things that make the news in iceland: special bieber edition!


As anyone in Iceland or otherwise remotely tuned in to Icelandic news should know, none other than Justin Bieber graced this barren wasteland with his presence last week. And of course, the Icelandic media (and much of the public) was all over it. “News” articles (the term is used incredibly loosely in this context) began popping up at an alarming rate, reporting on everything from what Bieber ate to where he used the restroom to what he was tweeting about his Iceland stopover.

I can’t bring myself to write too much on the topic, but I would like to share a couple screenshots I took from Ví that I think beautifully capture the insanity. Check out this ridiculous string of headlines:

Screenshot 2015-09-24 01.16.53

In order:

“Óli to the rescue: Bieber slaughters FH in FIFA 16” (If this still doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone. Apparently FH is a football team and FIFA 16 is some sort of football-y PlayStation game. Some computer genius named Óli came to Bieber’s rescue by configuring his PlayStation in his hotel room. Or something like that.)

“Superstar in Iceland!”

“Bieber and friends toast with red wine in the Westman Islands – video”

“Justin Bieber sings in the Icelandic rain – video”

“Bieber in his underwear at Fjaðrárgljúfur”

“Justin Bieber in Iceland: Dropped by Lemon (a restaurant) in Reykjanesbær”

I couldn’t even capture all the headlines in a single screen shot. Here are the rest from that page:

Screenshot 2015-09-24 01.17.11

“Bieber’s bodyguards banned photographs in Reykjanesbær”

“Bieber ordered a turkey sub: employee still in shock”

“Bieber used public toilet in Selfoss: stop along the Golden Circle”

“Lively discussion about Bieber on Twitter: ‘Someone ought to point out to him that in Iceland tourists poop on the side of the road'”

“The Bieber-walk remembered: ‘Once a Belieber, always a Belieber'” (Unsure about the phrase “Bieber-gangan,” I actually had to read this article, and was amused and disturbed to learn that it refers to an actual parade of Beliebers organized by teenage girls back in 2011. Apparently the goal was to convince the Biebs to hold a concert in Iceland. If you understand Icelandic, and actually even if you don’t, it’s worth watching the video in this article that shows the event.)

“Caught Bieber outside the restroom at Ólís (gas station) in Selfoss”

“Bieber shares a video of himself in Iceland: ‘Today is an amazing day'”

Then things escalated with reports that Bieber had invited a couple of girls up to his hotel room – presumably, of course, to play FIFA 16.

I was talking about this Bieber mania with a couple friends and one of them commented that after his visit (all of 48 hours or something) here, Bieber would instantly be branded “Íslandsvinur,” “a friend of Iceland.” And she was right. The next day, in a Fréttablaðið article, I read this: “Um helgina, af hverju ekki að… hlustaðu á Justin Bieber, fátt er meira viðeigandi þessi vikulokin en að rifja upp gamla smelli með nýjasta Íslandsvininum” (“This weekend, why not… listen to Justin Bieber. It seems fitting at the end of this week to revisit some old pop songs with the latest friend of Iceland”).

Justin Bieber: Eitt sinn Íslandsvinur, ávallt Íslandsvinur.

Bónus: Fallbeyging nafnsins

In case you were wondering, this is how “Bieberinn” declines in Icelandic:

Nefnifall (Nominative): Bieberinn

Þolfall (Accusative): Bieberinn

Þágufall (Dative): Biebernum

Eignarfall (Genitive): Biebersins

You’re welcome.


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