Published January 12, 2011
I watched the Prime Minister’s address on New Year’s Eve. I should not have bothered. There were no surprises. It was Your Standard Prime Minister Of Iceland’s New Year’s Address, with no original thought (nor commentary, nor ideas, nor sign of life) managing to seep through the thick cloak of mundane mediocrity that Iceland’s government seems determined to shroud itself in.
Even though you could say I support our current government—in the sense that I wouldn’t want any of the other parties occupying Alþingi at present governing me—and even though I am rooting for it—in the sense that I agree with most of the goals they’ve set and I hope that they reach them—I have some very mixed feelings about it. In fact you could say that I don’t really… like it.
The governing parties are not behaving in a way that makes me especially proud to have voted them in office, and they neither actively represent nor uphold the values they strive to associate themselves with (and that I quite agree with).
Even though they are far from living up to their promises, they still present no surprises. That such groupings of career politicians working within veteran political structures would jadedly trudge on trying to maintain the system that has bred and fed them is entirely unsurprising.
Maybe what’s surprising is that some of us dared hope the great opportunity ICELAND’S TOTAL COLLAPSE presented would perhaps be used to usher in some much needed and positive change. That it would inspire us to try new things; new systems, new ideas and new ways of thinking. That we would maybe collectively envision and implement novel and exciting ways of rebuilding some of our fallen structures, even dropping some dead weight along the way. Y’know.
I might be wrong. Geez, I hope I’m wrong. Perhaps now isn’t the time to try new things or different approaches. Perhaps this isn’t a time to be fun and inventive and original and progressive. Perhaps now is not the time for ‘hope’ and ‘change’ and stuff. Perhaps there is only one way out of this mess, and perhaps it is the one we are currently trudging along.
And to be fair, the current government was faced with a damn near impossible situation upon taking the reins. It has soldiered on relentlessly. And indeed, it has accomplished many good things in its time, and initiated some much needed change (for instance with regards to gay rights. I am all for gay rights).
And to be fair (fairness is important), some of those we’ve recently voted in exactly because they promised new things and different approaches appear to be in the process of striking out, too (but to be fair, we will give them a year in office before despairing completely).
But I was still hoping for something different, and something more.
Perhaps it is time I place my hopes elsewhere?
Or perhaps this is a time for hopelessness?
I hope not.