Iceland doesn’t have a standing army and their skirmishes are usually focused on fishery barriers. And good for them. War, what is it good for, am I right? But despite the apparent absence of a fighting spirit, the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, isn’t afraid to throw hands and throw his … [googles traditional Icelandic hat] … krókfaldur into the ring when it comes to the Pizza War.
While speaking to a group of school children, Jóhannesson was asked to weigh in on the debate over pineapple as a topping. According to Visir (via IcelandMag), an Icelandic news site, he voiced his personal displeasure — which is fine — but then went on to say he would pass a law banning the topping if he was empowered to do so. That is not fine. And even though he tried to play nice on Facebook by reiterating that he had no such power (thankfully), a wound has been opened.
See, the Pizza War isn’t a flashy storm-the-beach kind of war. It’s not always active, but it’s always present. Like the Cold War, both sides are dug in and there’s a lot of hate and little room for agreement or compromise. Sometimes the war gets more intense — like with the Cuban Missle Crisis or this January when a Twitter user by the name of @OriginalSDM trolled pineapple haters, sparking more than 100,000 re-tweets and intense debate — but usually, it’s defined by a period of uncomfortable detente. And now the President of Iceland has reykjavik’d it with an off-hand comment that was meant to humanize him. One that, to some, may make him more monster than man.
Are you ready for the pizza hot take? Pro-pineapple people aren’t merely fighting for the glory of a savory-sweet flavor dance in their mouths and the right to thumb their noses and pizza conventions. It isn’t even about preferring pineapple, ham, and even BBQ sauce on a pizza. It’s about knowing that it’s an option for when you need to push back scurvy or feel tropical.
I’m also someone who likes freedom. You remember freedom, don’t cha? It’s that thing that allows dreams to feel attainable and the sun to shine just a bit brighter — even in Iceland, where it’s light for only 5 hours a day in December. Freedom is that thing that makes it okay for Bjork to wear a weird swan dress and it’s that thing that makes it okay for you to put pineapple, fish, or whatever you want on your food. And that’s what the Pizza War is about: the right to eat what you want (though, of course, there are guidelines to how you should eat that pizza) versus someone else telling you, unequivocally, what you can and can’t do. Consider that before you brand me and other pineapple pizza freedom fighters as heretics.