Published June 8, 2009
Early in the AM: Sun is rising over Reykjavík, Metallica’s Orion blasting over the stereo, coffee’s on the pot and a gentle haze covers the mind.
This is truly one of those moments you appreciate.
Well. I do.
There’s a lot to appreciate out there, you know. Cats, books, tradition, obscurity, pizza, landscape, music, grandparents, grace, people in general. They’re all pretty good, and there’s lots more, too. I try and appreciate most things, and so should you. It makes for a pleasant life, full of… appreciation. Yeah.
But still. You can’t go around appreciating stuff all the time without griping at shit too.
And there’s lots of shit to gripe at. You and me (and everyone we know), we’re all masters of our own destiny, right? Our world, society and community are all made up of a bunch of folks that collectively decides what kind of world, society and community we inhabit (and if you choose not to decide, someone’s always ready to do that for you). So if we only focus on appreciating how nice pizza and grandmothers and cats are while ignoring some fundamental stuff that’s PLAIN WRONG… well, it’s gonna stay that way.
In that spirit, here is a short list of stuff that bugs the fuck out of me at the moment:
-The prices at 10-11 in Austurstræti: Goddamnit, a sandwich ain’t supposed to cost that much. It just ain’t.
-The government’s awesome new initiative to raise the price of alcohol and cigarettes: Gosh, we really needed that like a kick in nuts.
-A lot of what the new government is doing (or isn’t doing): Tell it like it is! Arrest some banksters already! Quit bickering! Do something – anything!
-How those bastards turned the ol’ Staðarskáli rest-stop into just another wretched gas station: We wrote a eulogy for the old one in issue 14 of last year (“The inevitability of homogenisation”), already knowing that the planned N1 gas-mall replacement was going to suck hard. We still failed to envision just how badly our memories of beloved Old Iceland were going to be stomped into the ground, how fitting a metaphor the transformation would prove for how we never once hesitate to abandon what’s unique or meaningful for the sake of purported profit.
-How none of the local press (save for our sweet selves) even gives a passing nod all of the awesome culture, music and events that make life worth living on this godforsaken rock of an island: There’s a whole burgeoning scene out there, from grassroots up, that is going totally undocumented and unsupported by our failing newspapers, radio and TV. Shame on ‘em.
Phew. That felt good.
Complaining usually does, even if it’s about fairly insignificant stuff. Yet, griping doesn’t seem to work all that well all of the time. Sometimes you need more than just loud complaining. The squeaky wheel gets the grease – the raging, yelling, rioting wheel gets a goddamn bunch of fuckin’ lube. Time has told, time will tell.
This is where our activist friends – the ones you’ll learn about in our feature story – come in. Regardless of whether or not you approve of their message and intent, you should acknowledge that their spirit, stamina and vigour are admirable. Here you have a group of young people hell-bent on challenging a system they see as inherently unfair; folks standing up for what they believe in and serving as active agents in their community. This is pretty cool and exemplary, unless they start resorting to violence or bombs or stuff.
Violence against your brothers and sisters is not cool, ever.