Some of you reading this blog may be asking why I chose the blog name A Bearded Gnome. It all started with the decision to immigrate from the US to Stockholm, Sweden. I had visited Stockholm a number of times for work and fell in love with the city. I toyed around with the idea of moving to Stockholm for a couple of years after my first trip. In fact, when my now wife and I had our first date (a weekend visit over July 4th weekend of 2008) I apparently had made some commentary about her moving to Sweden with me. She reminded me of this comment a few months later when we were officially dating and I was somewhat embarrassed about having been so forward without realizing it at the time. It all worked out in the end, though. A year and a half after that fateful comment we were married and nine months after that we moved to Stockholm.
While we were still preparing for the move we started learning Swedish and tried to learn as much as we could about Swedish history and culture. In a search for summer language programs, my wife ran across Sweden camp. It was a five day intensive language and culture immersion camp in northern Wisconsin. The director of the camp is a Swedish native who married an American. While at camp, the director mentioned a Daily Show clip called “The Stockholm Syndrome” that my wife should check out when she returned home. The clips are split into 2 episodes and were done in early 2009 during the height of much of the healthcare reform debate. The political climate in the US at the time had angry senior citizens coming out in droves to decry the Socialist/Marxist/Fascist government take over of the healthcare system, sporting signs for government to “keep [it’s] goddamn hands off [their] Medicare.” Right wing media pundits were warning that the socialists were going to turn America into…. Sweden! For your viewing pleasure, here are the links the 2 clips.
The final conclusion at the end of clip 2 is that Sweden is a country that “turns women into statuesque pleasure creatures and men into bearded gnomes.” My wife is definitely a statuesque pleasure creature. Which leaves me to be…
A Bearded Gnome