I was reading a short story by my friend Viudabella yesterday...you should go read it(En español), good noirish tale...which reminded me a bit of the Third Man, which in turn reminded me of its most famous quote by the character played by Orson Welles, who while still not fat and kooky like we all love him, was well on his way. It went a little something like this:
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. "
A bit disturbing, yet it contains a grain of truth. Case in point: Sweden. A country that save for Ingmar Bergman has only produced very very awful pop music bands...and IKEA.