27 May 2008

May Day

LUND--Valborg is on the last day of April which, of course, makes it the day before the first day of May. May Day, International Workers Day, the day big tanks and braces of rockets used to thunder in endless hordes through Red Square in Moscow to show the might of the Soviets to the world and make the capitalist running dogs tremble in their imperialist loafers. Well, of course we know now that a lot of those tanks and rockets were sent back a few times for another pass and that the mighty Red Army was underpaid, low on morale and fueled mostly on vodka. But here in Sweden the red star of communism is alive and well and not just recycled for its kitsch appeal.

Valborg was sunny but the next day was full of rain. We stood and watched the leftists speak on one of Lund's squares. The more radical black-flagged anarchists spoke at the train station. We stood in the rain under our umbrellas and I felt like a member of the Central Committee reviewing the troops on May Day... except I was sober and hadn't sent anyone to a Gulag in a very long time.


Blogger Lena said...

The guy on the photo is Lars Ohly, party leader of the Left party. Mostly famous for refusing to stop calling himself a communist. The party excluded "communist" from its name in 1990. Lars Ohly finally caved in in 2005, but he still advocate a communist society by the definition of Marx.
I like Lars Ohly since the time I heard his kids in an interview on the radio. He's divorced and his son and daughter lives with him every second week. The girl especially rocks, and no man who raises a daughter like that could be all bad.
I also think it speaks well for the future and for equality that it's possible to be a party leader and every second week work no more than eight hours a day - that was his promis to his kids when he accepted the role as leader.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Fredrik said...

It's an excellent picture.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Fredrik said...

damn it! photo!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Fredrik said...

Lena - help me:
Picture I guess is as bad as saying "kort" to a swedish photographer.

And that mistake I've never done, in swedish that is. We all heard stories about photographers gathering outside the houses of "kort"-saying reporters with oil, feathers and torches.
-what a lovely burning chicken-kort that is, they often says while raising ther cameras towards the doomed reporter.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

Hahaha! Good description. I don't know how it is over there. Andrew - are reporters allowed to ask you to take a picture?

9:27 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I never had a problem with it myself. I don't know. Perhaps I am ignorant in the parlance of "real" photographers and I am sure there are those who would find the linguistic grounds for objecting. "Photo" or, rather "Photograph" is certainly more exact but I have always found the two more or less interchangeable. But it would be funnier to call it a "Daguerrotype " or a new-fangled work of the devil. This photo, given the camera's ability to steal souls, would be particularly disturbing. Luckily, communists have none!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

Before Lars Ohly there was Gudrun Schyman. She was famous for a lot of things

* took over as Party leader of the Left party from and old icon
* always wore red lipstick
* had been in a seventies instruction film on giving birth
* posed semi-nude only covered by a big red umbrella she held in front of her
* a killer in debates
* very radical, both in class- and gender rethorics
* raised the Left party from a marginalised almostnothing to one of the bigger parties
* got along well with her political opponent Carl Bildt (guy in rat suit above)
* peed on the floor in the cinema
* came out as an alcoholic
* came back to politics as a sober alcoholic and continued beeing a successful partyleader
* got busted for tax fraud
* resigned from the Left party and started a feminst party instead.

Don't you wish you had a Left party over there?

5:22 PM  

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