From Iceland — Sour grapes and stuff

Sour grapes and stuff

Published June 5, 2009

Sour grapes and stuff

Since a while I live at Iceland. I enjoy life here and even so the delicacies you can buy here to eat. Lately I went to the supermarket and bought some “rullupylsur”, thinking it is a sort of lamb meat. But then I read on the packing, it is made of “Dilka-meat”. So I went to a nice Icelander and asked which animal a “Dilka” is. My Icelandic isn´t so good yet. She said she didn´t know it either. So we guessed along what a Dilka-animal is. She said it might mean a special way of production, while I thought it could mean mixed sorts of meat..
But we both couldn´t definitely exclude that there is not a Dilka-animal here at Iceland. Are there Dilkas at Iceland and if so how do they look like. Please let me know. P.S.: I know you eat whale and shark and puffin here. But you wouldn´t dare to eat up a whole animal species without the world even let to know it, would you? Never mind the Dilkas, kveðja Katharina
Dear Katharina,
Sshhh… don’t tell anyone about the mystical Dilka. If the save the whales folks find out about those super-cute and tasty li’l critters (and let’s not forget about their awesome personalities), we’ll have to stop senselessly slaughtering them, bathing in their cute and tasty blood and gobbling them like so much minke. So stay quiet. 
PS – I would make this our most awesome letter, but I fear drawing attention to the Dilkas by doing so.
PPS – Aw, what the hell, no one reads this stuff anyway. Drop us a line for some free beers. They go well with Dilka

A call for stories for a documentary about the Icelandic financial crisis
Dear Grapevine readers,
currently I am planning a documentary about the financial crisis in Iceland and stories of hope connected to the crisis. The working title is THE ART OF FAILURE. I am looking for individuals who have lost a lot during the last months and have been forced to change their outlook on life.
Over decades many of us have been defining ourselves through success in our jobs and through our material acquisitions. Together with the financial crisis comes identity crisis. People are losing their jobs and their goods, are falling into debt, crashing down the career ladder and many dreams of wealth and material hope are shattered. What happens to our identities if they were built upon success and a sense of failure takes over our lives? How do individuals cope with failure?
This is a call for people to tell their story of loss and suffering and how they manage to endure. What has changed, what gives you hope? Friends, humor, family, love, art or just the simple things in life? What positive side effects did the crisis bring? Has the crisis changed your outlook on life or your sense for the meaning of life? Is it possible at all to think positive if you’ve lost everything from a material point of view? The stories don’t have  to be epic, they can also be simple, from funny to sad, everything is welcome. Maybe the crisis helped you lose a job you didn’t really like in the first place. Or maybe it has helped some individuals strengthen their family ties or rediscover some old activities which don’t cost money. The plan is to gather stories and then travel to Iceland during the course of the year to interview those willing to tell their story in front of a camera. Please mail your stories and opinions to
Thank you very much in advance.
Benedikt Bjarnason, Cologne/ Germany
Dear Benedikt,
Thank you for your letter. Your project sounds real interesting – a different take on a subject that’s already becoming kinda old. Now, readers: You heard the man. He’s doing an interesting project! Go write him some letters. Now.

Hidey ho! I visited Iceland for the first time last week and loved it there! At the start of the week I came across your newspaper in the hotel lobby and found it REALLY helpful and it reminded me a lot of ‘NOW Magazine’ in Toronto, where I’m from. Just wanted to say thanks for putting out such an awesome free newspaper and give you a link to some of my pics and comments. You guys all seem to have a great sense of humor so I’m hoping you won’t find any of my photos or comments offensive. 🙂 Enjoy!
Chris McSpurren
p.s. Your country is frikkin’ amazing! Sooo beautiful – I’m still on a vacation high. The free walking tour by GoEcco was great too!
Dear Chris McSpurren,
Thanks for the pics, letter and praise. You should write more often – we miss you already. The streets of Reykjavík are lined with grown men crying.
Here is a brief rundown of the photos, for those of you readers out there who cannot be bothered to type in the ridiculous FB URL (I’m not sure it’s really worth it – typing in the LOLcat Cheezburger page address takes a lot less effort, and, frankly, they’re cuter than Chris McSpurren).
You know what. On second thought, I’m not going to write a “witty” rundown of CHRIS’S photo album to try and be funny. I looked over it again; a lot of the pics are actually fine work. And Chris’s “amusing comments” are actually sometimes kinda amusing and not really colonialist or anything. In fact, CHRIS comes off like real likeable guy. Heck, now I’m crying too. Come back,  Chris.
We miss you.

Dear Grapevine,
In relation to this summer’s festivities on the Westmann Islands, I just wondered if you could confirm the actual dates that the festival will be taing place upon this year.
We wouldnt wish to arrive with our puffin nets in vain.
Thank you and bless,
The English Contingent
Dear The English Contingent,
would you please stop writing to us about that festival. We have work to do around here – look it up on the goddamn internet or something.

God in the 21st Century
Apparently Malraux was right when he prophetized that the 21st Century would either be religious or it would not be, faced with the modern godless future projected by Fukuyama.  In his book “God is Back,” The Economist editor  J. Micklethwait considers the return of God to societies and politics and the global surge of religion based on real data such as:  the increase in pilgrimages and adult catholic confirmations on the old continent; religious controversies in news media; or the bountiful creation of church-houses all over China alongside rising church attendance. It is true that God doesn’t turn away from man, but rather consistently leans towards him to benefit him and show him the path to heaven for which he was created.  It depends on man to accept God’s invitation to become ever more divine by rejecting his baser instincts with the help of God’s grace.
Eva N Ferraz
Dear Eva,
thank you for your letter. I want to ask, are you referring to a specific god, or just any god in general? My favourite god is probably Cthulhu, of the ancient ones. He has real cool tentacles. Too bad about that whole “evoking rage and terror and joyful mass murder and the abandonment of morals” when he finally rises from the ancient underwater city of R’lyeh. But he does have very cool tentacles. Do you think he’s the god that’s back, according to the book?
Cuz if he is, I’m pretty frightened.

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