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Swedish Socialites
August 6, 2005 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Stureplan - Stockholm's Social Diary goes a long way to moderate the image of egalitarian Scandinavia. This site, highlighting quasi-royalty and celebrities (and those who wish they were) in exclusive private parties, seems like a Nordic version of New York's upper east side than a open-to-all-social-democratic-paradise. What gives? (Via)
posted by dagny (29 comments total)

 
Not that this is PC, but it's basically a non-Jewish version of NYC. Everyone's tall, blonde, blue-eyed and it is all very sickening. Give me the Tribe any day.
posted by geoff. at 9:02 AM on August 6, 2005


I'm sorry, but what's sickening about being tall, blonde and blue-eyed. I'd really like to know.
posted by einarorn at 9:07 AM on August 6, 2005


So what, a western society can't be without its high class exclusive parties?
posted by taursir at 9:13 AM on August 6, 2005


So does the New York Social Diary accurately describe American society? Hate to break it to ya, but there are a lot of blue eyed blondes in Sweden. Not all have such pretty teeth, though.

What's up with the Boy Scout uniform? Is that all I have to wear to get into a ritzy Swedish club?
posted by lasm at 9:37 AM on August 6, 2005


What a shame, now you have discovered the real ugly truth behind the widely believed notion that egalitarian Scandinavians all lived happily like hippies in communes after expropriating all the wealth of the hideously rich.

Yes, they have celebrities and socialites in Sweden too, who'd have thought (and not just quasi-royalty - actual royalty too, what with Sweden, like Norway, being a monarchy), and they hang out with Paris Hilton in St Tropez and Marbella. Clear proof that the Scandinavia welfare system is not working. No wait, there's something confusing about this...
posted by funambulist at 10:01 AM on August 6, 2005


Look at that neck. This guy is straight outta Star Wars.
posted by Termite at 10:06 AM on August 6, 2005


Why do people care about this stuff?
posted by 517 at 10:20 AM on August 6, 2005


This is only remotely surprising if you believe that the purpose of socialism is to punish wealthy people and knock them down a peg or two.

I'll concede your point when someone can show me a photo album of Swedish homeless encampments.
posted by 4easypayments at 10:25 AM on August 6, 2005


Not that this is PC, but it's basically a non-Jewish version of NYC. Everyone's tall, blonde, blue-eyed and it is all very sickening. Give me the Tribe any day.

Horseshit. You didn't even look at the site.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2005


I agree Geoff. You're so right! The unspoken anti-semitism implicit in pictures of blonde scandinavians makes me fume with righteous indignation too!

This one in particular really grips my shit.

Down with attractive socialist blond girls with perfect teeth. Give me the tribe anyday!!!!!
posted by fingerbang at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2005


goddam relative links - another socialist plot, it's this harlot that - in line with your comments - I find particularily sickening.
posted by fingerbang at 10:51 AM on August 6, 2005


Yeah, plus, posh as they may be, unless they set up residence in Monaco, the rich socialites are supposedly paying their taxes too, and they pay more taxes in Sweden than in most other countries, and so even the most clichéd marxist has to acknowledge their usefulness in the welfare ecosystem.

But maybe dagny's post was a little tongue in cheek and we all missed it...
posted by funambulist at 10:55 AM on August 6, 2005


Next up: GAWKER'S EXALTATION OF THE RICH REVEALS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE CLAUSE THAT 'ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL' TO BE A TISSUE OF LIES!

Stockholm, by the way, is a fabulous city -- my vote for the most underrated city on Earth. It's beautiful sitting there on its archipelago, is very clean, has great food, marvelous design, the best shower-stalls on the planet (I kid you not), and most people are extremely friendly and speak English. And yes, they're blond(e).
posted by digaman at 11:12 AM on August 6, 2005


They can't be that hip. They're living in Sweden for God's sake.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:03 PM on August 6, 2005


Well, I have to grant it that all that blondness in stockholm is somewhat disconcerting, also there has to something wrong about a country where porsche drivers apologize for almost running a pedestrian over. But I have to say that these "exclusive private parties" look pretty much like any number of private parties in Sweden, or just about anywhere else. People party, celebrities party too, only they're photographed.
And of course, as funambulist pointed out, "Swedish egalitarian paradise" is a strawman. The fact that not all swedes are financially and socially equal does not mean that Sweden isn't substantially more equal than the US.
And it's Sweden, so the royalty is actually royalty, not quasiroyalty.
posted by lazy-ville at 2:09 PM on August 6, 2005


This post sounds as silly as someone who would say "I know that Dick Cheney is an American, but when I went to the United States I found out that not everybody eats babies and puppies for breakfast. What's up with that?"
posted by clevershark at 2:36 PM on August 6, 2005


geoff. writes "Everyone's tall, blonde, blue-eyed and it is all very sickening."

And they probably all generalize too, the bastards!
posted by clevershark at 2:37 PM on August 6, 2005


4easypayments, funambulist, and lazy-ville are right about the flaws in dagny's fundamentally stupid argument that the existence of rich people in a society makes that society just as unequal as any other society with rich people. Sweden has a Gini index of 25; the U.S., 45. So no, Stockholm is not the Upper East Side. Dagny's argument seems to come out of the common and uniquely American received wisdom that in any social democracy (or, in fact, anything less than completely laissez-faire market capitalism), the government takes hard-earned money away from the deserving rich and spreads it around until everybody occupies precisely the same socioeconomic position.

