From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff

Sour Grapes And Stuff

Published July 30, 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 am no expert on the Icesave crisis, but as far as I can tell, Icelanders are suffering under the weight of unforeseen modalities of old contracts.  Of course, much, if not all, of the world’s injustice falls under this general description.  It seems to me that the best general counter strategy for those who find themselves in this predicament is to present the opposing parties with an equally heavy unforeseen modality.  Here is such a counter strategy for dealing with the Icesave crisis:
1) All Icelanders move to Geirfuglasker.
2) Iceland sells me, Steve, all of Iceland except Geirfuglasker for one kroner.
3) I secede from Iceland and call my new country “Steveland”.
4) Iceland recognizes my independence.
5) Icelanders apply for citizenship in Steveland, which I generously grant. 
6) New Steveland passports are issued.
7) Icelanders emigrate to Steveland and I generously allow them to return to their former homes.
8) Icelanders renounce their Icelandic citizenship.
9) The last Icelander to emigrate to Steveland gives Gerifuglasker to Iceland’s creditors as Iceland’s sole remaining asset.
10) If it is thought desirable, Steveland can enter into negotiations to make a reasonable offer to buy Gerifunglasker from its new owners.
Hey Steve,
Wow, what a great idea this is! We have two problems with it, though. Firstly, how do we know you’ll honour items 4, 5 and 6 of the plan? Couldn’t you just… forget to do that, leaving us all stranded on Geirfuglasker? That would suck! There’s nothing there! Nothing!
Secondly, could we call it something other than Steveland? It seems like a pretty novel name for a country, but uh… it’s not very pretty. Can we call it something else? Like Ponyland? Geysirland? Gullfossland? Björkland? Elfland?  Magmaland? Promiscuoussexland? Bobbyfischerland? Zombieland? Eyjafjallajökullland?
Anyway, your entrepreneurial spirit and FRESH IDEAS deserve some beer. This is why we are rewarding you some beer [via our MOST AWESOME LETTER feature]. Maybe it will make you remember us fondly when you are emperor of Steveland.

This is Alexander, an under-30 Philadelphia Eco-Sustainability Entrepreneur and American Expat in Scandinavia ( Norway ) who seeks to broach an inspiration piece for the Reykjavik Grapevine’s International Business Panel based on your classic ‘ interview format ‘ with the hope that such a feature would evoke the much needed entrepreneurial aspects of transformation our world direly and provocatively needs  at this time at a local and inter-relational level – both – by the way of realistic and integral perspective as well as compelling action of an Universal Urgency.
I seek to communicate as a soulful and creative being to my entrepreneurial brethren and stewards and stewardesses of the preciousness of the natural world in your afflicted Iceland , and speak as one who challenges fixed preconceptions while attesting to the shared tragicality of our present world diaspora and challenges, with the earnestness of the Classical American Spirit of True Meaning, Liberties, Courage to do the Right Thing, and advance Pacifism through Right Trade Relations with the peoples of nations.
My voice of description will be both one of historical perspective, deeply autonomous, personal, and hopefully refreshing and invigorative in its classical spirit, offer a call to action at a universal and interpersonal scale, and a plea to transcendence in which i yearn to broadcast a zesty optimism to the Folk of Iceland as a kindred Spirit from the other side of the Atlantic.
As a Brave New American Expat, my hope  is also to align the perspectives that Icelanders and Americans alike are just as human in the best and worst sense of All That Is in the nature of humanness, ( yet ) in light of the most atrocious follies of the financial crises et cetera , it is entirely upto us , Here and Now,  to constructively build a focal point and bridge of perspectives at an Interpersonal level of transcendence whereby Icelanders, Americans, Scandinavians and European continentals could greet with a sense of enthusiasm an expression of  ‘ Proving by Doing ‘ at both a local and pan-geographic level what it truly means to be a person of Goodwill, Enterprise, and Inspired Vision in this all-connected world that very much needs the highest encouragement to make an embarkment beyond the so-called “limits” we all now appear to face universally. My modest anecdotes of breakthroughs will seek to be my gift of camaraderie to Icelanders, and i entrust this spirit to the exploration of your Grapevine.
I’m available for an interview by both telephone  appointment and/or via email .
Yours very Sincerely,
Alexander K. Rai
Dear Alexander,
We have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Your intentions seem good, though… we think? This isn’t about THE LIZARD PEOPLE again, is it!?

Salut en temps de Prophéte Abraham DIEU a éxterminer une population d homosexuels par un volcan DIEU hier a punit aujourdhui DIEU punira ces homosexuels et leurs villes par ces forts séismes tsunami volcan avez vous vu un singe faire l amour avec un autre singe ces homosexuels et lesbiennes pire que les singes donc a ces homos de mettre fin a ce crime qui provoque la colére de DIEU et pour sauver leurs villes des forts séismes et depuis les homos en augmentations les séismes se multiplie surtout en Europe et en Amérique de sud en particulier depuis juin 2009 a ce jour merci
Hello in the time of the Prophet Abraham GOD to exterminate the population of homosexuals by a volcano GOD punished yesterday today GOD will punish these homosexuals and and their sins by these strong earthquakes tsunami volcano have you ever seen a monkey have sex with another monkey these homosexuals and lesbians are worse than monkeys so to put an end to these homos and the crime that incites the wrath of GOD and to save their sins from strong earthquakes and since the homos are on the rise the earthquakes are multiplying especially in Europe and in South America in particular since june 2009 today thank you

Re: Shit From An Old Notebook (mostly) by Haukur S Magnússon
Good afternoon,
In regards to the editorial listed above, I agree with what you’re saying but there is something I want to point out.  Most people who go to Iceland usually plan for staying a short period of time and aren’t always as skilled at friend making as they should be.  For those who are in one or both of those groups, the best of being defined in what one can get with a few(or a lot of) krona is really helpful.  I know when I go back I’ll be using the guide quite often.
And with that I’m off,
James Jones
New Jersey, USA
Hi James,
You make an interesting point here. It’s true, making friends ain’t easy when you’re visiting for a limited time. Maybe we should start some sort of service where we rent friends out to people for a reasonable sum of ISK? Would you be into that? Would anyone? Pretty sure this service is available in Japan. Perhaps it time for us Icelanders to start one of our own?
Anyway, good to know you’ll be using our BEST OF guide. We spent a lot of time compiling it, and it’s cool to know folks are using it.

What is it?
A friend returned from Iceland with a gift: Lifrarpylsa Sodin
What kind of meat is it?
B Johnson
Dear B,
thank you for your letter.  We’d rather not tell you what’s in it. Trust us, eating it won’t get you sick or anything (you didn’t eat it yet, did you?), but you’ll feel better not knowing.
Much better.

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