( May. 1st, 2009 10:43 am)
Hope you have an awesome day. I would go and protest, but I have to work (ironically)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] shehasathree

we're all the same )
( Mar. 24th, 2009 10:24 pm)
I pride myself in being open to change, to new possibilities. With that in mind I decided to read all the political pampflets this year instead of just voting for Sosialistisk Venstreparti (the Socialist Left party) as I always do.* And loh and behold, on my doorstep, as if by miracle (or because I moved in with the son of a rightwinged man) Høyre ("Right" as in as opposed to "Left", not as in "Correct") rang our doorbell with a pampflett. So I read it. With an open mind, I'd think.

But already on page one I was in trouble. You see, they said they'd put the country back on track by reducing taxes and increasing spending on schools and police. So if they're going to get less income, where are they taking the funds for the schools and police force from? It didn't say. That is what I'd like to know before I vote for somebody.

By voting for Socialist Left for instance, I know they want increased spending on public goods and that they will finance it through increased tax incomes. They're open about that and if you disagree with it, you vote for somebody else. But this "getting more while paying less"-attitude is bullshit, and I hope we all know it by now, after all Høyre has been in power several times before and so far it's always meant less money for something (like hospitals, schools and public transportation).



*For you non-natives, in Norway we have a variety of political parties, not just two big ones with tiny powerless ones on the side like in Great Britain or the US.
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( Jan. 28th, 2009 09:15 pm)
I know I have christians on my flist and I´m wondering how you feel about gays. Do you believe that God is against homosexuals, or do you think that God created all things and thus also the gays? Are they just confused, or is homosexuality natural?

I started thinking about this after I had a conversation with a friend of mine on a party last Friday. She´s a greek orthodox and a lesbian and her priest tells her that she can only be saved, that is go to heaven, if she does not stop having sex with women. She feels that God would not have created her this way if s/he didn´t want her to be this way.

So what do you guys think (you non-religious types also get to answer of course)?
Do you remember being taught history in school? Now, I only had Norwegian history for 10 years instead of 12, seeing as I transferred to an international school which focused on European, rather than Norwegian modern history, but unless I´m very much mistaken, there was a lot of important stuff left out of my curriculum.

Did you for instance know that the Vikings enjoyed same sex relations?

Or did your teacher or curriculum state anything about the results of Norwegian development aid, or question the views of Norway as a promoter of peace in the world?

Or, most importantly, did you learn that from 1935-1977, more than 44 000 sterilisations were carried out in Norway, and only about half of them were done on condoning patients?

I didn´t learn any of this in high school. The reason I know it now is because I study history at university level. I think it´s time to be more controversial when deciding the curriculum of Norwegian history classes. People should be aware. Or am I wrong? Were you taught this in school? Was I the only one who missed those classes?

And to you people from other countries: Do you ever wonder what might have been left out of your curriculums?
( Aug. 8th, 2008 10:16 pm)
I've always been interested in how changeable the truth can be. I find it fascinating to hear people tell the same story from different viewpoints and not only focus on different parts of a story, but also draw completely different conclusions from it. This is interesting on an interpersonal level for instance when two friends have started arguing about something and you listen to the story of their argument from both sides and realize that they're telling completely different tales. It's interesting on a more judicial level when you realize that only some stories are more admissible than others. The grand example of this is of course Judith Butler's study of rape victims stories and the conclusion that only some tellings of rape experiences are believed (namely the ones where the victims break down and cry, or tell about the right feelings for loss of control and so forth). But it is also interesting from a political perspective when you realize that political beliefs can change the truth.

I'll give you the example that got me thinking about this. In the kitchen of my clinic there was an old copy of Aftenposten (a large Norwegian paper with a conservative outlook on the world). It was opened on a page with a picture of Mao and the article was about life in China today. The story told the tale of how happy, consumerist, young Chinese people were blissfully unaware of the horrors of Maoist China and of the great joy that the reformist Deng Xiaoping had brought them all by allowing the freedoms they now enjoy (mainly the new shopping opportunities apparently). And I realized that though this story may be true for the journalist and the readers of Aftenposten, it was not true for me. I do not believe that China is a happy, relatively free, consumerist paradise today, nor can I think of Deng Xiaoping without thinking of the Tiananmen Square incident. And I know that this story would be told in a completely different way in for instance Klassekampen or even Dagbladet (two other Norwegian papers).

