Jante – 10:34
Words by Axel Lindquist
Arthur Derrien direct-messages me on Instagram asking if I’d want to write the article about Fritte’s new clip, the ‘crew’ and the series that is on its way. He ends his message with ‘…without being too corny’ and that awkward laughing sweat-drop emoji.
It’s funny because we don’t really have a word for awkward in Swedish. Of course the dictionary has suggestions, words like besvärlig (difficult), stel (stiff) or pinsam (embarrassing), but the suggestions don’t really grasp the entirety of the word awkward. Why is it like that?
It’s because in Scandinavia we have something called The Law of Jante, a conventional expectation for you as a citizen to not think you are in any way better than others; a law that counteracts everything awkward.
The Law of Jante
1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
8. You’re not to laugh at us.
9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.
11. Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you?
So what happens if you don’t conform to The Law of Jante? Then you’ll be labelled as difficult, stiff or embarrassing, well awkward, and after that you’ll probably end up as an entrepreneur or politician, but that’s beside the point. The point is that The Law of Jante, or being jante, keeps away the braggarts, the charlatans and the forced concepts.
The Law of Jante forces people to work industriously to make their product speak for itself, whether it be music, dynamite, bearings or skateboard films.
With that being said: We fucking rule. No, not Scandinavia and all the jante-loonies, but we the crew, Fritte and his friends.
So Arthur asks if I can, in this article, present ‘the crew and the video series’.
I think we need to take a step back Arthur. We have a couple of things we need to sort out. First of all, the graphic design of this magazine. It’s like you have made an active decision to practice ableism against us dyslexics.
I here ask you Will Harmon: Could you please stop writing on the skew, stop separating words and letters and please try to keep some margin to the edge? Thank you. You think too much and don’t feel enough; it looks unnatural and serves no purpose.
Another thing you should consider is that no magazine looks better than their worst ad, that one’s on me. But above all is that you’ll never be cooler than the coolest skater in the magazine, so you better try to keep good relations with us.
Like ‘the crew’ pointed out when we sat at the bar trying to, on your behalf, push a name out for this series.
‘Äh, fuck what Free thinks. Free isn’t cooler than Vincent says they are anyways.’
You know Vincent Huhta Hasselberg, who turned down Supreme, even though he has never gotten a clip without toe drag. He has the aptitude for it: Try hard – Die hard. You see how hot Supreme is now…
This leads us to the task of ‘presenting the crew’.
Do you in all seriousness want me to present Gustav Tønnesen for you? Like people don’t know who that is? And if someone were to not know who he is, like if you’ve never skated for example, you’d still have heard him say as much as I have. Google his name and watch a clip. That’s all you need to know.
Then you want people to sit here pretending that they have never heard of Filip Almqvist before. ‘Oh he is a phenomenal skater, and so funny on Instagram. Always quick with a joke while blasting some of Europe’s best switch heelflips. Now he’s working with a super exciting project called Lurpiv, a new truck standard coming out of Sweden.’
Relax, everybody already knows him from Insta. You want to hear something personal? He thinks ‘Jante’ is a silly name.
We can continue like this; I can write something about a fun memory with Josef Scott Jatta, how he one day rocks the party hat and the next day skates like a god. Instead I call upon you who read this to watch his parts Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Where EU at?, Sour Solution, Sour Solution II, Domino and any of Fritte’s earlier clips. Notice what a profoundly great skater he is. No ‘concept’, no personal brand, instead he let his skateboarding speak for itself. The only one capable of rocking those songs that DC chose.
Despite Hjalte whining, ‘I don’t know if Stockholm is that good for skating. It’s not that good for skating I would say…’, it’s exactly where Josef chose to move to as a next step in administering his talent.
So who are the skaters raised in and formed by Stockholm city?
First off, Nisse Ingemarsson… Nisse is to Stockholm’s street skating what Alice Munro is to the modern novel. He has embossed the whole street-initiative of today, with garages, industrial areas and metro stations. And how do you get to know a writer? You read their books. If I have to list all the parts again then I don’t think you deserve to see them.
And for you people at Free, next time Nisse sends a photo you gladly receive it with a ‘Thank you’ and publish it. Deal? Deal.
Hi Martin Sandberg! Should we do one of those Two-friends-sit-reminiscing-for-three-hours-and-then-makes-a-five-page-article-about-it that Free loves? I mean, you get what you deserve. At least the kids don’t have to ask who Chewy is any more.
Oh, you also have a hard time reading the magazine? Yeah I know, apparently you are supposed to flip the magazine around like a steering wheel.
And what about you Simon Hallberg? Don’t be shy. You’re doing it all right, skating a lot and letting the result speak for itself, like we all want it, not least Fritte.
Just make sure you too keep your guts intact and everything will be fine.
To explain it as short and simple as possible for you over at Free: Fritte has managed to capture a butterfly on film, but if you try to force the butterfly into the frame you’ll damage its wings.
You guys contacted Fritte to do this thing for a reason, so trust his intuition. You saw what happened when we tried pushing a name out for you, we really can’t. All we could come up with was Buy – Sea – Share – Ten. How fucking forced does that sound?
We can’t fake this thing. There is no definite ‘crew’; we have no band name. There are too many cool locals in Stockholm and too many friends of Fritte for us to be able to present them all here. And I know there is a bigger plan, it will present itself eventually, but so far we are just a big gang that while looking for spots found each other.
We are awfully grateful just to do what we like the most with the crew that does it the best, and want to thank everybody that makes it possible.
But whether it be a trick, a photo or a clip we’ll let the thing speak for itself. After all, we maybe are a bit jante.
With that being said we must be onto something, because we get to share the now prime skateboard mag in the world with legends like Chewy Cannon.
And if you ever happen to pass through again Hjalte, tell us, we’ve got spots for you!