Mag
Feature
Predator for President

Predator for President

Published September 12, 2008

In retrospect it might seem obvious, but at the time no one really suspected that two of the stars of mid-eighties action flick Predator would become US governors. Back then, most people thought of it as a lightweight shoot ‘em up about big men with big guns running through the jungle looking for a monster to blow up rather than an introduction to politics.

But this was during the Reagan era, when B-movie actors ruled the world. Perhaps the subliminal message here was that Arnie was representing Ollie North, and the monster a Central American socialist. In any case, two of the pumped up muscle men would go on to greater things. Jesse Ventura, formerly a wrestler, would become Governor of Minnesota. And Arnie, of course, is currently Governor of California. It seems that the only major character in Predator not to get his own state was poor Carl Weathers. A black guy just can’t catch a break. Not only did he lose a hand in the movie itself, after having recently been beaten to death by another socialist monster in Rocky IV, but his post-Predator career highlight is spoofing himself as a failed actor in the series Arrested Development. Admittedly, Arrested is probably better than anything Arnie ever did. Still, you can‘t help but feel the poor guy was shafted. They could have at least given him Wisconsin or something.

Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Aron Pálmi
It seems that the only guy to do worse out of Predator than Carl Weathers was the monster itself. True, Predator returned in a sequel, Predator 2, but this was typecasting of the worst kind. And it got worse. While there is a certain dignity to being beaten up by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the second film he is bested by senior citizen Danny Glover, with Mel Gibson nowhere in sight. And while Arnie went on to do the obligatory family friendly comedy, poor Pred only returned to acting by repeating his signature role in Predator vs. Aliens 1 and 2. This time, he doesn‘t even get to headline any more, but has to share credits with the monster from another franchise. His old foe Arnie was never reduced to the obvious battle of the 80‘s buffs, something in the vein of Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone, but Preds seems destined to forever duke it out with the other 80‘s monster (yes, I know Alien first came out in 1979). Speaking of Stallone, Sly may have been prophetic when he went to the future in Demolition Man and found that Arnie had become president. However, it is highly unlikely that in the future anyone will recognise Wesley Snipes. Except, of course, for Aron Pálmi.

No nukes for Austrians

So, it seems that with his acting career in a rut, the only sensible option open to Predator would be to follow his colleagues into politics. Who knows, he might even beat Arnie to the punch, for a change. While 2008 was the year people got to choose between the possibility of the first female and the first black president, 2012 might give us the choice between the first Austrian and the first alien President. And while some people might understandably be wary of putting Predator in charge of nuclear weapons, one would do well to remember that putting Austrians in charge of Superpowers rarely bodes well. It was, in fact, Austrians that started both World Wars 1 and 2, by invading Serbia and Poland respectively. That‘s one franchise we don‘t want Arnie to return to.

The Predator and gun control
But which party would Predator run for? Arnie is firmly entrenched in the Republican Party and Jesse Ventura ran as an independent for Ross Perot’s Reform Party. Predator would want to appeal to his fanbase, and the people who rooted for him back in 1986 would want him to be opposed to Arnie. One possibility would be for him to join the Greens, as he seems to be more at home in the jungle than other habitats. However, the Democratic Party is the more obvious choice to get back at the Guvernator. The Democrats have often been accused of being soft on terrorism, but it wouldn‘t take more than their candidate presenting a few Taliban skulls with their backbones still attached to silence such doubts. However, he might soon have problems with his own party. It would be hard for the Predator to come out in favour of gun control without the press having a field day with images from his gun toting youth. Also, the Predator seems to be in favour of private initiative, as he always hunts alone. This might lead him to lower taxes. Attempts to reform Medicare might also be seen to be hypocritical by relatives of the people he has hospitalised.

Predator vs. Aliens 2020

It seems all in all that the Predator is a true Republican, and this would be the natural party for him. At best, he could perhaps be VP to Arnie’s Prez. The poor guy seems destined to be forever in Arnie’s shadow. Until, of course, his turn came up in 2020. But knowing Predator’s luck, by that time Alien would be the Democratic nominee. Alien is, after all, a natural candidate for the left. He always thinks about the interests of the group rather than the individual. Also, he would be firmly opposed to guns, as this would give him a natural advantage. And he would want a good social system to take care of the young until they are old enough to leave the nest and attach themselves to other people. Predator’s only response to such a strong candidate would be to declare all Aliens illegal. But this might bring about uncomfortable scrutiny into his own past. Only a firmly patriotic, all American VP might deflect this. Perhaps Carl Weathers could be convinced to bring out the old Stars and Stripes boxer shorts, and go one more round with socialist monsters after all.

