söndag 31 oktober 2010

A Postmodern Sermon

Today it's sunday. So what better than to share a bloggalicious sermon, in a postmodern information-highway-type spirit. Today's sermon is about postmodernity, knowledge and experience. Many people ask what postmodernity actually is. Though I'm a fully fledged postmodernist, I'd like to highlight it at its worst here. The worst thing it can be is trivial. When the old tired "all is relative" in fact means "nothing is new". What postmodernity need is to take the conflict of interpretations seriously. It must allow us new grips on things. It must allow to speak with a new language, that allows new and different experiences to be taken seriously. And allow us to hold these experiences to be a genuine form of knowledge.

We often have a romantic image of Samer (Swedish) or indigenous peoples in general. We attribute "contact with the earth" and a "deeper understanding" of things, to them. We acknowledge their right to be themselves, and understand them to be something (or someones) that is qualitatively (at least to some degree) incompatible with our way of seeing, understanding and leading consumerist, career-centered lives.

This is a curious position. It's interesting because it's not that many steps away from admiting to ourselves that there may be something genuinely human that is incompatible with our way of life. It is also interesting because we acknowledge that their type of knowledge has merits, and is of another type than the knowledge produced (for the most part) in artificial, controlled environments in laboratories in the western world.

I've experienced one too many times (and I do this on occasion myself as well): People appologise for their own experiences, as were they not knowledge enough. In fact, most of us have started to doubt our own experiences as knowledge, when it does not match up perfectly to the standard measures of natural science, and how we are expected to word our understanding of the world with the guidance of this perspective. We make excuses for ourselves and say things like "sorry, I know this is a little out there..." and "we'll you can of course say what you will about this but...". This occurs as soon as our experience proves richer than laboratory wisdom.

My question is simply this: Should we really applogise because we add another dimension to experience and knowledge? Shouldn't we just be happy, astound and amazed by that?

fredag 29 oktober 2010

Pinku Vääty: Swedenshire

Rakkaus 08! Pinku Vääty returns with some really deep techno in Swedenshire, with some crunchy but beautiful chords, layered with vinyl cracklings that would make any trip hoper from back in the day blush, and all over a steady grooving beat.

This is followed by Tora Vinter's marvellous remix of Swedenshire. This is yet deeper, with some submarine sounds from deep down in the abyss, topped off with some serious acid action.

The last of the three is Popkonto, which could maybe be described as somewhat of a quirky homage to Milton Jackson's Cycles. It's uplifting, steady going, but has also got that special Pinku Vääty-something!

Jonatan & Rakkaus

torsdag 28 oktober 2010

Introducing: PSAUL

My good friend and fellow Gothenburg-Gospel always-rocking-your-socks-off-singer Paul Mac Innes has gone and done it again! The new single, is released 7th of November, but before this he's offering up his single for free download to anyone who wants it!

The project is called Psaul, and it's Paul Mac Innes, together with Gothenburgian Stray, who is soon coming up on the forthcoming Ernesto remix-EP on Rakkaus Records. Check these fine gentlemen out, and listen to the blissful 80ies Terrance Trent D'arby-esque Catch U!

tisdag 26 oktober 2010

A Vision.

I got a vision today. Or a new perspective came to me, is another way of putting it if you want to sound less like a mystic. But I don't mind the term mystic, so let's just say I had a vision.

Travelling inwards, somewhere in the centre of my soul, I felt an empty core (like a seed within the centre of a fruit, if you will) where God could come in. At the same time as this was not-me, it was also me. It didn't mean that I am God. It meant that something that was truly me, however, originated or emanated from outside of me. Something that completes me, but that is not a stable part that is only me. Let me try to explain this is a parable of scientific terms.

At a sub-atomic level, things don't follow the same rules of physics. For instance electrons can move in-synch with other electrons that are kilometers away (meaning billions and billions other electrons in between). This is by no means impossible - as it has been observed by scientists - but it's something that we haven't been able to grasp with the help of a formula (that can also predict similar future events).

This parable hit me as I was experiencing this me-not-me-conjunction, and posed the question: What if the two electrons are not synchronized - what if they are the same electron?

Such a perspective (some call it vision) would explain why two electrons manage to do something that is (in physical and scientific terms) impossible or at the very least unexplainable. Such a perspective would radically counter a definition of "being", that defines something as unique because it is bound to be in one place at one time, and cannot coexist with itself in various places simultaneously. For purely practical reasons, science cannot accept such a definition as something "being one" can also "be two" or present in more than one place at the same time. However, this is a precondition for being able to word things in a scientific language. Put differently: Science cannot admit such a position on matter, be it true or not, as it breaks with one of the elementary ideas of physics: that things are one, then interconnected.

