Thomas Wictor

Norway’s great, except for the Norwegians

Norway’s great, except for the Norwegians

A Norwegian soccer player’s wife has upset some people by sharing a selfie of her unravaged postpartum body. Caroline Berg Eriksen is also a “health reporter,” whatever that is.

In response a Norwegian blogger named Suzanne Aabel wrote a fairly incoherent piece both criticizing and praising Berg Eriksen and her critics and supporters. The fact that I have no idea what Aabel wanted to say is due to both machine translation and Norwegian culture.

From what I gather, Aabel is jealous of Berg Eriksen’s physique, but Aabel apparently loves to eat at McDonald’s. Do you think Berg Eriksen eats at McDonald’s? Aabel also notes that Berg Eriksen’s breasts aren’t sagging. Well, anyone with eyes can see that Berg Eriksen either has breast implants or is wearing an uplift bra. Women’s breasts aren’t spherical. Am I the only one who knows this anymore?

Reading Aabel’s blog brought back my disdain for Norwegian culture. I loved everything about Norway except for the Norwegians.

If you scroll down to November 18, 2013, on Aabel’s blog, you’ll see that she’s in a reality series about female bloggers. After all that raving about body image and unrealistic expectations and the damage they do to poor, sponge-headed teenage girls, we learn that Aabel is in her own way promoting women as sex objects who must look a certain way. Check out the poses, clothes, stiletto heels, and cosmetic surgery.

I found Norwegians in general to be envious, hypocritical, and inconsistent. They paid lip service to grand ideals, but very few of them actually practiced what they preached. And the laws were insane.

Before you did any home-improvement project, you had to ask all your neighbors if it was okay. People were allowed to camp for one night on your property, as long as they were out of your line of sight. It was illegal to yell at your children. I oppose the physical punishment of children, and I oppose the Norwegian law prohibiting spanking. Due to the adults’ utter lack of common sense, Norwegian children were the worst-behaved I’ve ever seen. They were uncontrollable, vicious, aggressive monstrosities.

Norway boasts of its spectacular social-welfare system without telling you that it’s based on income from oil and confiscatory tax rates. When I worked in Norway, half my paycheck went to taxes. My Norwegian coworkers had a lower income-tax rate, but if you added up all their taxes, they paid 70 percent of what they earned to the government. On top of that, the cost of living was astronomical.

After ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, Norway has allowed its carbon emissions to rise steadily even as Norwegians lecture the rest of the world on greenhouse gases. Government policy is to try and stop “climate change” in other countries while doing nothing to curtail Norway’s emissions. Lower emissions means a lower standard of living; Norway has one of the highest standards of living on the planet.

Norwegians criticize their soldiers for killing the inhumanly brutal Taliban, which is using terrorism to try and impose a Wahabbist dictatorship on unwilling people. What could be more noble than defending helpless civilians from those who skin alive, rape, and murder in the name of their religion? Yet the Norwegians are upset that their soldiers take pride in being warriors, spray painted skulls on the houses of Taliban suspects, and shout, “TO VALHALLA!” before missions.

In Norway the words and spray paint of soldiers fighting to protect the helpless are more offensive than the actual atrocities that terrorists inflict on the helpless. The Telemark Battalion was also excoriated for using high-tech weaponry that the Taliban lacks. In the scramble to present themselves as being kind to Third Worlders, Norwegian critics revealed their racism. The Taliban is an existential threat to Afghanistan. They’re doing fine as fighters. To keep from feeling guilty about the means used to stop them, just recognize them as men, not children.

Self-congratulatory sanctimony gets people killed at home too. When this chubby, plagiarizing narcissist was murdering teenagers on an island for three hours, Norway’s only anti-terrorist unit had to drive there because it has no helicopter and no arrangement with the Norwegian army to be flown from Oslo during an emergency. I’m positive that the reason is because the government doesn’t want to give the impression that it’s “militarizing” the police.

