So he took them on. His father was a police officer, and he has an instinctive impatience with those who simply want to tear things down. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Jon Gnarr was at the forefront of that bloodless revolution and this book is his story of how that happened. Iceland used to be a Danish colony, he explains, and so the ruling class had "fancy Danish last names", which they were allowed to keep, whereas the common people have to take their last name from their father's first name (occasionally their mother's), with a -sson or -dottir suffix. A few days later, his father confronted him with the paint-covered pencil. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. He didn't speak to me for many days." His friends have jobs and the Wire is being watched by the opposition with great interest. And, as we are saying goodbye, he says something lightly that is deadly serious. It depends on every individual. As an unteachable child, written off as a nobody, he is on the side of the underdog. What bugs you? Britain sent all its military ships, and Nato said, 'Oh, we're busy.' And Björk is, of course, a friend of Gnarr's wife, Joga. He was born in hardship in a turf house in 1918. He recalls the Leftist riots in Reykjavik as the financial crisis closed in and says that although he sympathised with the rioters, he sympathised with the riot police, too. They are confusing depression with seriousness. I can be serious when it's needed, but it's not needed now, not with you.". Hann sá um útvarpsþáttinn Tvíhöfða á X-inu , Radíó , Radíó X og Rás 2 ásamt Sigurjóni Kjartansyni . His acting work includes the movies The Icelandic Dream and A Man Like Me and the television series The Night Shift, which aired on BBC4. But when you hold out hope, people get real disappointed if you can’t deliver.”, “Pauline Kael drifts away from a half-hearted analysis of 'Kane' to the most lively gossip imaginable about the alleged birth-pangs and labor-pains of the script. Some of the women noticed me and smiled warmly or threw up their fists in gestures of solidarity”. It is as vital as emotional intelligence but it’s often derided. Still, it’s playful and Gnarr introduced himself on the political scene thusly: But perhaps most importantly, the man loves good American television: With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”, This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 26, 2010, Kid Kingpin: The Rise and Fall of a Drug Dealer, “John Lennon held out hope. Gnarr acts out the conversation: "Yeah, yeah, there are supposed to be 12. He starred in the series The NightShift , which aired on BBC 4 in 2011. Gnarr recounts an episode from when he was 12 as if it were yesterday. Jón Gnarr is an Icelandic actor, comedian, and politician who served as the Mayor of Reykjavík from 2010 to 2014. Pic's exposure will be limited, due to helmer Gaukur Ulfarsson's seat-of-the-pants style and the idiosyncratic nature of Icelandic humor ("The odds of you being in Reykjavik are not great," Gnarr says. They are confusing depression with seriousness', An island view: In a post-political life, Gnarr's political views are still forthright, including rejecting membership of Nato and ambivalence towards EU membership, Have you heard the one about Jon Gnarr, the comedian who saved Iceland, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. So it was that, in 2010, Gnarr, a standup comic, stood as mayor of Reykjavik. 'Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World' is published by Melville House, priced £16.99, “Without a robust sense of humour, I’d probably be in an asylum right now. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. ", Gnarr says: "I have tried to not pass my things on to my children." Craig and Jon were discussing Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, when the former asked the actor whether he had ever met Jón Gnarr, the former mayor of Reykjavík. ", Of course his party was bound to be seen as part of the Left, albeit its anarchic, libertarian wing, and that is where the successor party has ended up. During his mandate, he cross-dressed for the gay pride parades of the Icelandic capital and forced the coalition party to watch The Wire. Gnarr imitates himself as a boy, puzzled and scared. Now that he has stood down, he is no longer a threat to established politicians, so they can afford to say nice things about him. Description - Gnarr by Jon Gnarr It all started when J n Gnarr founded the Best Party in 2009 to satirize his country's political system. I mention that he uses the word "responsibility" a lot in his book. Jon Gnarr, Reykjavik Mayor, Joke Candidate ... (despite Mr. Gnarr’s suspicion that party leaders had assigned an underling to watch “The Wire” and take notes). What form did his father's psychological abuse take, I ask. Its promises? Could the 'clown' who saved Reykjavik now provide the rest of the world with a manifesto for a better life? Jón Gnarr á að baki farsælan feril sem leikari, listamaður og grínisti. Gnarr had no background in politics…While rival politicians ruthlessly went for him…voters were by and large charmed.” —the Guardian’s G2 magazine (UK) “ Gnarr! Prison Memoirs: The New York Women’s House of