For those of you blissfully unaware, raggare is a term used to describe a Swedish subculture of people who really, really like America in the ’50s. Really, really like it. Rockabilly music, big cars, greasy hair, Confederate flags … the whole shebang.
Back when I was growing up—which for anybody new to this blog was in a small town in Sweden in the ’70s—raggare were EVERYWHERE. Their modus operandi was to:
Drive huge, ratty American cars around and around in the center of the city;
Kick anybody’s ass who looked different from them.
There was no step three.
Which meant that basically everybody I knew had been either assaulted or accosted. Yes, we’re talking about stuff like four drunk guys jumping out of a car and pounding you for being a “snob” or “faggot.” (The criteria for falling in either of those categories was not wearing a jeans jacket.)
Which means I don’t feel particularly charitable to their little miserable subculture.
The raggar culture did its recruiting from the deeper ranks of the provincial working class, so book learning was never exactly à la mode. Which could explain the deepest irony: I never met one of them who could speak passable English. So you’d hear things like “Buick” pronounced “bee-YUCK.”
And now, according to guardian.co.uk, it seems they never went away, but have been flying under my radar for a few years, waiting and watching, ready to roll up on me the next time I’m walking down a Swedish street.
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.