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Sweden's Hurricane Beatrice
A pent-up duckpond storm gains attention in the world around.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Rarely has there been such a furore in Sweden's famous duckpond. Yesterday evening the social media exploded with the news of minister for justice Beatrice Ask's activities on Facebook.
Commenting on what she believed to be a real news story of 37 fatalities on the first day of legalised cannabis sales in Colorado, she posted:
'Stupid and tragic. My first motion in the conservatives youth league was called 'CRUSH DRUGS!' And I have never changed my opinion.'
The story, published by the Daily Currant on 2 January, was a cracker.
- One of the 37 fatalities was said to be Jesse Pinkman, a character from Breaking Bad.
- The doctor surgeon interviewed, Jack Shepard, comes from the television series 'Lost'.
- 'I've put five college students in body bags since breakfast!' says an hysterical Shepard.
And so forth.
But above all it's the idea any government would, for any reason whatsoever, legalise something that was going to kill 37 people in one day, that there was no news of official government intervention, no martial law, no federal assistance, nothing. One has to be thick as a brick to fall for such a ruse, and not many qualify for such a distinction.
Moreover: the article was obviously (glaringly) a severe critique of all the people who argued against legalisation on unsubstantiated grounds.
Ask is now, via her own Jay Carney, trying to give the impression she knew about the joke all along, when, as so many Swedes have stated, it would have been better to just have a laugh with everyone else and be honest about it. But straightforward's never been one of Ask's strong suits.
Hurricane Beatrice first hit Twitter where the normally early sleeping Swedes were seen still going strong at 03:00 in the morning. The tangible rage felt by these people couldn't be denied or dismissed.
'Beatrice Ask just won the hundred meters in STUPID', tweeted one infuriated Swede.
'Still pissed off because of what Beatrice Ask said. I'm tired of this backwards country', tweeted another.
But the hurricane wasn't about a Facebook post. The Facebook post was simply what brought a simmering Swedish citizenry to a boil after years of abuse at the hands of the politically destructive Ask.
Ask Not Even Once
A post to Imgur ('ASK not even once') the following day explained Hurricane Beatrice to the world around.
1. 'A lethal overdose of marijuana has never occurred. But with Ask it has.'
2. 'Forcing football clubs to pay for their own police assistance for sporting events isn't normal. But for Ask i is.'
3. 'Treating suspected sex offenders as convicted sex offenders isn't normal. But for Ask it is.'
4. 'Not scrutinising sources before linking to an article isn't normal. But for Ask it is.'
5. 'To be minister for justice and at the same time lack the educational requirements isn't normal. But for Ask it is.'
'People have written a lot about Beatrice Ask's blunders', wrote Lisa Magnusson for Metro Sweden. 'There's something very risible about her two-steps, lack of humility, refusal to admit she's wrong, and strained reconstructions.'
'But you choke on your laughter when you realise this is a person who has for decades had the 'war on drugs' as her promoted political passion and who has built her career on her supposed expertise in the field.'
'And now she's Sweden's minister for justice, influencing the lives of millions of people with her decisions.'
'I don't believe Beatrice Ask is evil. But she's definitely ignorant, and arrogant, and her ignorance and arrogance are lethal when combined with power. Stupid and tragic indeed.'
To Reddit and Beyond
Hurricane Beatrice grew to such a fury that she was at one point the top topic at Reddit.
'I really don't understand', comments 'newtonism'. 'If I get the idea to share something on Facebook, the first thing I do is read the article in question over and over again and set it to quick analysis. Here comes Sweden's minister for justice and she doesn't question, even for one second, if the article is for real. How can she not erode people's confidence in her office?'
Then Hurricane Beatrice went viral, being picked up through AP by ABC News, WaPo, the Guardian, HuffPo, and others. The AP summary of the story was terse and short on details, but the hurricane managed to reach beyond the confines of the duckpond and further destroy goodwill towards the toppling Scandinavian vassal state.
Det var droppen, inte en chans jag röstar höger så länge hon sitter kvar.
[That's the straw, not a chance I'll vote right wing as long as she's still around.]
- Viktor Hemgren
When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer?
- Peter Swindon, MolsonCoors Brewing Company
We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria, and multiple organ failures.
- Jack Shepard
By next week the death toll could go as high as 200, maybe 300. Someone needs to step in and stop this madness.
- Jack Shepard
My god, why did we legalise marijuana? What were we thinking?
- Jack Shepard
The Daily Currant: Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado on First Day of Legalisation
Imgur: ASK Not Even Once (SWEDISH)
Nyheter24: Beatrice Ask lurad av satirsajt (SWEDISH)
Aftonbladet: Beatrice Ask hånad efter satirmissen (SWEDISH)
Facebook: Avgå Beatrice Ask (Resign Beatrice Ask) (SWEDISH)
Metro Sweden: Beatrice Ask hånas i sociala medier (SWEDISH)
Industry Watch: Swedish Justice Minister Pressured To Resign
SvD: Asks facebookdelning blir internationell nyhet (SWEDISH)
ABC News US: Swedish Minister Spreads Satire Marijuana Article
Expressen: Asks cannabisinlägg kritiseras av Bildts son (SWEDISH)
Washington Post: Swedish minister spreads satire marijuana article
Christian Engström: Beatrice Ask visar hur lite hon förstår om cannabis (SWEDISH)
Guardian: Sweden's justice chief left high and dry over spoof marijuana deaths story
Reddit: Beatrice Ask länk satirartikel om marijuana och tror det är på riktigt (SWEDISH)
Huffington Post: Sweden's Justice Minister Beatrice Ask Ridiculed Over Spoof Marijuana Article