From Iceland — Sour Grapes

Sour Grapes

Published May 5, 2006

Sour Grapes

Hi Bart,
Your website is really interesting and to be honest allowed my brain to survive up in the highlands for three long years. I’ve never understood why you don’t publish work advertisements (those from employment services for instance) translated into English. Is there any reason? Valerio
I’m glad we could help. To all of those people working in the highlands on the dam project, we offer you our support, though, of course, most of the staff is saddened by the effect of your work.
As for our advertisements: while we are read by many Icelanders, we typically stick with tourist advertising. As a service, though, we’d like to publish job listings. Unfortunately, they simply don’t come our way. Never. We have never been told of a job vacancy for a foreigner.
Perhaps this will change if foreigners start owning their own companies in Iceland.

I read news reports where the U.S. Congress is expected, in June, to tackle the sensitive issue of what constitutes a “traditional marriage”.  Some 49 leaders from various religious denominations have signed a letter that calls for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. (See
While I am supportive of their basic concepts that marriages form a bond that provide boundaries for legitimate sexual activity, as well as providing a foundation for rearing of children by a father & mother, I think that the clergymen have totally forgotten the Biblical roots of marriage.
What they suggest is perfectly fine for regulating legal or civil marriages, which act in the same capacity as “legal partnerships”. However, the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is an institution ordained of God. The Old Testament of the Bible sanctioned a specific type of polygamous marriage: polygny (a husband with several wives). King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Abraham, Jacob, Moses and numerous others also practiced polygny. I would hope that today’s modern clergymen will examine the roots of what they term “traditional marriage”. Perhaps the best solution is for government to regulate purely “civil union marriages”. But government should not concern itself whatsoever in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Whatever is deemed Holy is deemed a sacred religious rite and therefore government should keep its nose out of it. I would hope that Iceland will likewise make polygamy legal among adults who are open & honest and where no abuse or fraud takes place.
James A.  Marples
P.O. Box 1542
Longview, Texas 75606 USA
We’re the Reykjavík Grapevine. Reykjavík, Iceland. Iceland being a country in Europe. So the US Congress’s assault on Americans’ rights has limited effect on us. Here, the leadership is working hard to ensure rights for gays and straights, provided they aren’t immigrants – yes, if you are an immigrant under 24, your marriage does not grant you any rights or privileges. We know of one case where a man was deported away from his wife and barred from entering the Schengen area of Europe – which is also not in America – for three years.
Still, Icelanders are protected, somewhat.
I’m guessing the people of the clergy, men and women, know their sacred texts. If they don’t, I’m sure they’ll be wowed by your extremely cursory reading. In fact, I’m forwarding this on to the Vatican. It’s so mind-bending and brilliant. King Solomon, who would have thought of using the Old Testament to randomly assault religious ideas and subvert what seems, to all those silly people who dedicate their lives to it, to be a somewhat complicated problem?
Yes, black and white is best.
Mr. Marples, you have a dedicated follower here. If we can get the money together, we’re flying out to Texas to learn more, straight from the mouth of the genius.
Maybe you could shape our opinion of war with the simple commandment of Thou shalt not kill, or you could tell who should cast the first stone, or some other bumper sticker piece of wisdom divined in three minutes by typing “bible” into your Google search engine.

Hi, I’ve tried many times to sign up for the email updates to no avail. No matter how many times I sign up, I’ve never received an update. Any ideas? Best, Jeanine
Well, email updates and websites aren’t our specialty. We get news up every day by noon, Icelandic time – so there’s always good content on the website… if you can find it.
Hi Bart,
I would first want to congratulate you for the great work you are doing with this newspaper. I am a former Erasmus student in Reykjavík for one full year, and I was a big fan of your magazine and still am, but, unfortunately, I would like to tell you that it is impossible for me to get issue 3 of this year in the PDF format!
I was wondering if it was possible to do something with it, cause you guys keep me company during my daily two-hour public transportation in the Parisian metro.
Thanks again, keep up the great job!
Jean Michel

Gentle Grapeviners,
As a life-long, dyed-in-the-wool Rush fan (of the ‘73-’82 variety), I would like to apologize on behalf of Rush fans the world over for the embarrassingly puerile letter written to you by one “Ape Shaw” excoriating you for daring to say that they would possibly be jealous of Brain Police’s rhythm section. While I agree that that is a completely hyperbolic assertion (I’m actually a big fan of the Brain Police, but come on…), his junior-high-caliber reaction/argument/comments are in no way keeping with the general high-brow, discerning, and tempered community that are Rush fans. It seems to me more likely that this person was arguing on behalf of some other four-lettered band. Korn, perhaps?
That being said, I do take umbrage with your characterization of Rush as “a fat-ass Canadian Led Zeppelin cover band”. I’ll dismiss the fat-ass comment as simply a knee-jerk comeback to his equally immature rants. As for the more substantive point that they’re a poor-man’s Led Zeppelin, well, that’s just plain ignorant. While it’s true they were considerably influenced by Led Zeppelin (and who in their right mind, I may argue, wouldn’t be?), by the time of their second album they had clearly put all blatant influences behind them, developing a sound and style all their own on which they built enormously on subsequent albums.
As close as I hold them to my heart (no pun intended), I can understand the Rush naysayers. I am constantly coming across people with whom I have a lot in common with musically who scrunch up their nose at the mention of Rush (I think it’s simply Geddy Lee’s voice that most people have a hard time swallowing, which I can fully understand). However, let us not stoop to the level of our enemies and resort to uninformed, juvenile name-calling. We are better than that.
Good day Sirs, Madames.
-John Evicci, Dracut, MA, USA
P.S. Your mother wears combat boots.
P.P.S. Hey, seriously, keep up the good work on the mag & thanks again for making it available to us schmucks who aren’t fortunate enough to live in Iceland or visit it frequently enough to be able to obtain regular copies, that is to say, putting the PDFs on the web! Thumbs way the fuck up!! But, you’re still missing those issues I wrote to you about a year ago (2003 #2 & #3, and 2005 #7) and now #3 of this year.
Looking forward to seeing those someday. OK, until next time, all the best…
Thank you for cooling down this Rush discussion. Don’t start apologising for the actions of other Rush fans, though, or it’ll never stop. As for the website, our tech department is impeccable. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Never have I received an email complaining that the site hasn’t been updated. NEVER! It must be your imagination.

Dear Bart
Wondering if you got this?
I’ve tried many times to sign up for the email updates to no avail. No matter how many times I sign up, I’ve never received an update. Any ideas?
Best, Jeanine
We have a website?

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