Sunday, May 01, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
With William soundly asleep on the other side of the window, I type these words into my word processor. This is my third day of official Swedish parental leave and I know that my time is measured. Reading Bronislaw Szerszynski’s latest trashing of ecomodernism in Environmental Humanities has left me unusually sad and frustrated. I try to tell myself that this is no different from in the past, that it was no easier for Eduard Bernstein or anyone else who has ever tried to challenge Marxist dogma and determinism. I wonder what, if anything, it would take to make people like Szerszynski come around and realize that violence and exploitation are not “structural” or that “winners” do not necessitate “losers”?
Saturday, April 02, 2016
Despite many attempts to delay his evenings, William keeps falling asleep around 5.30 pm and waking up, seemingly refreshed, ten hours later at 03.30 am. As a consequence, that is when I too have to get up and take the stroller out along our little creek. To stay warm during cold winter nights, I tend to pick up a large coffee at Statoil which has resulted in that I now know the staff working there quite well. In light of my previous obsession with collecting air miles and award travel, it is only expected that I have also moved on to collecting free coffee coupons at Statoil (even as I have to admit that it is somewhat less aspirational than flying around the world in premium cabins)…
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
One Flew South
Two days later, terror has again struck in the heart of Europe, leaving dozens of innocent people dead with no other purposes than fuelling yet more hate, division and extremism on all sides. More than ever, it is important to remember that, despite all the recent darkness, the world as a whole has never been this peaceful. It is imperative to not let these kinds of isolated events make us lose sight of the greater picture and the hope that the Enlightenment project still holds if we remain true to its cosmopolitan values.
Friday, March 18, 2016
It is morning again in America
It is strange with America, every time I land here I am overwhelmed by the same simultaneous feelings of extreme familiarity and alienness. For better or worse, the United States remains a world to its own, full of paradoxes that somehow always evade my political intuitions.
Friday, March 11, 2016
Monday, March 07, 2016
I have never been much into home ownership but the housing market in Umeå is what it is. After spending months looking for somewhere more permanent with hundreds of people answering the same ads, we simply gave up. With two small (and highly destructive) kids, we are obviously not the best tenants and I can understand why landlords pick someone else given how strong demand is. So, in the end, we had little other choice than buying. Nevertheless, had someone told me five years ago that I would end up buying a row house in Northern Sweden, it would definitely have been a stretch to my imagination.
While we still do not know the exact number, the street name will be "Lyktvägen" once all the houses are built so please come and visit!
Sunday, March 06, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
Sometimes, natural beauty can deafen the anxiety of being stranded on a planet which is helplessly hurling through the immensities of space (and so can watching William building with his Mega Bloks). I guess it is very human to try to not think too much of our collective condition and vulnerability. What makes it so frustrating is of course that, unlike in the past, we are on the cusp of achieving technological maturity in a way that would protect our species from extinction, yet we remain frustratingly unable to prioritize. Were it not for the existential implications, it would actually be quite funny that I own a whole library of books on “sustainability”, yet all of them fail to see the bigger picture of where our species is and, more importantly, where it could be in a couple of centuries if we played our cards right.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Die Sehnsucht der Pinguine
As for big decisions, I started off 2016 by permanently deactivating both my Facebook and Instagram accounts. After being constantly online on social media for almost a decade, it felt like the right thing to do in order to be more present with the kids and life in general. But do not worry, I will keep up Rawls & Me and, like certain penguins from Mistelbach, I will most certainly keep travelling into the new year. First out is Atlanta for the annual convention of the International Studies Association in mid-March.