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Jón Ásgeir gets snowed in public

The most refreshing piece of news today was that stupid old Glitnir bank is changing its name back to Íslandsbanki. If the bank hadn’t squandered spent a cool 150 million crowns on its name change two years ago this would be reason enough to break out the Champagne. I hated the name Glitnir then [always thought it sounded like the name of a shop selling automotive parts; meanwhile Greavsie said it sounded like an ointment you apply to your nether regions, which I daresay is more accurate] and I hate it now. And away with that icky Soviet red, too! Give us back the blue, yellow and green, asap.

SPEAKING OF GLITNIR
A crowd of demonstrators threw snowballs at Baugur boss and former Glitnir owner Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson in downtown Reykjavík today. Apparently Jón Ásgeir was coming out of swanky 101 Hotel [owned by his wife] when a bunch of protesters just happened to pass by [are there anarchists on every corner now?] and started asking him pointed questions. When he declined to answer, one of them picked up some snow and threw it in his face. Others followed suit. The first snow-thrower describes the incident on his blog today as “liberating” and encourages anyone else who happens to encounter Jón Ásgeir in public to do the same.

See, in some parts of the world, people get stoned for their misdemeanors. In Niceland, they get snowed.

AND THERE’S LOTS MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM
It’s been snowing intermittently for days on end. With any luck it will stay cool for another week so we can have the gorgeous white stuff over Christmas. Old JÁJ had better get on his private jet and fly on outta here if he wishes to avoid further pummeling. We have -2°C [28F], sunrise at 11.19, sunset at 3.29. The days are short now and if I didn’t have my SAD light I’d probably even care.

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  • Jessie December 17, 2008, 11:29 pm

    I’d imagine it would feel pretty liberating to throw something like that — shoes, snowballs, whatever.

    It’s been fascinating to read in your posts how “accessible” some of the miscreants are there — in the sense that you can easily happen upon any one of them at any given time. One must always be prepared with snowballs in their pockets…

  • Jessica December 17, 2008, 11:54 pm

    Hey, didn’t you hear that December is “Throw-Something-At-A-Tyrant-Month”? Snowballs are so very Icelandic too. It’s so appropriate. It’s much too cold to throw one’s shoes and far too expensive to replace a nice pair in Iceland.

    I wonder when Oddson is getting something thrown at him? Only question is: what should be thrown?

  • Lissa December 18, 2008, 12:31 am

    Maybe at the next protest, they should make snowman effigies of David and Jon and the others, and pelt them with snowballs. Or just make snow caricatures of them.

  • Andrew December 18, 2008, 2:49 am

    Snowballed! Lucky him – in other countries the missiles would have been more solid!

    Is Iceland a skiing country? Any ski resorts around at all?

  • Jon December 18, 2008, 3:29 am

    Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson must have some cahonies to show his face in public. Probably still doesn’t see that he did anything wrong. Snow is very appropriate and just barely assault on someone who has financially assaulted so many.

  • Andrew December 18, 2008, 4:03 am

    A small mention (2 paragraphs) in the British press:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/b371c3a4-cca3-11dd-acbd-000077b07658,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2Fb371c3a4-cca3-11dd-acbd-000077b07658.html&_i_referer=

    Iceland snowfight
    By Emiliya Mychasuk
    Published: December 18 2008 02:00

    Malcolm Walker , chief executive of Iceland, the supermarket chain, and Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson , boss of Baugur, were caught in crossfire in Iceland, the country, yesterday.

    Outside Reykjavik’s trendy 101 hotel – designed by Mr Johannesson’s wife Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir – protesters were expressing their anger at the country’s economic collapse and flung snowballs at the pair, who escaped without injury.

  • Ljósmynd DE December 18, 2008, 8:18 am

    Do they still have the old Íslandsbanki signboards stowed away somewhere which could be reused after a proper dusting? I hope, they are not spending another zillion kronas on the renaming, even though I’d like to see this obtrusive garish red disappear.

  • SOe December 18, 2008, 8:35 am

    Name change – are they crazy? I don´t know what it is with all the companies and changing the names and logos all the time. This costs just lots of money. And who really cares? All I want is that they do their job! It seems that they have still too much money (ours?). I even got a Christmas gift from the bank, it never happend before!

  • namme December 18, 2008, 8:55 am

    Hm, reminiscent of Robetson Davies’ Fifth Business.

  • Schneelocke December 18, 2008, 10:33 am

    So, out of curiosity, what does/did “glitnir” mean, anyway? If anything at all…

  • alda December 18, 2008, 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    Jessie – everyone is accessible here. Even the President. Bodyguards were an unknown entity here until just a few weeks ago – now the PM and Davíð Oddsson have them. Probably just a matter of time before our homegrown tycoons follow suit.

    Jessica – Doddsson has been keeping a noticeably low profile lately. Probably no wonder.

    Lissa – it would certainly give whole new meaning to the term ‘meltdown’. 😉

    Andrew – yes, we have some ski resorts here. Nothing especially fancy, though.

    Ljósmynd – according to press reports, they will be spending “considerably less” on changing the name back. They’ll probably dust off the old business cards, cross out the old name and put in a new one.

    Schneelocke – it means nothing.

  • Susanna December 18, 2008, 1:53 pm

    Now it’s not true that “Glitnir” means nothing. The Icelandic bank took it’s name from norse mythology where Glitnir was a fancy hall/house of some god. If I remember correctly it was made of gold and silver, very fancy indeed.

  • alda December 18, 2008, 2:05 pm

    Susanna – I stand corrected! I had no idea. Really reveals my pseudo-Icelander status, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for the correction. 🙂

  • Skúli December 18, 2008, 2:39 pm

    According to Snorri’s Edda Glitnir is the golden hall of Forseti, son of Baldur and Nanna.

  • Annie Rhiannon December 18, 2008, 8:55 pm

    “Glitnir bank is changing its name back to Íslandsbanki”

    Hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • alda December 18, 2008, 10:50 pm

    Annie – I thought you might like that. 🙂

  • Dale Olafson April 9, 2010, 6:05 am

    I wonder what our Viking forefathers would have done. Somehow I don’t think they would be throwing snowballs. Do you think the bankers will repent now and pay back all they’ve stolen, I mean squandered.