Published March 12, 2018
It’s been a busy week, with good and sad news alike, and with a good dose of sunshine to warm up these icy cold days. But what has been on Icelanders’ minds as of late besides the latest round of flu? Here’s a round-up of fresh debates, hot topics and crazy madness from these past few days.
Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has been harshly criticised for attending a lecture held by British blogger Vanessa Beeley, a journalist better known for being an advocate of the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria. According to Stundin, Katrín, who later specified she was invited to the lecture by a friend and had not inquired on the subject of the lecture before attending, was reprimanded for meeting a “net troll” who called the Arab Spring movement “a lie” and the Syrian rebels “terrorists.” Both Human Rights advocate Þórunn Ólafsdóttir and journalists from RÚV refused to attend the meeting. The harshest criticism, however, came from friends and family of the late Haukur Hilmarsson, who died fighting alongside the Kurds, when Australian author Tim Anderson decided to dedicate his latest book on the war in Syria to Haukur. “This would have been a ridiculous ceremony any day of the year, but today it’s just bitter and cruel,” Haukur’s friend Benjamin wrote. “Haukur was killed alongside the rebels, fighting dictatorship, fascism, oppression, nationalism, chauvinism and stupidity, while Assad looks at the country as his own personal property.”
Politics seems to be at the centre of most conversations these days, but it’s not always on the serious end of the spectrum. Disgraced political party Bright Future has recently announced they won’t be running for municipal elections this year, prompting excited comments and a particularly well-written obituary by former Chairman of Social Democrats Össur Skarphéðinsson. In the in-memoria, Össur gave a nod the party’s chairman Björt Ólafsdóttir, best remembered for participating in a fashion photoshoot in Parliament and blaming people’s critiques on the patriarchy. “The story of Bright Future is one of the saddest stories of modern times in politics,” Össur wrote on Facebook. “They leave nothing behind. It will only be remembered for trying to adopt daylight savings time and for making the government explode at a speed never recorded before.”
On a less funny note, tragedy struck in the football pitch last weekend, when Smiter Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson hurt his knee while playing for Everton against Brighton. Although Gylfi stood up and continued to play after the injury, which happened twenty minutes in the game, the knee was visibly swollen by the end of the match. Unfortunately, this might mean the end of Gylfi’s adventure in the World Cup—a true disaster for the Icelandic team since Gylfi has been described by our football reporters as “the cherry on top of the kleina of Icelandic football.” For now, Icelanders wait with bated breath for the verdict, which will be issued later today by Everton doctors. Read more about Gylfi’s footballing poetry here while you pray to the Nordic Gods for his speedy recovery.