Saturday, June 09, 2012

You Are Not Special

17 comments:

Bruce W. said...

Great speech, especially needed for many of our kids today. Sometimes it seems that having too much too easy can ruin a person just as much as having too little too hard.

Anonymous said...

"You are not special" - something every Dane should say to themself in the mirror every morning.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Hehe, good one.
I've tried! Doesn't seem to work.

Tim Amis said...

Maybe a slightly altered version, "You're not actually that special" because they do kind of seem to need it.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Actually, apart from my own humble self, I've only seen very few Danes with a really big ego, or at least dare show it. The Danes are famous for making sure nobody gets too big for his britches. The famous "Jante's Law", "you shalt not think you are anything special" etc.

The exceptions really stick out. I once saw a TV interview with a successful Danish race car driver, who really didn't hide the fact that he loved his success. The interviewer actually said to him: "has anybody ever told you that you are quite arrogant?"

Which he of course was, and I don't think he took any offense. But in hindsight, I think only a Scandinavian interviewer would ever think to say such a thing to his guest.

Anonymous said...

I referred to the almost isolationist view Danes have of their country being something special - as though they're unaware many of the things they have exist elsewhere. Universal healthcare and free tuition for example. Most countries in universe have the former and I know at least France has the latter.

I'm not sure it's anything to be proud of anyway - to live in the nanny state. And anyway everything is even by European standards very, almost insanely, expensive in Denmark as a result.

It's a common European pasttime to mock Americans for being ignorant of other nations, but Danes seem equally guilty.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I wish I could argue with that, but there's a lot of truth to it, sadly.
It's basically why I moved out. Well, not exactly, the Settled Smugness I was part of. Most Danes are highly satisfied, so why try harder?
And not the least the insane expensiveness of living there. Taxes go up to around 70%.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say "most countries in Europe" not "in univers." :-)

Most Danes are highly satisfied, so why try harder?

It's like a preview of the world of Star Trek where on Earth ever need is met by the state. They did a funny bit on Cracked.com where they said the Federation was stagnant as a result and they were only exploring the universe due to the desire to find something - anything - new. :-)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"I would love some humility, but I can't fit it in."

Come on, man, don't belittle yourself!

Eolake Stobblehouse isn't special. He's just freakishly big.
In fact, in the wake of the Chuck Norris jokes, there are now Eolake Stobblehouse jokes. I like this one: "Ron Perlman was inspired to become an actor and bodybuilder after discovering all the cute babes on Eolake Stobblehouse's website. But that's like saying that Sammy Davis Jr was inspired by Sydney Poitier." ;-)

There's also this one: "One day Eolake Stobblehouse made a new race of chihuahuas. The breed Great Dane was born that day. They were the runts of a litter that got loose on the Baskerville moor."

The interviewer actually said to him: "has anybody ever told you that you are quite arrogant?"
Lebanese style answer: "Nobody that ever lived to tell!" }:-)

But in hindsight, I think only a Scandinavian interviewer would ever think to say such a thing to his guest.
Mr interviewer, has anybody ever told you that you are quite rude? (observant? prosaic? handsome? telegenic? blonde? masculine? beardless? turban-less? stetson-less? bra-less? [insert your most fitting cultural epithete here])

Actually, Denmark IS something special. But Norway has all the oil, so...

"It's a common European pasttime to mock Americans for being ignorant of other nations, but Danes seem equally guilty."
You're wrong there: this is NOT a common Danish passtime!

BTW, I think it fit here to point out, just for the sake of argument, that I myself *am* special: as you'll recall, I'm the most humble person in Lebanon, on this planet, and in fact in the known Universe. (That is, until that debate about Antarean sponges having a personality gets settled, but THEY don't drink Guinness beer, so they're literally "off the record". The record book, that is.)

Anonymous said...

Actually, Denmark IS something special. But Norway has all the oil, so...

In what way? I already pointed out that they're not the only nation to have the things they're most proud of. So, what exactly makes them special? That's different from saying they're inferior to anyone, but that doesn't mean special (read "better") either.

You're wrong there: this is NOT a common Danish passtime!

It's a common European pasttime, as I correctly stated, and Denmark is part of Europe. Obviously it's an exaggeration but it does happen a lot.

Dave Nielsen said...

Based on how expensive everything was when I went there, which was several years ago now, I wondered how the country could function. I mean, sure, the people there might make proportionally more to compensate but doing what? Well, I should probably just Google it. I wonder what these tiny countries produce that they could make the necessary shitloads of money at.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"I already pointed out that they're not the only nation to have the things they're most proud of."

Need I really remind you that all these Chinese Legos are illegal counterfeits?...


"It's a common European pasttime, as I correctly stated, and Denmark is part of Europe. Obviously it's an exaggeration but it does happen a lot."

Yeah, being part of Europe DOES happen a lot: it's also a common pasttime for Greece, Spain, Italy... and Turkey would sure love in on that game! :o)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, being part of Europe DOES happen a lot: it's also a common pasttime for Greece, Spain, Italy... and Turkey would sure love in on that game! :o)

Ugh. Man. That's bad.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I totally agree with you there. Poor Turks. It's not THEIR fault if they're such backwards fundamentalists with paroxystic denial for a genocide they committed 97 years ago.
And that's definitely not a fair reason to keep them on the sidelines.
Why, I remember at school, how it felt to never be picked in the Gym class volleyball teams: "Ugh. Man. That stinks."

Dave Nielsen said...

I'd be happy not to be picked for a volleyball team. Volleyball. Blech! ;-)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I'm with you there, Dave.

As everybody knows, Blech! Volleyball is the exact opposite of Beach Volleyball, played with retired overweight senior Third World prostitutes with excess body hair. In mini-bikinis.

I heard that this year's world championship was organized by the Anonymous™ collective.
>:{)> "We tried to peacefully occupy Wall Street, but apparently the world needs a blunter message. MUCH blunter! Do not try us, we've got even worse up our sleeve."

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Correction: Third World transgender prostitutes.