Scintillating Sponsored Swedish Shilling

Man, Sweden sounds fascinating. I was unaware they had airports. Nor was I aware that you can use the word “lagged” in that context and make complete and total sense. (You can’t.)

I am completely convinced that I should hop on of those jet thingies and fly myself right over to Gotenborg immediately — that is, if it actually existed.

Yes, Julia Allison can’t even spell the name of the city she is visiting correctly. (It’s “Gothenburg.”) And while I cannot claim to be an expert on Swedish geography and language (the way they put their letters next to each other is just completely Un-American), I am not the one who is claiming to be paid to tout the beauty and wonderment of a country that readers of Dwell consider a masturbatory fantasy.

Her paid (or maybe not!) coverage of the country that gave us Peter, Bjorn & John, Through a Glass Darkly, this sexy little jam, and this — again thanks for that, seriously, thank you — is immediately proving to be inept. Sounds like they didn’t let the right one in, if you catch my drift.


    • any catladies work at homeland security who can make sure the donk doesn’t get admitted to the country when she returneth? 😉
      (talk about peripatetic then, donks!)

      • Make the doorways at the airport narrow, so that she’ll never fit through them!

      • I would LOVE to see her stuck in a small village in a third-world country for about 72 hours with one set of clothes and some mosquito netting. Her privilege might just start to occur to her around hour 2.

  1. All I know about Gothenburg is that Jens Lekman is from there, and I’d like it to stay that way, thankyouverymuch. Donkey.

  2. “lagged by jets” is such a pure nugget of needlessly verbose Jules phrasing.

    • In her defense (And, yes, I’m vomming in the shower as I type this!), I think she just said that as a joke. Like, the fact that it’s wordy is the point.

      • Possibly. I have been reading some heinous writing the last couple days so I’m semi-stabby at the moment.

      • Exactly how can a jet LITERALLY lag you? The choice of phrase is incoherent. Jesus, this woman claims to be a writer.

        • She doesn’t misuse the world literally that I can see. That is the only redeeming quality of this tweet. Sir David Attenborough would like to take issue with her abuse of “indeed,” though.

        • I think she means it ironically. I don’t find it annoying, except inasmuch as she is, once again, complaining where most people would either say something positive or shut up.

  3. Pedro,

    My word a-mercy! I don’t believe it. You keep gayin’ it up!! You just can’t hep it can you?

    Four words to enhance your journalistic efforts: Calm. The. Little. Head. Down.

    For our Lord’s sake,
    Preacher Jim

  4. I wondered if “Gotenborg” might be the Swedish spelling, but no – that’s “Göteborg.”

    It disgusts me how Julia takes for granted what others would kill for. Remember Copenhagen? My parents went there in 1989; that’s the only time they’ve ever left the US, and they still talk about it fondly. I can put up with Julia’s stupid outfits; what I can’t tolerate is her disdain for every opportunity the world throws in her path.

  5. Donkey’s spelling seems to be a mix of the Swedish name for the city, Göteborg, and the English version of the name, Gothenburg. Who ever knew Donkey could make a solecism of that sort!?

  6. Meh, I would give her a pass for this one. She’s jet lagged, just learned the city’s name, and it’s not exactly the easiest name to spell. Also, her phrasing of how she’s jet lagged is totally tongue in cheek.

    • Yeah, I give her a pass for the phrasing of her jetlagged thing. She’s said many things that are much more stupid . . . today!

    • This.

      I hav maid much wors3 eror s wen i am drink I MEEN TYRED

  7. By the way, I’m pretty dead certain that Donkey is in Sweden to accompany her mother to pick up a Volvo, not because she’s a special, special Princess of Donkeys. The Volvo deal includes airfare FOR TWO and a few nights in a SAS Radisson FOR TWO. I know these details because I know a number of people who’ve done this.

    Donkey is in Sweden because the has the fewest commitments of all the Baughers and can jet off at a moment’s notice, not because she’s a serious bizness laydee.

