Thursday, November 30, 2006

THE "AWKWARD SQUAD" is in reflexive conflict.

I have a grey beard if I am allowed to grow it. But a black beard is better for me. That I feel and think myself. Yet I feel and listen and act-WITH those that sense that my want of a black beard is not good for me.

If I ever made a club or ever helped make a club just who and what would I ban?

Perhaps it would be a white beard. The ginger beards ? Or the no beards at all ?

OK. Non-Macho types and some feminine folk : what hair is appropriate in the nether regions of an Awkward Squad?

It seems to me that "black balls" and "white balls" are all the same to me. Testicles no more and no less. Damn the colour fashion. ( unless, that is you wish to play pocket snooker, and get a red ball or even a pinki!!!).

I do NOT speak for the "Awakward Squad" although I am an awkward member ( see below for the necessary logo and info ) but I do not speak against either. Like them I do.
Books, Bloggers and Bandwagons.
Sorry for the small print. I have got me spectacles back after a little fall.

Also sorry for reading the failing and pale ( wan and pale) Guardian today. There was something about a George W Bush library. A memorial event? If I remember questions were asked about those books that should or ought to be included in such a liibruaary.

Considering all the pomp and womp from the imps and the whimps and the banjo players that blog the good books may it be asked two unjust questions ? :-

a) Which books would you never allow to "be in" this GWB collection for posterity?
b) What is your favourite banned book that you would like to leave to yer kids as a death wish?

Is it true that bullshit and brains always link together.
I can't do "smiles" but I can do bullshit.
Front page news in Finland. Protesters outside parliament building and TV loves it. Will Helsinki business-politics manage to expand their little empire and take over a smaller neighbour? The little neighbour, Sipoo or Sibbo ( a two language place), is showing the power of local politics as the big brother of Helsinki almost demands ( or else!) that Sibbo gives some of their land to Helsinki for development. The government has also been trying to get different small communities to combine and unless Sipoo gets more political support from the big boys it could be that Helsinki will get its wish and expand.

It was a Helsinki based government that almost managed to invite a German noble to be the first ever King of Finland. Today Helsinki wants territory and wants to expand. But these are just background points. the main points are these. Helsinki has many neighbouring areas that it could take over that are basically working class areas in bad need of repair ( not slums as such but getting to be that way). No Helsinki does not want to improve existing neighbouring environments. No. Helsinki wants the "beautiful" areas around Sibbo where the land is hyper-priced and begging for capital expansion.
The percentage of people today that cannot afford to live in Helsinki ( without having over 100% debts vis-a-vis yearly earnings) is rising steadily year by year. But Helsinki cares little for this. Helsinki wants to expand its CAPITAL base. It wants to steal from others.

Shame on you Helsinki business-politicans you are now Hellstinki.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What A Day ... and by the way ... Bog Off Bank of England

The Bank of England seems Blairism all too Blairism as it accuses Finland of doing the dirty on UK privatisation things and free market things. But Finns have said BOG OFF to the Bank of Blairi$m UK. But first the damned rain.
Here in the north of Finland rain is not usual. In fact Lapland is a kind of desert. The snow we get stays and does not usually melt away and that is why many think of Lapland as a snowy place. We do not get that much rain or snowfall. But this November, the warmest on weather records history, it is raining here in the north. The snow has just about gone. I had to suffer walking into town today in the rain which means doing a kind of survival course. Northern Finns should have a licence to use an umbrella. We are not dreaming of a White Christmas unless we make the snow from our machines. But maybe this means that our electricity bills will be less this year.

Some hopes!!! The power companies in Finland have used every excuse on eath to raise the costs for householders. Too much water. Too little water. Too much cold and even too hot. Mother Nature laughs. Household bills go up by huge amounts month by month but the chief bosses of these power companies increase their unearned incomes even more until they are hyper-hyper-rich. But this month one Finnish power company stepped over that line of passivity. Finns began to make noises and even politicians began to listen. Remember Finns and their government own big parts of this power company called Fortum. There was a rumbling in the tummy of things. The minister for trade and stuff called a special meeting. The already advertised price-hike of 10-15% ( again) was cancelled. All manner of excuses have been coming out in mainstream press for this change around.

