From Iceland — Sour Grapes and Stuff

Sour Grapes and Stuff

Published July 2, 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 saw an interview with Vooral Gerard in The Reykjavik Grapevine. I am
sorry these people lost their money, but it is not the Icelandic
taxpayers to blame or their responsibility. 25 million euros is maybe
not so much but this amount is the same as 1.25 billion euros for the
Dutch taxpayers as there are 50 times more of the Dutch than Icelanders.
Would Holland pay 1.25 billion euros unless forced to? What would the
Dutch taxpayers say? Every country should be responsible for the banks
operating in their own country, but not any overseas branches which are
regulated by the authorities of the country in question. Dutch
authorities gave Icelandic banks the green light for the icesave
accounts. Obviously 320 thousand people could not back up and guarantee
billions of euros. Dutch authorities are therefore to blame, not
Icelandic taxpayers.
EU does not want to regulate the financial sector. They want to give it a
free play and when everything goes down, they send the bill to the
taxpayers. Who made up this system? The Icelanders? Icelandic taxpayers
did not give the green light on the icesave accounts in Holland, it was
Dutch authorities that did so and failed. Icelandic authorities also
failed, but we all knew they were incompetent and naturally they lied to
the Dutch authorities. Icelandic banks were run by gangsters which were
protected by the corrupt Right Wing party up here. Why should I care? I
am not the police? I do not make the law in EU! Dutch authorities could
just have checked Iceland on Wikipedia and realized that the nation is
only 320 thousand people and then realize that they could not back up
billions of euros.
The Dutch authorities should compensate and give these people the 25
million euros. Fair would be that we Icelanders pay 1 : 50. No problem
with me. EFTA can say what it likes. If Iceland takes the responsibility
for the 25 million euros, many others will follow with something
totaling billions of euros. No country will accept responsibility for
amounts that will make it bankrupt. I
suspect that the Dutch authorities are using these people. They are loud
and they want their money from the bad Icelanders. Their voice is heard
in the Dutch media and this serves the Dutch Government just fine. They
are being used and manipulated by their own Government.
Best regards
Dear Einar,
Oh dear. Who is to blame? Who is responsible? Who should pay whom? Won’t
somebody please think of the children!?
We wish we had the answers too, but you gotta understand where the guy
is coming from at least? A little? Maybe? No? Okay, fair enough.
You know, you probably said what a lot of people out there are thinking,
and you managed to word it pretty well, too. The Dutch government
SHOULD have looked us up on Wikipedia before allowing us to open up a
banking operation there. It only makes sense! Folks seem to screen and
scrutinize their potential dates way more than the Dutchies seem to have
checked out Landsbanki.
You know, this definitely is an awesome letter (it made us smile a lot,
anyway) and if anything it has earned you a half-dozen chilly Polar
Beers to chug on.

Hello Haukur!
We wanted to wish you a Happy National Day!  It has been quite the year for Iceland.  I have designed another graphic celebrating Iceland’s National Day.  It depicts the Eyjafjalajökul eruption with all of its energy:
Dear Angel and Andy,
Thanks so much for always staying in touch, sharing your work, and writing us your letters.  It’s really reassuring to know there are people like you out there.  Also, your illustration looks very cool indeed!

Dear Grapevine.
I, the undersigned, am most unsatisfied with your recent intimation (in
your recent article about my most awesome self),  that I, the
undersigned, am a smoker. Nothing could be further from the truth. In
fact, what i was holding was a dummy cigarette as preparation for my
future role in the dramatization of Davíð Oddson’s “Final Days” which
depicts the days before his tragic suicide.
I am shocked that the respectful Grapevine should depict me as a smoker.
My father reads this, you know….
Love, Ólafur Arnalds
Dear Ólafur,
it is very cool that your father reads us! Mad props to him!
Anyway, our journalist with whom you spoke wishes to extend her
sincerest apologies for the blatant defamation of character that was
implied when she faslely accused you of having such a filthy,
disgusting, decadently delicious habit. She has been severely admonished
and won’t be allowed to smoke cigarettes until the next issue is
published (we can say that in here because her parents know she smokes.
Because she’s an adult and stuff).
We will make sure in the future that our staff doesn’t confuse
method-acting techniques with real life. And please let us know when
“Final Days” hits the stage. Sounds like a fun show!
PS – what’s an “intimation”? Sounds fancy!

Dear Haukur,
I read grapevine with joy and hope the journal will continue to live
long. This message is just to remind you that cafes and croissants, the
Louvre, the 5th arrondissement and its gay nightclubs and also the movie
l’irreversible come from France and not from Spain as you indicated.
For foreigners visitting beautifull Iceland, it might make they think we
do not know… May be this can be corrected ! Except if going to Spain
makes you think of France and Paris because you had such a good time
there… Whatever the reason, I will be glad to read your explanations
in the next edition. Continue the passion and enthousiasm. Regards,
Dear Christophe,
thank you so much for your lovely letter, and your kind words! They mean
a lot, they really do.
As for that whole Spain/France confusion… ehrm. Well. It would have
been really, really helpful had you sent your letter a little bit
sooner. I totally embarrassed myself all over Madrid trying to order
some croissant while asking for directions to the gay nightclubs and the
 It took me like three days to figure out my error, at which point I had
totally missed my chance to visit the MoMA. Next time you spot me being
so erroneous, RUN, don’t walk, to your computer to tell me!

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