Quotulatiousness

January 30, 2014

Duffelblog – Marine converts demand religious symbols be allowed in uniform

Filed under: Humour, Military, Religion — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:14

You can always trust Duffelblog to give you the latest US military news:

Marines Convert To Norse Paganism, Demand Horns And Wings On Helmets

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC — An entire rifle squad which has converted to Asatru, or Northern European Heathenry, has expressed disappointment in new Pentagon dress code requirements claiming religious exemptions to military uniform standards are not inclusive enough.

The Asatru devotees complain they are not allowed to wear their religious clothing in uniform unlike Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish members. Focused on historical Norse paganism, the Marines want to affix horns and wings on their helmets in order to accommodate individual expression of their beliefs.

“It’s the only way Valkyrie can identify the Kindred if we fall righteously in battle,” said Sgt. Bram Gunbjorn, who serves as both squad leader and gothi (priest) of his squad of housescarls, otherwise known as 3rd Squad, Second Platoon, Charlie Company.

The squad believes upon their worthy death in combat, the Valkyrie will lead them to Valhalla, the mythological hall presided over by Odin, the Allfather.

“I think these clowns have been reading too many comic books,” said battalion Sgt. Maj. Mike Brooks. “There’s no actual historical evidence Vikings or any Northern European groups wore that garbage into battle.”

Soon after the sergeant major made this statement, the horrified Marines submitted a complaint to their Equal Opportunity Officer on the grounds of religious intolerance.

October 17, 2013

Who were the Vikings, Episode one

Filed under: Europe, History — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 07:23

Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. In the first programme, Neil begins by discovering the mysterious world of the Vikings’ prehistoric ancestors. The remains of weapon-filled war boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers, and a Swedish site of a royal palace and gruesome pagan ritual conjure up an ancient past from which the Viking Age was to suddenly erupt.

November 28, 2012

Is English really a Scandinavian language?

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Science — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:14

ESR on some recent linguistic speculation:

Here’s the most interesting adventure in linguistics I’ve run across in a while. Two professors in Norway assert that English is a Scandinavian language, a North Germanic rather than a West Germanic one. More specifically, they claim that Anglo-Saxon (“Old English”) is not the direct ancestor of modern English; rather, our language is more closely related to the dialect of Old Norse spoken in the Danelaw (the Viking-occupied part of England) after about 865.

[. . .]

Previously on this blog my commenters and I have kicked around the idea that English is best understood as the result of a double creolization process — that it evolved from a contact pidgin formed between Anglo-Saxon and Danelaw Norse. The creole from that contact then collided, a century later, with Norman French. Wham, bam, a second contact pidgin forms; English is the creole descended from the language of (as the SF writer H. Beam Piper famously put it) “Norman soldiers attempting to pick up Anglo-Saxon barmaids”.

This is not so different from the professors’ account, actually. They win if the first creole, the barmaids’ milk language, was SVO with largely Norse grammar and some Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. The conventional history of English would have the girls speaking an SOV/V2 language with largely Anglo-Saxon grammar and some Norse vocabulary.

February 12, 2010

Eric Raymond finally “gets” the Vikings

Filed under: History, Humour, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:47

I’m just as happy that my area didn’t receive any of the snow that’s been blanketing areas to the south of us. Eric Raymond wasn’t as lucky:

Now I understand the Viking Era
So I’m sitting here, looking out my window at the 3-foot snow and the 5-foot icicles, reverting to ancestral type. Thinking:

“Fuck this. Let’s go sack Miklagard.”

And Ken Burnside points out even more opportunity for enriching historical knowledge:

The reason why Minnesota and Wisconsin were settled by Norwege and Swenske isn’t because the other cultures couldn’t hack the winters.

It’s because compared to 19th century Norway and Sweden, Upper Minneosta and Upper Wisconsin are *paradise*.

“Look! Farmland! Lakes for fishing! Timber and lumber to build from! And no morass of petty aristocracy to tell you no. And, hey, it only snows for five whole months here! They won’t believe THAT back in the old country!”

The only reason there weren’t more of them was because a lot of Norski STILL remember the marketing flimflam that was Greenland. They had a completely justified 900 year old mistrust of ANYONE telling them about ‘great farmland, only snows for five months of the year, plenty of timber…’

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