an easy way to make things difficult

I guess I thought I would forgive and forget. I really wanted to, but couldn't.
And so, what was once there is gone.
There is a small hole of nothing where there used to be something.
How do you redefine something that never really had a name?

Trying to define, we became what we said we should not be,
we did what we decided not to do.
Ignoring our better judgements we threw away caution,
breaking all the rules, breaking everything.
and then we complained about the complexity.

Well, life is hard, isn't it? And responsibility is a bitch.

"It's hard to think clearly in somebody's arms"
- James Geary

what if my body is the disguise?

-Take off your clothes. Take off your body.
Hang them up behind the door.
Tonight we can go deeper than disguise-

In defiance of the parliamentary elections I got to thinking about defenses and disguises.
How there are certain places for revealing our true nature,
and others where we keep it underneath our clothes, guarding it with apparel.
- Why is that?

Is it the weight of the clothes, so easy to hold on to?
Like shields made of textile..
Making us walk across the battlefield each time
before we hang our bodies up behind the door,
disguises cast off on the floor.

rhetorical recycling

What do you mean?
- what do you mean 'what do you mean'?
I don't mean anything!
If I wanted to say something else I would have said something else.

This quote that I once jotted down from a Ukranian movie has since then been a great companion of mine.
I have used it over and over, yet it doesn't lose its sharp and witty exactness.
However, as I am reading Meaning in Interaction and becoming more imerged in truisms,
aphorisms, sophisms and metaphor, it becomes increasingly clear that the quote is not what I thought.
In fact, it is saying something much deeper than what I first imagined.

Meaning is relative.
Meaning is derived and imposed by each by way of symbols, shared experience and collective images.
It is not that people don't say what they mean or don't mean what they say.
But that meaning is never absolute.
Meaning is nothing.
Yet, sometimes, meaning becomes everything (yes, semi-creating aphorisms on my own now)

The Economist recently published an article where the long with-standing truism that the limits of language are actually the limits of your mind was celebrated as hard scientific fact. All evidence and proof.
How, then, can I demand from you that your meaning will transcend to mine?
That your mind be synchronized with my own?
How do I suppose that confusing your psychology with my own is in any way helpful?

Well, touché to the Greek, to James Geary and all the other great sociolinguists that constantly challenge our perception of language, the mind and hence, the universe and our existence.

Now I've done my share of intellectual and labourious efforts for this week.
Detaching for a family weekend.
Visual evidence may pop up.

Plato & Kundera: Thoughts on Democracy

According to Plato, political science did not need to be concerned with political obligation. 
Because of the dominating position which he assigned to knowledge, obligation was not a peculiarly political problem for Plato.
Knowledge = truth, since his knowledge was in fact the one true knowledge, and that was that.
What this actually meant was that political association became a vehicle for the realization of the ultimate good;
The perfect ideal polis.
Everything is excused in the quest for the Eternal Good.

I can't help but think of Milan Kundera when he writes, quite correctly that:
In this world everything is pardoned in advance, and therefore everything cynically permitted.

Plato tried as hard as he could to feign off all attempts at politicizing society.
Politicians should not be allowed to voice opinions, and the Philosopher-King should be entrusted to choose the right path of the city and lead all men (well, all 5000 of them) to salvation.
In Kundera, I sense a hint of resignation. If we take into consideration that The Unbearable Lightness of being was published in 1984, I suppose that by now we could say that more than everything is cynically permitted.
Most things, in fact, are cynically expected.

Today is the International Day of Democracy. I am not quite sure what that means. Ban-Ki Moon writes beautiful words on the notion of democracy, but he also warns us against letting our guard down and permit backlashes in democracy to become the trend.
We take for granted the right to express our opinions on almost everything, and yet in Plato, who is at times celebrated as the birth of modern democracy we find a ruler who knows what is best for all his constituency.
It is his wisdom- and only that- which guides the soul of all men into the Aethenian utopia.

And in our time of constant expression, social media and neverending connectedness
we are becoming numb to the messages and can no longer distinguish the important from the frivolous.
We get stuck in the superficial and forget the urgent.
Let's hope that the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group can shed a new light on the urgency.

Back to CSR

sophia bengtsson Hur ser du på möjligheterna att kombinera traditionellt biståndsarbete med corporate social responsibility, alltså att involvera fler privata aktörer i utvecklingsarbete för att bekämpa fattigdom?

Jan Eliasson Hej Sophia, Du har rätt. Vi kan inte peka på till exempel FN att lösa alla problem. Den privata sektorn och företag har också ett ansvar - och inte minst stora möjligheter. De kan skapa jobb och värna om miljön, mänskliga- och fackliga rättigheter genom sin verksamhet. Jag har också märkt att både kunder och anställda mer och mer kräver ett ökat ansvarstagande från företagen. Man blir helt enkelt mer stolt att vara kund eller anställd i ett företag med höga etiska regler

Today is another of those days filled with craziness and being busy on the verge of losing my mind.
But I took a minute off to ask former UN-ambassador Jan Eliasson something about CSR and development assistance. Unfortunately the response was not as exhaustive as I might have hoped. But once again, we can always count on Jan to possess insights and wisdom.

to be continued...

I'm sure you've all been wondering all this time,
what happened to the African Allegory of this summer?

Well, the massai did settle down underneath the branches of the acacia for a while
It was not the same, of course. He was not sure what it was,
but it was different weather...
But then the acacia started asking for water,
and so he picked up his things and left.

And there she stands, the acacia, the sole tree on the savannah
No water; no massai.

metaphorically speaking...


easy/difficult: not quite antagonists.

