Gävlebocken 2014 - Long Live The Goat!
December 3, 2014 11:12 AM   Subscribe

 
It helps that this year they soaked it in aspic instead of gasoline.
posted by GuyZero at 11:15 AM on December 3, 2014


I have one of those by my Christmas tree. Depending on what we drink, he likewise might not survive an arson attack.
posted by maxsparber at 11:15 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


so in one sense, the town officials seem pretty tongue-in-cheek about the whole affair. Yet the 3rd link says an American was convicted of arson for torching it .. So maybe it's only for the locals to burn down ?
posted by k5.user at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2014


I think a 40+ year tradition, over half of those have resulted in torching, you end up being a bit resigned to it happening, despite you not wanting it to happen.

Also, it's illegal for everyone.
posted by hippybear at 11:27 AM on December 3, 2014


The goat makes me sad. However, I have decided to believe that all Swedish straw goats compose a hive being or collective entity, so that when one goat is torched, overall goat consciousness continues unabated.
posted by Frowner at 11:30 AM on December 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


What sweden needs is a goat simulator .. so that those who want to burn it realize how it feels like to be a goat.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:31 AM on December 3, 2014


Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:31 AM on December 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


This year, the sign-off tweet in case of successful torching would be

"You've goat to be kidding me."
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:32 AM on December 3, 2014


Drone with a lighter.
posted by user92371 at 11:33 AM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Come on, drone disguised as a baby dragon.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 AM on December 3, 2014 [14 favorites]


Drone disguised as a pyromaniacal Father Christmas.
posted by maxsparber at 11:39 AM on December 3, 2014


ok but the sleigh is pulled by baby dragons with plush antler hats tied to their little scaly heads.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was excited to have the goat back in my twitter feed. I followed him last year, and was sad to see him go. I forgot about it until it popped back. Like a Phoenix! A goat-shaped, straw-covered Phoenix!
posted by jazon at 11:51 AM on December 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?

Yeah høhøhøhø those aren't even Swedish letters--this is like playing pentatonic music as soon as anything "eastern" needs to be depicted.

Seen how the weather has been here in November, there's no chance that baby will burn no matter how hard they try. (IANYP[yromaniac], of course)
posted by Namlit at 11:53 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


guys come on ..... it should clearly be a drone disguised as another goat ...

a dragon would be immediately suspicious ...but who would think that a goat would burn another goat.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:53 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


This reminds me that in one of the civil disobedience threads somebody mentioned that the starbucks frappucino bottles are the most-perfect-ever Molotov cocktail body. That would be really fun to experiment with if you had about ten acres of private property in the desert.
posted by bukvich at 11:55 AM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


and suddenly I am hungry for a goat biryani .... mmmmmm
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:55 AM on December 3, 2014


Like many others I was sad to discover that horse_ebooks was a human being after all and not some wonderful quasi-magical idiot-savant artificial intelligence. But then something like this comes around and reminds me how deeply, majestically weird human beings are. We don't need any help. I mean, come on: "I'm the biggest straw goat in the world, follow my struggle to survive arson attacks." It just makes my day to think that completely mundane interactions between people somehow cobble themselves together into this kind of bizarre cultural phantasmagoria. Let your freak flag fly, human beings--with special thanks this Christmas to Sweden.
posted by mister-o at 11:57 AM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fire: It's a Swedish thing.

And here is the goat.
posted by Namlit at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2014


Yeah høhøhøhø those aren't even Swedish letters

In the pilot episode of The Muppet Show, the Chef's commentary was supplemented by Chinese subtitles

#TeamGoat
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:14 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


yesssssss goatwatch 2k14

I've been waiting for this FPP to show up since someone randomly favorited one of my comments in last year's thread.
posted by Sara C. at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm glad the goat timeline is restored to the Wikipedia page. There's been a bit of an editorial battle over deleting / restoring it between one editor and several other contributors which really got my goa... annoyed a lot.
posted by Wordshore at 12:39 PM on December 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Huh. I had thought that burning the goat was the point, and the vandals were just doing it ahead of schedule. Apparently I'm not the only one.
[The American] Jones stated in court that he was no "goat burner", and believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:49 PM on December 3, 2014


