Sanningen om Bosse Hansson

Det är höst i Sveriges huvudstad Stockholm. Det är regn och rusk. Vinter kommer komma. Året är 2012 och den åldrade mediamannen tillika journalisten och filatelisten Bo “Bosse” Hansson har tagit sig till Nationalarenan Råsunda för sista gången. Bosse är gammal och har myggats av. Han jobbar inte längre men har ändock, för gammal och trogen tjänst, möjlighet att beskåda matchen från arenans pressläktare.  Bosse Hansson

Råsunda ska rivas och hemmalaget AIK spelar en av sina sista matcher på arenan. Sverige är mörkt under denna kväll. Fotbollsspelet saknar helt kvalitet. Höstens framfart gör sig påmind och en frusen Bosse har glömt vinterjackan hemma. Han vaggar fram längs stolarna utan stöd och ser sin gamle kollega Mats Strandberg kommentera matchen för Sveriges Radio. Bosse knackar försiktigt på för att fråga om han kan få en plats under tak, inne i värmen bredvid Mats.

“Kom in Bosse, du kan sitta bredvid mig!”, säger Mats och släpper in den gamle gebiten.
Bosse sätter sig ned och pustar ut av lättnad. Mats, glad över lite sällskap, ber Bosse att vara tyst under sändningen, mikrofonen är ju på. Självklart svarar Bo och hänger av sig jackan och häller upp en stor kopp svart kaffe. Han dricker det så där fint som bara gamla gubbar kan. En sockerbit mellan tänderna och mörkt starkt kaffe som rinner ned längs det åldrade struphuvudet.

Men Bosse är inte tyst. Och dagen ska inte bli bättre trots att regnet numera slår mot fönstret och inte mot Bosses gråa hår. Bosse är förbannad. Mats som är fullt fokuserad på matchen hör Bosses klagande och kommentaren “inte en svarting till” som yttras från hans mun under flera tillfällen.

“Vad är det som händer?”, tänker Mats. Bosse sitter här och klagar på AIK:s mörkhyade spelare. “Vad håller gubben på med?” Mats drar åt sig mikrofonen, orolig att Bosses läten ska ha nått ut till det svenska folket. Men Bosse blir mer och mer förbannad. Klagandet på “för många svartingar” fortsätter och Bosses röst höjs mer och mer.

Efter matchens slut är Mats förtvivlad. Bosse har gjort sig själv och Radiosporten till åtlöje. Främlingsfientlighetens frammarsch gör sig hörd även från AIK:s pressläktare och en skandal är ett faktum.

Mats dröjer sig kvar längre än vanligt. Rädslan för att gå ut och möta världen utanför kommentatorsbåset är stor. Han städar upp omkring sig samtidigt som hans mobiltelefon piper till. Det är kollegor och bekanta som ställer frågor till vad som hördes ur hans mikrofon. Han dröjer sig för att svara. Bosse har sedan länge vandrat vidare. När han ska lämna sin plats tar han en sista titt under bordet för att se till att inget glömts kvar. Han ser då en tom kaffekopp och ligga slängd vid platsen som Bosse satt på. Bredvid koppen ligger en påse Gott & blandat. Han lyfter upp koppen och påsen och känner att det finns godsaker kvar. Han tittar och finner ungefär tjugo lakritsbitar längst ned i påsen. Han tittar sig försiktigt runt och stoppar in allt i sin mun. “Hur kan Bosse lämna dessa?”, tänker han snabbt innan han ger sig ut för en lång färd hem.

Han skyndar sig. Det är Morden i Midsomer på Svenska Televisionen samma kväll och han vill inte göra sin fru besviken. “Äsch, nu glömmer vi detta tänker han”.

Idag är Bosse Hansson fortfarande avmyggad. Så även Mats Strandberg.

Denna historia är inte påhittad.  

Gott och Blandat

Fyra år med Filip och Fredrik

Torsdagar. Mina pappa hade ärtsoppa och pannkakor. Jag har Filip och Fredriks Podcast. Det är ingen slump att jag nämner min far och inte min mor för denna text ska handla om två män som allt som oftast pratar med varandra om andra män. Och jag älskar det. Filip och Fredrik

Rutiner är härligt. Rutiner ger trygghet. Kaffe på morgonen. Samma väg till jobbet. Kioskgubben som vet vilket snus man köper. De tre kulor glass man väljer i struten. Boken och badet på kvällen. Listan kan göras lång. Min härligaste rutin under mina late 20’s har utan större konkurrens varit den dryga timme jag fått varje torsdag med mina ledsagare Filip och Fredrik. På väg hem från jobbet har jag tryckt in lurarna och tryckt på play. Och då självklart varit så oerhört mottaglig för denna typ av okomplicerad underhållning. Lätta steg, rapp dialog i öronen, och på språng mot friheten. Det hela är och har varit en perfect storm av känslor. Jag har fått ta del av anekdoter, skvaller, åsikter, och debatter. Till stor del om ämnen som just jag intresserar mig för. Podcasten har varit min vän, och sfären kring den har varit mitt bollplank. Det har varit som en förfestdialog utan alkohol – rakt in i mina öron från min telefon. 200 avsnitt, 200 timmar, och jag har lyssnat på varje minut.