But the Bank of England was not amused. This morning Blairism banking is not amused. But live with it you there in the UK. The message to this Bliarite Bank is BOG OFF. ( Oh and by the way take that rain back to where it belongs).


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This time it is Finland. The brutal and nasty truth that is war memory returns to haunt many folk. New photographs "emerge" from the archives of government and military and newspapers can no longer ignore bad and sad facts of war. After the recent freedom of information act in Finland people ask : just how much more can we take?

The biggest newspaper in Finland ( Helsinki Sanomat : an on-line English language version is available) is one of many influential news reports that are asking the question : "What is to be done" now we know more of the truth of our war?" and indeed this question is a big one. But the bigger question is this -- why cover the bad and sad and difficult bits up in the first place? What many local folk have known for generations ( executions and awful happenings from all sides of war) the news papers today take more seriously. The internet is a part of this and so is the changes brought about by government legislation on freedom of information over the last few years. But what Finland is today asking about in public is no Finnish thing. We only need to have a few young German or Austrian friends to realise that.

My own past contacts with the UK taught me many a lesson. I doubt even today that there is reliable information available there concerning the killing of British soldiers by British soldiers and especially the murder of British officers by the rank and file. In Finland too executions were happening. i have one working friend who wrote that he was lucky to be alive and owed his life to a fairly big business boss of a factory. You see his grandfather was waiting in line to be executed ( he was too left wing) but the business boss stepped in and said that this man, the grandfather, was an excellent worker and should be saved. Stories like this are so common that we must ask why the newspapers and official news reports fail in the truth stakes.
OK : there are overt and covert actions at work here both by organisations and by individuals. But there is also something equally ( perhaps more) scary. There are "Structures" out there which move against truth in war or truth in everyday life. It may some time before we can say Good Bye To All That.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Don't Always Hate Mondays

As the Yellow Duck quacks at me today I was thrown into reflection. Be a good example to young folk I must. Watch me language (games) I must. But jokes apart a good point was made. How can blogs and bloggers set any kind of reasonable example to young folk today?

The talented and esteemed intellectual, Juha Suoranta ( see links ), makes a part of his blog by telling us that a group of teachers from the USA have come out with the following information. The cost of just one B2 bomber for the Iraq invasion is about equal to the cost of sending all of the Chicago public school students to university for 4 years and this includes tuition and living costs. I guess I would say that those teachers are trying to set a good example to young folk. I am still romantic and idealistic enough to support that Campaigning with eductional institutions. We might recall that campaigns for nuclear disarmament were once popular with school students and college students. But that was before "Warwick University Limited" ( good book by an historian by the name of E.P.Thompson, late 1960s). That was before the USA White House officials turned on the water sprinkler system to get rid of young children trying to present a partition peacefully to the then president Mr Ronnie Regoon. ( see the book edited by Guido Grunewald " Childrens Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament" 1985). That was before the likes of PM Blair changed the language game of education-education-education into training-debraining and framing!!!

Frank Furedi, writing in the on-line magazine Spiked, seems a bit fed up with those people that are all too ready to label the kids as mad and bad without good reason. He wants adults to take more of any of that nasty blame. I agree.

I remember - a wonderful memory from the late 1960s when i lived in the UK - I went to learn about the famous Summerhill school. It was a school that practiced participatory democracy and kept alive by activist educators and especially the founders Mr and Mrs A.S.Neil (RIP). My first step inside the open gates was the impression that remained. I was greeted by school kids and they were happy to see me and welcome me. Wow! They did not hate Mondays. The example set by those activist progressive educators showed in that greeting. Warmth and hope. Alas but mere memories now. Where have or did we go wrong? Have I done enough myself? Yellow Duck made a good point even in jest.