The idea that there is indeed something omnipresent, is an idea much alive in other contexts of this world. Theology, and all forms of belief - systematic, or practical everyday-life - are good examples of this. It is a basic tenet that breaks with scientific language. The idea is that God (in whatever religious context you're in) works in this way; flowing in and out of matter. To co-exist with natural science, we have chosen to view the whole deal as God flowing however he/she wants, but in and out of singular atomic and sub-atomic units. We have chosen to understand that God can defy the ideas of humans, instead of rethinking the possibility that a formula that seems unfit to explain this, may also be unfit to explain the depth of the physics of the universe.

As we have run up against one logical contradiction (this is just one of many on the sub-atomic level, as it has been recognized that this needs a totally new set of laws of physics) it poses the question: What if it's not only God that can flow freely in and out of singular sub-atomic units? What if these units in themselves can be at several places at a time, and therefor we are - in some profound sense - all part of each other, as the stuff that we're built from is existing at the same time with kilometers inbetween?

This was my vision; that we are not omnipotent, but can still be deeply interconnected with each other, because buildingblocks within me, is not only within me, but also within something else simultaneously. We are not God, but maybe we're created more in his/her image than we've imagined?

fredag 22 oktober 2010

Electronics Theory. or: Why Things Break Down.

I'm sitting at a friends place, who has been terribly unlucky with computers and electronic equipment throughout his life. My theory though, is: it's his fault.

I've seen a short news editorial about this 11-year old (or however old) little boy, who could sit in front of any computer and within five minutes (he would just type stuff in a word document or whatever) the computer would shut down. This is the basic tenet in my theory.

Ulf Danielsson, professor in theoretical physics, sums up where natural science is today:

The history of natural science is full of discoveries where we get more and more aware of how we ourselves is a part of the picture. Time and space are depending on the movement of the observer for instance. So the scientific process is about discovering and specifying in what ways the reality out there - if there is indeed really something there - is dependent or independent on us. There is nothing self-evident about this, but it's all a part of the scientific process and discovery.*

To put it clearly; we do not (yet) know to what extent the mere fact that we as objects (or scientists in some cases) "tamper" with reality by way of our mere existence. And this is where it gets interesting with electronics and machines. Seeing as this is a current quest in science -still surrounded by much uncertainty and yet unanswered - we don't know what effect humans has on the machines they built, but (since we don't know what the effect is, and this is still under investigation) they are built as if humans have no impact on the machines.

Machines do work well for us, but sometimes they mysteriously break down. Although the process was seemingly uninterrupted; nothing was disconnected, no circuitry is physically broken, and so forth. This leads me to conclude, referring to an old sci-fi term: WE are the ghost in the machine.

* Danielsson in "filosofiska rummet: Universum och verkligheten" (my translation swedish-english)" P1, aired 20100228 i P1.

Put It On Backwards

Just wanted to post this back-catalogue collaboration between myself and mr Vääty (maybe some of you have missed this). And of course, the brilliant as ever Martin 'Atjazz' Iveson.

Do enjoy!

onsdag 20 oktober 2010

Hard at work

Just a small notice, letting you know that I haven't forgotten about you all. I'm currently hard at work, compiling the last two Rakkaus releases of the year: The first is due next Friday, and is a Pinku Vääty single featuring a brilliant Tora Vinter Remix! The last release for 2010 is a remix EP with remixes of all the Ernesto songs out to date: It's called LOVE SPIN WISE LIES and features Love Comes Round, Spin On, Wise, and Pretty Lies - all in new exciting versions by a few favorite producers out there!

In the meantime, you can check out the a taste of Swedenshire at soundcloud.com/rakkaus-records


fredag 8 oktober 2010

Think-Tank Thoughts

I was reading an article in a major Swedish newspaper the other day. The author was affiliated with a conservative christian think-tank. That made me think. If think-tanks are designed to be places where people can evolve and formulate their ideas in new and exciting ways: how can they be sure that they end up with an end result that is in keeping with their ideological label? Put differently: (for instance) how can a liberal think-tank promise (beforehand) that their sollution to the question is in fact a liberal one?

That's when it hit me: Isn't that exactly what has happened with liberalism in general, and Swedish political liberalism in particular? People have been asked to find liberal sollutions to questions. Then, when the answer comes back from the think-tank it's automatically ideology-approved because of its origin from "within" the own circles. Never mind that the answer has nothing to do with liberalism in a classical sense of the word.

This is typical for the Liberal People's Party in Sweden (Folkpartiet Liberalerna). They have a political program that is extremely difficult to relate to liberalism. During the election-campaign in Sweden I asked many people working for LPP to clarify the connection between their party stance today and liberalism as ideology. All of them failed miserably.

Surely there must be a think-tank out there that is to blame.

onsdag 6 oktober 2010

Seven new deadly sins

What are the deadly sins of the 21st century: Lack of money, bad credit, collectivity before individualism, lack of ambition, partypooping, cockblocking, and moving too slow on the property ladder?

