Saturday, March 06, 2010

Santiago de Compostella

One of those instincts that has kept me alive through diverse depressions and fits of suicidality is, perhaps counterintuivly, one that I have worked heartgrindingly hard with in therapy to change.

Living with post traumatic stress syndrome is living in a world of almost constant alert. All beeings will fight, freeze or flee in situations percived as dangerous. What I've read of theory on the subject seems to indicate that humans will, depending on personality, be prone to (only) one of these. My personal experience though, has thaught me that it is quite unpredictable which alternative my reptile brain will choose in any given (percived) dangerous situation.

Now, that instinct that I've worked with in therapy is my flight instinct. While simply walking out on conflict situation is a skill (instinct) that I think many would do well to make part of their habitus... it does become somewhat of a problem when your daily life becomes a constant conflict&struggle to survive. Thus I've packed up and left close to a hundred times - and only after I got married did I stay anywhere long enough to actualy get help.

The 14th of April I will fly (flee) to Bordeaux, and from there I will walk approximatly 1500 kilometers to Santiago de Compostella, and on to the end of the world. It is, I guess, one of those change something or fucking die, bitch imperative actions. But hopefully it is a bit more constructive than earlier evasive actions I've submitted myself to.

I did the walk once before; at great benefit both physicly and mentaly. But while walking with my mother did great things for my compassion; I did learn that such a venture is best done alone. The pressure such a trip for one such as I is (I do, perhaps vainly, belive) almost impossible to comprehend for a healthy individual.

The only reason I know I can survive is that constant indulging of my flight instinct. The most paramount rule of the pilgrim (exept walking on your own steam et cetera) is that you can never stay more than one night in any one place. You always have to move on. Thus I will survive the trip by fleeing every morning - and it is no doubt that I will be better for the 'exercise'.

Ohhh... But I'm not looking forward to this. I dread the physical and mental pain, and simpler parts of me keep asking the higher faculties why, oh why do you hate me, yourself, so much that we have to endure such torture?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Please, don't be evil

CNN's Fortune 500 has for the 3rd year in a row proclaimed Apple to be the most admired company in the world. My friends all love their thingies; but I must take the opportunity to again point out that Apple iz Evil.

I could ofcourse spew out the usual arguments about locking all types of media to their hardware; a business strategy based on limiting your options and fucking their competition. (As opposed to giving you freedom and creating the best product.)

But I'd rather not. Instead I'll use two examples that, if you're able to think in a roundabout way, will illuminate their decisionmaking process.

I find their glorified "Think different" campaign to be repugnant. To use long dead cultural icons to ad to their image, many (or most, likly) who would have opposed strongly to be assosiated with said apple: I have no words. But I'm sure both Lennon and Picasso would have kicked Steves ass so hard he would be pressed to utter as much as a feeble Tiimmaaaay!

And more importantly; Steve Jobs - as opposed to most grand men in the businessworld - knows better. Mr. Jobs have studied the esoteric paths, he knows what a man should and should not do. And by ignoring the ethics of the thing he is likly assured a place in the hells far worse than Djengis Khan and Adolf Hitler who acctually thougth they were doing the right thing.

The "arctic" challenge

This weekend it is again time for Terje Håkonsens Arctic Challenge. If you wonder about my use of brackets in the headline, it is because they have left their roots and the north a long time ago - this year they have it in Oslo, some 120km south of the arctic circle.

Another Fanaberia-find. These girls are'nt from the artic either but from Enskede outside Stockholm. They've gone pro now; but I must admit I love their lo-fi amateur work better than their later stuff. No wonder I love my own shit, I guess.

They used to have it further north; but since mr. Håkonsen never saw fit to pay his bills; and those he absolutly had to pay (i.e. to his drugdealers) he paid with sunglasses from his sponsor oakley. To this day the official name is "Oakley Arctic Challenge".

But you know, Terje, we think you are uncool and miserly.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

TED.COM: Best site ever?

... we can all be Buddhas...

While there are many resources on the www (worth while web) like -> this <- from of the 100 best (free) science documentaries: the possibly ultimate spot for entertaining food for thought is TED.COM: Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

And of all the stuff on TED Bob Thurmans claim that we all can be Buddhas just might be the best spent 12 minutes in your life. I urge you to take the time to listen to his words with what attention you can muster.

Information Overload vs. Filter Failure

There has been a lot of writing the last 15 years about the 'information overload'-phenomena. Mr. Shirky makes the point that "If you have the same problem for a long time; maybe it is'nt a problem, maybe it's a fact." That might be questionable semantics; but his point is quite valid.

Since the 1500's, some 50 years after Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg's discovery (or 'invention' relative to your basic philosophical view of the world) of the printing press there has been more information availiable than any person possibly could read in a lifetime.

The following is an oversimplification not bringing factors such as altruism and propaganda into its analizys: The basic principle of the publisher has always been an economic principle: To print a book has a high price, and usually you can't sell a book until it is printed; thus printing comes with economic risk. The solution for non subsidised publishers is to act as 'information filters' - not to print everything but what you know to be good. Or atleast sellable.