Maybe it is something to do with career politicians and career teachers institutionalised. Maybe those kids, that are allright, deserve more "Free-Floating Intellectuals"? Maybe too we have had far too much of method, method, method ( remember Albert Camus?) and not enough of Character!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The kettle has called the pot black. Toby (jugular) Lewis, the sword of reason, has accused me of getting philosophical. Me? The flicker of ink spots?

But the shit has hit the fan and I am plastered. So I take up the challenge. The sword will not slip from my hand until I have done me bit for Sunday and nasty Heidegger. Who? The Marburg chappie called Martin born in 1889 and German. He demanded that we "Take Care". To take care of Being! But this was a sword with two cutting edges. First we needed to take care as in be careful and as in a great refusal to be in idle servitude. Thats it you got it. Do not agree with everything you read or hear especially from any kind of power elite. Take care.

The second sense of this taking care was more to do with looking after. To take care of the garden or to well cultivate or preserve or conserve that which is our home. Rather ecological I guess. Take care of Being.

With this simple guide to Being it is easy to evaluate the present political and business elites. It is clear that any kind of well-being is a dead duck. That is about as philosophical as I will be today. It's Sunday god damn it. Am I still plastered Toby?

Saturday, November 25, 2006


The body language from Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, tells it all. She is pissed off. After trying to get a few simple things like equality and democracy on the agenda of EU and Russian "meetings" she is bleeding. It can be that she is hurting. Turkey goes badly too. In fact most of the EU stuff is in a mess. What will Finland do to help? Nothing much I suspect. But Finns have a tradition of survival. The Finnish "Sisu" ( do not give up) remains just.

Let me put this another way if I can.

"Another Satire-day night an I ain't got no body ; I've got some money, I've just been paid; How I wish I had someone to talk too .... In an awful way."

But as a good Finn would say in response : " Working in the coal mine going on down down ; working in the coal mines about the sixth time " ( at least).

I am off to eat now. I will give thanks to God for the table. ( I did peel the spuds)

But if anyone wishes to understand Finland you can start here.

Is this Pragmaticism?

Friday, November 24, 2006


It is often assumed that Norway and Finland dislikes Sweden. This is not true. But it is a good start for a conversation as blog. OK Sweden has been, in the past, the power point and master of a Nordic universe. OK Sweden made money from being "neutral" in the 2nd World War as in selling that stuff which kills people and is mined from Swedish soil. OK Sweden made many countries jealous because of that welfare state success. OK the likes of Bush and Bliar (and their tutors before) feel threatened by Sweden as Sweden is bad PR for the UK or the USA. Sweden has a very good football team too. That pisses off a few self-rightous nations!!! Less than ten million folk ( yes i said folk) live in Sweden which is a rather big country. In fact it has, I think, the biggest city in the world. Kiruna - in the north of Sweden - is by place and space huge. Bad news however. Kiruna is sinking. The mines that are like a huge underground city are slowly ( like capitalism and a South Sea Bubble) sinking. But the local folk have higher ground to dwell with. In fact Kiruna has the highest mountain in the land. Local folk often smile at the mines and the inevitable sinking feelings that come through mines and mines and mines all connected through the dark tunnels of a subtle capitalism ideology. Anyway Sweden is as complex as any other place. But it does OK.

Men can take good leave from work and get paid when they become a father,women too. ( fuck it I meant when women become a mother). Swedish language courses are available for any "foreigner" that stays or wants to stay. Foreigners living in Sweden can even ask for their tax information in their own language. So why would Finns or Norwegians not be friendly with Swedes?

Finns prefer Sweden to Russia. Or at least most Finns. To the Finland Station is however almost a banned book. Norway has oil money now and they argue amongst themselves. Sweden has no oil. Sweden has no Russia anymore to fight against. Why would folk dislike Sweden? Come on UK and USA pundits give us a clue at least.

But what if Finns and Norwegians often classify Swedes as "homo"? Which they do !

Today as Finland is again a kind of "Finland Station" vis-a-vis the EU we are tempted to return to history.

