On December 2, Iceland’s President mandated that Pirate Party Member of Parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir form a government. In the October 2016 general election, the Pirate Party came in third, but the two top vote-getting parties, the Independence Party and the Left-Green Movement, failed to build a coalition large enough to run the country. It is now time for the Pirates!
The UK established a Pirate Party in 2009, again patterned after the Swedish party. Founded in Manchester, it espouses civil liberties, privacy, direct democracy, and other very sensible things, constrained only by the somewhat strange name. It has never managed to get anyone elected to the UK parliament, but a quick read of the pamphlet distributed in Manchester for the 2015 election demonstrates a very workable set of policies:
Given the state of recent political rhetoric in the UK and the US, consider the Pirate Codex. It lays out a simple set of principles that, despite being political, are remarkably non-partisan.
Of Monsters and Men, an Icelandic rock group, visited Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, in September. The name doesn’t really seem to describe the group all that well, though a few photos may help clarify things.
The opening act was Oh Land, a Danish singer-songwriter who is not named either Oh or Land.
Oh Land started writing music in her bedroom after being forced to give up dance, due to an injury. It was an impressive move; she is an impressive singer and songwriter. It seemed half the audience sang along with every song.
Then the Monster appeared, much like the famed Flying Spaghetti Monster, only without (usually) the religious overtones:
Of Monsters and Men is itself something of a cultural miracle. Most two-album bands are opening acts, not the main event, much less main events singing in a language not their native tongue.
Carrying on where Oh Land left off, the audience sang along with everything Of Monsters and Men had to offer. Fortunately, the band had amplifiers. And spotlights.
Spotlights lighting the band (especially a band dressed in dark colors against the black background of a stage) makes sense. It is less clear why rock concerts shine spotlights on the audience.
It was a very pleasant way to spend a warm autumn day outdoors.