Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dear Iceland

Dear Iceland:

Mostly, you are awesome. I love all your geysers and your glaciers, and I don’t mind that your volcanoes are occasionally irritating.

Historically, you’re amazing. Your democratic parliamantary arrangement is one of the very oldest in the whole world, going back to the times when you guys were better known for wearing cowhorns on your helmets and singing about Spam.

Your ancient myths and stories are fantastic, and continue to influence modern culture. (Can you believe they got Kenneth Branagh to direct the ‘Thor’ movie? That just has to rock!) Your contemporary musicians are creative, quirky and interesting, even if Bjork occasionally does sound like she learned to sing by hanging out at the dolphin pond at SeaWorld.

Lately, you’ve been really super-amazing. The bit where you decided years ago to use all that geothermal energy and transit to a hydrogen economy: that was inspired. Sure, it’s a bit of a no-brainer since you’ve got no oil, and you’ve got plenty of lava and water, and you’re a long way from everybody else... but you’d think it would be a no-brainer for a country like Australia too, wouldn’t you? And you’d be wrong. So you’re excellent, Iceland.

And I love the fact that you got fed up with your governance after last year’s banking debacle, so you simply elected a professional comedian as mayor of your capital city. That is totally cool. Here we just elect total dickheads and then laugh bitterly when they turn out to be both amateurish comedians, and deeply, stupidly amateurish political leaders. If we had the brains to elect comedians first up, we wouldn’t be looking at a choice between Tony Dicktogs and Mister Apologia right now. But we’re not as awesome as you, Iceland.

But your brilliance doesn’t end there. I was delighted and overjoyed by the bit where your government passed a law recognising gay marriage. Oh, sure — you’ve got an openly gay head of government (and how fucking awesome is that, anyway?) so some people might argue it was always going to happen... but you didn’t just pass that motherhumping law, did you? No: any two-bit cheap-ass tinpot pretender to democracy can pass a big-hearted, liberal-minded, intelligent law (sometimes, anyway. Maybe.) You actually passed it unanimously. Unanimously! As in: not only did none of your elected representatives vote against it, but they didn’t even do the pathetic limpdick cop-out routine of ‘abstaining’. Forty-nine to zero. That is just beyond awesome right there. You win, Iceland.

But that’s not enough for you, is it Iceland? Nope. You’ve gone ahead, forging a path into a mythically delicious 21st century of progress and enlightenment that we here in the rest of the world can only gape at, and envy. Your move to create a true, protected space for modern journalism, thus providing a haven for heroes like Julian Assange and Wikileaks is nothing short of brain-shatteringly tremendous. A country where open dialogue is supported and protected? A nation that stands up for the rights of its people to be informed and to undertake meaningful debate? A state which is prepared to welcome and protect whistleblowers and advocates of truth and openness?

I’m running out of superlatives here, Iceland. I stand — nay, I kneel — in awestruck supplication before your astonishing foresightedness. I would move to Iceland tomorrow if I could convince my wife and children it was warmer than Tasmania... or I would, except for one little thing.

Just one thing.

One question.

What the fuck do you have against whales, Iceland?

What did whales ever do to you? Did a whale kill both your parents in Crime Alley when you were just a little island? Did a giant radioactive whale destroy your home planet, so that your parents had to put you in a rocket-ship and send you to Earth? Did a whale steal your girlfriend, break your truck, take your job and kill your dog? Did a whale give you up, let you down, and run you 'round?

Whatever it was those whales did, it must have been truly terrible. Because I cannot for the life of me understand why else the single most progressive, thoughtful, open-minded and otherwise excellent nation that has ever existed would insist on hunting down a bunch of big, harmless, friendly, ecologically vital animals and blowing them up with exploding harpoons.

You are incredibly awesome, Iceland. But whales are pretty awesome too.

The world is big enough for both of you, I promise. Please stop killing whales. There are plenty of other things you can shoot exploding harpoons at. Why not start with our Prime Minister? That way, we can have a go at electing a comedian too!


  1. Wikileaks has got the credibility of the Ministry for Freedom of Religion, in China. They should have stuck to just leaking shit, and not started actually leaking, SHIT.

    There ya go Doc.

    ...and yeah, whaling sucks, and stuff.

  2. I'm not exactly sure what Wikileaks did to get under your skin, Moko -- but we are a shitload better off with them than without them. Just for starters, they were the lads who first released Senator Cockroy's 'hit list' of URLS. And the senator in question hates 'em, and has tried to ban 'em, which is good enough for me to be completely in support of 'em.

    In any case -- who really cares, mate? Newspapers publish complete fucking shit all the time. Biggest liars on the planet. I don't see you pissing and whinging about Uncle Rupert's "credibility", though. Why? Is there something about, you know, actually making money from lies, manipulation and political shitkicking that somehow makes Rupert's shit more respectable than Wikileaks?

    Gotta figure this one's personal to you, I guess.

    (But yeah: sucks to be a whale these days.)

  3. Wikileaks is just an extension of Wikipedia in all sense of the linkage to me now. It's a base for research, but if it told the sky was blue I'd stick my head out the window, just in case. You're right, my old man used to call main stream media 'polyfilla', as in the gap filler, because that was all it was doing to the heads of everyone watching. It isn't news, it's just stuff.

    Sure, what Wikileaks did was personal. They insulted my intelligence with "Collateral Murder". It was horrible footage, but they sold their soul with that effort.

    Yeah, it's my vid, but look at it from an objective POV, if you choose to watch it at all.

  4. Dirk you forgot the dodgy banks query. But yes pretty amazing place I place..but they do kill whales with naer a thought!! Bastards

  5. Chaz: I don't blame ANY nation for the state of their banking sector. Near as I can tell, Brecht was completely on target when he famously said "What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?"

    Moko: I watched your vid, just as I watched the original. And I thought in both cases that Wikileaks had been very selective in their interpretation. On the other hand, so far the absolute tripe the US has released has been equally selective. And that Wikileaks has an agenda makes them no less valuable or important. They remain a source of information which we would not otherwise access -- potentially valuable information. They also remain a beacon of hope for people who may want to speak up, but have nowhere else to be heard.

    I'm glad they're out there. I don't care if they don't always get it right. The fact that they exist scares the fuck out of assholes like Cockroy, and the shabbier part of the US military/government machine.

    Anyone -- anyone at all -- who can make assholes like Cockroy and his ilk be more careful and considered in their behaviour is on the side of the angels.

  6. I am not ashamed to admit that I hate whales, but for none of the reasons you articulate. I hate whales because they are lazy and smell and swim into our waters for the sole purpose of taking advantage of our social welfare system. Get a job, you fucking whales! Go back where you came from! And speak English instead of that depressing moaning and squealing the fucking tree-hugging hippies call "songs."

  7. ...always suspected you of secretly being Icelandic, Paul!

  8. Reykjavik is like a second home to me. What of it?

  9. Bjork is the Bastard Child of Little Jimmy Osmond.

    Listen to them back to back and try to tell the difference.