Det händer mycket under fyra år. Arbetsplatser ändras. Vänskapsband växer sig starkare eller brister. Platser besöks. Kärlek uppstår. Och försvinner lika snabbt. Det så ofrånkomliga allvaret i att bli vuxen, på riktigt, kryper sig på likt ett annalkande oväder. Podcasten har dock funnits där som en konstant. En oföränderlig storhetsstund som ingett ett lugn i en föränderlig och hektisk vardag. När nu Filip och Fredrik gör sin 200:e-podcast live från ett sprängfyllt Globen känns det som att något tar slut. An era comes to an end. Jag är orolig. Vad händer härnäst? Jag vill inte att min torsdagsrutin ska försvinna. Min generations ärtsoppa med pannkakor smakar ju så jävla bra.
The Last Waltz

Självklart är jag på plats i Globen. Likt jag var för avsnitt hundra i Berwaldhallen. Men det kommer vara med en viss ledsamhet, för när jag lämnar lokalen är jag säker på att något har förändrats. Stormen har blåst över.

Alla ni som lyssnat på podcasten – Jag är säker på att ni kan känna er igen i detta. Vissa i stora mått mätt, andra i mindre. Ni som har stått utanför sfären på eget bevåg eller av misstag, ta chansen och njut av alla tidlösa avsnitt som finns sparade för eftervärlden. Om inte är det er loss. Jag vet att jag kommer lyssna igen. Och minnas platserna jag var på, vännerna jag var med, och allt annat som hände under dessa fyra år. Det är jag tacksam för.

Den första personen som kommenterade ett inlägg i denna självterapeutiska megafon till webbplats var faktiskt Fredrik Wikingsson. Och det är en annan sak som gjort Filip och Fredriks Podcast så STARK. Vi som lyssnat har fått vara med. Från Virre i norr till Andolf i söder. Vi har varit en del av gänget.

Fredrik skrev; “Lovely, my good man! Keep it up!!” och det ska jag fan göra. Med eller utan podcasten i lurarna. Även om jag innerligt hoppas att även podcasten tågar ut med vind i seglen ur detta centurium så vi tillsammans kan gå in i ålderdomens dementia och uppleva solnedgången av våra liv tillsammans. Om inte så kan jag ändå se mig stå där en dag på ett ålderdomshem, med en iPhone i handen och introlåten spelandes på högsta volym. Och när sjukhuspersonalen frågar vad jag håller i är jag säker på mitt svar: “I don’t know what it is, but I think it has something to do with me”.

För jävlar vad dom här åren och timmar med podcasten har påverkat mig. Okomplicerat men ack så självklart. Vi syns på vägarna!

Newcastle United Entertainment

Cardiff City v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League

Vincent Tan

Elton John

Sir Elton John

World Wrestling Entertainment owner, heel, and multi-millionaire Vince McMahon is reportedly ready to make a substantial takeover bid of Premier League football club Newcastle United. This is of course very entertaining.

With current club owners such as Vincent Tan and previous ones like Elton John I think that Vince McMahon will play his part in entertaining the football fanatics around the world. All we need is love, laughter, and fights. Right!

Many say that these flamboyant owners are turning the football world into a circus. Well, I’ve always enjoyed watching some clowns as long as I can continue to watch some real superstars as well. And as long as the quality of the game don’t take a turn for the worse I think we’ll be okay. For the Newcastle fans this shouldn’t be a problem since the quality of their game can actually not take another turn for the worse.

Personally I can’t wait to see Mr. McMahon power-walk his way into St. James’ Park.

And honestly I think McMahon will fit right in… He already looks like most of the Newcastle players during the last few games.

Vince McMahon

And to be honest, current Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is a bit of a royal rumble as well.

I follow these recent rumors with much joy. Perhaps since I don’t support Newcastle and can look at the controversy with unbiased eyes. But maybe I should feel some concern. As a Chelsea fan I know that our Manager has a special eye for the world of wrestling.