Come up and play ice hockey with me some time said the spider to the fly. We will talk about these matters in the sauna.after I have given you a few spankings with my birch twigs. YOU WILL enjoy that ! Yes Mr Giddens of the TURD WAY let us really play a real game.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


By popular request ( the Yellow Duck keeps quacking on about needing information on the sauna and Finland ) here is a piece that ought to help those that have not yet experienced the joys and sorrows of sauna.

Is sauna a Finn-Thing? -- Of course it is. Only one of those strange beings from Sweden would say otherwise. Swedes say they invented "Bastu" which is their funny way of saying sauna. If anybody asks this question a good blue and white full blooded Finn will question your IQ level and your birth status. Take care here.

Is sauna a steam bath? -- No. Unless you have as your bible Websters or Americanised versions of reality then just believe that a steam bath is not a sauna!!! In fact sauna is not even a bath. It is a kind of cabin with benches to sit on and a hot fire-type place for the stones to heat up from either electric heaters or ( far better) a wood fire. Anyway it has nothing to do with steam or baths. However a sauna may be sometimes a smoke sauna. This smoke sauna is one where you get wonderfully dirty with black wood-smoke markings as you try to clean your body through the activated sweat glands. Strange? Yes. Fun? Yes. Anyway steam baths are for namby-pampy city-gents or Turkish type delights.

Is a sauna too expensive for me? -- Oh no. You may have one at the bottom of your garden if you wish and pay little or nothing for it. You may make one for the day in the forest. You may even make an eco-sauna in the wilderness by catching rain in a kind of tent-top and making a fire underneath and then wait for steam to go away and then sauna begins. But this will not please Finnish business. Electric saunas are a good export for Finn business. Wood sauna has not been a good export because most of those who have the consumer money have no wood. But rumour has it that Finn business is trying out ways to use excretion for fuel. But I smell something fishy here to say the least. Cow shit? Peat? Bullshit!

Is it true that a sauna is heated above 100 degrees C? -- Yes. Sauna is not steam and it is not a wet atmosphere. Sauna is a dry atmosphere. Over boiling temp for water is OK. Some Finns will entertain visitors with a very hot sauna ( 120 degrees or even more!!!) and then, if you are a visitor, you must take extra care. Next step by Finns is to give the visitor advice. They tell you to throw hot water onto the stones if you are too cold. They tell you to throw cold water onto the stones if you are too hot. Many believe this and do it. It is getting hotter all the time of course but why let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Is sauna healthy and good for kids? -- Yes. Kids from a few years old are regular sauna folk and learn sauna culture from a very young age in Finland. In fact the sauna was one place where rural women would actually give birth. Sauna is clean and free from infections ( unless you get too many foreign visitors who fart in the sauna - which is something one simply does not do) and there has been, in generations past, many kids born in sauna. Young kids also learn from an early age to handle the dangerous hot sauna with respect. In the UK there would a super-nanny needed to supervise or a law against such a dignified childhood.

Does one have sex in the sauna? -- Oh dear me. Hoped you wouldn't ask that on a blog site as there are the laws of decency involved here. But i try. When sauna is mildly warm sex is sometimes had in sauna. When sauna is raging and hot then sex is not a good idea unless you wish to feel dizzy or giddy and collapse at even the sight of your partners naughty bits. You can always tell if people have just had sex in sauna because they have the wooden bench marks on places likes knees, back or even, for some, the chin. However, in London and strange places like that, it is rumoured that a sauna place is a sex place but the problem there is to find the actual sauna.

Has anybody died in the sauna? -- Yes. Many. It is common for weekend sauna folk who have had a bad week at work to die in sauna. If you are suicidal then take this advice. First get pissed off about life. Second drink yourself into stupor. Third go to sauna. Finally allow the heat to send you to sleep. Then die as a dehydrated little thing. The Finnish government does not approve of this I must say. Damn it another resource gone to dust!