One has to wonder why dagny thinks it so important to critique Scandinavian socioeconomic relationships when zero percent of the Swedish population lives beneath the poverty line -- compared to one out of every eight people in the United States.

One in eight.
posted by vitia at 3:47 PM on August 6, 2005


Sweden is a country where total strangers will give you hell for dressing in the wrong colors (too dull). As a neutral country in ww2 (selling supplies to the nazis) they were left rich and unscathed.
posted by Goofyy at 5:04 AM on August 7, 2005


Sweden is a country where total strangers will give you hell for dressing in the wrong colors (too dull).
You obviously met the wrong kinds of Swedes. Most of them would just talk about it after you're gone...

As a neutral country in ww2 (selling supplies to the nazis) they were left rich and unscathed.

True to a certain extent, and not something most Swedes are proud of. I'm more proud of the thousands of Swedes who - like my grandfather - volunteered to go to Finland and Norway to fight in the war. Still, I'm not sure where this comes into this discussion at all. Both Norway and Finland are pretty much even with Sweden when it comes to social welfare, with Finland probably having the edge over the others.

As for Stureplan, we non-royalty, non-celebrity, non-Stockholmers party too, you know. It may not be at Cafe Opera, but it looks exactly the same, except nobody takes pictures of us.
posted by gemmy at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2005



True to a certain extent, and not something most Swedes are proud of. I'm more proud of the thousands of Swedes who - like my grandfather - volunteered to go to Finland and Norway to fight in the war. Still, I'm not sure where this comes into this discussion at all. Both Norway and Finland are pretty much even with Sweden when it comes to social welfare, with Finland probably having the edge over the others.


Well, I don't know about social welfare, but Finland certainly does not have as glamorous parties, because of lingering Finnish reticience to display wealth and the lack of internationally famous Finnish celebrities and royalty.
posted by lazy-ville at 3:40 PM on August 7, 2005


volunteered to go to Finland and Norway to fight in the war

Whose side were they on?
posted by biffa at 2:05 AM on August 8, 2005


gemmy, café opera? Nonono, not since 1991, please. How terribly unhip. ;)

Biffy, you're kidding, right?
posted by dabitch at 5:28 AM on August 8, 2005


I was perhaps being a little tongue in cheek. Obviously with Norway there was a huge commitment to the allied effort, but whose side do you think Finland was on in WWII? Finland was in a complex situation but volunteering to go and fight there - alongside the Germans - seems a funny choice.
posted by biffa at 6:12 AM on August 8, 2005


we're all talking about the winter war right? Or not?
posted by dabitch at 6:34 AM on August 8, 2005


Can anybody explain to me what WWII has to do with anything here?
posted by funambulist at 6:53 AM on August 8, 2005


Ooops, showing my age and non-Stockholmer-ness there, eh, dabitch...

And yes, I was talking about the Winter War, which was the Finns agains the Russians. It's the stuff of legends, really, for anyone not familiar with it. "They are so many, my country so small. Where will we bury them all?"

WWII came into it, funambulist, because Goofyy seemingly implied that Stureplan and the Swedes partying had something to do with not fighting in the war, and coming out of it "rich and unscathed". I'm still not sure where that comes into the original discussion...
posted by gemmy at 3:43 PM on August 8, 2005


Sweden enjoyed an image/reputation for being so advanced and special, in large part simply because it was in exceptionally great shape post ww2. The wealth gained from the war enabled its social programs.

A good friend of mine was raised in Sweden. An over-weight kid of mixed heritage which included Jewish. I learned to view Swedish culture through his eyes, and it was not such a pretty sight. I don't suffer any delusions of Sweden as some especially good place, and the FPP is eluding to the old mythos of Sweden as an especially good place.

It's just another nation, it has humans living there, so is just as subject to the same bullshit as any other nation on the planet.
posted by Goofyy at 11:17 PM on August 8, 2005


gemmy: WWII came into it, funambulist, because Goofyy seemingly implied that Stureplan and the Swedes partying had something to do with not fighting in the war, and coming out of it "rich and unscathed". I'm still not sure where that comes into the original discussion...


Yeah, that's what I meant with my question, I'm not sure how that relates to today's Sweden, because no matter how rich and unscathed it may have been 70 years ago, you don't maintain social programs unless you have high taxes and most of all an efficient system to use that money to fund those programs.


Goofyy: Sweden enjoyed an image/reputation for being so advanced and special, in large part simply because it was in exceptionally great shape post ww2. The wealth gained from the war enabled its social programs.

Well, see above. What enables its social programs is its citizens being willing to pay a lot of taxes because in general that public money is employed better than in other parts of Europe, even those who still have a basically similar social model, so there's a higher appreciation of that system. Sweden enjoys its reputation on two levels: efficiency of public administration and progressive open-minded culture. There's no need to be delusional about it, nor to dismiss simple acknowledgement as delusional.

It's just another nation, it has humans living there, so is just as subject to the same bullshit as any other nation on the planet.

Sure, life's a bitch and then you die. There's also a lot of individual variables in liking or disliking a place, a society, a nation. But when a country manages to make things work at public level better than in other countries, and regularly come high in rankings of countries in terms of standard of life, it is not considered such a terrible thing, usually.

And again, how the presence of rich people who like to party with Paris Hilton is supposed to refute any of that remains a mystery to me.
posted by funambulist at 6:58 AM on August 9, 2005


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