    • This remains one of the funniest things ever. Imagine lying about how you got a free trip to Sweden! IT WASN’T MY MOM YOU GUYS IT WAS MY AWESOME MEDIA PRESENCE REALLY

    • Ack! That was supposed to be a reply to Preacher Jim, who I feel has the required Godliness to lead this nation. I, on the other hand, do not have the requirements for posting a comment.

  8. Dear Lisbeth Salander,

    Julie Albertson hates women and has committed many, many heinous internet crimes – could you forbid her from using the internet ever again?

    Also, Blomkvist might like to do a profile on her – so many lies to uncover!


  9. I’d love to hear her complain about how bullied she is to Lisbeth Salander, expecting sympathy. “A friend said my relationship to my haters is that of a battered woman!” she’d lament, hoping her eyelash glue held up to the pricking her eyes.

    Then Lisbeth would duct-tape her to a chair and tattoo “PRIVILEGED BITCH” onto her belly.

    • Julia only reads self help books and/or books by authors she is trying to cozy up to. Can’t cozy up to a dead man so we can cross this trilogy off her summer reading list.

  10. Did somebody say ‘Guttenberg’?


    • She’s not serious, right? There’s fawning, and then there’s… I don’t even know what that is.

      • No, you are not. First thing I thought of when I read the comment… and I actually asked the same question above!

      • Yes she must be. it was so clearly fawning that it got through and the rest is classic passive aggressive cheeto dust inspired genius

        • Yeah, she’s approved 45 of Caroline’s comments but refused to post about a half-dozen. The trick is to sandwich anything controversial between two ego strokes and keep the language at sophomoric levels so she doesn’t suspect you’re being clever.

          If Donks reads this thread Caroline is dead in the water. Hmm, actually, I could reset my AirPort and start again with a new IP…

          • It is stunning to me how easily blinded she is by a compliment. I can’t stand it when people fawn at me. Yet she laps it up. Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

          • I THOUGHT I smelled something funky in the Caroline water!. Mini you are a diabolical genius!

          • Hilarious! Traffic on NS comments is comprised strictly of snarkers & apparitions of the voices in Donkey’s head.

          • Like Henry James! That’s hilarious! I’m sure that sent her scurrying to Wikipedia (with only a quick stop at her own profile) to look up which books the man with two first names might’ve written.

          • @wonkeye: and I’m sure she thought “wow! two first names and a writer! we have so much in common, totally amaze-ballz.”

    • Total Cat Lady vibe going on there for sure. Henry James, LOL. McCain grandchildren LOFUCKINGL. Well played.

    • I’m all for putting one over on the Donk but isn’t ‘catlady’ commenting on NS helping out Donkey in the long run? Given that her vanity blog is and always has been a source for shills and free stuff for her, any traffic to her blog that bumps up her numbers only helps her land a shill. Most companies who shell out for this stuff only look at numbers, they’re not really interested in the content of any comments left.
      If I’m wrong on this, my bad bray and continue taunting the donkey a second time.

      • I believe you’re correct. Personally, I’m disinclined to comment there (or email her) for a couple of reasons: I don’t want to give her the traffic nor do I want to give her my IP address (& since the shuttering of RBNS, I’ve thought this was her end-goal for finally opening comments after what, a couple of years?)

      • We’re all providing traffic to her whether we read comments or not (unless you, like me, follow her Disqus RSS and read entries via a feed.) The fact remains that a Donkey post about turning 30 and falling in love gets fewer comments than a Jessica Quirk post about wearing jeans and a blazer. Donkey’s sponsorships come via her notoriety, not the cries of her loving commenters.

        Comments such as Caroline’s also tend to undermine Donkey’s weepy, self-serving allegations that the internet has been a tireless machine of hatred directed her way. If she claims cyberbullying, let the record reflect some cyberasskissing also!

        That said, Caroline and I will delightedly participate in the April Donkey boycott that’s been bandied around.

        • Always good to have your perspective on things, Mini; you bring up salient points not yet considered.

          I’m on board w/ a Donkey braycott in April …

          • This all makes me kind of sad. I’m “youknowjames”. She really doesn’t have any real readers, does she?

  11. OMG I AM SO JEALOUS!!! Because I am fat I could never fit in an airplane seat. This is my only chance to see the world!!!!!!!!! Tell me more, Julia!