Do people really whack themselves and others with ceder or birch twigs? -- Yes. The bunch of twigs is tied together and used for hitting the skin to improve sweating and cleanliness. For those that are not satisfied with this there are extra sessions ( organised by the Catholic Church ) where whips and even cat o'nine tails are available to provide cleanliness, tough love and to help the path towards salvation. But most folk today make do with a rough sponge. Most Finns however are either good old heathens or attached to Luther and that lot.

Are there any problems with sauna? -- Yes. The male testicles have been known to get badly caught in the holes between the wooden planks of the sitting bench. The heat you see moves the wood. Testicles get caught. Cannot get up. The Finnish Fire Service has often been called out to help in such cases. This is a problem for males that do not look after their testicles in sauna. Oh yes another thing. If you make a sauna and use the wrong stones on the fire it could be explosive but due to the new anti-terrorism laws this site is not allowed to tell you more details here. Oopps : I do not want to get banned from my own blog site do I?

Is sauna a good place for a Duckie to be ( or become )? -- Ducks have been known to use sauna for winter resting. However usually the ducks will gather around sauna during the summertime. They help the atmosphere when sauna folk go outside for a beer and a breath of fresh air. Ducks get fed that way too and the kids love it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Making of a Small blogger PART TWO

OK I was feeling guilty. I needed redemption of sorts. My social-techno-skills were so bad for this Nokia Land of instant experts and aristocratic eccentrics. I needed to get up to speed as it were. But there was more to it.

When my father died, through asbestos-lungs, I struggled to get his pension rights. My mother was being fooled and ignored by the big company. It was, in the end, only the threat of a newspaper article that saved the day for my family. The law was not helpful. the big company did not give a damn and would do as "it" pleased. So i made it personal with real names of bosses and witnesses ready to go to print. Low and behold the big company guys gave in and apologised for "MY" misunderstanding. My mother, still in grief, was relieved. I was angry. It is, sometimes, with such memories that a blogger makes a blogsite. This blog site has just such memories.

In Finland today it has been bloggers and internet publications that have stirred up many recent abuses of so called law and order. A privatised security force must now stand trial for disgusting treatment of a human being which included kicking and all that stuff. ( the words used by officials was "inappropriate" - sick). Without the bloggers and the internet types such an atrocity would have been ignored by the authorities. Oh if only I had had that kind of public communication system available when my father died. If i had i could have saved my mother many a heartache. Such is another side of becoming a blogger - at least for me.

Oh yes : then the "Comment is Free" fiasco earlier on this year and centred upon the vanities of the UK based Guardian newspaper. I felt so strongly then. The arrogance and snobbishness of a few at that CIF site was, for me, almost beyond belief. It was hurtful to many too. Other sites, like those on the Awkward Squad ring of fire, have written about this quite much. No need to repeat here. But such is another bit of memory that helps make a small and new blogger.

Of course there are those that will say that I am talking bullshit here. ( No Polly T I have not abused you or even referenced YOU yet). Many, usually those in some power play scene, will accuse bloggers of being bad with language, underemployed, disrespectful and even deserving of a banning order. But i am learning this bloglark little by little now and my real social skills are getting better all the time. Fuck that lot i say and fuck that big company which hurt my mother after my father died. J'Accuse.

What goes into the making of a blogger and blogsite? much more than my philosophy can tell.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Making of a Small Blogger

Looking through the blogs and odds and sods of the Chris White site I was sent back to my youth. Mr White is young and professional and has even studied the stars ( as in science not US politics of war). He studies in a place called Cardiff which is somewhere in Europe and somewhere where folk can still smell the death from the coal mines of South Wales. I will not say more because Cardiff is doing too well already with football. Damn them. But Chris White is talking about the difference between "Media Studies" and "journalism".
Sent my head rolling. That was one making of a blogsite, this site. So many University types follow the factory path to a doctrate but this young and sprightly lad seemed, at least to me, to be searching for something more. Why does Chris White even want to get into this blogosphere? What the frigin hell am I doing here!!?? An awkward question to respond to. Try and give an answer and these awkward bloggers will quickly ( with a quack and a waddle and a quack) get you to sell your soul to the easiest bidder unless you "come clean with a smile and tongue in cheek". Why did Chris White begin to blog? I have no idea.

