Iceland decides to muddle through

Many years ago, before I admitted being of Irish descent, I fancied myself somewhat Scandanavian. My Mother was Scandanavian, hence my long blonde hair. It seemed little, if any, Irishness had gotten into me. Father was displeased. Instead of being short, dark and wiry like him, I was tall, hippy, blonde and rangy.

When I say "hippy," I mean, I have always had swinging wide hips. I was never loose with my love or anything like that. That's a hippie. They're evil. I suppose that I could have been Icelandic at one point. Who knows? When you read about these people, you have to admire them:
On the street, people talk of standards of living that have been set back to the 1980s. Fears of an exodus of professionals to Europe and North America run deep, though the government says it has seen no sign of it.

Nobody has been able to put an overall price tag on the meltdown, though some estimates run to $10 billion, $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. The bank collapse alone is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $3 billion, on top of another $3 billion the government has invested in the new nationalized banks built on the wreckage of the old. More than $1 billion has been pledged to pay out foreigners who deposited money in the collapsed banks, mainly in Britain, whose action in using counterterrorism laws to freeze the Icelandic banks’ assets in October is widely regarded here as having started the collapse.

Against this grim backdrop, the election unfolded in a climate of Nordic tranquillity. Although police reinforcements were deployed to protect against any effort to disrupt voting, election officials said they were more concerned with the logistics of counting votes, a process involving a squadron of light aircraft and small boats that ply between the Icelandic mainland and outlying islands, than with any deep concern about political disruption.

Both government officials and outside observers seem to agree that now, on the eve of the election, the country’s mood is turning away from the tone of insurrection that drove the January protests and toward the traditions of practicality and hardiness that have sustained this rocky country for centuries.

“We have grown used over our history to bad harvests, seasons with no fish, the bad climate, things going up and down,” said Olafur Hardarson, dean of social sciences at the University of Iceland.

“People are saying, ‘This will be bloody tough, but we’ve got to get on with it, and we’ll muddle through.’ ”
They sound like badass people.

And what that means is, they'll suck on failure for a while, get tired of it, and figure out how to write off their disaster. Someone will have to pay for it. Someone in a smaller country who's dumb and willing to sign papers, I would imagine.

The world has plenty of countries, sometimes the number is over 150 or so. There are ten you can't mess with, and the rest are clowns. You can steal their money and laugh because you're an American, you see. It's your birthright. Iceland? Your birthright is misery, fish, and volcanic rocks. Cowboy up and keep writing bad checks.