Saturday, June 26, 2010

Iceland Rules!

I first heard about this story a few weeks ago on The Bugle podcast: The new mayor of Reykjavik is a comedian, crank phone caller and former punk rocker at the head of a protest joke party. Bjork is his wife's best friend and he knows everyone in Sigur Ros. He campaigned on a platform of free towels in Icelandic swimming pools and a new polar bear for the zoo. He refused to go into coalition with anyone who hadn't seen all five seasons of The Wire. Now he's the mayor. Normally I say death to the hipsters but for these guys I make an exception.The New York Times has a good profile here
Leah and I went to Iceland about five years ago. We loved it there. It was like being in the Smurf Village: charming, quirky, colourful and a little bit creepy. After two hours in Reykjavik I felt confident about giving other tourists directions and I had bathed in two different hot springs. Iceland punches above its weight in art, literature, music, strange breakfast foods, volcanoes, trolls, cuteness and nearly other category except boxing. Iceland is joining the EU so in theory I could move there if I wanted and if it wasnt for the high price of booze I'd be sorely tempted.
(Peter Rozovsky has had many interesting posts on Icelandic Crime Fiction over at DBB however my favourite Icelandic literary works are the amazing Saga of Burnt Njal (which has a nice scene at the Battle of Clontarf with Brian Boru) and the terrific Independent People by Haldor Laxness).