Thursday, September 10, 2009

Post #97/Bill Hicks, American Hero

The first person to introduce me to the greatnes that is Bill Hicks was my good friend George (who hasnt talked to me for four years - don't hesistate to give me a call if you wanna hang out with a couple of beers and a bong sometime). Mr Hicks was a prophet and politician posing as a stand-up comedian; a master of his craft and a visionary pointing not only to our possible future as a race but to what comedy can, and should, be.

This clip is from the end of his last tour. He knew he was dying (from cancer and thus probably not a evil military/industrial/entertainment-complex assasination); but mr Hicks kept on touring towards the end; and almost all of it is out on youtube for you to see at your leisure. I guess the future really is now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Post #96/My cool cousin Ben

As I am aproaching the fabled 100th post I remember my first attemt at writing in a blogform in such a naked persona as Mats Hanssen. Hidded somewhere in the dark mazes of under the Montaigne-inspired name "Reflections" lies the following post:

My Cool Cousin Ben
[Post #1 Friday november 14th 2008, Mørkved]
Good news today. The blog is aparently dead. (Jippie-kaye bloggosphere). I have been eagerly waiting for this day since blogging became cool around the turn of the century; cuz it seems I'm one of those pretentious fucks who will not (or can not) do whatever it is most people think is cool at any particular time. Some phobia against the normality choking the life out of this planet I guess.

The blog, much like the computergame, is an un(der)developed genre: Im probably not one of those guys who who will write Nobel prize-blogs; but surely I can help spread the message of artistic ambition and human decency without beeing some sort of genius?

I'm part to that generation whom grew up in a time when there was a very real threath of a nuclear ragnarokk, when pollution meant dead trees and not the end is fucking nigh, when everybody hated the germans and not the muslims, and shops where closed on saturdays.

Im also part to the generation that grows up today in ways my elders never can understand. I was no more than 5 years of age the first time I played a consolegame. My father, my mother, my brother and myself where vacationing in Lofoten at my grandmothers house (where my mother grew up); and my cousin Ben who was 6 brougth his pong game. A few years later Ben was part of the Amiga demo-scene (and I was doing the pen&paper roleplaying-thing, the equivalent of modernWOW, I guess.)

As a kid Ben always did the ninja-thing. By virtue of beeing my elder, Ben kicked my ass (ninjastyle) a few times. My hippie parents never could understand why a kid brougth up as a pacifist was so interested in weapons and war. They acctualy felt they had failed as parents although it seems clear to me in retrospect that the cold war, the heavily covered Iran/Irak-war and Bens older brother Peter would have had some influence on an impressionable child mind.

Peter was a freak. He molded tin-soliders and miniature painted them. He breakdanced and was politicaly concervative. He was interested in computers and jointed the army. And now hes running some sort of computerbusines, married to a sweet nurse and has three children. Peter, as older brothers do, tried out his kung fu on Ben who tested his kung fu on me, who tested my kung fu on my youger brother; who was saved by Jesus and is a lawyer with a sligthly flippio wife studying psycology and two way cool kids.

Ben studied music in highschool, seventeen years age he stole a married woman, twice his age, with three children from a man who loved her well. He moved to Oxford, studied digital animation and media science for a few years, got a child, got divorced, gave up animation, lived on the street for a time, migth or migth not have lost his mind, and in the end he moved back home to the islands where he has been living on a small government pension for the last few years.

He fixes peoples computers. Usually for free. He lives in the house of his grandparents, above the goldsmith-shop of his father. He listens attentivly to Krishnamurti. He games. Sometimes he goes out to the local pub across the street in the center of the pictouresque Lofoten town. I see local women stare at him with hungry eyes. Which is a bit strange, cuz he is no classic or modern beauty. A short man in the beginning of his thirties, balding hair which is neigther long nor short, usually unshaved but never with a beard. He uses a lot of womens clothing without becoming some sort of ladyboy; oft stating that I like to play with the feminine and masculine. He feels that the embracing of one or the other on the path to darkness is.

Every second or third weekend his daugther comes to visit. She is at beautifull inteligent and free child on the treshold of becoming a (very young) woman. Then, atleast, they have family dinners at his mothers. I'be been to a few of them over the years and they are nice. Nice food, quite a few glasses of wine, jokes, stories, discusions, a lot of laugther and emotion. It is his home city and he still has some very good childhood friends. The loyal kind. He hangs out with the students from the local art and film school.

