Tuesday, August 09, 2005

PissedOffPencil has been in contact with a gentleman who complained over, among many things, Swedish politicians, lawlessness amongst teenagers, the immigration and the lack of freedom in Sweden. Since P.O.P is a curious person, he tried to find out more about this genleman, eg. profession and political views, by simply writing to him and ask. Simultaneously P.O.P searched the internet to see if there were any articles about the gentleman. There were.

And, Ooh yes, the man really thought that we, in
Sweden, are very suppressed, almost slaves in fact. When P.O.P. pointed out that, if the man had been living in England, he would hardly be able to cross a street without being registered by a camera or, if he lived in the USA, could have been shot down for some traffic violation if the police officer felt threatened by him, it soon became obvious that the man meant that the taxes in Sweden were too high. So, now we know that it’s the taxes in Sweden that suppress us.

That’s a bit strange in P.O.P:s view. I actually thought that it was the fact that we, who have more, pay taxes so that the government can distribute some of the money to, as an example, poor single parents so that they can provide better for their children, or schools for our children and one of the worlds finest (sort of) health care systems?

That the money that we pay in taxes sometimes could have come to better use is a completely different discussion and has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, the money that we pay, often give people better chances in life than they would have gotten on their own. The system is not perfect and can be greatly improved in some areas but to accuse the very system that almost has eradicated poverty for suppression, that just plain dumb.

Well, the man continued by complaining that government officials lined their own pockets at the expense of the “common man�. P.O.P. actually agreed until the man as an example mentioned the infamous, in Sweden that is, Toblerone incident.

(Short history: A female politician bought, against the rules, some chocolate and other stuff with the credit card that only is supposed to be used in her official role as a representative for the Swedish government, not as a private person. The media coverage and outcry was tremendous. She paid the money back but the damage was already done, much to the delight of the right-wing opposition.
She had to step back. All that fuss for a minor mistake. I’m not quite sure but I believe the sum was about 150 SEK (less than 20 USD).)

Now, put that in perspective with the fact that Sweden has had it’s fair share of economic scandals where CEO:s got bonuses and benefits by the millions! Something your average Joe only can dream about. And these guys didn’t even do their jobs right in the first place!

The man then changed the subject to the immigrants and referred to the statistics that claimed that about 20 per cent of the immigrants had been charged and convicted of crimes. P.O.P, who has read the same statistics, asked very considerate which of the immigrants he meant. And, of course, the answer was “the black ones� eg. everyone with not-so-pink-skin…

P.O.P pointed out that the statistics comprised each and every immigrant in Sweden. That included immigrants from northern Europe and everyone with at least one immigrated parent. The man got really mad and started to call P.O.P names, including “a reality-blind communistic pot-smoking sandal-Jesus�. Yours truly laughed so hard and so long that he almost died.

The P.O.P pointed out that immigrants were a rather small group in the society, about 15 to 20 per cent and to use 20 per cent out of 20 per cent didn’t prove much. It still means that 80 per cent of the immigrants NEVER been convicted of any crimes.

It is true that immigrants have a higher crime rate statistically but the reasons for this is, in my opinion, the much higher rate of unemployment among immigrants. Poverty and racism fuels crime. Thats been proven over and over again. As long as managers look more at peoples surname than at their actual competence, the problem will grow.

The man changed subject again. (Duh) Now he ranted about teenagers and their crime rate. Teenagers were foul-mouthed, cockey, lazy, impolite and a whole bunch of negative things. P.O.P. popped the question: Now, how come they behave like that?�

The answer: Outside influence.�

The man refused to explain exactly what he meant. Luckily yours truly is smart enough to figure out that he actually meant immigrants. And so are probably you.

Teenagers of today were cowards, came in gangs and fought with weapons. P.O.P told the man that this existed in the 70s, when the man still was a toddler, and that the reason for that most likely had to be the changes in society that occurred already in the 40s, 50s and late 60s as the teenagers slowly evolved from “big children� to “small adults� with their own money to spend. And youngsters have always been a group that grown-ups ponted their finger at. Hell, even the old Greeks did that! On the other hand, they were foreigners so their opinions probably didn’t count?

P.O.P. asked the man about his political standpoint. The man replied that he wasn’t interested i politics (!), but he considered that citizens should “maximum freedom� to do what they wanted, without government interference, as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else. P.O.P wondered who was to decide what criteria to use. The man answered that �everybody is able to decide that!�

Then P.O.P pointed out that many people of today, in the 21:st century, still couldn’t distinguish between �fun� and bullying, �joke� and sexual harassment. Adult males (and females) abuse children sexually and can’t find anything wrong with that? Doesn’t a society need guidelines in those cases?

-No, the man replied, if the children find it abusive and say so, the abuser will have his punishment.�

-So if I throw a bomb into a room and everybody in there dies, it’s totally okay? Since no one can complain?�

The man refused to answer more questions.

P.O.P has now written a new e-mail to the man to clear out some things we never got to discuss.

1. If the man so badly wants people to obey the Swedish law, how come he has been convicted for several crimes, among them smuggling of weapons?

2. If the man is so convinced that it’s immigrants and teenagers that do most of the violent crimes in Sweden, how come he’s the manager for a store that speciallyzes in selling knives and nightsticks?

PissedOfPencil really want’s an answer to these two questions but fears he will have to wait until Armageddon…


Shark-fu said...

Yeah! A bitch was seriously having a hard time translating from Swedish!

Thanks for the translation...it was a very good read!

DUB said...

Yes, very well translated.

I fully understand human nature. I'm aware it is such that defines and connects all of us. Yet, I'm still disappointed, amused, intrigued, and sadly, somewhat relieved that the same ignorant, bigoted fools espouse the same ignorant, bigoted views abroad.

In all probablility, we Americans are still collectively the bigeest asses of the bunch. Maybe I foolishly over-emphasize certain countries' liberal social approaches, health care, and labor philosophy.

Ah, how lovely it is to waste time dreaming of Utopia.