I began this bloglark because I like larks. At school flicking inkspots, from that deadly ink in the ink pots, was one way to get back at the creeps and informers. Whenever little teachers-pet would inform upon us ( as the likes of a New Labour in the UK actually want) we would flick our inky pens onto him or her. On the blog site by Yellow Duck there is a wonderful story by a person named Nell ( no not Sue and not a song). How do we get or take our blogsite names. Well for me I loved Zola. If you have to ask the question : who the hell is Zola then best start again from somewhere else or read a damned book. Ink Spots? You should see that now.

But there is ( always is and will be) so much more. I still lecture a few times and as long as students say OK I will always remain yapping about this or that. One fairly young professor, Juha Suoranta, teased me about my little ways with old fashioned things. Get into the "Wikiway", he said with a smile. Get into the blogs. Get into the brave new blogs that really matter. My turn to smile. But here I am. Judge Pentitent and showing my face and my arse to all at the same time. ( OK I know I should shave those short and curly ones - leave it off mate). But then another professorial gentleman gave me a real shot up the rear-end. He began to e-mail me. Damn it this was a guy who had never even mastered the typewriter. He used to get his aged mother of 70 years to type out his lectures. Now it was time for me to feel guilt. He was getting to me via e-mail. Metaphysical guilt? Could we call it that? Then a few old students kept contact and kept laughing at my redickulus techno social-skills.

Ah fuck it I said and thought. I needed social skills. So I have turned to blogging.

There you have it there it is.
Well. It happened. The Frank Fisher blog site has come clean. Awkward scribes are being called up. The message is this : your country needs you. But a more wild bunch one could not hope for. But like most governments well know the best place for deviants is in the army now. The first officers are already commissioned and it sees like some kind of Holland and some kind of Poland joins the UK ( Yellow Duck and Pirates Lair have taken the oath of awkwardness. Rumour has it that these officers will invite a certain GBH merchant from the limited Guardian to join up for training but when asked the Awkward Squad HQ said "No free Comment". So if you want to join up and get the Royal Shilling you know where to look. Check of the Frank Fisher site.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Word is about that those awkward bytes attached to the Frank Fisher site ( yes the infamous Pike) are planning to be socialist.
Wow!!! There is alot of anarchy out there with this awkward squad of dissenters ( lots of good expertise too) and to see them agreeing on working together is proof that miracles can and might happen.

Rumour has it that this awkward lot may call themselves "worms of the ring" but one source says that this is unlikely as that would sound a bit like a disease needing treatment fast. Anyway piles and piles of stuff is promised by this awkward squad that another source wants to call the squid. Many awkward tentacles?

It seems to me that this awkward mob must decide : rings not for kissing ; tentacles not for missing or, testicles.

Anyway this site will be keeping a warm and yet close eye on this unbelievable event.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Well winter is here. about minus 16 degrees C today. Snow is great until you must shovel the damned stuff away from the house. But a great wood fire is now burning inside. Always a good therapeutic event. Such is the Finland I live. One reason i will never want to live again in places like the UK is to do with this kind of reality principle. Living here in the north and in what is usually called Lapland the image-value of UK life seems absurd.

But don't think this blog site will be a fake tourist postcard of Finland. It will not. After nearly 30 years in the northern lands I do not fall for that trick and treat of fickle nationalistic romanticism.

I am still waiting for Finnish politicians to answer a few big questions. Was Finland involved in the nasty CIA flights of torture?
Was Finland involved in covering up the bombings of United Nations peacekeepers in the Middle East ( where one finn was killed) in order to play cool to EU-America and more especially Israel interests?
Oh no there is no nationalistic romanticism coming up here.
There is quite enough bullshit already talked on the internet about this Finland as Nokia land.

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