Life and Politics

Hi Ghazal my Dear,

I have to confess that today I broke the promise that I gave to you last year in summer. I then told you that I wont go to watch any of the Stieg Larsson movies of the Millenium Triology.

But since the first part of this triology (“Verblendung” or swedish “Män som hatar kvinnor”) was shown tonight on TV I thought I should watch it and build my own opinion (because my refusal from last year was solely based on what I heard from other people). I have to say: the movie even exceeded my worst expectations. I thought it is a crime movie, where a murder (a minority) is hunted by the police or the by normal people (the majority).
But in the movie, the violence and sadism was ruling everywhere. There was brutality right from the beginning, on the street against this young lady, physical violence without reason, coming from apparently nowhere.
And even the few people who did not show physical violence against each other (like the journalists at the newspaper or the business-people on the island) expressed an frightening mental coldness. I can not remember to have seen a single smile or somebody laughing during the whole movie. It seem so damned cold, as if the entire society suffers from a deep frustration.
And the violence against woman and against children was only the most extreme side of this coldness. It made me feel sick to watch it. My opinion about the whole subject has not changed a bit, it only became more solid.
I think that this violence against woman and kids, raping and murder, should not become subject of literature or movies. It should be hunted by the police and punished by the society very fiercely, but should not be used by writers or movie-directors to get famous with. In this instance, Lars Gustafsson is so much different from Stieg Larsson. I don”t say that Larsson had bad, egoistoc intentions when he wrote his Best-Seller “Millenium”, of course he raised an issue that perhaps the swedish mainstream media tried to avoid for too long time: violence of men against woman or the fear to show emotions openly . And this is true for both sexes, it is not only that men are hesitant to show feelings that would question their image of the strong country-guy, collecting hunting trophies and stay cool even if they have just killed a female elch who was mother of a baby deer. It is similar for woman, who are forced to show up as the world-leader of emancipation. Therefore, if you see each year the row of the candidates at the Miss World Election from all over the world, the south-american beauties and the asian girls and the african black magic woman, it is so easy to spot the swedish candidate: she has short cut hair, small lips, a musculus body proofing that she spends plenty of hours in the gym. And she usually wears glasses, even if she does not need them, only to remind men of the fear that she could be as cruel as their ground school head teacher. This makes me wondering if in Sweden an un-declared competition is running of who of both sexes is able to hide its natural feelings best.
I think it is an important issue to raise, and Stieg Larsson did right to do so. But at the same time he was trying to become a best-seller, and for this aim he misused the issue. He showed in detail the monstreous murder orgies of some maniacs, and he mixed it all with politics and a very boring love story and with the issue of lesbian love and the issue of big financial companies and their hidden businesses and the issue of the evil russians who re-organized prostitution in Sweden. And there, you feel, he tries – with much success – as the best seller lists all show – to find an apetizer subject for every reader. Lars Gustafsson is completely different, he is a classical fiction writer, he just constructs in his novels a different world. But this world, and the persons that act therein, are so different from the canonical swedish or west-european in talking about their dreams, that his books will never enter the top-selling lists, but may once get the Nobel-Prize.
With the Stieg Larsson movies I had the same problem as with the Holocaust. I don”t want to see a movie about mass murder against the Jews. The Holocaust against the Jews I think goes back to same mental disorder as in the case of violence against woman: it has to do with somebody – either the Nazis or the rapist – feeling weak and useless and therefore doing violence against an innocent person, thereby feeling mighty and powerful for a moment. It is all quite clear, but it is sad.

I hope, Ghazal, that the whole Stieg Larsson movie is a severe exaggeration of the situation in Sweden. I always had the idea that Sweden is a very social society, everybody very helpful, everything very safe (some even said “too safe”).
But the movie showed the opposite, a shocking
image of a society that always tries to cover all problems that could spoil the image of harmony.
I was living long enough in country called GDR, that was notorious to cover up every single aspect of live, that did not fit into its self-constructed image of a successful, progressive society with all people beeing nice to each other and in love to the ruling party and the gouvernment. This, finally, lead to a complete collapse of the whole state virtually over night.

And probably the most intelligent analysis about the reason for this collapse was written by a rather young, unknown psychologist, Hans-Joachim Maaz. His book “Emotional Blockade” shows in a very convincing way how the attempt to fit emotions into a dogmatic political system (does not matter whether it is socialist-progressive or western emancipated and succesful) first has deterious effects on the psyche of the people and at the end makes a whole society sick.

It is alway better to speak out (and maybe laugh) about your emotions, than hiding them.

hope you don”t have this problem, although you are part of the swedish society, it is much more important that you have your mom and Shava as good friends to .

Take Care, Michael

PS: I just looked outside, because I could not believe the sound coming from the garden. But it is indeed a nightingale. So amazing to hear her singing, although it is just mid of February.

Dear Michael,

So you did not like stieg larsson. I liked it. not all movies are friendly and nice. some are brutal. well sweden was a very safe and good place. but it is just getting worse. the last non-safe news was the limit i think, the bomb that was exploded by a suicide bomber in stockholm. But there is a general atmosphere of an underlying, hidden violence, you are right. Last year a maniac presented a gun in a big department store and shot down several innocent people. And at last years general elections some other extreme-right-wings got seats in the parlament. But there are also signs of hope, for instance a young iranian immigrant (Hanif Bali) was elected to represent Stockholm Solna in the Rijksdag.
I think he has a good program, “Let Love Rule”, but I have some doubts if the parlament is the right place to fight for this.
My interpretation would rather be, that a lot of young ladies will fall in love with this extremely handsome young guy, and at the end this love will rule him.

Lets see, how he manages

Take Care


Ghazal my Dear,

I had a look at Hanif Balis home page, and I have to admit if I would have been a girl I would also fall in love to him. Of course he has to be on Facebook, surrounded by thousand of female “friends”, who would ealier be called “Disciples”.
My experience here in Germany is that political business after a while destroys the human character. After some years in the political threadmill the people become very cynical. It is better to stay in science, or culture, or do your own business, where you don”t depend so much on others.

The most important is to stay free, to avoid living in a cage. Politics is the worst, I think, and I hope that Hanif Bali finds a way out, before it is too late.

(Ghazal, maybe you are curious to see when my resource of subjects to write mails about will be finished. I have to tell you, I still have a lot to write.
It even gets more from day to day. This is life. Its fascinating.)

O.k., I have to admit that our exchange of ideas is a bit in an imbalance. Sometimes I feel as if we play tennis, but we don”t see each other. So I play the ball over a high wall, and I assume you are on the other side, but probably you are not always there on the other side, but most of the time you are in the lab or at home watching TV or with friends at a party or out shopping. But I don”t know when you are there and when you come back, because I can”t look over this high wall. Only very rarely you come around and for a few minutes you enter the tennis-field on the other side. And it will only be a maztter of chance that I play a ball over the wall in exactly this moment and you play the ball back. And this, usually, makes me smile again, only because I hope that you were smiling as well, about my long lasting confidence that on the other side of the wall it is not the tennis-court cleaner that kicks back the ball back, but you .

(In reality, Ghazal, I don”t play tennis. Leonard and Marina play, but for me it is too boring.)

I hope you are alright, and not (as I recently suggested) too tired, sick, fed up, busy …..
but you just left a while for shopping or watch TV or went out for a party.

Take Care

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