August 31, 2021

Peacocks and Tormented Souls; the Mood Swings of August


This peacock was the least nasty part of a dream; it told me, Be Brave! -- and I guess that I needed that.
This thing I posted on Insta, with the sweet little caption:
"This has been a beautiful week full of meaningful, hope-inspiring Correspondence, and we approach the weekend feeling very bouncy and healthy."

And here you see how the business part of artistry or other pursuits might enrichen your soul. I had particularily fun designing the pink goo.

Something that might enrichen your soul, however, is writing by hand. It got me going today. Here's the draft for the beginning of this rant:
It saddens me that one does this so little these days.

July 31, 2021

Summing up July


How time flies. July has been a weird month. And I -- I don't know how -- actually got some Art done. There's for instance this odd thing:
And the apples are growing in the garden..
...and other stuff grows in my mind
That'll do for now.

June 27, 2021

A Hearty Glass of Wine & Uncomfortable Furniture


Two things from June 2021.
Here's a glass of wine: I serve it largely without comment, a crude ballpoint pen sketch.
But you may have some music with it.
This one is named Floral Wase to Make your Guests feel Uncomfortable. I threw it together digitally, and I guess that the title says it all.
An uncomfy (?) detail.
That's all for June.

May 31, 2021

Sushi of Desire (Printing Rights Available)


Too late for a trigger warning now...
If you still haven't winced or flinced but, poor soul, actually happen to like dark musings like this and would like printing rights, don't hesitate to send a mail to oj.ceder@gmail.com. The original is in quite high resolution and would still be sharp when up to two feet wide. Here's a close-up of the Salmon Sushi.
Head of the Sushi Roll Fish (so now you know how it's made)!
And, finally, the gory details in the middle. Ink, digital and collage (from my own twisted photos) -- come and get it while the blood is hot.

April 30, 2021

Creepy-Crawley


This little thing, now for sale, might crawl on your walls to scare other monsters away. It specialises in Thought Goblins, which is the worst kind there is, and eats them whole. Displate.com (<-- Yes, click on that!) has a nice set, you might even get a quadriptych to eat really big goblins with.
And here's...
The central piece, during construction. A badge of sorts.

March 31, 2021

Hospital Unhospitality


This little study of abuse and neglect, complete with this warm and humane nurse and her happy patient, can be bought from Saatchi and Saatchi Online. It is explained more thoroughly there. Let it suffice to say that it is based on a true story, as told to me by a chocked medical student: This is what happens when nurses get too tecnnical.
(It all somehow reminded me of Chaplin's "feeding machine" in Modern Times.)
A closer look!
I've packed this thing with all sorts of loving medical details for the viewers' enjoyment, and I hope that it will be regarded as a carefully crafted piece of dark humour, full of the cheerful attitude that you find among pills and syringes:
"It won't hurt, I promise."
"It won't have any side effects, I swear."
Etc.

February 28, 2021

Furry Doesn't Get Any Rest


Poor thing. Forever strained, forever involuntarily vigilant, third eye always open.
Nor do I. And since I drew this, things have got worse. We'll see about March.

January 30, 2021

The Swedish Corona Dance
(and how we learned the steps)


(Digital work, anno horribilis 2020 -- click to enlarge. Note the virus flowing, a small price to pay for the factories that make our owners rich...
Tap to enlarge. Details below.)

I want to thank two souls from Spain and one American who, without knowing it, forced me into writing this essay at last. The expats fervently wondered why the Swedish government (lead on by “State Epidemologist” A. Tegnell) doesn’t care to keep the people safe from the Corona Virus. How, they wonder, can a democracy care so little about its people? Dissuade from masking up, avoiding every true precaution in the name of Herd Immunity, as if we wanted to say,
“Perhaps the virus gets tired when it has killed enough of us?”
...but that's insanity! One question led to another, and I’ve taken the liberty to collect my attempts at answering them here.

One of them wondered how such a murderous regime could have such popular support.
Why doesn’t anybody say anything, for God's sake?
What fresh Hell of a place is this?

I finally answered that we might very well have a unique thing here.
We have the only totalitarian state without the usual “strong leader”. A fascistic democracy; bravo Sweden! Groupthink takes care of all the oppression. I could tell about the “Law of Jante”, satirist Aksel Sandemose’s famous “rules” that Scandinavian societies obey:
“Thou shalt not think that you are something special!” --- goes §1, and the rest of them are just as humiliating and belittling. Everything is forbidden, everything that might make you stand out also makes you an outcast.

I also suggested looking on Sweden like a bucketful of crabs:
The concept of “Crab Mentality” stems from the fact that you may safely keep all the crabs that you can catch in a bucket, and they’ll stay there. For every time that one of them makes a dash for freedom, the others will invariably pull it down back to the others. And soon they all become dinner! How much for equality.

