The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 25th

Column: The Darth Vader Institute

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Mejs Hasan

We all know the southern part of heaven is in North Carolina — but what soft and wondrous summits rim the northern part? I think it must be in Sweden.

Consider: we both have about 10 million inhabitants, lots of trees and flowers and lots of nice people who like caring for others (one difference: North Carolina has HB2). Sweden’s neighbor, Norway, starts with “No”; our neighbor, South Carolina, starts with “So.” In another life, we’d be sister states!

In some moods, I want to keep Sweden to myself, my own secret, so that it’s all mine, mine, mine. Because “people throw rocks at things that shine”; and gold in the glare may wither into gossamer.

In other moods, I’m afraid the whole world is going to explode, and what if that happens before I have said anything about how much that northern heaven means to me? We HAVE to do something, now.

One day it dawned on me that if Sweden would just give me their Twitter account (they hand it off to someone new every week), then I could finally unspool every nice thing I’ve longed to say, directly to them.

A year ago, I wrote a Daily Tar Heel column imploring everyone to please nominate me for Sweden’s Twitter.

Goals require persistence. I’ve asked people to nominate me for four years; I’ve animated eight short films (sad and unwatched on YouTube) where I tried to express the high moral and ethical values adopted by Sweden. At least 20 people, in Sweden and out, told me: I nominated you, and I hope you get it!

One of these conspirators asked if I’d return the favor and nominate him. I did, happy to help, but thought: Oh, the Swedish Institute makes people wait four years and unleash all sorts of pyrotechnics before they pick you. He has no chance with just one lowly nomination from me.

They picked him two months later.

What am I supposed to make of that? Is the Swedish Institute trying to taunt me? If so, that was cruel, cruel, CRUEL. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Swedish Institute hunted up another Muslim Arab-Swedish-American twitter user to run their account, just to spite me — and believe me when I say that we are rather rare.

I wish I knew what crime I've committed that demands censure. Maybe it's that during the four hours I've ever spent in Norway, I managed to run afoul of the Norwegian military. But they're such sissies! Did they really expedite my name onto a Scandinavia-wide list, affiliates of which are banned from running Sweden's Twitter? Come ON.

Maybe they'll pick me after Twitter goes bankrupt; or maybe they'll wait until the "Can we not just kill them all" crew in Kernersville have "taken out" all Muslims in North Carolina. Or maybe they should forget about calling themselves the Swedish Institute — I propose they rebrand as the Darth Vader Institute instead.

Seriously, though: what's the deal?

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