Maybe Roman Abramovich will get tired of winning trophies one day and the Blues will see a new owner. Let’s hope it’s not Bob Backlund

Coke, Death, Roasts, and Greg Giraldo

Whenever a celebrity dies I have a feeling that my own inevitable death comes closer.
It’s a big chunk of a reality check when someone famous dies, because if the immortals die, so do we. And in the shadow of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman I came to think about one celebrity death that really affected me. The death of comedian Greg GiraldoGreg Giraldo

I discovered Giraldo through the Comedy Central Roasts. The events held twice every year to honor some washed out celebrity that needed air-time enough to say: yeah sure, they can verbally shit on me on national television.

Giraldo was always the first roaster on stage. The reason for this was simple – he was always the best. If the dais included eight people telling jokes you most likely would find two people bombing, five people doing well, and one doing great. That one was always Greg Giraldo. Hence the production company wanting to kick off every roast in style, Giraldo was always up first.

In 2006 Star Trek hero and author William Shatner was the center of attention at the Comedy Central Roast. Two of the comedians on the dais were Greg Giraldo and Artie Lange. Lange famous for battling demons and drug use throughout his life met Giraldo at the JFK airport in New York. They were both scheduled on the same flight down to LA for the taping of the show. As Lange approached Giraldo he could see that something was wrong. Giraldo, spastic, blurred out: “Fuck Artie, I’m off the wagon. I’ve been on a three day coke binge, I can’t do this man, I can’t get on this flight. I’m not gonna make the roast!”.

Artie, having experienced the same in his life, but sober at the time, calmed Giraldo down and told him, “we will make it Greg! I’ll make sure we get down to LA safely”.
Making sure they got seats next to each other on the plane Lange provided Giraldo with Valium and talked to his fellow comedian throughout the flight. Giraldo survived but was at the time of arrival in LA so strung out that he directly called his dealer. Lange held on to Giraldo and forced him to bail out on his drug-meeting and instead follow him to the hotel.

He checked in together with Giraldo and followed him up to his room. In the hotel suite Lange stayed up forcing Giraldo to take a shower, another Valium, and go to bed. After talking Giraldo to sleep he stayed in the room to make sure he stayed put. When waking up in the morning they enjoyed a big breakfast together and Giraldo, tearing up, thanked Lange for his companionship and that he helped him through his extremely tough time.
They took a taxi to the venue and Lange ended the cab-ride by stating to Giraldo, “I told you we’d make it!”.

After being introduced by Seinfeld-actor Jason Alexander, Giraldo, as always, was the first roaster to enter the stage.

Giraldo, energetic after a full nights sleep, took the stage with extreme confidence. He opened his roast by saying:

“Artie Lange is here! Artie Lange, you fucking drug addict!”

Greg Giraldo died of an overdose in September of 2010. 
Story told by Artie Lange in WTF podcast with Marc Maron. 

Dark Comedy

I’ve been interested in dark comedy ever since I read Anthony Jeselnik‘s Tweet on September 11, 2011. Anthony wrote: Today is the 10th anniversary of my first 9/11 joke.

So with that in mind I started to come up with my own dark comedic punchlines to stories we all can relate to.

I have obviously put all of these in my vault but I wanted to share one:

When I was ten years old and the spring semester was just under way I remember that everybody in class talked about that the second Monday in January was the day of the year where most couples decided to break up. It was the day when married people decided to get a divorce.

This was of course very worrying for me as I had heard my parents argue a lot over Christmas. As I walked home from school my gut was filled with anxious butterflies and I was so nervous my hands were shaking. Perhaps it was paranoia, perhaps it was fear of the unexpected and unknown.

As I reach our house I can see through the window that my mother is sitting with a straight back on a chair at our kitchen table. I enter our house and silently take of my winter coat as I hear my mother call: “Sebastian, get in here, we need to talk!”.

“Oh no, they are getting a divorce”, I quickly think to myself as I move over to the kitchen.
“A very sad thing has come up”, says my mother. “Your dad has received the news that he has cancer”.
“Oh My God!”, I think to myself as tears are rapidly dripping down my tiny ten year old face. My father having cancer is even worse than my parents getting a divorce.

“But Mummy, what will happen now?”, I stutter as I continuously cry and soak down the kitchen table.
She looks me calmly in my wet eyes and says:
“You will have to talk to your dad about that, because we are getting a divorce”.

The Greatest National Anthems of the World

So, every nation worth mentioning has their own hymn, their own song, their own national anthem. I like to travel, I like people from all over the world, and I like music. So what I thought of to do was to make a list of my favorite national anthems. I hope you enjoy it and play it on repeat.

