June Pieces Of My Mind #1

  • Movie: The Hunger (1983). Super stylish movie about sexy urban vampires. The casting is on a level where Willem Dafoe is an extra. Grade: great!
  • Susan Sarandon is not the only Rocky Horror alumnus in The Hunger. Rufus Collins plays a medical researcher in The Hunger and is the tall black Transylvanian in Rocky Horror.
  • The visuals of The Hunger look a lot like Bladerunner (1982). The two directors are brothers.
  • When reading Scandies’ writing in English, look out for the word “even”. Often they will use it as if it meant “also”, creating an unintentional tone of great surprise. “The farmer grew wheat, barley, even oats.”
  • In 2008, Norwegian archaeologist Håkon Glørstad published this really cool image of a Mesolithic diabase axe next to a cell phone sculpted in the same material. But cell phone tech moves so fast that today, the image shows two distinctive objects of the past.
  • Movie: Dave (1993). When the US president has a stroke in the arms of his mistress, the ambitious chief of staff places one of the presidential security doubles in the Oval Office instead. This man proves to have much better values than the real thing had. Grade: great!
  • Soon 1950s diners and cafés will no longer be nostalgic to anyone. Just ancient.
  • I’m really tired of reading tweets from campaigners on various social issues that I agree with.
  • Rain makes unfamiliar noise on our roof. It’s the new solar panels.
  • Translating non-fic must have been such a chore before Wikipedia.
  • Yay! I used the correct preposition when I told the solar cell guy that I work in Woodge! Nooo! That has to be inflected by case! I actually work in Wodgy!
  • Excavation report in Swedish from the Duvnäs platform!
  • Movie: C’eravamo tanto amati / We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974). Brothers in arms drift apart and meet again repeatedly across post-WW2 Italian history. Grade: OK.
  • After like 35 years I suddenly understand one more of Tom Lehrer’s jokes.
    “If you’re looking for adventure of a new and different kind / And you come across a girl scout who is similarly inclined / Don’t be nervous, don’t be flustered, don’t be scared / Be prepared!” This must refer to bringing condoms, not as I thought to just being prepared for bonking in general.
  • Movie: Shadow / Ying (2018). Hyper-stylised Chinese historical fantasy with ridiculous fights and lots of gore. Grade: OK.
  • In 1976-78 when I was 4 and 5 we lived in Connecticut. TV shows that I liked: Happy Days, 60s Batman, 60s Star Trek, all Saturday morning superhero cartoons.
  • Interactive fiction / text adventure games turn 50 this year. Aaron A. Reed is writing an essay about one game for each of these 50 years.
  • The Danish parliament has voted to locate the country’s refugee responsibilities in Africa. You flee to Denmark and then you’re sent to wait overseas. It’s a fucking disgrace. Shame, Denmark!
  • Learning historical research by making stupid mistakes. I want to find out about Olof Svart, a minor nobleman who probably had the Duvnäs platform built. He was awarded tax exemption for his manor around 1529 because of some kind of royal favour. So I spent two hours chasing Olof the goldsmith, son-in-law of the property’s last commoner owner, through the minutes of Stockholm’s town council. Having determined that he’s not likely to be identical to Olof Svart, I turned to the Crown correspondence at the time, you know, where you might find people who have… some kind of royal favour? And found Olof Svart, royal accountant from 1525, in a matter of minutes.
  • Tolkien and Lovecraft both started out as writers of Dunsany fan fiction.
  • Do you think I can stop hoarding pasta and toilet paper yet?

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

17 thoughts on “June Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. Occasionally a native speaker of US English will make a similar mistake with “even”. A classic example from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley: “They have vilified me. They have crucified me. Yes, they have even criticized me.”


  2. “ This must refer to bringing condoms, not as I thought to just being prepared for bonking in general.”

    The Scout motto is “be prepared”. The Scout slogan is “do a good turn daily”. 😀


    1. Mainstream Danish politicians are saying openly that they want to avoid letting foreigners into the country and have them settle and get integrated into society. That level of unabashed xenophobia is unacceptable from one of the richest countries in the world. They are trying to turn Denmark into a gated community.