However, we American residents were terrified of Norwegian cops. They did things like hit you in the kidneys with phone books, which hurts like hell but doesn’t leave a mark. The entire culture was as confused as Suzanne Aabel’s post about Caroline Berg Eriksen’s photo. When I lived in Stavanger, the government owned all liquor stores, and a bottle of rum cost $70 in 1980 dollars. Simultaneously, Norwegian citizens could register as alcoholics and get free housing and a stipend to buy booze.

In the Oslo train station, I saw a group of young people sitting on a bench. As I glanced away, I caught a glimpse of a vertical, tan tube in the air in front of one man. I looked at him again, wondering what I’d seen. Was it some weird defect in my cornea? Then he opened his mouth and puked up a tan column of beer. It fell between his spread knees and splashed all over the floor. There was no reaction from anybody in the whole building. During the five minutes my train was in the station, he relieved himself of nine tan columns, nearly a gallon of beer.

Oh, and the kids that the chubby, plagiarizing narcissist murdered on the island? They were role-playing going to Israel and disrupting Israeli security operations. When the chubby, plagiarizing narcissist appeared with his rifle, some kids thought he was part of the game, so they walked right up to him and were shot dead.

Since Norwegians know that the Israelis won’t shoot unarmed European busybodies, they train their young people to be as disruptive as possible on trips to Gaza and the West Bank. Norway outlawed kosher slaughter in 1929 in order to protect animals, they say, but the Norwegians are still commercial whalers. Signatories to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the Norwegians reject the 1986 global moratorium that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) imposed. The IWC was set up under the auspices of the ICRW.

Thus the Norwegians continue to ratify an agreement but won’t honor what the agreement requires. You know how Norwegians kill whales? With explosive harpoons. They blow the whales’ innards to pieces.

Form over content. Style over substance. Inconsistency. Hypocrisy.

And boozers! I’ve never seen such drinkers. The tradition is that any bottle opened must be emptied. My mother went to a party that our Norwegian neighbors threw, and she said that there was one bottle of hard liquor for every guest. She had to leave after just a couple of hours because everyone was so bombed that they were screaming, falling down, and passing out.

I lived in Norway for three years. In that time drunk Norwegians physically assaulted me almost once a week. Drunk sailors, drunk farmers, drunk high schoolers, and drunk businessmen all wanted to fight me. One of my friends got into a genuine brawl with an eighty-year-old man who attacked him for no reason. Possessed of abnormally long arms, this geezer chipped my friend’s teeth by hitting him from five feet away.

The government-run health-care system was so horrible that my brother Pat had to wait six weeks before he could get his crippled arm X-rayed. My father suffered a massive nasal hemorrhage in his office and was rushed to the hospital. When we visited him, it was like we were in Botswana. Everything was filthy, and they gave him only one gown for the week he was there. The treatment he received was from the Middle Ages. They didn’t have the ability to cauterize, so they put a balloon up his nose.

To irrigate his frontal sinus with saline solution, they took a hollow needle and pounded it with a hammer through the bone above his right eye. They used no anesthesia.

Our neighbors sent us to black-market doctors who gave us proper treatment and medication in exchange for cash that they didn’t report to the government. I got my Norwegian driver’s license by going to such a doctor. Everybody knew that the health-care system was a disaster, but the fiction that it was superb had to be preserved at all costs.

My time in Norway taught me that the culture was all about putting up a false front. Pretense was valued over reality. In fact reality was rarely allowed to intrude. Reality was somehow wrong. As long as you said the right things, you could do whatever you wanted. The end result was a carnival of misery, alcoholism, nosiness, guilt, nagging, hostility, and yearning. When they got drunk, they all said they wanted to move to the US. After sobering up they denied it.

Here’s what a Norwegian immigrant to the US said to me: “All the best Norwegians live in the States.”

I don’t know about that, but some of the happiest Norwegians live in the States.