From Iceland — Letters


Published March 11, 2005


Hello everyone at Grapevine,
I am a native, but I always wait with trembling anticipation for the paper. For immigrants Grapevine must be one of the major benefits of living here. Thanks a lot for a great paper. It seems to be constantly on the way up.  
Grapevine –The one good thing about Iceland
Dear Valur,
Horror of horrors. You are leaving Grapevine ? My favourite bloody communist? I disagree with, and loath, everything Grapevine stands for, but I never miss an issue. (Well, OK it IS free!) I love sipping coffee at Café Paris, and reading the latest issue of Grapevine.
It never ceases to amaze me how naive, silly and self important you lot are. Pretending to be able to solve all the world’s problems, when every right thinking person knows I am the one for that particular job.
But you write so deliciously well that I forgive you. Grapevine is, without a doubt, the best written English publication in this country. If only you could be made to see the error of your ways.
Come back soon, you commie horror.
Best regards,
Óli Tynes
(Your favourite Nazi?)
Come here, you Nazi, and give me a hug. We might not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but at least we can try. You do your bit and I’ll do mine.
…I just want to thank you and the others for publishing a great paper –the Reykjavík Grapevine— that’s doing good and very important things!!
Good and important. Cheap too.
I’m always reading that Reykjavík is a multicultural society and a ‘world city’. I’ve never been able to see it myself, but now I understand that it must be because Reykjavík now has its very own reggae band in the form of Hjálmar. It’s just a shame that they’re all white, live in a city with one of the world’s highest standards of living and I would guess that the closest that they’ve ever been to Jamaica is standing next to the painted palm trees outside of Sirkús. Maybe for a more authentic Jamaican-look they could blacken their faces à la Al Jolson, that so many Icelanders still seem to think is hilarious, acceptable and not in the least bit offensive or racist.
Hassan Harazi
For the last time, Icelanders, would you please stop blackening your faces? It is neither hilarious and not acceptable.
Got a telephone call this morning from an embassy in Oslo, not sure which one, but a woman’s voice with a strange accent asked me the following in English, “Can you tell me more about this quote by Kim Il Jong on the cover of your latest issue? Is that a real statement and can you back it up?”
I told her it was all a practical joke, but the rest of the paper was dead serious. She thanked me and hung up.
Jón Trausti, marketing director
Usually when we say things we can back them up, but this was in fact a joke. Kim Il Jong is probably still at home watching videos and wanting to expand his army (just like Björn), knowing that now he has weapons of mass destruction the US won’t dare attack him.
Thanks a lot for the article about the album in last issue. I thought it was really good to print the New York Times ad and stir things up a bit. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen journalism this sharp. I’m not a very political person, but I think this is important. Respect!
All good writers need to be starved. Keeps them sharp. At least that’s what I keep telling them.
Overheard in barber shop:
“Why did they take out an ad in the New York Times? Shouldn’t we be apologizing to the Iraqi people? Shouldn’t they have taken out an ad in the largest paper in Baghdad instead?”
I don’t know what our Baghdad circulation is like but I, for one, want to apologize for the position that the government of Iceland has taken with regard to Iraq, and point out that it was not in my name. I didn’t even vote for them.
Hello Valur…you never cease to amaze 🙂 I just read the article in Fréttablaðið about yr Bubbi cd funeral by former Ísbjörninn. Your comments on R & R and what it means to you & should mean are heartfelt. I have long ago buried the hatchet & all bugs/grudges concerning
Bubbi. I have nothing personal against him, I don’t hang out with him, haven’t for 20 years & really don’t care what he does. I have my own fish to fry.
I learned very early in the game that Bubbi plays it safe & very early in the game that he puts a price tag on his R & R principles (He never claimed to be a punk )….I never have, I am a outlaw/outsider thru & thru & in debt with nary a patch to cover my ass.
This is a new world. We’ve come a long way baby from the innocence of the 50’s to the billion dollar music industry we live with today. The Media Mafia Industry Mongrels rule the western world but thank whatever gods you like we have great music going. I have always found it darkly humorous that whenever I have gone to radio stations in various locations in the so-called western civilized world I have often been confronted with, “gee I’d like to play this but my orders/playlists come from the managers/owners of the station & their sponsors!”
I’ve also heard “people don’t want to hear this kind of music.” How do you know unless you play it? You seem to have already decided people’s taste in music instead letting them hear a variety & letting them decide for themselves! AHA! The Music Business Media Mafia.
I never did see a Colgate toothpaste commercial with Jimi Hendrix or a Dove soap commercial with Keith Richards, not even a Southern Comfort commercial with Janis Joplin but today it’s another landscape. Bubba & the cattle are branded, fenced in & ready for the kill/grill. The biz is rotten to the core & many have drowned or been consumed by sharks & demons on that precarious road…BUT Rock n Roll is alive & well & has a HEART OF GOLD but yr gonna have to dig deep to find it.
Infinite Rockin Blessings, Michael Pollock
Thanks Mike, stay black.

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