From Iceland — Last Words: Everything's Not Awesome

Last Words: Everything’s Not Awesome

Last Words: Everything’s Not Awesome

Published March 13, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” has been on heavy rotation in my home in recent months. (If you haven’t seen it, please go do so now. I’ll wait.) The kids and I practice our brooding while I read them the news over breakfast. The apples haven’t fallen far from the tree; “brood” is my default state.

In a wonderfully mature spin to the first Lego flick, wherein the theme song espoused that “everything is awesome,” the characters in the sequel find themselves in the “Bin of Storajj” and break into a nihilistic little ditty declaring that “everything’s not awesome.” Truth.

Living in Reykjavík, that line cuts particularly deep these days.

Parents of preschool-aged children are juggling work and caring for their own spawn as the Efling union strike drags on. Even in the cold, Laugavegur reeks of rotting garbage and dog shit, as the City’s outdoor workers are also on strike. The aforementioned dog shit may or may not be in the overflowing garbage bins… Icelanders haven’t shown themselves to be particularly diligent in picking up after their pets.

Meanwhile, Bíó Paradís’ closure draws nearer by the day and I still haven’t seen “Parasite”. To top it off, it looks like rolling strikes are soon hitting the liquor stores. I’m pretty sure I read I need to drink 60% alcohol at regular intervals throughout the day to fend off the coronavirus that has recently arrived in Reykjavík, so I’m screwed if the ATVR locks up.

As a loveable bunch of Danish figurines so eloquently sing when the going gets tough: everything’s not awesome; things can’t be awesome all of the time; so pressure Reykjavíkurborg to pay their workers a decent wage, go see a movie, and wash your fucking hands… I may be paraphrasing that last part.

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