I was invited to perform at the annual 4th of July party hosted by the US Embassy in Reykjavík. Naturally, my first thought was that I couldn’t perform with a clear conscience without saying something. At first I wrote a pretty serious speech in which I criticized the US government’s foreign policy and surveillance state tactics, among other things. After some consideration I thought to myself: “Shit, this is going to be way too awkward,” so instead my performance partner and I wrote a kind of vaudeville-style comedy bit—we thought it would be a little less excruciating. It was good that we changed it up, because I guess it’s in the vein of a tradition that’s popular in the US, like when the President invites comedians to crack jokes at him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This tradition is in continuation of medieval jesters, who were basically the only ones allowed to openly make fun of kings and noblemen.
It was a pretty tough crowd since a lot of wine was floating around—of course, alcohol is the fuel of all diplomatic relations. What most surprised me, though, was that many people seemed to love it—some of them were clapping and shouting: “More! More!” after the show. There were a bunch of US marines (pictured above) looming about and I handed them my print of the comedy bit and the discarded, heavily critical speech. They all eagerly gathered around to read the piece of paper and each one of them laughed confusedly and then took turns looking at me and my hype man in a very perplexed manner, then looking back down at the speech. Still, everyone was very welcoming and I sincerely thank the embassy for having invited us.
After I posted the clip on the Internet, I googled “Lord Pusswhip embassy” to find the US embassy blog post about the party. On Google.com, I saw that the blog post said something like: “Thanks to Geir Ólafsson, Magnús Kjartansson and Lord Pusswhip for a lovely concert.” Then, when I went to the original page, it appeared that my name had been removed. That’s fine by me though.
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