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Opinion
Where do they go from here?

Where do they go from here?

Published January 14, 2005

Davíð Oddsson
Having spent almost a decade as top dog in the city, and then another decade as top dog in the country, people wondered what he would do when he left office. Before he entered politics he was a promising actor, and his performances in Áramótaskaupið and the annual RÚV news first of April spoof prove that he’s still got it. However, a man of his age and build would probably mostly get Edward G. Robinson or Oliver Hardy parts, which may not be appealing to someone used to being a leading man. He has also released two volumes of short stories, but the one book everyone will be waiting for is his biography, mostly to see whether he will slag off the current President. To everyone’s surprise, he decided to stay on the cabinet as Foreign Minister. And people were even more surprised when his first high profile decision went against the American alliance by offering Bobby Fischer a residence permit. The unpredictable Oddsson may not have strayed too far from his roots in absurdist theatre after all.

Jennifer Aniston
For a decade she was America’s sweetheart. Eclipsing both her co-leading ladies in Friends, she was the most desirable woman in television. Then she married the most desirable man in the world. Aniston was probably the most envied woman on the face of the earth. With films such as Bruce Almighty and Along Came Polly, she has so far been the most successful Friend in cinema but has yet to prove that her charm can make the transition from the small to the big screen. And then came the bombshell, Brad Pitt dumped her. Whom do you sleep with after the most beautiful man in the world? A genius? Who cares. Aniston is still a star post-hubby. But she is no longer the most envied woman in the world. That title will probably go to whomever Pitt dates next.

Bill Clinton
For eight years he was the most powerful man in the world. He was President of the United States in an interregnum between Republican incumbents when the US was generally admired and respected. When he toured Eastern Europe shortly after the collapse of communism, he was hailed as liberator. When his term was up in January 2001, he had a hell of a resume, but hasn’t been able to hold a steady job since. But what do you do after having been the most powerful man in the world? With his autobiography generally considered a bore, and his talked about talk show not seeming likely to materialise, his brightest career prospect might be as the United States first First Husband, Mr. Hillary Clinton.



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Letter To UNESCO

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Dear UNESCO, It was a great honour when Reykjavik became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2011 and we Icelanders are very proud to be counted as one amongst seven amazing cities carrying this title. Realising this is not a temporary title, but a title for keeps which carries a certain recognition and prestige, we have become apprehensive about it and would therefore like to bring a few points to your attention. In a new budget proposal, the present Icelandic government has proposed to raise the sales tax (VAT) on books from 7% up to 12%. The immediate and obvious

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Everything Counts

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Statistics Iceland (SI) raised a few eyebrows when the institution announced that it would as of September include estimates of various illegal activities when calculating Iceland’s GDP and balance of payments. Drug trafficking, smuggling and prostitution are now included among the more “traditional” industries in the state’s official GPD calculations, a move that SI claims will increase Iceland’s GDP by 0.47%. Understandably, the institution’s announcement generated a loud “whaaat!?!?” across social media, as people attempted to make sense of this unexpected addition to the Icelandic economy. It just made no sense! Why would the statistics bureau be interested in boosting

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So What’s This Faroese Ship I Keep Hearing About?

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The Faroese trawler ‘Næraberg’ was fishing for mackerel in Greenlandic waters when its engine suffered a malfunction. As the Icelandic Coast Guard was best situated to help, it sent a plane out to the trawler with spare engine parts, which it dropped in a parachute. The Faroese crew retrieved them in a dinghy and went to work repairing the engine. Another lovely story of cooperation in the North Atlantic Ocean, where hard men with soft hearts help each other survive. After the attempted repairs, the engine could only produce a fraction of normal power. The ship set course for Iceland.

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Nuke The Middle-East, Give Up On Iceland

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Today, Monday, Professor Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson, the Icelandic neoliberal experiment’s chief ideologue since the late 1970’s, recommends that the Icelandic right wing draw a lesson from the Swedish election results, as well as the rise of Britain’s UKIP, and uphold stronger xenophobic policies: “struggle against immigration and sever the ties to the EU”. Teacher, journalist and right-wing pundit Páll Vilhjálmsson wrote a blog post titled ‘Nuclear bombs are Christian‘ suggesting that the West nuke parts of the Middle-East to teach its inhabitants a lesson. “The rise in militant muslims in this part of the world will sooner rather than later

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So What’s This Hazing I Keep Hearing About?

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Like young people the world over, Icelandic youths like to humiliate younger kids for fun. This behaviour takes many forms, but the one that has been in the news lately is secondary school hazing. In Iceland, primary school ends at sixteen and almost everyone starts secondary school the following autumn, although a secondary education is not compulsory. Traditionally, new students are hazed by students in the fourth and final year, with each school having their own set of rituals. Yes, if humiliation and endangerment is a tradition, then it’s okay. These hazing rituals are generally harmless. New students are made

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More People = More Fun

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To generalise: Icelanders are a greedy bunch. After we escaped from the claws of Danish colonialist rule, the national imperative has been to make as much money as possible. You can say money makes Iceland turn, even though the Mickey Mouse money we call “the Icelandic króna” hardly qualifies as a currency. I guess we’re no different than any other Western country then. Savvy Icelanders have always been adept at finding their golden eggs. First, the nation got rich by working for the UK and US militaries who looked after us through the Second World War. You could say that

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