Wednesday 28 April 1999


Pic of the day: Another Daggerfall illustration. (Real Life is too beautiful right now to fit the mood of my text.)

In todays headlines, here in Norway, an Iraqi "refugee" was killed by a Kosovo-Albanian. That's probably a tragedy for someone. It's certainly ironic, given that the current war in Kosovo has elevated the local Albanians to Good Guys. I restate my earlier claim, that if we had a million of them in Norway, we would probably be shooting them too. Or they us, or both of the above. Luckily, this guy had the good grace of knifing a foreigner, which is more tolerable. After all, we Norwegians were created in God's image, while the foreigners descend from the apes. (Started as apes and descended from there.)
There's some pretty thick irony here, but I'm not sure just where it starts.

I am convinced, however, that most "refugees" and asylum-seekers that come to Norway are adventurers who want money for nothing and the chicks for free. I'm not a racist - I firmly believe that many Norwegians would have done the same if the roles were reversed. But they are not. We are the world's richest welfare state. There are a very few richer countries, but there people usually have to work for their food. And clothes. And cars and what not. In Norway, you'll get an awful lot of stuff for free, and the chicks will dig you too, if you're exotic. That's how it goes, and everybody knows.

It all goes well as long as they act thankful and don't show off. But then something happens. Either they kill someone, or they refuse to eat meatballs in brown sauce (ethnic Norwegian food which by coincidence looks a lot like manure in size, shape and consistency, though it smells better. At least for us who are used to it).
Don't kill anybody, particularly not one of Us; don't drive a shiny car, and don't wrinkle your nose at meatballs. Or hell will break loose. And you never know what direction it takes.

For instance, in other news, a teenage boy drowned this weekend in my home province after being chased into a large river. It so happened that this guy was adopted from India, and so was slightly darker of skin than most kids around there. For this he was occasionally beaten up and threatened, and now finally killed, albeit indirectly.

Now, I have to admit, people in the province of Sogn & Fjordane are generally morons. Of course, most people are, compared to you and me. And there are lots of nice morons in the world. But the district is backwards by Norwegian standards. For generations, there has been little in the way of higher education, so most people who wanted to live by their brains rather than their muscles had to leave and stay away during the years when people usually fall in love. Unsurprisingly then, many of them never came back. Not that there is an abundance of jobs for them either. Well, there is a lot of demand for educated health personnel, but private sector is still lagging years behind the more urban areas and has focused heavily on industry, fishery and agriculture.

Sure you can be smart and be a farmer, for instance. In fact, you'll probably be a better farmer than the dumb ones. Actually some members of my family have been farmers and also among the brighter people in our sparsely populated country. But the selective pressure for higher mental faculties is somewhat less prevalent than in several other lines of work, I'm afraid. It was my definite impression during childhood that my school had a lot of semi-retarded children. I don't know what's happened to them later. They would probably be able to scrape by in a low-tech backwater society, but it's hard to imagine them getting a modern job.

They would probably get along quite fine at my workplace, though, at least if they learned to control their temper. I've seen and heard some rather impressive feats of stupidity this spring. Not to be too explicit, there was one customer who called three times to ask a simple question. Each time she got the same answer, which just happened to be plain wrong. It was a yes/no question, and the answer could be read out from the customer data base which can be accessed by birth date, name or address. Accessing the base this way leaves a small trace, for audit reasons. In this particular case, the customer's record had not been accessed at all during all this time. All three times, the people she had called had just pulled an answer out of their ass. In each case, as bad luck would have it, the wrong answer. Now the customer was somewhat pissed off, as people say today, because she was stuck with extra work and got an unexpected delay of a few months.

Now, in all honesty, my coworkers are stressed, underpaid, and doing an essentially meaningless job. Some of them are no doubt just waiting for their pension, or for people higher up in the system to die or retire. But there are some who take some pride in their job (note: I'm not among those, I'm waiting for my pension - only 25 more years!) and it's sort of bad to let those innocent idealists down, don't you think? I try to help them out as best I can, as long as it doesn't cost me anything.

Though if I could choose, I would prefer money for nothing.

Blasts from my past:
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