    • Me too! For the past few years I’ve been too wide to fit up my basement stairs, so my travel opportunities have been slim. 🙁

  12. Just saw Swedish princess Madeleine in the lounge at Newark. I guess they got out of the country when donkey came in…

  13. Just visited the Volvo plant & museum here in Goteborg (that’s the Swedish spelling – the Americanized version is Gothenburg) Loving Sweden!
    17 minutes ago from Twitter

    LOL, Donks in a car plant. She hates it there. Guaranteed.

    • I come from a “Volvo family” (is there any other kind? they do have their brand loyalists, that’s for sure) and grew up riding around in the back flip up seat of a beat up old 240 wagon. I later drove a series of rusty old 240s from the late 70s and while they left me stranded more often than I would have liked, I will always look back on those nerdy, boxy cars with fondness. I’d actually LOVE to visit the Volvo car plant and museum! WHY WHY WHY do opportunities get wasted on her? She’s probably bitching about the cold weather.

    • Yet she still spelled it incorrectly in her initial Tweet. Foreign geographic locales are hard for girls!

  14. nycreaderr 10 hours ago in reply to Caroline Rocco
    Ok wait – I’m confused. Are you there because your mom bought a Volvo?

    juliaallison 16 minutes ago in reply to nycreaderr
    No … I’m here thanks to the West Sweden Tourism Board, Volvo and – they’re trying to promote West Sweden as a tourist destination. It’s fantastic so far!

    Well if that’s true then they’re certainly getting their money’s worth! Julia is doing a GREAT job of promoting West Sweden, with her one tweet and zero blog posts!

    • Yes! Thanks to them! All you have to do is buy a Volvo! They’re promoting West Sweden as a tourist destination … by purchasing a Volvo! Did she even look at their website? She probably just looked at the name of the site and thinks it’s some kind of car rental/package vacation site.

    • Her answer in no way clarifies whether or not she is there because her mother bought a car though even if it sounds like it does. Legalese.

      • She almost definitely is there because her mom purchased a Volvo. Compare:!/juliaallison/status/52252459996954624

        “Full Disclosure: my Sweden trip is sponsored by, Volvo, Visit Sweden, West Sweden Tourism Board & Tourism in Skane.” is merely an umbrella entity comprising the other organizations listed.

        “ is a campaign co-sponsored by Volvo Cars, VisitSweden, and West Sweden Tourism Board to encourage people to buy a Volvo through their Overseas Delivery Program and spend time discovering West Sweden as a tourist destination.”

        Julie is making it sound as if a handful of separate organizations have sought out her endorsement, and that she is the primary recipient of the trip while her mother is coming as her guest. Neither of things are true. Her refusal to answer a simple yes-or-no question should remove all doubt.

        • Yes – they’ll “sponsor” a free trip for anyone… all you have to do is buy a Volvo! Did Julia not mention that? Um… err… ooops!

        • dude… lots of crazy things turn up on julia’s site, but seriously, i think she just bagged a great shilling opportunity and she’s trying to be conscientious about disclosing it. for once. there are lots of batshit crazy things, but i don’t think that she’s pretending that her mom’s new car is a sponsorship deal for her.

          sometimes i think the girl should get a break. i’m jealous as fuck that i’m broke and a student and cannot get to F*ckign sweden, and she gets to go for posting pictures of randi in a shiny blue dress and never seems to do any real work, but …. i still don’t think she made it up.

          • Its such classic JA to try to make herself feel better by making others jealous. Looks like she may have been at least partially successful with one reader. With full information I doubt there are many people that would be willing to trade lives with her. Her actions aren’t those of a happy person.

            Its none of my business if someone in her family bought a Volvo — just kind of sad that it seems likely that she used the “free” trip as a means to try to incite jealousy.

            If it were a real shill, wouldn’t the disclosure come when she reviewed the product? Its all too coincidental that she is following the itinerary almost exactly of someone that purchased a Volvo through the overseas delivery program. I expect she thinks she is clever the way she phrased this as a sponsored trip — remember this is a women on record in favor of resume puffery.

          • I am with HLS Guy on this one.

