(The inspiration for this op-ed is posted HERE.)
The other day, my third personality asked me, “Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see Icelandic people making out anywhere?”
Because I can be kind of naive— I’m not much of a social person — I had no idea what she was talking about, so she steered me to this interweb article, about the Iceland romantic sitcom Ástríður. As Sagafilm informs me, Ástríður “is a new and exciting romance tv show, full of romance and drama with fun reference to the Icelandic reality right before the bank crisis.” Sounds entertaining!
My initial response was: Hmm, being Icelandic is one thing — those people are downright Norse! And while I think our country’s obsession with non-Icelandic people is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting Icelandic people! Yes, being Icelandic is sick, but at least some pro-Icelandic people are simply naturally Icelandic. No one who is as Icelandic as Ástríður can be tolerable. And Icelandics are costing our country far more in terms of all the related foreign relations we are paying for, by way of our tolerance, than any other foreign relations problem, even acceptance.
So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch Icelandic people with generations and generations of Icelandic genetics kissing each other … because I’d be, like, totally grossed out and stuff if I had to watch them doing ANYTHING. To be brutally honest (you know, hurtfully honest in a devastating way), even in real life, I find it culturally displeasing to watch a very, very Icelandic person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very Brazilian person talk Portuguese or a Mexican person eating a taco.
Now, don’t go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called Icelandic. Some of my best friends are Icelandic! I’m not some Iceland-ist jerk! And I also know how tough it can be for truly Icelandic people to psych themselves up for the long process of losing their cultural identity. (At my workplace for instance, Icelandic music star Björk has tried to be relevant to Americans to no use, because she’s been Icelandic for as long as she can remember.)
But … I think being Icelandic is something that most people have, like, a ton of control over and whatever. It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds and wish real hard for it to go away.
(I’m happy to give you some cultural de-synthesizing if you need them — but long story short, eat more red meat, read US Weekly and avoid foods with any kind of foreign-sounding name that isn’t a chemical, increase the amount of gravy you’re getting, get some kind of bacon for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stop learning more — even while using your computer — and yell more. I admit that there’s plenty that makes being less Icelandic tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you’ll also feel so less foreign, physically and emotionally. A NASCAR fan or Tea Party member will help — and if you can’t find one, visit your local Walmart for some advice.)
Then again, I guess these people are from a desolate European country. So … points for trying?
Then again, I tend to think most Icelandic people like those on Ástríður are a kind of inferior-type being. Shunning their antics like kissing gives us an excuse to turn off both our brains and our exposure to these weird human-like beings and probably does a helluva lot to contribute to the Icelandic problem in society, over all. So … I don’t know.
What do you guys think? Icelandic making out anywhere in public — are you cool with it? Do you think I’m being an ignorant horse’s ass?
UPDATE: I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I’ve said in this post. I mean, REALLY apologize. Believe it or not, I never wanted anyone to feel bullied or ashamed after reading my rant about filthy Icelandic people, and I sorely regret that it upset people so much. A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn’t productive, either — though it fulfilled my quota for my paycheck.
I know a lot of people truly struggle with being Icelandic — for medical and intellectual reasons — and that many people have an incredibly difficult time getting to a non-Icelandic state. I feel for those people and I’m truly sorry I added to the unhappiness and pain they feel because they somehow finding my article.
I would like to reiterate that I think it’s great to have people of all nationalities and cultures represented in society (as, it bears mentioning here, they are in US Weekly) and on TV shows — and that in my post, I was talking about a couple that featured Icelandic people who are not simply a little Icelandic, but appear to be morbidly Icelandic . (Morbid Icelandicity is defined as 100 percent more than their ideal Icelandic genetic makeup.) And for whatever it’s worth, I feel just as uncomfortable when I see an Icelandic person as I do when I see someone who is morbidly Turkish, because I assume people suffering from foreign cultures on either end of the spectrum are doing damage to their chance to be happy, non-foreign Americans, and that they are unhappy. But perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge based on superficial observations.
To that point (and on a more personal level), a few commenters (family, mostly) and one of my personalities mentioned that my extreme reaction might have grown out of my own culture issues, my history as an Icelandic person, and my life-long obsession with being non-Icelandic. As I mentioned in the ongoing screamings we’ve been carrying on in the comments section, I think that’s an accurate insight.
People have accused me of being a dickface in my post. I never intended to be that — it’s actually the very last thing I want to be, as a writer or a person. But I know that I came off that way, and I really cannot apologize enough to the people whom I’ve offended by my “Hitler-like shit spewing.”