So my question to you become: Is the article true? Is truth changeable? Are all stories told equally true or are some more true than others?
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I slept in today and it was awesome. I don´t think I´ve realized how badly I´ve been sleeping this past week until I actually slept well. Wow, I like myself better now the bags under my eyes are gone and it doesn´t feel like I´ve got sandpaper in my eyes.

I´m done reading the sources for my chapter and will start actually writing it as soon as I´ve had some breakfast.

In other, more disturbing, news, [livejournal.com profile] mirazandar gave me this link. Seems to me we´ve all been sorted into the lovely group of "urbanites". *shudder* I hate it when people pinpoint my goals and ideals and puts me in a group of others. Aren´t we all supposed to be individuals?

Why we are the yuppies of the 21st century:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanite
( May. 2nd, 2008 08:31 am)
First off, congratulations comrades. I hope you all had a great day and that you filled it with much proletarian-friendly fun.

Because I didn't.

This was seriously the most anti-climatic 1st of May ever. I was planning on reading a bit before marching under the same-sex-marriage-law-banner with [livejournal.com profile] mirazandar, [livejournal.com profile] aj_stalin and does not lj-exist Hanne, but instead, I got woken up before nine by a stressed out [livejournal.com profile] aj_stalin who needed desperate help to get all her stuff moved out of the apartment before 11 o'clock. So I had to get up, get over there and lug all her heavy and cumbersome stuff over to my living room (waking [livejournal.com profile] 45hasle up in the process, but that was a good thing since he was raised well by his mom and therefore helped carry stuff). And I didn't mind too much, despite my complaining, because I am a good friend and the desperation in [livejournal.com profile] aj_stalin was clear for everyone to see.

The problem was that after we were done, I was too tired to even contemplate marching along in the pouring rain. So I missed the march. For the first time in years. And since the weather was so bad, we didn't go do any of the other things we usually do, like having a picnic or getting drunk in a park, and instead I cleaned the entire apartment.

Then again, cleaning the apartment made me feel all nice and quiet inside, and I got a lot of time to myself (for the first time in days, which was great). Also, I now know exactly where my contract with the university is and have sorted through all my papers. Still, spending the 1st of May cleaning rather than celebrating worker's rights or fighting for equality makes me feel all sad and disillusioned. A little empty inside. It usually is one of my favorite days of the year, so spending it alone cleaning seems a bit, well, sad.
It's always surprised me how much faith many people put in genes and "nature", and how many people really seem to believe that we're actually meant to be a certain way. I do not believe that. I believe that we assert our personality based on input from the people around us, from bill boards, tv-shows, parents, teachers, classmates and so forth and so on. Why am I bringing this up? Well, I'll tell you.

Yesterday, I had an awful time at school trying to get back on track with my studying (which still gives me trouble breathing when I think about it). Finally, I gave up and decided to go work out my aggression at the campus gym instead. Now, the campus gym has a very shady feel to it. It's small, it's filled with free weights (is that what it's called?), and it's kinda dark. Surprisingly enough, it's still filled with very manly men who can lift themselves and/or a lot of extra weight practically anywhere, and 90 pound girls in matching sports wear running on treadmills. I think it will surprise noone that I didn't quite fit either picture. And I know that most of my girlfriends would have a problem with not being well dressed enough (I was wearing a baggy old Nightmare before Christmas-teeshirt, different colored socks and a 4-year-old pair of black pants), or not skinny enough, but I had an equal problem not being strong enough to compete with the big, macho guys in the free weights room. And that got me thinking about why I would feel the need to compete with every man/woman I ever meet.

