Illustration for article titled Thanks for the Nightmares, Norwegian Public Broadcasting
Screenshot: NRK

Late afternoon shadows fall across the sickly green, Formica paneled wall of a well-kept but decrepit diner, darkening neatly stacked ceramic bowls and unfilled order tickets. The dim obscures a message board listing the daily specials, but a slice of pie might be nice, one reasons, resting upon a vinyl topped stool and searching for a smiling yet tired-looking waitress to ask for coffee with just a little cream and no sugar. However, the server is nowhere to be found, nor are the other patrons. Suddenly, a six-foot house finch appears and begins disemboweling a sunflower seed’s meaty innards, leaving ripped shards of jagged shell scattered across the linoleum floor, like so many discarded bones picked clean.

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Thanks a lot, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, as if we weren’t collectively having enough nightmares.

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In a move my editor Alexis Sobel Fitts deems “away from hygge and into traumatizing dioramas,” Norweigan public access television has decided it would be fun to create a miniature diner, fill it with birdseed, and live stream the animals gnashing and pecking while creating the optical illusion that the tiny genetic descendants of dragon-adjacent creatures are their original prehistoric size.

My recurring nightmare of being forced to beat a rooster to death with a stick has already been documented on this site, and thus will not be reintroduced. But let me state plainly and for the record: These Norweigan birds are bad, and I don’t like them. But if birds don’t blow your hair back, NRK also includes plenty of bushy-browed, clearly unhinged squirrels that look a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, as they cravenly and literally chew the scenery. Sometimes the ravenous beasts fight. Perhaps to the death; I can’t be sure because I covered my eyes.

While I do appreciate the budget Hitchchok ingenuity of publicly-funded Norweigian broadcasting, I simply cannot condone the depravity, nor can I pretend anything other than resentment at the provision of this fresh nightmare.

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