, I listen to BBC phone-in podcasts about the game. One host, called Danny Baker, had an idea that there were too many teams in the world and decided to create a Totalitatian League. Fans then called in and made cases as to why their team should be only one of twenty left in the world. Of course, this is a hypothetical.

Here is another hypothetical: Totalitarian Television. If I were a politician, I would get called a fascist or communist, but since I am one insignificant person of nearly 7 billion, I don't care.

In the current space of time, there are countless television channels. There is a channel for nearly every interest, its cousin broadcast channel in HD, and then channels about things absolutely no one, save for maybe its owner, is interested in. Topics that used to receive their own show now receive their own channel.

While I'm not calling for a revert back to the six channel system of the recent past, I do think it would do humanity (or anyone who has cable or satellite) to slim down the channel pickings to twenty. Fatasses everywhere would be forced to pull themselves off their sunken-cushion couches if their favorite channel, Midgets Running in Circles HD, suddenly only had sixty minutes of airtime. Then it could be broadcast when it should be broadcast (besides never), at 3 am when said fatasses couldn't be outside playing ball or stoners get too high to repack their bongs.

Okay, but seriously, kids wouldn't be as fat.

And hey, now I can tie this into Sweden. Swedish basic cable only had ten channels (imagine that!). And I do recall an older Swede telling me he was rushing home with his little boy so they could catch cartoon hour. HOUR. Maybe that's why there aren't any fat people in Sweden. Timmy, or let's call him Anders, watches cartoons for an hour then goes out and chases butterflies for a couple hours.

I'm not going to give you the twenty channels that would remain a) because i am too lazy, and b) because it would be incredibly biased (ArsenalTV WOULD be among them). But you can use them as a conversation piece at your next social gathering, or try to forget you ever read this nonsense.

And as for the answer to your question of "Will this blog continue after he finishes writing about Sweden?" Absolutely not.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Quick Rant at Nike

So about a year ago, I bought some awesome new Nike socks. They're black and go up past my ankles, and they're really comfortable.

So of course, in choosing to buy socks about six months ago, I elected to stick with the Nike black half-rise socks. Little did I know that these six new pairs of socks would cause me constant consternation (how's that for verbosity?) for the entirety of my time in Sweden.

You see, these socks feature a prominent L or R, telling me which foot to put them on. Being far from Obsessive Compulsive but caring a bit about order, it is just one more thing to bring the temperature of my blood closer to the boil. And for those of you that know me, you'll know that my blood already teeters dangerously on the brink.

Why do the clowns at Nike's design department need to do this? Both socks are the same, but for that godforsaken 1/26 of our alphabet. So when I inevitably put my right foot into the left sock, I have that split second of horror. Or, when I'm folding my laundry, I have to care not to match up two left socks even though it doesn't matter. It matters subconsciously, which I can tell you, irks me even more.

Of course, you're thinking, "Does this blowhard really need to rant about socks?" The answer is yes.

Two days until I reenter the realm of smog, earthquakes, and fires. Oh yeah, and apparently I have to worry about lightning too now.

Good day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Long Left

What's happenin' guys? The goodbyes are beginning here in Uppsala, making the shoddy weather somewhat poetic perhaps.

In a way, my trip has come full circle. In the first week, I was freaking out because I didn't know what I had gotten myself into. Now, in my last week, that fact seems ridiculous, and I am now freaking out because I am concerned that I didn't do everything I could have here.

Of course, I have loads of things to look forward to at home and loads of things not to look forward to here in the final few days. I have to sell my bike, clean up my flat, pack, say goodbye to people, who, in all honesty, I'll probably never see again, and the general stress of traveling. The latter, of course, involves making sure my bags don't weigh too much, making sure I leave room in the carry-ons for my last legal liquor purchases for six months at the duty free, deciding whether to try to smuggle in Cubans, and taking care to hold on to my passport and boarding pass.

I'm to the point where I've essentially planned out my last week. I've determined that most of my time will be spent reading in preparation for the monster paper I still have to write. Other than that, end-of-semester parties, one more football/soccer match, and the general horror of the aforementioned chores.

I'll be sad to leave this place. But to be truthful with you, this has seemed like one giant vacation. As much as I hate to say it, it's time to get back to real life.

And since this seems like a depressing entry, I'll leave you with this hilarious video.

Song: "Optimistic" – Radiohead