With all the news about what’s-his-face running for President it’s tempting to draw parallels. Trump is like Reagan after Thatcher took England! Brexit was the first sign! Then Erdoğan and the populist military revolt in Turkey!
We often take sociopolitical cues from the UK. But our tech overlords wouldn’t have us adopting fusty old ideas. They’d test things out on smaller groups and then apply them over here. So let’s take a look at Iceland instead. It’s an island democracy with an independent currency and a lot of crazy shit going on. Such as…
Icelandic women walked off their jobs at 2:38 p.m. earlier this week to protest the wage gap. If paid hourly, Icelandic women make so much less that it would be like not getting paid after 2:38 p.m. Their wage gap is 14 percent. Ours is much, much higher. Especially if you’re Hispanic. This strike commemorates one that took place on October 24th, 1975 when 90 percent of the women stepped out, including from domestic roles such as cooking, changing diapers and cleaning. Remember that, as a voting block, women in the US destroy any concept we have of red states and blue states.
Why doesn’t every democracy that already gives people Saturdays off just have the goddamn elections on Saturday?
Pirates! A formerly fringe Pirate Political party is set to take hold after their election this Saturday. They support radical transparency, asylum for Edward Snowden and decriminalizing drugs. Also, why doesn’t every democracy that already gives people Saturdays off just have the goddamn elections on Saturday?
Beyond left and right. “We do not define ourselves as left or right but rather as a party that focuses on the systems,” the party’s website states. “In other words, we consider ourselves hackers—so to speak—of our current outdated systems of government.”
Thar she blows! The party wants to set limits on fishing and whaling. While this may seem a little like #icelandproblems, it’s a sign that they are putting environmental concerns over short-term business interests.
Volcano bread! Iceland is incredibly energy independent. They have enough geothermal activity in Iceland to heat their homes and even fucking bake bread. BREAD.
Iceland temporarily replaced their prime minister with the agriculture and fisheries minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. Which would be like if Obama effed up and we replaced him with Director of Fish and Wildlife Services Daniel M. Ashe.
Octopus mafia! Some liken Iceland’s previous political structure to a chilly North Atlantic version of Sicily, ruled by a few “mafia-style families” plus their friends, whom Pirate party head Birgitta Jónsdóttir (pictured above) nicknames “the Octopus.”
A kickass economic recovery from a worse economic crisis than ours. From the Guardian: “Iceland has recovered economically since the 2008 crash, when Iceland’s three biggest banks collapsed; owing 11 times the country’s GDP. Reykjavík’s stock market fell 97 percent and the value of the krona halved. Helped by a tourism boom—2.4 million visitors, nearly seven times the country’s population, are expected in 201— economic growth is forecast to reach 4.3 percent this year, and unemployment has fallen to just over 3 percent.” They also sent their financial execs responsible for the crash to frigid horrible prisons.
This election is a result of the Panama Papers leak. Their Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson was the first guy to get the ax after the Panama Papers leake in April. He and his wife had millions of family money offshore. They temporarily replaced Gunnlaugsson with the agriculture and fisheries minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. Which would be like if Obama effed up and we replaced him with Director of Fish and Wildlife Services Daniel M. Ashe.
Did we mention Viking sex? Legend has it that the Vikings would leave for years at a time and when they came back and found their wife with a one-year-old child, they didn’t blush. It is baked into their nomenclature and most Icelandic people don’t have surnames. They have the old Viking system you learned about from History class. Thus the first European to reach North America was Leif Ericson, son of Eric the Red. All of Eric’s children with other women would be named Ericson for the sons and Ericsdottir for the daughters. This means that Icelandic people are chill about sex. And they should be. Because they have a lot of it.
Kinda makes you wish Leif Ericson had just gassed up on the tip of Labradour and then kept on coming to America so that when the Puritans landed on Plymouth rock they had a nice Viking welcome. If nothing else, we’d have a much better soccer team.