2008-12-20

Nightmare before Christmas

Was away a couple of days for the annual kick-start of the new year conference. It's about mingling with colleagues and networking. Which I like! Thursday evening and night I joined the Conference Dinner and went to bed at 01.30 am. I avoided drinking anything else but water, otherwise I would not have been able to get out of bed again 4 hours later and work.

Finished the book Swedish Mafia the other day. It was so interesting that I read it in 2 days. Extremely well-written. And good research work.

It was a refreshment of things which I obviously can remember now that I was reminded of it but temporarily had forgotten.

One of the most interesting chapters in the book is about Arkan - the Serbian robber who became Mr. Celebrity in Belgrade. Arkan operated during long periods in Sweden which I knew. But I had forgotten the story of his network. Arkan is an example of how a deeply criminal personality can rise to everybody's darling and a millionaire.

The Stein Bagger case makes the book even more current. Stein Bagger may very well try to delude us into something else, but if you as a manager hires a bodyguard who is a member of the Hells Angels, you have something to hide. That Stein Bagger is a charming psychopath who is able to convince people with a university degree makes it all even more ludicrous. Never did we see so many whitewashed hands and red ears at the same time.

2008-12-16

Tremors comes in different sizes

06.20 this morning people woke up feeling the earth shaking real hard. With their usual sense of exaggeration, the Extra Bladet Web Paper announced that shaking was so powerful that it could "be felt throughout the country." - Apparently Copenhagen has extended since I was there in July.


Anyway. 4.8 is a fairly strong quake. And the epi centre was in Southern Sweden. Specifically just outside Ystad. From a reliable source who lives there I've been told that the quake was so strong that she fell out of her bed.
But all of this is of course completely overshadowed by the main news of the day: Stein has landed! With Delta Airlines straight from LAX 08.32 am.

At present time everybody knows who Stein is. However, when I first heard about Stein - because I don't live in Denmark - I got the impression that we were talking about Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr vom und zum Stein. Though he's been dead for quite many years, and was by the way not a crook allthough he was an entrepreneur.


The highly publicized Stein appeared to be Stein Bagger, Contractor of the Year in Denmark in 2008. Unfortunately also disappeared from the earth's surface, highly inconvenient to his investors whose money were also missing.


In particular, the country known comedian Finn Nørbygaard, who apparently had lost so much money that he no longer could afford to pay for refueling of his Mercedes. (Found the picture from the survaillance camera). Trapped by the surveillance camera he had to ask the whole of Denmark for forgiveness.
A lot of other famous people came forward and admitted they'd been deceived. The central person in the story however had vanished from the earth. Until the day when Stein Bagger rolled in at a local police station in Los Angeles and asked to be arrested.

Now he's back in Denmark, and this morning he admitted fraud. I look forward to hear the rest of the fascinating story. The entertainment value is fully in line with the story of the man who sold the Eiffel Tower and other stories in that genre.

2008-12-15

Foreign timid?

In Copenhagen so called dialog benches have been placed out at squares around the city.

The idea is that one should sit down for a small chat with other people. And basicly the idea is great. However, a metropolis might not be the right place. Which probably explains why the benches remains empty. - Because people in huge cities often suffers from a certain amount of anxiety to strangers.

One wonders why? - People categorized as normal move to a metropolis and within a month they are totally damaged. Hidding behind the iPod and the cell phone or another electronic device. Or behind the black sunglasses. No eye contact what so ever. The nose turned towards the sky.

Strangely enough, if you ask people living in a metropolis why they behave like that, they all blame the amount of weirdos in the metropolis jungle. I agree that there are many weirdos. It is a sympton of the class divided society that those who have feel uncomfortable adjustment by those who don't have. And those who don't have must live somewhere. We humans are pack members, so naturally those who don't have seek themselves to big cities with others in the same situation.

I sound like a bloody communist, I know. But nevermind. What's interesting here is how your personality changes when moving to a city.

I'm no better myself. When travelling I often meet people who speaks Danish. I NEVER reveal where I come from. Only the other day - when in Gothenburg - I'm actually ashamed of myself come to think of it - I sit in a restaurant, and just behind me 4 Danes are having difficulties with the booking. Do I turn around an offer my assistance? - Noooo, of course not. Their problems are not my business....... - Damn me and my lack of style!  


Back home at the country side I would never behave this tatty. Of course I help people when I can see or hear that they need help. But the moment I cross the city line - my personality changes. And I hide behind my black sunglasses.

"The more you think, the more one realizes that there is no simple answer"
A.A. Milne, Author

2008-12-14

Civilized business moral

Bought a highly controversial book when I was in Gothenburg. It's called the Swedish Mafia, and is a mapping of criminal gangs in Sweden. Highly interesting. The book is written by 2 journalists.

It's controversial because it describes how criminal organisations such as Hells Angels, Bandidos and Wolfpack more or less un-disturbed have been able to penetrate into society and use blackmail and threats as an accepted business concept. When I've finished the book, I'll post you my point of view.

Biker environment is not entirely unknown to me. I was young and living in Copenhagen during the period when Hells Angels became the decission makers at the citys hashish market. They seized power through the rigorous shooting of the leader of the former owner club. He was gunned down in brought daylight in the street outside his home. - He went from punk to Icon the moment he died. Like a rockstar.
I lived in the neighborhood and saw the brand switch from Bullshit to Hells Angels, but I never saw the biker clubs as a threat, not even as criminals.



It was just a fight about who would determine the selling price - which had nothing to do with buyers.


It was just a fight about who would determine the selling price - which had nothing to do with buyers.


Today - 25 years later, a new war is on in Copenhagen. This time it is about drugs (hashish is light beer for hippies).


The war about the drug market is being battled between Hells Angels and groups of young immigrants. And most likely Hells Angels will loose the war. The war has changed character. It has intensified. But the money they are fighting for is also widening. We are talking about a rock loose market where you can earn fantasy billons.


In Sweden, there is also war between various criminal groups, but the war is centered in and around Gothenburg - not in Stockholm. Or rather: The shootings are not as intensive in Stockholm as in Gothenburg. I therefore conclude.......
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