Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Death to Israel

My regional government has decided to boycott Israel. I'm no fan of Sharon, but there ought to be limits to stupidity.

Considering the current (though partial) Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and the fact that Israel's barbarous neighbours are ten times worse, I count on the socialists in Trondheim to take measures to boycott Syria, Egypt, Iran and Turkey as well. And if we move beyond the Middle East, they'd better include North Korea, China and Indonesia. And why not Australia and the United States as well?

The pragmatists in Trondheim do of course know that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East; thus the boycott by Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune is going to be heard down there. Norway's role as Middle East negotiator in the future is ruined for at least 20 years. Not that it mattered that much anyway.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy holidays

There's little snow in Orkdal, but you can tell it's Christmas anyway. Food is abundant and during the last three weeks we've probably spent more money on crap than in the last three months combined.

The family arguments in our house are improving each year. During dinner Christmas Eve, dad held his annual State of the Nation speech. It actually takes place more than once a year, but it's usually a bit more coherent at Christmas. It took him two minutes to offend both mom and my sister. That was even before his chauvinist routine.

I've just read a terrifying polemic about the state of the Norwegian school system, so I'm about to revise it. In addition, I'm working on my first album, the inspiration for which was found during an expedition to Copenhagen a few days ago. The updates on this blog will thus be even less frequent than usual.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Judgement day

The final exam is overwith, and winter descends upon our quiet village. Some got more than they deserved today, a few got less.

Exams are usually fun. Oral exams can be intimidating when you don't know your books, but are a walk in Central Park as long as the examinators allow the examinee a certain amount of digressions and noncurricular reasoning. In media science, there are so many digressions available that the sky is the limit.

The study groups I've been attending the last few days paid off fairly well. Thanks to them I managed to perform a vague speech on film history and feminist media critique. I failed horribly at distinguishing history and discourse, however. It hardly matters now.

The next couple of days will be spent in Copenhagen, home of The Little Mermaid and the former ganja freistaat Kristiania. My doctor tells me to stay away from beer. It could still be fun.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The important thing is participating

Håvard (far right) et al awaiting the anniversary John Lennon question that didn't come

Rokken was packed with anticipation as the two teams entered the floor. Arriving just in time, flatmates and bitter rivals Geir and Olav sat down at their respective tables.

Three months of intense quizzing had failed to give any one of the two rivalling sides a solid lead. The Defending Champions were half a point ahead of Geila Allstars. The latter weren't as cocky or confident as usual, with the possible exception of Håvard. Even he didn't venture further than "I think we'll win".

At half-time, the smug smile was back.

"You're not gonna beat this", the aforementioned allstar grinned on his way to the bar. As it turned out, he was right. The title defenders failed horribly at face identifying , which had been the side's weakest category since new quizmasters Johannes and Stig introduced it six weeks ago. Olav's satisfaction at knowing the original, Russian title of "Crime and Punishment" turned to defeatism and the free passes for the concerts at February's Student Week were slipping out of the Champions' hands.

The verdict is read

Most of the audience wondered how the Defending Champions could lose to this motley crew of semi-intellectuals. The explanations ranged from bribery, bad luck and substantial age differences to a momentary lapse of competence on part of the Champions. The losers' award was dinner and tickets to a show and a concert. The runners-up walked home hoping there would be only one decent concert during Veka.

On his way to receive the laurels, Amund congratulates runners-up Ola(v), Anders and supersub Martin

Monday, December 05, 2005

Good loser

With one field to go before victory was ours, Kane and I were already gloating. We had been playing the game "Alias" for two hours. The point of the game is to explain and guess words, and despite getting all the difficults cards, our team had a solid lead. It was Heidi and Lene's turn, and to win they had to nail six words before the hourglass ran out. So far, no one had managed more than five in one take.

Yadayadayada, obviously they managed to score exactly the number of words needed, and Kane and I were left puzzled, bewildered and beaten.
"But you started the game. We still have one turn in hand, it's not fair that you win only because you get a head start", I ventured.
"It's like this with all games of this kind. Get over it. You're not bitter, are you?", Heidi countered.
"Er, no. Of course not. But you got all the easy cards. This is ridiculous."
It went on like this for a while. Not even my fifth or sixth piece of Lene's straight-from-the-oven chocolate cake could ease the pain of losing.

Men's instinct for competition and eagerness to win is our foremost advantage in the race for jobs, executive positions and leadership of the world. Equal rights and all that jazz is fair and square, but it's still not funny to be beaten by girls.

Friday, December 02, 2005

High noon at Rokken

Next Thursday the quiz kings of Volda will be crowned. The aptly named Defending Champions have half a point in hand of Geila Allstars, and the nerve before the final round at the student shack "Rokken" can be touched and felt. The debate has been raging about whether Allstars have been handed musical questions too well suited for their interests, and the quizmasters answered by only playing blood-fresh popular music at yesterday's quiz. In a race this close, luck as well as ridiculous knowledge is needed.

Defending Champion Anders (left) discusses with quizmaster Stig.

Thumbs up for Geila lads Håvard, Amund, Kristian and Sturla.