The House That Never Was

Gather round, children, to hear the tale of the house that never was.

Picture a Swedish summer house, a gorgeous little thing with two floors, built in the 1820s. It has no running water or indoor plumbing, like many Swedish summer houses. The owner bought it because it was located beside a parachute jumping course, and they did parachute jumping. So they used the house very occasionally to sleep in after jumping out of a plane. There was a well, which wasn’t working, a very basic outdoor toilet and no rubbish collection. But that didn’t bother them, as they performed all their bodily functions and collected water from the parachute club.

20190707_182852(0)I’d heard about this house through the person who stayed there occasionally as a caretaker, cutting the grass and such. I visited her and kind of fell in love with the place. Quaint didn’t begin to describe it. There was also a nice little shed, a half-built chicken coop, an earth cellar (collapsed) and ten thousand square meters of prime land. Also, a wood next door. Lovely.

There was also a man living in a box in the yard, but we’ll get back to him later.

The caretaker told me the owner was sort of interested in selling. In fact, she’d occasionally show up with people to view the house, totally unannounced. She’d also freak out occasionally over nothing. The owner, it seemed, was a bit special, with quotes around the special.

Anyway, I told the caretaker I was interested in buying it. She told the owner, who gave a price of 700,000 Swedish crowns (go look it up yourself). A good price, especially for the amount of land. So, as one should do, I booked a surveyor to go through the house and invited the owner along on the same day, so we could all meet. The surveyor surveyed, the owner shook my hand and laughed and nodded and only mentioned parachuting about eighteen times.

A week later, the surveyor sent me his report. The house was old so there was plenty wrong with it. Roof tiles incorrectly attached. Holes in the facade. Some rot in the wood. Also no water, and since the non-functioning well hadn’t been used for years, it might not even be drinkable. Water is quite important for most carbon-based lifeforms, so that was a concern. Also, their toilet solution was illegal, consisting of an outside loo where you shat more or less directly on the ground, violating environmental regulations. But, besides all that, still a pretty decent price.

There was also the man living in a box in the yard, but we’ll get back to him later.

I pondered the report. I would need to do many repairs, but the major issues were the water, the toilet and the roof tiles. So I adjusted down the offered price, put a bit back on for the furniture in the house, which I knew they didn’t really want, and offered 685. A good price. Or so I thought.

20190707_160702The owner didn’t think so, and flipped out, fuming that I was trying to change what she considered a fair price. That, however, is not how a fair price works. Both people need to agree that the price is fair, and I wanted a symbolic reduction, just to feel I was getting a deal, and to cover the costs of the vital jobs that had to be done – toilet, water, roof over head.

And then there was the man living in a box in the yard, who we’ll get to now.

The man was a parachute jumper, who stayed some weekends in a container they’d put on the property and wired up to the house’s electrical system. Badly. Possibly illegally. He paid enough rent to cover the house’s bills, and the owner had informed me that he couldn’t be thrown out, even if the house were sold, until the parachuting season was over (because we all know when the parachuting season starts and ends). She didn’t see this as weird at all.

Anyway, when she’d calmed down after my scandalous attempt to cut two percent from the price, she called me. This is a woman who likes to talk on the phone. I am not a woman who likes to talk on the phone (or, for that matter, a woman) and prefer everything in text, so that people who are good at talking don’t manipulate me. So I listened as she tried to manipulate me.

The lack of water apparently wasn’t a problem, as she’d been there for years and had never needed it. So that didn’t deserve any reduction. The toilet wasn’t a problem either as yes she knew it was an illegal solution, but she didn’t think the regulations were fair or even relevant, so that did not require any reduction. The roof tiles weren’t a problem as the man who’d installed them told her so, and the professional and independent (and expensive) surveyor I’d paid was therefore wrong.

The man who lived in the box in the yard wasn’t a problem either, as he was lovely, and he’d only need to be there until the end of the season, regardless of whether the house was sold and when, and could not be thrown out. He was even, it was argued, an asset.

DSC_0048Then came her deal. Instead of paying the 700, as was her original price, or the 685 I’d suggested, she offered that I buy the house for 650 thousand officially and pay her 50 thousand in cash. This would mean she had, officially, made no profit on the house, and would therefore pay no tax on the sale. And it would mean that I would pay more tax when I sold it in the future. Ten thousand crowns more.