With the advent of the world wide web the cost of publishing "fell through the floor": and while information overload is no new problem, the total [information] filter failures of our era are.

So while I will continue to overload you with personal opinion and (maybe too) personal information; I have gained a boost in my side-mission to help you filter information. The sheer mass of crappola you have to endure to find those gems in any kind of media; makes it important for all of us to share the gems and warn against the most flamboyant thefts of your most precious time. (Do feel free to use the comments-field to point me and other readers to gems.)

I pledge to you: I will do my outmost to be a gem, a shining star; and not a timethief; informational overloader; a cultural spammer; a grey man.

Clay Shirky on the web 2.0 expo on information overload vs. filter failure.


After I changed my adress from http://matshanssen. to I've had some problems getting my profiles updated on the bloglistings I've been experimenting with.

On I had to write an email to get things working at last, on TopOfBlogs I had no such luck - my "new" blog was rejected and my old blog has been doomed to the oblivion of the never-updated-blog. It might have been to press my luck to name one of the tags "ganja". To bad; my self-presentation was quite inspired:

While the rise of theme-blog and the many insignificant amateur-blogs has left the diarystyle blog for dead; we still crave the social pornography and soapoperaness of the oldskool blog. Meanwhile Elsewhere... is about a life probably very unlike your own. With many excelent photos, original and scrounged and usually short posts superbly sloppy written by a norwegian writer in his second languange Engrish. Meanwhile Elsewhere... is in part travelouge, in part an untypical lifestyle or even fashion blog; with opinions, madness and links to interesting stuff I have found seeking the matrix.

Drink past tense then drunk

Ever since I installed google ads I've sort of been following with half an eye what they want to sell you guys. Main cathegories seems to be different sort of mats - the stuff on the floor variety, never mathematics and seldom people (like me) named Mats. Often there local stuff about whatever place I'm writing about + hotels and airliners to help you check out great and unknown treasures like Lodz, Poland.

There are a lot of ads for datingsites; and whenever I happen to mention fashion, clothing and the like I'm flooded with ads for gay dating sites. It is interesting that while women always are beautifull they also always come from places like Russia, India, Thailand, China et cetera, but never from Sweden, Norway or the US: gay sites seem to be very little etnicly oriented. I once saw an ad for black men digging white men, but thats that.

And ofcourse, mostly I seem to be haunted by ads for places who wants to help me stop drinking. They are begging me to please let us help you. Which brings me to my point: one interesting blog I found recently by a blogger who prides him (her)-self on beeing an alcoholic is The Bare None "The drinking blog: Diary-a of a Chronicle Drinker". Good blog, with good interviews and great, but somewhat different, movie reviews.

Religious Caricatures

Great anger among Indian christians as the picture below was found in a schoolbook. People have already died. Apparently more people will die before all is over. The same picture has caused controversy several other places in asia.

Looking at this picture I really feel nothing. A little relief perhaps, that I feel nothing. The only upsettnes I ever feel is when 'they' use religious imagery in commercials. Not enough to burn anything though.

Personaly, if I was an Indian christian I would be more provoked by the blonde Jesus than I would by the smoking and drinking Jesus. I would like to note though that the picture is quite mean... as MY Jesus would'nt touch poisons like this and stick to ganja and wine.

According to the article hinduism is Indias largest religion at 82%, islam is number 2 at 12% and christianity is down there with 2,3% and 24 million of the faith. I sincerly must say I often wondered what the fuzz was about with them Mohamamd caricatures - they speak of the prohibition of making pictures of the holy prophet; but as I've understood it its really a prohibition of making pictures of anything in Gods great creation. But we don't see much fuzz unless the prophet is involved somehow.

The real answer seems to be about respect. And this latest indian fuzz seems to correlate that. I find it hard to imagine any christian european, or even american, getting very upset about a picture showing Jay with a sigarette and a beer. And while its tempting to try to write not-so-funny funny things about race, temperament and temperature: I not only belive notions like that to be benath me, but to be wildly incorrect. As tempting as it can be to blame race; studies have shown that there can be greater genetic differences between two neighbouring african tribes and an african and european.

It simply seems that people (and their memes) when under a certain pressure will tend to overreact. If you start observing you will see it everywhere. It is easy for the king to be forgiving; a bit harder for his mistress.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Movies about angels and ragnarokk and such often are quite good; so on the basis of that I just wasted 90 minutes watching one of the worst movies I've seen in quite a long time.

The short of it is DO NOT WATCH. It is a horror/zombie/apocalypse flick that just can't do any of those things. Its not even scary. Sometimes it's so bad you laugh, but it not really even bad enough to be really funny either.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Typing Ninja Hunter

Typing Ninja Hunter is a browser-game with a certain pedagogic value. Type fast, or die! On kongregate.

Funny People

I am in doubt this morning. Should I at all write of a film I found to be quite mediocre? I guess I am, and I'll try not to let my hesitation keep me back. But it just did. Blabla.

As a fan of Entourage I was a littlebit taken with the hype surrounding Funny People; and decided to see it a few months ago. I got around to it the other day, and I must say I was somewhat disapointed. It was spun as a movie about real stars playing asshole versions of them selves - and that would be fun.

