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Here’s What’s Really Going On With FINNBAY

The instant you read’s tagline, “HELPS YOU NAVIGATE IN THE DETAIL WHEN YOU ARE IN FINLAND”, you should immediately realize it’s just a hack blog run by a couple of bored non-native-English-speaking, Finnish-woman-chasing jackoffs.

Unless you’re NBC News.   Or the half of Finland who believes the site is funded by the Kremlin.

Seriously, funded by the Kremlin??   I’d hope the Russian government could pen a tagline that doesn’t sound like it was improvised by Borat.  And if they wanted to spread propaganda, they might take the proceeds from their €4.99/month subscription and put it towards an editor.  It’s like if the United States dropped propaganda pamphlets on Afghanistan, but locked them in gumball machines that require a quarter.

Here’s how their infamous coming-out letter kicks off:

    “FINNBAY has been the most successful media intelligence in our lives.”

Whoa!  Move over, Time magazine.  FINNBAY (All caps, All the time) is the new king of late night TV.  Let’s see how this letter ends:

    We will continue what we have been doing each day. Reporting the Facts. Because we have the balls.

FUCK YEAHH!!!!  That line has ‘MERICA written all over it.  I like how “Facts” is capitalized.  What’s more factual than a fact?  A capitalized Fact!  It’s twice as truthy.

My guess? is operated by two unemployed foreigners in Finland.  A young Turkish guy named Onur Yalcintas, the Borat of the operation who described Finnbay as “Finland’s most sexy English-language website”.  And a guy living in Rovaniemi, Bruce Stone, presumedly the American with “balls”.

Over a year ago they contacted a bunch of foreigners in Finland, myself included, in search of writers.  Seems like many took the bait and even write about their experiences with Finnbay, kinda creepily, here.  One blogger writes a lengthy description of her time as a Finnbay volunteer and concludes her experience was a “waste of time”.

They created a newspaper-style site and pretended to be an accredited news outlet.  They have a headquarters (to an address that doesn’t exist), branches (probably just where their volunteer authors live) and a switchboard (which apparently leads to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone).

But unlike the daily Facts on FINNBAY, this is all just my speculation.  But I understand their situation.  Back in 2002 as a fresh arrival to Finland I launched “The Finland Journal”, a group blog (before “blog” was a thing) full of volunteers.  Unlike Finnbay, we cited our opinions as “opinions” and would never charge a fee.

Being an unemployed foreigner in a strange land is tough and I applaud a team of writers for working together.  Finland’s homogeneous population can often produce a very one-sided media and outside commentary is very welcomed.

So what’s the real issue here?  That may not live up to the highest journalistic integrity?  That the trusted NBC News, citing an unknown source, doesn’t either? Or that entire nation is up in arms over some bullshit website?

One thing is certain: Jon Hamm’s penis affirms there is no God.

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Denver Fans Be Like…

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Top 40 Electropop Albums of 2013



2013 was an incredible year for music, especially if you’re a fan of electro stuff. I’d argue there was more great albums in 2013 than all of the 00’s combined.


2013 was the year electropop artists became household names. CHVRCHES, Charli XCX, Lorde and Sky Ferreira can be found on local radio. Even my mom knows that Lorde is 16 and “from New Zealand or something”.

2013 saw the rise of “Electro R&B” like Alunageorge, Dungeonesse, DIANA and Autre Ne Veut. 20 years later, hipster kids are giving their own take on 90’s rhythm & blues.

2013 was the year I started using the term “Electro Hip Hop” thanks to Kanye West’s minimal, analog masterpiece.

2013 marks the year that a four-on-the-floor beat makes me cringe like fingernails down a chalkboard. Producers need to create interesting, rhythmic basslines instead of getting lazy with the BOOM-CHEE-BOOM-CHEE.

You no longer have to feel guilty for listening to “pop music” in 2013. Fans and bands are proud to use the word ‘pop’. Yet, the genre is attacked once more, even being ignorantly labeled “The Monogenre” by those who simply don’t like it.

I hope you discover something new in the list below – not everything is electropop – you’ll find some dreampop, retropop and indierock.

Though Spotify is now under attack in 2013, mostly by grumpy old white guys who haven’t enjoyed a new album since the 70′, here’s a Spotify playlist for your convenience. And be sure to check out my Best Electropop Albums of 2012 and Best Electropop Albums of 2011 playlists, as well as my Top 100 Electropop Tracks of 2013.


40. Ejecta – Dominae
Happy and hazy electronic sounds.


39. MIA – Matangi
Dancehall reggae.


38. Keep Shelly in Athens – At Home
Yummy analog synths.


37. Austra – Olympia
Haunting sounds.


36. Phantogram – Phantogram
A preview of their upcoming 2014 album.


35. Small Black – Limits of Desire


34. The 1975 – The 1975


33. Frankie Rose – Herein Wild


32. Shannon & The Clams – Dreams in the Rat House
The sound of the 50’s.


31. Goldroom – Embrace
An EP of chill house beats and dreamy female vocals.


30. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
Not as solid as their previous two albums, but definitely some killer tracks on here.