I'm still pretty upset with this Wikipedia edit. For some reason I think "1976 Local raggare ran the goat over with a car" is one of the funniest sentences ever written.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Goat Simulator needs to include the option to be a straw goat that breathes fire to revenge his Swedish forebears.
posted by winna at 1:03 PM on December 3, 2014


This year, we've made the goat out of quick match. It'll go up in about, oh, three tenths of a second. The question you need to ask yourself is this: What, exactly, is all that quick match connected to?

Känner du tur, svenskapunk?
posted by eriko at 1:05 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The webcam server is now offline/crashed. We need an update!
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2014


who are our mefite swedes on the ground that can be dispatched for live reporting
posted by poffin boffin at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2014


NO. I am NOT going to get sucked in again this year. I had the webcam running last year, thought the whole idea was one great joke, started following the tweets, then watching out for suspicious activity, cars parked too long, people lingering and finally...disaster! I was ridiculously! pathetically! heartbroken!

Don't ask me to go through it again. oh why did you include the link? I'll be there
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:25 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


who are our mefite swedes on the ground that can be dispatched for live reporting

Sweden is big...lot of ground to cover...
And tonight we have a government crisis to deal with. A healthy bunch of goats there too, scape- and other-, but none burning (yet).
posted by Namlit at 1:27 PM on December 3, 2014


The webcam works for me. The goat is doing fine. There are two people in hi-viz clothing standing next to it. Probably guards.

Goat is also an excellent Swedish band. Their internet homepage is somewhat surprisingly at http://goatsweden.blogspot.ca/.
posted by ikalliom at 1:32 PM on December 3, 2014


I am def rooting for the Goat this year...it's no fun if it burns every year
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:02 PM on December 3, 2014


A nice little vimeo of the goat from last year.
posted by Wordshore at 2:08 PM on December 3, 2014


All of you who root for the goat, remember my warning from the past: goats are nightmare creatures spawned in hideous hives below the very roots of the mountains. Born of foul emptiness, they seek only to consume.

Your metals, those blades and implements you use daily? Goat-food. They will devour them. Your shoes, tireless yet lowly protectors? Goat-food. They will devour them. All is goat food. All is to be devoured.

Goat-burners are heroes, lonely and distraught, torn between the world they love and what they must do to save it.

They walk their dark paths so that we may see daylight each morning
posted by aramaic at 2:33 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]




The fêted the thing with fireworks. No wonder the 1977 one went up in less than 6 hours.
posted by achrise at 3:28 PM on December 3, 2014


Maa! Maa!
posted by ocherdraco at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you'll pardon the self-link, but it's related....I went a little nutty and made a Gavle Goat ugly holiday sweater.

So far explaining the sweater to non-Internet people is really entertaining.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:52 PM on December 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


In other news, I wish the goat committee well with this new plan. We'll see how well it goes. From my research I remember someone saying essentially that once they run out of money for guards, there goes the goat. But I guess the taxis are free guards now? We'll see. Might be hard to protect against another flaming arrow, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:59 PM on December 3, 2014


This sweater is to commemorate the burning of 2005, in which a guy dressed up as Santa and another guy dressed up as a gingerbread man showed up with crossbows and shot a flaming arrow into the goat, burning it down. Not only were these guys not caught, they were featured on Sweden's version of the "Most Wanted" TV program.

Amazing, jenfullmoon. Amazing.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:53 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


That sweater is the most glorious thing.
posted by winna at 7:11 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Isn't a Julbock supposed to be burned?
posted by anemone of the state at 7:12 PM on December 3, 2014


Namlit, I don't know if it makes things less offensive, but I'm pretty sure that comment was a reference to the joke titles regarding moose and Norway at the beginning of Monty Pythons Holy Grail.
posted by emjaybee at 8:03 PM on December 3, 2014


a reference to the joke titles regarding moose and Norway at the beginning of Monty Pythons Holy Grail.


