2009-05-01

Things I don't understand and people I don't like

If you have good time and a lot of extra energy, there are a coupple of things you can reflect on.

For instans I find it very difficult to understand why it has to be so damn difficult to buy cigarettes from the local supermarket, when other products just as harmful such as chips, sodas, sweets, cakes, ketchup and ready-made pizzas are being thrown into your face. - Considering the problems overweight people and bad teeths are causing society.

I'm also rather confused about our attitude to alcohol.

I googled myself into my homelands central statistical agency, Statistics Denmark, and ended up concluding that in Denmark the amount of inhabitants dying every year from alcohol related diseases is a Top-Secret information. Which I think is a bit odd because Statistics Denmark keeps very detailed statistics of all sorts of other diseases, epidemics, accidents, crimes and whatever else you can think of. So from a statistical point of view, Denmark leaves you with your free right to drink yourself to death if that's what you like to do.

Most countries seem to accept your free right to kill yourself in the way that suits YOU. Whether it's going to be with a little help from the bottle, your eating habits, your smoking habits or just your stupid traffic manners is entirely up to you. - The only thing that is just as predictable as your Amen in the church is that no matter which of the above methods you choose, you'll never end up being listed in the suicide statistics, which is a bit weird in my mind.

The Swedish journalist, Lena Sundström reminds a lot about Michael Moore. She keeps on terrorizing politicians and other authorities until she gets some answers.

Apart from this, Lena Sundström has been gifted with a hilarious humor gene which she uses to idiot explain everybody - and is being rewarded for it. In her book 'Things I don't understand and people I don't like' Lena takes a firm grip of the Swedish alcohol policy and all of a sudden it gets a whole new dimension.

For many, many years, Sweden had a very strict alcohol policy. For the simple reason that a majority of the working (mail) population was doing everything possible to die in a daze. Causing great harm to the rest of the (child and female) population who slowly starved to death when the man of the house chose to spend every dime he made on booze. Then the alcohol monopoly and 'Systembolaget' was introduced and everyone was happy, until the day Sweden decided to join the EU.

At first the government thought that EU would allow Sweden to be the forever special case. Maybe the government thought that EU would understand the human thought in preventing the citizens from getting cirrhosis and irk. If that is the case, it soon turned into a wake-up call for the government.

What does a socialdemocratic government that get it's wotes with talk about solidarity and wellfare do when it realises that EU is mainly about getting on with each other and the French wine farmers? - They send Ulf Dinkelspiel to Brussels. He is sufficiently weak sighted to ignore what is written at the bottom of the Treaty with a minimum font.

And Simsalabim - we are allowed to buy and import as much booze, beer and wine as we are able to consume, which to a Swede means appr. 100 times more than anybody else. And we're allowed to shop at 'Systemet' as often as we like without interference from the 'Sober Control' - as long as we have passed the age of 20.

Because the voting right is applicable from the age of 18, the age restriction at public houses and restaurants is 18. This means that you are legally permitted to participate in the great drinking party from the day you also are legally permitted to drive. On the other hand you'll be asked to show your id everywhere if you look younger than 30. - Which is possible even for a 45-year old. It's got nothing to do with wrinkles or facelift you see - your body-length is the guiding factor. Which is the reason why Miss Wintys boyfriend has been able to buy out booze from the day he turned 16. While I always have to bring my passport for further investigation.

(Did you by the way know that every Swede consume 10,4 litres of booze per year? - This includes babies, grayings and members of the sobriety movement. Since I assume that children under the age of 6 haven't reached the phase where you must test everything yet, someone in this country must be consuming a whole lot more than 10,4 litres a year.)

By signing a document he wasn't able to read Ulf Dinkelspiel managed to end the Swedes relative sober compatibility. And as an extra bonus, more than 2000 people die every year as a direct result of alcohol. That's 3 times more than the total number of people dying in road accidents, air accidents, boat accidents, train accidents and other accidents in the category that people are usually afraid to die in.

It's 5 times as dangerous getting drunk than to drive 180 kmt (110 mph). - However, the combination of drunk and 180 KMT is not included here.

It's up to each and everyone of us to interprete statistical material. You could for instans conclude, that in 20% of all traffic accident 1 of the involved drivers are drunk. Which on the other hand means that 80% of all trafic accidents are caused by completely sober drivers. - Doesn't that mean that you will be more safe if you're drunk when driving?

Apart from explaining how the socialdemocratic Sweden managed to land on the Top 10 list over the most alcoholic countries in the world, Lena Sundströms book also delivers an excellent view on how Swedens government by creating the free electricity market increased the electricity companies direct cash flow by several billions and at the same time increased the monthly total to be paid by the consumers by more than 50%. - At the same time as the electricity supply can be non existing for months, the electricity companies have improved their abilities and efforts sending unpaid bills to the debt collection. Please note that we are talking about invoices sent to consumers who were cut off from the electricity supply because the grid is not being maintained.

'Things I don't understand and people I don't like' is one of the most humorous books I've read in a very long time. In a very simple and very direct manner, Lena Sundström punctures all myths about politicians and their good intentions.

Things I din't understand and people I don't like - by Lena Sundström, 2005

Cheers,
Asta

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