From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff

Sour Grapes And Stuff

Published May 10, 2010

Sour Grapes And Stuff

We’ve got a new prize for all your MOST AWESOME LETTERS. And it’s a scorcher! From now on, whoever sends in the issue’s AWESOME LETTER will receive a cool new Reykjavík Grapevine T-shirt, featuring the majestic G that adorns our cover. So you should make sure to keep writing us fun and/or interesting letters. Natch.
This new Grapevine tee surely is the shiznit! It was designed by our very own art director man, Hörður Kristbjörnsson, and it’s good for posing in front of a mirror, impressing folks with your impeccable taste or picking up men or women of all ages (no minors). DON’T PANIC if your letter wasn’t picked AWESOME LETTER. You can still get a tee for a low, low price over at Havarí on Austurstræti.

dear editor:
i never saw that movie… that movie about tom hanks living in an airport… but i am living it.  i am hating it. mostly because it is my own doing. good buddy of mine promised me a ride to  a southland airport, so i could fly to seattle so I could fly to reyk.  but buddy got too hammered and was still too drunk by morn to drive me.  so i missed the first seattle flight of IcelandAir.    No mercy, just money is what it cost me.
    I could swear the iceland hotty that took my money over the phone to reup  the flight a second time, gave me a wednesday departure as sure as i cant rhyme.  the only thing that was sure, is they don´t fly from seattle to there  on wednesdays.  I hate this air-chair I have been living in here, for i don´t care to think for-how-long now.  the only other chair that seems to have as much a part of me is the far stall in the loo.  that aint lovely, too.
    you ever think that the engineers that design airports should ask the people that sleep on the floor, ´how can we raise the bar?´  Cuz of repeated flight calamities  we travellers inevitably find ourselves pitched out on airport floors.  These designers could say,  ‘hey, what is it you need in an airport?’ I need chairs that don´t have armrests so i can stretch out and sleep sideways.  I need a warm place, as chairs seem to too often be near cold windows on marble floors.  i need free internet (kudos SeaTac on that, Bill Gates must have provided the bandwidth).
    but go the next step.  lets not beat on the airport.  after all, that is brass and glass and it can´t change game so fast.  companies, on the other hand can.  they are manned, at least airlines are staffed 50% by women, the smarter of the sexes.  and there is no question as to which category they placed me in during this ash-hashed scenario next to a cold window.
    i need an iceland air customer rep that doesn´t smirk as i buy another full-price ticket when my seat just went empty on the flight out last night, and my return seat is going to burn  up empty as well, right next to the outbound seat in some sadistic kind of air purgatory hell, waiting for me to bid it hello.
    i don´t care if all these dressed-for-success people all around us have nowhere to go but a small  metal tube, and  before they do, choose to eschew me contemptuously because of the four day hair-affair i am having with my temporary home in the air-chair  next to the cold-window well in Seattle airport hell.  Actually, i think my 4-day hair-smooo looks rather cool considering its green, low-flow, shower free simplicity. but as bad as this Ash Thursday be, the stodgy, rigidity of the airport is nothing compared to the IcelandAir inflexibility.
    icelandair don’t offer standby…they just let empty seats fly lonely apparently. Efficiency in fuel usage?  why try, when they are the virtual sole play to nice Iceland. icelandair doesn’t rebate the second half of a flight if a connection is not made to the first half. this supports the coffers of an airline that skrimps on offering meals on intercontinental flight.
iceland air doesn’t give frequent flier miles for a missed flight, but they will keep the entire ticket price as if you did fly it. icelandair web site seems to increase the prices if you browse away and come back. in fact, they quoted me a 12,000 dollar one-way ticket for this evening, owing I assume to the demand for front row viewing of the new volcanoe.  iceland air says they can not change these policies, when we know what business can change… they can change the rules of banking if they want to.
    this rant is not about how bad is – that is too easy a point to pick. this is rant is about how i cant seem to get my shit together and past the seat in the loo  or past the incredulty in the ashen faces  of the air-mosas staffing the IcelandAir desk so they can win a customer back with good old fashioned business sense.  kindness.
    ‘its not fair’ …what i heard from some reykjavik mortgage payers,
sleeplust in seattle
Dear Sleeplust,
thank you for your letter! We really don’t know what to say about its contents – except maybe that you should take a taxi if your friends are too hammered to take you to the airport – but the general tone of it is just so pleasant and bantering that we can’t NOT make you our letter of the month.
Also, maybe that free T-shirt will make up for the millions of dollars all these flight troubles caused you. Probably not, but maybe.
Drop by for a beer if you ever eventually make it over – if not, then we look forward to seeing Tom Hanks’ interpretation of y’all in a couple years.

