Voice of the Week: Oskar Soderberg

Ido Gal, Author

This week, The Paly Voice sat down with senior Oskar Soderberg, fondly known by his friends as “The SharkSlayer,” to talk about Twitter, the drought and dogs with Facebooks. 

Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged interview.

Senior Oskar Soderberg, also known as "SharkSlayer" looks through his "'nocs." Photo by Hannah Nguyen
Senior Oskar Soderberg looks through his binoculars, or as he prefers to call them, ‘nocs. Photo by Hannah Nguyen.

Oskar Soderberg: Before we start, and I want this part published, I want full approval over this. Okay? I want full creative approval.

The Paly Voice: Sounds good. We’ll make that happen for you.

OS: OK, alright.

PV: Rumor has it you store your apps by color. Is this true?

OS: No, that’s a malicious lie. My apps are alphabetically sorted.

PV: Do you have enemies that you think fabricated that rumor?

OS: You know, I do. And there are people I could name right now. And I could blast their name on the Internet. But, where does that get any of us, you know? I don’t know who it was that said it, George Washington Carver maybe, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

PV: So you were the star of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Did you decide on a name for the Man in Chair, and what is it?

OS: Wow, gotcha, journalism at its finest. So for those who don’t know, “The Drowsy Chaperone” was the musical here at Paly, and the Man in the Chair was my role, and the character wasn’t named. So, I did come up with a name. But you know, I think that’s something I’d like to keep private. Okay, here’s a life lesson. We live in this age of new everything, and sometimes you have to keep a few things for yourself. You have to say, “this is mine.” What happened to the art of preservation? Somebody riddle me that.

PV: We hear you’re directing a One Act written by Guive Assadi, starring your Twitter nemesis @CaptainGenovia also known as Zoë Limbrick. How’s that going? Can you describe the process for us?

OS: Well there’s a lot to talk about there. I mean the One Acts are going great. I don’t want to say too much. Twitter nemesis is the phrase you used. Yeah, I agree. I think that’s an apt assessment of that relationship. I think all I can say there is come see it.*

PV: So you obviously have a historic Twitter feed as well, but a lot of us want to know, what’s your beef with NASA on Twitter?

OS: Wow, what a lowball question. You know, my Twitter, it’s not what it used to be, I’ll say that. I think my Twitter peaked last year. And you know, the NASA thing, my problem is if you don’t understand it,then you don’t understand it and it’s not meant for you. OK? You either get it or you don’t.

PV: What’s your opinion on the California drought?

OS: The drought. Oh god. I don’t know. The children. It’s beyond words. If I had to boil down my thoughts into a nice little concise paragraph fit for this publication, it would be this: There’s a finite amount of water on this planet, and 97% of that water is the ocean. About 2% of it is frozen, and less than 1% of it is available for our drinking water and other uses, and I think the fact there’s not enough of it is criminal.

PV: Where does your nickname, the “SharkSlayer,” originate from?

OS: SharkSlayer? I think freshman year. I was in English class, and this kid came up to me, I’ll leave his name out of this, he said to me, “Oskar the Shark Slayer.” And I was like “what?” but this continued for several months. I adopted that nickname. I looked it up though, because I was like, “where did he come up with that?” and there was actually an animated film made, “Shark Tale.” The protagonist of the film — a fish — is named Oscar and he becomes known as Oscar the Shark Slayer, I believe.**

PV: So according to our sources, you didn’t spend freshman year at Paly. Where were you?

OS: I don’t like to talk about. Oh, that’s wrong, I do like to talk about it. I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

PV: OK then. Describe your aesthetic in one word.

OS: I feel like this is a loaded question, because there is one word that describes it, and that word is bounded on the end by two t’s — that’s right. Tourist.

PV: Tell us about your history with binoculars and the tourist look.

OS: Well I purchased my first pair — first of all I just want to correct you said, you called them binoculars, the technical term is ‘nocs. Spelled apostrophe-n-o-c-s. I want that on the record. I think the tourist aesthetic spawned as a result of the ‘nocs, not vice versa. It wasn’t the tourist aesthetic that was aided by ‘nocs, it was ‘nocs that were aided by the tourist aesthetic. Yeah, I know it’s not cool to employ a tourist aesthetic, I know that’s not what you guys call cool. But I do. That’s me, that’s Oskar, that’s my identity.

PV: I’d argue that employing a tourist aesthetic is cool.

OS: Oh, I appreciate that. I do.

PV: What’s your opinion on dogs with Facebooks?

OS: [Face palms]. I think if Charles Darwin was here today, and he saw what the dog evolved to, I don’t think he’d be happy.

PV: Is that all?

OS: Oh no, I have more to say. It’s a gross misuse of resources. Here are the facts. Humans love dogs. Dogs and humans are friends. And I think that being said, they’re not people! They don’t need Facebook! They don’t have friends! They don’t need social networking! They have dog parks for that. I think Facebook is the human dog park, if that’s the headline quote, so be it. I think for dogs to come onto the human dog park- Facebook- it’s malicious. Salacious. Outrageous.

PV: What is the last thing you want to say to the Paly community?

OS: A key part of who I am is someone who is living in the present. You especially see this in art, people who reject the new and maintain that things from the past are the correct or the true or the ultimate or the best thing. I disagree with that. I think we need to embody the present and learn from the past but also learn from the present.

*Paly One Acts 2015 will take place on May 7-9 at 7:30 in the Haymarket Theatre.

**”Shark Tale” is a 2004 film that did in fact feature a protagonist referred to as Oscar, The Shark Slayer.

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