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rough day to be a state interventionist…

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I mean seriously, I had read about the Swedish issue with alcohol, but come on now. The one adult pleasure we get on this trip is the couple of drinks we get to have, either solo or together depending on the room configuration, after the baby goes to bed. And here, right now, I am drinking 3.5 percent beer. My wife is drinking 2.5 percent cider.

They mark the percentage in big numerals right on the can, just in case you delude yourself into thinking you’re getting the real deal. It is amazing to think of all these great breweries turning out a separate batch of tamer stuff just for the Swedes (or do all the Scandinavians do this? I seem to have some memory of this sort of thing from way back when in Copenhagen…)

Nanny state? WTF? Feel free to tell me that this is my nascent Yankee libertarianism kicking in. That it is a good thing for me to be protected from real beer by law and custom and tax.

Another (related) question: given the near-beer problem, why (how) is everyone so drunk here? (UPDATE: I wrote that Saturday night. Things seem much more sedate now as I write on Sunday…)

Anyway, it is an interesting thing, figuring out your socio-political comfort level based on travel – and then comparing this experientially-tested version against the abstract-intellectual ideal that you hold or think yourself to hold. On the level of ideas, I am probably a few clicks to the left of Sweden. In practice, I miss the Netherlands. It does feel a bit, dunno, dull here. The trains are gorgeous, everything is really, really expensive ($300 in walking around money disappeared just like that, after a dinner and a trip to the very cool Zoo / Aryan history museum at Skansen), which is probably as it should be, and everything is green, green, green, but also everyone seems a bit bored and sad.

That’s not what socialism is supposed to be! Tweak the fun meter, Stockholm! Set up vodka stands on the street corners! (Not sure I’d really love that either – but there has to be a healthy medium, right?)

Finally: for some reason, every thought I have lately is taking the form of an imagined graph, x-plot against y-plot. An impossible one that I’d like to see: the correlation between social welfare and kids going uber-goth. My rough estimate has a higher proportion of gothy types in calm Canada vs. the manic US. And there are tons and tons here, in everyone’s favorite living exhibit of sustainable and actually existing social-democracy. Anyone else notice this?

Written by adswithoutproducts

May 26, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Posted in meta

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