She also wanted me to pay half of her fees connected to the sale, while I would pay all of my own fees. Which meant her “deal” actually made the price of the house go UP from 700 to 715. Win-win, was how she put it. Or, as I put it afterward, win-get-shafted-up-the-arse.

I explained my attempt to improve the price as a thing that we do in Ireland. Every price, I said, gets argued over, it’s just how we are. She informed me that she’d been to Ireland years ago, and I was wrong about that too, it wasn’t at all how we did things in Ireland.

It took me a few hours after vaguely agreeing to her terms (I’m not good at taking discussions on the phone, see above) to grasp the extent to which she was trying to fuck me over. I realised, as much as I wanted the house, that I was not willing to get screwed for it, especially by a person whose idea of a good deal is one where she gets 100% of what she wants and the other person gets sweet fuck all. I texted her to say thank you but no. She sent a furious reply, which I didn’t read.

I’m still looking for a nice little summer house, but now I think I’ll go through a realtor. At least I know in which way they will try to screw me. If you have one (a house, not a realtor) let me know.

But at least I learned something: Don’t trust a parachutist, they’ll always let you down.

/ paddy

The Chairs At The End Of The Universe

I have, for a week now, being trying to sell some chairs.

I bought these chairs in a second-hand shop a couple of years back. They’re nice and antique-looking, but I always thought they were too soft. So, with an apartment move coming up soon, I decided to get rid of them and placed an ad. Can’t be so difficult, I thought. I’ll just make them cheap, I thought. Some nice person will take them, I thought.

Well. No. Getting rid of four nice chairs for the paltry sum of 25 euros isn’t as easy as it might sound. I put the ad in last Saturday and the madness began immediately.

I had about 6 people contact me. Person 1 and 2 were interested, but not really THAT interested. Person 2 sounded most interested. She asked me if the chairs were in bad shape and needed to be fixed up. I said no. All was well until she revealed that she wanted me to drop them to her in my car. I don’t have a car, I said. I suggested she take a taxi. She said she’d get back to me.

Then person 4 expressed real interest. However, we couldn’t decide a day and time for her to come by and see them. Monday afternoon, she said. I work, I said. Okay then, Tuesday  afternoon. I work, I repeated. Okay, how about another afternoon? I WORK, I pointed out. I have a JOB to go to, which I may not leave until sufficient work had been done. Oh, she said. My brother is coming to get them with me. And he works nights.

Eventually we settled on Wednesday morning, as I’d anyway be home waiting for an official of my landlord to come by, which might happen at any time between 9.15 and 11.45. (More about that in a future post.) At 9:00 Wednesday morning I texted her to ask what time she’d arrive. No reply. At 10:00 I texted again, to say I was leaving shortly. No reply. I went to work and sent her a text calling her a lazy selfish idiot.

No reply.

Person 2 returned from the dead on Thursday and asked me again if the chairs needed to be fixed up. I said no, and anyway it’s all in the ad. Plus photos. She went away.

Next person, number 5, showed interest and wanted to come on Sunday. She suggested three. I said no. I suggested noon. She couldn’t come then. She was going to the gym. I suggested the evening. She didn’t reply. I mailed her twice on Saturday. She didn’t reply.

On Saturday person 2 texted me again. She asked if the chairs were still available. I said yes. She asked me where they were, information which is in my ad. I told her. I asked her if was really interested. She didn’t reply until four hours later, when she said: “Sorry, but I don’t remember what you had … hahaha”.

“Chairs,” I said. “You texted me four hours ago. Do you want them?”

No word until nine this morning. Her reply? “Do the chairs need to be fixed up…?”

At this point I told her I can’t fucking be arsed for 25 Euro if she can’t fucking remember anything I tell her. I’ll just throw them out. Goodbye.

To summarise: What the fuck is wrong with people? Can’t they decide what they want? Can’t they keep a promise? Can’t they show up when they are supposed to and, if not, let me know so I don’t wait for them? What the fuck is this, a sitcom?

I’ve learned my lessons though. In the future, if I sell chairs (or anything) online, I’ll ask for a lot more money. And filter out some of the crazies immediately.

