Up till a month ago, mentioning Iceland would make me think of two things only. First, about this avant-garde Artiste who is so eager to show she has conserved her inner child by acting, singing and looking like Baby Jane on speed, i.e., Bjeurk. Secondly, about an anecdote a French girl (who, curiously enough, looked a bit like Bjeurk) once told me about Iceland. She had lived there, and according to her, on friday and saturday night´s out, all the girls wear skirts and no knickers. This, according to her, is their way to pick up boys (in northern european countries, girls pick up boys and not the other way around) by, at the appropriate time, showing their private parts to the guy (or girl, possibly) of choice. Truth be told, none of the other people I have known that have visited Iceland has ever confirmed this odd example of Icelandic folklore.
But now, there are volcanoes.
Poor mankind. Holding on to beliefs in Gods and Allah’s that over the centuries are more and more threatened by common sense, science and individualism. Trying to believe in crackpot lunacies like homeopathy, quantum therapy and 2012 world revolutions, but knowing real well that this kind of quackery will never fill up the emptiness in their souls, most importantly because no-one knows what a soul is anyway. Then, we have found out that neither democracy nor its utopian left- or right-wing alternatives will make us happy. Right now, people are just about finding out populist politics is just as stupid as anyone with a bit of common sense could have predicted all along. On top of that, capitalism has proven to be a system with a severe bug: it only works as long as the rest of the world wants to believe in it. Meanwhile back in Europe, where modern world started, we have less and less control over the social and economical monster called “the European Union”. And now we are finding out something we had forgotten about completely: we do not control this planet at all!
Because now there are volcanoes in Iceland. We thought that for a holiday we only needed this: a steady job, a secure bank account, a home computer and an airport. But jobs are not steady anymore, banks are not secure, our PC runs Windows and at airports we´re treated as potential terrorists. And while trying to control all of that, one bloody volcano in Iceland explodes and there is nothing we can do.
It´s nature showing us the finger and albeit a rather lighthearted finger in this case (compared to those of the tsunami, earthquake and hurricane variety), in a way it´s even more damning. It tells us that it does not need to throw around loads of water, earth or air to make our world stop. Just a cloud of rubbish will do. It doesn´t even provide us with a great Hollywood apocalyptic blockbuster. It´s just a lot of very bored looking people hanging around on airports, and that doesn´t make for much of a movie. A romantic comedy maybe, which, again, never makes for much of a movie.
Suddenly this whole progress thing of ours only looks slightly less silly than a Bjeurk video clip.