Posts Tagged ‘Boston/New England’

Boston’s Viking Irish Bring Massive Slaughter to Assisted-Living Elderly Home

Sunday, September 24th, 2017


Boston’s own Viking Irish march to war on the premises of the Scandinavian Living Center

“On this yesterday in the year of our Lord 2017, the forces of northern darkness descended upon the vulnerable and defenseless Nordic assisted-living home for the elderly in Newton, Massachusetts, wreaking much havoc and slaughter. Few were spared as the heathen host desecrated the grounds of the institute with the blood of the innocent, taking slaves among the able-bodied few, and plundering everything of value, including all of the oxygen tanks and the vast assortment of Scandinavian language books kept behind locked doors in the central quarters of the establishment. Never before has such senseless violence been inflicted upon Newton’s flock as punishment for the sins of man.”
   —An imaginary medieval monk living in Massachusetts in the 21st century

Sorry, but I just couldn’t refrain from introducing this entry in the tone of a disapproving monk, it was just too fun (especially given the elderly home setting), but in actuality this wasn’t the first time that such a wanton scene of death and destruction has occurred at the Scandinavian Living Center, courtesy of the Scandinavian Cultural Center and in conjunction with the Viking Irish of Boston. It was all good, clean, safe fun, conducted as part of the 4th annual Nordic Bites Food Festival, which featured various food samplings from each of the Nordic nations, live music by local band Night Tree, and, of course, the highlight of the event: epic slaughter graciously provided by the Viking Irish of Boston, who took the field promptly at 2:00 pm and battled to the death in authentic Norse fashion to the pleasure of all onlookers. It was a good day, full of merriment and celebration of both ancient Irish/Norse and modern Scandinavian culture.


The Viking Irish encampment on the lawn of the Scandinavian Living Center


Entry to the field of battle, surrounded by the booths of vendors and other representatives from across the land


The Wolves and the Ravens face off as the battle begins


Viking versus Viking


Clearly, he shall join Odin for a drink in Valhalla tonight


And the field lay strewn with the bodies of the dead


I didn’t battle, unless eating all the snacks counts


And last, but not least, the replica commemorative rune stone in front of the Scandinavian Living Center is a sight for sore eyes

Boston’s Vinland / T-Shirt Shenanigans

Thursday, March 17th, 2016


Once upon a time the great Norse explorer, Leif Eriksson, plundered his way up the Charles River to swanky Weston, Massachusetts where he then proceeded to disembark from his fierce dragon-prowed longship and initiate the first European colonization of North America. Only it wasn’t that great since the effort failed after a few short years and the native skraelings chased all the Norse men and women back to the icy wastes of Greenland. And also, it happened in Newfoundland, not Massachusetts. But that didn’t stop a bunch of stuffy old guys from proclaiming otherwise back in the late 1800s.

One of the main culprits who promulgated this phenomenon was Eben Norton Horsford, a chemist to whom I devoted a Heroes of Norse Proliferation posting during the not-so-glorious autumn of ‘014. The graphic icon above and the images below are all depictions of the tower and its associated plaques that he had erected in 1889 on the spot along the Weston/Waltham border where he thought Leif Eriksson had done the whole Vinland thing, only Horsford was also convinced that the settlement was known as Norumbega, a long-forgotten fabled city known to early European explorers. Horsford thought Norumbega was a corruption of Norway/North-Way/Norvega.

Many other wild and crazy Boston brahmins got on the Norse bandwagon during this era since it was considered anti-Irish to do so and therefore high-fashion since they were basically a bunch of dirty rat bastards, but thanks to them we now also have Leif Eriksson hanging out on Commonwealth Avenue, Viking ships on the Longfellow Bridge, and a highly degraded rune stone next to Mt. Auburn Hospital. Check out my Boston’s Monuments to Greatness page for more on these as well as links to actual historical websites where you can learn more (the Needham Historical Society’s article is particularly good).

This faded runic carving reads: “This tower was erected by Eben Norton Horsford A.D. 1889”


Click here for a legible transcription of this plaque

For those of you who live nearby and might be interested in checking out the notorious Norumbega Tower in person, I have compiled the following aerial maps to help show you where it is (also, google maps recognizes “Norumbega Tower, Norumbega Road, Weston, MA 02493” to help you find your way).

