Archive for the ‘Finland’ Category


April 17, 2014

This time of the year, I say Hyviä lomillepääsiäisiä!

This, because it is Eastertime and other people say Hyvää pääsiäistä! ((Have a) happy Easter!) or Hyvää pääsiäislomaa! ((Have a) happy Easter holiday!).

That thing which I say, I say because I have an irrational dislike of going with the flow, and a rational dislike of religion. I try to avoid implicit religious wishes; and Easter has more religious connotations than, for example, a carefully neutered and secularized community-and-family holiday like Christmas. (“No, we’re not secularizing Christmas… pay no attention to the reward-in-heaven god-child being replaced by a rotund red symbol of earthly rewards for good deeds… I’m sure your need to remind us of remembering the true meaning of Christmas every time when starting to speak of the child doesn’t in any way indicate a shift in the meaning away from yours…”)

Hyvää is the same in both wishes — hyvä would be good, nice, enjoyable, and hyvää is the same conjugated to fit “(have a) nice (something)”. (Well er uh I think hyvää is an adjective in the same partitive case as that noun which follows it would be in but I don’t know; I just speak the Finnish language, I don’t understand it. Finnish grammar is madness.)

Pääsiäinen is Easter, but if you look at the word, it sounds and looks like it could have something to do with verbs like päästä, to be allowed or let go, or päästää, to allow or let go. Päästän koirat irti! — I’ll release the hounds!, or Erkki pääsi vankilasta, Erkki, a hypothetical character, got out of prison. Pääsiäinen is not something that immediately looks like a word of smaller parts in Finnish as currently spoken, but once you look it looks like an oldy-timey way of meaning “the-thing-or-event-related-to-releases”. This is probably the original meaning of the word — but this is not what anybody think about when the word is used in a standard construction.

Thus, pääsiäisloma would be “the Easter holiday/vacation”, but if you turn the words around into lomillepääsiäinen, it becomes something new, something where it is not obvious whether the p-part refers to the holiday or the word seemingly embedded in it, and the word seems best understood like this:

loma : holiday

lomille : to-the-holidays

pääsiäinen : the-event-of-being-released,


lomillepääsiäinen : the-event-of-being-released-to-go-on-the-holidays, the event of the time or occasion when or where you are allowed to burst the bonds of this surly work and go have some free time.

Which I think is something nice to express at people: You gets to go and have a holiday! Happy occasion! See you in a week! Hooray!


Then again, at times I hear Hyvää viikonloppua!, (have a) good weekend, and I am compelled to answer Kohtuuhyvää viikonloppua!, (have a) reasonably okay / moderately good weekend!

Or Ihan tavallista viikonloppua! — (have a) perfectly ordinary weekend.

I could even say Siedettävää viikonloppua — (have a) bearable weekend. (Sietämätöntä would be, in this phrase, unbearable.) Except with my dialect it would come out as sii’ettävvöö.

Or — you’re seeing how my mind works, right? — I think I should say Nähdään maanantaina!, see you on Monday — and I say instead Nähdään maanantaina, ellei sokeuduta sitä ennen! — which would be, see you on Monday, unless before that we lose our sight.


Also, päästäinen means “a shrew”, but that’s not related to anything. Also a shrew can be, Wikipedia tells me, popularly called a nokkahiiri, or a beak mouse.

Now you know this, too.

Finally, there are six species of shrew that live in Finland: the forest shrew, the black shrew, the eastern shrew, the infirm shrew, the dwarf shrew, and the water shrew. You could assemble a cartoon cast of them, except it would be horribly racist.

How improve a sauna with technology

July 18, 2013

You could install a heat sensor in the stove, and a pipe above it: whenever the temperature was something, water would come out of the pipe. With enough data on the properties of the stove and its stones, you could have absolute temperature and humidity control!

(Wait, no, doesn’t sound good. Not many maniacs or supervillains have gone for absolute temperature and humidity control!)

