Wednesday, July 27, 2011


A Necktie Poem by Hallgrimur Helgason - Suit & Tie


Suit and Tie

A Poem in English About Post-Crash Iceland, written and performed by Icelandic writer Hallgrimur Helgason.
First performed at the Kapittel 09 Festival in Stavanger, Norway, September 16th 2009.  
This video made Sept. 30th 2010. Thanks to Snorri and the guys at Pegasus.  Hallgrimur

The complete poem is below 
While searching for articles and videos the discuss the diminished use of neckties in today's society I found a real gem. This poem about the financial crisis and the blame that the men of those institutions surely deserve. This modern work by Icelander Hallgrimur Helgason is worth reading but please view the video first - the link is just above and here - Hallgrimur Helgason - "Suit and Tie". Since the men who control the financial machines and those institutions that run economies are them same men who religiously wear neckties I guess it is only natural to resent suits and ties.

Now that there is so much blame and eager fingers to point some people have a problem with the necktie at what it represents - authority and unfortunately with bankers and stock brokers - a blatant character flaw - arrogance. I actually believe that the author really doesn't have a dislike of neckties. Without a necktie you won't have much fun at night in Reykjavik as every night club or restaurant worth a visit will not allow a casually dressed man in. So a popular, and surely very creative poem or rap song, the necktie will still be an important part of and Icelandic man's attire.

The Icelanders are very creative so this wonderful poem or rap is not a surprise to me. The work illustrates the frustration of the trouble that the North Atlantic Island of some 350,000 people has fallen into, a result of the world's economic failure that forced the country of Iceland to declare bankruptcy, the first ever in history.

I have been to Iceland more times than I can remember between the sumer of 1984 and the spring of 1995.  I was married to a beautiful Icelandic lady and for those ten years I photographed the beautiful Icelandic unspoiled nature as a pro photographer.  Below the poem you may see some of my photographs.- Jeffrey Hunter

Reykjavik Iceland
Suit and tie
Suit and tie
We're deadly afraid of the clever guy
Wearing suit and tie



They used to roam the streets of Reykjavik

And thought they were what made the city tic

From bank to lunch with Nikkei, Dow Jones and FTSE
Dressed to kill in Armani, Boss and Gucci

Cheerful, laughing, full of self esteem

The players of our national team



But now you hardly see them anymore

The crisis took them through a different door
Their bank got crunched by Euro, Dollar and Yen

So now they're trying Tai Chi, Yoga and Zen
Still they're good in playing the blaming game
The players of our national shame



Iceland: The home of young and retired bosses
And regular people busy counting their losses
The high-flying heroes of good times past

Have come to the ground and had their blast

Hiding inside his fancy house

The bull now meets his inner mouse

And both are dressed in suit and tie
Suit and tie

Nothing scares like suit and tie

We're left alone in the arctic sea

For they left the loan for you and me

To pay
But they

Do have enough to last an eon
Silently kept in the Caribbean

So true, so true

So mad, so bad

But we don't want back the life we had


Full of lies and numbers high

Enough to keep a country high

On hope of becoming the new Dubai

Where all the women were suit and tie

Suit and tie
Suit and tie we kiss goodbye

Communism lasted long
Nations led by Mr. Wrong

Western brokers, young and brave
Went disco dancing on its grave
But victory got to their head

Big ambitions were overfed

The color of blue contained some red

The Wall Street Wall came down one night

And we were all raped by Mr. Right.


Capitalism fell on its nose

Died from an overdue overdose

Of arrogance and loneliness

And left the world in a state of mess



We were fooled by suit and tie
Suit and tie

Who tricked us, told us: To sell and buy

While speeding across their private skies
Engines fuelled by loans and lies

The boys of Bush and global greed
Left us with a local need

For truth and nothing but the truth

To put inside a confession booth

The Brothers Lehman and all their sons


The neo-cons were just plain cons

In suit and tie

Suit and tie

Trained to loot and taught to lie



Yet we try

To struggle on

A nation betrayed by an evil don

A nation so small you can easily whip

All of it into a cruise line ship

The former captain and his crew

Are still on board but out of view

Sipping on Scotch inside their cabins

And telling jokes like desperate has-beens

Or faking calls
In bathroom stalls

While nervously looking for their balls


We carry on, on a vessel unwell

Steering away from the icebergs of hell
The national body still infected

By the virus we long neglected

Called suit and tie
Suit and tie
Hoping it won't make us die

At the airport a father of three

Spends his last in the Duty Free
"We're going to Norway, to get a life
Wife will study, I'll be her wife
It's sad to leave your fatherland

A bit like parting with your hand
But they took the house, they took the car
Does Stavanger have a strip-tease bar

And the politician on the TV screen

Speaks of ways to cure the spleen

But his words no longer do apply

For he's still wearing suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie we kiss goodbye



And when you roam the streets of Reykjavik
You spot the signs that made your city sick

Empty houses, vacant office spaces

And way too many fancy meeting places

On the map, nearby the valley parks
The financial district is now shown in quotation marks

And on the streets and freeways, parking lots
There still are lots and lots

Of black and shiny Range Rover jeeps
Luxurious creeps

Once the symbols of all our national vices

Now they are the coffins of the crisis

Driven by people who died a market-death

But were allowed to prolong their final breath

In suit and tie

Suit and tie

They're all still wearing their suit and tie

In Germany they have the Nazi outfits

To remind them of the thing that rhymes with... outfitz

In Iceland we have suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie

- Hallgrimur Helgason



About Hallgrimur Helgason

Hallgrímur studied at the Art Academy of Iceland, and then the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich

He has worked independently as an artist and writer since 1982, and has held over twenty solo exhibitions in Iceland, Boston, Paris and Malmö.  His work has also been displayed in over 30 group exhibitions in various countries.

His first novel Hella came out in 1990. His best-known works are 101 Reykjavík, which was made into a popular film of the same name, and Höfundur Íslands, which won the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2001.

Hallgrimur Helgason's web site


Below are just a few of my photograhs of Iceland.  The nature is unspoiled and about as pristine as possible.  - Jeffrey Hunter

Myvatn, northern Iceland volcanic zone,
Jeffrey Hunter
 


Gain souther Iceland, Jeffrey Hunter
 


Arctic River Rose - Brynudalsa,
by Jeffrey Hunter



Midnight Sun Hornafjordur, Jeffrey Hunter
 


Skogarfoss 62 meters tall, Jeffrey Hunter


Hestur - Icelandic pony, Jeffrey Hunter

Hella, Iceland's fertile south, Jeffrey Hunter