Yet, if we weren’t dying in the Corona Bucket there would be something else. It disturbs me to no end that people react to Sweden now. But well, why earlier? If you’re a square on 9-5, Sweden coddles you 24/7 with welfare and unbelievable benefits. But try to make a living on unsolicited culture or other outside stuff! --- and you lose all this and all security. So unlike those who play it safe, I am very used to the thought of a country that’s wholly indifferent to your death.
(Sudden loss of welfare might actually happen to anyone with a bit of bad luck, but it’s one of those things that “happens to others” until you’re there and realise what a caring country this really is. And then it’s too late.)

This can’t be true, said one of our Spanish friends. How can a culture become like this?
“We avoid conflict”, they say, “we like the silence...” --- such trite answers won’t do. For now I had to explain how we still can remain so silent and passive even in matters of life and death.

It’s impossible, so let us try!

So, how did this mortally apathic mentality come about? I believe that it’s a real “vicious circle”, that kind of f.u.b.a.r. situation where things get worse because they get worse: The government, which slithers and sneaks away from all kinds of responsibility, is after all chosen from the people. They don’t have different genes, they’re Swedes too. So --- how did people become like this? What have we suffered from these slithery overlords so that we had to become like them, and vice versa ad infinitum? And happily, I’m not only a fretting, bitterly fuming dissident but also a humble BA of History, so that one I could answer.

Once upon a time there was a wild species known as Vikings. They were quite good tradesmen and their swift ships went everywhere from Constantinople to Iceland. But at times they also liked looting, burning houses, capturing thralls and listening to the sweet sound of heads flying freely. So to this cold country of hot people they sent Christian preachers to tame them. And during the rest of the Middle Ages they went berserk at home instead, which was an improvement, but not quite enough.

Enter Early Modern Times and King Gustav I. He brought the Reformation and the beginning of a system that would be refined --- I would say sharpened --- endlessly over the years. The church was soon but a tool for the Power. And what power!
Every aspect of your life was controlled from cradle to grave:
Where you lived, every time you moved (if allowed to), income, status (general, legal, and juridical), health, mental abilities and education i.e. how well you knew your catechesis (you had to, or else you weren’t allowed to get married) if you came to church on Sundays (strictly mandatory) suitability for conscription, or anything at all
--- in short, thanks to notorious clergymen there were papers on everyone and everything, and if you’re Swedish and into genealogy you’re in a very happy position. My family has been traced back to 1750 or so, and those who did it weren’t any professionals either. I suppose that with my training I could go further back to the 1600’s when they begun to record all this systematically.

It goes without saying that such an inquisitive rule also made the most out of its prisoners, imposing social control strict as a straightjacket. (We were thus also experts at cramming cannon fodder out of the people, far beyond what Sweden’s enemies thought were possible. Surprise on them.) So now you can guess: How does a people become after four hundred years of this?

I make a short little break in my story for now it’s c. 1880, and quite a few people quite didn’t cope anymore. And on the other side of the vast Atlantic, there was a wonderful land known as America, and for whatever hardships it might offer, it Was Not Sweden. Sweden lost more than population in numbers. For every remaining instinct of liberty, independence, everything intelligent and thus everything that gives a soul the wish and the reason to be reliable went away with them. The effects were soon to be seen.
Why a few of my ancestors went back to Sweden again (how could you?) while their cousins stayed is a long story, but I blame them for growing up as the most un-Swedish Swede there is.

So, we’re there! In 1920-30 the “Social Democrats” inherited a heavily regulated country of meek, slow-minded and tamed citizens. They never do revolutions. They are bred not to bark loudly. But therefore, just therefore, they’re sure to bite anybody else who might. --- And so the baton was passed on. The successors, the capitalists of the 1990’s, never cared to do anything about this (why would they? Human robots are practical) and here the modern Swede stands in all her spineless glory.

- - - *** - - -

(In paranthesis: Space doesn't allow me to go fully into the economical side of our servitude. But for instance --- there's no minimum wage in Sweden. (Not to mention Basic Income!) The State prefers you to be addicted to alms instead. So not very much has happened since the State Church and its ecclesial prison guards: Labour unions, a myriad of goverment agencies and Capitalism Almighty all help out in keeping the Swede under constant control; silent and dependent.)

- - - *** - - -

As I write this, scared teachers are being sent out to teach live in schools while being actually forbidden to mask up despite the risks that come with crowds of pupils in enclosed areas (as if young pupils were the cleanliest things even in normal circumstances). And said Mr. Tegnell’s dream of herd immunity obviously lives on, now ushered in through the backdoors of those schools to infect our young. (We’ve done our share with the old already.) The government cheats, it sneaks and it slithers. It will take no actual responsibility for the outcome. And people sneak, cheat and slither too, naturally feeling equally responsible, avoiding Tegnell’s (intentionally) feeble “recommendations” and go on as usual --- just like their ancestors did when priestly watchdogs (and those Swedes that might tell on you) weren’t there. So it goes:

Power wanted a herd instead of adult, independent individuals.
They got rid of Vikings.
But now they’ll have to herd cats.