Better still, you could install a microphone and program a computer to do speech recognition. Pick ten random words, and shoot water on the stove when one is said. Then choose a new random word for that spot.

And if there is a minute of silence, water!

And always water for “Aaah!” and “Hot!” and “Stahp!”

Come to think of it, this is almost a sport already.

Or, since a sauna stove takes hours to warm up with the traditional wood-burning, you could replace the burner with an afterburner — with a whole jet engine. I’m sure you can find them for cheap somewhere. Just don’t keep it on for too long or the stove melts.

And be sure to make sure your stove is well attached to the floor. Otherwise seven miles away your neighbor is going to have a nasty surprise.

“Hallo? Police? Some… somebody just threw a sauna stove through my window. My second-floor window. No, officer, I haven’t been drinking—”

Also, make sure the floor is attached to the ground.

“Hallo? Police? I wish to report what I think was an aircraft accident. Apparently it hit a sauna up there at seven miles, and— Hallo? I have the thing on my patio, officer, ceiling beams and all!”

(This has been another proud production of me, dad, sauna and too much imagination.)

Etymology! Fun!

May 17, 2013

And now, lessons in potentially highly confusing etymology!

Observe the Finnish word “salivaraus”. It is something that a university lecturer might mutter needs to be taken care of; or that she might wonder about (“there’s been problems with that lately”) as she’s heading out to lecture.

Now, you might think this is a word of German origins. “Raus” means away, off or out of — as in the Rammstein song title “Rein Raus” or “In, Out”, which is about rhythmic motion of that sort — and “saliva” might have the same meaning as in English. “Salivaraus” might be a weird local word for getting the phlegm out of your cheeks before going out and talking for a couple of hours.

Sadly, no.

The word breaks down as sali-varaus. “Sali” is a slightly pompous word for a lecture room; outside university circles it would be a hall as in a dance hall, the halls of a king’s castle, a high ceiling and a high possibility of fluted columns and then like; like “Saal”, the German word of same meaning. “Varaus” means a reservation, as with hotels, restaurants and the like; from the verb “varata”, to reserve.

Thus, a “salivaraus” is a room reservation for a lecture or some other teaching incident; which lecturers need to do a little practical running with, and wonder if this is the week the university’s computer systems reserve Closet 12 for everybody.


Note 1: For some reason I keep writing etymology as etymnology, feeling dubious, checking — as in, google the word and see if the top hits are literate or illiterate — and swearing.

Note 2: What about the word for a university? That’s “yliopisto”, as in “yli-” something that is higher, above or supreme (“Ukko Ylijumala” or Ukko the Over-God of Old Finns, a sort of a less priapic Zeus), and “opisto” a school — though I think “opisto” is only used in this word and then alone in the titles of small religious or political adult education academies. The mainstream word for a school is “koulu”, which sounds unrelated to everything, but is from Swedish “skola” and ultimately Greek “skhole”, whose descendants went “school” in other parts of the world. If you tried to put an S in front of the Finnish word, you would just get directed to the speech therapist.

Note 3: And since these are the sort of things I worry about — a (Ph. D.) dissertation is a “väitöskirja”; that should have umlauts over the first a and o. That is “väitös”, a claim or assertion, an understandable word though one that reeks of philosophy and hard-core logic, and “kirja”, the most common and basic word for a book. So your dissertation is literally an “assertion-book”; the assertion probably is that you know things now. Since graduate school is half impostor syndrome and half Dunning-Kruger syndrome, I think that’s very funny.

Note 4: What syndrome is it when you can’t remember if it’s impostor syndrome or imposter syndrome? And since it’s the former, is imposter syndrome something Internet-related? Well, now it is —


Imposter syndrome (note the “e”) : The result of bloggers blogging what they wanna blog; a growing distance between who the poster is, how she/he is doing and what he/she knows on one hand, and what it posts on the other hand. For example, a Finnish graduate student of mathematics might appear witty by only posting on his blog those utterances that successfully lean in that direction; the non-showing of the huge basket of function theory exposition thru dick jokes means readers think he is a better person than he is.

