Political discourse is the same universal language, full of silly fights and childish talk, just like an enormous kiddie sandbox. And while the former is mainly a cock fight of various ideals, the other one is just full of piss. However, both are often just full of crap. Of course, there are slight differences: take for example City Hall. From the outside everything seems fancy smancy – yet on the inside, amongst the quicksand and cesspool of two-faced political spin, you will find gremlins spouting their totalitarian political jargon. Sauron, I mean Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, the mayor of Reykjavík, has decided to launch a crusade against the location of ÁTVR (The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland) in downtown Reykjavík. Vilhjálmur, along with his political cronies, seems to feel that its presence in the midtown area attracts all the pariahs and vagabonds. Sounds like a simple solution – that is, if you ignore the fact that ÁTVR, although run by the government, is nonetheless a company and its priorities lie in serving the demands and needs of its customers.
Perhaps our mayor is more a man of action than words, somewhat in the mould of the classical 80’s action hero genre? He is more of a Terminator than a left leaning liberal hanging on to his soapbox, more Action Jackson than a cuddler, “more machine than man”. Call me a commie or liberal or whatever you damn please, I just think it is strange and very uncouth that a city official can try to dictate what others wish to drink. His foray into our civil liberties is despicable. The man actually has the nerve to write a letter to ÁTVR and complain that they sell cold beer by the can, not only in six packs. Perhaps he might be earning points with fanatical religious suburbanites; I just don’t know what kind of person condones that sort of behaviour. And strangely enough, I have not heard or read enough from the junior league camp of the Independent Party remonstratively rebuffing this conservative element of their party; yet the young ones always punctuate the loudest when somebody from left side of the political spectrum speaks out about anything.
Nevertheless, I might be young and way too idealistic – but I cannot see how a bum or a drunk would care about the temperature of their drink. A normal conversation for dipsomaniacs would not be “Not the Chateau!”, “Please, pass the white wine, it just goes so well with this brie I bought” or even “Damn, that Heineken was so much better cold, my life doesn’t seem so bleak now”, especially seeing as how their drink of choice is usually to be found in the drugstore and when their purse is actually not full of lint you can see them drinking cheap ass vodka. If people are tired of seeing bums in the street then they should stop complaining, because those who complain the loudest are usually the ones who have their own private chant “See no evil, hear no evil, just speak some evil”. This hidden problem has been going on for a long time, because even last year the police were trying to ban these individuals from sitting on Austurvöllur. And just this summer some of the residents of Njálsgata were inebriated over their bitter indignation when they heard about the plan to build a residence, i.e. a home for people down on their luck, in their area.
Sadly enough this is not the only attempt by city officials to try to curb our liberties. Stéfan Eiríksson, chief of police, is part of this vanguard of the older generation that just doesn’t seem to get it. His patchy quilt work of a plan is that the clubs and bars of Reykjavík should be more scattered around the city and that there could be sufficient reason for earlier closing times – yet it was only a short time ago that licensing laws in England were changed, allowing for around the clock drinking. And I am pretty sure that if London can handle these opening hours along with the rest of Europe, I don’t think that the berserker Viking gene should make that much of a difference. Eiríksson also made the very common error of trying to say that violence has increased – yet at the same time a professor of sociology denied that same charge. Although the thing is, even if violence has increased, I think you would have to categorize the statistics by where in the city they happen and the background of the people committing these offences – and maybe keeping in mind the fact that you may have one offender or many committing a majority of these offences. And for example, a person who goes clubbing at Sólon is perhaps more likely to start a fight than say perhaps someone at Kaffibarinn or Sirkus. Here is another shocker: try comparing Reykjavík with the nightlife in Keflavík. Almost every weekend you hear about violence and drugs there, despite the fact they have a population of 12,000 citizens. Strange, 101 Reykjavík doesn’t seem so shady after reading mbl.is.
The fact is that there will always be other people willing to rain on the parade of others. Some people just like fighting. It’s just like politics. Mine is bigger than yours and I am right. While some people on a night out on the town are more preoccupied by dancing and having fun with friends – or trying to cop a feel with their new nightlife partner – there will always be some who suffers from a heightened sense of emasculation, a rapacious feeling or need to beat some other male up – an act in my opinion that borders on homo-eroticism almost akin to the erastes of Ancient Greece. It seems to be a reverse pick up line – which by default you obviously cannot use on girls. Why just on Friday whilst returning home from a night out I was chastised by two tourists, actually one. One was admiring the sunrise, while the other one kept saying “We will fuck you up. Should we fuck him up?” while I just laughed which resulted in him saying “We will fuck you up”. It was almost believable, except for the fact that I was sober, weighed more than them combined and had just been told how good looking I was. Cocky, I know. But he did use the word: fuck. Just don’t let politicians ruin your day. Drink, drink and be merry or as the great one said “Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication”.
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