Saturday, March 7, 2009

North Atlantic Blame Games

I didn't make it to the Breezeway, but last night I did develop a new appreciation for Té Bheag. After thinking about it again in the early morning fog, the last section of Parker's New Yorker article is worth quoting in extenso, with, if you'll pardon the intrusion, some gratuitous obiter dicta:

"In B5, the empty and fashionable bar, Hannes Gissurarson, the author of 'How can Iceland Become the Richest Country in the World,' had said, 'Ten to fifteen guys overreached themselves, they were out of control. But that is not the cause of the collapse.' The primary causes, in Gissurarson's opinion, were the international credit crunch, the treachery of Gordon Brown -- the 'schoolyard bully' [ed: someone should tell DW that there is another traitor out there] -- and the failure of the European Central Bank to show Iceland support.

He also said, as if the thought were occurring to him for the first time [ed: was Wiseman in Iceland recently?], that it may be that 'some of us are to blame indirectly, because we created a climate in which the entrepreneur was applauded. The businessman, the guy who takes over companies, asset-stripping [ed: expropriation, too?] -- he was a hero in Icelandic folklore that was created by some of us who strongly supported the free market.' He went on, 'Indirectly, I take some blame for it, but, if you think about it, it's not my fault [ed: sure sounds like Wiseman was there] . It's the fault of left-wing intellectuals, who should have been giving a counter-view!' [ed: Danlogic knows no borders]. He added, 'You can't blame people for their successes -- you have to blame those who fail. We were too successful with the free-market philosophy.'

As we spoke, a white stretch Hummer slid past the window. Since October, Gissurarson said, 'people at the university who think that I have been too successful at whispering into the ear of a prince, they are now trying to settle old scores with me. One shouted, 'Resign, you devil!' in the corridor. Extraordinary.' [ed: well, it would be extraordinary if anyone at MUN took a stand about anything that happens north of the Parkway].

Had it suited Iceland to be rich? 'Very much so,' Gissurarson said. 'It was a hell of a good ride. Yes it was.' [ed: and the Wingnuts missed it].

So you read it here first: it's intellectuals who are to blame. No doubt the 8th Floor doozer in charge of magazine clippings will bring this Icelandic fact to DW's attention.

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