Controversial laureate
Fem i tolv-rörelsen (the Five-Minutes-to-Twelve Movement) in Sweden, which works against racism and xenophobia, honored the artist Jason ”Timbuktu” Diakité for his work. It is, however, a controversial choice, and several politicians boycotted the recent ceremony in Parliament, referring to the belief that Timbuktu ”threatened” party leader Jimmie Åkesson (of the Sweden Democrats) in the song ”Svarta duvor och vissna liljor” (Black Doves and Withered Lilies). The lyrics of the song does indeed at one point say ”slå Jimmie gul och blå” (”beat Jimmie yellow and blue”). But Timbuktu defends himself, saying that even though he uses a Swedish expression that’s akin to saying ”beat someone black and blue,” he has ”always rejected violence” and called the lyrics in question a "play on words." Per Westerberg (of the Moderate Party), speaker of the Parliament, skipped the event because he ”avoids all award ceremonies that can be perceived as controversial." Also boycotting the ceremony were several members of the Sweden Democrats. Rosanna Dinamarca of Sweden's Left Party disagreed with the snub. She said an artist's freedom of expression should be absolute. But there are also those who feel Timbuktu’s lyrics are a threat to Sweden’s democracy, and the topic is hot for debate.

Bored at work
Are you bored at work? Then you belong to a growing number of people. A new survey from Länsförsäkringar (a group of customer owned insurance companies), shows that nearly every other person working in a small company in Sweden feels the joy of working is gone.

Dream on
More trips? Peace of mind? Financial independence? What do you dream of? The ”Drömbarometer 2013” (dream barometer 2013) has been published, showing that Swedes dream primarily of health. In total, 6,283 Swedes ages 18 and older were asked: ”What do you dream of in life?” They could choose between several options, but 68 percent said they wanted to be/remain healthy. Meanwhile, also 50 percent wanted to become financially independent. Many Swedes also dream about feeling free and having more decision power in their life. Peace of mind and harmony were also important. Five percent wanted to travel into outer space, 4 percent wanted to meet God, and 2 percent wanted to meet their idol. The survey has been conducted since 2009 by TNS Sifo on behalf of Svenska Spel. It also shows that there are regional differences. People in Dalarna dream of a more adventurous life compared to Swedes elsewhere. Folks in Västergötland dream most about raising a family, and in Västerbotten people dream of fighting injustice. In Norrbotten they dream about being beautiful, the folks in Gävleborg dream about not having to work, and in Halland people dream of being free of debt. There are also gender differences: Women more than men dream of traveling, peace of mind and a rich social life. Men dream more about a healthy life, but they also tend to want financial independence and be able to live off their hobby and not work as much.