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Finland

Here’s What’s Really Going On With FINNBAY

The instant you read Finnbay.com’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?  Finnbay.com 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 Finnbay.com 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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How I got a Handicapped Woman to Touch my Penis

cyst

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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How my book’s cover was designed

My book has a couple 1-star ratings on Amazon. Both reviewers admittedly didn’t read it, but judged the book by its cover…

I have not read this book, but I just have a question for the author regarding the cover of the book. I would like to ask, why did you use brown hands for the guy who is holding the Finnish girl on the cover page? Is that just out of mere coincedence or was there a reason for it??

And…

I think it is strange too that the cover has brown nands, as if to say that all brown men really want to ge their hands on a white woman from the far North. Brown people can be happy with their own too.

Whoa!! What’s wrong with that guy? He capitalized “North”!?

Here’s the final cover…

 

Designing the front cover of “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” was exciting and I wanted to be involved in the process. As a marketer I know the importance of retail packaging. And as a PR guy I know the importance of building buzz. A book’s cover is its first impression. So naturally I wanted something striking and intriguing.

My editor hooked me up with the super talented, and super patient, graphic designer Laura Noponen and basically gave us free rein. My editor never suggested a photographer for the cover. I guess my face would deter customers.

Here was my original pitch to Laura…

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What people say about my book, and how I interpret it.

I’m truly humbled that someone spent hours of their day reading my writing. And I love nothing more than to hear people’s thought’s on my book, both on and offline. But sometimes those comments are backhanded. Or I’m a cynical asshole. Probably the latter.

Below are comments I’ve received, and what I really think the person is saying…

What people say. How I interpret it.
I read your book in a day! Did you crank that thing out in a week? I paid $20 for this! I wanted to labor over your book for weeks, if not months!! Editing is for pussies.
It was an easy read. You have the vocabulary of a 3rd grader. Take those residuals and buy yourself a thesaurus.
It wasn’t that funny. You think you’re funny? Well I’m much funnier! I could have written a funnier book on this exact topic. If I wanted to. But I’m too busy writing critical reviews of people’s creative endeavors.
You published a book? Like a real book? Any hack can self-publish nowadays. Anyone can get on Amazon. Did you get a REAL publisher? I thought landing a publishing deal was difficult. I guess not.
You really put yourself out there! Phil, you’re embarrassing yourself. And our family.
I bought your book, and it better be funny!!!! :-) I’m a douchebag!!
You should write the book “How to divorce a Finnish girl”!! Hey, here’s something that’s clever, funny, and totally original!!
I could never write a book. Phil, you have way too much time on your hands. Seriously, get a life.
It should have had more of “this”, and less of “that”!! Why didn’t you write your book EXACTLY the way I wanted you too?!? Don’t you care about what I want!?!
There were typos! If you don’t know the difference between “desert” and “dessert”, how the hell are you able to write an entire book? This is clearly your editor’s fault, but I’ll blame it on the author.
Frankly, I didn’t like it. I am in pain and full of hate! I put my cries for help in the comments section of Amazon.com!!
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  • I wanna play video games, but I'm feeling lazy. So for the next hour I'm just trying to solve CAPTCHA codes.
  • I keep saying I'm a hot mess. But I've been saying that for so long, it's no longer hot. I'm a cool mess.
  • When aliens from those new planets visit Earth and ask to, "Take us to your leader", can we get Alec Baldwin to wear his wig?
  • I've been spending more time on LinkedIn lately. There aren't as many jerks, like me, posting stuff about Trump.
  • If you decide to shave your head like I do, you'll immediately look 3 years older. But, you'll look that age for the next 15 years.

Buy my fucking book! (please)


 

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!

Better!

Funner!

Better!

Funner!