Or just skip it all and set them free in the woods.

/ paddy

Stuff / Soul

I’ve spent the evening going through the accumulated geological layers of crap in my basement, sorting it into stuff that I need, and stuff I can give or throw away. I am doing this because I am going to leave this area, and move on. I’ll be taking a smaller flat, much cheaper, and right beside a massive forest. In fact, the view from my new balcony will be – forest. No SUVs, no interchangeable blonde couples jogging around, no tossers parking on the bike lane. Just fucking forest.

This neighbourhood has been fine, for the three years I’ve been here. It’s by the water, and modern in a good way, and close to town and forest, plus the people I know in my building are lovely. Except for one thing. It’s too bloody rich. Upper-middle class rich. Soulless people wandering the clean streets like confused zombies with too much cash and no idea what to do with their pampered, self-obsessed lives.

The people living here have too much money, and they just spend it all on shit. Total and utter shit. Like fancier cars. Or new furniture. Or uglier bigger televisions. Or new fucking kitchens.

What’s the deal with kitchens anyway? Why, suddenly, does every moneyed moron have a burning desire to change their kitchen? What the fuck’s wrong with the old one? Is it broken? Does the toaster smell funny? Or is the wall the wrong fucking shade of egg-shell white?

I know the answer. They’ve seen it in some interior design magazine and decided it’s “for them”, the fucking mindless sheep.

Anyway, back to the present rant. The fact that my neighbours have too much money can easily be seen in the “recycling room”. This is where they offload their excess consumables, things that won’t fit in their cavernous basements. And, my God, you should see the stuff they throw away.

Sacks full of designer clothes. Brand new shoes. Electronics. Mobile telephones. Furniture. A few months back, I saw a stodgy pair offload about twenty banana boxes full of nice crystal, and old books, and toys from the 1950s. You could tell it was the contents of an older relative’s house. Their whole life, basically, dumped in a rubbish pile by two unimaginative twits with more money than life-force.

There are charity shops that take this stuff. Lots of them. But my brain-dead neighbours clearly can’t be arsed. Fuck the poor, let them get their own ugly designer shoes and fucking denim shorts.

Today I found a big “fat” television. I actually need a television for my Eurovision party next week, so I took it. It works perfectly. Of course. When I’m done, I’ll put it back. Look, here it is:

See too the other photos I’ve stuck to this article. All taken tonight. And this is just an average Sunday.

It’s very clear that people in this country have too much money, and don’t realise it. They have summer houses, boats, cars, foreign holidays, and still whinge that their taxes are too high. And that they don’t have enough time.

Well FUCK you all. You want more time, work less. Learn to get by on less stuff, and find joy in simple things, and you’ll be a lot fucking happier.

They won’t be happy though, will they? They’ll just be boring and have brightly coloured, fancy, loud and ultimately empty lives.

And if you ask me they’ve made their choice and they fucking deserve it.

/ paddy

The Swedish Democrats

There is a big fuss in Sweden at the moment about the Swedish Democrats. These are a far-right party, peopled and supported mostly by thick people from the country. Well, they are. All the other parties are now in a tizzy about the fact that they might win seats in the parliament and they are falling over each other to say how they will not, on any account, work with them.

Sigh. Let me just point something out here. This is a democracy, and central to a democracy is allowing people the right to speak even when you don’t agree with them. ESPECIALLY when you don’t agree with them. Tell this to the upper middle-class leftish louts who regularly turn up when far-right parties speak in public and shout them down. You know what would have a bigger effect, you daft shouty dread-locked irritants? To let them speak. To allow us to see their logic and make up out own minds. I don’t want the information I get to be filtered by bigots (and the far left are clearly bigoted in their own way). I want to make my own mind up.

As an example I think another party, the Christian Democrats, should be removed from politics since their ranks are awash with homophobes and deluded people. But I understand that they won’t, because many people like to vote for them, so fair enough. Any political party with the support of people should have the same rights as any other political party, as long as what they say isn’t illegal. So get fucking used to it. Again, democracy, remember?

So if you want idiots to show that they are idiots, you let them talk and you ask them questions. Here is a perfect example of that. A far-right dude from the country (previously, and clearly currently, a neo-Nazi) is interviewed and it turns out that he can’t put two words together without saying “umm” or swallowing his own snot.

