Astrid Lindgren is some kind of god over here. When she died a few years back they almost closed the town down and the number of tearful eulogies on the TV were embarrassing in the extreme.
And now an article in the grand old Swedish daily Expressen talks about a Norwegian TV show (ah those wily old Norwegians again!) making smutty fun of dear old Astrid. They have cobbled together a pastiche of Astrid characters doing “rude” stuff, such as drinking, smoking, shagging and playing bingo-lotto. According to the article the “outcry” from Sweden has been loud, but in reality I doubt that anyone cares.
You see, in reality, I think, most people feel like me – that Astrid Lindgren is rubbish. I hold nothing against her personally (heh heh), and I am sure she was a decent person and deserves more respect than I am about to give her, but I happen to think that her books are dreadful. They represent the worst kind of kiddie-pulp, and most of them were obviously thrown together in Phillip K. Dick fashion, over a long weekend with a big bag of speed.
Now I will proceed to beat the dead lady with a shitty stick, so kindly turn your head if you feel you will be offended.
1) First of all she has this irritating “oh the old days were so much better than today” crap going on, as if living in a poor farming community, rife with hunger, disease and sheep-shagging, was some kind of golden age. Well it wasn’t – it was a dire existence and anybody that tries to make that “romantic” is an idiot.
2) Her plots are so badly thought out and so full of holes that it makes my teeth hurt. As well as this, she had a tendency to toss in bits of medieval or fantasy environments without really knowing what she is doing, just to get a bit of “mysticism” going on.
3) Pippi Långstrump is the possibly the most annoying character in all of literature – a character who has NO flaws. And how much fun is that? She is strong, rich, friendly and kind with some kind of magical power, and NOTHING can ever turn out badly for her. Oh hurrah, great literature indeed…let’s watch perfect little Pippi wandering about doing stuff. And please pass the codeine.
4) And finally, my favourite…Karlsson on the roof. Yes, this is the happy story of a little boy who discovers that there lives a strange middle-aged man in a loft on top of his building. And the strange man likes to hang around exclusively with children, and even flies into their bedrooms at night (yes, he can fly) to “play” with them. Yes, this is really what happens, and if the idea was presented to a publisher today, you can imagine how far it would get.
I could go on, but I can’t be arsed watching any more Astrid Lindgren movies to complain about them, so off you go now. Go on, find the person you love and give them a foot massage, and you might even get lucky.