From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff

Sour Grapes And Stuff

Published May 21, 2010

Sour Grapes And Stuff

A buncha POLAR BEER for your thoughts
We’re not gonna lie to you: we really love us some beers. Some folks would call it a problem, but beer never gave us any problems. In fact, over the years, it’s solved most of ’em. A frosty glass of cold, frothy, bubblicious, golden-tinted beer has consistently failed to let us down. In the immortal words of the once-reputable Homer J. Simpson: “Mmm… Beer…”
Now, since we’re real pleasant and giving folks here at the Grapevine, we thought we’d share some wonderful POLAR BEER with you, our readers. Not only that, you’re also getting the gift of social life with it. So here’s the deal: our most awesome letter of each issue (henceforth, or until the good people of POLAR BEER decide they don’t want to play along anymore), we will be providing our MOST AWESOME LETTER scribe with twelve frothy POLAR BEERS, to be imbibed at a Reykjavík bar of their choice (so long as that bar is either Bakkus or Venue). If y’all’s letter is the one, drop us a line to collect.
Give us your worst:

I usually dont get up early in the morning being a night owl by nature but i made an exception this morning and got out of bed before 6 a.m….driven out of bed is more like it as i was having a nightmare…dont gettem to often but when
i do if i go back to sleep i just fall right back into the same damn nightmare right where i left off so fuck that shit i hit the deck  had some kinda breakfast then got onto the computer.
    I had received a letter from a freindly computer egghead warning me not to open up any emails from Landsbankin ´The Icelandic National Bank ‘ the bank i do my meager business with. Evidently…so i was informed …some cyber hood or gang is sending folks emails posing as Landsbankin in order to phish peoples bank info and as a bonus you get a free virus in yr computer that fucks it up like some kinda cyber syph or clap.
     Welcome to the 21st century i thought to myself. I had already grasped what Bill Burroughs was onto about words or the WORD being a virus that mutates and evolves. I stopped getting flu shots years ago…last time i had a flu shot  it gave me the flu…flu viruses , biological viruses are quick to mutate and evolve…if we concoct a shot to block a strain of flu the virus eventually fiqures out how to get past it…it mutates…it evolves…spanish flu , monkey flu , bird flu , goat flu , pig flu , flu flu and so on.
    Guess what? This is the way it works in the cyber world as well…yeah i´m gonna hack you up bitch!!! cyber hood drools on his keyboard concocts a computer flu that will eventually eat his own computer…Matrix? Ha!!! Just wait and  see what happens when the virus gets into his brain/biological computer…welcome to the 21st century where we rely more and more on computer technology. We are advancing so fast in this game many of us thought the whole thing was gonna collapse year 2000 sending airlines , satelites , rockets , communication systems into a state of chaos.
     I was so stoned on new years eve 2000 that i thought to myself ‘ This is so cool. ‘ I climbed up on the largest hill in Reykjavik just before midnight to have the best possible view when all hell breaks loose but alas midnight passed by with nary a bang nor whimper.
    Maybe i will live to see the great cyber plague , the collapse of so called modern civilization, the developement of telepathic communication wiping out the word and the lie…perhaps even a cure for aids the birth of a new sexual revolution…i think that’s what they called it back in the sixties hahaha!!!!!! Evolution , revolution…who thinks up this stuff ?   THE BIG BANG theory….
    The Cosmic Orgasm…Le Petite Morte…all this is way to much to think about. My biological hard drive only has so many bytes and i need all of them just to walk , breathe , make coffee, tie my shoes etc.
     Do let me know if you hear about any new viruses. I´d like to know before it outsmarts us…mutates , evolves…Jeeeeeeeez is it possible that WE are a virus!?* Ok , Ok….i gotta cut this out now…i need to chill , kick back and defrag.
Michael Odin Pollock
Brother M
Dear Michael,
As anyone can tell you, immunisations will give you a little flu. Maybe you just have a shitty immune system? Anyway, you should probably get more sleep. You seem a little opposed to legal pharmaceuticals, so may we suggest some nice herbal tea?
But listen man, we love the rant. It still sounds like you’ve been reading too many William Gibson novels. There is probably a long way to go before all the TechWars and CyberPlagues and interweb hoodlums take over all our lives (unless Facebook is planning a new widget or something), so don’t be so freaked out all the time. Chill out with some free beer instead.
BTW, Isn’t this like the second time you score free beer off us? Good job, Pollock!

