From Scandinavia, one small step for Roger Tullgren, one almighty leap for the entitlement state:
A Swedish heavy metal fan has had his musical preferences officially classified as a disability. The results of a psychological analysis enable the metal lover to supplement his income with state benefits…
"I have been trying for ten years to get this classified as a handicap," Tullgren told The Local."I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against."
Roger Tullgren first developed an interest in heavy metal when his older brother came home with a Black Sabbath album in 1971. Since then little else has mattered for the 42-year-old, who has long black hair, a collection of tattoos and wears skull and crossbones jewelry.
Great. So, if long hair and tattoos are a disability, we're going to need a lot more handicapped parking spaces. . .
"I signed a form saying: 'Roger feels compelled to show his heavy metal style. This puts him in a difficult situation on the labour market. Therefore he needs extra financial help'. So now I can turn up at a job interview dressed in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewers this piece of paper," he said.
After reading Laura Ingraham's piece yesterday, I'm not averse to the notion that an enthusiasm for contemporary pop culture is a form of mental illness, but it sounds pricey. Even the Swedes are wary:
Henrietta Stein, deputy employment director for the Skåne region, is also puzzled by the move; "an interest in music" is not usually sufficient to qualify for wage benefits.
And is it only an interest in heavy metal? I mean, if, say, a nice blue-rinsed old lady can't hold down a job because she's an Andy Williams fan and keeps bunking off to Branson every other week, does that qualify? What about Jay? Those first nights at the Met seem to cut into his NR duties. Or is opera operable?