Politics Not As Usual
Jón Gnarr, Yoko Ono, Lady Gaga, October 9, 2012 Photo: Vilhelm Gunnarsson, Visir
How I became the mayor of a large city in Iceland and changed the world.
Published 2014, Melville House
Translated by Andrew Brown
This is a free-wheeling short book that covers the comic actor and writer Jón Gnarr and the rise of his “Best Party” in Icelandic politics. Iceland’s financial crisis of 2008 left the country reeling and deeply divided. In 2010, with encouragement from his friends, Gnarr formed a new political party and managed to win enough votes to become mayor of Reykjavík. This is covered in the first part of the book, but the book then opens up to become a gentle polemic on the role of government and the people it represents. Toughtful and compassionate, it is refreshing to read the thoughts of a politician who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of all the people. The only U.S. politico I can think of that is similar is Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who also comes from a comedy background.
Gnarr has already created a stir in world politics although, as he admits in the book, traditional politicians tend to steer far clear of what this self-styled “anarchist” has to offer.
Here is his appearance on the Craig Ferguson show in 2014 (Gnarr’s segment starts at 24:00):