(The worst part is WordPress keeps all your old drafts. I don’t want to go and see what I was trying to pull off in 2007. Which means that’ll probably be the next post.)


Edit: When I post a post on WordPress, it whines that I should add tags to it, and suggests a few. For this post, these: videogames, gaming, science, literature, aviation, transportation.

Try harder, WordPress.

Bad fish

April 29, 2013

Apparently some evil Finn sent a bunch of vlogging Texans some Swedish-Finnish cuisine: a can of hapansilakka/surströmming, “sour herring”, which is an experience pretty much like you would expect canned sour Swedish horror-death-fish to be.

The Texans didn’t seem to like it.

(The original copy of the video is probably on Liveleak, not Youtube; but Youtube embeds nicely.)

(Originally saw this video embedded as a side item on the site of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest newspaper. Every Finnish news outlet basically functions like a fansite for the fandom of Finland: every mention of the F-place from outside the native/fan circle gets noted as a sign of Finland going up, up and mainstream like Twilight and Harry Potter.)

Recorded bear attacks in Finnish history

October 30, 2012

Hamina, 1901

A hunting trip goes bad when drunken hunters celebrating a slain bear are surprised by its mate. Several are killed in the ensuing chaos, some by the bullets of their companions; and as the survivors flee, they draw the bear after them into the village.

The bear damages several buildings, mauls a dozen villagers, and invades the local church. The villagers are unwilling to confront the beast and set the building aflame, and an hour later witness a burning, screaming bear erupting through the steeple, dragging the church bells on its neck. Neither the bear nor the bells are ever seen again.

Local legends continue to tell that at times of great calamity the bells can be heard clanging in the woods, and were heard at the start of the World Wars and on the election of Tarja Halonen to the presidency; this is nothing but outrageous superstition and partisan political hatemongering.

Lapua, 1931

During the spring floods, the backward village of Lapua is cut off from the rest of the world. Telegraph lines remain standing for an additional week, and the villagers report several bears trapped on the same shrinking ersatz island. Towards the end of the third day the bears get restless, and the villagers, some three hundred in number, barricade themselves in the White Guard Hall.

The flood continues for a record-breaking twenty-one days, and when the waters recede and rescue teams enter, they find the village devastated: houses burnt down by lightning or malice, all the stones at the churchyard knocked down, half-eaten horses and dogs littering the streets, and the Guard Hall empty with all of the doors and windows broken.

There is no sign of the villagers or of the bears, though the latter are believed to have swam away as the waters receded.

A popular conspiracy theory states that the villagers fled the Hall and built a ship — but were turned back at bayonet-point by the local authorities who, because of anti-ursine prejudice, feared the sail was a co-venture and there were bears aboard. The ship, turning back, was then capsized and sunk by the storm; all humans aboard perished. This is some theory, given that no shipwreck was ever found on the drying fields, much less dead bodies or bayonets. Though the period was one of fierce anti-ursine discrimination, there is not a single confirmed case of a fatality resulting from real or perceived ursine rights activity and agitation in all of Finnish history, ever, and the URA&A-people who claim otherwise are engaging in nothing but deliberate perversion of history.

Finnish history has enough perversion in it already, without people adding deliberate lies into it.

Helsinki, 1951

During the preparations for the 1952 Olympics, a formerly protected wild animal forest passage is cut down; as a result the east-west passage of small animals is blocked, and bears are drawn into the area. After several fatalities the army organizes a walking rifle line to scare away the bears, but succeeds only in driving them towards the city center. Mounted riflemen pursue the bears, and take down the biggest one, four meters and over three metric tons, outside the Parliament.

The exact place the bear perished is marked with a brass plaque; the opposition parties have a habit of stopping there for impromptu press conferences, since the opposition is known as “the bear parliament”. (Even when the Bear Rights Alliance isn’t in the opp… wait, those deranged extremists are always in the opposition, with their “one claw for all” rhetoric and all. Why can’t they be sensible like the Agrarian Moose Union?)

