March 16, 2004

Tangentially Related to Sweden. Or, a totally random post that turns into a rant

Was reading Sundry Mourning which I just found and quite like. I want to introduce her to Groovy Decay just like when you meet a new friend that you're sure would totally get along with an old friend. Except sometimes they hate each other, so you don't do it.

Anyway, she has a habit of titling her entries with a vaguely suggestive sentence from somewhere in the post, something like, "Are Swedish people just naturally tidier and more efficient and tending towards metal accents and birch countertops?" Which I, quickly realized, meant she was going to talk about Ikea. Fairly quickly, anyway. This lead me to a thought tangent, namely,

Things I Associate with Sweden
(A partial homage to Lore Sjoberg and his Book of Ratings.)

The Swedish chef from The Muppet Show (Aside: Age when, while viewing a re-run, I realized they were human hands? 12. I am a college graduate, people.)
Gentle rivalry with the Norse
Bikini Team
And maybe saunas. Are y'all the peeps wit the saunas? Or is that the Norse again?

Ohhhh…wait! There's more:

A remarkably egalitarian social system which provides numerous benefits
That band from Muriel's' Wedding…Abba
The other band, well, if you count two incredibly talentless people as a band, Ace of Base. (What? They were real popular when I was in middle school. You should be thankful kiddies, for — hold on a second, I got to bust out of the parenthetical for this, otherwise we're all gonna get lost—)

Which reminds me…I have recently come to the conclusion that pop culture imploded in 1991. Think about it, people. Nobody likes the early nineties. Hammer pants? Young MC? Ace of Base? (Oh, crap, now I'm gonna have to change the sidebar.) Vanilla Ice, for chrissakes? I have the distinct impression that my generation, then in its formative years of pre-teen hood, took a look around, said to itself, "This shit is so lame I cannot possibly emulate it, for it will merely cause my parents to laugh at me rather than bewail my devilish ways," and went off to mope in its room while listening to Nirvana, and begin to cultivate a kind of lustful nostalgia that is our defining characteristic. I cannot begin to tell y'all the number of conversations I have had about Thundercats, a program that, while cool in its way, makes a crappy cultural touchstone for the youth of my generation in comparison, to say, Woodstock. Or Altamont. I like me some Adult Swim as much as the next girl, but we have got to stop it with the what-ever-happened-tos and the where-are-they-nows and the do-you-remembers with shit that happened in 198-fuckin'-6. We have got to stop having debates about whether the Snorks were a complete ripoff off the Smurfs, and the "Did you have a Pound Puppies lunchbox too?" and the slavish adoration of the John Hughes oeuvre. This is how we end up with programs like VHI's The Best Week Ever which is a gauzy, misty-eyed look back at shit that literally happened yesterday. Jesus Cocksucking Christ. Pop culture is eating itself, and we, my fellow twenty somethings, are Calista Flockheart in that one HBO special about bulimia --- you know the one I'm talking about --- we keep little jars of old pop culture hidden at the back of our closets and we frickin' need help.

I'm not saying that there hasn't been a period of recovery. It seems to me that once the Backstreet Boys entered the picture, the teenagers of today (as prompted by the corporations of today, Clear Channel, I'm looking at you here) set about creating a zeitgeist filled with enough embarrassing excess that they will be able to spend their golden years telling their middle aged children that they just don't understand, maaaan.

We have to start doing some stupid stuff, now, right now, so that we will have something to remember later. That's all I ask. Some sort of era defining idiocy bandwagon that we can all gratefully jump onto so that years later we can look back at pictures of ourselves and chuckle defensively. 'Cause really, looking back twenty years from now at your flipped-collar members only jacket and trying to explain to your children that you were attempting to ironically reference a fashion from somebody else's youth is going to be just sad. Bathos, here we come.

Or, as Cat and Girl put it, "The 90s are back. I hope we don't have to ironically appreciate Creed."

Oh. Right. Swedes. In conclusion, looking over my list, I realize that I think some of my Swedish things are actually Finnish things, or maybe Norwegian things, and that I'm not sure where the Laps live, but I sure do remember their bit in Richard Scary's big book of international animals. Sorry, Sweden.

Oh, and Denmark is the Delaware of Europe. And, lutefisk.

And I'm out.

Posted by Diablevert at March 16, 2004 01:28 PM

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