fredag 15 februari 2008

Love in Sweden

Given to me, Urban Lundberg, from Lennart Franzén, who made the pictures and from Bertil Torekull who made the text, Keith Bradfield make the translation. The year was 1970.

Background and reality

The world over, people discuss love in Sweden. Here we describe how it happened and the effects it has...
Let us go back in time...
...a long way back.

There was once a land consisting of dense forests, and the occasional small, murky lake.

It snowed there. Often, heavily, and persistently.

The days were as long and black as the nights.

Everyone froze.

The lovely blond Swedish girl froze, lonely, melancholic and utterly depressed.

The strong, handsome Swedish Viking also froze, as he sat troubled and unhappy, filled with deep thoughts.

They both felt there was something missing, neither of them knew what.

Till one day when the sun at last broke out through the clouds, they had a brilliant idea.

And that, best beloved, is how Swedish love was invented. It proved extremely popular. Soon all the lovely blond Swedish girls and strong, handsome Swedish Vikings were loving away, and even the polar bear grew tame and wandered amiably about the streets. It spread like wildfire. Love penetrated into every corner of every heart...

It penetrated into the workshops and out into the fields, and in their love the happy Swedes produced more and more, as people will when they love, until at last they achieved-almost-the highest standard of living in the world.

In fact, love became so important to the Swedes-so they say-that they invented neutrality, and left it to all the other people to fight, if they felt like it, so that themselves would have more time over for loving.

As the new idea took rot, one could see how the inhabitants began to abandon themselves to nature, to the animals and the countryside. Unfortunately, the traffic system too succumbed to Swedish love and got all confused (first they drove on the left, then on the right, and then-Sweden frequently called the land of the Middle Way). Love spread in time even to the most important fields of human endeavour, such as eating.

The Swedish smörgåsbord quickly became the entire population´s greatest love, and sinful obsession.

At this point, scientist began to show an interest in the phenomenon. Love was analysed in great detail, and many were elected professors for their expertise in the subject. Businessmen were happy to see what love meant for exports.

Before long, the entire country was filled by earnest foreign observers, and journalists from the four corners of earth sent home the glad tidings of this incomparable Swedish love and its superb design.

While the lovely Swedish girls and strong Vikings went on living their remarkable lives as they had always done.

To celebrate their brilliant invention, they gathered every Midsummer, in the unfathomable gleam of the Midnight Sun, to hold interminable love feasts, dancing, smiling and drinking.

And in this way their little country far up by the Arctic Circle with the dense forests and murky little lakes and long nights and cold winters and heavy snow and bright summer nights, became a very Paradise of Love.

Or so they say...

Bye, bye say the "Viking" Urban.....