Chances are if you know anyone who is icelandic, then today you´ll have received a video with a message along the lines of “Hey friend, Iceland is a really great place. And we´re all great! Come and see us!!!” or something along those lines. Well don´t worry, they haven´t gone all weirdly passive-aggressive and bonkers. It´s part of the latest wheeze to convince you all that iceland is THE GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH!!
Some background first. Iceland is suffering from something that scientists have termed “having no fucking money to spend on anything at all”. The country needs large injections of money and economy. So we were hoping to recoup some moneys from all those German, Japanese and middle-aged American tourists that come every year over to gawp at glaciers and geysers and shit.
But then Eyjafjallajökull happened. It was only a real annoyance to a relatively small part of the country, but thanks to it shutting down airports across europe, some hyperbolic commentary from certain news networks (i´m looking at you Fox news you douchebags), and an imbecile president who told the world “ICELAND IS LIKELY TO BLOW UP ANY MINUTE NOW!!!”, tourism is well down on last year.
Which prompted the creation of Inspired by Iceland, A website that shows stories and videos of people who enthuse about how wonderful it is to be here and that Iceland inspires them greatly. They´ve actually been doing some great stuff, enlisting the help of Viggo Mortensen and Stephen Fry to wax lyrical about what Iceland means to them.
But they saved the “best” until today. A special video has been made along the “inspired by Iceland” theme and today was a “be a friend to Iceland” day. Everyone in Iceland was urged to send the video to friend and acquaintances and tell them about how great we were.
So here is the video in all it´s Grand Guignol glory!…..
Ok first of all, Iceland is a great place, end of story. And the video does convey some of the great locations here. Landmannalaugur, the glaciers and the Glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón, the BLue Lagoon, numerous places all over Reykjavik, etc. And all set to Emiliana Torrini´s song, jungle drum.
But there´s something not quite right about it. Let´s see…. oh yeah it´s the people! Apart from the naked couple in the thermal pool and the breakdancing kids, what a bunch of freaks! The main culprit is the toothy, beaming woman at the beginning who is almost in tears about great Iceland is, like a new convert to some shadowy sinister moonbeam cult. And the sentiment is more or less carried on through the video (i noticed i saw her about 5 times through the video. She definitely gets around for a tourist). Apparently Icelanders are just a bunch of relentlessly chirpy, positive people who you just HAVE to meet.
Of course this is probably just pure snark on my part. But i always seems to turned off by videos like this which are almost bludgeoning you across the face with how great everything is here. Oh it is, but the people? they´re really aliens who´ve taken on human form and are harvesting as many people as possible for their meat farms on their ships.
But it´s not all bad. The inspired by Iceland site has a pop up music player with some of the best of the current Icelandic music that ISN´T Sigur Rós or Björk. And a lot of it is damn fine too.