Be my Valentine "Lost" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Be my Valentine “Lost”

Be my Valentine “Lost”

Published May 18, 2007

One of the worst things you can go through is an anti-climax, because it is important enough to make you cringe at the onslaught of tumultuous emotions that occur afterwards. However, these dreaded moments are never enough to justify a diatribe you just end up looking like the archetypical, self righteous jerk in need of a hug.
I am obviously guilty of the above. I probably have a “roller coaster inside my brain” and therefore I am putting myself out on a limb, so here it goes: Eurovision sucks. Everything about it is so bizarre and surreal in a bad way, like Mister Mxyzptlk or Leave it Beaver. It just reeks of plebeian music taste, although there have been a few redeeming qualities such as Abba, Ágústa Eva as Silvía Nótt, Páll Óskar and then there are the annual parties each year. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but I find our contribution to be contrived, sort of like a poor man’s version of Meatloaf. Mind you this is coming from a man who loves the tunes from Karate Kid II and Say Anything.
However, this roller coaster of emotional taxation has more to do with the “upcoming elections” or, by the time this is published and if you have not skipped over this page, the election results. My anti-climax has already begun. I have already voted in the Icelandic embassy in London, although my futile attempt at voting was almost thwarted by West Ham’s premier star, Eggert Magnússon, who almost skipped ahead of me in the queue the queue being me and my Fante book. After voting I felt and still feel an odd sense of relief, as if I did my duty, stood up and cheered for my team. Essentially “the tiger trapped inside the cage” had been let out with this catharsis of a simple pencil stroke.
During the past months politicians have “Said Anything”: Empty promises, belligerent comments and riveting performances of how terrible things will be or become if the other individual and his party come to power. You can almost hear some candidates whispering in your ears: “I am the man who will fight for your honour; I’ll be the hero that you’re dreaming of. We will live forever”. If that doesn’t work there are always scare tactics such as: “If we get such terrible results in the elections then we won’t form a government”. Gee, do you think so, darling? Real progressive and against the grain thinking going on there.
Another example of a myriad of bad tactics is that if the left leaning parties come to power, i.e. Social Democrats and Left Green, where you can expect a total collapse of the economy or to paraphrase Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid” becomes: “Stupid, they are stupid about the economy”. Nevertheless, none of this really matters. You can always recollect the good things that the government has done for the last twelve years, because it won’t really matter anyway. Ditto for the bad things, which in my opinion are almost enough to warrant a massive eBay shopping spree of guillotines for unnamed crooks, sorry, I mean, politicians. It is completely irrelevant, of course. Short term political memory does play a part but it is allegiance that is the most important factor here in Iceland regarding both football clubs and politics.
Politics here in Iceland are lot like Eurovision and English football teams. It doesn’t matter who has the best song or best team. You just always pick your team, for good or for worse, although sadly enough most people forget rather suddenly why they chose their particular party or team. A good example would be Manchester United supporters and the Independence party fanatics. Go ask a person in downtown Reykjavík why they like both. To avoid looking foolish, the social construct of the conversation would of course depend on whether or not it was sports or politics. So here is an example: “Hi, what is your favourite football club, brother? “Oi, tis Manchester United! Rooney!!” “Eh, why, brother?” “Because they are the best!” Now the same principal can be applied to politics. “Why do you vote for the Independence Party?” “Because he/she is such a great leader and they have such great policies (line-up)”. “Huh, can you name some?” “Shut up, you are an Arsenal (Left wing) fan, of course you cannot begin to understand such greatness”. Evidently this also applies to all the political parties. It almost makes you yearn for some votes to be more equal than other ones. Or at least some sort of test to be held before each person is handed a ballot because you should at least know why, and be able to articulate why, you support or vote for you team.
But when push comes to shove, maybe I shouldn’t hyperventilate over the fact that I have voted; things will probably just stay pretty much the same, even though we convince ourselves differently and think that “in the eyes of our teams or parties we are complete”. Meanwhile, everyone else cheering for the other side is an Other. Maybe I am just the only one who feels that Icelandic politics are lost and stagnated. However, I do know one thing I would have loved to cast as many votes as I wanted for 99 ISK, just like we all do in Eurovision.

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