Monthly Archives: January 2010

More metal tales

After yesterday’s talk of blazing churches and blood-drinking vegetarian Black Metal rockers coming out of the closet, I thought it was only fair to gain a bit of perspective, add some nuance to the stereotype. Norway is, above all, a peaceful and tolerant place.

So I thought I should tell a story about how Black Metal has come to affect my own daily life.

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Smoldering controversy

The total destruction of a wooden church in Hønefoss was in the news, and as a quick reader comment testifies, it is almost impossible to report such an event without thinking about Norway’s famed Black Metal scene. In fact, Black Metal and the burning of churches has been in focus again recently, but in – a cultural context.

The link between blazing churches and Black Metal is distinctly Norwegian. Photo: Eric Ortner

The whole story involves one of Norway’s most controversial Black Metal figures in recent years, and recent winner of the ‘Homo of the Year Award’. Continue reading

Odd homecoming

Writing that title immediately reminded me that the word odd is not to be taken lightly here, at least not when capitalized. Not only is it a place and a Norwegian Premier League football team, it is also a man’s name – as is Even, which never fails to amuse. While English speakers may chuckle at meeting Odd and Even, Norwegians snicker at finding a Bruce – which sounds exactly like the word here for ‘soda pop’.

But I digress. I was coming back from London when something very strange was going on at Torp Airport. Perhaps elsewhere as well. After going through immigration, Continue reading

A (weird) taste of home

Sitting in my hotel room channel surfing for some background noise while I catch up on e-duties this afternoon, I stumbled upon a surprising bit of vintage entertainment. The 1942 film The Day Will Dawn, which IMDB neatly classifies as a ‘British WW2 flag-waver’, where posh journalist of sorts Colin Metcalfe grapples with the Germans – in Norway.

Amusing to see how Norway and the Norwegians are portrayed, Continue reading

On the road – the routine

The plan was to blog about London while in London, but I don’t want to totally neglect this one now that it is up and running. Once a month I make the trip over, to just soak up the city and pursue my fascination with stand-up comedy. Being able to fly over so regularly is possible thanks to Ryanair. They may be the most reviled airline in the world, but – and I say this not to attract attention to this blog – I think they’re fantastic.

Defending that stance will take more instalments, but Continue reading

Reality bites

Moose. The real thing. In Norway, they’re called the King of the Forest. While they may make news for odd reasons, like when getting drunk on fermenting fallen apples in the fall, a close encounter is usually very dramatic. The most common moose and man meeting is an animal versus car collision; in face-to-face meetings their imposing size is awesome.

The most recent headline moose tale is not for the faint of heart. The reports in today’s links include video and photo coverage in unusually graphic detail, Continue reading

On the road – slight disruption to service

I’ve had an update on this story, the previous post about a really lovely piece of Norwegian design, to give it a bit more depth than just a charming reference and Internet links.

First, my apologies for a slight break in the New Year’s resolution to keep the blogging daily, but a trip to London has taken focus, and part of the plan is to switch over to the ‘London. Laughing.’ blog when I am over here. If I am very good I will try to update both, as regularly as possible. Depends if anyone is paying attention… Continue reading