by Andri Magnaso
If you read the news about
In reality, most of the bankers run free and the old regime is making a comeback. But Icelandic reality does not matter as much as the need for hope. Germans write about a quirky island in close connection to nature, where people talk to elves, and ride around hot springs on ponies. Living in the
I am a bit codependent and try to tell people what they want to hear. Why talk about corruption, greed and scandal if it only spreads more pessimism? If the Icelandic fantasy creates a new economic system in
Wishful thinking is getting harder because the
We had been recovering slowly from that disaster under a slightly boring social democratic government. Tourism and fisheries are booming. Music, literature and theatre have been thriving like never before. I actually know more people who work in start-ups than are unemployed. But it's no fun to clean up a mess, and people were impatient. They missed the boom times of 2007. The winning parties promised economic growth, lower taxes, and debt reduction for home owners.
Personally, I suffered a strange feeling of suffocation at having the crazy capitalist parties back in power. I was afraid of being stuck in another rollercoaster ride of financial mess and environmental disaster. That anxiety resulted in me posting a toxic
Looking home from a distance, I am not totally pessimistic. A recent poll shows that the
Some people might think we had gone mad handing the city to a bunch of creative artists. But our anarchosurrealist mayor has taken our almost bankrupt
Why did we think that artists were incapable of running a city or a country? What does a director do? He pulls together a wide range of talents: musicians, actors, a playwright, carpenters, designers, marketing people, lighting, the janitor, make-up etc. They manage a complex machine. They have to follow a vision and implement it with more precise timing than a subway system. And how complex is it to manage a rock band touring 40 cities in five weeks, performing for a million people?
So where did people get the idea that artists were unreliable slackers while a middle-aged man in a suit with a vulgar taste for luxury cars and wines was destined to rule us? So while nothing has changed in
Andri Magnason is author of 'The Story of the Blue Planet', 'Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation' and 'LoveStar: A Novel'