þriðjudagur, febrúar 10, 2009

My Dysfunctional People

Ég var beðinn um að láta í ljós álit mitt á atburðum ársins 2008 á Íslandi í fyrsta tölublaði The Reykjavík Grapevine 2009. Ég brást ljúflega við því. Hér er það sem ég hafði um málið að segja:

You cannot answer the question “What happened in 2008?” in any brief terms. That question will not only be the subject of historians for untold years, but also police and other investigative authorities. Among what happened were cuts in the health sector, mental help for children outside of Reykjavík was eliminated and care for the elderly was downgraded.

It is a lot easier to answer the question: “What to expect?” I know this nation well enough, and have been a part of it long enough, to be able to foretell exactly what to expect. In one word. Nothing.

Countless times, the nation’s ruling class has offended its people by pure, unbridled corruption. The nation has always responded with a hearty dose of indignation and displayed a righteous anger that’s completely forgotten about in two weeks time.

If my friend grew ludicrously wealthy without sending a penny my way, I would be happy for him. If he then went bankrupt and it became apparent that he’d put my name as collateral for all of his shady business dealings, and that it was my responsibility to pay his creditors back, then I would no longer have a taste for his friendship. That our government would treat us exactly this way doesn’t seem to warrant even an apology. We thought the banks had been privatized. That was a misunderstanding. Their profits were privatized; their losses were still our responsibility.

We can already see signs of how this nation can be saved from facing that it has been taken advantage of, abused and defiled by the very people that were supposed to be looking out for it. “No one could foresee this,” they say. That is a lie. Plenty of people gave warning, but the government called them out for treason. “We all partook in the party”, they say. That is also a lie. The sick, disadvantaged children whose services have now been cut took no part. “We shouldn’t personify the problem,” they say. That is a lie. Persons got us into this mess, and not one of them has accepted responsibility. Not a single individual has resigned from his position, no one has been let go, nobody has apologized for anything or so much as admitted a mistake.

If anything similar had happened in a civilized country, their entire government would have resigned immediately. If this had happened in Japan, only a mass hara-kiri would have been enough for those in power to remain their dignity. Vikings, however, do not know how to commit hara-kiri. For that, you have to know how to feel shame.

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Davíð Þór sagði...

Rétt er að taka fram að þessi grein var skrifuð á fyrstu dögum ársins og því tekur hún ekki mið af þeim atburðum sem orðið hafa síðan.