From Iceland — From the Editor’s Chair

From the Editor’s Chair

Published October 6, 2007

Airwaves festival is upon us. For us at the Grapevine, this is pretty much like Christmas in October. By far, the best weekend of the year. This issue, we bring you some of the artists who will be playing this years festival. Our resident Airwaves specialist gives you a rundown of bands you should not miss. Don’t forget to read the Grapevine Guide to the Airwaves types. It might come in handy for you, especially if you are a tourist.

I am sometimes asked about my editorial policies. I usually tell people that it is my goal to present people with an image of Iceland the way I know it, not the image that you are presented with in tour guides and travel ads. Let’s get one thing straight. Iceland has its set of problems, much like any other nation. As a country, we battle pollution, poverty, and injustice. More importantly, I do not know anyone who eats rotten shark more than once a year, and I don’t know anyone who claims to believe in elves. Somehow the myth that Icelanders believe in elves, every single one of us, has refused to die and this bothers me to no end, especially since Icelanders tend to perpetuate this myth themselves, every time they talk to a foreign person. “Ah, but yes! Of course, I believe in elves. Everyone in Iceland believes in elves.” This is bullshit. In this issue I discuss the matter with professor of folkloristic, Terry Gunnell, who recently surveyed Icelanders attitude towards elves and other supernatural beings. Turns out that 8% of the population believes in elves. Hardly an otherworldly figure.

Spot perpetuating the myth!

Enjoy Airwaves.

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