Exactly one week ago, as Icelanders collectively fumed over their government’s latest acts of seemingly blatant disregard for democracy (and also the weather), Ghostigital dropped a bombshell of a song that seemed tailor-made for the current climate. Entitled Ekki mín ríkisstjórn (“Not My Government”), the track features a sneering Einar Örn mercilessly mocking the current government and its ministers, directly referencing several of the, frankly, ludicrous gaffes they have made while in office (of which there are too many to mention). It also features some pretty phat beats, and makes for perfect rage listening for Today’s Frustrated Icelander.
Seeing as you non-Icelandic speakers might gain some insight/derive some pleasure, we went ahead and translated the song’s lyrics—you may read them below. We also dropped Einar Örn a line and asked him to tell us a bit about the track and other stuff. The following is basically what he emailed us. Listen to the track, read the words, then read Einar Örn’s words. And, enjoy!
Ghostigital – Not My Government (in English, for your pleasure)
No. This is not my government. No. Everything is poison. The meat is poison. I have eaten far too much poison meat from abroad.
And I feel how my brain is deteriorating. I feel how no thought is straight anymore.
No no no.
Not my government.
I travel. I go further. I try to find Kagastan
I search and I cannot find Kagastan. I can’t find where Kagastan is.
I should pop off to Benidorm. That is a great country. But, I cannot make it to Benidorm. I am no longer part of Schengen.
And I forgot my passport at home. In the ass-pocket of my riding pants.
No. Not my government. No.
My favourite activity is vacuuming. I better vacuum a little there is so much dust here all around me.
I better vacuum a little. I start vacuuming. The vacuum stalls, it stalls a lot.
There is something wrong with the electricity here.
Is this foreign electricity?
Is this electricity foreign?
It is dirty.
Dirty electricity. Dirty electricity. this electricity is dirty.
The electricity is dirty.
Shake the lines.
Nothing happened even though I said immediately.
Immediately is a flexible concept.
Not my government. No. Not my government.
I have cleaned the filth. I take a shower.
And then, all the water’s gone.
No Icelandic water left.
Just foreign water. Oh, ó, æ, ó. I have gotten very dirty.
No, this is not my government.
Not my government.
No no no.
Hi Einar Örn! Thanks for sharing that great new Ghostigital song, What is it about?
hello grapevine, the song is about how near impossible it is live nowadays due to foreign influences. particularly if one is fond of secular and insular thinking.
That song, it’s quite topical. Do you feel there has been a lack of direct political commentary / activisim with local musicians?
no, I don’t think so. creative commentary just very often does not cut through the noise, which is funny due to the nature of ghostigital sounds.
Your lyrics often touch upon Icelanders’ daily life, satirizing current events and discussion, but I don’t recall you ever making such a topical song. Is Ekki mín ríkisstjórn Ghostigital’s most blatantly political song to date?
yes it is blatantly so. it is depicting a dilemma I will be in very soon.
The track hit the internet last Sunday, a couple of days after our Outstates Minister enraged Icelanders with his conduct concerning Iceland’s EU application—right as protestors started flocking to Austurvöllur. Was it something you had been working on and now saw reason to release, or did you just hit the studio and record it in a fit of rage over the weekend?
I do not work in rage. I work in good and humorous spirit. this track we have been playing for over a year, and it just happened that we were working on it for our new antimatter album, Drawing_fun. and we were going to release tracks from it over the next few months.
admittedly, the events of last week did flick the switch or send button.
The lyrics reference a few of our current government’s many gaffes. To the unacquainted reader (i.e.non-Icelandic speakers), could you shed some light on them? Why, for instance, is foreign electricity dirty? Why is foreign meat tainted? And is Kagastan an actual country?
I don’t want to. these instances in the lyrics do refer to real live moments, and they serve the purpose of provoking thought: is foreign meat poisonous and if so, why are people alive outside of Iceland.
if electricity is dirty abroad, how does it work? why is icelandic electricity then clean, when we sell some of our “clean” quota to abroad, so iceland is actually listed as a nuclear energy country. our electricity bill says the the source of energy: 13% nuclear.
and kagastan, well pronunciation, can be difficult of foreign words and names of countries. I think maybe the politician was referring to donald duck literature, where foreign countries were often called langortistan, which translates into english as “farawayistan”.
So, how do you really feel about Iceland’s current government.
how silly can you get and be. I don’t feel anything really. I don’t care, as it is not my government. they have a job and they are doing it. but not as my government.
One thing that sticks out in the track is your repeated use of the phrase “not my government.” You’ve always come across as a bit of an anarchist, and one might have assumed that none of Iceland’s past governments were exactly “your government.” Is the current one especially offensive to your sensibilities? And, despite maybe not being too fond of past governments, have you nonetheless acknowledged their agency to a greater extent? What makes this one different?
there is no difference really. the artwork does sport an anarchist flag. in my utopia we do not need a government. no government at all. call me naive but hey, it is my utopia. I want to believe in people, not governments.
Your old Smekkleysa mate Björk recently called for another ‘Post and pans revolution’. I take it it’s safe to assume you share her view?
yes. “my punctuality is well known. when the revolution happens, I’ll be late and shot as a traitor.”
You were deeply involved in the Best Party while it ran Reykjavík—any plans to run for Alþingi?
no, I have no intention of doing so. but if the phone call came, I would be running TO alþingi to save Óttarr, if he needed saving.
What, in your opinion, would be an ideal government for Icelanders at the moment? Who would lead it?
this is a tough one, having said everything above. but I do think that the first step, would be to re-examine the icelandic constitution and finish the work on a new constitution that was started a few years back, in wake of the 2008 crash. I think that would be the best and most prosperous task that iceland could complete. then we can discuss government.
Indeed, there was a lot of modest optimism in the air post-collapse, with folks gathering to discuss new ways of doing things and avoiding past mistakes. However, all the think tanks and citizens’ organizations seem to have faded away by now. What happened?
i believe it is still there. And, to reiterate, I believe that a new constitution would have moved us, not only into the 21st century but into a new modern way of thinking and indeed behaving, instead of feeding always the lowest common denominator of greed and anger. any government should be finishing the re-examing of the constitution, as it will open up for optimism and not the same-old same-old attitude politicians seem to cherish, especially if they are in power.
What’s going on with yourself and Ghostigital? Can we expect more new music in the immediate future? An album in the works? Also, you’re making a lot of visual art these days. Has that become a focal point of yours?
ghostigital are rearing their heads and buttons these days, making new anti-music. and, yes, a new collection of tracks will be surfacing over the next months.
drawing has been a part of me for years. it is just more visual.