Mattias Irving

Mattias Irving
is @Sweden

Let’s get down to the basics. I am Mattias Irving, and I’m 33 years old, born in Stockholm and finally returned here after some ten odd years as a vagabond academic and bohemian across Sweden and beyond. I’m currently employed by the largest church in Sweden (the former state church, working as editor-in-chief at a small but feisty feministic and antiracist newspaper for the web, These are the things you expect me to tell you.

Now, for a few things you didn’t see coming. Pine trees. They’re gorgeous in the late summer sun. Yet, you can’t really convey their beauty without resorting to trite, romanticized phrases of which there are thirteen in a dozen, all of them only slightly younger than Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s first ABC book. Pine trees are at their best when not spoken of.

I live with a rare physical disability (That is Klippel-Feil syndrome. Now go, wield the powers of Google!), and it gives plenty of food for thought every day. Count on some reflections on ability and availability in our society during this week. Don’t count on all of those thoughts to make an awful lot of sense if you’ve never experienced disability in your life. But then I suppose we all have, at some point.

I’d like to flatter myself by saying some kind of standard phrase like, ”it’s hard to really get to know me”, but that would be quite untrue. On the contrary, I’ll begrudgingly admit that I am in all respects probably pretty exactly what you’d expect of a philosophical, cat loving, poetry challenged, art struggling, armchair radical renaissance man brony.

(Oh, and otherwise you find me tweeting it up at @nonemo – strictly in swedish though. (And some french, because it sounds awesome))

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 19:16

So, those’re replies from Austria, Netherlands (great country btw! :) and the US. I’m starting to see a trend here.

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 19:08

Here’s a shoutout to y’all. Do you think that society where you live takes hate and threats online seriously? Or is it just here in Sweden?

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 19:06

Night be going out on a limb here, but from what I’ve read the same holds true for many other countries. Online threats aren’t taken srsly?

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 19:04

Sweden today:Actual death threats are becoming comme-il-faut for politically active ppl. But literature and songs on death are frowned upon.

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 18:57

@mthld Hear, hear. And not to mention the ”fine arts”. I have yet to see an opera where the strong female character lives until the end.

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 18:54

When the book was adapted for the theatre, some actresses actually received death threats. For performing a play! So much for equality…

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 18:51

Sure, some ppl took it literally (the book advocates killing men) and thought it should be banned and whatnot. That added to the satire.

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 18:49

I read this great book once, called the SCUM manifesto. It inverted patriarchy and treated men the way history has treated women. Good read.

@Sweden juli 29, 2014 18:47

Patriarchy is all over the place in Sweden. If we’re in the top spot for gender equality, oh boy does humanity have some homework to do.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 20:40

My take is the opposite: If you have a conviction, there’s no way you’re going to manage to keep it to yourself. Better be open with it.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 20:38

For some reason, people believe that you can’t, as a Christian, have a view on politics too. That these spheres should be kept separate.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 20:36

More often than not, the judgment comes from other Christians, not atheists, judging what is really ”Christian” and not.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 20:34

Some people wonder, what’s it like being a Christian in atheist Sweden? I say, it’s great! Sure, sometimes you’re viewed as a little exotic.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 10:05

Well, that was a first rant, more or less coherent. And I haven’t even had my coffee yet. This will be a fun week. :)

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 10:04

The big city gaze on small town life is, otoh, something I believe many Swedes are familiar with. You tend to apologize for your rural past.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 10:03

It’s like when you come from a small town and are asked about your past. Oftenly, you take the big-city perspective. That’s power at work.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 10:01

Then you start tweeting about oddities in Sweden and think that you’re repping something unique and odd. I don’t think that’s true.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 09:59

It’s easy to exotize yourself in the eyes of others. That’s what happens when you borrow someone else’s gaze. You yourself become curious.

@Sweden juli 28, 2014 09:50

I’m editor-in-chief for a small but feisty Christian newspaper, writing about feminism, anti-racism and power in a rapidly changing Sweden.