Brilliant! And here, to prolong your chuckle, is an excellent tune by the very same guy. This dude is great. He’s a complete brick-head who fears for Christmas eve and Midsummer at the hands of marauding foreigners. And he is also a perfect example of why idiots whould be allowed to speak as much as possible. For entertainment, if nothing else.

Personally I am very much in favour of immigration (duh) but I expect those who immigrate to accept the laws and traditions of the country that accepts them. Isolation, religious law, religious clothing, circumcision – all this bollox should cease. Nothing makes me as happy as seeing middle-eastern women in secular clothing, or happy immigrant families on their way to Skansen. Nothing makes me as angry as seeing women wearing full-body burqas and walking four steps behind their fat men because of some ancient tradition of oppression. Cultural rights my fat arse; civil rights come always first.

What’s the point of leaving a nasty country where you are oppressed in one way and coming to another country where you are oppressed in another? Screw that shit. Sweden needs to break the power of traditonal religious cultures inside its own borders. It should not be afraid to put its foot down and say “Welcome, but please observe the rules”. Go to your Mosque (or your Church), by all means, but that bearded gobshite who runs the place shall NOT have any say in how your life goes.

I am quite openly a culturalist. I do believe that my culture, with its emphasis on openness, fairness, and secularism, is clearly better than many other cultures. And what’s wrong with saying that? Plus anybody can join my culture, regardless of race, sex and colour. Come one, come all, but let the force of law dictate what is right and acceptable, and not some random magic book and a room-full of secretive bearded men.

I mean, look at me, previously a rabid Catholic potato-eater, and now after only 13 years in Sweden I eat pickled fish and pasta, I take my shoes off when I enter a house, and just a few days days ago I bought an IKEA throw-cover for my bed.

Who says miracles can’t happen?

/ paddy

Big Bad Burger Bar

I am watching at this very moment (yes, this VERY MOMENT) a Swedish documentary about working conditions in McDonalds.

They show the usual horror stories, in the usual horror-story fashion. How for example “old” food is kept longer than it should, how employees are paid less than they work, and how worker’s rights are regularly stamped upon. An hour is spent, talking to lots of people, with scary music in the background. All to make us angry or upset or something.

Now, any regular readers of mine will suspect where this is going next. Let’s see now, he describes the situation, he builds it up, he piles on the irony… and oh yes, then he starts swearing. So let’s do it!

Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild. With a faery, hand in hand. For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Excuse me, you complete dicks, what exactly do you expect here? You go to a place that offers really cheap bad-quality food, and you complain that they are cheating you? You pay fuck-all for your carbohydrate stodge but you still expect the staff to be buzzing about behind the counter, on gold-plated Segways, wearing goofy smiles from all the free high-quality coke they disperse for free in the staff bathroom?

McDonalds is cheap. It’s their thing. Do people think that this can be accomplished without exploiting somebody along the way? The workers, the suppliers, the growers? Yes, McDonalds simply desires to serve us with cheap, high-quality food while making the world a happy place, and to hell with the profit margins. Sure they do.

Now go bite the other one, it’s got bells on.

These moaners are like the people who complain about glass in their chicken, or meat-glue in their sausages, while at the same time expecting the slop they buy in their supermarkets to be as cheap as possible. You want cheap food, you got it. Tasty, isn’t it?

Seriously, get a fucking grip people. You pay shit, you get shit. What part of this is so difficult to follow? If you want good food and good workers conditions, then don’t go to Mc fucking Donalds just to moan about it. Go to a real restaurant, or make it your fucking self.

Clever, snappy and ironic summing-up line of some sort. You know the drill.

/ paddy

Doing it Wrong

I am never sure if I should be pleased or annoyed when other people spot the same things that I spot. Like, for example, those “doing it wrong” clips on TV shopping ads.

You know the ones I mean. Let’s say they are trying to sell you a new chopping knife and, as an indication of how your life will improve, they show you a hand-cam, black and white clip of some complete fucking moron who can’t do any basic task without getting everything on the floor, up her nose and in her underwear.