My cousin is a fanboy of coffieflavored-coffie and he usually drinks enough of the stuff to start talkig incoherently; then he goes home and ponders upon whatever fancy migth take him. He has, for a man not overly manly, an unusual knack for finding masculine arenas. In a town of 2-3 thousand he has found a morningclub in a small coffieshop open from 6-7 til 9 in the morning where men drink black coffie and roll sigarettes while they gossip about manly things like they where a womens circle. Sunday afternoons he does the same with his father and the local elite.

I've always said that my cousin is cool, but I never realized how cool he acctually is until quite recently. He had picked up a stray for a few days; a former artschoolgirl who had kicked a serious drughabit by going to live with her alcoholic failed artist insane mother with four cats in a singe room appartment. Now she was no longer into serious drugs; but was completly alcoholic and deep into doctordrugs that could take the edge off of anything. And she was alowed by herself and Ben to indulge in ganja. To me ganja is the scientific and logic proof that god loves us. To the stray; ganja's just another way to take the edge of things, an undisputable proof that god loves strays.

The girl had some strange pride in her drug-ways and kept dissin' me as an amateur who did'nt know shit about shit since, in her world, the only way to reach rock bottom is heroin. I am not perfect and the ganja-prophet in me reacted with pride. We smoked til she could not longer move. I could not feel my body and all signs of the false ganja death they've dubbed the bad trip was there. I laughed and smoked the rest of our ganja while she could not, however she might try, partake; and then, to prove that she knew nothing of ganja I rolled her a sigarette while she kept trying to put the tobacco in the paper.

We where smoking our handrolled sigarettes and drinking fruitjuice when Ben walked into the room in nothing but a silk nigthrobe. He had the light from the hallway in his back, his hands in the large robe-pockets and he said goodnigth to us and wished us a nice evening. While I blessed him and prayed that he would have good dreams it struck me that he looked and played like some character from a Tarantino movie, or something, and in hindsight some version of words from the movie True Romance ring through my mind: You're so cool, you're so cool, you're my cool cousin Ben.


Im sure this simple dish has some name in english, but the best translation of the norwegian name for it (ostis) most certainly is 'cheezies'.

It is the most basic of snacks. For the basic edition start with spreading liberal amounts of butter.

Spice the butter with a neutral chili like cayenne or piri-piri. As much as you can have without actually beeing able to taste its precense when you eat your delishious cheezie. Remember that all peppers vary in strengt, both individualy and after the manner of their storage.

A double layer of cheeze usualy does it.

And then some grill-spicemix. This stuff usually has a lot of salt in it; it doesnt say on the 'Knorr meat and grill spice' how much there is but it tastes like about 30% salt: which means I use 3 times the amount of spicemix than the highest possible amount of salt I could have on the cheezie without destroying it.

Perfect food for any unplanned occation like an afterparty or a movieevening with old friends.

Suggested bewerages: milk or beer.


The comicbook-series "Preacher" by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon ran from 1995 to 2000. The series were published by DC underhouse Vertigo, and is creator owned. I had heard rumors of this beeing 'the shit', but reading the last 3 books of the collected series in 2004 I was completly blown away by the boldness and scope of the epic.

The cover of issue #56 features the enire cast of the series.

I recently read the whole 66 montly issues + the extras; and while I still think its ranks among the very finest of comics, Preacher is not perfect. With that said; I will not be surprised to find this in the future cannons of literature.

A masterpiece: recomended to anyone and everyone. Ask your local library or piratebay for help if you dont have the money to spare for 9 books. If you want to know more wikipedias article doesnt reveal too much.

For a while the preacher serves as sheriff in a small texan town. Sad to say this part of the series is not much more than an entertaining filler.


After starting this blog in Lodz, Poland on an extended visit to a good friend. I have slowly posted my way home via Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. Now, more than a month after the fact, I have finaly officialy arrived in my own livingroom in Bodø, Norway.

It was a nice vacation. I wonder when and where I will leave next?

Monday, September 07, 2009

A run-in with the law

I am under no illusions as to how easy it is to perceive me as, if not a gangster, a small time hood. My way of presenting my self with clotes, hairstyle and jewelery is a factor. I am not that big, but my 100kg's make me big enough to be a badass. Maybe there is something in my eyes. Who knows.