SIGNS, by Patrick Hughes. Cannes Film Festival 2009

Everything in its Right Place.

I'm organizing my e-mail inbox and got stuck reading a long list of -isms I once saved.
It got me thinking about the need to put names on things in order to deal with them.
As if the mere identification, definition and categorization would somehow change something.

And I am reading through long lost e-mails from other lifes, another world.
Reminding me that I've had this feeling before and it is a passing condition and it's OK,
but then I remember.
And that's my whole problem, really. Memory.
and the absence of memory loss.

no surprise
just the ringing sound of an alarm,
in the far distance.

Dan Brown = literature for the poor?

This funny article brightened my morning despite the gloomy precipitation.
And then there's this one, which I had been thinking about after repeated visits to the RedCross secondhand.

Poor Danny.

linguistic education

Presentism: The practice of interpreting the past according to the attitudes and values of the present—a temptation to which politicians, journalists, historians and Sophia are wont to succumb.

Sunday dreaming

I'm having baklava with my morning coffee.
SonyMusic's "Smoothies"-playlist is the best way to start a Sunday.

These first days of autumn make me dream of the big cities.
I crave the long, busy streets, the bohemian cafés, rivers and bridges.
Museums, exhibitions, outdoor cinemas.
I get this symptom every year, and I think it is something beyond the city.
It is what the image of the city entails. Romance, somehow.
"Love and The City"?
This place is too small for that.
This place is too small.

-for me?

perhaps it is another time I wish for. Another world.
This was not what I signed up for.
Things just aren't real enough. True enough, deep enough.
I want to go beyond the surface. /I want to see the skin of the light/

time to pretend

the political battle continues..

Campaigning need not always be verbal!


countdown -16 days.

ME, a lazy bum.

I am tired of hearing that my generation is stupified.
That we do not want anything, that we prefer just sitting in front of the computer
-no ambitions, no goals, no commitment.

Today I participated in a meeting with 12 business-owners, mostly industrial companies.
We discussed the need for competent people to substitute the generation born in the 40s
and the importance of "generation x" born in the 80s.

Why is the only possiblility to blame someone else?
And how is that supposed to motivate us who are struggling to start our careers?
Last year, at the UN, I sometimes worked 12 hours per day without salary.
Still it was one of the best periods of my life!
Currently, a student, working, teaching and involved in our Society of International Affairs,
YES, when I come home I do sit in front of my computer, I admit it: Mea Culpa.

And it's not just me.
Most people I know want great things.
And they are are willing to work for it.
They even consider working for a much lower salary just to get the experience.
But with politicians with attitudes like the one I met today  make the rules.
We are going to wait a long time before we'll have a chance to get into the labor market.

Here's the thing:
You say we sit in front of the computer and do nothing:
actually we do an incredible amount of things, it's just you are not educated enough to understand.
Appearently we are corrupted by social media:
but already at an early age we create a social&professional network you worked years for.
You argue that we are too spoiled, we do not want to settle for the same thing our parents did.
Yet you say we have no ambition...

I can't help to think it's just a touch of jealousy, bitterness and a large portion of the JANTELAW.
So what if we are ambition and we want to be amazing?
We are the best generation in history and we have all the possibilities to BE AMAZING.


Don't let people push your buttons: Wear your clothes inside out.

It's as if I had only recently started to materialize.
My presence is no longer just optional, but in many places crucial,
entailing plenty of pressure, but accompanied with a great sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Like this is what I was supposed to be.
My awareness of my own value, finally.

Ever since Helen Fielding first had Bridget Jones say "Shut up, I'm very busy and important"
- albeit jokingly- I've sensed the mysterious allure of this phrase.
Longing for the day when I, too, would become busy and important...

However, not necessarily in the Bridget Jones sort of way.

Clash boom bang!

/There are those who say that temptation can be barricaded beyond the door.
The ones who think that stray desires can be driven out of the heart like the moneychangers from the temple.
Maybe they can, if you patrol your weak points day and night, don't look, don't smell, don't dream/

- Winterson.

Lately I'm coming back to this discourse and suddenly (law of attraction) everything is about this.
About letting yourself go, feeling whatever you feel, indulge in passion;
OR barricading, guarding, defending your outposts against future pain and potential threats.
It sounds straight forward enough, right?
Why choose to restrain yourself when you can let yourself be overthrown by passion?
I guess hindsight is a very nasty thing.
It is always in retrospect we question our options.

Met George Clooney on a street in Vienna....
Incidentally, his character in "Up in the air" would have had a lot to say about this


There is something with difficulty that attracts me.
I know this is not a desirable feature of my personality.
Complication pulls me close and I am defenseless in its presence.
It is not the difficulty per se that I crave,
but the feeling that comes with the achievment of the nearly impossible.
I need the heaviness; the burden of being.
Dark elements of despair sugar-coated with hopefully naïve optimism,
that is the way I deal with reality. My reality.

"SO???", I can hear you wondering. "No conclusion?No punchline?What a crappy discourse..."
But you should have learnt by now that I believe that dialectics shape our world.
- No right or wrong answers, just the constant questioning.

Labor market, job reforms and paparazzi

Real life is beginning to insist on its right to become.
I am in the middle of it.
(in the becoming, not in life)

Yesterday started with a breakfast mingle with ex-Director of the Central Bank
Urban Bäckström. (Link
Well, I don't mean me and him were mingling.
In fact, the only interaction we had was him asking me "do you want my microphone?"
But still. He was there, I was there; and there was mingling.

The papers were there and I managed to slip into the picture.
(Can you slip into? or just out of...?)
Despite appearences, the event was not just for middleaged men.

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