Congratulations, Omnibus Edition


by Jeff Fecke • First, congratulations are in order for Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who today became the 38th Prime Minister of Iceland, and the first openly gay head of government in world history. Jóhanna*, of course, is getting the opportunity primarily because Iceland has imploded, and the Icelandic people are saying, in effect, “What the heck, why not try it?” Sort of like how American got the first leader of African descent to lead a western nation. So this is progress, of a sort; if straight, white, male politicians keep screwing things up, eventually the population will wake up.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, is now available.

Second, congrats to Puppy Bowl V MVP Matilda, a beagle, for scoring four puppy touchdowns — a new Puppy Bowl record.

Finally, I’m told that there was a football game today, and that John Cole was happy at the outcome. So congratulations to the denizens of Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding area; I’m only disappointed that Arizona didn’t hold you to a field goal in the closing seconds, rather than a touchdown, as it would have been fun to send this to overtime.

*No, that’s not a mistake. Icelanders’ last names are derived from parents’ names; usually they’re patronymics, i.e., derived from the father’s name. This is the case for Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, whose last name translates as “Daughter of Sigurðar.” Less frequently, they’re matronymics, but the convention is the same. The names are not passed on from generation to generation and are used more as a form of disambiguation than canon identity. If you look in an Icelandic phone book, you’ll see names listed in order of first, not last name. Similarly, while we refer to our president as “President Obama,” the Icelanders would refer to their prime minister as “Prime Minister Jóhanna.”