Stockholm, Sweden Cheeky Sculptures and Royal Bloodbaths

Remo, who organized things in Madrid, has done a far better job than I’ll ever do of tracking this trip and compiling video off YouTube.

There’s a lot more out there if you go poking around. There are almost as many cameras as people at these events. It’s interesting to see the same event from so many different angles.

Arrived in Stockholm. Just past immigration, Melissa dropped her passport in the toilet, so…bad day for her. Worse since she hadn’t flushed yet.

The city is lovely. I have to say that about every city these days, since usually a lot of people from that place are reading. But in this case, I’m not lying.

Img_5471 Img_5476

Img_5474

Nevertheless, my catalog of photos shows a clear fascination — not with the architecture — but with a particular linguistic trait of many Northern European languages.

Img_5463 Img_5459_2

Img_5462_2 Img_5456

I became, for one afternoon, an avid fartographer.

Then there was this set of sculptures we happened upon.

Img_5486 Img_5484 Img_5485

Img_5481

I don’t get it. But I like it.

Here’s a thing: in Sweden there are a lot of very very white people and not a lot of not-so-white people. Now and then you will see some very very white people dressing in hip hop fashions — corn rows, basketball jerseys, articles of "bling." They seem content with themselves and confident that they are pulling the look off with great success. This is because there aren’t a lot of not-so-white people around to make them feel like idiots. It’s a controlling presence that is sorely needed.

Learned about the Stockholm Bloodbath, which happened somewhere near here.

Img_5489

The Danish king decided he wanted to run things in Sweden. So in 1520, he invited the entire Swedish nobility over to his house for a barbecue. Then once everyone showed up, he said "gotcha!" and beheaded all of them. They say the streets around the palace literally ran red.

This event becaming a rallying moment in Swedish history and triggered centuries of back and forth reprisals with Denmark. But unlike SOME countries (and I’m not naming names), both sides got over it and moved on.

We shot the clip outside of old town, in the more modern part of the city. The turnout was on the smaller side, which is actually a good thing from time to time cause we can go in closer and allow each person’s dancing to register.

For the first time since we started this, we got a group consisting almost entirely of teenagers. I have no idea why.

As part of the sign-up process, I have to take a close-up picture of each person who participates. After accumulating hundreds of these, I’m realizing that what started out as a mundane legal safety measure is actually a bit more than that. I have an opportunity to snap random strangers with little pretense, in fairly unguarded circumstances. They’re usually not posing, so their faces and expressions are honest. And because we’re prancing all across Europe, I get to see a wide swath of the population looking pretty much how they really look. It’s turning into a worthwhile document in and of itself.

P6211122 P6211123

P6211128 P6211129

P6211134 P6211136

The bottom line is: people are interesting to look at. And the more natural they appear, the more there is to see.

There is an extra spring in my step today, because Steven Spielberg just posted a picture he took.

20070621_bg

I’ve heard all the ranting and complaining about how old he is and la-dee-da. I don’t care. Indiana Jones is walking on this earth again. We’re getting another one. To me that means a lot more than when they cart out Rocky or John McClane or the Terminator one more time. This is special, and weirdly moving.

34 Responses to Stockholm, Sweden Cheeky Sculptures and Royal Bloodbaths

  1. Joe

    Matt!
    You have the best sense of humor,
    thanks for a very good laugh through the world.
    Enjoy and keep us posted. Thanks again

  2. Yeehim

    Hey… what happened with those 10 days between the 12th and the 22nd? I wanna know what do ya’ think about Poland 😛

  3. P

    Yes, what ’bout Poland? Warsaw?

    Ciągle myślę o tej koleżance, która przyjechała do nas specjalnie z Krakowa..
    ChciaÅ‚em coÅ› powiedzieć, chciaÅ‚em podpowiedzieć jak najlepiej na Centralny (ale mnie uprzedzili), chciaÅ‚em podrzucić autem (ale siÄ™ wstydziÅ‚em trochÄ™). Ale tak naprawdÄ™ coÅ› mi gdzieÅ› zostaÅ‚o – nie umiem tego nazwać..