5. Great Britain – God Save the Queen

4. France – La Marseillaise

3. The Soviet Union –  Государственный гимн СССР 

2. The United States of America – The Star Spangled Banner 

1. Ecuador – Ecuador

Nelson Mandela tributes from hell

Winston Churchill once said that “the greatest argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.
If Winnie would have lived today he probably would’ve seen a decline in human kind. No moment in life showcase how stupid people are more than when a global celebrity dies.   Because during this 24 hour long spectrum people all over the globe gash out their deep condolences. Comedy comes through pain people so have a look at what some of your fellow human beings posted on the internets in honor of the late Nelson Mandela.

R.I.P. Mandela

Mandela#1

Geordie Shore superstar Gaz honor Nelson on Twitter

Nelson Mandelamandela thatcherCosby

To Tiger

It was late November in 2007 and the rain was falling down. My college soccer team Jacksonville University had just ended the season with a loss and Thanksgiving was only one week away. With the season coming to an end all players looked forward to enjoy a long weekend at home with their respective families. As international student athletes in the United States my Swedish friend Stefan and I were invited to our team-mate Jordan’s family home to celebrate Thanksgiving with him and his family – The Stantons. Jennifer, Dave, Jordan, Ross, Claire, and Anna embraced us with such hospitality and generosity. During that weekend we were really thankful for being able and invited to be there and to take part in this great American family tradition. It was a weekend of great fun and food. And friendship that would last for a lifetime.

It was the first time I got to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving and it was also the first time I met Merl McBee. Or as he later asked me to call him – Tiger.

Merl Jefferson McBee Jr. was a close friend to the Stanton Family and had coached Ross in debate and Jordan in soccer. Merl didn’t have a wife or any children but he played just as big part in the Stanton Family as Jennifer, Dave, Jordan, Ross, Claire, and Anna.

Merl took a liking to Stefan and I right away during that Thanksgiving weekend. He thought it was fun that we were from a place so far away. An avid globetrotter himself Merl had traveled the world many times but never made it to Scandinavia. That was about to change. He also enjoyed the fact that we were playing soccer (he refused to call it football) with his old friend and “brother” Jordan.

After that Thanksgiving weekend Merl and I kept in touch. We exchanged e-mails and being a senior citizen with plenty of time on his hands Merl was able to watch our team Jacksonville University play a few games during the season that was to follow.

A lot of people asked Jordan, Stefan, and I who this “old” man was and why we were friends with him. We explained the story behind it all, how we had met, and what a great person Merl was. Some people still thought it was weird and some thought it was funny. And perhaps it was. But you learn a lot from people that has lived for 70 odd years in comparison to the usual 20-something talking heads you have a dialogue with on a daily basis.

In 2008 we once again celebrated Thanksgiving in Kentucky with the Stanton family. Merl was of course present and I remember that we all visited his condo. He was so proud of his movie collection and his extremely huge television. To this day it is still the largest TV I have ever seen. I’ve been to movie theaters that had smaller screens than that one. We watched “I’m Not There” – the movie about Bob Dylan. Merl didn’t like Dylan. Nor did he like The Beatles or Springsteen. We really didn’t have that many popular culture references in common. Merl liked history. He was a very religious person and his favorite contemporary President was George W. Bush. In many ways we were each others complete opposites. But it didn’t matter. Our friendship continued and Merl kept sending those e-mails every week updating me on his life and I kept sending mine back. Not as long, not as detailed, but it was such a great tradition we had. A tradition that would last for over five years.

In 2009 Merl visited Stockholm and Sweden. He spent ten days in Stockholm and he loved it. My brother and I took care of him during these days and Merl got to go to a lot of restaurants, meet many of our friends, spend time in museums, and visit the Royal Palace. Which he loved immensely. He even got interviewed by the largest daily newspaper in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter, about his time in Sweden. He said he liked it “but it was too expensive”.

Perhaps he was thinking about the dinner we had at TGI Friday’s. We were a gathering of around seven people and Merl, as the generous man he is, offered to pay the bill.
When the dinner was over and the bill came Merl looked extremely surprised. He was in shock. The bill of 2000 Swedish Kronors was in Merl’s mind a bill of 2000 American Dollars. Since he knew TGI Friday’s was an american restaurant he expected the bill to be in dollars. It was just the next day when he finally asked us that we could ease him down by saying: “Yeah Tiger, it was expensive, but not that expensive”.

