Posts Tagged ‘glory’

Birch-Shoe-Wearing-Guys, Save the King!

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

So this one’s deviating a little from the strictly Norse theme, but how can you not like a painting like this? Even if they’re aren’t technically Vikings, these guys are still hardcore. They’re skiing across Norway in medieval times in the dead of winter to save the baby infant king, being followed by assassins who just killed the little guy’s dad in a diabolical plot to steal the throne. Plus it’s just a cool looking painting.

This one was done by good ole Knud Bergslien, who painted many, many portraits of well-to-do Norwegians back in the 1800s, as well as a few landscapes and scenes from the country’s past, such as the one of the birkebeiner above (the birkebeiner were a group vying for political control of Norway and take their name from an insult in the day–that they were so poor they could only afford to make their shoes out of birch, and if that isn’t degrading, then I don’t know what is.)

The mad dash across the country on skis is one of Norway’s special historical moments and has been commemorated over the years, not just in the painting by Bergslien, but in a recent, full-length Norwegian film named “Birkebeinerne.” There are also races every year honoring the event in Norway and in Wisconsin (since they got lots ‘o Norskies up there too). The film is currently available on Netflix, under the title “The Last King” (since a movie with an accurately translated title like “The Birch-Legs” or “The Birch-Shoe-Wearing-Guys” apparently isn’t sexy enough for English-speaking audiences):

And, last but not least, here’s one of Bergslien’s majestic landscape paintings to end on an scenic note:

Kristine Jensen Gets Jelling with It

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

The Scandinavian countries are known first and foremost throughout the rest of the world for their achievement of producing Vikings 1200-900 years ago. While this was an undeniably badass achievement, the rate by which they have been producing Vikings since the year 1066 has really taken a nose dive. Thanks to the centuries of stagnation within the Viking-producing industry that have since followed, the region now produces other things instead, such as edible rotten fish, extreme death metal, ice hockey superstars, grim and frostbitten mystery novelists, large public sectors, North Sea oil, cheap furniture, toy building blocks, and last but not least, sleek modern design. It is this last item that is the point of my blathering online today, because the ancient burial mounds of Jelling in Denmark recently got an extreme modern design makeover.

For those unfamiliar with it, Jelling was a major center for Danish royalty in the Viking era. It was the home of good ole Harald Bluetooth and is regarded as the birthplace of Denmark as we think of it today. You can read more about its historic importance in any book on Viking/Norse history, but here is the link to Visit Denmark’s official page about it: ttp://www.visitdenmark.co.uk/en-gb/denmark/jelling-viking-town-and-world-heritage-gdk608047.

In 2013 a major landscape face-lift was given to the site. New discoveries had been made by archaeologists in preceding years, including a palisade fence and ship burial formation. These new discoveries have been highlighted in the design by Kristine Jensen, a Danish landscape architect, so that visitors gain a better sense of the historic layout of the site. The website Landezine describes the design rationale in detail, and is very much worth checking out for anyone who is interested: UNESCO World Heritage Site Jelling.

Kristine Jensen’s own design studio also offers some insights into the project and its relation to the Viking past for those who can read Scandinavian. Lastly, I should note/cover my ass that the images here were pilfered from Landezine’s page on the project and are credited to Jesper Larsen and Kristine Jensen. Definitely click the Landezine link above if you want to see more photos.

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:

Heroes of Norse Proliferation: Quorthon

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

It was only a matter of time until Quorthon’s name was added to this not-so-golden hall of Heroes of Norse Proliferation, and that time has finally come. I unfairly prolonged that time with my uncanny ability to slack off at updating this obscure blog, but despite my best efforts to be ineffective and lazy, I can’t fight fate forever, and neither could the All Father of Viking Metal for that matter. He’s dead, and here I am, no longer going on a full-out berserker-level rampage of neglect and laziness at promoting his glory.

I hope most of you who have somehow managed to find this website know who he is. If you don’t, check out this short biography, then drink some mead and watch this video:

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

Leif Eriksson on the Rocks

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Highland Park has gone and done something wonderful: they have produced Scotch in honor of Leif Eriksson. Why did no one think of this sooner? It took the discoverer of North America approximately 1012 years before he had a Scotch whiskey named in his honor? Sometimes I am ashamed of the world we live in. That sense of shame almost outdoes the sense of shame I feel from not having bought a single bottle of this magical liquid because a) it costs nearly $100 and b) even it it was less expensive, it can still only be found at international ports of entry.

Click here to visit the official Highland Park Leif Eriksson webpage.

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.

A Short History of the Norse Conquest of England for Bostonians, Part 2

Monday, November 28th, 2011

A Short History of the Norse Conquest of England for Bostonians, Part 2

In which Svein Forkbeard utterly dominates Ethelred the Unready.

A Short History of the Norse Conquest of England for Bostonians, Part 1

Monday, November 21st, 2011

A Short History of the Norse Conquest of England for Bostonians, Part 1

In which the Danes and English succeed very well in not getting along with one another whatsoever.

Victorious March!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I’m not sure whether this painting is saying, “We are coming to destroy everything in our path!” or “We have just destroyed everything in our path!”, but either way, if this isn’t a victorious march of some sort, then I don’t know what is. John Charles Dollman wasn’t dicking around when he painted these Vikings 100 years ago. He imbued them with noble glory, and that glory still lives on today, even though most people don’t even know it exists. There’s a lot to lament about in that statement, but rather than spiral downward into an eternal pit of despair, why don’t we take a look at another victorious march while we’re on that topic:

Or this one, which is what inspired me to post an entry relating to victorious marches today of all days anyway in the first place. It just goes to show, that in some cases, despair is not always eternal!

(I pilfered the photo from the Boston Globe’s honorable photo montage.)

Valentine’s Day Romance: Epic Norse Slaughter

Monday, February 14th, 2011

No, not that kind of romance. There are no hearts to be found here, unless you count the kind that have been brutally carved out of the chest cavity in the midst of unstoppable berserker rage. That’s right, we’re talking about the national romanticism kind of romance that was popular back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

One Norwegian guy, Gerhard Munthe, was pretty into Norse history back in those days and he glorified the epic naval Battle of Hjørungavåg in this mighty tapestry, now housed at Norway’s National Museum of Decorative Arts. Thousands of Norwegians and Jomsvikings were slaughtered and the sea off the coast of Sunnmøre turned red with their blood. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

Happy Up Helly Aa!

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

On the last Tuesday of every January, the honorable jarls up in Shetland celebrate the end of the yule season by setting everything on fire. It’s called Up Helly Aa and not only is it a glorious homage to Viking glory, but it’s also the biggest fire festival in Europe.

Unfortunately, I’m not cool enough to have actually been to Up Helly Aa myself, so I pilfered this photo from Millgaet Media instead. I think it’s an awesome photo and I’m jealous of whoever took it.

Welcome to the Mead Hall

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Welcome to the Mead Hall is a glorified/self-deprecating account of the first time I ever met Trond Troll-Breath. Published online by Word Riot, this marks the first time a literary entity has not completely blown off my research about the Modern Viking Movement. Hail to Word Riot!

Click here to read Welcome to the Mead Hall at www.wordriot.org. (Note to Norse nitpickers: the editor(s) changed “nithing” to “nothing” in the text, not me!…doesn’t really matter though since the meaning’s the same.)

But first, a short, highly educational video from Lasse Gjertsen that provides deep insight into Norwegian profanity:

Badass Viking Stained Glass

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Lo! And behold. …Hail onwards »