Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breakfast at Cannibal Joe's

The latest issue of the Iceland Review features an interview with novelist Einar Már Gudmundsson, who spoke at Reykjavik's first public citizens' meeting on October 27 to confront the country's economic crisis. He has since become, the magazine says, the voice of the people's frustration. Here is a translation of the opening words of his speech:

A cannibal is flying in first class. The stewardess brings a menu with several options. The cannibal is quite polite, as cannibals often are upon first impression. The cannibal scans the menu and then says to the stewardess, "I don't see anything appetizing on the menu. Would you be a dear and fetch me the passenger list?"

I'm not going to compare Iceland's fat cats, who have landed our nation in these dire straits along with the government, with cannibals. Not literally. But after having gotten their hands on nearly everything, the banks and state enterprises, they seem to have said to the government and supervisory agencies, "There is nothing appetizing on this menu. Would you be a dear and fetch me the national register?"

The government issued its guarantee for an entire casino—Russian roulette—with the end result of destroying the good name of an entire nation.


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I recognise that title...

John said...

Hi Lisa--

Mark Twain, isn't it?