Lastly, check out the new webshop for Scandinavian Aggression T-shirts, including one featuring the Norumbega graphic at the top of this posting. The back of the shirt looks something like this:

Live Free and Drink Hard

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

One of the few redeeming qualities about this obscure, little website is its dedication to the discovery and promotion of Viking-themed alcoholic beverages. Despite being the hardest drinkers known to both human history and Eddic poetry, Norsemen that actually grace the labels of bottles of booze are unfortunately fairly hard to come by in the 21st century. It’s usually a pretty rare occasion when I stumble upon a new specimen worthy of photographing (poorly) and then uploading into the great black abyss of cyberspace. It’s even more rare when said specimen hails from the shores of Norumbega, so naturally I felt that special rush of excitement that only the Vikings/alcohol combo-pack can deliver when I discovered Kelsen Brewing Company’s fine line of Norse/Tolkien/medieval inspired brewskies.

The Battle-Axe IPA is shown here, but they also have a Draken Robust Porter, a Vendel Imperial Stout, a Vinatta Russian Imperial Stout (‘Vinatta’ being the Norse word for friendship), and a Paradigm Brown Ale (for those who prefer doing their drinking with the dwarves). Not all their styles feature a Norse or medieval theme, but they’re on the right track. On a more serious note, they’re basically just a solid, little craft brewery doing good work from their home base in the state with the most Viking motto of the entire nation.

Barbarian Lord Tells It Like It Is

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Barbarian Lord is both a hardcore boozer who possesses extremely violent behavioral patterns and a keen appreciation for poetry AND the name of the recently* released graphic novel dedicated to portraying his adventures in boozing, brawling, and poetic appreciation. As Barbarian Lord’s own personal real-life skald, Matt Smith sings Barbarian Lord’s praises and spreads his renown to those of us who are not fortunate enough to lift a sword and join in his adventures firsthand. Matt’s also an all-around good guy who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a few horns with at local venues ranging from “the highest hall” to “the lowest cave” (in his own words, and if you know the area then you can likely guess what those are).

But getting back to the book, this is the sort of work for people who like the following:

-Vikings (obviously)
-Icelandic sagas
-Heroic understatement
-Badass illustrations
-Evil trolls and other monsters
-Vicious conniving
-Sexy witches who maim innocent birds
-Demonic possession of domesticated farm animals
-And, last but definitely not least, death metal allusions

If you’re even at this weird, little website, then that should be enough to convince you to hail the hero himself at http://barbarianlord.com/ and to join his quest for justice, drinking, and killing all who stand in his way.

*I say “recently” somewhat loosely because it was actually released last summer, but being only half a year behind the times is a step in the right direction for me. The last time I blogged about a book, I was three years late. Skål for punctuality!

Heroes of Norse Proliferation: Eben Norton Horsford

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Leif Erikson Day 2014 is nigh upon us (Thursday, October 9) and so that makes it perfect time to raise horns to the memory of the great Bostonian proliferator of Norse awareness, Eben Norton Horsford. For those of you unlucky enough to have attended a high school that didn’t cover Horsford’s Norse achievements in history class (which is all of us), let’s just say he was something of an eccentric, law-abiding, late 19th century equivalent to Walter White and he had a huge boner for all things Viking. Clearly, this is the sort of person that I hold in the highest regard.

The short version is that Horsford was a chemistry professor at Harvard who invented an improved formula for baking powder, got rich off the manufacture of the stuff, and then quit his job at Harvard so he could pursue his true passion in life: populating the Boston area with statues and other relics dedicated to Norse greatness, part of which involved a full-scale effort to un-scientifically prove that Boston was the site of the great Norse Vinlandian city of Norumbega. I have a visual tour of these sites on my Boston Monuments to Norse Greatness page. I think a few people have actually maybe visited it over the years.

Anyway, a very good article (and main online source) about Horsford’s achievements can be found at the Needham Historical Society:

http://needhamhistory.org/features/articles/vikings/

And the American Chemical Society has detailed information on the baking powder side of things:

http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/
landmarks/bakingpowder.html

On an interesting side note, Horsford’s old baking powder factory in East Providence is now home to an upscale bakery (among other things) which is cool because nothing screams “blood-thirsty berserker violent-ass seavoyaging motherfucker” like “multigrain bread made with an organic mix of 7 grains, sunflower seeds and a touch of honey; available as a round or pan loaf.”

