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Picture of the week - Dune Grass

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DuneGrass

The picture is from my my trip to Belgium last year. My sister and her family, my father and his wife and me stayed for a week in the same summer house we used to go when I was a kid. It was a relaxing holiday and a nice trip down memory lane. It was so good to be out of Iceland and in the sun again, after being stuck for all of 2020. At least it was nice until global warming arrived at my childhood home, but that is a story for a future blog post.


Björt Framtið

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Björt Framtið (bright future) was a political part founded in 2012. It was one of the may parties who appeared in the aftermath of the economic crash in 2008 and the realisation of corruption in Icelandic politics. As most of the parties after the crash their politics were based on promoting direct democracy (many of the party members had also been involved in the movement for a new constitution), some social programs and anti corruption measures.

Ten years later it is hard to describe the mood in 2012. There was a general optimism in the air, a hope that the old and corrupt system could be reformed into something new. In 2015 Björt Framtið had merged with Besti Flokkurinn, a protest party founded by comedian Jón Gnarr, a party that had famously come into power in Reykjavík. In 2017 they formed a coalition government with Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (one of the parties responsible for the economic crash in 2008) and Viðreisn, a liberal party with the idea to "change the system from the inside". The government fell apart in October of the same year, after yet another corruption scandal, which I wrote about during the time here. Björt Framtið never recovered. They received 1.2% in the election after the scandal and have been inactive since.

So why am I writing about them now? Well, they just were in the news, because their Twitter account had been hacked by some NFT promoting bot and is now just spouting NFT and blockchain promotion. And I just can't help but feel that the party called "Bright Future" founded with that much hope in 2012, embroiled in and destroyed by the corruption within the system they joined to change, ending up being hijacked for NFT promotion is just the perfect nut shelling of the last ten years. Oh what a bright future we got.


REM in a nutshell playlist

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This took some time, but here is my very short playlist.

A side: 5 songs, which perfectly represent REM

  1. Gardening at Night
  2. Fall on Me
  3. It's the End of the World
  4. Losing my Religion
  5. Man on the Moon


B side: My favourites

  1. Feeling Gravity's Pull
  2. You are the Everything
  3. I've Been High



Concerts to watch
1985, Bochum, Germany They were so young! It was recorded by the local TV/Radio station and I would stay up late to watch it when it came on.
Unplugged, 1991 Needs no explanation

Other things
Song exploder: Losing my religion. Mainly because they managed to get Bill Berry on board and he is delightful.

Best discoveries I made while writing this blog
The Christmas singles. I loved listening to them again over Christmas. They are so much fun and worth this whole project alone.

When my friend from the previous post and I were putting together music for our Iceland road trip she was insistent to have Shiny Happy People with us, because it is her favourite REM song. This is why we are friends, we get the necessity for silliness.

I wish they had used accordion and dulcimer om more songs.


--- THE END ---


My childhood friend and all the times she traumatised me

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My oldest friend is finally coming to visit me in Iceland (it has been 20 years, Judith...). This is a good opportunity to talk about all the times she traumatised me when we were children. A bit of background. We are from the same village and became friends in kindergarten. Her father is a teacher and she always was more aware of things than me. As a kid, I used to live in my own world far away from reality. When we started primary school we would walk home together. This is when we had our "deep" conversations, and this is when she would tell me sone hard and traumatising truths.

1. The world has no end I do not really know why we talked about it, maybe because of some movie we saw, but even though I knew the world was round, travelling to the end of the world was such a common story telling trope that I never realised it is not a thing in the real world. A bit of magic vanished from the world for me that day.

2. The world can end any time I have no idea where she got that from or what she even meant by that. In my (hazy) memory she just blurted it out and then walked away. I did not sleep for days.

3. Germany started both world wars We had just started to learn about the horrors of the world wars in school (I think 3rd or 4th grade). Complete with a movie about Auschwitz, which for some reason I was not traumatised by (who shows this kind of movie to 9 year olds? My teachers were hardcore). I think the footage was to grainy to register as real to me. I generally seemed to have paid little attention to class that day, because it was my friend who informed me that Germany had started both world wars. I was horrified, it was my own private "are we the baddies?" moment.

4. "Are you also scared there will be a third world war?" It must have been some time after the above. The first Iraq war (90-91) had just started. I had not really been aware of what was going on, I was to young to pay attention to the new, but my friend must have heard something from her parents. I remember being really scared through all the winter holidays.


Revenge:

I got back at her. When I was six or seven I stayed over in her place and peed in the bed we both slept in (accidentally). She remembers none of the above, but this is burned in her memory.
I also teased her about being afraid to jump from the 3m and 5m diving board in swim class. She always wanted to be "Ronja Robbers Daughter" when we played together (because she has dark black hair like her), so I had to be Birk, which bugged me. Not because he is a boy, but because Ronja is the main protagonist. So I told her that she needs to be brave enough to jump from the diving board if she wants to be Ronja. She did not talk to me for days until I apologised. I was a bit of a bitch when I was a kid.
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Picture of the week - Greenlake Park

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Bridge at Greenlake Park in Kunming in the evening. I miss sunlight, green tress and flowers.

greenlake_park


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