On the World Soccer Cup

Hey there, back from Amsterdam. Besides attending the European political bureau meeting of the Fourth International over one weekend, I walked around and sat around much of Amsterdam reading and watching people around me get excited by the world soccer cup. I myself can not really get anything positive out of these constant, but controlled “wars” that make chauvinist and nationalist feelings come out everywhere. So I usually just wish that “my countries” are kicked out as early as possible. With neither Denmark nor Norway being in it to start with this time, “my countries” are Germany and Sweden (the latter of which apparently has been kicked out now). Whenever they’re out, the enthusiasts pick some other country to support, quite independently of where they come from themselves, but the feeling of being in the middle of a war usually vanishes quite fast.
This year the feelings are running especially high in Germany where social problems are about to climax. With the population drugged on soccer, the government is taking the opportunity to parse laws on increasing the sales tax (a tax that generally hurts those with little money), while at the same time cutting even more in the spending for the unemployed. The newest idea of theirs is to cut the amount they’re willing to pay for rent and the amount the unemployed is allowed to own. But who cares if Germany might end up as the world soccer champion? As an East German said at the camp ground that I stayed at in Amsterdam: “You saw that old English guy over there? Yesterday [when it was Germany vs. Poland], he fevered for us! I told him: ‘respect, man, respect!'” I don’t know if that meant that he had settled all hard feelings between the British and the Germans following WWII, but according to this soccer fan it was absolutely a deed of diplomatic proportions.

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Update : The video below has been replaced by a better edited version in which one actually can read the subtitles. (Sep 16, 2007)

By coincidence I am visiting my parents right now, when the Danish minority has its annual meeting (in Danish: “Årsmøde”). It lasted for three days, and I was back in Oslo the last day, so I decided to take my sister and shoot a little video of one of the celebrations in a tiny little village called “Ascheffel” (just far enough away for me not to run into old teachers from kindergarten, etc.). The resulting video has many flaws, amongst which are:

– The sound is not very good + you need to know both German AND Danish to make sense of it all. But then again, it’s subtitled!

– There are quite a few references which don’t make much sense to anyone who hasn’t been there. (though look at the very bottom of this article)

Now I am putting the video up now nevertheless, because I know I will not have much time at a pc in the near future due to me travelling to Copenhagen tomorrow, then to Oslo from there and on Tuesday I’ll be in Amsterdam for a week, before going back to Oslo. (and yes, I’m staying in my tent both in Amsterdam and Oslo). Anyways, for anyone who doesn’t mind all these problems and is interested in a tiny documentary about the Danish minority in Germany from a critical perspective… enjoy the download!

Update: The anthropology sites Kansatieteilijän desktopilta (Finnish), sblog, Antropologi.info and Savageminds.org have linked the video.
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The End?

So this is it, once again. Well, wait, I haven’t really been updating you for the past two and a half weeks. This is what has happened in the ever exciting life of Johannes Wilm:

Room 0815 --- fearful of what is to come next?)
Room 0815 — fearful of what is to come next?)

During the weekend of the Revolutionary party (RV) national convention (for which I had programmed the system that allows for proposals to be tracked, ordered, printed out, handled by committees, etc.), one of my informants from Douglas, AZ showed up. ow he had announced his visit some weeks ago, but I really couldn’t believe that anyone from Douglas would really show up i Oslo just like that. I had known Jeff in Douglas during my first visit mostly as the boyfriend of January, but still I had had a few conversations with him back then, and especially since then both during my second visit and otherwise over MSN messenger and email have we had quite a few conversations. To give you kind of a idea how different we are, consider the following: he is 20 years old, he is a conservative, he is a christian, this was his first time leaving the Americas, he is a musician playing metal (?? actually I’m not sure what it is) ad he voted for George W. Bush at his reelection (although he now says that he can’t support him).Well, this guy suddenly showed up at the Oslo train station from where he called my cell phone. Now what was I to do? I concluded that shock therapy probably would be the most appropriate, so after picking him up, the first thing I did was to drag him through the national convention of RV (they had called me cause the Internet had stopped working), before we went to my room to drop of his stuff. A few hours earlier they had had a spokesperson from the Palestinian government (and member of Hamas) and he spoke in English, but unfortunately we were too late for that and what he got to see was really nothing more than a few old Norwegians speaking in Norwegian.
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