From Iceland — Letters


Published August 20, 2004


Good Afternoon, (or would HOWDY be better)
I have been the editor of Iceland Explorer, (you have heard of us haven´t you ??) for the last 5 years. You guys came along at exactly the right time. I went through the “damn American who speaks English on our radio stations and writes a magazine” period.
If you need a copy or by some really strange reason have not heard about us (quite unthinkable, unimmaginable and all those other neat adjectives) I’ll bring you one or you can go to (which I also edit and write) and click under download magazines, pray a lot and see what happens.
Bob Murray
Editor – Iceland Explorer and several hundred other jobs
Good afternoon works fine.
Hello Valur
The 6th issue is very good. The paper keeps improving.
Thanks a lot. But it takes all of us, and not just me, to make the paper.
Dear Robert
I drove one round. i.e. North-East-South-West. I was at Kárahnjúkar exactly when they where fighting what they call “flooding”, but is simply a normal melting of the enormous Vatnajökull glacier when the mild wind is blowing from south and it rains in the south part of Vatnajökull. If they call this “flooding”, they should prepare for a real “flooding”, that was 40 and ca 80 years ago. It was really “funny” to see the “big yellow trucks” down in the canyon, looking like small Matchbox toys transporting some “teaspoonfuls” of sand. If you have not been there yet, you have to see this “crazy” project. The man went to the moon, some 30 years ago. I was a question of pride and “competition” between the superpowers. Relatively few asked about the price of that project. If the preparation then would have been like Landsvirkjun´s at Kárahnjúkar, they would have missed the Moon by far and lost the astronauts into the eternal space. Or probably they would never have even been able to make a “lift-off”. But anyhow, what they are doing at Kárahnjúkar is nothing new regarding technology. What they claim regarding the final cost is based on pure “sand”. But they have already sold all energy that they are going to harness from there for the coming 40 years for such an unbelievably low price that there is no way to get a minimum return of the capital spent.
All the best
Dear Robert
I would like to begin with for thanking you for the excellent article on the dam. This is one of the few articles on the dam that has appeared here in the media in Iceland that shows an independent stand, courageous and well researched journalism. The front cover with Guðmundur in Vaði is also great. You at Grapevine are the first ones to discover this great guy. There are other people in the East like that, but the Icelandic media has not yet discovered them. I was there a couple of weeks ago as I did a week long hike through the area that is supposed to go under water. What is amazing about this area is that it is one of the greenest areas of the entire highlands, contrary to the propaganda of Landsvirkjun who claims it is a black desert. We were also in Kringislarrani- the sanctuary of the animals (reindeer, geese, foxes), a truly magical place, a savannah of this country. A fourth of it will go under water. What bothers me the most is the lagoon, it will be like a horrible swamp and soar visible from all over, really ruining this area. An area that should be a national park for all of Europe. And probably, in the long run more profitable than the dam and the smelter. Hiking is the fastest growing new branch within tourism, I am told.
Best regards,
In “Sire, It’s Only a Protest” the editor of the Grapevine, after recommending that Iceland “should cut all its ties with the terrorist state of Israel” and sending readers of an English-language mag to a pro-Palestinian website written only in Icelandic, states his opinion is safe in Iceland. While he is physically safe, I hope to take a dump on Valur’s desk– and I have access. Israel is an apartheid state, yes. And no, I won’t be supporting their economy. And things desperately need to change there. But the great problem is that nobody is attempting constructive dialogue with the country. Instead, people far-removed from the conflict and from the consequences of their own actions, (Icelandic editors) bored and embarrassed about not protesting when their own countries were exploited, decide, for the five minutes it interests them, to pour fuel on the fire. No doubt Valur also threw himself full force into the Irish troubles. Very helpful.
Also, crap, calling people “terrorists” is George W. Bush logic. He used it to go to war and murder thousands… with the continued political support Iceland. (Way to go on the protest recommendations you jackass.) Now that I think about it, GW is a spoiled brat who used to have a drinking problem and oversimplifies issues to make them black and white. GW wears cowboy hats…
BART CAMERON, Writer for the Grapevine.
Actually, I take back what I said. Israel is the single greatest threat to world peace today. Getting it to change its policies should be everyone´s top priority. To me, it seems pretty clear cut when one country invades and occupies another. Sadly, Americans by and large can´t tell the difference between criticism of Israel (valid) and anti-Semitism (not valid). Or supplying one country with Weapons of Mass Destruction and invading another on charges of having them. Many even seem to take criticism of their own government better than criticism of Israel. But I do see a difference between people and their government, ie between you and George W. Bush, between me and Davíð Oddsson and between Ariel Sharon and the people of Israel, not all of whom support him. And I do encourage debate. Anyone else want to take a dump on my desk?
Grapevine should provide Robert Jackson with a dictionary, maybe he could read it while in the queue buying potatoes.
Hassan Harazi
Well, you know where Roberts´ desk is…
Dear Editor:
Your current issue misspells ‘Gandhi’ as ‘Ghandi’ !
Also, I would like to speak to you about writing something. Your number?
Perhaps I need a dictionary as well. As for further complaints, you´ll have to wait until Bart gets off my desk. And if you want to join our jolly group of angry letter writers, send your materials to
Dear Valur,
another hiking holiday in Iceland has passed away – fabioulus and fucking impressions remain, though.
Avoiding the tourist traps in Reykjavik proved to be almost impossible during our last days there. Anyway, that’s what we’re meant to do, heyh: trap, trap, trap … We therefore tried very hard in contemplation, getting a sun burn ( I never wrote about this in any tourit guide) and waiting for our flight. So there was plenty of time to read “grapevine” which I find quite enriching. I hope you have a sufficient number of staff and motivation unlimited as your watersupply (from all sides).
Good luck with your work with, at least, forming public opinion if not putting some stones in the way of the Kárahnjunkár dams. I visited the area some years ago. Oh may the dessert’s dust blurr ALCOA’s brains.
n.b. Many greetings to the barkeeper Padraig.
Glad you had some fabioulus and fucking impressions of Iceland. Wish I had more fabioulus and fucking impressions of Iceland. Paddy the bartender is taking a well deserved vacation, but will be back presently.

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