Dear Andrea,

This letter is regarding the article that was written about stripping by Rachel Aimee and Katrin Redfern.
    First I want to thank you for showing a different side on the whole stripping issue. Sometimes the Icelandic media can be extremely one-sided and narrow-minded on many controversial subjects so it was nice to read a more of an open-minded article. But there was one thing that bothered me about the article and that was the use of the word(s) “Sex industry”. I’m surprised it was used so often by the reporters. People that are against stripping tend to use words that have a stronger and more of an effect on people (sorta like how people that are against abortion love to use the word “murder” or “murderers”). Words like “prostitution”, “trafficking” and “sex industry” are often mentioned when talking about whether stripping should be banned or not. This is an incorrect comparison. Strippers are no more a part of the “Sex Industry” than actors, filmmakers, musicians, writers and painters. They sell the image of sex but they don’t sell sex itself.
    I also want express a little bit about “trafficking” that was mentioned in the article. If I remember correctly the police investigated the stripping club Goldfinger a few years ago and found no evidence of trafficking. I am surprised that despite the investigation that senators and police officers are still going in front of TV claiming that trafficking is very active in stripping clubs. Even the police of chief, Stefán Eiríksson, went on TV saying that “there is a clear connection between stripping places and orginazed criminal activity and human trafficking”. All I can say to that is why haven’t there been any arrests made if the evidence is so clear?
With regards,
Dear Henry,
We agree that Icelandic discourse can be one sided and dumb, which is why we strive to poison it with our dirty minds and rambling content. DISCOURSE is the word of the day, or at least it should be. Still, have you been in any of those strip clubs? From what we’re told, scoring a hand-job there is a pretty easy task if you’ve got some cash.
ANYWAY, we are engaging in discourse, Rachel and Katrin said their piece, then you said yours, we happily deliver your thoughts, and we’re sure others will pitch in at some point too.  So good job, everyone.

Hi, my name is Burkni Þór Berglindarson and I just have to say that I fucking love Grapevine. The pest part of the paper is ofc. the sour grapes. well I just wanted to write and give you my best regards and keep up the good work:D
Dear Burkni,
Thank you for your awesome fucking letter. Jeez, are we inspiring this kinda language in the nation’s young? Well, fuck it, you seem like a smart kid and we’re sure you have the common sense to know when using the word fuck is appropriate and when it is not (protip: wealthy, respectable tourists on cruise ships apparently don’t approve of the word fuck. So if you meet any…). Anyway, keep on rockin’, etc.

How to destroy America: Blow up an active volcano near an ocean to create a megatsunami.
Jan Overbeek
Dear Jan,
Why would you want to destroy America? That seems like a nasty thing to do. In any case, thanks for your informative letter. Although when you think of it, it’s not really that informative. How does one blow up active volcanoes? Will just any active volcano do, or do we need a specific one? And which ocean are we talking about? There are many oceans out there (at least seven, we’re told). Dude, if you want to be passing along instructions and stuff, you should be more specific. What an anticlimactic missive this was.  

Hello after the strong earthquake that volcano Island tornadoes and tidal black America of the disasters God for non-Muslims to avoid vengeanse GOD by an apocalyptic catastrophe in May 2010 the application of Islam and the Koran in all countries the world and especially the Arab countries and whether countries not applying Islam No God punishes them by apocalyptic disasters thank you
Mehdi Assem
Dear Mehdi,

Statement from the Feminist Association on the discussion of the banning of strip-clubs in Iceland
Strip-dancing as other sex work is a manifestation of the gender system our society relies upon. By definition the gender system includes processes that both define men and women as different in socially significant ways and justify inequality on that basis.
Most interactions between men and women occur in roles that are unequal. Beliefs about gender difference lead men and women to recreate the gender system in everyday interaction. Strip-dancing and other sex work concerns the very core of the gender system. The strip dancer (woman) being the merchandize and the salesperson is subject to the power and will of the buyer (man).
The existence of strip-clubs pins down the gender system feminists aim to subvert to be able to construct a just system for all, men and women. The ban set’s an example of denunciation necessary in the fight against women’s subordination, which hopefully encourages other countries to side with us fighting for equality.

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