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Porno dog go home

Few things have occupied the Icelandic nation in the last couple of weeks like a planned pornography trade fair that was to take place here at the beginning of March. Actually, during the course of the hoopla it changed from being a trade fair, to being a conference, to being a networking event. In the end, the group – which was actually a group of manufacturers of pornography for the Internet, with a handful of porn stars thrown in – claimed they were just a regular group of tourists coming here to meet and have some fun – go clubbing [including strip-clubbing, natch], take the Golden Circle tour, go snowboarding up north. All perfectly innocent.

No way were they intending to perform any illicit activities like shoot blue movies at Hótel Saga [where they were staying] or anything of that sort. [Manufacture of pornography is illegal in Iceland.] Similarly they swore off all ties to ugleh stuff like kiddie or animal porn. They were tourists, f’rcryingoutloud! Outdoorsy types, here to enjoy the slopes and the Blue Lagoon, and to do some bonding at the same time. They did the same thing last year – meeting in Norway [I think] to go skiing and suchlike. Just to have fun.

An examination of the website for last year’s event, however, turned up some, shall we say, risque photos taken up in those snow-covered Norwegian slopes. Erotic to some, perhaps, but somehow the notion of someone freezing their tush off while baring everything in the snow certainly leaves YT, er, cold. Indeed, the whole thing might even give new meaning to the term ‘blue movie’.

So … if that was how they did it last year, was there anything to suggest they wouldn’t do it here? Would we be seeing the natural wonders of the Golden Circle in a new light? With an erupting Geysir [or Strokkur] having a new kind of starring role? Would the Blue Lagoon finally live up to its promise in those ‘Fancy a Dirty Weekend’ adverts?

In the end, the Icelandic Farmers’ Association – which [partly] owns Hótel Saga – decided to cancel the group’s booking. This came, of course, after various groups and parties had condemned the visit, including the Mayor of Reykjavík. Indeed, it is difficult to remember any issue on which there was such absolute unity amongst the different parties in the Reykjavík City Council. So, the organizers – in a serious huff – decided to, er… blow off Iceland altogether, with one of them – who is of Icelandic descent – loudly proclaiming that this was the first time in his life that he was ashamed of having Icelandic blood in his veins. [Aw, bless.]

And yet. While relief and ‘good riddance’ seemed to be the initial mood of the nation, it’s now like there has been a 180° turn. The papers are filled with editorials, opinion polls, letters … and it seems that most feel that turning the group away and condemning the visit was wrong. Indeed, a poll published in Fréttablaðið today confirms that this is the sentiment of the majority of the nation.

Somehow I never thought I’d say this, but I actually agree. Because while I despise the pornography industry and all of its evils – trafficking in humans, exploitation, horrific treatment of women and children – I also despise hypocrisy. While Hótel Saga was taking the moral high ground, it was also offering its guests porn movies in its rooms. While Iceland’s politicians and city council members polished their halos, they failed to acknowledge that downtown Reykjavík is peppered with sex shops and strip clubs, porn is for sale at any newsstand, and they have not yet seen it fit to change pornography laws to protect the victims by making payment for sex, rather than soliciting, illegal.

So I guess a few people have egg on their face. The good thing is that perhaps that public embarrassment will prompt some changes that should have been made long ago.

WEATHER!
Still cold, dry, sunny. Pollution went above safe levels yesterday – can you believe it? In our pure and pristine Reykjavík. Which perhaps is not so pure and pristine after all [see above]. Current temps are –3°C and sunrise was at 08.43, sunset due for 18.39.

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  • Dankoozy August 1, 2008, 11:01 pm

    new meaning to term “blue movie” ROFL