The European Rightly
December 15th, 2017
⋅ HEADLINES ⋅

Belgium takes penile prints of asylum seekers

Male asylum seekers entering Belgium will have to cede prints of their erectile penis. ‘We admit fingerprints are too intrusive, that’s why we’re taking penile prints’, government officials say.

Men relieved by Facebook’s new ‘Show me your tits’ button

Of the new ‘Reactions’ Facebook has released, the ‘Show me your tits’ button is by far the most popular. ‘This button expresses what 10,000 likes can’t manage,’ men say. ‘It makes life a whole lot easier.’

Swedish king urges nation to be less smug

December 25th, 2013

In a televised address for Christmas, Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf has asked the country to be a little less smug. ‘We truly live in the most forward-thinking nation, but please, be a little less self-content about it.’

'The king has freedom of speech, too, which is one of the great building blocks of Swedish society', said PM Fredrik Reinfeldt.

While Sweden’s monarchy is ceremonial and the king has no political power, King Carl XVI Gustaf is not without influence. The royal Christmas address tends to be rather bland and inoffensive, which makes this year’s speech all the more remarkable.

‘From the Far East to Patagonia, everyone is familiar with brands like IKEA. We export pop music, literature and movie stars all over the world, and for a nation of barely 10 million people, our influence is nothing short of astounding’, the King said.

The turning point in Carl XVI Gustaf’s speech followed shortly after that, when he warned against feelings of unwarranted superiority. ‘It is true that we often speak English better than Americans, and it is good that we don’t beat gay people to death, but too much pride is dangerous, too. You and I both know we truly live in the best, most forward-thinking nation in the world, but please, be a little less self-content about it.’

Sweden regularly tops global indexes of well-being, economic development and gender equality along with other Scandinavian nations, so many observers see the King’s speech as cautioning against losing its leading position in the world.

Not everyone agrees. ‘I was annoyed by the King’s speech. Our smugness is precisely what makes us stand out. We just scoffed while the rest of Europe was fighting out World War II, and managed to export a terrible vodka brand just by advertising it for smarmy douchebags’, says Ingvar Bellman, a noted conservative culture critic.

Reactions from neighbouring countries were mostly positive. ‘Thank you Carl Gustaf,’ tweeted a Danish woman, ‘for admitting most of your countrymen are intolerable, self-congratulatory pricks.’

The speech prompted introspection in Norway whether they should urge the same of their citizens, and was hailed with glee in Russia. Finland apparently did not cover the matter at all.

Carl XVI Gustaf:
‘We speak better English than most Americans and don’t kill gay people, but let’s not be too proud’

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, finally, stated that ‘the King has the constitutional right to say what he wants, just like any Swede. There is nothing controversial about this. Our freedom of speech is one of the great building blocks of Swedish society.’

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