I'd rather end there. As I write this, I am listening to sweeter tones from the past: Corelli’s Twelve Trio Sonatas (Op.1) the boquet of a dozen beautiful pieces dedicated to Queen Christina --- that intelligent person who put her precious Swedish crown down so that she could go abroad and be a soul.
The saying goes that someone asked her:
“Your Majesty, why have you surrendered your kingdom?”
The answer came like a flash:
“Because they are Stupid!
And perhaps the answer it still as simple as that. If not simpler, after all those years.

December 29, 2020

A Heartless Year


2020! Corona pandemic, a mad president sitting (and s****ing) on the top of the world and enviromental doomsday bells. It has been very heartless. December brings us...
...this heartless little balloon-heart-factory; I called it
”Industrial Ego Boost, or Why We Are So Clever”

Backstory: Sweden runs on lots of subsidies; whether it's the housing of Real Workers or directly to the factories where they're stored 9-5, presumably (but not necessarily) doing Real Work. All is paid for by timber from stolen forests and reindeer feeding grounds rich in ore – both taken from the indigenous Sámi people.
(One of those days, the balloon will get pricked by a giant needle.)

We also made a brokenhearted little ballpoint thingy.

This year had many people masking up...
And even S:t Lucia celebrations in Sweden were a little exhausted.
Whew! Cheers to a new year. As different as possible. We need it.

November 30, 2020

Whatever I Wanted


I've been busy this November. But I can show you "Whatever I Wanted". (Yes, it's for sale.)
The details don't make any more sense.
Not at all.

October 28, 2020

October Varia


October. I've been making studies like this one, as the autumnal chill allowed. I've also made some decidedly silly things. I call the one below "Sudden Pointless Insight". It's very open for your interpretation.
And this is a cat staring at something across the universe, as cats are prone to do. Ink and a little pastel on paper, inverted.
Edit: I might as well add this butterfy that I made on the spur the other night. And the leaves are falling, mists are rolling in from where our longings go to drown themselves and October is drawing towards an end.

September 28, 2020

A Cheerful Balloon


Trigger warning: Cheerful dark humour ahead!
Well, this cheers me up. Sorry (not sorry) if it doesn't do that for you. The balloon is happy!

The hair is a mess. The owner of the scalp might not care so much anymore, but I've put a bit of work into it. Also note that the rope/string is in a cheery glittery pink, making the occassion all the merrier.

It's September! The very last of it, even. Here, leaves are falling, skies are hazy and mushrooms are popping up from the ground with a loud corky sound. *Bop!* So the spikes/nails that keep us aeronauts gently attached to dear terra firma take on a certain fungal character.
It might amuse you to know that the gloom in the background was made out of nice photos really. In real life, the red leaves were yellow... (It didn't go with the rest of the picture! Red definitly did)
...and that the autumn day with its cool, crisp air was as cheerful as the balloon. Here's some sweet maples. Now calm down.

August 24, 2020

Mental August Weeds


August has been a mostly lonely but productive month in these viral times. We have, for instance, harvested a giant pear...


...which is part of O Holy Telephone, a ballpoint pen with digital enhancements now available on Saatchi Online.


We have also built the weirdest little temple -- or ex-temple -- I fail to find a name for it.


Detail: Balloon.


And last but not least, these weeds have grown in the backyard of my mind. No name yet either.





July 23, 2020

Which Side Are You On?



This gentle Bumble Bee is on the Nice side of my little digital work. (Yes, it borrowed the title from the old protest song.)


The other side is Not so Very Nice; that's if we keep ignoring the warnings of Mother Nature and repeat sayinng what we want to hear like an old record stuck in a track.
"I want you to panic", said young miss Greta. But I'm sorry to say that this is how grownups actually do behave when they panic. It's an coming of age thing; one among other things about grownups that aren't funny to realize if you happen to become one.


But that's not the point. My point was that if grownups don't take care of pollinators, there soon won't be any. 3/4 of the food that we eat is dependent of something usually buzzing or fluttering to take care of their pollen. If they starve, we will starve. There are endless things to do: Keeping to indigenous plants (bees and c:o prefer local cuisine) stopping unnecessary mowing, cutting pesticides out, etc. etc. I know, most of us don't have a garden. Our roots are growing in concrete. But things like pollution has to go down (buzzing things hate it too) and awareness has to rise -- I think that the point is to begin somewhere and do something.