That's a photograph of Robert Plant next to some random Icelander. (I'm assuming he's the owner of the hotel where I found the portrait, while on vacation in Iceland a few years back.) It was occupying pride of place right near the hotel's main dining room. It's just the sort of snapshot any Zep loving American would take if said American ran into Robert Plant while motorcycling around the unspoiled landscape.

Sometimes, though, it's hard being American and not developing something of an inferiority complex, because it seem like we're the only ones that'd do that kind of thing: ride around on huge motorbikes, take silly snapshots near celebrities. Our global friends — if by friends you mean “people we disrespect, don't understand, and/or occasionally attack with only ambiguous provocation” — just seem so much cooler.

The Icelanders, what with their Bjork, their Sigur Ros, their extremely stylish citizens, and their high per-capita income, seem like their tops on that list of “coolest foreign peoples.”

That is, until they don't.

It sort of warmed my heart — no pun intended — when I ran across this article about Iceland in Friday's Wall Street Journal: “Icelanders' Love Of Crazy Trucks Hits Deep Freeze

I especially enjoyed this part:

Many 4×4 enthusiasts wield their own blowtorches, rebuilding big American and Japanese 4-wheel-drive off-roaders to suit their taste. Local innovations include exhaust-fed balloons that can lift cars out of snowdrifts, and the “bumper dumper” — a flip-down toilet seat on trucks' rear end for use in the wild


I'm sorry to report I made only a half-hearted attempt to find a picture of that shit — no pun intended — on Flickr. See, everybody, the citizens of the world are just like the celebrities pictured in Us Weekly. They are just like us!

After the jump, some video about Icelanders and their monster trucks.

I apologize for this BLOG entry not being sufficiently music-focused.

LA Weekly