    [email protected] – gdybyÅ› tylko zechciaÅ‚a napisać cokolwiek. chociażby tylko to, jak masz na imiÄ™.. [shy]

  4. Hey Matt

    Is it true you’re coming to Israel later this week? If you have time my husband and I would love to invite you to a cup of coffee. You have my mail…

    Shira

  5. Fabian

    Hey Matt,

    ooooh, no blog-entry about Munich/Germany! But we will forgive you, just make sure the clip appears in the final video 😉

    I made a YouTube-Playlist, with all the beautiful videos, that people have already uploaded about dancing with you in the last weeks:

    link to youtube.com

    Wish you the best,
    Fabian

  6. Rasmus, Anna & Frida

    Hej Matt!
    Thanks for the dance! We had a great time dancing badly with you in Stockholm. Here’s a picture of us by the fountain at the dancingspot. We hope you enjoyed Stockholm and wish to see you back soon!

    Best regards.
    Rasmus, Anna & Frida

    By the way. Nice Frida made it to the Journal :)

    link to rugbymanager.eu

  7. Erik

    Aww you didn’t dance in the fountain, that’s actually where alot of drunk swedes dance badly when the national team win a football game or something. I mean… sure it’s not legal… but still 😉 (glad you liked all the fart (speed and travel) signs, you should have tried to spot some with slut in them too…

  8. Christian Johansson

    Hey Matt!

    I would have loved to dance badly with you, were even going to bring 2 of my friends and my younger brother with me, BUT, we had a couple of run-ins with the trains. Sadly everything just whent down the drain, too bad though, would have been nice to meet you.

    Anyway, good luck with the rest of your trip! And I hope you visit Sweden again so I can have another go. *Chuckles* See ya!

  9. Matt –
    I loved seeing the assortment of faces from Sweden – I agree, they are fascinating! I can’t put my finger on why – maybe it’s that, as you point out, they’re not posing… whatever it is, it’s awesome :)

    Also, I must concur on how excited I am about the next Indiana Jones. Three is just not enough :)

  10. Peter

    Ah just noticed you have already been there, (no sleep makes you miss stuff), hope you enjoyed it :)

  11. Lisa

    Umm, you sort of skipped over what I consider to be the greatest country in Western Europe- IRELAND! What happened? Did you not try the Guinness? Did you not get outside of Dublin? If not, you missed out. New trip!

  12. Marta

    Matt, so did you go to Krakow ??

    And what about Corata? When will you be there :) Im just about to go there

    Nice idea with the dance

    Take care

  13. Solangel

    Matt,

    Honestly…(hoping not to sound too silly)…you are one of my favorite persons in the whole world.

    A Panamenian in Argentina.

  14. Leslie

    Matt,

    In reference to the new Indiana Jones film, Paramount Pictures just turned my town (New Haven, CT) back to the 1950s to shoot a chase scene. Really cool. They renamed us “Bedford” and changed all the storefronts on a block in front of Yale University, including everything in the windows. The streets were lined with 40s and 50s cars and there were about 6 old motorcycles parked at Vanderbilt Hall for the chase scenes. Perhaps you could come here – Yale students are well known for their inability to dance!

  15. jonathan

    oh come on, dont tell me im not posing on that image (im the blue guy with a yellow shirt) i mean ok… my eyes might be looking the wrong way but im still posing. anyway, i wonder if it was possible to get a new rubber band, u know the little thingy we got to put on the armwrist to be able to tell evryone that ill soon become an internet star! (allthough some people might confuse it with being a pornstar…) cause of corse i had to lose mine, already two days after having met you. so if its possible, just contact me by mail and ill give you my adress.

    thanks 😛

  16. Bill

    Dude Yes, Indiana Jones is an icon. I hadn’t heard that there was going to be another!
    Matt, you rock. keep it up. You do things that others can’t and provide hope to the rest of us normal people. We kind of live through you, especially if you are disabled or injured, physically or monetarily incapable of traveling to so many interesting places.

  17. Davide

    Hi Matt,
    I was watching your video, and ..I have tought: this guy has understand everything…very well!!,
    so I’m gone to see who you are..and when I have read about You I have Tought (how You can see, I think a lot…):
    “Why dont invite him to visit my city?!.. link to it.wikipedia.org
    and my village..?! link to it.wikipedia.org
    after all He is always running..ops ..dancing around the world..and maybe is so crazy to accept..!”

    for this..here to You a formal Invitation to visit me!:

    “you are invited in Genoa (Italy)!”

    you can get in touch with this e-mail..or if wanna spend a lot of money calling me at 0039 3288369770!