            Put yourself in the mindset of the marketing people on this one. First of all, who are you going to pick? Would you really go for a j-list personality (celeb is too generous) that most people wouldn’t know? She’s got like 23,000 followers on Twitter, that’s not exactly an army. And who does she appeal to? Likely not the people who are going to have the cash to drop on a Volvo.
            Then look at her previous shills. Boy, she’s given those companies a LOT of value! Again, why are you spending a a couple thousand to fly someone over who isn’t going to provide ridiculous photographs to make people jealous and talk breathlessly about the experience?

            As a marketer it’s a real iffy proposition.

            However, there’s occam’s razor which leads us to the conclusion that Mom bought a Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and JA is the +1. (Plus, why would she take her *mom*? No friends could come along?)

          • ‘…j-list personality (celeb is too generous)’

            For that matter, *personality* is too generous — Donkey has none…

            If Donkey were really gifting Mom$er w/ an international trip & not the other way around, wouldn’t there be mucho braying to the effect of “EARLY MOTHER’S DAY PRESENT! — LOOK HOW NICE I AM!” ?

          • I don’t know. I just think she’s too lazy to take advantage of all the shit that might come her way, but this one seemed cool so she took it. I would definitely choose to take my mom on a trip like that, btw – I have plenty of friends and certainly travel with them, but sometimes it’s cool to travel with your mom.

            Someone asked her if her mom bought a volvo, and she said no. I srsly think she just lucked out on this one. I think it’s like sea world or whatever, they make it available to a bunch of bloggers who use that agent based on alexa rankings.

          • if it were a shill, she wouldn’t be the only one–they would get a bunch of bloggers.

            and frankly, a lot of the conspiracy theories turn out true. i thought everyone crazy for speculating she was dating Flapjacks before the big reveal. Well, WHO’S CRAZY NOW??? (A: Julia). And WHO HAS EGG ON THEIR FACE? (A: Flapjacks’ breakfast plate)

          • I’ve now asked 3 times “So do I need to buy a volvo to be eligible for the contest?” and she continues to not post my comment/answer my question. I’m a very very anti leaping to conclusions/conspiracies re: JA but I smell something stinky here. Girl is too proud to admit that mom’s volvo got them the trip. Sheeeeet, I’d be proud to say my mom bought a volvo and decided to take me on a trip to Sweden…..

          • legalese: maybe dadsers bought the volvo. or juliar did, she’s rolling in dough from syndication in over 100+ newspapers, dontchaknow. whatever the situation, something is shady in the state of donkmark. it always is.

          • FB:

            She answered. Mom didn’t buy a volvo.

            The question posed was Are you there because your mom bought a Volvo? The question was not Did your mom buy a Volvo? It’s a cause/effect inquiry, a “why” question. Since Volvo does not compel the daughters of its customers to go to Sweden, the answer to the question actually asked can still be no without being untruthful.

          • I’m quite sure she’s making it up. I know more than the average cat lady about the Volvo car-buying program, and every. single. piece. of circumstantial evidence suggests she is there with her mom to pick up mom’s new car. For example, Volvo factory/museum visit is always on the program’s schedule. There is more evidence, but I’ll decline to make this LITERALLY tl;dr, because that would be ringing myself.

    • She did say “No” when asked “Are you there because your mom bought a Volvo?” I agree that the rest of the answer is unclear whether those three entities “trying” to promote West Sweeden by giving a free trip when you buy a Volvo or whether they are “trying” to do so by giving a free trip to Julia Allison. But I think, if her mom did buy a Volvo, she has now lied about it by saying “No.”

      It would be quite amusing if a cat lady spots her Mom’s 2011 Volvo in the background of a picture six months from now.

  15. Apropos of nothing:

    Q&A: Why Baugher Bowed Out
    ‘Long-time Wilmette resident Robin Baugher announced earlier this week that she woud [sic] drop out of the upcoming Park District Board electoral race.’
    [to be held April 5th]

    #Volvo_ Museum_trumps_campaigning_fo_sho

    • Now we know where JA gets her self-importance! Really, that much space devoted to a damn local district board?

