We went to see stand-up comedian Kristoffer Appelqvist at Rival Theatre yesterday evening in his show called ‘Drömmen om Amerika’ – ‘The Dream of America.’ and it was hilarious. The show had, in fact, surprisingly very little to do with America, but focused mostly on Swedish culture and society which was right up my alley!
In each section of his show, Kristoffer Appelqvist started with a childhood dream about the USA, such as how he wanted to be a cop, or how he wanted to be ‘free’, or how he wanted to eat potato chips any time of the day, but then he quickly related this dream to Swedish society and joked mostly about that.
One section of his show was when he described himself as a true liberal, believing in free markets, deregulation, privatisation and freedom of choice just like in America. He was a liberal until an experience changed his opinion. A while ago, he was out ‘easy-riding’ wide-legged on a motorcycle in a remote part of Sweden when he was hit by another vehicle and slammed to the ground. As he lay on the road, he thought to himself ‘well, this is it, I’ve pissed away my life and now I’m going to die. No ambulance is going to come here because I voted against them in the last election and my private sickness Insurance isn’t going to send someone out to help me. So, this is it. This is where I’ll die.’ To his amazement, 11 minutes later, an ambulance arrived in the middle of nowhere, picked him up and drove him to the nearest hospital where he got care, his own television, nice food and the toothbrush of his colour choice. All at the cost of the tax payer. And it was at this point he understood what his parents had been trying to teach him all along – that although we are often strong and independant, one day we might be down and out and we might need help to pick ourselves up again. Today it could be someone else who needs this support, but tomorrow it might be us. And Kristoffer Appelqvist had a kind of epiphany that it is actually that kind of society he wants to live in.
An interesting, and highly contemporary show when you think about the current debate in the USA regarding Obamacare.
Go see it if you get the chance. He’s touring the country: http://drommenomamerika.se/