Friday, March 23, 2012

Art at last AWAKENS!

This important documentary titled "GNARR" by Gaukur Ulfarsson, documents the 2010 Reykjavik mayoral campaign of Icelandic comedian Jon Gnarr and his "The Best Party". The documentary captures a true grassroots movement comprised of artists, musicians, common people unwilling to accept any longer the political status quo in Iceland. In the backdrop, in 2008 Iceland had a profound economic collapse precipitated by the world economic crisis and severely over leveraged Icelandic banks. Icelanders owe six times the country's total GDP. The Icelandic government took over the major banks to prevent a complete collapse of the Icelandic banking industry. In 2010, Iceland held a referendum on whether or not Icelanders should be responsible for the Icelandic debt, principally from the banking industry--about $50,000 per citizen. Icelanders voted no, and now the European Court is deciding on the Icelandic debt.

The population of Iceland is about 320,000.

Interestingly, the Icelandic municipal political system is based on party plurality, rather than just candidate plurality. Jon Gnarr's party, the Best Party, was the most dominant party in the May 29th, 2010 municipal elections with 35 percent of the vote: winning the Reykjavik mayoral position, six councilor seats (out of 15), and formed a majority coalition with the Social Democrats. 

In "GNARR" the concept of "kleptocracy" is mentioned. Kleptocracy ("rule by thieves") is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service. This type of government corruption is often achieved by the embezzlement of state funds (Wikipedia, kleptocracy).

"GNARR" summary:

"Before the onset of the worldwide economic recession, the developed world was booming, and bankers and stockbrokers thought the gravy train would never end. Iceland seemed to be a supernova: too rich to fail and totally incorruptible. Yet, in a matter of weeks, their economy went sharply downhill, leaving the country totally bankrupt. Amid this chaos, “The Best Party” was born, a joke conceived by Iceland's most controversial and cynical comedian, Jon Gnarr. Initially intending the political party as a satire of the arrogance and false morality of existing parties, both left and right, he eventually, and entertainingly, became the unlikely mayor of the country’s capital city."

The Best Party's theme song:

Trailers from GNARR: 

More information on Jon Gnarr--seems the NY Times does not get Gnarr's humor, go figure

Gnarr's public support 

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