It might even be argued that I am a hood, or even gangster. I have been twice to jail. I enjoy the holy ganja both for recreational and medical purposes, and thus break the law – ever so slightly on a regular basis even if I am sober most of my days.

Goodbye dinner.

Beeing a friendly sort of guy; having very little fear due to my condition; having few prejustises due to my experiences; living by the code of honour some call Omerta – the oath of silence: I have gained one or two friends who at one time or another have been involved in some sort of criminal activity. And while I tend to respect the law, in many ways more than most, I never stop anyone from doing anything criminal unless it is dangerous or degrading.

Reading Camus' The Plague in the searing sun. The first bus to Oslo was full so we had to wait 2-3 hours for the next one.

Consorting with criminals and doing crime makes a hood, a gangster, maybe even a career criminal. Aparantly it doesnt matter that the only crime I ever commit these days is bying 5 grams of hashjish for the weekend, and that my involvement with criminal elements is a critical part of the process of obtaining the illegal substance.

In Norway Cocio cost more than 20 kroners, in Sweden less than 10. Which is like the magic economic border, cuz I always buy it in Sweden and never in Norway. Tastes good in the sun.

Some of these things a customs official can see. Others can be guessed at if you are good. Taking the bus from Malmö to Oslo I was half expecting to get stopped by customs since I usually am (stopped), and the only precaution I took was taking my Christiania-cap off. No point begging for it, you know. At the stop in Göterborg we noticed two junkies on our bus, and with that we felt somewhat assured we wouldnt get stopped. But ofcourse we were.

I made two mistakes (except not lying which easily could have been a third mistake, that most likly would have earned me an assfisting/rectal drugsearch). While one of them was checking the guy in front of us I was watching the procedure, he noticed and thus the first rule was broken. Always ignore them unless they are speaking directly to you. Talking to me I saw him looking at my jewelery before asking where Id been, and thus the second rule was broken. Never wear anything that sticks out – escpecially caps, gold or silver chains, hoodies et cetera. When he first started asking us where we'd been I knew it was game over. Malmö and Lodz are both suspicious towns in their minds. No great tourist attractions and a lot of drugs and crime. He took our IDs, and even though he told us he'd be back we just started packing.

On the norwegian customs-station on Svinesund. Maps of Norway and Sweden shaped like butterflies.

It amazes me that these guys can find my record every time, but cannot find the reports on the 10 other failed searches they've had on me. What seems to be a small army of them search us and our bags for 2 hours. Checking everything but our asses and her pussy, opening the sealings on teabags (effectivly spoling the tea) et cetera. The junkies arent checked. Neighter are the many people of asian and african decent who doesnt have to show as much as a passport. Good Job fellas!

As an ex-inmate I know that the only thing I will earn from protesting is an assfuck. So I smile, say nice and funny things. Like an old whore beeing raped one more time. The inconvenience of beeing 3½ hours late and loosing a evening with my mate Sh0 in Oslo, we don't meet so often, is one thing. The indignity and inherent stupidity of it, another.

I guess its just life in what I have dubbed 'Facist Utopia', but really, if this is their strategy on figthing drugs it is no wonder they fail.

We were sitting in different cells, but I could hear her singing. Beautiful accustics.

Why would I smuggle amfetamines from Poland or weed from Denmark on a bus, with my wife!? I realize some people are that stupid, but people that stupid are gonna get caugth anyway – and they never smuggle much. There are hundreds of illegal bordercrossings between Sweden and Norway, and anyone bigtime would use any one of these. And even if they did cross over Svinesund (like we did), the largest bordercrossing between the two countries, they most certainly would drive a car or a motorcycle. If you take the bus, not only is it uncomfortable, but you will get stopped 3/5 times. While your odds are amazing in a car as long as you dont match their profile (or already have been tagged).

Worst of all though is the fact that everytime they put me in that cell I go into inmate-mode which is really fucking unpleasant. I hide my pride somewhere they cannot touch it; but the prize of hiding your soul is always that nagging feeling of unreality that follows you in days and weeks to come. And I hate the way this undiginified shit makes my wife hurt. Fuck you guys, she is a civillian and she should be able to marry me without getting harassed on the border every time we cross it.