During that week Merl was very specific that we were to call him Tiger when we spoke to him or called for him. The tiger was his favorite animal and he didn’t really have a liking for his name. He said it was okay to call him Merl but when we spoke directly to him he wanted to be called Tiger. Of course we all said. You are Tiger.

Tiger, sleep tight. I’m going to miss your e-mails, your phone-calls, your kind letters, your updates on Facebook, and everything you have done for me, my family, and my friends. But most of all I am going to miss you – a dear dear friend. Tiger and I

Merl Jefferson McBee Jr. passed away at 1.45 a.m. on August 21, 2013, in Prospect, Kentucky, USA.

Update: Here is a picture from Merl’s funeral with some of his friends wearing some of the many hats that he used to wear. A very beautiful photo. 

hats

Oasis > Beatles

On our left we have Ringo Starr, or Richard Starkey as his real name reads, the drummer of The Beatles and also the father of the man on the right. On our right we have Zak Starkey. drummer in Oasis from 2004 to 2008.Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey

On our left we see Andy Bell, former Ride-member and bass guitarist in Oasis between 2000 and 2009. On our right we have the late Stuart Sutcliffe, original Beatles bass guitarist.Andy Bell and Stuart Sutcliffe

On our left we see keyboardist Jay Darlington, also known as Jesus, of Oasis, and to our right we have George Harrison, guitarist of The Beatles.  Jay Darlington and George Harrison

To our left we have Gem Archer rhythm-guitarist in Oasis and former right hand man to Noel Gallagher, On our right we have Paul McCartney of The Beatles.  Gem Archer and Paul McCartney

Liam Gallagher, front man and singer of Oasis on the left. His idol and hero John Lennon of The Beatles is featured on the right. Liam Gallagher and John Lennon

So what about Noel Gallagher then? Well, nobody looks like him. He’s a unique specimen.

Noely G

All things must pass

George Harrison once said, and I quote, “It doesn’t take long from being 17 to 57. Forty years just goes like that. You know? Now I understand about 90 year old people who feel like teenagers. You know? ‘Cause nothing changes. It’s just the body that changes. The soul in the body is there at birth and is there at death. And the only thing that’s George Harrisonchanged is the bodily condition. So, you know? All this stuff, about where, you know, age-groups fit or don’t fit, or where the music belonging to age-groups fit or doesn’t fit is stupid. All it does is limit the potential of the marketplace or the audience.

I find this quote great from three different angles. First of all George sums up the extreme pace of time, and the fact that it flies. I can feel that it is extremely worrying that my own take on this is that each new year passes by faster than the one before. But at the same time I find a strong connection with him in the sense that I feel the same in the sense that I am the same person now as I was five, ten, or even fifteen years ago. Of course I’ve changed in bits here and there but I still carry the same dreams, hopes, and beliefs. Thirdly George attacks the people that appoint certain aspects of music to different age groups, may it be genres, bands, artists, or whatever. I can also interlink with this mindset and at times here in Stockholm when we have had Justin Bieber and Bruce Springsteen sell out three shows each within two weeks the topic is more than relevant. Of course each person that listens to music, and let’s be honest, any human being with a soul should have an interest in music, goes through phases. But I do not think it has anything to do with age, I think it has more to do with more important things that just a number.

Here are four songs that I always turn back to and listen to when I need a little bump on the shoulder, a boost up from the sofa, or just a quick fix in what we call life.
They are not my favorite songs, no, but listening to them will always make me feel good, even great.

Dire Straits – Walk Of Life
Just the synthesizer intro gives me the goose bumps. So simple, yet so great. And this version with Eric Clapton on the side. It’s from 1988 and the birthday party of Nelson Mandela. Speaking of a different kind of walk of life.

Patti Smith – People Have The Power Patti Smith
Any song which will highlight the small over the big, the people over the corps, or David over Goliath, always gives me hope of that anything can be reachable. During this epic anthem Patti Smith truly does so when proclaiming:
People have the power, the power to dream, to rule, to wrestle the Earth from fools but it’s decreed the people rule, but it’s decreed the people rule. Listen, I believe everything we dream can come to pass through our union, We can turn the world around, we can turn the Earth’s revolution

Oasis – Whatever
This song was never released on an actual album, however I reckon it’s one of their best ones. When those first chords ring out from the guitar a feeling of freedom washes over me in an awesome wave. When I listen to this song anything is possible. Every single dream I’ve ever had and aspired for can still happen. And it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

George Harrison – What is Life
Most people would probably state Here comes the Sun as their favorite uplifting song penned by the late George Harrison. I don’t agree. His album All Things Must Pass released in 1970 holds an absolute gem in the truly great What is Life.