But ofcourse, it was'nt at all that. A movie of comedians, love and friendship. A typical Judd Apatow movie; a formula movie. The ending is good, for a formula ending, and if you have 2 & 1/2 hours to spend on what usually is a 90minute film - but sligthly better... do see it.

I thought Adam Sandler was a jerk who could'nt play for shit until I saw 'independent' movie Punch Drunk Love. Funny People have some dark moments where that 'other side' of Mr. Sandler shines through - but really - but if you want to see the effect of taking the mask of his manic and forced playing style... watch Waterboy and Punch Drunk Love back to back.

Monday, March 01, 2010

In šāʾ Allāh

When my mother had her spiritual awakening in her teens my grandfather used to tell her that "It is OK to belive in the Almighty; but there is no reason to become religious on that [or any other] account."

I have some things I try not to write of to often: In particular that would be, these days, the holy ganja, and our brothers of Islam. There is nothing less interesting, to me, - and most people I would assume - than legalizeit-blogs, immigration-blogs or any other blog with an agenda (besides, ofcourse, the coolification of the author).

Atomic blast captured with high speed shutter camera. Looks a bit like an alternative universe on the other side.

For instance I've held off on writing about Russias planned sale of S-300 missiles to Iran. Why add to the havoc, why join the fear mongerers? The most interesting thing for me is that the information have'nt pop'd up in Norwegian media at all and that I found it in The Times of India. Are they [the Norwegian media] simply inept and understaffed, or are there other reasons for not mentioning such an item?

I digress. Todays Aftenposten have a byline by exile Iranian-turned norwegian politician-Mazyar Keshvari who interestingly enough has plegded his allegiance to FrP (that rightwing populist party I sometimes mockingly refer to as the Facist Party). [And if you can't comprehend the high kings tounge I refer you, as usual, to].

Mr. Keshvari critizises the bland liberal/secular reaction to recent events springing from the tension between secular Scandinavia and our immigrant brothers and sisters of Islam. He mentions the moslem 'moral police' in Oslo district Grønnland, recent cases of Mohammed-caricatures resulting in mass-demostrations, murder and terror threats et cetera. His point; that these are all tendencies towards what he was escaping in the first place; is somewhat I often have pointed out in discussions - and this is a good a time as ever to write a few words on that subject in my usual roundabout way.

St. George Hare (1857-1933) "A victory of faith" [Pic from italian blog La Conchiglia di Venere]

I am, you could say, a fan of God. Whatever you choose to call he/she/it. But it is quite striking to compare levels of violence in a society with levels of secularity... and I think my grandfather, no matter his mafia-antics (another story), had it right. (If you are a littlebit slow I'll spell it out: There is a direct link between a societys level of secularity and reduced levels of violence and war.) So while it seems obvious to me that God should have no part in the gouvernance of society - I do think one of the most important points of having a society at all is to allow for the worship of God. It might even be the point.

Now: when revolutionary brothers speak to me of their dreams and hopes of a islamic revolution by arms in Oslo, I simply smile. But we can do it! They tell me. Ofcourse they can. But you know little of the logisitcs of war if you think you can hold Oslo (or Malmö, or Copenhagen or whatnot). And I have convinced more than one delutional fellow to leave his dreams and mad schemes behind simply by doing a geografy realitycheck. From where and whence would he get supplies and reinforcements? What happens when the 2 million norwegians with military training not living in Oslo take to arms?

A mashup of Carravaggios 'Last Supper'.

And we have'nt even started to count crusaders and americans. So I simply smile. A littlebit sad though. It would be sad for this world and her people if fundamentalists managed to once again awaken the northern beast. When awakened it cares not if thou art dubbed hebrew, arab, negro... whatnot. (Beware of Grendel!)

What makes me angry and misantropic is the hubris and stupidity of escaping their own fuck'd up countries, seeking our 'western paradise' and then trying to change all the things that makes it work. Despising us for our liberal lives (and wifes). Churchill perhaps said it best: "Democracy is the worst form of goverment that has ever been tried. Except for all the others." Do they think we like everything about our societies? Thinking men and women have simply accepted that it is the only known way to get all those things they come here seeking.

And the masses are sedated by their alcohol and fucking and shopping and their television.

It is like a man chosing to live in my well ordered and rich home in stead of his own fuck'd up one, and then telling me not to do the dishes and not to go to work so that my home can fall into the same disarray as his own. They speak of hospitality and respect, but know naugth but the primitive forms of barbaric people.

So please: Do teach me of the submission to God, Inzh Allah! Share the treasures of your most ancient and glorious cultures. Make us see how the elderly should be treated. So on and so forth. But when it comes to gouvernance you can keep your opinion to yourself; atleast until such a time as you can show to a single well functioning not-on-the-brinck-of-chaos Sharia state.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Boiled eggs with freshly baked bread and caviar. A glass of milk. Afterwards a cup of tea and a sigarette. Later on there will be fucking.

To get you all in the mood: A, in my collection, rare example of the Duke without that full big band that haunts most his accessible releases. Take the "A" Train...