Oulu, 1991

A great midnight bear is woken up in January by a construction crew, woken from a slumber of centuries probably. Over 2000 people are evacuated, over one-half of the city’s population.

Nature lovers stand up for the beast, but the beast is not willing to engage in constructive dialogue. The negotiations go bad before they even begin, and nineteen militia and nine nature advocates are killed. The bear then lunges into the audience, injuring seventy-one civilians and killing four.

Just as a catastrophe seems imminent, a brave biology professor dons a pelt and a pair of horns and engages in a ritual challenge display. The beast is momentarily confused, and when army sappers mine the ground it is standing on, the beast is finished.

Shortly afterwards, in a staggering display of bad taste, the University of Oulu’s student guild adopted a black crowned bear as its mascot. The League of Bear Victims sued, and after twelve years won the case, arguing that the mascot was a violation of non loquor de ursus.

Espoo, 2002

In 1999, while blowing the tunnel for the new westward metro, an explosion caves the tunnel floor into older, seemingly natural caverns below. By the best estimate the caves stretch for dozens of kilometers in every direction, including down, and have been blocked away from the ground for over seven hundred years. After initial panic of the usual “eyeless albino bears” sort a single spelunker is persuaded to investigate the caves, and she finds them empty and silent. The metro planners note one of the caverns is just wide enough and in the right direction, and use this unexpected windfall to save their project from fatal cost overruns.

Three years later (and only one year late) the new metro line opens, but the very first subway train to go in never comes out. A robotic rover sent to look for it records nothing but darkness and stone and the sounds of what might be regular, rhythmic wind. After three days the tunnel mouths are dynamited closed and the west metro is abandoned.

Kiss my…

August 21, 2012

The city of Turku, far in the south-western reaches of Finland, has come up with a slogan to market itself. (Note: For a Finn, the word “turku” is a very, very archaic word for a market or an open place, known from the phrase “maailman turuilla” or “out there in the (probably wild, dangerous and evil) wide open spaces and marketplaces of the world (where the young people go, oh woe, etc. etc.)”, if even from that. The city name is not treated as meaning anything in common conversation.)

The slogan is:


The intention, I assume, was to associate with the nice, positive, carefree-romantic associations of kissing, plus, hey, it’s in English so tourists and the young people will love it! Yay!

I think the slogan associates more with exclamations that start with “Oh yeah? Well, you can kiss my—” and then go on, scatologically.

This might be one of those impossible cases where the ad agency has been given the task of being clever, but not too clever. It’s probably nearly impossible to come up with something that’s both edgy, witty and clever… and something that a good number of non-native speakers actually get.

Unless, of course, the marketers were shrewd people, as I imagine their job description reads… and they’re targeting both the surface-reading people (“Yay! Kissing is nice!”) and the ironically product-buying scatological set (“Yay! I sharpied in an arrow pointing to my crotch!”).

Clever, if that.

Black-and-white Mannerheim

August 14, 2012

Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim (1867–1951) was a Finland-born military man, the leader of the victorious White faction of the Finnish Civil War in 1918, the Commander-in-Chief of Finland during WWII, and briefly the President after that. For a large fraction of Finns he’s like George Washington, if George had fought the Communists.

He was a super-posh aristocrat with ancestries everywhere except Finland, and little contact with the “little people”; he served for thirty years in the Russian army (not the separate and less prestigious Finnish army of the Russia-ruled Grand Duchy of Finland, because he got kicked out of that one’s officer school for AWOL), and he was pretty awful with the Finnish language; like Churchill-gabbling-French awful.

