Today I had a two hour long discussion about politics with Ola, the teen in the neighbouring house, and his girlfriend. The girlfriend is Labour and Ola is liberal. They mostly argued between themselves. Not in a hostile way, but just debating and telling each other that the other one is so wrong about everything.
It’s not so important about what they argued, but it struck me about the contrasts and complications that labels can give, particularly on the internet. Here, in Sweden, a liberal is for laissez faire capitalism and the night watchman state. In England liberal is… like the Greens here. Free marketers that want to regulate the markets and want a green market. In the US a liberal is a far-right conservative according to our standards. I mean, Obama is not much like the Tories, but he’s also not much like the Conservatives here. He’s far to the right of them.
Not to mention that here UKIP would be considered neo-Nazis since they have the exact same policies as the neo-Nazi party in parliament here, the Sweden Democrats. So, it’s interesting to see how the meaning of labels shift according to location.
Mark has found something to break his obsession with the Olympics, the Mars landings. I was wondering if that would sort of break him in two, and reduce him to a whinging puddle of indecision. But, he has handled the transition from sports nut to science geek admirably, and now follows the Rover’s twitter account, and insist on showing me cool pictures that the Rover has taken.
He’s so adorably enthusiastic, and bubbles with excitement for every little news item that comes out of the JPL camp. I love the Mars program too, but I think I’ve managed to stay on the sane and rational side, and haven’t been subsumed by eagerness about it. Unlike him. 🙂
At work, he even sent me texts about it, so it is a big preoccupation for him. I expect him to get back to the Olympics before long. His bursts of obsession doesn’t last long.
At least his obsession with work seems to be over, and he’s more back to normal. He doesn’t get up three hours before he starts, fretting about being late, now. It’s more like with the brick-laying job. His initial enthusiasm has reached more tolerable levels.
I’m reading two books at once again: “Lowboy” about a sixteen year old paranoid schizophrenic called Will Heller that escapes into the wilds of New York to find a mate to have sex with because that will save the world. No, it’s not one of those kinds of books. I’m of two minds about it, so I may get back to you about what I think about it.
The other book I’m reading is “Ficciones” by Jorge Luis Borges. Borges is pure mind-fuckery. Like the description of the back says, he’s comprised a thousand years of philosophy into 17 pieces of prose, and it shows.
This book is for slow reading, and for having Google handy to look up sly references. It’s not exactly for slow, easy reading in the hammock. I love books that are well written, but have innumerable layers to them. I don’t know why. You peel off one layer of a text, and you find a totally new insight into the text in the next layer.