Thursday, December 20, 2007


Corn tortillas
Originally uploaded by
Greetings from Finland:

1. Culture: State Secretary writes a bizarre piece to the main newspaper - as a private person apparently - where he refers to the new dramatisation of Unknown Soldier (main Finnish book on Second World War) and builds a bizarre link between Kristian Smeds' direction and the rise of facism. State Secretary Volanen mentions the school shootings of Jokela but leaves the bridges between issues so vague that he can still walk away. Volanen has not seen the play.

2. Media: National broadcaster YLE launches a new channel directed to youth in Spring 2008 with a massive PR campaign. Last month they decided to close it down due to budget cuts. People who had been hired did not even get to start before they were fired.

3. Dreams: Main political weekly invites people to write letters to Finland on its 90th birthday. Subjects: alcoholism, importance of draft army, complaining about the role of artists, blurry stuff about economic dangers, ranting on and on how we have lost our relationship with nature and warning how this all could collapse any day. Happy Birthday.

4. Democracy: Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen is advising Ministers not to talk about undecided issues in public before the Cabinet has decided on them. This guarantees constructive decision-making apparently. At the same time the Ministry of Justice has founded a democracy unit. Well, at least they know where to start.

5. Advertising: Yesterday advertisement in the cinema before the film: promotion for a ring for supporting veterans, promotion by the lotteries on a campaign to help war invalids, advertisement on the dangers of drinking and driving, social awareness campaign on keeping a safe distance on the motorway and the lottery piece again.

With this little amount of light and these low temperatures one could use a bit of inspiration. One could use a few new ideas, some fun and true engagement. It feels amazing how people can seem so bloody unhappy with this prosperity. As there are no hopes for people to grasp on, especially in December it really seems like everything is going down the drain.

1 comment:

Punainen diiva said...

I really shouldn't intervene with a good rant, but my overflowing Christmas spirit makes it impossible for me not to try and cheer you up. The phenomenon you described is an annual nuisance (though your years abroad have mercifully let you forget). It is caused mainly by two factors: 1)End-of-the-year rush. Everybody who has a life, is busy living it: Christmas shopping, arranging holiday schedules, finishing projects und so weiter. Meaning that the ones with enough time in their hands to sit down and comment on things are either getting paid for doing it or, well... you do the math. Happy people don't have the time right now.
2) Cold, dark, wet. The usual excuse for being somber in Finland, at this particular time making the Ebenezer Scrooges among us even more grumpy than usual.Sorry about this. We'll do better next year. Promise.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, one and all.