Then, after I was done working out (there was also an embarrassing story of how I met a cute guy from my class while really red in the face and lifting, I kid you not (blasted carpal tunnel), 2 pound weights, but more on that later), I decided to shop all the food I needed for my dinner party tonight. When I was done, I had to carry 3 bags of groceries and my very large purse around with me. When I sat down on the subway I ended up placing them between my legs, making me sit in a very masculine position. And then I remembered the exact moment I decided to become a feminist.

It was my tenth birthday. My family and I had taken a trip to Denmark to celebrate, and my father had run out to buy danish (you know, wienerbrød) for breakfast. I didn't like danish, never really cared for them, so it was pretty much a let down for me. Also, they'd decorated them with the Danish flag which is neither here nor there. It was my birthday, not a national holiday, and definitely not the Danish national holiday. But I was a polite and nice child, so I ate two and pretended like they were my favorite (I think my parents to this day think that I'm the type of person who loves Danish pastries). We were sitting in a circle around a too-small hotel room table and my father and two older brothers were sitting with their legs far apart in a very comfortable and, I would soon find out, very masculine stance. I, of course taking my cue from them, did the same. My mom and dad were quick to show me that that's not how girls are supposed to sit. I was an innocent child and asked them why not, if my brothers did it, why not me? And all conversation sort of froze as they tried to think of an actual good reason for why girls shouldn't be able to sit the same way as boys. They didn't find one, but still ended up insisting that girls just don't do that, and as I carefully placed my legs across one another in a classical feminine pose, I decided that I would not be one of those girls who do not question the rules of society.

Sadly enough, this basically translated to me getting an ugly-ass handwriting (because nobody expected the boys to be able to write in a nice and pretty way, so why should I?), a very messy room all the time (same argument) and general outspokenness and a bit of a masculine way of dressing for a while. In the end I got to the real feminist battles, and I'm still sticking to them, but I notice that even though I've been a feminist since I was ten, it takes three bags of groceries between my legs to make me sit in a masculine fashion on the subway. Sometimes it feels like I'm fighting an uphill battle.
In the 1950s, the babyboomers came: the ones who "built Norway".

In the 1980s, it was "japperne": the quick-fix, one-man-company-people.

Then, in the early 90s, it was all about the "dessert generation" - the ones who didn't build Norway, as Erlend Loe nicely put it. The ones who just expected to get everything handed to them.

Who are we? What name will they give/have they given us? I need a label here...
( Oct. 24th, 2007 02:42 pm)
The World Social Forum (WSF) is an alternative to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and had its first meeting in Porto Alegro in 2001. I am very interested in the WSF as a concept; with no leadership only loosely defined guidelines and the slogan "another world is possible", it attempts to find an alternative to the neoliberalization of the world and the capitalist globalization. At the same time, it wants to discuss different views, and develop bonds between different global and national organizations in order to create agreement as well as potential for future collaboration. All this is good, but there are some problem I see.

1. They have no elected leadership.
On the one hand, I think it's an interesting choice and I think it's commendable that they want to make sure that everyone feels equal in the decision making process and in the organization in itself. On the other hand I have my doubts about the reality of the equality of this type of organizing. It is my experience that attempts at a flatly structured leadership only serve to hide the real leaders and keep people from choosing them in a visible and formal capasity. Instead, you have a situation where informal leaders, who become leaders either because they take control, do more than others, or have the charisma or clout in international society that people will listen to them, have lots of power.

My question to you then becomes: Should they take the difficult, but perhaps necessary, discussion of how to make the voting most democratic, or should they continue on as they have before? Do you see a third alternative?

2.They have no clearly stated goals.
As a meeting place, a place to exchange experiences and connect/collaborate with other organizations, whether national, NGOs or CSOs, the conferance works well. To actually decide on what this "other world" is supposed to be, let alone to find a common ground on which to wage this battle against capitalist, neoliberal society, the forum has as of yet proved lacking.

Where do you think the forum should go today? Are you happy with the service it has rendered so far or do you wish it would bring more actual goals that people could fight for?

Discuss away! I'm actually interested (and it's almost relevant to my masters degree...)

