From Iceland — Sour Grapes

Sour Grapes

Published April 13, 2007

Sour Grapes

Dear Editor,
Thanks for printing my letter in your Sour Grapes section. (I bitched about the local authorities taking their time or even ignoring the charges I filed when my Icelandic
ex-boyfriend assaulted me.)
I had no idea my letter was printed. It was only when my IS journalist friend (who reads every printed word of every local publication) told me he saw it and thought it got a great response. (And to think the Grapevine had been sitting quietly on my couch allthis time.)
Now I’m newly inspired to keep applying pressure to the authorities until my case is heard!
BTW: the guy was served and now they’re deciding whether or not it deserves a hearing. If they don’t, you (and every other paper) may hear from me again. I want him to suffer some sort of consequence for his abuse if it can’t be a financial penalty or mark on his public record.
Thanks for the support. I can get lonely up here.
All the best,
Xxxxx (Name withheld by editor).

Dear Xxxxx,
Thank you for your update. I am glad to hear that there is progress being made with your case. As before, I urge you (and others in your position) to stay the course. It is the courage of people like you that force changes to stagnant situations.

Dear editor.
Thank you for your good rebuttal to Haukur Sigurbjörn Magnússon letter in last issue regarding black metal. However i am very concerned about Haukur Sigurbjörn Magnússon attitude towards black metal. Here in Norway it has caused much grief and sorrow. It is a vicious “art” form which should not be tolerated. I was under the impression in my last visit to your beautiful country that black metal was not part of the metal scene in Iceland. Haukur Sigurbjörn Magnússon’s letter has filled me with doubts.
Is it possible that a black metal scene is brewing in Reykjavik? Haukur Sigurbjörn Magnússon should read the excellent book, “Svart-metal – mere svart en du tror” by Knut Eide, my brother. After doing that he will surely not speak of black metal in such ways.
Please print this letter in your publication.
Öyvind Eide,

Dear Öyvind,
Thank you for your letter. It is always nice to hear from our neighbours in Norway. I share your
concerns about Haukur Sigurbjörn Magnússon, not only regarding his attitude towards Black Metal, but his attitude towards life in general. It seems to me that he needs to adopt a more life-affirming philosophy. I believe he needs more love in his life. Perhaps he should get a dog…
I also share your concerns over the brewing black metal scene in Reykjavík. It seems to me that black metal followers need to adopt a more life affirming philosophy. I also fear that Icelandic black metal followers will prove to be even rowdier than their Norwegian counterparts. My fear is that they will indiscriminately burn down any house of worship, regardless of religion. They might even have the nerve burn down the Pagan Hof. This is my fear.
Your brother certainly sounds like wise man. I wish we had more of his kind here in Iceland.

Dear Grapevine!
I am a Swedish citizen who recently moved to Reykjavík. While learning the Icelandic language, it has become apparent to me that the Icelandic need a major and nonnostalgic language reform. The Icelanders have had centuries to do this themselves, but haven’t come up with anything very impressive. Hence, I cannot but conclude that the modernisation of the Icelandic language resides in the hands of us immigrants.
Simplifications that could be considered are for example:
(1) we use all substantives and personal names in their nominative form only. Þolfall, págufall and eignarfall will be abolished.
(2) We treat all substantives like one genus, which – for reasons of political correctness – will be neuter. This goes for numbers as well.
(2) We use the verb form for 1st person singular for both 1st, 2nd and 3rd person in singular as well as plural
Icelandic people tend to understand these simplifications. They just find this use of grammar very wrong. But if all immigrants were to use new rules, systematically and over a sustained time, they would eventually intermingle with the present Icelandic and become accepted.
With the present immigration, and in the absence of a decent, basic grammar book of the kind used to learn other european languages, it is not likely that the Icelandic language will survive in its current form anyway. It will, as Darwin put it, evolve or die.
As Reykjavík Grapevine is read by many foreigners in Iceland, I suggest that Grapevine leads the
way and that you consider starting a monthly column – in Icelandic – using this modernised grammar.
Best regards,
Hanna Westesson

Dear Hanna,
I have an even better idea. How about you stop spending all your free time in Sirkus and start attending the Icelandic classes you actually signed up for and do your homework. Maybe then, the Icelandic language would stop being such a mystery to you.

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


Show Me More!