I think I wrote this back in the fall of 2003, when I had been in Sweden for about two years
When we moved to Lund we ended up changing cable TV providers and picked up a couple of new channels in the bargain. My favorite of these is Copenhagen's municipal cable access channel. The programming is…varied. An example of a day's offerings:
12:00: Somaliland. An unnamed cameraman drives around Mogadishu filming the streets from his car. Periodically the picture cuts to rooms filled with boxed computers, gas-powered electrical generators, and refrigerators. Arabic and Somalian music plays in the background. Purpose of the program: ?
14:00: Music videos, consisting primarily of European lipstick lesbians making out in restaurant kitchens while the staff calmly continues working around them. Purpose of program: Simultaneously providing erotic stimulation and knowledge of culinary skills.
15:00: Teenagers filming each other on the rides at Tivoli. Purpose of program: "Uhhhh. Huh huh huh. Like…I'm cool. Heh heh heh. Yeah, so cool!"
16:00: An hour-long rant by an unnamed, unshaven city resident on how US military satellites are being used to steal his thoughts. Purpose of program: A healthy, public venting of schizophrenic energy.
17:00: Information on immigrants rights.
18:00: Hardcore right-wing Christian pro-Israeli propaganda in English, straight from the States. Possibly narrated by Charlton Heston. Purpose: Apparently to encourage viewers to send in checks for the purchasing of star-spangled bulldozers.
19:00: "Support the Woman's Terrorist War." This political piece features lots of flashy graphics and granola girls advocating a woman's intifada as radical Danish feminists travel to Malmö, Sweden, for International Women's Day. Once there they joined with their Swedish comrades in yelling stridently at the police. Later they smeared red hand prints on Malmö's municipal building, blocked roads, harassed people going to work for "supporting the system," condemned both Sweden and the city of Malmö for exploiting women, and then spent an evening marching down various streets in formation chanting "We are taking back the night!" Purpose of programming: Sisterly bonding and showing feminist solidarity in the cause of crushing the exploitative porn industry.
23:00: Porn. Statuesque Danish barbies pleasure themselves with a variety of improbable instruments. For a dollar a minute viewers can call in and tell the girls what to do. A cultural note here: After having led the world in pornography production for several years, the Swedes came to the collective realization that porn is degrading to women. Swift political action followed and the production of pornography was banned in Sweden. Apparently fearful of what this means for the art of love and the future of the human race, the Danes have been making a determined effort to offset any Scandinavian deficit in blue film consumption.