4th Wedding anniversary

With the beginning of august came our fourth wedding anniversary. I guess I havent been the best at arranging something fantastic for these occations, but we always do a little something for the day.

It was one of the last days in Malmö and we went to a indian resturant/pub in the neighbourhood.

Evening sun and a cold beer.

And the standard swedish entreé; some sort of coleslaw.

And the Golden Chicken Special pizza. Curry and chicken always goes well together, but the garlic yougurtsause sucked.

Our weddingday.

Back in Malmö

We returned from Copenhagen to my father in Malmö night till sunday and stayed for more than a week more. A strange sort of vacation mayhaps, but methinkst good.

I like this picture 'cause it sort of accentuates how we are alike and unlike as father and son. Notice the eyecolour.

Im sort of childish and sometimes I really cant help myself.

Thinking. My wife can be silent for hours. Sometimes her words are so thoughtful the world seem to fade and I see this other reality, this beautiful reality, and I think she walks that reality, and the love these glimpses allows me feel makes me want to save the universe.

"To the Empire!" Eye-contact have always been important to my father. In my youth the only hairstyle he would not allow was hair hanging over the eyes; which ofcourse was my hairstyle of choise.


We had gone from Lodz (Poland) to Malmö (Sweden) and were planning to go back home via Oslo. I hooked up with my old friend Sh0 in Oslo, planning to maybe take a weekend in there. He was planning a weekend in Copenhagen with a girlfriend who was visiting from Mexico. Since Copenhagen is less than an hours travel from Malmö we decided to go with them for the weekend.

I used to live in Copenhagen from I was 4 til I was 5 and it was always a special feeling to go back. It is part of my childhood. Like the rest of my childhood its something almost ancient; those few memories from early childhood are so immersed in memories and unspoken... life, touching those pictures, smells or whatnot fully can be almost overwhelming.

Back in the early 2000's Sh0 was trying to start a internet security company in Copenhagen. His girlfriend left, and I had just gone out of jail, so we decided I'd visit him a few months and keep him company.

I spent most of my time in Christiania, the picture below is taken a few years later, a depressing re-visit with the wife. When I lived in Copenhagen the bridge to Scandinavia/Malmö had just been built; and the optimism and energy it had added to the cosmopolitan city of Copenhagen could be touched, felt and heard.

There was a lot of pressure on Christiania but the big crackdown hadnt come yet. I might have been deceived by my childhood memories of the once hippie-paradise; but Christiania seemed to me the pinnacle of Scandinavian civilisation. But their experiments with an absolute communal democracy closed the city within the city to strangers; and a small elite of 68's ruled the council. They lost public support and the politicians, long eager to remove the famed "Pusher Street", perhaps the worlds fines hasjish- and ganja market, sent in their policetroops a few months after I left for the Realm of the Midnight Sun.

On our re-visit a few years later we found a ghetto with tired people and big hunky gangsta drugdealers. Our visit the summer of 2009 was more promising - but its hard to say cause Christiania is always phat in the summer.

The text is a typical Christiania pun - the full name of the Copenhagen Zoo is the Zoological Garden or Zoologisk Have.

We left straight for Christiania, had a nice chat with an danish expat moviedirector on vacation in the home-country, savouring the chill mood of the happy stoned crowds, and then we went downtown to meet up with Sh0 and Zoo. Sh0 has quit his job and is leaving for the greener pastures of Brazil. (I will, for sure, follow up on that.)

His girlfriend Zoo is a mexican traveler. She is, ofcourse, cool; and to Sh0s great fortune she studies massage-therapy.

We had a beer and then left for a private party with some of Sh0s friends. This poster on the hosts entrance door asks if Copenhagen is big enough for you, and if you are big enough for Copenhagen.

Private party, Copenhagen

After I left Copenhagen back when, Sh0 got some new friends. He says he was 'forced to get some friends of his own', but probably my friends just where too focused on music, art and shit for his liking. He is, after all, a cybercowoy and zensensei.

Our host was living in Nørrebro, one of the cooler downtown districts. All the guys minus 1&meself had beards or atleast serious stubble. Oh! how I regretted shaving my beautifull beard just a couple of days before.

"I dont like to have my photo taken."

"On weekdays I pretend to be one of 'them' - please dont publish my face on the internett mr. bloggerman!"

