Pure Nordic Hatred, part 2

So, picking up from where I left off last time…I would still like to attain more glory for myself. Or, to be more specific, any glory at all because right now I have none. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t want a nice, heaping helping of glorious glory? Glory kicks some serious fucking ass. But to attain glory, you kind of need to be at least somewhat badass. Just look at that Beowulf guy. He lived something like 1,400 years ago and he achieved so much glory that we still know about his amazingness to this day. You don’t just slay some monsters and a dragon and then get forgotten about. That’s the kind of glory that survives for centuries. And although glory of that magnitude generally possesses enough momentum of its own to keep itself alive, it sure never hurts to have someone go ahead and write it all down just to be on the safe side, like that anonymous dude did for Beowulf.

And that’s basically what I’m trying to do with my epic oral history of the Modern Viking Movement. It isn’t just for my own glory-lust (of which, admittedly, I do have a lot, but I’m also realistic and I realize that I have no real chance of actually getting any); mostly I’m just trying to help the modern Vikings attain some for themselves. These guys (and that hot Ingrid Törnblom chick) pulled off some amazing shit a few years back and still nobody knows about it. This type of situation was never a problem for badasses like Beowulf because they all lived during the heyday of the skalds.

Back in the good ole Viking days, it was the job of the skald to spread the word of glory, usually by telling lengthy poems of glorious deeds (poetry was way cooler back then—poems were more likely to be about epic battles than about the feelings of forlorn emptiness and homoerotic yearning, as they are nowadays—don’t even get me started on that “poetry slam” twaddle). Since then skalds have declined in number to the point that, aside from the occasional reenactor, they don’t really exist and most people don’t even know what they are (or more technically, were).

Even during the Modern Viking Movement—and a more opportune time for a modern skaldic revival the world has never seen—skalds were rare. The only person who came close to being a truly excellent one was Björn Svensson, but even his poetry wasn’t truly skaldic. He just went around reciting rock lyrics that weren’t his own. Sure, the moment when he held the Little Mermaid’s decapitated head in his hands and recited the lines from Guns N’ Roses Used to Love Her is the stuff of legends, but he didn’t receive any loot in return for it.

And to be honest, what’s the point in being a skald if you can’t accrue a handsome treasure hoard? Clearly, that’s what the skalds thought, too, when all the medieval kingdoms and chiefdoms suddenly decided to cut back on skaldic payment and employment benefits. The skalds were out of work, and thanks to the arrival of the plague, things never really picked back up for them. The profession as a whole just simply died out, never to return.

It’s sad, really. I don’t much care for doing public speaking myself, but I think having some skalds around would make the world a much better place. Unfortunately, the economics of it just don’t work out; the people with all the gold nowadays would much rather pay for some sleazy lawyers or obnoxious publicists (who actually serve a function somewhat similar to skalds, except they spread shit rather than glory) than for an honorable skald. But it’s a Catch-22; the skalds themselves wouldn’t really have anything glorious to speak about anyway, as I’m sure you can well imagine: “And lo there did I see the close-fisted giver of STDs total his Ferrari whereupon he entered the shining hall of rehab…”

In my opinion, the artful spreading of glory—and I mean real glory, not the bullshit that so frequently passes as glory nowadays—ought to at least be worth something. I’m no skald, but I still want a gold fucking arm ring for my contributions to spreading modern Viking glory. I could sell the damn thing and probably not have to work for at least a year or two.


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