A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country
Mag
Opinion
Believe In Jesus. Now Give Me My Free Shit!

Believe In Jesus. Now Give Me My Free Shit!

Bob Cluness
Words by

Published April 23, 2010

For many years during my childhood, I was a fully committed Christian. Stop laughing, it’s absolutely true! I attended church very, well, religiously. I read large parts of the Bible, prayed at night and didn’t swear at all. Shit, I didn’t even say the word “sex” as I thought saying it would damn my soul. Yup, religion sure had its theocratic tentacles wrapped around me.  Then I turned 14, looked out my window and thought. “This is all bollocks. I can’t do this anymore!” I went to my local church and told them I wouldn’t be coming back. And it hasn’t given me any problems. Well apart from issues with clowns and autoerotic asphyxiation.
    Why all of this reminiscing about my religious past? Well Easter has just passed, where we celebrated the fact that Jesus apparently suffered a massive health and safety accident by getting himself nailed to a bit of wood. We’re also smack right in the Icelandic confirmation season.
    Ah yes, that point in an Icelandic child’s life when he or she is sent to church-school to learn about Jesus for the winter, then attend a big service where they sing some tasty hymns and stand up to proclaim their never-ending devotion to the great bearded one in the sky.
    But the fun doesn’t end there. Afterwards, a lavish party of Caligulean proportions is thrown by the kids’ families. Not only is the saintly sprog likely to receive bucketloads of money from friends and family members, but they’ll also receive hugely expensive gifts, such as golden motorbikes or a unicorn weaned on the tears of Björk. All in all, it is a glorious ceremony to celebrate a young person’s love for Jesus.
    Except, as many people know but maybe don’t accept, that all of this is hypocritical bullshit. Most of the children involved neither are nor will be regular churchgoers, and most don’t believe in God either. I’m sure many Icelanders will say that this is a long held tradition that brings families together. But the real message I seem to garner from all of this is “lie about something you do not care about and get tons of free shit and money for it”. And people wonder how certain Icelanders can breezily make statements on one thing when they believe the exact opposite. It’s because they start when they’re young!
    And that’s just something I can’t seem to get my head around. Like many other nations, Iceland is moving towards a post-religious society, where religion can be freely practiced but the majority of people, well, can’t be arsed, really. And yet so many people feel compelled or pressured to perform this ceremony without asking if it’s really needed in their lives.
    “But Bob,” I hear you cry, “why the grouchiness? Surely if families are dumb enough to blow their savings on this, then surely that’s their prerogative?” Well, it doesn’t take a genius to point out that the gradual but never-ending squeeze of the Kreppa means many families are finding it harder to afford these up and coming confirmation parties and gifts. Ask yourself, fellow Icelander, if burying yourself under mountains of debt to entertain several family members you don’t even like while little Unnar gets to ride on a combination jet ski/laptop that YOU´VE bought is worth watching him take part in something that at the end of the day he doesn’t even really care about? Something tells me that many of you won’t even bother asking this question.
    By all means have a confirmation if you and your children are people of faith. But personally, when I have children, I’m going to spend my money for something they believe in. Oh and clown self-defence lessons. Those bastards are sneaky…. 



Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hello! I Must Be Going!

by

To forge a synthesis: Last week, as evident in what follows, citizens of the volcano-plagued republic seem to have mainly wondered which things should be allowed entrance into their country and which should rather be kept out: should meat-products from elsewhere be allowed? How about people from elsewhere? How about only the best people from elsewhere? If locally produced people are supposed to stay, then who is supposed to accommodate them? How can the country attract all the best people and still get rid of all the ‘good people’? Should books stay or go? Last but not least: is there

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Letter To UNESCO

by

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

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Everything Counts

by

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

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

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

by

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.

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Nuke The Middle-East, Give Up On Iceland

by

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

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

So What’s This Hazing I Keep Hearing About?

by

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

Show Me More!