Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has never been one to cushion his opinions, as recent statements he has made about the Icelandic Name Committee and America’s gun culture attest.
The Icelandic Name Committee is a legal body which assesses whether or not a new name can be entered into the lexicon of names a person may legally give their child. Their rulings are based on two criteria: whether the name can be grammatically declined in Icelandic, and/or whether the name has historical precedent.
Gnarr, commenting on an article by blogger Eva Hauksdóttir calling for the abolition of the committee, said in part, “The Name Committee is one of the most trifling things you can find in this country. It isn’t just silly; it also discriminates against people.”
The mayor, himself a noted pacifist, also has some strong opinions on guns in America. In this case, he compares the discussion to opinions Americans have made about Icelandic whale hunting. Addressing Americans in general, he says:
“When you were unhappy with our hunting whales, we said ‘It is a part of our culture’. You said: ‘We don’t care. Stop whaling or we’ll stop buying your fish.’ OK, we stop. But what can I do [in response to your gun culture]? Stop buying Coke?”
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