When it comes to the world of politics, I prefer abstinence. There's just something about the whole political process that creates feelings of violation and shame. And protection is not available to participants in this charade; no thin layer of rubber exists to keep the nasties from infecting those who choose to engage in political activity. And infect you they will. Those who get involved rarely avoid contracting the disease. 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 and the media. Like a pack of wild dogs to fresh bits of vomit, the media swarms and devours any political bile available for depraved consumption. The bile is systematically moved through the media's bowels and the resulting, "newsworthy" fecal matter is then showered like fertilizer upon the masses. Ever an altruistic entity, the media also enjoys formulating the opinions of all the people out there who rely on the media to formulate opinions for them. It's a vicious cycle and oh-so-comforting to know that every active journalist, news reporter, and analyst is a humble and unbiased expert on all manner of important things.

Those who traverse the pitfalls and successfully maintain political abstinence are frequently ridiculed as "apathetic". Few critics stop to consider that, in many cases, what they call "apathy" is just simply 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 involve myself in the political circus, yet I cannot ignore the fact that our world would be a better place if governments were run by battle-hardened Vikings rather than a bunch of panhandling narcissists. So, with that in mind, I have compiled the following, politically nonaligned list of governmental recommendations, which I am calling The Norse Initiative. I seriously doubt that the panhandling narcissists of the world pay it much heed, because they would rather squabble for lobbyist funding and measly percentage points than consider implementing Viking reforms. But, for the rest of us, I hope it serves as an 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 learn more about the present state of the holiday.

*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.

All material copyright © 2007-2008 Rowdy Geirsson