Detention. When I ask him about his legacy, he stops to correct himself. He carried this pain within him." His book, Gnarr! From Focus World, the hilarious true story of the comedian who ran for mayor of Iceland's largest city. He formed the Best Party in 2009 and became the mayor of Reykjavík in 2010. Above all, young people.”, “It’s pretty simple – you need a little imagination and some courage, and the rest follows. ", But what if you were threatened by someone less benign than us British? Rúv was first to report the story. The kids turned out OK. What is surprising is that he stayed popular after the unenviable task of balancing the city's books. That’s what’s happened with politics. He also admits with a laugh that it helped that he wasn't around for too long. The Best Party has now disbanded. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. He had to work for his food from the age of six. Jón was known as Jónsi Punk as a t. Jón Gnarr Kristinsson is an Icelandic actor, comedian, and politician who became the Mayor of Iceland's capital city Reykjavík on … Word wise: Gnarr talks to the media after being sworn in … Against this backdrop rose an unlikely political hero: Jón Gnarr, the comedian who ran for mayor of Reykjavík as a joke… and won. Gnarr refuses to accept my assumptions. : How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World, says his Best Party started as a comedy sketch, but it has some quite strict rules, including no smoking or drinking, and some terribly earnest reflections on "responsibility". He compares the Best Party to a social worker intervening in a family: "You try not to take sides with family members." "No.". The … After Heath, Wilson, Thatcher, Major, Maastricht, Lisbon, Ukip, David Cameron and Douglas Carswell, here was a political leader in a country outside the EU saying that none of it mattered. The war in Northern Ireland is one of the longest-running and most intensive guerril­la insurgencies in the history of modern warfare. In Gnarr’s acceptance speech, he explained: “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. Financial experts agree it was a miracle. He refuses to use the name derived from his father, Kristinsson, but is not allowed to disown it formally. This was something for which I was not prepared. Bit by bit, 'Raising Kane' becomes an excuse to lower the boom on Orson Welles so as to resurrect the reputation of the late Herman J. Mankiewicz.”, “When the iron door was opened, sounds peculiar to jails and prisons poured into my ears — the screams, the metallic clanging, officers’ keys clinking. The word 'Godfather' had a nice, Brando-­esque ring, but the title itself is a fraud”. We begin by talking about celebrated TV show The Wire, which has for some reason become a sort of calling card for his campaign [as you constant readers might remember, Jón told us in the last issue that he would only consider working with politicians that agreed that The Wire was the best thing to happen to television]. He’s the mayor of 320,000 people and, according to the New York Times, he’s the man. A deadpan humorist with equal doses of Jon Stewart understatement and the is-he-punking-us irreverence of an Andy Kaufman sketch, Gnarr essentially charmed … It’s high time we got involved because we want to have fun.”, “Anarchy and peace, that’s what I long for. In 2014, at the end of Gnarr’s mayoral term, the Best Party will be dissolved. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. A ‘drug-free Parliament by 2020. Watch ‘The Wire’ ... Have you heard the one about Jon Gnarr, the comedian who saved Iceland. During his mandate he attended gay pride parades cross-dressed, and he forced the coalition party to watch The Wire. He pauses: "I honestly have to say…" another pause for effect "…that I don't care." Another factor might be that Reykjavik is so small – a city the size of Gloucester in a country with the same population, about 325,000, as Coventry. Read "Gnarr How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World" by Jon Gnarr available from Rakuten Kobo. As you can imagine, he didn’t have a background in the Icelandic political establishment. Gnarr's 'intervention' in politics should be studied by anyone far beyond Iceland who shares the feeling that there is something wrong with modern democracy, Word wise: Gnarr talks to the media after being sworn in as the new mayor of Reykjavik on 15 June 2010. I wasn't sure if I had understood Jon Gnarr's sense of humour. We would never work with a party like that.”, Previously, he promised a group of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport. But what starts a joke suddenly becomes serious when people start to believe - against all odds - that he might just be the best man for the job. That's me, defender of representative democracy as we know it, well told. He had to put up electricity prices and merge schools in places with falling pupil numbers. ©2017 Village Voice, LLC. All of this and more is true, and in the newspaper’s Saturday Profile, which is jam packed with hilarious anecdotes about Gnarr’s rise to power. She was translating the 10 values of the Best Party and she said, 'The 10 values are actually 12.'" 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