This icon is called "sick barney"
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( Aug. 25th, 2007 03:34 pm)
that's where I am right now. To be more precise, I'm at the public library in Greeley Colorado and am taking advantage of the free internet. Even though it's getting kinda late, I think I'll be driving on today, away from this little piece of rightwing, narrowminded heaven. I know you're probably stopping now, going, huh? what did she just say? But yeah, that's right. Greeley and the people in it are amazingly nice people. To me. But they generally don't like illegal immigrants (well, who does, but at least we don't let them freeze to death in winter rather than turning on their electricity), muslims, dark-skinned people, or faggots. So yeah. For the first time in my life, I elegantly left out the fact that I was queer in any discussion, for fear that it would become very uncomfortable. I felt like a coward, but then again, they beat up a californian guy, wrote "faggot" on him and hung him up on a telephone post and let him freeze to death. And the guy charged with the murder defended himself by saying the faggot came on to him, and it worked!

In other freaky news, if you go off the highway, people beat up drivers with california license plates for being californian, aparently...I'll make sure I talk to everybody, letting them know I'm Norwegian. I don't want a bloody nose
just because the people from Wyoming and Colorado are strange and violent...

On the other hand, I've had a nice week talking to people, hiking in Estes Park, walking in the Rockies and watching lots of movies with a really nice girl named Morgan. And now I travel on to Salt Lake City Utah. I promise not to come home a mormon everyone! ;)

This icon is called "jensen sex"
I like reading newspapers. I try to read all the big Norwegian newspapers in fact (except Dagbladet and VG, but that’s just because they focus on news like “how to stay slim throughout the bikini season), and I do that because I know that different papers have different takes on each case. I expect that “Financial News” (Dagens Næringsliv) will take a very different stance than “the Class Struggle” (Klassekampen) for example. And usually, that’s exactly why I read both papers.

But, sometimes, their viewpoints astound me. I’m astounded when the Class Struggle prints an article that bases itself solely on mocking a political party, especially when it mocks the Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) for going against a law that is not a clear-cut good idea (an age limit of 24 years for marrying and bringing home someone who’s not from Norway). I can respect that they disagree with me, for instance, on the law, but to say that the only thing the Socialist Left Party has ever accomplished is to deny people the right to own Pitbulls (!) is a lie, and a stupid one at that. But I’m equally astounded when Financial News, a paper one expects to speak out against government control, print an article that makes it sound like the Norwegian government, for no reason at all, wants to spend 4 billion kroner on buying up stock in the Norwegian oil company (the new Statoil/Hydro). I can understand that they disagree with the wish for government control, and I can understand that they disagree with the, problematic to say the least, use of the oil fund to pay for it, but what I cannot understand is that they don’t think for a second that there’s a reason the government wants to keep their 67% ownership of the state’s oil company. I mean come on, it’s not completely out of the blue, and to try to angle the article away from “can we really spend our oil money on this” to “the stupid government wants, for no reason at all, to buy back stock in their company” is just silly. I am annoyed with both papers and the world in general.

This icon is called: "Drunk Giles"
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I think it's time to take a minute to marvel at the accomplishments of Norway's new government, and SV specifically. I like to do this ever time something really good happens, and today is one such day. You see, today, the proposal to not only allow same-sex marriages, but also to allow gays to adopt children is being sent out on a hearing (is that what it's called when different city councils and interest groups get to give their opinion on a proposal before itæs passed?). This is so awesome! Now we just have to make sure it gets passed in Parliament, but we're going to make it, I'm sure!
---
This icon is called "Cunning Hat"
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Dear friends,

From New York to Baghdad, Madrid to Beirut, talk is rising of a 'clash of civilizations' between the West and Islam -- no end in sight to the catastrophe in Iraq, war brewing between the US and Iran, Lebanon torn apart again, and still no real Israeli-Palestinian talks. But we know this clash is not about religion or culture. The real cause is politics - the politics of divide-and-rule, on all sides.

