After the events of the past few days, it is hard not to think of Goya’s painting of Saturn Devouring His Son. Iceland is still in shambles and its children are devouring the government that they voted for to clean up the mess. After watching our country suffer a meltdown induced by half-witted Gordon Gekko wannabes, I sense that a large majority of Icelanders think that the Independence Party can offer a soothing return to blissful ignorance. The robber barons and fishing industry tycoons want a return to Icelandic capitalism: crony capitalism.
And while benches were being burned, not on a bonfire of vanities, but on a bonfire of misdirected anger and ignorance, Morgunblaðið and other “respectable” media outlets claimed that this was a mass showing of ordinary citizens that were demanding a new government. However, last time there were similar protests it was because dangerous communists and extremists sought to threaten Iceland’s stability and economical recovery. Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the Independent Party, better known as The Ken Doll, put on his Janus performance. He praised the protests since he was not in power, since Bjarni is far too busy to dare sully himself and his silver spoon by showing up.
These benches have been the homes of Reykjavík’s derelict and downtrodden, the people we walk past every day downtown. These protesters complain of a lack of income for basic needs such as food, and yet they have enough disposable income to buy egg cartons, juice bottles and other items to throw at the government that actually may not be doing the greatest job in the world yet it is still cleaning up the mess that the distinct Icelandic crony capitalism created, which enabled Jón Ásgeir and others to buy up the whole country, bleed it, torch it and then lie to the Icelandic people on television; on the same flat screen televisions the children of the boom years bought while the Progressive Party created a housing bubble with a cheerful face in ads.
The protests seemed to be comprised of a generation of “me first” Icelanders: teenagers that prefer reading text messages to books, suburbanites that lived in a bubble and believed the lies perpetuated by Morgunblaðið and the Independence Party—people that actually use words like communist with a straight face and thought that Iceland was somehow more special than every other country in the world. However, the most pathetic part of the protests had to be the Neo-Nazis and their symbols. Instead of focusing their rage on the individuals that created an oligarchic society made up of crony capitalists, we now have people spewing their hatred on others. After suffering from a severe case of capitalistic affluenza, we now blame foreigners for our problems instead of looking within. Shortly after the crash it was Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, then the IMF and other countries for not lending us money. Now it is “The Other”.
Ironically, this makes sense in Iceland. The farcical perversity of our society is so immense that it seems like Iceland is a cosmic joke. One of the architects of the Iceland’s current problems is Björgólfur Guðmundsson, who is married to the former wife of George Lincoln Rockwell, a prominent American Nazi. Thanks to Björgólfur and the rest of the ship of fools, Iceland is now dealing with the aftermath; nonetheless people seem to have forgotten him. I guess he is too busy trying to run Iceland into the ground again for the protesters to notice while they keep on filling the pockets of the oligarchs.