    Have a nice day!

    Davide

  18. Aly

    I have just spent the last 20 minutes following links from yahoo cause what you do is a novelty. You are sharing your joy and I just got to see a ton of places I will probably never see in person. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work :-)
    P.S.Indiana Jones lives on!

  19. INDY is the man! Couldn’t agree with u more, age ain’t nothing but a number. Roll on Matt.

    RON & ESP – Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA.

  20. random employee

    Hi Matt!

    What did you think of Warsaw? There was at least one diplomat who danced badly with you and it was a blast :). Thanks for coming to Poland!

  21. I know. It’s because they’re rebelling against the adults there who are all socially retarded. I (a not-so-white man)just got back from there two days ago with my very white partner and we both agree that the people are some of the oddest in Europe. It was nice to visit but we won’t be running back there any time soon.

    By the way, I took a lot of funny sign pictures as well. Check them out here on Slide.com:
    link to slide.com

  22. Johan & Jonas

    hej Matt.

    Vilken fin hemsida! Vi tycker att du borde komma till sverige igen.=P

    Hi Matt.

    What a nice webbsite! We would like you to come to sweden again. =P

  23. Armin

    Hweh… not so many people in Sweden period but there are tons of us not so blond eyed ones. You just need a right place to look for if you want to find us. Anyway, nice that you liked Sweden and good luck to you. For my girlfriend you are an inspiration and for me mostly pain in the ass since now I’ll probably have to do a trip around the world just to keep her happy. Keep up the good work grrrrrrr….

    (=

  24. Daniel

    The only reason for Sweden and Denmark to leave their grudge behind them is that we (swedes) kicked the danes red little butts in the 17th century. Then on the other hand the russians kicked our butts yellow and blue at Poltava so I guess to move on is the right thing to do.

  25. Dennis

    Im so sorry that you went to STOCKHOLM when you were about to dance badly in sweden. Damn the nature and everything is so much better in the rest of the country you should have chosen the northern part. Anyway Sweden loves you and beacuse we are so youtube fanatics you are HUGE

  26. Oh god seeying you beying in stockholm dancing next to the fountain was alot of fun…

    the ics you took on the young people was on ” plattan” an open area where people gather doing all kind of events, mostly in summer offcorse..

    anyways nice you been in sweden.. and everything was simply beautiful..

    By the way “F-art” means speed or way .. other way it stands for the english word – Art, as in paintings and sp on..

    reading that made me laugh for reall..

    Thanks..

    Zazara

  27. Olof

    I can tell you. You’re not the first english-speaking person to think that “Utfart” and “Infart” is the funny.

    I was considering going to Stockholm for this since I got an email telling me you were going to Sweden but it was too far. Unfortunatly.

  28. Lieve

    In fact, the ‘fart’-part is derived from the same old word the English ‘(to) fare’ descended from. (Meaning, o coincidence, ‘(to) travel, journey’.)
    Is it a blessing or a shame ‘farewell’ didn’t become ‘fartwell’?
    May your future farts be well, Matt!

  29. Alex

    Hey, I’m swedish and I just have to tell you this =) That you were in Stockholm, that is the very-very-white city of Sweden. You should go all the way south to SkÃ¥ne (Scania in english). That’s where I live, just to give you an idea of what I mean. We had 27 different nationalities and 13 different religions at the school I went to before. Just so you know =) You should visit Lund, Sweden. A beautiful city that is a possible candidate for cultural city of the year (In entire Europe) one of the following years. Trust me, this little city got it all =) University, a lot of americans, chinese, hispaninc everything. People from all over, it’s great!

  30. Hehe, Really nice observations of Sweden and Swedes and good writing! Though I’m not sure everyone of the people you photographed looked very Swedish actually! I’m from Sweden and I wouldn’t have guessed that everyone there was Swedish, If I didn’t knew they were. Any way, were can I find you dancing in Sweden? I really like your dancing thing, it’s totally the best smart simple idea I’ve seen!
    I hope you liked here in Sweden!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *