Streetwise Professor

August 2, 2015

They Are Spinning in Valhalla

Filed under: History — The Professor @ 3:56 pm

In June I visited Stockholm, and was able to fit in a trip to the Swedish history museum. I was quite interested in viewing the Viking exhibit, but was rather aghast when I did. First, the signage disclaimed any Swedish responsibility for the Vikings: “Vikings were not Swedes.” Whatever. Second, another sign claimed  “the Vikings were peaceful.” I’m sure the monks at Lindisfarme and myriad other English monastaries, the inhabitants of any navigable river from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, etc., would beg to differ. And those Sagas. So peaceful! But the best was what a tourguide said: “The Vikings were inclusive people who treated everyone equally.” Sure they were! Talk about anachronism. Who knew the Vikings (who weren’t Swedes!) personified postmodern Swedish values. (But if they did, why the haste to deny that Vikings were Swedes? A little cognitive dissonance?)

To put an exclamation point on how far the people who reside in the country now called Sweden have changed since the 8th century, consider this: “Nine ways to become a truly Swedish man.” At least those 9 ways don’t involve peeing while sitting, which is a subject of raging debate in Germany. So there’s that.

Thank God-or would it be Odin?-that my ancestors got on the boat in the mid-19th century. And if the Swedes are denying they are Vikings, I’m pretty sure the residents of Valhalla are now willing to agree.

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  1. The argument for diversity is based upon the slaves they captured often becoming part of Viking society, especially through children.

    Slavery leads to diversity. It’s amazing what people will say as long as it conforms to their ideology.

    Comment by Highgamma — August 2, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

  2. It looks like in one important respect the non-Vikings of today are still similar to the Vikings of yore: the persisting communal structure of Nordic society makes peer pressure a more important factor than in the more individualistic southern planes (not to mention wild west across the pond). It’s just that the norms dictated by this pressure have shifted: earlier it would be uncool of you not to partake in plundering that monastery, now it’s uncool to pick up the tab.

    Comment by Ivan — August 2, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

  3. @Highgamma-I am sure that the slaves (including many Slavs!) were less than thrilled with the arrangement. Being the grist for diversity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    Given that the Vikings were among the greatest slavers in history-with those originating in Sweden profiting greatly from the slave trade in Rus-their criticism of the US’s history of slavery is more than a little annoying.

    But I forget. Vikings weren’t Swedes.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 2, 2015 @ 5:26 pm

  4. SWP:

    W/ all due respect. Vlad has to sit to pee due to a medical condition.

    His Dr told him not to lift anything too heavy.


    “Ridin’ w/ Biden” in 2016

    Comment by Vlad — August 2, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

  5. Saying that the Vikings treated everyone “equally” does have the virtue of being wonderfully ambiguous. Although it seems only particularly noteworthy foes were given the pleasure of experiencing the “Blood Eagle”, but it seems that they may have been discriminating against Kings and other rich and notable people, so it’s prob. ok.

    Comment by JDonn — August 2, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

  6. Meanwhile:

    Mohammed is now the most common name for men in Norway’s capital city Oslo, it appears.
    “It is very exciting,” Jorgen Ouren of Statistics Norway tells The Local news website.

    Comment by Tim Newman — August 3, 2015 @ 4:14 am

  7. @Tim-Yup. And “exciting” is hardly the adjective I would use.

    BTW, there was an obvious division between western Sweden and Stockholm. Muslim presence much more pronounced in the west (Gothenburg, Malmo), and there was definitely an air of hostility.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 3, 2015 @ 9:07 am

  8. @7:
    As a male, you only got the air of hostility.
    Females receive it by the brick.

    Which, in a way, is a sick way of justice, given the sissification of Sweden.
    (police-force included, of course, so not much there to stop the relifascists)

    A nation of whimpification.

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — August 8, 2015 @ 9:14 am

  9. Well, to be honest, I am not sure whether I have seen the term ‘christianophobic’ elsewhere before:

    “The sharpest rise is seen among crimes with christianophobic motives, which have tripled in the past five years. Crimes with islamophobic or anti-semitic motives have also increased rapidly.”

    Wonder what religion is responsible for 2 out of those 3….
    (in Holland, we refer to them as Finn’s, but that would become confusing there)

    As for overzealous political correctness:

    (even gang-organized beggers become a protected species)

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — August 8, 2015 @ 5:57 pm

  10. As for peaceful/equal:
    Perhaps they just meant that in a relative context, compared to Caveman, in particular his habit of dragging woman into the cave, by the hair?

    That said: your ancestors probably were not familiar with the Swedish concept/expression of ‘double black money’ either, were they?

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — August 8, 2015 @ 6:24 pm

  11. Here another approach/viewpoint on the Swedish sissification, the de-militarisation (‘we can defend one spot, for one week’):

    (has mixed feelings about this demilitarisation, since it also generated a generous flood of lovely ex-military vehicles (although most EOL anyway, being 30 years old….but definitely not replaced 1:1, neither quantity nor quality/performance))

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — August 9, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

  12. […] About a month back I wrote about my experiences in Sweden. As if to illustrate my point about the Swedes’ attempt to flee from their historic identity and current cultural realities, horrific events occurred on 10 August. An Eritrean refugee who had just been denied asylum in Sweden went into an Ikea, grabbed two knives from the shelf, and proceeded to butcher two shoppers, a woman and her son. Some reports indicate that one of the victims had been beheaded. […]

    Pingback by Streetwise Professor » Political Correctness and Building Social Strife in Europe–and America — August 22, 2015 @ 7:13 pm

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