    • so weird. on this link, at the bottom is this question:

      “# What is Langdon’s role in all this? ”

      i’m all like: the dog? what’s the dog’s role????
      i know too much about the freaking boggers.

      guess langdon is named after a town or something?

      • HA! langdon is the name of a park right near the boggers’ house. dunno which came first, the dog or the park. but either way…

    • God you really have to know the backstory and read between the lines to understand all this doublespeak. As many of you have probably guessed, the towns that JAB grew up in and around: Wilmette (JAB hometown), Winnetka and Kennilworth are extremely exclusionary societies. The town just a few hundred yards down the street, Kennilworth, is considered one of the wealthiest per capita and WASPy places in the country. In fact, for a long time all Kennilworth properties had restrictive covenants in them banning their sale to Jews and Blacks; after those covenants were outlawed the practices were continued by gentleman’s agreements—some suspect till this day. See the comments under and The movie Caddy Shack was based on Bill Murray’s experience working at the Wilmette golf course—if this helps form a picture.

      1. The Harbor lease (MWRD/Wilmette Harbor Association) is up next year, and MWRD may bid out the management contract. If management of the harbor changes hands, how will this impact an intricate decades-old system of parcelling out scarce boat slips which is sacred on the North Shore?

      Wilmette Harbor Association and its social arm the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club association “manages the distribution of boat slips in the Wilmette harbor for the mooring of boats or vessels”. It is delegated this authority under a lease by the MWRD. To gain membership to the association, one must apply to the association by annually submitting a signed application and a corresponding application fee”. Slip spots in the Chicagoland area are extremely hard to get and most places have waiting lists that can last for years if not decades. The organizations that run them are notorious for their patronage like distribution systems; a lot of ass kissing and other displays of fealty are required to get a slip. As this lawsuit alleges, those who do not play ball do not get boat slips (both claims were ultimately denied by the court, WHA paid 500k to their attorneys to defend their practices) :

      (1) WHA’s directors were accused of “implementing a scheme to provide free or discounted moorings” to favored association members on a basis other than seniority, (2) negligently overpaying for dredging, or, in the alternative, purposefully overpaying for dredging in order to receive a “kick-back” from the contractor that provided dredging services, and (3) “spending thousands of dollars defending Kent Heitzinger’s suit, when he was entitled to receipt of the information reequested.” Count IV alleged civil conspiracy for the following: (1) “implementing a scheme to provide free or discounted moorings” to members favored by the association directors, (2) overpaying for dredging, (3) awarding dredging contracts without accepting bids from multiple contractors, (4) paying “Paul Uhlenhop thousands of dollars he should not have received,” and (5) profiting from “kick-backs” for dredging contracts .

      So what R.B. is really talking about is that if WHA loses this lease, the decades old patronage/ “seniority” like system will be abandoned and the member’s carefully cultivated influence will be lost and abandoned. Ahh the woes of the privileged.

      2. Revetments (sunken barges with rip rap at the mouth of the harbor which hold the harbor and most of Gillson parkland in place) may need expensive repairs. We need more information about their condition. And who will pay for the upkeep?

      See below.

      3. ADA compliance for beaches and pools in 2012 will get a whole lot stricter, and costs may go up dramatically.

      Unlike the City of Chicago, Wilmette charges a fee to enter its beaches and 2x one for nonresidents (see #6). Take a look at the purpose of these fees, as described by an Evanston (a town just to the South) resident about Evanston’s similar fee system :

      Believe me, if the [beaches] were free, they would be unusable every weekend. Do you have any idea how many people would come flocking from Rogers Park and elsewhere. If that was the case, I’m sure you’d take the other side of the argument and say we’re paying all this money in property taxes and we can’t enjoy our beaches because they are too crowded with non-Evanstonians.

      Or a review about Wilmette’s Gillson Park/Beach/

      It stinks to have to pay so much for both parking and entrance but as long as they keep it clean and safe, I am happy to spend the day with my kids. I want to say it came to something like $30-35 for our non-resident family of four which seems excessive for us non-rich folk. But I guess it keeps the riff raff out – or does it?

