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(Daily Mail)   The Vikings are back after a 1,000 year hiatus, and Sweden just became the coolest country in the world in which to live. Meet the new Viking king   ( ) divider line
    More: Cool, Britain, Vikings, Sweden, north and east, Beer measurement  
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11894 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2014 at 10:45 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-05-14 09:23:25 PM  
Viking is Swedish for "pirate" (that's one of the real theories as a matter of fact. Another is that they take their name from the Vik, which is the fiord that Oslo is on).

I am reading a lot about Vikings lately, their genes, their history, their raids, their business plans. They didn't hit targets randomly. They cased the joint while doing a little honest business or got the low-down from friends in "legitimate business" who had cased the joint earlier but lacked the manpower to raid themselves. If they were afraid of you they'd turn innocent and harmless in a trice, turning to farming, or fishing, or mining, or trade as happy as Dwarves.

They learned not to attack Byzantium when that great Imperial capital burned one of their fleets with Greek fire. They also respected the Muslims and when the fashion for black slaves went out, they happily sold thousands of Europeans into slavery in the Levant and North Africa. But if you were weak or under-armed, they were on you like Rush Limburger on a Dominican Little League team.

According to more modern research they were the not pure bloded and brave blonde Jesus types that romantic propaganda has painted them but pretty much a bunch of bullies and putz family reunion of losers, thugs and unemployed youth.  They were quite a lot like my very distant cousins, the Pirates of Somalia and the Berbers of Morocco. They would have got on like a house on fire with them.

And they often used Irish or Scottish navigators on their voyages of discovery. The Irish monks, you see, had been there a long time before the Scandinavians, no matter where there was in the West of Europe or th Atlantic. They wisely left Iceland when the Vikings arrived and may have reached Canada several times before Eric the Pinko Commie Liberal. You don't even have to take the word of their partisans such as the recently deceased Farley Mowat. The Irish did cool things. Not every cool thing they claim to have done, but very respectable heaps of cool things. Because they were bloody stupid in a productive sort of way.

Oh, but they are family as are all of the historical people worth reading about.

In fact, I have been posting and adding barbarians to my family tree at the same time.

One thing you can say for these jolly rogerers is that they had a way with a nickname. Bullies usually do.

I am going to have to do a GIS for King Eystein II the Fart or the Flatulent Halfdansson ("fret" or "fretr" in Old Norse apparently) to see if that is what the jolly thugs in his caitiff crew of upper class psychopaths really called him (after they left public school, that is).

King Farty is currently my 34th great-grand-uncle, but these things can change quickly as I add more people, more links.

Gorm the Old is also known as Gorm the Sleepy. A Danish Reagan, so to speak. Harold Bluetooth (more properly black tooth) has some sort of technology named after him, as does Saint Linus.

And I'm guessing that White Shanks or White Legs was a proper tourist long before going to the Costa Del Sol was popular except for Barbarians who liked to kill Christians and Jews whilst getting sunburned.

 I wonder if Bush is any related to the King nicknamed "Tree Hewer" or the other king named "Land Clearer". Must be because I am descended from many ancestors of them all. A lot of these small kings were little better than Amish Drug Gang Leaders and Pimps with broad-axes instead of Glocks.

Damn, some of my ancestors were evil bastards. Literally. Take William the Bastard (aka the Conqueror). He lead 10,000 mostly needy-greedy younger sons without land or inheritances into England just like the hoards before him. In fact, my Norman ancestors incude Robert the Good, Robert the Fearless, and Robert the Devil (in that order). Give some people an inch and they'll take a continent. All US Presidents are descend from the English King formerly known s Bad Prince John aka Lackland. He got plenty of land and women after becoming King, or indeed after collecting a mountain of taxes to send his brother Richard the Lion-Hearted on the Grand Tour of the Holy Land.

He was advised to let the Bastard rot in prison when Brother Dick got himself captured (in Hungary, IIRC). There's a thought. Let them rot in prison.

Poor King Harold. He was my ancestor too, but he took one in the eye.

Voltaire was right. History is the record of the crimes of mankind. I should add him to my family tree. Last week I went looking for Christopher Titus the Comedian of Family Dysfunction and found Prime Minister Helmet Boy instead.


It's a funny old world, innit?

You have to laugh though. Or else weep.

The original Titus, another Robert, was an early settler or co-Founder of Rehoboath, MA, but he and his family were run out of town for harbouring social undesirables, possibly a family of Baptists or Quakers.

Rehoboath was run out of MA and is now in Rhode Island, I believe.

It's named for the Harlot who let the Israelite spies into Jericho through her own private elevator. I bet the natives see the irony of that.

But enough family gossip. People aren't interested in real history. They want romanticized sex and violence, and the Vikings were smart enough to know their audience.

I'd have melted the iron throne down to make bullets to put through the heads of every character in the Ice and Fire franchise like Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee before me. No relation.
2014-05-14 10:22:11 PM  

brantgoose: my 34th great-grand-uncle

What about the thousands of uninteresting ancestors that you dismissed?
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