A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.
Mag
Articles
So What’s This Pirate Party I Keep Hearing About?

So What’s This Pirate Party I Keep Hearing About?

Published July 30, 2012

Recently a group of people, including current Movement MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir, announced that they were preparing to found an Icelandic version of the Pirate Party, a political movement that originated in Sweden in the mid-noughties. This received a lot of media coverage, likely because the party would have representation in parliament immediately, albeit by an MP who has founded and abandoned three political parties in the last four years.
Arrr, a pirate never settles down, the high seas always be a-callin’.
These political pirates are not named after oceanic robbers, but rather software piracy. Pirate Parties seek to change patent and copyright law, which they consider outdated and restrictive. They also campaign for free speech, transparency of governments and corporations, and the right of individuals to speak anonymously.
Arrr, that be borin’. Where be the landing of lubber, avasting of mateys, and the yo-ho-hoing of rum?

That sounds more likes euphemisms for obscure sex practices than pirate lingo. In fact, the group of Icelanders who are working to found the party tried to distance themselves from associations with maritime larceny, or any other unlawfulness. Birgitta Jónsdóttir said: “We do not think of ourselves as bandits of any kind.” Instead of using an Icelandic translation of their name, “Sjóræningjaflokkurinn,” they went with “Píratapartýið,” which may look easier to pronounce to a non-Icelandic speaker, which is true, but is something of a nonce word in Icelandic and has received a lot of derision.
Arrr, the pirate’s lingo is laughed at by knaves and fools.
Could you please stop with the pirate talk thing? Anyway, Birgitta Jónsdóttir has said that she thinks the names of political parties are silly to begin with, and that the new party may end up being called something completely different. She suggested “the PP-Party” as a name, which I swear does not sound like a lewd euphemism in Icelandic. But while the people involved have avoided the P-word, they have been perfectly comfortable labeling themselves nerds. And please, no pirate talk.
Arrr, they be… sorry… so, Birgitta aside, they’re acne-ravaged, Dungeons & Dragons-playing, momma’s-basement-dwelling soft-drink addicts?
Not really, though I am sure quite a few of them are well acquainted with twenty-sided dice. Another prominent member is a man named Smári McCarthy, whose credibility in nerd circles is so high that were he a pirate his beard would spontaneously catch fire. Among other things, Smári was one of the original administrators of the Icelandic version of Wikipedia, and has a long-time involvement with WikiLeaks, along with Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
The PP-Party came from WikiLeaks? Stop taking the piss.
Though they have run into teething troubles with naming the organisation, there is no reason to underestimate them. In other countries, the party has gotten far. In Germany the Pirate Party has 45 seats in various regional parliaments and the Swedish Pirate Party has two members in the European Parliament. While there are a lot of new parties vying for political oxygen in the 2013 Icelandic parliamentary election, the Pirate Party does have a clear, easy to explain political ideology, which cannot be said of all the others. They might have a chance if they can somehow get the voting public to talk about anything other than their party name.
No one would talk about their name if they dressed like pirates.
While that is probably true, they do want people to take them seriously, and no one takes nerds running around in pirate costume seriously. The caricature of the Pirate Party is that it is nothing but a group of nerds whose great concern in life is to be able to download any film, game or song they want with impunity.
Arrr… wanting to plunder and pillage, now there be pirates true.
The only thing the Pirate Party is looking to plunder is enough votes to get seats in parliament in the next election. Traditionally, piracy has not been very popular in Iceland, a 17th Century slave-taking expedition by Barbary pirates was one of the most notorious episodes in Icelandic history. On the other hand, Iceland was originally founded as retirement home for Vikings, which are a kind of pirate, so maybe the Icelandic Pirate Party can name themselves the Viking Party.



Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Holuhraun Continues To Erupt

by

It’s been almost a month since the Holuhraun eruption started, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of it stopping soon. Meanwhile, the Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside, which means that it must still be feeding magma to the Holuhraun eruptive fissure. The surrounding area is still closed to the public (sorry!) due to high concentrations of poison gas and the continuing risk of flooding. In the last two weeks there has been quite a bit of air pollution (mostly sulphur dioxide, the one that smells like rotten eggs) due to gas emanating from the eruptive fissure. Daily forecasts

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Which Way 
The Wind Blows

by

“This is what we call a ‘washing board,’” our guide Kormákur Hermannsson says, his voice barely intelligible as we jostle violently on the bumpy mountain road. Indeed it feels like we are driving over one. It’s been nine hours since we set off from Reykjavík to see the Holuhraun eruption in Iceland’s remote highlands, and we are shaking. To our right, the sun is a blinding red ball peeking out from behind the clouds. Mount Herðubreið looms over an orange haze that blankets the horizon. We are still a few hours away from the eruption, yet its presence is unmistakeable.

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

One Man’s Miracle

by

Möðrudalur, one of the most isolated farms in Iceland, lies under the icy nipple of Mt. Herðubreið in the northeastern part of the island.  In 1919, a man named Jón Stefánsson bought Möðrudalur from one of his brothers.  Jón was a saddler and harness maker by trade. He was also an accomplished musician. At night he’d sit at his organ, and the echo of Bach sonatas, which he’d play backwards note for note, would sweep over Möðrudalur’s lava and empty sands. Jón was, to put it mildly, an eccentric. He’d wake up at 4am and get the farm labourers working

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Mexicans: They’re Everywhere!

by

When I began my search for Mexicans in Iceland, I was prepared to hear fantastic stories about cultural polarity. And that’s exactly what I got. From tiny Vopnafjörður we travel to the centre of it all, Reykjavík. This is the story of Rodrigo Aparicio, who found a second home in Iceland. What does “exotic” mean? For many, Mexico—with its countless ecosystems, dialects, blue shores, sandy beaches, archaeological sites and colonial cities—fits the bill perfectly. To Mexicans, “exotic” is perhaps the type of place where you’ll experience midnight sun and the Northern Lights, where folks aren’t coy about the human body,

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Höfði-San: Shrimp Salesman Built A Replica Of A Reykjavík Landmark

by

Iceland became the focus of world attention when US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík in October 1986 to discuss nuclear disarmament. The powerful couple met at Höfði, a small villa on Borgartún, the street where the ghosts of the fallen Icelandic banking system roam today. Many of the banks had headquarters and offices on this street, which lies only a kilometre or so away from the city centre. Before the international financial crisis obliterated the overweight Icelandic finance industry, the bankers wanted to build huge towers and other mega structures in the area, which

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Independence Is Not A Disaster:

by

After decades of discussion on the political and economic details of a theoretically independent Scotland, the Scottish citizens finally face the vote that could bring this country into reality. The vote on the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, asking “Should Scotland be an independent country?” will take place this Thursday, September 18, 2014. “We have a shared interest” As part of the discourse on their potential independence, Scottish political leaders are looking to the Nordic countries as models in developing their social and economic policies. In addition to potentially modelling welfare and taxation on Nordic systems, other involvement ranges from applying

Show Me More!