No matter; he is the Heroic Anti-Red Marshal and he’s an icon of the sort of backward rah-rah nationalistic xenophobes I’m sure he would have been disgusted by and that I’m sure you have over at your place too; the sort of ubiquitous salt of the earth who think the Fifties or the Thirties were the best time ever. Despite Mannerheim being the sort of rarefied, civilized, cultured Swedish-speaking pansy that the rah-rahs couldn’t handle today as an officer, much less as a wartime leader, he’s their top one special fetish, the one with whose image you do not mess with. (Really. He even went to Switzerland to die. For health reasons. The sort of people I’m talking of would think that treason and good riddance, if anyone did so today.)

(I do realize I may sound harsh. I’ve nothing particular against the man, but I hate this fraction of his fan club.)

Now Yle, the Finnish public broadcaster, is coming out with a biopic of Mannerheim.

This is not the vaporware great big private-industry epic movie that comes up in the news a couple of times each year, mostly to announce that they’ve used all their money, they need more, and they’re almost ready to start filming.

No, this new made-on-the-quiet Yle pic, funded by the public through the TV tax which funds Yle, is something different. It’s filmed in English and Swahili; the latter because the pic has been filmed in Kenya, and acted by Kenyan actors.

Yes, all the actors are black.

Mannerheim included.

The apoplexies of the rah-rah racist-nationalist everymen are like candy.

Like with candy, such great amounts are probably not good, and might result in nausea, but I’m enjoying the outrage of the uncultured as long as I can. (Ooh, that’s a good one: one nitwit is calling for legal action; his charges are “mustamaalaus ja häpäisy”, defamation and desecration, except the Finnish word for the former is literally “painting black”. I swear I couldn’t make up this amount of misguided anti-art stupid if I tried.)

(The makers refer a Bob Dylan biopic where one of the actors playing Dylan is Cate Blanchett; and note that as “Mannerheim was very much not a Finn, this casting might cast new light on his alien nature”. Ke ke ke, it’s a deliciously interesting idea, and a red flag to the backward set, whose are ready to think such things Red already; I love it!)

(Relevant news item in Finnish:

Finns don’t speak to tourists

June 5, 2012

A search that led someone to this blog: “finns don’t speak to tourists”.

This is true. We do not, and we have our reasons. They are not very good reasons; but we have reasons.


Finns are polite by being silent; this is my usual pop-ethnological answer. A foreigner might say “hi” and “how are you” and “have you read any good books lately” — a Finn recognizes these questions as meaningless social-lubrication pap, and supposes most people are slimy enough to slide by on their own, without pinging this empty chatter, wasting time, breath and brain cells. It’s not decent to force people into spitballing sour nothings.

Also, there are times when “how’s it going” is supposed to unleash a torrent of words, a barrage of woes and dark gloating jubilation; many Finns are not sufficiently socially perceptive to risk mistaking a casual hello for one of those times. Imagine —

“Heyah. How’s it going?”

“Colonic irrigation today, testicle lamination tomorrow. And I bit a dog yesterday, it’s a funny story except the dog died. Guess what’s in this box? Right! A dead dog! And guess where I’m taking it? My little niece’s birthday—”


The Fenno-Tourean War of 1901–2.

Do you think we’ve forgotten the Tourist death camps?


Finns speak English. Kind of.

You have noticed this is a blog, not a podcast. The reason is, the Internet does not require “1000 Ways to Mispronounce Every Which Word”.

Finnish is writ as she is spoke; English is less so. English is an ancient language, and because there are no tyrants of language, it has drifted. That’s what centuries of written language does to you. Finnish became a serious written language only a century and a half ago (and a written language at all only in the 16th century, thanks to Agricola), so we’re not used to Mother Tongue being in war with Father Orthography.

So, when a tourist asks: “Excuse me, but what is that statue all about?” — a Finn thinks: “It’s a statue of Rector Bloodfist, our university’s first— wait. Oh no. Stashoo or Staatoo? Stat-juu? Certainly not sta-zu-ee. Can I not use that word? Monument… mon-ju-mjent? mon-nu-ment?” — and then the tourist asks out loud: “Hey, why are you running away? Is it running day?”


The previous are deep, grand, universal reasons. There are specific ones, too.