      Rogers Park has a high percentage of Latino and African Americans (Chicago’s most northern neighborhood). Doublespeak: We need to increase the daily fee’s to cover the cough cough improvements. However, I might be wrong; who knows, wheelchair ramps can really be expensive. There is more info on this below

      4. State of Illinois bureaucrats would like to add a whole new layer of regulation to Lake Michigan beaches (they are exempt from state oversight at present.)

      I have no idea what she is talking about but most people in the Midwest treasure the Great Lakes and are generally uniformly in favor of increased protections and regulations. Of course, those usually arguing for deregulation are Republicans.

      5. The south beach at Gillson remains a challenge: how to protect the stunning lake views for park patrons and control beach access.

      The south beach at Gillson Park is the free section of the Gillson Beach. However, you can’t swim there due to the lack of lifeguards. Its size was recently reduced to expand the paid beach section. It also has police and park district employee’s “patrolling” it and issuing tickets to make sure people don’t swim at the free beach. Wilmette is so welcoming to non-residents, isn’t it?

      R.B. is rightly concerned about controlling “beach access” to the free beach, because the parking and entrance fee’s take care of access to the paid beach

  16. Won’t the proof be whether or not they come back with a car? Like, there’s no way in HELL that would be part of the shill (like, a trip? Maybe. A car? No). So if momsers comes back with a shiny new car, then we’ll know this was a shill-sham. If they come back carless, we’ll just know that the Swedes aren’t as smart as we thought.

    • The car doesn’t *literally* go back with them, it is shipped later and of course Julia won’t mention it because she will be in the middle of tweeting other half truths. I think it’s hilarious how Julia goes to great lengths to massage the true nature of the trip to make herself look in demand, when simply not mentioning it or saying “mom and I are going to Sweden to get a Volvo as part of a promotion that is available to anyone who has the time and money.”
      As discussed above if she were part of some promotional junket for Sweden she probably be tweeting about how wonderful it is. But then again she probably wouldn’t anyways.

      • Yeah, but feasibly FlapJack would learn at some point of Mom$er’s new ride … & that should clinch it for him that his old motherboy ride is a pathological liar.


      • I also think that she truly believed that if she tried hard enough she would be able to get some kind of a representation from them on this trip by her just being there. So it wasn’t a lie in her mind, she will accomplish this by the end of the trip. I bet there were even some Venn diagrams written up on the flight on the way over.

    • Yabbut the only way we’d know about Robin’s theoretical new Volvo will be if Julie tells us, which, if she is being cagey about the reasons for the trip, she won’t. I mean, I blogged for years without mentioning the make or model of any of the vehicles in my family.

      She could also spin it in the way she’s spinning the sponsorship of the trip — in spite of what nonaconspiracytheorist says above, no one is accusing her of lying. What she’s saying is technically true even if her mom bought a Volvo; that is, the trip is still being paid for by (a campaign co-sponsored by Volvo Cars, VisitSweden, and West Sweden Tourism Board). I think she’s relying on her readership to infer that this is similar to deals such as sending her dresses, rather than the same deal any individual who took advantage of the Volvo Overseas Delivery program would.

      The spin to explain a new Volvo in the Wilmette driveway could go something like, “Momsers was so impressed by Volvo’s engineering standards that we drove a Volvo all over Sweden — then she had it sent home! We’re naming him BJÖRN! LOL!” This statement could logically be true whether the trip is happening under the aegis of the V.O.D. program or not. There’s a word for this kind of ambiguous statement in marketing-speak but I can’t put my finger on it.

      • BJÖRN in the driveway.
        Thanks for making me smile this afternoon!
        this Sweden trip is so typical Julia. she skirt-pulls her way around the truth with these self-aggrandizing constructions but even as a “social media expert” can’t keep her hand straight.
        I do believe the media world, and potential “sponsors” have wised up to Julia and her hand is played out. (It doesn’t appear that tribune omg international column is taking off at least.)
        This is why she is presenting this Volvo trip as some kind of sponsorship of Julia Allison or her brand when really she lucked out because her mom wanted to take her on a trip which is part
        of the package deal of buying a car. It sounds like fun but certainly nothing exclusive or special and absolutely nothing to do Julia. So she is disclosing a shill when it isn’t even a shill. Desperate times….

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