A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: The Holuhraun eruption is at it again

The Voice Of The Resistance

Published July 25, 2003

Anyone who read John Boyce’s article on the media (issue 2) should have realised that said media are not to be trusted. It seems that in the information society we are bombarded by the media 24/7, all of it telling us the same thing, and ultimately, is seems, owned by the same people. Where Iceland only a decade ago had almost a dozen newspapers, it now has only three. But the truth, as the saying goes, is out there. You just need to know where to look, and ignore the headlines.

In the communist countries the strategy of the powers that be was to keep information about the outside world from the masses. This failed completely. In capitalist ones, the strategy of whomever it is who ultimately runs things seems to be to saturate us with information until we become numb to it all (would pictures of starving children in Ethiopia elicit the same response as it did even in 1984, now that horrors are brought into our living room every night). Our only non-violent response to this is to point out where alternative sources of information, not run by corporate interests, can be found.

The internet is still a free forum for opinions. Anyone can use it to say whatever he wants. However, it is so vast that all opinions almost have the effect of cancelling each other out. It is hence our duty to point out the sites that are saying something that sounds like a reasonable approximation of truth. One of these is Apsaras Review. It is run by someone up in Akureyri called Paul Fontaine-Nikolov, who claims the idea came to him when he was a drug smuggler in Tangiers in ’47, while drinking with William Burroghs. Whether this story is historically accurate or not is of no consequence, what is important is that the company, Kremena Publishing, is currently looking for new talent to publish in its netzine. It´s aim is twofold, to help unknown writers be heard, and to use the proceeds to help organisations such as Amnesty International, United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ) and Cambodian Mine Action Center. If tha’´s not worthwhile, then at least it beats sheepshagging. Their current issue includes everything from a first person account inside an aircraft carrier in the 91 Gulf War, to an interview with a member of the Icelandic Left-Green Party.

The mag’s manifesto sounds something like: “What I would like to see accomplished with the help of Apsaras Review is that every-day people from around the world can come here and express their point of view about what’s going on around them, that other people around the world can respond to them, and that this forum grows in both strength and volume. Dialogue can lead to understanding, understanding can lead to unity, and unity can take us anywhere. All the power in “running the world” only seems to belong to the wealthy and the politicians. The fact is, we run the world. Our labour, our taxes, our presence (or lack thereof) at the polls, our military service–what else do the powerful rest upon but this? The distance between the rulers and the ruled is much shorter than it seems; they sit upon our very shoulders, and can be put on the earth with as little effort as it takes to shrug. Of course, such an action will never be possible without a little solidarity. I hope Apsaras Review can contribute to just such a solidarity.”

Send your submissions to: www.kremenapublishing.com, or read the thing at: www.kremenapublishing.com/ar10259x35.html.



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Workers Unite!

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Earlier this month, a news story broke in the Icelandic media that a young Icelandic woman working at Lebowski Bar was fired after she asked to be paid minimum wage—effectively a pay rise over what she was getting. The story sparked shock and outrage amongst many. To others, it was merely par for the course. Restaurants, bars and clubs in Iceland are notorious for the use of what is known as jafnaðarkaup (“median pay”)—a form of wage offsetting. By most collective bargaining agreements in the service industry, a worker is supposed to receive a base hourly wage, plus an extra

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News In Brief Late August

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Unless you’ve been literally living in a cave for the past two weeks, chances are that you’ve heard of the possible eruption at Bárðarbunga peak. In the end (at the time of writing), this insufferable geological formation didn’t have the decency to erupt even a little bit, let alone disrupt air travel across the European continent. Instead, it rumbled, made some tremors, fooled scientists into thinking a small eruption was underway when there totally wasn’t, annoyed farmers affected by the evacuation of the area, spawned endless alarmist articles in the international press, and failed to destroy the Kárahnjúkar Dam. Worst.

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On August 16, the Western media spotlight fell on Iceland once again. As is usually the case when the outside world likes to acknowledge our existence, an eruption was involved. Or was there? That day it became known that there had been a slow and steady build-up of unusually strong seismic activity at Bárðarbunga, Vatnajökull Glacier’s highest peak. All signs indicated that a subglacial volcano was about to erupt. International headlines ranged from modest “Bardarbunga eruption sparks red travel alert,” to the slightly more worrying “Eruption May Cause Monumental Flood,” to the cataclysmic “Icelandic volcano could trigger Britain’s coldest winter

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Let The Gaymes Begin!

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A group of handsome young men gather in the historic city of Rome this week, in the hopes of winning the title of Mr Gay World, an annual beauty pageant for gay rights. The winner of the competition gets to travel all over the world as a global representative for the international gay community. Our very own Iceland has a hopeful delegate in this year’s running, the super charismatic Mr Troy Michael. “I love the gay scene in Iceland. It’s just so great and almost the whole country was at Gay Pride and everything. It’s so awesome,” says Troy. With Iceland’s gay-friendly laws

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Dyngjujökull Glacier Photo Gallery

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On August 21, photographer Axel Sigurðarson flew over Dyngjökull glacier in a two-seater airplane through Mýflug Air. He didn’t see any volcanic eruption, but snapped some gorgeous shots for us—check them out below. See more Eruption Iceland stories.

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“They Are A Gruesome Lot”

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It is thought that the first cats touched Icelandic soil in the tenth century, accompanied by human settlers. Those first Icelandic cats did not leave much of a mark on history. Though cats appear in Nordic mythology and Icelandic folklore, our furry friends are seldom mentioned in Icelandic historical chronicles, sagas or other ancient literature. A notable exception to this is ‘Vatnsdæla saga’ (‘The Saga Of The People Of Vatnsdalur’), a thirteenth century family chronicle about Ingimundur the Old, the first settler in Vatnsdalur valley in northern Iceland, and his offspring. In one chapter, Ingimundur’s two sons, Þorsteinn and Jökull,

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