Some Finns don’t know English; but everyone under forty ought to. “Shit yea” and “fuck you” if nothing else. (These are not useful for finding the train station, but they may ease the culture shock.)

Some Finns are shy.

Some Finns are socially awkward. (The percentage’s higher in Finland than in your country, I’m sure.)

Some Finns think the world ought to be someone else’s problem.

Some Finns, much like the memetic honey badger, just don’t care; they should be beaten with hammers but that’s not the tourist’s job, but the job of a guy that the Department of Education has hired for that purpose.

Some Finns don’t think they have anything interesting to say, or anything useful to contribute. This can be a real problem; you can live for decades in a city, and still feel like zero percent a tourist guide when someone asks you where the gardens are, or if the Vaguely-Familiar Street is this way or that.

Some Finns are deathly afraid they will offend, or leave a bad impression. Finland doesn’t have the certainty and the pride of bigger nations; we can’t think that even if we goof, we still have nuclear weapons and a history of kicking all our neighbors’ teeth in. And we Finns have a pretty bad case of wanting to be known as good, successful, upright people, which is why any Famous American mentioning Finland, even if to just say Finland exists, makes the headlines. (Chamillionaire samples Finnish song from 1967 (Google Translate); Finns solemnly think they’re finally made.)

We’re not servile, and we don’t have big scary secrets; but the world seems like a big, beautiful, sophisticated salon, and we’re rubes and rustics at the door, sure that we’re socially dead if we don’t show ourselves absolutely smooth and decent and un-asinine. And most Finns think their contribution may doom the whole nation to eternal infamy and being forever alone… if, say, they offend a tourist.

Better to shut up than to shoulder that awesome responsibility. The world can do without Finland for one more day.

So those are some of the reasons why Finns don’t speak to tourists. It’s a combination of psychosis and neurosis; doesn’t that make you feel better?

News and skulls

March 27, 2012

OULU, the northern parts. Police is looking for a convenience store robber. He was a man in a black shirt, blue longjohns, and a mask made of a pair of briefs.

LEPPÄVIRTA, the central parts. Three men, two of them drunk, were involved in a fracas yesterday. The drunken two, apparently because of some earlier disagreement, tried to invade the third’s home during the night, and broke the glass on the front door. Upon them getting to the entryway, the house owner met them, hit one on the head with a hammer, and slashed the other in the face with an icepick. Then he went to the neighbor and called for help. All three are under police investigation.

ELSEWHERE, all over the place. A popular model of cremation caskets seems to be dangerous, possibly even… deadly. The model is covered with a synthetic fiber fabric, which can come undone and snap at the cremation attendant as the casket’s rolling into the hot oven. Or then the fabric can catch fire too early, which is not nice, or it can melt and jam the rails, blocking the oven door from closing and causing a fire. (This has actually happened. I hope the relatives were not watching.) Guidelines for casket materials are being looked over. Apparently elsewhere in the world only wooden caskets are acceptable.

(Sources — all in Finnish —, Hs. fi,

* * *

A personal note: it would be nice to be mummified, then hidden inside a stuffed bear. You could arrange for the bear to be donated to a museum or a relative a few decades later, without any word of the mummy inside. That would become a nice surprise, eventually.

Or you could cremate me, but save the skull. Then save the ashes in the skull.

Then, decades later:

“I’ll take the sofa; you take granduncle’s skull.”

“I don’t want his poxy skull! I want the sofa!”

“Well someone has to take the skull.”

“Nuh uh; put it into the yard sale.”

The yard sale?

“Throw this picture of him in, too; five bucks for the set.”

Five bucks? It’s antique!”

“Listen, if you like the skull so much you take it.”

“No I won’t. Look, at five bucks it’ll just go to decorate some goth’s bookshelf, organizing some shelf-ful of late period pro-Satanist Anne Rice novels. Ask for more, and some dignified and sensitive person will—”

“You mean some collector will buy it?”

“Yes! I mean, no; what do you mean, ‘collector’? Collector of human skulls?”