      1. It should go without saying that I am an old-school social democrat in the tradition of Erlander. 🙂

        Even though both countries are in the EU, it is not allowed for Germans to own holiday homes in Denmark. Many own them in Sweden. Germany has about 16 times the population of Denmark. Understandable?

        At some point, the left has to recognize that the rich countries cannot accept everyone who wishes to come. Current practices, such as letting those stay who come illegally and/or have the money to pay smugglers, are cynical at best.

        At the height of the refugee wave a few years ago, Sweden, under the social democrats, changed their politics in this area, because too many were coming. Denmark has about half the population of Sweden, but a much smaller land area.

        What is the realistic alternative?

        If they were all actually integrated into society, there would probably be less resistance.

        As my late history teacher used to say, just an observation, not a judgement.

        Both my wife and I immigrated to Germany as adults. But there is a middle ground between unabashed xenophobia and open-borders policy, but one rarely hears anyone support it, probably because each extreme would accuse the speaker of being a member of the opposite extreme.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It is quite common on the Right to advance the straw man that we can’t receive everyone who wants to come here, which is not suggested by anyone outside small radical anarchist groups.


    1. Correct, hence my question as to what, specifically, is wrong about their new policy.

      For the average refugee, getting to some sort of base in Africa will be much easier than getting sent to Denmark. Being rejected there if one has no chance of immigrating is probably better than living in Denmark for a while then getting kicked out.

      I’m not accusing you of it, but a common straw-man tactic of the left is to say that any policy more restrictive than one’s own is xenophobic.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Do you think I can stop hoarding pasta and toilet paper yet?”

    I don’t know how much you have stockpiled, and I don’t know which variants have got into Sweden so far. The Delta (aka Indian Type 1) variant is much more infectious than the Alpha (aka Kent or British) variant (which is already more infectious than the original variant that surfaced in Wuhan), and is rapidly becoming the dominant variant globally. Somehow it got into Guangzhou, where even the Chinese are currently fighting a losing battle to try to bring it under control, so it is definitely not to be underestimated.

    The coronavirus is going to keep doing this – it is going to keep mutating, and the more people it infects, the faster it will mutate. No one can predict what new mutated strains will be like. So far it has been mutating to become more infectious, and to try to evade the existing vaccines that it has encountered. Going forward, it could mutate to become even more infectious, and if it becomes as infectious as measles, watch out. It could also mutate to become more virulent, and could start killing younger people, or kids. And it could mutate enough to completely evade all of the existing vaccines.

    So, I’d say now is not the time to drop your guard, and it would be prudent to keep some stockpiles of necessities, because as bad as the pandemic has been so far, it could get a lot worse. Obviously I hope not, but it could easily become a lot worse.

    Every day I see people talking about ‘things returning to normal’ when the pandemic is over, and about preparing for the next one. They haven’t got the point that this one is not over yet, not by a long way. It might never be over; it could very well become endemic. I can’t foresee a time when the world will ever fully return to the ‘old normal’ – I don’t see how it can.

    And I’m normally an optimist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember The Hunger. It was a good enough vampire movie, but a lot like watching a fashion shoot. It was stylish, like Blade Runner, but Blade Runner was consciously dark. The Hunger was more pseudo-sophisticated a la Helmut Newton.

    It isn’t clear that Tom Lehrer was referencing condoms at that time. The big thing then was the recently developed birth control pill, something a girl scout might use. Condoms were deprecated when he wrote that song. They were more a 1950s and, thanks to AIDS, a 1980s thing.

    Don’t count diners out. Nostalgia isn’t always about the real past. It’s often about an imagined past, often one as described in an artistic form. Look at farmhouse cafes / restaurants. Was there ever even such a thing?


    1. The song in question appeared on Lehrer’s first album, which was released in 1953. That was twelve years before the US Supreme Court said in Griswold v. Connecticut that birth control had to be available to everybody. So it’s unlikely a 1950s Girl Scout would have been on the Pill.

      The thing we must absolutely remember about nostalgia is that it ain’t what it used to be.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Everything was better in the past. Even the past was better in the past. The only thing that may not have been better in the past is the now, because now there’s more past to be good, than there was then.

        Or, as the Swedes say (in translation) “the paster, the better” (ju förr, desto bättre).


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