Published November 8, 2007
The longest month of my professional life has just passed, figuratively speaking. This is the fifth issue we put out in less than a month, counting the three daily Airwaves issues we completed less than two weeks ago. By now, we are out of energy, out of patience and more or less out of reasonable thinking. Fortunately, I am blessed with good coworkers. If not for the infamous Grapevine camaraderie, this daunting task would probably have been impossible. When you spend 10-12 hours a day in a room with the same people, every day, for over a month, two things can happen: either you form strong bonds, or someone ends up dead. As luck has it, no one is dead. Yet.
Recently, the publishing house Skrudda republished an old translation of the nursery rhyme Ten Little Niggers, one of the most harrowing texts ever put together for children. A feverish debate has risen in this country over the publication. Two regular contributors to the Grapevine, Marvin Lee Dupree and Gabriele Guðbjartsson, contacted me and asked for an opportunity to air their opinion on the matter. Unlike most of the people who have made noise, especially those who have cried over free-speech infringements, Marvin and Gabriele have a stake in this discussion, as they are on the receiving end of the incredible tastelessness this publication represents. I applaud their contributions and hope that their writing will open some eyes to the hurt that words can cause when people forget that freedom of speech needs to be exercised with great responsibility.
Ian Watson has investigated a loophole of sorts in the Icelandic immigration laws. I use the word loophole freely here. It seems there is a shortcut for certain individuals through the system. This has long been known, but Icelandic government officials have never made a point of informing people of the whos, hows and whys of this shortcut. Until now, this shortcut has been used for the selected few who Icelandic government officials have deemed worthy of receiving Icelandic citizenship without going through the proper channels. Ian has dug his heels in and requested answers so you too might enjoy this privilege.
This issue is full of other interesting material. I would probably go through it with you, but I think it is about time for me to head home, and say goodbye to my partners in crime here at the Grapevine. Until next time at least.