“Some collector of curiosities. You could get granduncle on TV, and you know he hated that. Or if you ask too much, some poor housewife will think this’ll be the perfect premium bespoke gift for the hubby, he listened to Doom Unit Zappa when he was a wee lad; and then granduncle’s dust will be in the dumpster because the honey-wife wants to pack the skullgift with candy!

“You know, that would make a nice story.”

“Ghost story?”


There is at least one dumb person in New Zealand

March 25, 2012

So I understand New Zealanders fuck sheep.

Hey, don’t leave, I was just speaking exaggeratedly, humorously.

Like this New Zealander person Gerry Brownlee said he did; he’s apparently the Leader of the House, which either is a parliamentary office or a fancy name for a bachelor.

Speaking in the Parliament, during the bachelors’ speaking hour prob’ly, he apparently said Finland is a place “which has worse unemployment than us, has less growth than us, can hardly feed the people who live there, has a terrible homicide rate, hardly educates its people, and has no respect for women”.

Which, you know, is accurate in the same way that saying New Zealanders fuck sheep is. Factually, yes just maybe; but as for the implication in it, eh, not so much.

But first the most obvious actual mistake, as in, an untruth, a lie. “Hardly educates its people”, huh? Tough talk about a land that ranks at the top, or even at the supreme top spot, when education is ranked. New Zealand ties at best, but usually ranks lower; so I suppose this particular comment must be the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. In case Mr. Brownlee doesn’t understand that joke, we can send a spare psychology graduate or a dozen to explain it to him. That’s the difference between first place and some ruddy loser seventh place, ey, Kiwis?

(You could quibble about how accurate those measures of education are, but “hardly educates”? Then again, I could innocently and without any malice observe that I understand Mr. Brownlee is a high school-level woodwork teacher by education; I shouldn’t demand too much knowledge of, you know, world affairs or political tact from him. It’s not like he is the parliamentary leader and Transport Minister, representing the biggest party in… oh, wait.)

And “has a terrible homicide rate”? True, but that’s just because we always invite people like Mr. Brownlee to personally observe what Finland is really like. Then there’s a little accident, and the rate goes up a bit.

And “no respect for women”? This is really unkind of you, Mr. Brownlee. I know New Zealand gave women the vote in 1893 while Finland didn’t until 1906, so we’re a pioneer merely in Europe, not on world scale; but that’s still terribly petty. In Finland, we just had a female President for two terms. How many female presidents has New Zealand… oh wait, I forgot this proud and upright land whose parliamentarian bashes us has no president but just a prime minister; their head of state is the proud, modern, democratic Queen of fucking hereditary eunuch-dictatorship England. Should I think we should have made Tarja Halonen a queen, a similarly castrated antiquated museum piece life sacrifice, to show our respect for women?

Then again, I gather the first female prime minister of New Zealand was Jenny Shipley, in 1997, while Tarja Halonen was elected President only in 2000; it really seems Finns have no respect for women, at least from the very strict New Zealander viewpoint.

And though we have legal equality, I suppose you could argue there’s a pay gap and under-reporting of rape and domestic violence and still a lot to do; but if that lets you get away with a dismissal like “no respect for women”, then on behalf of every single Finnish feminist may I suggest the various indiscretions of lonely farmland boys equate to “New Zealanders fuck sheep”.

For those that wonder, this is my calm, polite and measured mode of response; there has been hardly any swearing yet.

And as for unemployment? Round six-half in NZ; round seven-half in Finland. Curse you, you New Zealanders and your strict evaluations!

As for feeding the Finnish people, god, don’t you know how fat we are?

But since I don’t want to be too hard on Mr. Brownlee, and I want to charitably accept his later comment that his words were satirical, yet with a grain of truth in them… well, don’t worry, Mr. Brownlee. I don’t bear a grudge.

Just you New Zealanders stop raping sheep, children and your Maori slaves, which is a satirical comment with a shadow of fact in it so no hard feelings, and we’re okay.