Published October 6, 2006
I was writing this masterpiece of an editorial, then the blackout hit and I lost all my data….
I am joking of course. While on the subject of jokes… A few months ago, I saw a film called The Aristocrats. Presenting it self as a documentary, it is in reality a 90-minute exercise in vulgarity. It is also hilarious. The idea behind the film is to take the vulgarity to such an extreme that it enters the realm of absurdity, and where it instantaneously becomes funny. Strangely, many people have a problem with that particular movie.You might think that I am about to make the tired old argument that people in general are too PC. That is an incredibly stale assumption. The truth is a lot simpler: we have a problem with absurdity. We don’t understand it. We tend to take things at face value, so when we are presented with absurdity, it fails to compute.
Why do I bring this up? I don’t know. Perhaps because lately, ever since I took over as editor of the Grapevine, I have been getting all sorts of absurd criticism regarding the editorial policy of the paper. At first, I tended to take this at face value, but lately, I have learned to laugh it off as any other absurdity. Naturally, some of the criticism is actually valid and thoughtfully argued. I value such input. But for those who claim that the Reykjavík Grapevine exists for the sole purpose of drawing a skewed image of what Iceland, and the Icelandic experience, is like – you are way off.
Strangely, most of the criticism seems to come from people who present – as facts – such absurdities as the claim that the majority of Iceland believes in elves and the hidden people, or that we all feast on shark, all the time, or that the women are loose or the nature is unspoiled and the water is the cleanest in the world. Well, those ‘facts’ do not hold up under scrutiny.
At the Grapevine, we do not buy into the hype and the myths surrounding the mystical Island in the North. We do not sugarcoat the truth, but present you with Iceland the way it is, warts and all. We feel that is the most respecful and honest approach.