So, my notes on the Mission to Finland so far (i write from the Man in Black’s sinister study, festooned as it is with skulls and occult paraphenalia):

1. On the s-bahn to Munich airport, surrounded by sand peoples and assorted Ausländers, a dago girl sits next to me, pulls her phone out and then suddenly and without any transition, without even seeming to dial a number or take a call, starts sobbing loudly in Italian, sexual recriminations it seems. The few Germans look disgusted, i cringe away and then get my suitcase and move to a different carriage. Her Italian wailing continues unabated, hysterical menstrual shrieking like we’re at a post-structuralist rally. i privately wonder if there’s anyone on the other end of the phone or she’s just a schizo who has managed a veneer of normality; perhaps her therapist taught her to at least pull a phone out before initiating a public outbreak.

2. Get to the airport to find i have no seat. i am, apparently, “on standby”. – And what, i ask sourly, Does this mean? – You have no seat, a bored German woman at the info desk explains. – But my good woman, i hiss in German, I have paid for the seat. Not her problem, apparently, she tells me to go to the far side of the airport, to a totally different airline, and ask there. i walk a mile to the desk. They have no idea why i’m asking them, phone calls are made and the second bored German woman tells me: – I don’t know why you came here! Go to the Finnair desk! Now!

i walk a mile back to the original desk. First bored German woman shrugs when i tell her they sent me back. Go to Finnair queue. Finally, the luggage checker woman says they overbooked the flight, this is normal, but i’ll probably still get a seat, as long as i don’t miss the flight due to having wasted 40 minutes walking about the airport and waiting at desks. – Is this normal? i ask. – Oh yes, she says.

i don’t know if i’ll even be allowed on the plane till i get to the boarding gate. They deign to allow me on. Nobody offers even a perfunctory apology, nobody grasps that i paid for the seat more than a month ago, have cancelled a week of work, made plans, etc., and find this highly unconscionable. When i try to explain this to Finnair, they just stare dully and say, – Go here. Maybe you get a seat. Maybe not. That is your problem.

3. Finally arrive at Oulu Airport, Man in Black picks me up, he insists we take a taxi because the bus will take another 30 minutes and “it will be full of Somalians”. A taxi? i never take taxis, but he says it will be cheap. It is 40 Euros – a day’s pay for me, with my current teaching schedule, but then i’ve lost more in the past and it hasn’t killed me. However, in order to salvage something from the situation i resolve never to take a taxi again, ever, anywhere, for any reason. Thus do we become wise.

4. i sleep in the Man in Black’s guest room, or study rather. A skull on a kind of nightstand, books about Satan, Satanism, runes, Catholicism, Hitler, etc.

We sit down to watch True Detective, Season 1 only of course. i have brought two bottles of good Bavarian gin to share, however when i start to make myself a drink he snarls, – Don’t drink that! That is too good for you! Here, drink some Finsbury! and offers me the rotgut gin he found in the ditch where he threw the dead prostitute.

– But i want to drink some good gin, i complain. – The ones i brought.

He sneers. – Not the good gin! This is too nice for you to drink. I want to enjoy it when you are gone. Finsbury is good enough for you. You are greedy. You are a parasite. You want to drink all the good gin! You are a parasite, a worthless sponger who wants my gin. I will kill you in your sleep. You will wake up to see the knife going into you, and you will never drink gin again. You fucker. I will take you to the sea and drown you, and leave your body so the little children find it.

5. We watch True Detective and i eat Karelian pies, a very satisfying microwavable food. Luckily, he is more or less a gin and beer man, so i am permitted to drink the whisky i brought. He sits to my left, spilling beer and the gin i brought all over the sofa and himself, then cursing me and the beer and the Masons, and ineffectually dabs at the ruined sofa and his sodden occult habiliments before shrugging since, as Rust would no doubt observe, we’re just sentient meat.


This is the fourth time i’ve seen TD and i still notice new details; the Man in Black focuses wholly on the whisky and beer brands, leering, – What is that label? I must have that. Get it for me in Germany and bring it to me.

i focus to some degree on the whisky but being now a man of the horolog, i am interested in the watches – Rust has (i gather) a mid-90s Lorus diver, Marty a dress watch, the Reverend Tuttle a gold-plated something. The set design is great on Season 1, the decor in each office, flat, house, reflecting the character; clothing too is well done. i don’t recall anything of this sort in Season 2 but then there were no real characters, save perhaps Colin Farrell’s, and without a real character you can’t develop meaningful costume and decor.

6. We also watch various Finnish films about alcoholics, murderers, prostitutes, down-at-heel cops and private detectives. Finnish is a strange language, i keep expecting to be able to understand, because with a fairly good French/Italian and German vocab, i can usually make some sense of things, but when i do follow it it’s only because it’s similar to proto-Indo-European, or it’s Swedish (and hence Germanic). The Man in Black teaches me important Finnish phrases like Saatanan nulkki! – fucking punk! We watch an amusing Finnish cop drama, and he routinely comments, – English is such a stupid language, like you, you fucker, the subtitles lose all the flavouring of the Finnish.

As far as i can tell the Finns use “cunt” a lot, so “go to hell!” is, in the Finnish original “go to cunt!”

7. Every day i awake to some Muslim atrocity, e.g. yesterday:

Man in Black: A man has driven a truck into a crowd of people in France. 84 dead.

Me: Was it a Muslim?

Man in Black: They have not said yet. We will see.

Me: Have people changed their Facebook profile pictures to the French flag yet?

Man in Black: That will be their priority.

i then log on and find the same worthless platitudes offered after every Muslim atrocity: “so sad” and “my thoughts are with the families” while Obameau assures the world “This has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a religion of peace. Therefore this man was not a Muslim”, and the Muslims dance on the streets, singing Allahu Akhbar! and celebrating a great victory against the white man, and his gin.

8. The Man in Black just tried to persuade me to get in a taxi and go to some True Detective-like location in the bayou. – No, i insisted. – Never again.