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Nothing but a heartache, every day…*

The third annual Gullkind [Golden Sheep] awards – Iceland’s version of the Golden Raspberry – were handed out yesterday. Some notable winners:

Honorary prize – Árni Johnsen. “For having shit up his back all day long but still carrying on.” Bravo!

Cock-up of the year – Silvía Nótt in Eurovision.

Event of the year – When Unnur Birna fell [i.e. our Miss World teetering on high heels took a tumble during some event or other – didn’t make much of an impression on YT obviously – shrug].

Worst advertising campaign – KFC [Jingle: “Nothing but a heartache every daaaayyyy….”]

EPI and I went to see Borat this evening. It was some anticipation that we headed out, being big fans of Da Ali G. Show and everyfink. Matter of fact, I can hardly remember EPI and I laughing so much and so hard as when we watched Da Ali G. show a couple years back – in no small part due to Borat’s contribution. We literally had to pick ourselves up off the floor after each episode.

I wasn’t disappointed in the movie – but the days of rolling in the aisles are over. We’ve lost our innocence; we’ve become familiar with Borat. We know his tricks and knew what he was up to, so it had kind of lost the element of surprise that previously made it so hilarious. Still, that didn’t mean I didn’t laugh [I did] – but mostly I just sat there filled with a mixture of amusement, amazement and awe over the audacity of the entire undertaking. I think Sasha Baron Cohen – who plays Borat and Ali G. – is a ficking genius. Never in a million years could I gather up the courage to do what he does – for instance I’d be scared shitless to get up in front of a bunch of rednecks in an auditorium and sing some bastardized version of the Star Spangled Banner. Or get into a motor home with three shit-faced and horribly creepy fraternity boys [who incidentally are suing the filmmakers] whose comments about women made my skin crawl.

However, the genius of Sasha Baron Cohen manifests not only in his audacity but also in his ability to expose people. The hypocrisy, the racism and anti-semitism, the baseness behind the glossy exterior. This has been written about ad infinitum in relation to this film, and it’s really true. Certainly some of his tactics are dubious – I felt especially bad for the sweet old Jewish couple who ran the guest house – and I can definitely understand the misgivings of the Kazakhstan people about being portrayed as primitive, backward and, well, worse. And perhaps that’s one reason the character has lost some of his hilarity in my mind – I honestly feel he’s taken some of that a bit too far, and cruelty is only funny up to a point. Still – I think in this case the end justifies the means to a large extent. After all, I hope everyone knows that the Kazakhs are not the way he portrays them – and that the people he exposes are.

NOT! [Har har] It’s actually been a beautiful day, calm, with clear sunny skies. So calm in fact that a smog has hung over the city and the bay – yes indeed, Reykjavík is often covered in a yellowish layer of smog on still, cold winter days. Believe it or not, I used to work for a company that had a vested interest in maintaining the image of Iceland as pure and pristine and I once got told off for writing about the smog in one of my weather reports. But that’s all in the past now – we’re due to have similar weather tomorrow, and then it’s going to start raining. Temps right now are –4°C and sunrise was at 10.24, sunset at 16.09.

* I’m sorry, it’s the only title that springs to mind, now that I’ve got that annoying song in my head.



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