Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 18, 2014 - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 18, 2014

Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 18, 2014

Published December 5, 2014

Say your piece, voice your opinion, send your letters to letters@grapevine.is

Most Awesome Letter of the Issue:

In the last couple of days I witnessed how Biggi Lögga degraded from being sort of a mascot of the Icelandic police force, with his “funny” videos and humongous smile, to “racist scum”. The same people who regarded him and his videos as “hilarious” and “adorable” are now getting ready to lynch him. All due the article he published last week, in which he says Christians are being frowned upon and immigrants’ rights to privacy should be limited. I believe this is simply a misunderstanding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Biggis. To begin with, both his trying-so-hard to be funny videos and teeth the size of the track get on my nerves. Secondly, as an atheist, I really do not feel as I am getting any special treatment in comparison to Christians. Maybe by “privilege” he means that I am not in danger of being stoned to death for my outrageous (lack of) beliefs. Lastly, I myself am an immigrant, and I would most definitely not appreciate Biggi Lögga or anyone else to mangle in my private life on that account.

However, I feel as The Forbidden Article was not written with hate towards immigrants in mind. Rather than that, it was Biggi’s unsuccessful attempt to criticize Cultural Relativism.  It is an idea that all cultures are equal, thus judging something as “right” or “wrong” is unacceptable, as the concept belongs to different culture we do not understand – we should be tolerant to everything other cultures bring. This is idea does seem pretty and nice on first sight; however it does have serious shortcomings. Biggi address it when he writes of “the church of political correctness”. He says that everything is good as long as one is not a Christian. What I believe he is trying to say is that if the ideology behind his beliefs can be judged and questioned, than so should the beliefs of others. His statement that increased immigration into the country could be problematic is not entirely false. Yes, immigration brings a lot of benefits to Iceland, this is not in question. However, with immigrants come bad things from their cultures: misanthropy, homophobia, bigotry and yes, racism. People would be shocked to find out just how racist can one group of immigrants be towards another. This does not mean that other cultures are bad, or that the foreigners are bad. But it is important to not deny the existence of these issues. Of course, Iceland is far from perfect and still has a long way to go, however in comparison to many other countries, the situation here is not all that bad.

The anecdote from Biggi’s work does not strike me as he hates the immigrants. Rather than that, he seems concerned about them. Notice that he did not mention of what origin the particular foreigner was, as he most likely did not want people to form prejudices against a specific group. What he tries to say in this paragraph is not that foreigners are bad people, but that their cultures may support things that are not acceptable. The man believed his wife to be his property, because that is the way things go in his homeland. Biggi want to show that behavior like this is not acceptable, and using one’s cultural background as an excuse should not pass. Tolerance towards other cultures holds great value; however it does not mean that it should not be criticized if there is sound reason to do so.  That is why he says “whether the cultures of those who come here are always their private matter “. He does not mean they should never be their private matter. He means that they should be open to criticism, instead of being protected by blanket of “cultural tolerance”. This is a really fragile topic, and through his unskilled writing Biggi got himself a patch of a “racist”. I may be naive, but I honestly believe spreading hate toward immigrants was not his aim.

In the end, I advise to Biggi to sign up to University and take a couple of writing classes before he ever publishes any article again. And even better, he should stick to what (kind of) works for him, making videos.

kv

Maru

Dear Maru,

Thanks so for our thoughtful letter and thorough analysis of Biggi The Cop’s article. There are certainly many differing interpretations of what exactly Biggi was calling for in his “forbidden article” (you can read some of them here on our website) and, frankly, yours seems as good as anyone’s. We will likely never know Biggi’s true intent—but if he eventually winds up running for office on a platform of populist nationalist rhetoric (currently all the rage in Scandinavia), that might give a hint.

Love,

Your Friends At The Grapevine

Hi!

I am emailing to complain about your staff harassing me on Facebook. I complained about the swearing in an article about heavy metal and now I am getting sworn at by your staff. Can you control them at least get them to act like adults.

Henry Curran

Dear Henry,

thank you for your letter. We are very fuckin’ sorry. But those guys are freelancers, and we don’t pay them nearly enough to make any goddamn demands about how they choose to troll Facebook.  

#gunthrone

Love,

Your Friends At The Grapevine


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