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December 16, 2011 7:35 PM   Subscribe

Swedish Citizens Now Control @sweden Twitter Account. Curators of Sweden is based around the idea that no single voice can represent the country, so a slew of guest Swedish curators will do the best job to portray the national character. One Swedish citizen will have control of the @sweden handle each week.
posted by sweetkid (34 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Please give it to Vintersorg for one week. He's a Folk Metal musician who writes songs about trees and space and Calculus.

Oh please, oh please...
posted by spinifex23 at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


#zerothworldproblems
posted by scrowdid at 7:47 PM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Detta bör sluta väl.
posted by monospace at 7:55 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sweden's so awesome
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:58 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Every year this represents Sweden because there are only 52 citizens in Sweden.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:09 PM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


How neutral of them.
posted by swift at 8:18 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


How neutral of them.
They've got to do something to counter the image that those army knives project.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:31 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


bork bork bork
posted by XMLicious at 8:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


And coincidentally, the Swedish House Mafia is taking over madison square garden tonight.
posted by empath at 8:33 PM on December 16, 2011


I think it would be even better if it were something done by random selection within the populace. Something which any random citizen could have foisted upon them for a week without warning. That would lead to a much better cross-section of representation of what actual Swedish citizens are like than hand-picking people based on how well they embody the image the country wants to project of itself.

Still, it's a great idea. Good on you, @sweden.

When is it Benny Andersson's turn?
posted by hippybear at 8:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I scrolled down and saw the phrase 'crazy ass motherfucker'.

Somewhere, someone is cringing.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:27 PM on December 16, 2011


#AMøøseOnceBitMySister
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM on December 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


b1tr0t: “They've got to do something to counter the image that those army knives project.”

Indeed.
posted by koeselitz at 10:27 PM on December 16, 2011


I genuinely can't tell if people are confusing Sweden and Switzerland (except for koeselitz) accidentally or intentionally.
posted by knave at 11:35 PM on December 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also, seeing how civilized some countries are (particularly most of northern Europe) makes my country look even worse (if that is possible) by comparison. We're busy giving the government the power to shut down arbitrary web sites on the word of a big media corporation (SOPA), while Sweden demonstrates how much it cares about representing the will of the people.
posted by knave at 11:50 PM on December 16, 2011


When is it Benny Andersson's turn?

Well, Benny ain't much for Sweden these days. He has been involved in a very public debate over the last few months over the proposed building plans for Slussen.

Slussen is the major cross-roads in Stockholm City. Built for left lane traffic 75 years ago (and seamlessly switched to the right along with the rest of Sweden in 1967), Slussen acts as the sluice between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea as well as being the walking link between the Old City and Södermalm. Yes, it is ugly.

Well the thing is falling apart and needs to be rebuilt. Various proposals have been floated for the past few years and the city council decided to bring this one to a vote.

It was not a popular decision. To make a long story short, Dagens Nyheter published an open letter from Benny to Stockholm mayor Sten Nordin: (in Swedish, my translation):

"Don't you think that it would be suitable for those who bear the largest responsibility for such a large and important change to the city environment that a reconstruction of Slussen involved, took the time to listen to and consider the arguments against the proposal which are apparent:

For example:

Do you think is it good for the environment in the Old City (Gamla Stan) to widen Skeppsbron (currently a four lane road with a raised bicycle lane on one side) by 20 meters in order to build an eight lane roadway? How do you think that we who live here, to not even speak about the tourists to come to Stockholm, will experience this?"

My office is in the Old City on one of the side streets facing Skeppsbron. All of the buildings on the street are from 1640 or earlier. All are well-preserved. The scene as you walk through this part of town is more or less the same today as that which created Rene Descartes when he arrived in 1650. He died in the building just around the corner. According to a recent theory was poisoned by a Catholic priest, but that is another matter. Skeepsbron, on the other hand, is an eyesore of tremendous magnitude.

So anyway - have I used up the 164 characters yet? - despite Benny Andersson's efforts, the City Council decided to go ahead with the proposal.


Now he is demanding that Arlanda Airport remove his photo from the wall of "famous" Stockholmers who welcome visitors.

“I do not want to be an advertisement for a city that can’t see reason,” said Benny in a request that he be removed from the “Welcome to our hometown” poster that greets passengers flying into Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
posted by three blind mice at 11:54 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


>> How neutral of them.
> They've got to do something to counter the image that those army knives project.

I know what you mean. I own a Swedish army butter knife, and it's the extreme opposite of menacing.
posted by Anything at 11:57 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that, three blind mice.
posted by dabitch at 12:06 AM on December 17, 2011


I should add that I think it's pretty shabby of Benny to go after Madeleine Sjöstedt personally demanding that her photo be put up in place of his. He's acting like a spoiled child.

I - and pretty much every other person who lives in Stockholm City - agree with him completely on the merits of the argument. I wish he would not go down this road to make his point.

Show a little class, man. It ain't about you and it ain't about her.
posted by three blind mice at 12:21 AM on December 17, 2011


I - and pretty much every other person who lives in Stockholm City - agree with him completely on the merits of the argument
So why are they building it?
posted by fullerine at 1:33 AM on December 17, 2011


He is being a bit petulant, but he generated a lot of publicity with the article.

