In an Interview with Sky News last Friday, Icelandic musician Björk called the Icelandic prime minister and the minister of finance “red neck politicians,” blaming them for “trying to erase the Icelandic highlands.” She spoke of the need to protect the highlands from dams, which are planned to be built to supply aluminum smelters with electricity.
You can listen to the interview below:
Her remark caused Member of Parliament Jón Gunnarsson of the Independence Party to post a comment on his Facebook page, stating that exploiting renewable energy sources lays a solid foundation for Icelandic society. He added, “I don’t assume Björk puts her support behind that, or does she pay taxes and fees in Iceland?” mbl.is reports. He also described her eyes as being gloomy.
Writer and environmentalist Andri Snær Magnason posted a comment on Facebook on Monday, where he insisted Jón apologize for his words aimed at Björk.
Today, Jón told RÚV Rás 2 radio he might have been unfair in his comment about Björk.
He remarked, “She uses certain offensive words. Is it the goal of the minister of finance and the prime minister to erase the highlands completely? Shouldn’t we keep this a bit more objective?”
During a parliamentary discussion yesterday, Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir remarked, “No contemporary Icelander has done as much for our country and nation as Björk.” That statement received a disapproving sound from Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.
Since the Icelandic translation of the word redneck is ‘sveitalubbi’ the Icelandic media seemed to cast a negative light on people in the countryside, Björk clarified her interpretation of the word redneck on her Facebook page:
“In my mind this is a word for people who regard their own tribe as superior to others, are certain they can survive without the whole, and often adhere to carrying weapons, find themselves superior to nature and entitled to rule over it.
For me, this word has never been connected to rural areas specifically, rednecks are everywhere in every country.
And just to make one thing clear: I love Iceland with all my heart, especially the nature and rural areas.”
She ends her post by these words, “p.s. yes I pay taxes in Iceland.”