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Invite Phil to Your Party!!

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Comedy and Loathing in San Francisco

Thirty seconds after writing my name on last night’s open mic list, I scratched it off. I can’t go 25th. I can’t wait until 1am to perform six minutes in front of the last three comics waiting to go on. I need to find a better Wednesday night mic. At 33 I’m feeling way too old for this. I don’t have time for that shit.

If I ever had a catchphrase, it’s that. “I don’t have time for that shit.” I say that a lot. So much that my old comedy buddies in Northern Europe say the phrase and attribute it to me. I first coined it when I did some shows in Sweden. The other comics took the boat from Helsinki to Stockholm while I flew. Boats? I don’t have time for that shit. Why don’t I pack my monocle, top hat, and telegraph machine for that meandering trip back in time.

Maybe I should register that phrase as a trademark. My California sweatshirt did. Don’t you dare write “California” in a yellow font or else you owe someone a lot of money.


San Francisco is a magnet for America’s most insane people, and open mics are magnets for these people. The city has a long history of attracting artists and counterculture. Artists and counterculture have a long history of attracting mental illness. The mentally ill have a long history of attracting drug abuse. Mental illness + Drug Abuse + No Healthcare x 20 years = San Francisco.

Crazy people on stage is funny for about fifteen seconds until you realize they’ve prepared nothing and will not abide by “the light”. The host always has to rip the mic from their hands as they waddle back to their seat, often screaming the rest of their “material”. But to give them props – they have the stage confidence of a young Eddie Murphy. They have a unique voice. They work “clean”. And they’re still funnier than this blog.

Im writing this at 5:30am because my body no longer allows me to eat a heavy meal past 10pm. My body says, “You’re enjoying a good night sleep while I have to digest this slop?? Fuck that! We’re in this TOGETHER!” At age 27 I started losing my hair, at age 31 I could no longer eat late, at 32 I began to just “smell”, and at 33 I saw my first gray hairs. Can’t wait see what life brings me next!

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How I got a Handicapped Woman to Touch my Penis


I had a cyst on my penis.

Well, it depends on who you ask. I consider that part of my body to be my penis. If I was asked to measure my penis, like by the folks at Guinness, I’d jam a ruler into my crotch and the cyst would be between the black one-inch line and the painful red line created by the ruler. But if the Guinness folks measured it themselves, they may conclude the cyst is NOT on my penis, but instead on its base, thus confirming my record as the “Most Delusional Man in the World”.

By the way, if you need a tape measure to measure your penis, your penis is weird. Stop pretending like you have a bedroom advantage. But if you do use a ruler, watch for splinters. And for those who think girth is more important than length: I don’t think Ron Jeremy is known for his 11-inch girth.

Before this blog post turns into a series of less-than-clever dick jokes, you should know that this cyst isn’t a STD. I have a long history of skin problems. Eczema, allergic reactions to earrings, a cyst surgically removed from my face, acne, dry skin, and I once had to have my foreskin removed. So a “penis-cyst” (medical term) is no problem – call the dermatologist.

Finnish doctor offices are sterile and lifeless. The colorless white walls scream out, “Healthcare is free in Finland, quit complaining!!” And only the gentle hands of an Estonian could get a floor that shiny. Grab a number, sit down, take your pick of two Finnish magazines. For women – a magazine with a plump, dyed-red-hair feminist on the cover. For men – a magazine on boats. One of a plethora of boating magazines available in the country, in Finnish, in a land with six days of summer each summer.

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When a Taxi Driver says you’re Jewish, then gets pulled over

So I’m heading to Hollywood, California for a work thing. Ordered a car service to the airport because my company is paying for it. The best part about a car service is the robot-like driver who doesn’t speak a word. But this driver kicks off our 20-minute ride to the airport with, “Schwarzmann! I was expecting someone darker.”


“Schwarzmann, it’s a Jewish name from Germany. German surnames are often adjectives. Adjectives! Your ancestry had dark skin. The Jews came from North Africa after the fall of the second Roman temple…”

This anti-Semitic history lesson continued on down Route 101 to San Francisco’s airport. Now I’m not Jewish, and neither are my ancestors, but I’m on my way to Hollywood! I appreciate how he thinks I’m a Hollywood native.

And I’m not exactly sure his remarks were “anti-Semitic”. I don’t know what “Semitic” means, but I do know I’m staunchly NOT against it. Plus I’m an American, I never paid attention in Social Studies class, so maybe this history-teacher-turned-cab-driver was going to learn me something. After all, he is wearing a tie.

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Phil’s debut humor book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” is out now on Gummerus Publishers.

About Better! Funner!


Better! Funner! is a blog written and curated by Phil Schwarzmann. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made Phil laugh from around them internets. Enjoy!