As for the @sweden thing, I am highly sceptical that it now belongs "to the people". Who curates the curators? First up: Jack, a marketing-hipster from Södermalm. Who next? Lina, a latte-mamma from Lund, enjoys Melodikrysset on a saturday before going to pick mushrooms?
I will reserve judgment for now (too late perhaps), but there's an incredibly strong societal norm, and a slightly off residual self image here. I got their citizens right here... I better be seeing Fadde from Fitja and Bengt-Göran from Bromölla as well.

I completely adore the idea of doing this on an actually random basis. Hire somone to travel round the country and help the chosen microblogger with the practicalities, introduce them to twitter etc, and pay a small stipend for the citizens participation.
posted by Iteki at 1:34 AM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


SOCIALISTS!!!!
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:38 AM on December 17, 2011


I completely adore the idea of doing this on an actually random basis.

Well somebody has to make sure that nobody from Sverigedemokraterna ends up with it; it is, after all, a marketing ploy.
posted by beerbajay at 5:17 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> #zerothworldproblems

I like the idea of calling the internet the zeroth world. I live in a first world country, but I play in the zeroth.
posted by lucidium at 6:00 AM on December 17, 2011


As for the @sweden thing, I am highly sceptical that it now belongs "to the people". Who curates the curators? First up: Jack, a marketing-hipster from Södermalm. Who next? Lina, a latte-mamma from Lund, enjoys Melodikrysset on a saturday before going to pick mushrooms?

Indeed: writer and marketer first, then ad agency founder, then another writer, a teacher and a priest. Oh, and a lesbian truck driver (who drinks coffee). Other than the latter, it starts with marketing types and then moves into middle-class types who communicate constantly as part of their jobs. It's very much focussed on a relatively narrow group of people. Let's see the factory workers, the Beliebers (does Sweden have Beliebers?), the metalhead kids who dropped out of school, the football fans, the grandparents, etc etc.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2011


have I used up the 164 characters yet?

They get 164 characters in Sweden? We only get 140 here! Socialists!
posted by desjardins at 7:40 AM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


So why are they building it?

Regional development. Stockholm is a tiny city about 700,000 but it is growing at a brisk clip. Something like 30.000 new residents every year are moving into the area and there is an acute shortage of housing. Partly this is due to the Soviet style rental market (1/2 of the population lives in state-owned housing) and partly this is due to the fact that this is a beautiful 19th century gem of a city and no one is building skyscrapers and big apartment blocks in these neighborhoods.

So the plan is to develop some industrial spaces as has been done south of the city at Hammarby Sjöstad.. The next big area of development is northeast of the city in Ropsten. Some 50.000 housing units are being slated for construction there which will greatly relieve the situation. So this peripheral development means that the surface streets through and around the city are going to be inundated with traffic. Opening up Skeppsbron to 8 lanes will make it easier for people living in both of these areas to traverse town. It will also make it possible to extend the new tram line to Södermalm.

This in addition the Norra Länken project is going to mean a lot more traffic to and from Ropsten.

So why are they building it?

To get back to the question (before I run out of my 164 characters), the city council voted in favor of regional development at the expense of down-town residents. Bad, terrible decision for us who live in the city; regrettable, but necessary decision for all of those living just outside of it.
posted by three blind mice at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2011


Mayors and councilmembers in some of America's more progressive cities have made a point of visiting European cities to see how they structure their transit and cycling infrastructure. It sounds like Stockholm's leadership should drop by a US city some time to see how little an 8-lane highway actually improves congestion.
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 9:29 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would find an FPP on the Stockholm plans more interesting than this one, three blind mice!

Slussen was one of the more memorable places we saw on our family trip 25 years ago. While passing through the Brutalist warren underneath on our way back to our hotel from dinner, an industrial-leather punk pulled a smash-and-grab robbery by smashing in the plate glass window of a shop with his boots, then fleeing with a pile of (designer?) jeans while my mother yelled out the only thing she could think to say -- "Dirty Swede!"
posted by dhartung at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2011


Slussen is a stinky shithole of a place and three blind mice is absolutely wrong when he says a majority of Stockholmers agree with Benny Andersson. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Slussen issue has been infected by too much nostalgia and general emotional outrage. Most of the issues raised by Andersson and others about the New Slussen isn't even true, but they are too outraged to look at the detailed plans laid out by the city.
Classic NIMBY. So it goes.
posted by mr.marx at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2011


I just looked at Slussen on Google Street View. It looks like someone morphed a parking garage with a complicated highway interchange. And people bicycle in there? European traffic makes Boston look like a midwestern farming community.
posted by not_on_display at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2011


The "eight lane road" up there is one of the most frequent myths. There is a new eight lane double bridge being built, but the road it comes down to is just as wide as before.
posted by mr.marx at 10:46 AM on December 17, 2011


As for the @sweden thing, I like the old school better. Here's a 1932 commercial for Stockholm as a tourist destination for americans.
posted by mr.marx at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


knave , Sweden is home of the FRA law. Don't let great marketing fool you.
posted by dabitch at 1:07 AM on December 21, 2011


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