They Call Him ‘The Dynamite Man’

This habit of blowing things up started back when I was about 17. My dad was in road construction and always had dynamite and fuses in his basement. I would nick dynamite and I would blow things up. One day I had assembled my own dynamite stick and fuse and I lit it up and the fuse went up in a flame. I only just managed to throw it away before it blew. That’s when I blew off this left eye and I got to stay in the hospital for five weeks.

So I took a little break from my career as a rock blaster and I became a country shop proprietor together with a friend. It took about a year for us to run that country shop into the ground—we went bankrupt with a capital B. I remember I was sitting at the job centre and I had all these debts. My instructor asked me, “But Mikael, what is it that you want to do?” And I said, “Fuck if I know, I just need to make a lot of money so I can pay my debts.” I had back taxes, debts to suppliers, unpaid VATs. And he said, “But what PROFESSION do you want?” I knew this guy back in the village, Tord, and he was making good money, so I said I wanted to do whatever it was that Tord did. “I think he goes around blowing up mountains,” I said, and I’ve been a rock blaster for over 20 years now. It’s like a compulsion, like a disease. I just can’t stop doing it. I don’t know what would happen to me if I did.

It’s been good fun blowing up the houses around here in Laisvall, but taking down the mining tower is going to be very, very special. It’s the biggest project in all of Scandinavia for maybe the past 10 years. I’ve had experts here telling me this thing could be standing tall for the next 500 years. But the people with the money don’t want that to happen, and they are the ones who get to make the decisions. But I think a lot of people are going to shed a tear on Wednesday at 12.00.