Last but not least, here’s a view of the old factory and Horsford’s commemorative plaque in East Providence:

New England Coastal Sampo

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

“This was Estonindian black metal dub. Music for wounded bears as they shrugged off tranquilizer darts. A genre so conclusively suicide-inducing, blue-ribbon Congressional panels were afraid to listen to it. If Francis Scott Key had been a ninth-century raider whose head was still throbbing and clanging from an ax-blow to the helmet, standing with one hand braced on the dragon prow of his longship watching his enemies’ tarred warships burn in an uncanny blue bituminous haze, while unseen galley slaves chanting the stroke rumbled the ship from below, he may have closed his eyes, thought of Ragnarok, and composed an anthem like this.”

The above passage is taken from page 229 of Corwin Ericson’s Swell, and it epitomizes everything that I like about the novel, which is easily the best that I’ve read in the past few years. The book is set on a fictitious island off the coast of Maine and follows the misadventures of slacker/protagonist Orange Whippey as he gets sucked into a bizarre series of events involving cranky old fishermen, highly literate Korean smugglers, a North Atlantic whale-herding skald, and an intimidating Thor-cult priestess. This is a book for anyone who enjoys the following:

-Quirks of coastal New England culture
-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
-Metal (the music)
-Penis humor
-Norse mythology
-Experimentation on whales
-The Kalevala
-Alternate Abenaki/Sami history

The book was actually published in 2011, but I sadly didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago, since I have a great talent at being behind the times. I can at least claim to be the person who ordered amazon.com’s last in-house copy (but you can still get it through one of their affiliate vendors, which you should do). If further convincing is needed, check out these links, provided by Corwin himself, since we’re facebook friends (which makes it official):

http://mymemoriesofafuturelife.com/2011/12/13/the-undercover-soundtrack-corwin-ericson/

http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/06/book_notes_corw.html

The Prose Edda for Bostonians, Part 2: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Learns That Middle-Earth is Just an Eyelash on the Celestial Gallows Pole and That the Real Gandalf was Originally a Filthy Maggot

Friday, December 13th, 2013

And continuing from where we left off last week…

The Prose Edda Part 2: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Learns That Middle-Earth is Just an Eyelash on the Celestial Gallows Pole and That the Real Gandalf was Originally a Filthy Maggot

And while we’re on the topic of Tolkien references, why not enjoy a little Silmarillion music from Blind Guardian?

The Prose Edda for Bostonians: Gylfaginning, Part 1: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Buys Sex, Goes Drinking at Asgard, and Learns about the Time When Odin Instigated the Cosmological Frost Giant Genocide

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Time to get in touch with your inner Bostonian and touch up on your Norse mythology…at the same time…

The Prose Edda for Bostonians: Gylfaginning, Part 1: In Which King Gylfi of Sweden Buys Sex, Goes Drinking at Asgard, and Learns about the Time When Odin Instigated the Cosmological Frost Giant Genocide

This is the first in a 10+ part series that will be running over at McSweeney’s roughly every two weeks or whenever McSweeney’s feels like posting the next update (although part 2 will be running one week from today). I would hope that all ten of you who have somehow managed to stumble across this blog already know that the Prose Edda is Snorri Sturluson’s epic contribution to our knowledge of Norse mythology, and that it should then also come as no surprise to you that the final part of this Southie-inspired rendition will end in raging fires with everyone and everything dying. I’ll skål to that!

Here’s something appropriate to help get you in the mood:

A Good Day to Hail Leif

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Today is the official Leif Erikson Day of 2013, and what appropriate and ironic timing!

Leif’s Icelandic ancestors all bailed from Norway when they finally got too disgusted with their slimy politicians to bother sticking around. Lucky for them, they were able to find a nice (if harsh), uninhabited island out in the middle of the North Atlantic to claim as their own, and their descendents kept the tradition of exploring alive, culminating with Leif’s badass voyage to America. That’s a far cry from our current tactics of belly moaning and ineffective protesting. Too bad we don’t live in an era where we can just get our buddies together, get in a boat, and go find a new place to conquer and settle without getting fire-bombed in retaliation. Oh well.

The photo above is a statue devoted to Leif’s glory located in Reykjavik, Iceland. Check out my Monuments to Greatness page to learn more about Boston’s own glorious Leif statue. And best of luck staying sane in this sea of madness.