Denmark seems to be on the verge of facism, which saddens me. But I am also proud to see the young'unns fighting the power. While there are better fights, 'they' must learn not to fuck with 'us'.

The women know their place. Here they are making Pitu capiriñas on the kitchen. The asianlooking chic is greenlandic, and like most of her people she parties too hard. But God! she is beautifull and charismatic and for that alone I really hope she makes it.

I tell the guy he must work on his loving compassion and dont be such an asshole.

Have you noticed these days that all decent parties have a dj? Usually some introverted guy only expressing himself (its almost always a guy) through his eclectic choise of music.

Zoo took a lot of pictures. For some reason she thought I was a camera imbesile; and when I offered to take a couple of pictures of her with her camera she showed some controlfreakish attitude that tells me Sh0 gots his hands full if he's keepin' this one.

Smile for the camera. Later there was dancing, and then clubbing.


After the party we went to the old meat-district which in part have become a club district.

With all the partypeople I found it hillarious that it was a "Meat and Fleshmarket". For some reason the danish guys didnt get the joke. They understood it, but it wasnt funny, cause, I dont know.

Off all tourist-maps, we would never have found this place if we werent partying with locals.

And still the lines where so long it was way beneath me as a blogger-superstar to stand in line. And they can keep their euro-trash music to themselves as well.

I was about to get a hamburger when Kazper, who we'd lost, came and took us to the coolest reagge-club I've seen for ages. As we where rolling up outside, a couple of kids started battling. The looser had the phatter voice and rhymes, but the winner dusted him and relished in the glory of the unanimous verdict from two oldschool guys like Sho and meself.

The looser was almost crying, but I hope he dont give up. I like loosers.

Saturday in Copenhagen

That night we slept on cusions on Kazpers floor. We woke a bit before him; hung over, stiff and eager to go to the tivoli. While I was rolling up, my girl spotted a big bag of weed behind the sofa. As Kazper got up I asked him if I could roll one from his secret stash and he was all like ofcourse, but, what secret stash?

He had bougth it for the carneval, but had lost it, thought he smoked it. I guess he has a pretty relaxed relationship to the holy ganja.

In the tivoli I was the only one buying a daypass for the rides. I think the rest of the guys where just indulging me. In retrospect I feel quite loved, but at the time I couldnt help thinking they where pussies. Still having problems banishing that thought.

I was fucking lucky (as always, praise my angels) and got a front seat on the rollercoaster. Like Jack Traven would have said fuck me!

When I had had my fun we went to the once free city of Christiania. I had heard some great things about the cousine of (the new and improved) Spiseloppen; but their kitchen where closing as we arrived.

Typical Christiania humor. "Stadens Kunstmuseum" is very close to "Statens Kunstmuseum". One meaning 'the citys [i.e. Christianias] museum of art'. The other the official name of 'the states museum of art' (the national art museum).

When you leave Christiania you see a sign, a joke - sort of, saying "You are now entering the EU". In the free city of Christiania the first thing I do is light a joint sitting down in a welded chair so fanciful Im afraid its "art".

The "free city" has had its share of problems with the po-lice. Check the grafitti. Kids grow up here. But not the happy naked hippiekids I remember from my own childhood visits to Christiania.

My memory is a bit wozzy at this point, but I think I beat Sh0 in billiards. I used to spend some time in saloons when I was a teen, but I didnt play to much. As a result Im better at the game at a theoretical level than a practical level. Sh0 was leading throughout the game, while I was almost to fuck up to play. Playing a decent defensive game I won when he downed the eightball in the wrong pocket.

You could call it luck, the only problem is that it happens a bit to often to be probable. But even if my statistics are decent, I really should improve my game; 'cause playing me must suck about as much as playing the norwegian soccer-team under the master of destructive football: Drillo.

Sweet detail. Whenever I remind danish people their wealth is built on northern fish they have the good sense to just shut up. Unlike most norwegian southerners who will invariably argue their case with arguments from somewhere so far inside the matrix its hard to pinpoint their exact location without some reeeeaal hightech equipment.

These guys where incredibly cool. The kind of weirdnes you can only find in places like this, in some ally, in the middle of the night. The guy seemed like your average introverted half-bitter cool guitar-dude; the girl was playing a beat-up chello. She looked completly out of it, like she had ausbergers-syndrome or something. Their music was divine and dirty like the city itself.