From Iceland — Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 16, 2015

Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 16, 2015

Published October 9, 2015

Say your piece, voice your opinion, send your letters to:

This issue’s most awesome letter!

A friend is traveling in the states and just posted that they saw Einstök in New Jersey cheaper than in Reykjavik, 5 minutes of google-fu later and behold:

Liquor Store Prices:
USA: $1.99 USD (251 ISK)
UK: £1.93 GBP (379 ISK)
Iceland: 399 ISK

Vínbúðin, fucking bastards!


Hi Davy!

Congrats on getting internet down in the locker.

Like many foreigners, you’ve misunderstood some crucial facts about Iceland:

First off, beer is subsidized in New Jersey as an incentive to get people to live in New Jersey.

Secondly, the UK is given all the Einstök that is collected from spills or failed batches. Those Brits can’t tell the difference. Interestingly though, I heard British people can see colours more vividly, and have a heightened since of smell during periods of political unrest.

Lastly, if you say Vínbúðin are “fucking bastards”, you are saying the government is filled with “fucking bastards.” A completely unsubstantiated claim! When has any government employee or person in office ever conducted themselves like a “fucking bastard?”

Keep that salty language at the bottom of the sea where it belongs.

Hello Reykjavik Grapevine,

I just want to say thank you for having the publication online. We live in Minneapolis (I am married to an Icelander) and we love reading your publication online (both of us). It’s a great way to stay connected to whats going on in Iceland and the content is almost always just fantastic (LOVE the humor). Just wanted to say thanks!

That’s all J

Well, J, we are really glad you enjoy reading The Grapevine online. Honestly, we’re always a bit nervous about the difference between online and the print edition. There is a significant difference in how people consume the two mediums. The tactile nature of print, or what academics call “the codex,” has numerous advantages—including some interesting research suggesting that you retain more information when you read off the printed page. Also, our writers have a certain sense of pride when a physical object is created carrying their text.

However, you have highlighted one of the benefits of online: distribution. We can reach readers around the world, except certain provinces in China, but depending on the reader’s ambition, there are several methods for bypassing the firewalls (Actually, the physical and computational “nut & bolts” is fascinating when you consider it as part of the evolution of communication technology).

The other benefit of online is space. We can publish massive tombs with incoherent, seemingly non-connected, photo galleries. You can even get your computer to read it to you. We’ve always hoped someone would record their computer reading one of our longer pieces, set the robotic speech to music and enter it in one of the various music competitions that are held all over the globe—except in certain provinces in China.

We do come to a real conundrum on the matter of time. By printing an issue, we have frozen a slice of time and readers know what to expect based on the publication date. We publish twice monthly in the summer and monthly in the winter. Their data sits on a physical object that occupies space. With online publishing, people expect everything to be constantly updated, revised, and relevant. The article doesn’t take up physical space, so it’s almost as if the article starts to shrink as time passes and the article sits unnoticed. It drowns in the infinity of internet space. However, if the piece goes viral. It could seem to fill a space in the collective conscious far greater than any printed counterpart. It would show up on news feeds, emails, aggregated internet sites.

J, what we’re really talking about here is perception. Is your concept of the Grapevine, the concept you’ve constructed in your head, different from someone who reads only the print version? What things are you missing out on? What extras are you getting? What if Icelanders who read the Grapevine here have fundamentally different experiences with the magazine than you do online? You would think you were staying connected to Iceland. When in reality, you’d be slowly drifting further and further apart at the level of the brain. We are stealing Iceland from you and leaving you a shapeless, infinite void, which is glossed with photos and consolation.

We’re not telling you this so you have to live in misery and suffering, without consolation. The abolition of this illusory happiness is a demand to live in a world with real happiness.

Subscribe to have the print edition sent your way.

We ship internationally—except certain provinces in China.

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

Show Me More!