Skálmöld Trip Out with the Wolf

Friday, September 27th, 2013

It’s the last Frey’s day of the month, the nights are becoming longer than the days, the average daily temperatures are dropping, and “winter is coming.” That makes it a perfect time to trip out with Icelandic Viking metal band Skálmöld in their new music video. In it they take us on a journey through their wild Icelandic landscape and show us all sorts of strange on-goings involving that demon-woman Hel, Odin hanging out passively on the top of a cliff, the iron-ribbon Gleipnir wrapping around a young girl, and the wolf shaking the shit out of his fur to get dry. Pretty badass.

Also, the video itself was created by Bowen Staines who originally hails from New Hampshire, so this is a nice New England-Scandinavia collaboration!

Chiseling the Scandinavian Cheekbones

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

So I just gave this website a major facelift, and by that I mean that there is now a very aggressive-looking, native Blue Sheep from Birka hanging out in the background off towards the right (and slightly towards the left as well, but that guy is fainter). If you look closely, you will be able to admire the finely chiseled cheekbones of the individual to the right, which is a trait he shares with the lovely Scandinavian women. You may also be able to see the killer intent in his eyes. I figure he is probably pretty good buddies with the even more hardcore Icelandic Killer Sheep:

 photo Icelandic_Killer_Sheep_zpsc3993d02.jpg

In fact, this guy is so intent on being aggressive that he goes around looking like he should probably stop trying already and just transform himself into a Norwegian black metal band instead. You used to be able to get his mugshot on t-shirts like the one pictured above, but that website seems to have been plucked away by some misguided valkyrie, though the corresponding myspace page still exists.

On a side note, I’m going to make a better effort at updating this damned blog on a regular basis again (as opposed to 1 post every 6 months). I finally got myself dislodged from the bigass boulder that I was living under since last fall and it is good to see the world again. Some sad things happened in that time (Stockholm burned, Boston bombed to name just 2) but some good, exciting things are indeed afoot: Amon Amarth is releasing a new album this month, the days are long, and the Bruins are in the finals. So, skål to summer!

Raise a Horn to the New Year’s Winter Darkness

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

So I’m not very big on timely, punctual, or even consistent blog updates, but I am big on depictions of majestic northern landscapes, especially if they feature Viking ships plowing the waters under what I presume to be the aurora borealis. Or maybe it’s meant to be the midnight sun, I’m not really sure, and that’s besides the point. The point is: here’s a badass Nicholas Roerich painting for you to look at and help you get psyched for the coming long haul of bleak winter cold and darkness now that the holiday festivities are over:

And just to clarify who this Nicholas Roerich fellow was, those of you who are more versed in 100-year old Viking-inspired artwork might recognize this one:

That’s right, that one shows a bunch of Varangians sailing down from Sweden or perhaps one of their colonies at Staraya Ladoga or Novgorod on their way to really fuck shit up for the Slavs and maybe just do a little something like establish the entire fucking country of Russia as we now know it. Anyway, from what I can tell, this Roerich guy was a bit of a Russian nutjob but was well known for his paintings, along with other philosophical-type works, and was referenced in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, which is a fact that ought to appeal to anyone with a dark imagination (especially for anyone living in the New England area). And while we’re on the topic of dark imaginations and darkness and winter, it seems only appropriate to also promote this little, old-time ditty:

A Brief Overview of the Lifestyle Altering Technological Accomplishments of the Original Norse Bluetooth for Bostonians

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The true origins of Bluetooth wireless technology are Norse, and what better way to learn about them than being sworn at by a foul-mouthed fucker from Southie.

A Brief Overview of the Lifestyle Altering Technological Accomplishments of the Original Norse Bluetooth for Bostonians

Saint Patrick Visits Ossian and Listens to a Poem About Deteriorating Irish-Norse Relations, Retold for Bostonians

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Saint Patrick Visits Ossian and Listens to a Poem About Deteriorating Irish-Norse Relations, Retold for Bostonians

Saint Patrick gets shitfaced and listens to some heavy Irish poetry about Vikings.

An Informal Conversation about Ancient Norse Poetry at a Bar in Boston

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

An Informal Conversation about Ancient Norse Poetry at a Bar in Boston

Egil Skallagrimsson and drinking in Boston.