From Iceland — SOUR GRAPES


Published September 8, 2006


Dear Reykjavík Grapevine editor/journalists.
On the back page of Fréttablaðið on the 3rd of September Mr. Davíð Þór Jónsson writes an article which in my opinion he rightfully calls “Reykjavík Greip Væl”
I’m very curious to learn about your reactions to this article as I could not have written a better, more appropriate article my self concerning the ever growing numbers of seriously narrow minded, backstabbing, negative (like the Bubbi Morthens story by S.Eldon to name one) and generally unfair and overly judgmental articles in your newspaper over the past few months. For instance, it’s been a while since I have seen and read a really positive and a well written review about a concert that was held in Iceland this summer.
My question is this:
Do you guys hate everything that does not completely fit your taste a 100%, so much that you feel the urge to throw shit in all directions like Mr.Eldon seems to be really good at by the way or is this caused by some strange envy from some of your journalists to those who are infect doing quite well at the moment like Sigur Rós? It just made me wonder after reading Sindri Eldon’s review about the Klambratún concert and it made me think: Why the hell did he go there in the first place rather then stay at home with his two super cool friends Mr.& Mrs. Know it all and  listen to his “Æla” demos? 
I work in the tourism business and since you have made it clear that your newspaper is aimed at the foreign people living in Iceland and the tourists coming to Iceland and not for the Icelandic people I want to inform you that I used to give and recommend The Reykjavík Grapevine to every single one of the tourists that came here through the company that I work for. 
I have stopped doing that after seeing The Reykjavík Grapevine turn sour like it has done in my and Mr.Davíð Þórs opinion as well as a lot of other people that I have discussed this matter with. They are much better off making up their own minds on things that take place in Iceland then reading what you are printing these days.
Whether you give a damn or not is really up to you of course and I won’t cry my self to sleep if you decide not to lighten up a bit but it would definitely put you back on my list of reliable and entertaining source of information about Reykjavík and surroundings and what’s going on in this northernmost capital of the world. 
If not, I’m not going to try to cramp your new style by writing another letter to you or show up protesting outside your office.  We have a saying in Iceland: “Vinur er sá er til vamms segir!” and this is me addressing what I feel is your “vamm” these days.
Sincerely yours,
Jón Gunnar Benjamínsson
Manager of Luxury Travel
Iceland Visitor
Lækjargata 2
101 Reykjavík
Jón Gunnar
This is a peculiarly negative letter on your behalf, stating an overtly negative criticism. I suppose, in your defense, that you are exercising your own judgment and reaching a critical conclusion. I wish we were all allowed to do the same, but apparently, The Grapevine is held to different standard.
Your claim that the Reykjavík Grapevine has been overtly negative in its criticism lately is far from being accurate. Overall, the reviews in the Grapevine tend to be rather favourable. You point out two examples of negative criticism; one incidentally covers a national icon that seems to be above and beyond being judged by mere mortals. How quickly we forget, seeing as Bubbi has never been the one to hold back his opinion on people or issues in the last 20 odd years. It’s good to be the king.
Your second example is of a negative criticism of a recent Sigur Rós’s show at Miklatún. Sadly, you choose to ignore that in that same issue, actually on the preceding spread, there are two other glowingly positive review of Sigur Rós’s concerts. That I find strange, because you claim that there has been a long time since you read a positive review in our paper. In clinical terms, this is called selective memory. But, since Sigur Rós is a matter of national pride, rather than a band, they too are apparently above being criticised.
I guess we should feel lucky that as an alternative to our magazine, we have an organization such as your own to present an objective view of the country and its nightlife while implying something else entirely.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!


Show Me More!