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Moving off Blogger

I will be moving Radio Free Gardistan off Blogger. Please move along to my new website,


Jaan Kross not sighted in Bermuda

December 31st 2007, I published the following prediction on Gardistan in Vision:

When I first started to read Keiserns Galning, I thought it might be an autobiography. Not that it fits with Jaan's actual timeline, but either way it felt as if the author wrote it a very long time ago, and naturally had to be dead now.

Then I learned that he was very much alive. I decided that Jaan Kross therefore is immortal. Kind of like a vampire, except he writes to stay alive instead of sucking blood.

When I received the news that he had just passed away, I was proven wrong. He is not immortal. But I expect that also this assumption is wrong, and that we will receive new reports of Jaan Kross sightings in Bermuda on January 31st 2012.

We are now almost a year behind the predicted date of Jaan Kross sightings in Bermuda. As far as I'm able to pull out of the Internet, however, I can find no reports of Jaan Kross sightings in Bermuda on January 31st 2012. So I have either been wrong, or I might have been kidding.

You should still pick up the book, though.


Defence definitions

When I grew up, I learned that the Norwegian military was a defence organization, whose purpose was to defend Norway from enemies invading the country. Defending Norwegian citizens in Norway. Turns out that I was taught a fairytale that has become the common idea among citizens.

The typical examples was Germany under WWII and the possibility of an attack from the Sovjet Union during the cold war, not to mention the centuries of surveilling "the Finnish Danger" i.e. Sámis who migh side with Finland in a Norwegain-Finnish war. And Sweden? We have been fighting against Sweden before. And Denmark. That's what the military was about. Keep Norway Norway.

So while I was checking the Mistry of Defence's web page in search for more information about current missions in Afghanistan and, consequently, how that could possibly be part of defending Norway, I accidentally found that their official policy statement (which is roughly a mission statement) was last updated in 2011.

Translated, the statement now reads:
    The Defence shall be developed into a modern, flexible, alliance adapted instrument, where is seeks a balance between the Defence's tasks, structure and access to resources. The organization shall be based on a close cooperation with relevant civil authorities and compulsary drafts practices in line with the Defence's needs. Focus shall be to secure and promote/develop Norwegian interests through the handling of a wide spectrum of challenges nationally and internationally.
Do what? By the sound of it, this is no longer about defending Norwegian territory, but may very well be interpreted as - promoting Norwegian music labels by bombing British music labels. Of course, we know we're not talking about music labels, but it would include taking part of invading other countries if that secures good terms with allies. Remember "The coalition of the willing"?

The give-away is already in the first sentence: The Defence is not to be developed into something that keeps Norway safe - it is an instrument. It is a very peculiar choice of words.

One would think that the mission was narrowed down by going to the Ministry of Defence, the people in charge of this "instrument". But no. The MoD clearly defines themselves as "An office of government responsible for defining and executing security- and defence policies" which basically leaves them open to define defence any way they like.

I wonder if I could persuade them to fund my "soft power" project. That is, conquer evil with good. There just is no better defence than promoting good.


Book: La scoperta di Milano / The discovery of Milan

For my 40th  birthday, my wife gave me a book by Giovannino Guareschi, translated to Norwegian under the name "Min egen lille verden" (My own little world), which turns out to be Nino's first book ever published.

It gives a tongue-in-cheek description of Nino's life in rural Italy, the transition to big city life in Milano, and eventually, life-after-death experience. It is easy to identify with Nino's story, which goes to show that the world has not changed much over the 72 years that have passed since the book was published. Even the daily problems with modern technology are present.

It was a book that was hard to put down as the clock ticked past midnight. Yet I am painfully aware that all I have is the Norwegian translation from 1954. I can only imagine how much better the Italian original would be to read. Perhaps this could be my first book to learn Italian?

Either way, I highly recommend La scoperta di Milano (The discovery of Milan) as a good bed time read. And it leaves you with the question: What is it about authors and their Margheritas?



Everything that I write is the truth
Unless I write it in a piece of fiction
In which case I can still call it truth
Because it is truth within my fiction