Theater of Cruelty

Hipp, hipp ... like happ?

Sometimes I wonder if I live in a country or in a joke.



[decorations] May 17, I have in recent years adorned myself with a small UN flag on the suit. The first time it was a bit random, I must have messed up the May 17 bow the year before, thinking that, yes the UN flag may work well, then both the day and the suit get an international look. The reactions were overwhelming. That is why I still have to join the UN flag on 17 May. But now, in spite of all this. Try it yourself, it's pretty fun. You will probably soon be labeled as a hater of Norway and accused of wanting to shut down the nation-state and burn the bunads. After having managed the backward road ahead, you can ask what we are really celebrating. Here Arne Duck has a golden grain to contribute.

[cartoon] After a far too long break, now Swedish Charlie Christensen has started to draw new Arne And strips, which are posted online on Arne has now had three children and moved to the suburbs, but fortunately he has not become less grumpy, cynical and conspiratorial for that reason. It is in one of my old favorite strips that Arne asks "Sometimes you wonder if you live in a country or in a joke". Bobla is not only a good summary of any Holmgang debate, but also testifies to impressive self-insight. Since Arne is a cartoon character, he actually lives in a joke. But the most interesting significance, on the occasion of National Day, is that a country, just like a joke, is a linguistic and cultural construct. For an elaboration, I recommend crossing the Øresund Bridge and greeting two Danish ladies.

[non-fiction] Before you throw yourself into the national day discussion, I would recommend reading the chapter on language and nation in Marianne Winther Jørgensen and Louise Phillips' book Discourse analysis as theory and method. They believe we must look at nation states as discursive, ie linguistic, constructions, rather than natural entities. Thus, we can assess how the nation states were historically constructed, and how they are maintained, or changed, through concrete, linguistic practice. Why do the news anchors say "… and then we'll go home again" when they jump from foreign to domestic? Are we invited for coffee and cookies in the corner sofa at Gry Blekastad Almås' home?

Winther Jørgensen and Phillips believe that there is now a battle, a real linguistic battle, between a global and a national discourse. And it is not at all hip that happ how we view the world through language. It has significance for what is defined as problems and possible solutions. In a national discourse, there is a problem that there are many foreigners in this year's tippeliga, because it can be at the expense of Norwegian talents. In a global discourse, young boys from Burkina Faso should be allowed to pursue their dream of becoming a pros, raise the level of the tipping league, and emerge as good role models in Norwegian newspapers, which otherwise only cite new compatriots' background in criminal matters.

The lines that cross national borders, global production chains and communication patterns are becoming increasingly important at the expense of borders. At the same time, it is largely the large groups that drive this development. Is it possible to build a more democratic globalization, and what does this mean for the relationship between the nation-states and supranational bodies? As long as this debate is completely absent in the general public, every opportunity is a good opportunity to start the debate. Especially May 17. Preferably with costume. Have a nice National Day!

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