 



Mag
Feature
Squeezing Blood From A Turnip: Iceland’s Universal Healthcare At Risk

Squeezing Blood From A Turnip: Iceland’s Universal Healthcare At Risk

by

In a small and private ceremony in a chapel in Fossvogur, around 30 friends and family members are present to pay their respects to 50-year-old Rósa Mikaelsdóttir, a single mother of three who passed away on November 17. Rósa had struggled with mental disorders for most of her life—in particular severe anxiety and depression—and, following the 2008 banking crisis, had a hard time making ends meet on her disability allowance. After the ceremony, I speak with her family. They tell me that Rósa barely managed to keep a roof over her head in recent years, and that she often couldn’t

Mag
Feature
May Day Mayday: Iceland’s Ongoing Doctor Strike

May Day Mayday: Iceland’s Ongoing Doctor Strike

by

Following a round of unsuccessful negotiations, doctors in Iceland commenced their first ever strike in late October. In the wake of the banking crisis, so as to share the burden, doctors not only accepted a 5% wage cut, but also ceased seeking pay raises with as much fervour as before. As a result, their wages now lag far behind other public sector professions and the consumer price index. Compensation in the Icelandic healthcare sector is no longer competitive with those in our neighbouring countries, both in terms of salaries and holiday allowances. Now that the economy is purportedly in better

Mag
Feature
Iceland’s University Hospital: The Director Speaks

Iceland’s University Hospital: The Director Speaks

by

Throughout the whole healthcare debacle, one man has consistently remained focused on the big picture:the National University Hospital of Iceland (LSH) director Dr. Páll Matthíasson, PhD. Educated as a psychiatrist, Páll worked in London, England, from 1997-2007 before returning to Iceland, where he served as a senior physician before becoming the Chief Psychiatry Executive at LSH in 2009—and director at the end of 2013. Despite the tremendous pressure he faces with the ongoing strike, Páll still finds time to sit down with me in his office to discuss LSH and the future of medicine in Iceland. “Off the cliff” Up

Mag
Feature
Down To The Bone: The Healthcare System, Post-Austerity

Down To The Bone: The Healthcare System, Post-Austerity

by

Following the economic collapse of 2008, the Icelandic State’s debts skyrocketed, reaching 126% of the country’s GDP in 2011. At the same time, State revenue sources ground to a halt, and property devalued. The consumer price index shows price levels on consumer goods increased by a whopping 18.6% from 2008 to 2009, and strict capital controls were put in place to stop funds from funnelling out of the country. In a desperate attempt to avoid national bankruptcy, the State underwent hefty austerity measures, and called in the IMF. Although these facts are readily available, a myth persists to this day

Mag
Feature
Prescribing Trouble: Iceland’s Social Insurance Explained

Prescribing Trouble: Iceland’s Social Insurance Explained

by

Prescription drugs used to be either completely, partially or not at all covered by the insurance system, sometimes arbitrarily. On May 4, 2013, a new system was implemented, which was meant to be simpler and more just than the old one. The new arrangement entails three payment steps, where patients must progress from paying the full price of medication, to 15% and then 7.5%. Once the total costs reach a certain cap, patients can request a medical exemption licence that sees their medication fully subsidized. The system resets every year, making patients go through the three steps again. Medical professionals

Mag
Feature
Iceland’s Healthcare System: How Does It Work?

Iceland’s Healthcare System: How Does It Work?

by

Iceland maintains a universal healthcare system, under which all legal residents are covered by the Icelandic social insurance system. All hospital admissions are paid for by this system, as is the majority of the cost of outpatient appointments. There is a token fee to see General Practitioners (GPs) and specialists, with fees for the latter considerably higher, particularly after the economic collapse of 2008. Iceland’s primary healthcare is split up into hospitals, health institutions and healthcare clinics. There are two hospitals, Landspítalinn, the National University Hospital of Iceland (hereafter referred to as LSH), which is located in Reykjavík and serves

Show Me More!