Today’s taste of Sweden


Jane Hamsher and I just went to watch Huff Post editor (and friend) Katharine Zaleski talk at the Swedish political conference we’ve been invited to attend this week. The moderator was from a conservative paper, and had a bit of an issue with HuffPo being liberal. She also didn’t understand why the American press focused on Obama’s dog, as if this were a sign of the press’ liberal bias. (They focused on Bush’s dog too.)

Anyway, our panel is on Thursday, but we’re also going to be meeting up with Swedish bloggers and other politicos this week to share what we know about using the Internet for politics. I hope to meet some people involved in gay politics here as well.


A lot of Stockholm is on the water. The city reminds you of so many other European cities – like Amsterdam (the waterfront buildings), Venice (the church silhouettes), Rome (the colors), and even Vienna.


The other thing that Stockholm makes me think of is some of the master European paintings of old. The way the sun hits the buildings, the colors, the shadows, and even the rooftops. This rooftop above made think of this famous painting by Caillebotte.


I mean, look at these colors. This is simply an alleyway.


Swede’s taking in that all-important sun along the water in Stockholm.


There’s a rather nice town square with a huge fountain in the middle of town, near the culture center – this is where the Iran protest took place (see below).


Iran protest.


Big maritime country.


I love the duck keeping up with the canoe.


Just wonderful light and shadow everywhere.


From really high up, we all look like Swedes.


Same photo, upside down.


And finally, this is kind of a cliché, as photos go, but I still always like it.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • RFKactionfront

    The discussion started because you phoned it in on a post about a military coup in Honduras.

    The beautiful thing about blogging, as you know, is that it’s transparent. If someone doesn’t do their homework, they get called on it in the comments. The progressive blogosphere is self-correcting — which is why it is usually a better place for news than traditional media.

    So that’s what happened yesterday. You presented some warmed-over right wing talking points (yeah you presented it as a question but as you’ve shown in your subsequent comments — you really did have a strong opinion on it), you didn’t check sources, you didn’t examine the way that the right wing framing of Chavez undermines a lot of important progressive efforts in the region — and you got hammered in the comments.

    I imagine one response at that point would be for you to own it and say, ‘yep, you’re right, I didn’t do my homework, I didn’t get on the ground information about what was happening, my views on this topic are at odds with other progressive bloggers (like Jane Hamsher) and here’s why, etc…’

    But instead, you’ve turned petulant — in your comment on the Honduras post and here — then acted aggrieved when called on it.

    Look, your site is brilliant. You are brilliant. You make the world a better place with your writing (usually). But your understanding of Latin America politics (and how that debate is framed in U.S.) is not your strongest suit. We can have a nuanced conversation about the coup in Honduras and the struggle for justice in Latin America (and the way that 500 years of conquest makes the struggle different than in the U.S. for example). But that’s certainly not what you’ve offered in your previous post or your subsequent comments on the topic.

  • CDS2

    Excellent photo’s, better than excellent composition. Great photography !

  • SCLiberal

    Totally agree. I’d abandon the U.S. and move to a country like Sweden in a heartbeat if I could. They are civilized over there.

  • SCLiberal

    Those are just beautiful. I especially like the alleyway shot with the strong diagonal. And the “upside down” photo. I like that one better than the right side up!
    Thanks for that shot of art first thing in the morning. I needed that!

  • No, I was only saying that because I was trying to give you a sense of what it’s like to have someone attack you for something you never said. I’m seeing that the whole nuance thing is still giving you trouble, which is how this entire discussion started.

  • I don’t know why so many Americans feel like we have nothing to learn from places like Sweden–we have fallen behind, in many ways, but could catch up and surpass progressive Europe if more Americans would just look.

  • katsat

    John, you are a very talented photographer!

  • Poicephalus

    Thanks, John!
    I needed that.
    I didn’t know it.
    Maybe that’s why I needed it.


  • BooksAlive

    Ed Schultz came up with the idea of organizing a field trip to a country with public medical care. I’ll send him these beautiful photos! It might inspire him to head overseas rather than over the St Lawrence Seaway to Toronto or Montreal.

    Ruminating about who he’d invite to come along, Ed mentioned he’d ask a mayor or two, a Chamber of Commerce honcho, senators and representatives, making sure enough “health deniers” were on the visit. He thought about the pushback a public plan is getting and decided that a field trip, similar to the ones he took in Virginia while growing up, would produce a better informed debate!

  • RFKactionfront

    Yeah, I know how you feel brother — it’s just as tedious having to defend myself from accusations that I’m “gaga over fascism” just because I object to the violent overthrow of a democractically elected president.

    The pizza bet still stands. Let me know.

  • Mike in Texas

    John, if you haven’t yet visited the Vasa Museum, do try to get there. It is absolutely fascinating, a museum built around an old sunken ship that sank immediately after being launched and was then preserved in the water conditions there.

  • Never said it was. It’s tedious having todegebd things you never wrote.

  • BelmontShore

    Hey John, great pics.

    How amazing is Sweden, huh? I moved here 2.5 years ago with my wife and kids, from Long Beach, CA, but we’re in Gothenburg. I’m thoroughly enjoying life in Sweden. They really seem to have their heads screwed on right over here. Enjoy your stay and if you head West, let me know, I’ll show you around Gothenburg.

  • Thanks for the reply.
    I love my powershot S80

  • RFKactionfront

    Talk to Jane. I’ll buy you a pizza if she agrees with you.

    Also spend a little time reading reports from folks on the ground in Honduras. This is a good place to start:

    There is no such thing as a benevolent right wing military coup.

  • Zorba

    Great photos! I love Stockholm! My husband and I visited in 2007 (all right, it was December, and it got dark early, but it was still great) and the Swedes themselves were wonderful. Enjoy it, John!

  • Butch1

    I love the photos that can be viewed either right side or up side down. That was really brilliant. The sun bathers on the dock reading was another nice one for people watchers. Hell, they all are nice. You have a great eye for photography.

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    Please, whatever happens to you health-wise (even a sniffle), do NOT avail yourself of SOCIALIST health care in Sweden!!! It’s bad, horrible, and evil. Or so we are told. In fact, you could die! Instead, you must medevac yourself to America, the only place on earth where you will have your CHOICE of “providers.” And who wouldn’t want that?!

  • No word on Swedish hockey, though I was out in the burbs where the rink was yesterday, it was pointed out to me. And it’s a Canon Powershot SD700 (or so). They’re a great line of cameras, the Canon Powershots.

  • No, what’s really embarrassing is when someone puts up with – nay, goes gaga over – fascism simply because the dictator is a lefty.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    I wonder if europeans go home following a USA tour and say that chicago and LA and NY all look kinda the same :)

  • RFKactionfront

    Hey John — these are great photos. But would you please take a minute to ask Jane Hamsher to explain to you why you screwed up in your last post (re: Honduras). You’re gonna want to walk that one back once you do a little homework. It’s really embarrassing that a privileged American on vacation in Sweden is endorsing fascist military takeovers in Honduras. Not cool, not progressive, not helpful.

  • Wolfsinger

    Thanks for the great pics!

  • You have such a wonderful eye for a beautiful picture – composition, colour, subject, all wonderful.
    What camera was used?
    Also, from an avid hockey fan,any word on whether or not the Sedin twins have done a deal with the Canucks (they are meeting in Stockholm today)?

  • Love the photos, John

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