The Norse Initiative

When it comes to the world of politics, I prefer abstinence. There’s just something about the whole political process that makes me feel violated and ashamed. And sadly there is no way to practice safe, responsible political activity; there is no thin rubber layer to prevent the disease from spreading. It’s a mental disease, and highly contagious to those who don’t take the necessary precautions.

Unfortunately, the road to political abstinence is paved with many obstacles and distractions, thanks to activists, the media, and a society that tends to reward outspoken thoughtlessness over humble contemplation. Those who traverse the pitfalls and successfully maintain political abstinence are frequently ridiculed as apathetic, but few critics stop to consider that what they regard as apathy may just simply be the first natural emotion that evolves from the initial revulsion prompted by exposure to such a sordid affair.

With all that having been said, it would be gratuitously hypocritical of me to take a stance in the political circus, yet I cannot ignore the fact that our world would be a better place if it were run by battle-hardened Vikings rather than by a bunch of panhandling narcissists. So, with that in mind, I have compiled the following, politically nonaligned list of governmental recommendations. I like to think that it might serve as a modest anchor of sanity in this sea of madness.

The Norse Initiative

*Provide funding to outbound plunderers as part of an economic stimulant package.

*Convert all official government buildings to functioning mead halls.

*Adopt the Norse pantheon beyond just the names of the days of the week.

*Establish a Viking appreciation day. Note: this day should be everyday and permanently supersede all other appreciation days currently in effect.

*Commission a fleet of wooden long ships to replace current naval infrastructure.

*Provide funding to establish authentic Viking villages, such as Foteviken in Vellinge, Sweden.

*Replace the national song with Amon Amarth’s “Valhall Awaits Me”. This should be played at all patriotic gatherings and major sporting events. For hockey games, “I Want to Drive the Zamboni” should also be played whenever Canadians are in attendance.

*Provide a 21-axe salute and traditional ship-burning funeral for all fallen warriors.

*Decrease taxes on plundered goods as a measure to encourage entrepreneurial pillaging.

*Establish Erikson Day, or for the U.S., elevate it above Columbus Day (Leif Erikson Day is actually already in effect in the U.S., so this would just be a reversal of each day’s relative importance). Click here to read the 2008 White House proclamation.

*Mint currency to honor ancient Viking heroes, customs, and beliefs. This honor should also be extended to include other appropriate commodities, such as stamps (for which the Faroes have an admirable head start).

*Rechristen the highest level of government as the Althing and top government official as Lawspeaker.

*Promote knowledge of shipbuilding, navigation, hand-to-hand combat, and beer and mead brewing starting at an early grade level.

*Replace all poets laureate with skalds laureate.

*Reintroduce the blood-eagle as a legal form of punishment for the worst of criminals.