From Iceland — Letters


Published February 11, 2005


Dear Mr. Gunnarsson,
Greetings! My name is Amia Srinivasan, and I’m a second-year student at Yale University in the U.S., though I studied and continue to live in London. Over New Year’s I had the good fortune to spend some time in Reykjavik with my family, and was really blown away by the natural beauty and unique culture of Iceland. While I’ve lived in and visited many countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, Iceland really took my breath away. Outside of the modern art museum there, I chanced upon a copy of the Reykjavik Grapevine, and immediately read it cover to cover–I found it fresh, sharp, and amusing, and was thoroughly impressed by your young venture.
All the best,
Amia Srinivasan
Yale University
Aye, forget Asia, Europe (the rest of it), the Middle East and the Americas. The Reykjavík Grapevine is all you need.
I was reading my Grapevine and noticed the article about Nightmare Before Christmas/Martröð á jólanótt (page 19). How do I get tickets to see this show? Where is it playing? I planned on trying to go to the 23.Jan show. Also, thanks to Paul Nikolov for the awesome politician quiz. I took the quiz and I was Steingrímur Sigfússon (no surprise). Thank you.
James Barlow
Sorry man, it’s over now. Maybe they’ll make a film of it someday.
Hi, can you send me information about this jiu jitsu?
Take opponent, squeeze throat until head turns purple and he starts singing “The Final Countdown” by Europe. Repeat.
Dear Editor:
I was so moved by the ad in the New York Times I did not know what to do; the website listed had no contact address, and only the link to your publication had a contact on it.
It is so nice to know that Icelanders enjoy living in a vital democracy and that one can be proud to be an Icelander.
I have only one question: How can I be one too?
Mickey Davis
Professor of Law
Cleveland State Univ.
Come over, play a game of chess, leave wait 30 years, break some international law, and you’re half there (or here). Look forward to seeing you around.
A friend gave me this address, and I’d love to find out who in Iceland even knows me! I saw the issue of Grapevine that had something about the ten or so Americans who would be forgotten in ten years (or was it already forgotten – I don’t have the paper in front of me).
Anyway, this is from snow-bound Manhattan, hope to hear from someone there. Tried to check out but could not access it.
David McReynolds
Paul knows you. Say hello to Paul. Paul, say hello go David.
Paul: “Hello David.” And try the link again. It should be working.
I will start by saying I am half-Icelandic and half-African American. I am glad to see that two children can speak their mind, however uninformed and uneducated they sound. I am also appalled at how these two youngsters do not know that non–white people fought, bled and died so they would have the chance to be so ignorant. I know that when they say “we” they refer to a minority of “white” people that do not realize that African people along with Asian people helped build the United States with hard slave labour (yes, the Asians built railroads that connected the east to the west and the Africans farmed the lands that made the south so rich), and to simply say “we just do not want them around” is not good enough.
White America did that with the American Indian. The tribes that were not completely wiped out by this genocidal force were given an “area to stay “ “because they were born there” Mighty white of them! This separatist ideal did not work then and it will not work now. If this minority of separatists doesn’t think so, then maybe they should have their own reservations where they can inbreed amongst themselves, revert into deep depression, rampant alcoholism and then we will see how they feel about it in years to come. Lest I forget; they already have a lot of those, they’re called trailer parks.
Frank Lárus Sullivan
I think and hope most Icelanders are.
Some belated response to Chris Shillock’s article in the December issue, “Why the Bush regime will bomb Iraq but never ban abortion.”
With all my heart I hope you are right about “the dangerous game” they’re playing with Southern Fundamentalists and the backlash. On the other hand you would think that lying to the American people about WMD and too many other things to mention would have caused a backlash as well. Watching Bush et al this election I began to wonder, “What does this guy have to DO to lose? Kick a dog? Rape a toddler on prime time?” Moore may be right about the baseball statistics but I don’t know…Anyway the piece was great, really enjoyed it.
In the Grapevine piece the analogy between American attitudes to the war and the psychology of an abused woman is worth mining a little further, and your characterization “fascism lite” towards the end of the article reminds me of Arendt’s famous remark about the banality of evil.
Again, I think you’ll find it useful to read the two books of George Lakoff in order to get more insight into the two, usually competing, ‘frames’ of mind of many Americans. Bush may be a charismatic imbecile but Karl Rove and Grover Norquist are highly intelligent borderline personalities (aka psychopaths) as insightful as Machiavelli.
Tom Shillock
It makes Brave New World and 1984 look like bedtime stories, doesn’t it? Personally I think I am going to retreat into the mindless world of Porno for a while were I can’t see the world upset about tsunamis, as if millions haven’t been dying in Africa for a long time.
PS – For a little-known perspective on what we are doing in Iraq, take a look at this one:

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