Dang, every time I get me a healthy work-up, these dudes come along and spit into my beer.
posted by Namlit at 8:24 AM on December 4, 2014


Isn't a Julbock supposed to be burned?

That's what I thought, but from the (hilarious) Wiki timeline it sounds like it's disassembled if it makes it past New Years (see 2006.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2014


The goat's little brother has suffered a bit of a something. Not sure what, exactly.
posted by hippybear at 2:14 AM on December 5, 2014


That looks like the result of a mixed assets binge. Pretty typical for around here.
posted by Namlit at 3:17 AM on December 5, 2014


Just visited the Gävle Goat on vacation and can confirm that a) it is intact, b) there is a security guard and c) directly across from the Goat is a large plaque telling what happened too the Goat each year.
posted by Twain Device at 8:35 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Twain Device, do you have any photographs of the plaque? That sounds delightful.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:54 PM on December 6, 2014


We didn't get any, mainly because it needed a bit of cleaning due to the snow and ice.

I do know it was the same information that I've seen on a website about the Goat. I'll see if I can track that down.
posted by Twain Device at 2:38 AM on December 7, 2014


It was very similar, if not word for word, what is listed under Timeline on the Gävle Goat wikipedia page
posted by Twain Device at 2:41 AM on December 7, 2014


(I said plaque, it's probably better described as a large poster under Plexiglas)
posted by Twain Device at 2:42 AM on December 7, 2014


I had never really understood how short day during winter really is in northern Europe until this webcam. Every time I go to look at the Gävle Goat it is dark outside, no matter night or day here.
posted by winna at 11:28 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Winna THANK YOU oh THANK YOU so much for saying this.
posted by Namlit at 11:53 AM on December 9, 2014


It is quite freaky. Forget seeing someone burning the goat, I just want to see some sunlight!
posted by winna at 4:36 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The southernmost border of Germany is further north than the northernmost border of Maine.

It's shocking how far north it all is. We think of the Pilgrims sailing from Plymouth to Massachusetts, and we picture it being on the same parallel. But Plymouth is 50°22' N, and Plymouth Rock is 41°57′ N.

By contrast, Gävle is in central Sweden, and sits at 60°40′ N. Nearly another 10 degrees further north. This is further north than basically any inhabited place you've heard of in North America. Although apparently it is about the same latitude as St Petersburg.
posted by hippybear at 1:01 AM on December 10, 2014


The Goat is still going strong! Long live the Goat!

Bonus music track: The Refrehsments - The Billy Goat
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Little Brother Goat has fallen. Long live the goat!
posted by hippybear at 10:58 AM on December 15, 2014


Wow, December 23 and still standing. Stay strong!
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:23 AM on December 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am keeping the webcam open on a tab and checking every day. Yay Gavlebocken!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:40 PM on December 23, 2014


Here's a infographic style version of the timeline (from the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat).
posted by tykky at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2014


Christmas eve, and the Goat still stands proud!

With that dusting of snow (and the previous snow and melt-off), he should be more difficult to burn at this point.

Still, we've got over a week to go! *fingers crossed*
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jippi, julafton och jag står upp!
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:02 PM on December 24, 2014


The goat lives! The goat lives!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:51 AM on December 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Goats and peanut butter
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on December 27, 2014


The Goat has blogged about his outstanding moments during his time this year. Apparently he's going to be disassembled tonight. It looks like he survived for real this year! Yay!
posted by hippybear at 8:39 AM on December 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The goat is being disassembled now and apparently shipped to China (for reasons that I haven't learned yet).

Huzzah! The Goat survived to his intended end point! 2014 is a rare year, indeed!
posted by hippybear at 11:18 PM on December 28, 2014


It's the Year of the Goat in China. He says he'll be covered in flowers.

I guess they build a new goat every year, even if the previous one didn't burn?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:37 AM on December 29, 2014


Yup. Right now there will be Satay Kambing for WHOLE Gävle.
posted by Namlit at 4:32 AM on December 29, 2014


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