I posed the question on Facebook the other day, and I'd like to elaborate here on how I was thinking.

These can be treated as one. Whether you can trust someone today is measured in their ability to pay debts. Paying debts makes reliable people. You say: Well, that's how banks think, sure. But I'd like to pose the question: Don't people tend to think exactly the same way? Since money is such a cornerstone in being able to do anything in our culture, a huge amount of reputation is vested in how people spend (or don't) money. Someone who borrows money from you and are not paying it back? You're likely to see him/her as less trustworthy in other areas as well.

The individual. Autonomy. It's such a pretty myth. Really we're drawn into more sticky messy interdependencies than we can even imagine. But for simplicity's sake; let's pretend that we're autonomous individuals. Society today is composed in a way where we're not supposed to really need each other. Again this falls back on the principle of having money, which is "sovereignty dispersed" (se Philip Goodchild's Theology of Money). Money creates the illusion that we are independent. Collectivity on the other hand is admitting that the individual is insufficient, frail and small. An admission that we desperately need other people. And lots of them, in fact.

Do we have a job, or a career? Where does this lead us? I often get the question: what are you going to do with your degree in religious studies? My answer is: I plan on using it to move up the pinhole to a doctor's position at the university, but essentially doing the same thing as now: reading books, undertaking scientific projects, producing text.

With music it's the same. Music is essentially good if a lot of people buy it. There seem to be a standard within every subgenre that dictates exactly how much is much, but you need a good chunk of people and (again) monetary success, that "proves" you a success.

I like the jobs in the past. People were butchers, cheese mongers, and farmers. For life. And they were totally contempt with that. Today contempt is a curse word: Oh no, he said the c-word. I also like the fact that this relation to work, at the very least within the food sector, is growing again. The whole slow food business is a typical example of this. Let things take their time, and as long as you can live off it, that's all the success you need.

There's is very little room for the quiet, downtime, being alone, feeling small, maybe even broken, when you and all your friends are constantly expected to give updates about what's on your mind (what's your identity) and where are you (where are you partying), and feed pictures of your happy self into the machinery.

Pleasure. Everything now. No restraint. Those phrases sum up our extremely hedonistic culture today. How dare you deny me pleasure? Why on earth would anyone object to anything that gives me please? Not allowing or helping people in their pursuit of pleasure - disregarding whether their specific goal is actually meaningful - is a big no no today. It gets even worse when someone is actually objecting to some innocent fun and fornication. Dude, don't cockblock me.

A house is not a home. It's an investment. And even for the people who primarily want to see their house as a home, most still admit to it also being an investment. So when you refurbish your kitchen or bathroom: do you do it for you or for the person who you imagine will live in this house after you? Do you choose to make your home truly yours, or are you just safeguarding your investment with future revenue in mind? I think these thoughts impede the very essence of what a home should be about: a place to feel safe, relaxed, tranquil, that keeps you warm and your groceries chilled. For those who really commit to making their home their home, they are guilty of jeopardizing the pace of which they climb up the property ladder.

For those of you who are guilty of any of these sins, I say: Good for you. These things doesn't lead to hell. Instead they make life, here and now, hell.

fredag 1 oktober 2010


The new thing is not the metrosexual man, but the gastrosexual man, according to swedish newspaper Metro (Oldenburg, pp 3, 20100930).


"More than every other woman have been attracted by a man who've cooked a good meal at home. 'It's true, women gets crazy impressed with guys who can cook. It's super trendy with men by the stove', according to Magnus Albrektsson, teacher at the Restaurant Academy in Stockholm".

Double please.

Being a man who cooks I find this utterly absurd. Food being sexy is pureply based on the notion that men who are skilled in an area where they are not assumed to excell somehow adds extra appeal. And that is, to me, the root of the problem with this entire thing. Men are still not expected to do such an elementary addition to their own everyday life such as cooking. If cooking is supercool, how could shouldn't it then be to take out paternity leave and stay at home with your child? That ought to get those presumptive mums to flog the pill out the window instantly. The trouble is; that is hardly the case, right? Being a father who's there for your kid is not considered either trendy, sexy or any other objectifying word. Problems occur when it's labelled "trendy" to cook, because it suggests that there will come another day, when it will be equally trendy to be a caveman who expects to come home to a set table every day after work.

It should never be considered trendy to cook, doing dishes or laundry or decorating your home's interior to a certain level. It should all just be a part of every person's minimum level of commitment to a relationship and home. The fact that cooking allows for a certain level of thought and care to go into the preparation of a meal (compared to the laundry process) shouldn't take away the intial fact of making sure there is something that is both nutritious and palatable on the table every day.

And where are the gay men in the study? Do they find it super sexy with cooking men? Or are they all looking at a lifetime of perpetual takeaway dinners and fab lunches? The relationships were both are potentially equal (since there is less of a presumption regarding division of labour) has simply been left out of the study. All in all:

Triple please.