These clips usually end with the stressed sweaty women blowing a sprig of hair from her face with a wistful expression. If only life could be better, she thinks. If only I weren’t such an enormous waste of space. If only I had a special salad-chopping machine or a tiny vacuum cleaner or a grill endorsed by a boxer.

These clips are enthralling. They show people who are so utterly hopeless that they should never be allowed to leave their own bedrooms, and then only if their bedrooms have no sharp edges or heavy objects.

And now some genius has made a wonderful compilation of the best ones. So here we have it, the “doing it wrong” compilation. And let me just warn you – the pace is frenetic, the cutting is relentless and the idiocy is completely off the scale.

Makes you want to buy just about everything ever made, doesn’t it? And if you buy it all RIGHT NOW, we will give you a free planet to put it on. So call now, lines are open until the end of time.

/ paddy

Curd for Cash

So the Greeks are happy to accept piles of EU cash after running their economy into the ground with dodgy fiscal planning, bad turkish mustaches, too many private loans and uncontrolled public spending.

But they don’t want to cut any wages. No sir, that would never do. As long as the EU is on hand to once again bail out people who can’t control their own spending or borrowing, then why does anybody have to make that kind of effort?

I however have dreamed up a possible compromise. Just give us back the feta cheese.

Fig 1: Cheese that you can eat but then I have to kill you

You may have noticed this in your part of the world too, but since 2002 there is no non-Greek feta cheese. The name “feta” has been granted a protected designation of origin, and only the Greeks may use it.

What was previously known as feta is these days known in Sweden as “medelhavsinspirerad ost” or “Mediterranean-inspired cheese”. Yeah, sure it is. Nice one, the EU muppets. And buying sports cars you can’t really afford will hereby be known as “Mediterranean-inspired pension planning”. Clap clap, another fantastic piece of EU legislation which cost a fortune to create and then required another fortune to be translated into every language, even bloody Gaelic.

Well I think it’s pretty simple. If it tastes, looks and smells like feta, then it’s feta. So put a sock in it Greece. Or do you want us to come over there and demand you stop making pizzas and instead make “Italian Circle Pie”?

So here’s the money. Enjoy. Buy all the ugly houses you want. Now hand over the fucking cheese.

/ paddy

Weekend Woo

Well it looks like it’s that time of the year again. The bees are out in force, the birds are attempting to have sex with them, and the new-age mumbazoids are descending upon Stockholm for their annual orgy of crystals, hand-peering and badly out-of-focus magical photography.

Yes it’s the Body and Soul expo, the high point of the year for middle-aged women who believe that they can talk to their cats and that water remembers what they put in it but only if they rough it up a bit first.

The joys awaiting us this year include:

  • Aura photography
  • Crystals
  • Dream analysis
  • Alternative medicine

Oh damn it I can’t go on, learn Swedish if you want to read the rest, it’s just too depressing to list. You know what’s in there anyway – every rubbish half-arsed idea that any idiot has ever dreamed up.

All complete and utter bollox, a fact easily uncovered by even the most mediocre of web searches. This just doesn’t work people. Any of it. I don’t care what your friend’s friend said, or what you want to be true, or how many crystals you’ve just wasted your money on.

It. Just. Doesn’t. Bloody. Work.

At least Catholicism has the fancy outfits and the drama and the whole living forever thing. What does new-age have? Dim ladies manipulating each other’s energy fields, without having the slightest grain of an idea what energy actually means?

Now I am waiting for the nay-sayers among my readership to come up with the usual reply when I bring up stuff like this. “But what’s the harm?” they will bleat.  “If it makes them happy, and it isn’t illegal, then let them do it, the poor dears. It isn’t hurting anybody.”

Bollox to that, I say. First of all, the people organising this are making money from it. The last time I looked, making money from stuff that isn’t true is called fraud, and that sure as hell hurts a good many people.

Second of all, if we allow people to present things that are clearly not true as fact, and leave them unchallenged, then we are laying the groundwork for a very dangerous society. We are in fact opening ourselves wide for the worst abuses of power, whether it be from authority, church, or general nasty ideas.

And why? Because once we start accepting some bullshit, we will accept any bullshit.

We need to treasure reason and proof, and allow nothing – nothing – to slide past that filter. A population of sceptics would be very hard to lead down those murky roads where humans have been led in the past. We have to start here, with bollox like this. Prove it or lose it lady.

Woo on this level is criminal, pure and simple. Unless those people at the Body and Soul expo are giving away their fucking crystals for free, then this is fraud and should be dealt with as such. If one single person is sold something over the weekend in the belief that it will have an actual measurable effect on them, perhaps even cure them of something, then the people doing the selling are criminals as well as idiots.

Finally, has anybody else noticed a similarity between the poster above and a famous series of books? Or is that just me and my twisted little mind..?

/ paddy (still sharp ‘cos he sleeps in a fucking pyramid)

Trains and Ould Fellas

I have asked my cousin to do a guest post. This is my first guest post ever, because I was lazy and because my cousin amuses me greatly with her writings on Facebook.

So here we go. Enjoy. And forgive me for my laziness.

I come from the Country but I live in the City. After greatly celebrating the festivities of our Sacred Lord and his wonderful chocolate eggs, I realized that I would have to return to the City. Being the prudent girl that I am, I took advantage of the Irish rail systems newly established online booking system and booked myself a nice expensive seat in one of the cushier cabins.


Lately I’ve been feeling rather impressed with Iarnród Éireann (said railway) due to their spacious cabins, cushy seats and of course the marvelous dining cart service that harbours an interesting if slightly expensive range of sweeties ranging from Pringles to Lilly O’ Brien’s indulgent chocolates.

However.

If there’s one thing you can’t change on train journeys, it’s the people. The people who don’t really know how the system works, or how to use it to their advantage to promote more comfort for themselves and others. 

You know the ones. The ones who perilously flee in any given direction when bus speakers announce, ‘Please step back, luggage doors operating.’ 

They’re the ones who stare at you with wild eyes and froth at the mouth while asking, ‘Are you local?’

They’re generally in the age bracket of forty to seventy and while I can’t paint them all with the same brush, they generally also don’t know how to collect their tickets at the automated ticket collection machine. 

It was one of those who caused me to become not only short in stature, but also short in temper today. As I was trying to make my way to my pre-booked seat, one seatless and grumpy woman roared at me that there were no unbooked seats in that direction, and that we should all just give up and get off the train now.

Upon my arrival at my pre-booked seat I found a fifty something country male with a broken arm smiling up at me. Well, I can’t tell you the shame I needlessly felt as I had to turf some ancient pathetic cripple out of my cushy throne. Man, all eyes were upon me. I could only guess at what the other passengers were thinking. Me in my prime, healthy goodness oozing out of my ears, energy buzzing off my kneecaps. Sure look at me! Fit to dance ten jigs, run the London marathon and save the orphan babies of Calcutta! And here I was, abusing my power to cast an injured elder into the great seatless beyond. 

And you can bet I did; I pulled my ticket on that man. And I’ll do it again. I may be short, but by God, I can navigate a computer interface with ease.

/ paddy (although not really)

Phone-selling Fuckwits

People with a pointlessly good memory may recall me complaining about my mobile phone a while back.

Here’s what happened. I decided, since my mobile bill was usually in the range of 700 Swedish crowns per month, to get a fixed price account. I was convinced by the minion in the shop that I should settle for paying 650:- per month, 150 of that going to pay off the amazing sexy slidy phone I was presented with. This 650 would cover everything, I was assured.

But I shortly encountered problem one – the phone proved to be a lump of shit. It had to be sold for a fistful of magic beans and I had to keep paying it off for the remainder of the 18 months. I bought another phone, a Nokia, but could not forget the wayward son who had to be supported in his new life in some thug’s pocket.

Problem two followed soon after. 650, it turned out, was not in any way a “maximum”. Not included were sending texts abroad, calling abroad and internet access. With these things added, my super max price account was costing me about 850:- per month, including the charge for the phone I had already sold.

Every month my mobile operator would call me and ask me if things were going okay. I would angrily explain that, no, they weren’t, and tell them the whole story. They would listen, tell me they couldn’t do a damned thing to help, and go away. And the next month, they would call back and ask the same question again.

The problem was that the account I had was completely unsuited to how I use a mobile. I had 3000 free minutes to talk for in a month. How many did I use? 50. In a month. I did, on the other hand, send about 200 text messages, many of them abroad. Well done Tele2 for actually checking how I used my mobile before locking me into an account.

And at last–at last!–the 18 months of purgatory were up and I fixed a really cheap and efficient account with unlimited SMS and internet access and low call rates. How low, you may ask? Well here are my last 4 bills:

2010-04-05   184,00
2010-03-08   717,00
2010-02-05   1059,00
2010-01-05   759,00

You see it, don’t you? So I have paid, over 18 months, about 18*600 = about 10000 Swedish crowns too much for mobile phone services. So thanks a fucking lot Phone House, you useless cheating cunts.

And another big “fuck you”, as always, to Tele2 Comviq, the undisputed heavyweight bastards of mobile providers. I hope they spent my 10,000 crowns on something nice. Like heroin.

/ paddy

Arguing With Theists

After having read a rather good blog entry on agnosticism and atheism last week, I was all fired up about religious matters.

So I found myself in a comment thread about religion in an article of The Local (where, I have, incidentally, just published another article).

Anyway, the person I was arguing with began, as these people do, to discuss oppressive communist states and point out that they were and are all “atheist” states. Meaning, I can only assume, that atheists are all mass-murderers (pretty rich coming from the people behind the crusades, I thought).

Let’s look at this more closely. Now, if you planned to install a totalitarian communist regime in a country, what kind of population would you want?

Would you prefer an educated, sceptical population who base their decisions on evidence and reason and can not be convinced of things that are not demonstrably true?

Or would you prefer a population who are used to subjugating themselves to a higher power, who do not ask for evidence and quite happily believe anything you tell them as long as some unelected authority figure told them to believe it?

I won’t insult your intelligence by answering that question directly.

Basically, religion primes people to accept any and all shadowy omnipotent leaders. Atheism, by and large, doesn’t, since atheists are (by definition) better at reasoning.

So if you want to install a totalitarian regime you had better hope that the population is as religious and uneducated as possible. Like, oh let’s see, half the countries in Africa?

And for the record, communist states don’t stamp out religion because they don’t like it. They stamp it out so that their own power can be more absolute. And what is communism, if not a religion? Isn’t it also a set of ideas and doctrines, complete with holy books, which must be followed without thinking? What are Chairman Mao and Kim Jong-il, if not little arrogant gods?

Communists are sure as hell not sceptics, and can only be called “atheists” in the most superficial of ways.

So you want “freedom”? Then you can start by freeing people from all forms of oppression, both governmental and religious, and empower them to make their own decisions. And then we can all live happily ever after.

Until we die, and turn to godless compost and bright little flowers grow from our mulch.

Anyway, have a nice weekend. Free of both communists and sky fairies.

/ paddy

Rice

Metro Sweden, that gushing fountain of shite news, published a story on Tuesday (warning: PDF link!) concerning two ladies and their adventures at a sushi buffet.

The ladies can be seen here looking all “sad for the photo” and expecting us to feel sorry for them. Here’s why:

They entered a sushi buffet at lunchtime. They took sushi but proceeded to poke out the rice, which then was wasted, and eat only the fish.

This meant they went through much more sushi than a normal person would, leaving a pile of unusable rice behind them.

When the staff pointed out to the ladies that they would have to order something more expensive (sashimi) if they only wanted fish, they became all stroppy and refused. And the staff asked them to leave. Which they did. Only to contact a newspaper and pose for the above “we are victims oh pity us” photo.

Now, if these ladies are looking for sympathy, they have come to the wrong blog. The restaurant, if you ask me, was completely right to throw out their moany arses. People seem to believe that they can behave however they want, anywhere, or demand whatever they like, and it’s ok.

But listen ladies, if you want the fish, then pay for the fucking fish, or else get the hell out. The owner and the staff decides. Your power in this is simply not to go back, and tell your friends not to do so either. And not just run to the newspapers like somebody just stole your fucking lollipop.

In their defence the ladies explain that they are “on a special diet”, which means basically, they don’t like rice, or refuse to eat it for magical reasons. Which helps their case not at all.

And the restaurant involved? Where the ladies who couldn’t eat rice went for lunch?  It was called Rice. Irony doesn’t begin to cover it. Stupidity and arrogance probably does.

People, I must once again conclude, are sometimes as thick as shit.

/ paddy