From Iceland — Sour Grapes and Stuff

Sour Grapes and Stuff

Published July 6, 2009

Sour Grapes and Stuff

Iceland has become a poor wild courageous island for the diehards. Most of foreign residents are gone, some Icelanders are too, or planning to be next fall. Of course, the tourists now occupy Iceland. I am wondering how an Icelandic airline company in crisis can actually offer such promotional flights to come to Iceland. Oh! I see… they decrease prices for foreign customers but increase massively the cost of plane tickets for Iceland residents. That’s why I am stuck here now. Not that I want to leave… I could use a bit of a foreign holiday sunray on my white skin that’s all. Anyway, tourists are invading the countries, are bringing tons of foreign currencies in their luggage and are buying, buying, buying. All sorts of stuff.
Tourism generates a new life to some of the companies being out of breath after the financial crisis. Which is good. Money flowing. Well, as an employee and not an employer, I can just enjoy this fact and go back to bed crying because what is happening to ME is different. What is happening to US is different. We end up paying more taxes to make the government able to fill the national budget gap and pay back our friends from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. We end up waiting forever for a well-deserved pay rise. We end up paying more and more for imported products. Our buying power is decreasing every single day.
Well, I would feel better if I knew that Iceland is definitely refusing the payment loans that the Netherlands and the United Kingdom grant to Iceland. These unrealistic payment plans are made to be failed. Clearly, if the Dutch and the British wanted their money back, they would do everything in their power to make it happen. Well, they don’t. They aim simply our failure. Why? Because in case of non-payment, the UK and the Netherlands are entitled to take over assets held by the Icelandic state.
Anything else? Yes, in fact there is something else. Not to mention the people is broke and the country is being owned by foreign forces, the nation is about to lose itself in the deep swamp of The European Union. The poor and desperate (but rich and attractive in resources!) nation of Iceland begging for a membership to one of the biggest super-powers in the world? What a bargain for Europe!
So here I am, asking. What are you becoming Iceland?
PS: By the way, our puffins are dying…
Dear Bangsi,
thank you for your thoughtful, rambling letter.
I do agree, the current situation Iceland is now facing sucks very hard, on all sorts of levels. But let’s not dwell on it, right? We don’t need no stinkin’ money to have a good time. We have one another, our friends, family, all that crazy, beautiful nature. And the weather’s actually been kinda nice these past couple of days.
Oh, I know there’s a lot of cause for concern. Let’s do something about it, and let’s enjoy a constructive summer. We’re gonna build something this summer.

22. June
To whom it may concern,
I read an article in your last issue about the band Dátar, taken from the book ´Eru ekki allir í stuði´ by Dr. Gunni. Dr. of what? It sure as shit ain´t journalism pal.
I myself, being a drummer, am used to being boycottet in photos and reviews but at least Mr. Gunni mentioned that Stefán, drummer of  Dátar, fell victim to cancer in 1992. That´s the only thing he had to say about one of Iceland´s most treasured drummer?
Yesterday I went to Siglufjöður, Stefán´s old stomping ground, for research and to this day he is still held a hero there. A big photo of him hangs on the wall of the only local pool parlor. I find it very amateurish of  Mr. Gunni to fail to mention in his   book, maybe it´s there but at least it´s not in the draft you printed in the magazine, that Stefán, the drummer of Dátar, is the father of Björn Stefánsson, the drummer of Mínus and  according to Metal Hammer magazine voted the fourth best drummer in the world in 2004, if I remember the year correctly.
To this day Björn uses his fathers drum kit. I find that fact in it´s own has plenty of journalistic romanticism. To me, Mr. Gunni´s failure is another fine example of the dry rot of journalism as we know it. Other examples being for instance the hordes of unqualified photographers many of  fine magazines (yours included) send to concerts for documentation. I´ve seen the fuckers enter a concert, go to the front, lift up   their camera and shoot blindly for a minute before leaving the premises.
Where is the passion, where are the guts, where did journalistic integrity go, for fucks sake ? This would definately not have happened had Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (our very own Lester Bangs) written the book.
I recommend Mr. Gunni shapes up his act or goes back to the drawing board and writes a follow up to his most succesful hit ´ The fart song´.
Sincerely, Dr. Frosti Jón Runólfsson
Dr Gunni Responds:
I thank Mr. Frosti for his fine epilogue to my tiny Dátar article. Had I written a 732-word article about The Beatles, I’m sure Mr. Frosti would have written in to tell me about my horrible failure in not mentioning Zach Starkey. I of course second Mr. Frosti’s opinion that Mr. Arnar Eggert is a fine journalist. As a consumers watchdog, I strongly suggest people pick up his Herculean tome on pop band manager Einar Bárðarson, Öll trixin í bókinni. It is widely available these days under the title Svínahnakki – 90% afsláttur við kassa.
Reykjavík June 2009,
Dr. Gunni

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