“One Thing That Really Divides Norway Is Bark.”

I’m pretty sure this is the best New York Times story I’ve ever read. It begins:

OSLO — The TV program, on the topic of firewood, consisted mostly of people in parkas chatting and chopping in the woods and then eight hours of a fire burning in a fireplace. Yet no sooner had it begun, on prime time on Friday night…

  1. Barbara Kidder

    Thank you for this delightful article!

    As a person who burns a wood stove all winter (but not as the primary source of heat), I was thoroughly drawn in by this post.

    I love the way that you can be relied upon to entertain us with ‘human interest’  stories, as well as up-to-the-minute political developments and insight!

  2. Edward Smith

    It would be a wonderful world indeed if the only thing people had to argue about was whether to stack the cord bark up or bark down.

    As a New Yorker who has started a few fires in fireplaces (the only legitimate use for the New York Times is to roll up a few pages of “All the news that’s fit to print” into a tight coil and use it as a kind of fuse to get the fire going) I mourn the city’s treatment of its Urban Forest.

    By the time they take down most of these trees (especially the London Plain trees) the wood is to rotted it is only fit to be mulched.

    There’s firewood and board feet of hardwood growing on our streets and in our parks and we let it live too long because those of us who might actually know something of about forest management indulge in cheap sentimentality.

  3. Aaron Miller

    If a screensaver can be a hit TV program, Rob will soon be out of work.

    I would have liked firewood more if copperheads didn’t hide in our woodpile.

  4. BrentB67

    Thanks, we needed this. The last quote about launching the wood into the TV is priceless.

  5. dash

    Oh my! Wood!

    Chopped and corded!  I have to lie down a moment, my heart is beating so!

  6. Edward Smith

    Dash:

    These two videos are for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-dEJdyXj34

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaPR-us9kSU

    The great thing about being a Blacksmith today is that it is such an anachronism, filling such specific and unique needs, that your chances of prospering are pretty much set.  It would only be a question of making certain the people who need to know you are out there know you are out there.

  7. tabula rasa

    Were the 1.2 million viewers perhaps using another product (most likely an import) while they were mesmerized by this show?  Hashish.

    On the other hand, it sounds a lot better than The Bachelor.

  8. Percival

    “Next up on NRK…the award-wining drama, Paint Drying.”

  9. Gus Marvinson

    There is nothing like relaxing in front of a wood fire. It melts your bones.

  10. tabula rasa
    Percival: “Next up on NRK…the award-wining drama, Paint Drying.” · 3 minutes ago

    Off-white, or have they jazzed it up with bright colors?

  11. Larry3435

    A whole article about Norwegian Wood, and no mention of the Beatles?

  12. Western Chauvinist

    Where’s Raycon? I’m sure he’d have an opinion on the bark up/bark down controversy.

    I may never turn on the TV again without thinking of it as a misused firebox. “What this thing needs is another log!” <SmAsH!>

  13. magnus Rennemo

    We Norwegians like wood….I guess

  14. Mollie Hemingway
    Larry3435: A whole article about Norwegian Wood, and no mention of the Beatles? · 4 minutes ago

    So I was going to put a YouTube of that song in this post but, when I read up on it, learned that the song was about cheating on your wife with girls who decorate using cheap Norwegian pine  — suddenly it didn’t seem so apt.

    Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

  15. Valiuth

    Oh my goodness Norway is so lame!! They made a show about a watching a log burn. What is next, paint drying, water boiling, or grass growing. Fires are nice and all their soft orange and yellow glow can be very mesmerizing in the darkness as the flames dace back and forth. Slowly consuming the logs you place…Ok, ok fires are fun to watch but it seems watching one on TV makes you lose half of the fun. Which is to feel the heat and see the shadows it casts all about. 

    “The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors!” 

  16. Edward Smith

    But you absolutely hate boats.

    Viking-Ship.jpg

    magnus Rennemo: We Norwegians like wood….I guess · 0 minutes ago

  17. Edward Smith

    Maybe listen to a recital of this while you watch.

    You’ll need Mead.

    Valiuth: Oh my goodness Norway is so lame!! They made a show about a watching a log burn. What is next, paint drying, water boiling, or grass growing. Fires are nice and all their soft orange and yellow glow can be very mesmerizing in the darkness as the flames dace back and forth. Slowly consuming the logs you place…Ok, ok fires are fun to watch but it seems watching one on TV makes you lose half of the fun. Which is to feel the heat and see the shadows it casts all about. 

    “The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors!”  · 2 minutes ago

  18. Percival
    tabula rasa

    Percival: “Next up on NRK…the award-wining drama, Paint Drying.” · 3 minutes ago

    Off-white, or have they jazzed it up with bright colors? · 9 minutes ago

    Pastels only for now.  They want the excitement to build.

  19. Crow

    When you live in one of the world’s richest countries with one of the highest per capita incomes on the planet (not that prices aren’t just as high, mind you, but socializing the profits of Statoil does have the occasional upside) and which is governed by a (comparatively sanely run) social welfare state that runs a surplus so high that it not only has a substantial rainy day fund and a “seed ark” for every major crop on the planet in case of disaster, it also manages to provide one of the most generous retirement plans anywhere without affecting a major budget deficit or national debt to all of its ~4million or so citizens, it appears you have little else to argue about except “bark up” or “bark down”.

  20. KC Mulville

    So, basic cable, or do we have to pay extra for it?

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