The Hair Of The Dog - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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The Hair Of The Dog

The Hair Of The Dog


Published May 24, 2013

It didn’t really come as a surprise when our new Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson decided to form a coalition government with The Independence Party. That is, after all, what we voted for in the last election, and is actually a return to the pre-crash status quo when these conservative forces governed the country.

Since then, we’ve been kept abreast of their many meetings, sometimes learning more definitive facts about what they’ve been eating (waffles, if you must know) and what songs they like to boogie to than about their plan to deliver Sigmundur’s lofty campaign promise to write off everybody’s debts.

What exactly this new government will bring is uncertain, but some think the local atmosphere is starting to become reminiscent of what we experienced in 2006 and 2007, two years that immediately evoke images of extravagant parties, flat screen TVs and Range Rovers in the minds of many Icelanders.

Author, writer and filmmaker Andri Snær Magnason says the feeling really sunk in when a local radio show called up Sigmundur and Bjarni, presumably at one of their meetings, and offered them a request song. Being the gunslingers they are, they asked for Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys.”

“I Googled the lyrics, not quite remembering the lines, and got a nice chill down my back,” Andri Snær writes in this issue’s feature article, “In The Land of The Wild Boys.” “I got this strange flashback feeling and decided to revisit the state of mind that we used to call normal in 2006. When the economic policy, the energy policy, the expansion of our towns, the mortgages on our homes—almost all aspects of our daily life had become totally mad.”

It seems that the burgeoning startup community too is feeling this “boost,” as it gets ready to put on the second annual Startup Iceland conference with the added bonus of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s blessing. And they’re not the only ones flying high. Our music journalists at Straumur are also getting buzzed on the roster of international acts scheduled to play in Iceland this year.

Whether or not the new government is a harbinger of a return to the collective madness that took hold of the country before the crash, Andri Snæri hopes we don’t sacrifice our nature on the altar of easy profit. And I hope so too.

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