This is not the world we want. But it's the world we'll end up with, unless we act now. It's time for the peaceful majority – us – to make a stand. So watch our new 'Stop the Clash' video now for a fresh, empowering take on these conflicts, and a concrete first step we can all take today:

www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_clash

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( Jan. 5th, 2007 12:42 pm)
Politisjefen (?) i Oslo gikk ut i Aften Aften i går og anbefalte kvinner i Oslo å anskaffe seg beskyttelsesspray etter en rekke voldtektsforsøk i Oslo sentrum etter jul. I dag gikk Dagsavisen ut med en motartikkel hvor en del politimenn uttalte at det var politiets oppgave å holde byen trygg og at det å anbefale kvinner å anskaffe beskyttelsesspray sendte signalet om at man ikke var trygge nok i Oslo. En politimann uttalte også at det i tillegg sendte signaler om at kvinner som blir voldtatt blir voldtatt fordi de ikke klarer å beskytte seg selv og at det dermed legger skylden på offeret.

Jeg kjøpte selv beskyttelsesspray når jeg jobbet like ved dronningensgate og skulle vandre de gatene alene hjem sent på kveldene. Det er også klart at det er en del steder i Oslo folka på jobben min ikke lar barna sine vanke (ofte nettopp der vi havner særlig fuktige aftener eller går igjennom når vi er på vei hjem fra byen). Jeg synes Oslo er en relativt trygg by og jeg er ikke særlig redd for å gå der alene. Men jeg vet også at noen ble drept i Sandakergata, like ved der jeg bor, for ikke så lenge siden, og at selv om Oslo er fullt av politifolk kan de ikke være overalt. Dermed synes jeg det kan være greit å ha beskyttelsesspray, bare i tilfelle noe skulle skje. Jeg tror verken det fører til mer vold i samfunnet, eller sender et signal om at "her må man beskytte seg selv for politiet kan ingenting gjøre".

Hva synes dere om denne saken?
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Well, mostly for [livejournal.com profile] mirazandar I guess, because she's usually the only one to reply to this sort of thing.

I will advice everyone who have half a chanse to read the "Feminist -javisst" (Feminist -of course) column in todays Klassekampen (norwegian newspaper). Wenke Mülheisen (great woman) made some very daring assumtions. That is, she said that the criticism of shows like Big Brother and the views on gender they help conforme is actually wrong because the women who partcipate in these shows are actually showing the world (and thus leading to more acception of) their behaviors and views on sex, alcohol, make up and so forth and so on. This could lead to a change in the view point that only middle class, concervative behaviour is acceptable behaviour for women in general. Go Mülheisen I say, but dangerous to imply that one wants looser sexual moral in society...hoping someone will read and comment here!

meme because I'm bored )
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( Dec. 15th, 2006 09:54 am)
So, I'm here at work, thinking about the big questions in life. And I wonder: how does one decide on a set of morals and ethics? I believe that a large part of it is conditioned in through media, childrens books, parents and society in general, but I also believe that one has free will and are able to make decitions at least a little bit by oneself.

So my question(s) to you is: do you believe in right and wrong? what are your views on moral and ethics and how did you decide on them?
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( Oct. 20th, 2006 11:03 am)
Vebjørn Sand has made an exiting exibishion. Somebody come with me? It opens on the 3de of December. On the one hand his views are accurate and interesting when he states that the modern man is a child-man (barnemann), that is, all his impulses and role models comes to him horisontally, not vertically, there is no older, male role model left and the modern man is caught as a child. He is disconnected and without visions. All his dreams are about greed and egotism. I think that is a real problem and a real situation, but Sand states that it is only true for the man. The woman, since she menstruates and gives birth, is connected to the cosmos and the world in general. Therefore she is not lost. Codswallop in my opinion! This is a problem for both sexes, and, well to be frank, bleeding once a month does not make me feel more connected to anything! I am angry. Please read the article and discuss his views with me or I'll explode!

http://oslopuls.no/kunst/article1501226.ece
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Petter Bøckmann is hosting an exhibition in Oslo from October about animals sexuality. Turns out, they've been able to suss out that 1500 species practices gay love. So cool! The ministers of Norway are going wild (and calling it a perversion, again), but as it is the first exhibition of its kind in the world, I'm still kinda proud of my country. Read the amazing article here (sorry, only in Norwegian)

http://www.forskning.no/Artikler/2006/september/1159184941.14
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