Dear Sirs:
I am writing you to find out how I can write the poor gentleman who had to put his horses to sleep, in the article, “We Are Drowning In Ash”.  His name is Finnur Tryggvason.  I wish to send him my condolences and how terribly sorry I am for his misfortune.  It is obvious from the photos that those horses were adored and were beautiful, and I cannot imagine a more awful thing to have to do than to put them to sleep.  If you could forward me his email, or his physical address, so I could send him my thoughts, I would appreciate it.  I live in Anchorage, Alaska, and have volcanoes close by to where I live.  We had Mt Redoubt erupt last spring, and I had to keep my 3 cairn terrier dogs inside.
    I am so sorry for all the suffering of your people in Iceland regarding the volcanic eruption. I hope that the lifestock losses are not great, and are minimal. I extend my friendship and prayers to those hurting, and that I wish them to know that there are those in the United States who are praying for them, and that they are not going through this experience alone.
Very truly yours,
Rebecca T Janelli
Dear Rebecca,
Thank you for your letter and for your concern. We have received several letters like yours since the eruption made world news, and we must say that each and every one of them is very touching, as these are heartfelt and emphatic missives that sorta make one believe there is hope yet (the fact that pretty much not a single human was harmed by the eruption is beside the point – it’s the thought that counts).
We can’t really give you Finnur’s address (curious folks may read the article in question on our website), but maybe he’ll stumble upon this issue and drop us a line.
In any case, thank you and everyone else who’s written in with their concerns and worries. They mean a lot, and make clear that we should all strive to care more about one another and offer warm thoughts across oceans during times of trouble.

Will be studying listfræði at HÍ next year.  YOU ARE A VALUABLE RESOURCE, SIRS AND MADAMS.  And I enjoy reading you after being yelled at by bosses and art dealers and various wealthy people.
Dear David,
Why are y’all getting yelled at by so many folks? We don’t know what you do, but it sounds like coming here for school will be a welcome change. Icelanders never yell at each other. Ha.
Plus, all the wealthy people here are getting put in jail or have Interpol warrants out for their arrest. It’s pretty funny, at least if you work at a listings magazine and don’t have a nickel to your name. LOVE YOU TOO!

I’d always wanted to visit Ijsland (blame Jules Verne for that), and finally took the opportunity for a few days this month.  I didn’t get out of Reykjavik very much, but your wonderful city and its people were a thrill.  I have a new hip, and central Reykjavik’s size and navigability were perfect for me…not to mention the food and very good Ijslandic beers.  I was saddened to read in your recent issue that your government seems to spend more time hunting down cannabis than rogue bankers (boy, does that sound America-local!), but it didn’t keep a fellow (we’re both in our mid-60s) in a downtown bar from slipping me a very nice bud.  I’ll be back…and, by the way, I loved Mehdi Assem’s letter in that particular number.
Arthur Wicks
Dear Arthur,
Thank you for your most awesome letter.
Now, Did Jules Verne spell it ‘Ijsland’? How odd. Anyway, we are glad you enjoyed your time spent over on our island, and that you managed to score some bud, even though that’s totally wrong and just as bad as doing heroin and WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!? Anyway, you’ll be happy to know some of our banksters are now in shackles. No bankster-coke for them anytime soon
Thanks for the interesting “interview” with Anna the landi girl.  A  good read.  Despite what Anna may have said or believed, distilling is most definitely illegal, even for personal use.  Fermenting is a much greyer area  however.  As best as I have been able to deduce from the laws, it’s technically  illegal to brew anything over 2.25%, but if you ring up the police and ask, they  will tell you that it is OK to brew, but not to distill.  And selling is  definitely out, regardless.
    Law aside, if you’re interested in continuing the theme in your next, or future issues, tomorrow night (Monday 10 May)  Fágun, the icelandic home brew society, (Or fermentology society really, we make wine and cheese and jogurt and things  too) is having one of their monthly meetups.  It’s at Vínbar, from 8pm.
    Of note is that on May 1, we had the first ever icelandic home brew competition,  with 31 different beers entered into two categories, with a judging panel including both icelandic brewers and wine tasters, along with cheese and coffee connoisseurs and even a guest brewer flown in from Norway.  We’ll be discussing the results a bit more, and some of the beers will be available for tasting,  which should be good fun.
    Sorry for the short notice, but I only picked up the new grapevine yesterday.
    If you want more info about fágun, you can head over to
Karl P
Hey Karl,
thanks for the correction, smartass. DJÓK! Anyway, your club sounds interesting as hell. We’ll make sure to try and cover it sometime, if we ever manage to sober up from all that illegal landi.

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


Sour Grapes: HYPOCRISY!

Sour Grapes: HYPOCRISY!


Show Me More!