Why Is Violent Crime So Rare In Iceland? -
First - and arguably foremost - there is virtually no difference among upper, middle and lower classes in Iceland. And with that, tension between economic classes is non-existent, a rare occurrence for any country.Björgvin SigurðssonSocial Democratic Alliance
A study of the Icelandic class system done by a University of Missouri master’s student found only 1.1% of participants identified themselves as upper class, while 1.5% saw themselves as lower class.
The remaining 97% identified themselves as upper-middle class, lower-middle class, or working class.
On one of three visits to Althing, the Icelandic parliament, I met Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, former chairman of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Alliance. In his eyes - as well as those of many Icelanders I spoke with - equality was the biggest reason for the nation’s relative lack of crime.
“Here you can have the tycoon’s children go to school with everyone else,” Sigurdsson says, adding that the country’s social welfare and education systems promoted an egalitarian culture.
Crimes in Iceland - when they occur - usually do not involve firearms, though Icelanders own plenty of guns.
GunPolicy.org estimates there are approximately 90,000 guns in the country - in a country with just over 300,000 people.
The country ranks 15th in the world in terms of legal per capita gun ownership. However, acquiring a gun is not an easy process -steps to gun ownership include a medical examination and a written test.
Police are unarmed, too. The only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad, and they are seldom called out.
In addition, there are, comparatively speaking, few hard drugs in Iceland.
According to a 2012 UNODC report, use among 15-64-year-olds in Iceland of cocaine was 0.9%, of ecstasy 0.5%, and of amphetamines 0.7%.
There is also a tradition in Iceland of pre-empting crime issues before they arise, or stopping issues at the nascent stages before they can get worse.
Right now, police are cracking down on organised crime while members of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, are considering laws that will aid in dismantling these networks.
When drugs seemed to be a burgeoning issue in the country, the parliament established a separate drug police and drug court. That was in 1973.
In the first 10 years of the court, roughly 90% of all cases were settled with a fine.
Summer and the Perpetual Night: Platree tag’s slow these days.* Gossip time. I waded through Google’s…
Platree tag’s slow these days.* Gossip time. I waded through Google’s mostly-incoherent translations of fan comments and occasionally found something I could almost decipher.
I heard Akira’s a papa (not surprising) and is divorced (sad and surprising-but-not, given their lifestyle). Also, that…
Definitely interesting stuff. I wish I knew more Japanese so I could translate it. If Akira is a dad, I’m not really surprised, he kind of seems like a pretty fatherly type. I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy. As far as Taro being arrested, that wouldn’t really be surprising either, considering…well….most of us have done stupid things when we were young.
Yeah, I need to pick up Japanese again, because some of it sounded really interesting. She kept talking about his belly for some reason—like, well, yeah. Dude smokes three packs a day and thinks vegetables are from Satan, he’s not gonna have the body of a teenager forever.
Akira in particular intrigues me because I’ve heard he can get a bit impatient. It amuses me. Ryu sort of let that slip himself when he tweeted “Akira actually answered all my questions about my new phone.” So I always laugh when I read that one interview where he calls himself a patient person. I guess by ‘patient’ he means ‘I only throw my guitar across the room in rage sometimes.’
And yeah, I doubt whatever Ryu did was serious, but I do think he’s a lot tougher than he lets on. You don’t survive twenty years in that business without having a pretty thick skin.
I’ve always kind of seen Taro as the kind of person who is basically trying to portray only the good in his personality. That’s not to say he isn’t actually a very nice guy, but I think he has this image of innocence and mystery that he likes to keep, while hiding the fact that…he’s human and has flaws. I also think he’s probably a very mischievous little shit, and hides that well.
Akira is like the classic manly archetype in my eyes. On the surface he’s pretty calm and cool, but he probably does get annoyed easily. Again, like you said, he smokes like 3 packs a day (don’t know if you smoke, but most smokers do it so much because of stress.) Also, have you ever looked into his side band, Date You? It’s such a totally different type of music and actually incorporates a lot of electronic elements into it. The whole band is pretty much shrouded in mystery, to the point that they wear masks in their PVs and all. My guess is that maybe that band is like an outlet to him, something that he actually wanted to do, but knew it wouldn’t work with Pura.
What’s interesting is that he wasn’t always like that. In early Platree he was always behaving in ways that were hardly innocent. Ie, that gif of him spanking himself, mock-flashing the camera in his nun outfit, etc. And it was quite deliberate—you don’t accidentally spank yourself on camera. On two occasions. So he does definitely have a mischievous little shit side, and has just chosen in recent years not to share that with us often. He still does once in awhile, but in a more controlled fashion. (If you can call porn sounds controlled.)
And yes, Akira is a dude’s dude, which is why we love him. I’ve not listened to Date You yet. I know he also does support for Coalter of the Deepers*. I think this is an aspect of his personality that gets overlooked quite a bit. It’s easy to see the tat sleeve and not notice that he writes songs like Piano Black and Duet. He can be remote and esoteric as fuck sometimes.
Tadashi’s comment on this topic made me so fucking sad. He was like, “No it’s okay that I don’t get to do what I want sometimes.” Like…define ‘sometimes’ please.
*I’m sure it’s spelled wrong. I gave my last fuck to the Satochi gif. I will be out of fucks until tomorrow morning. And holy jesus edited because I wrote a fucking dissertation.
Read through the conversation just now. Interesting gossip, I must say, but somehow I’m not surprised at all. If you need someone to quickly look over some Japanese to confirm any of this, I can do it (maybe, if I have the time). But it will be hard to actually prove anything if it’s only from word-of-mouth. However, in one of the Aomushi Drop entries, Ryutaro did say that he was picked up by the police basically for being homeless and that inspired him to want to be a policeman. That’s still considered an arrest, but hardly anything scandalous.
I’m amused by the people who can’t believe even a possibility that Ryutaro was arrested though. His innocent facade has really worked. But I don’t think people always realize that band guys (especially in Japan) are usually the dregs of society. They go into music often because they can’t do anything else (didn’t do well in school, dropped out of school, kicked out of the house, etc.). I’m not saying that’s everyone, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a good majority of Japanese rockers had mental and/or personality problems. Arrests are probably common, as are children outside of wedlock. I can think of two Japanese musicians off the top of my head who have had both of those things. Another one and drugs. What separates the Japanese music scene from the Western one is that all of those things are considered total scandals in Japan, so they’re usually kept under wraps. And something that might have not been a huge issue is blown into a gigantic rumor once the public gets a whiff of it (not to say that doesn’t happen in the United States, but the paparazzi is so invasive that it’s usually not purely speculation).
Cali is like one of those rude people who wants to know what you’re eating and just looks without actually saying anything. In this case, her curiosity nearly hit her in the face.
Dry stone wall by bmorrisdafydd on Flickr.
(Source: accfsally, via kjerktan)