Norse History for Bostonians
When not choking on the sickly sweet taste of 21st-century despair, Rowdy Geirsson maintains www.scandinavianaggression.com and attempts to promote the glorious (or inglorious, as the case may be) deeds of Vikings past and present. Here, he discusses special topics in medieval Norse history with the intention of maximizing ease of comprehension among Bostonians and other pertinent New Englanders (Connecticuters excluded).
A Brief Introduction to Norse Economic Policy for Bostonians.
Yah know, yah lose your job these days n’ yah have to go through this whole fuckin’ bureaucratic mess just tah get your fuckin’ unemployment check. I mean the way it wohrks is yah got to call in tah the fuckin’ cahreer centah hotline just tah even staht the fuckin’ process n’ I’ll be damned if yah even manage tah get through since yah got half the entiyah city of Boston tryin’ tah call in all at once. N’ then tah add insult tah injuhry yah gottah considah the fact that this whole mess all stahted down in New York of all fuckin’ places in the first place as though fuckin’ us ovah fah 86 years straight wasn’t a fuckin’ ‘nough. So now you’re standin’ there on fuckin’ hold till some recohrdin’ finally tells yah tah fuck off n’ call back latah but it’s already your 4th time callin’ in your allotted time slot fah the day n’ in the background you’re hearin’ Johnny Damon be a fuckin’ prick on the radio n’ it all just makes yah wannah smash the phone against the fuckin’ wall n’ pick a fuckin’ fight with the first person yah see.
So as yah can pretty much well tell, what this all basically ends up amountin’ tah is that yah got this system that pretty much fuckin’ guarantees that a real substantial paht of the population is gonnah have some serious fuckin’ tempahs flarin’ up whenevah the economy tanks n’ the funny thing ‘bout that is that these guys like Ted Kennedy n’ John Kerry who were the kinds of guys behind this whole system all based it on a model that came out of the same paht of the world that also produced some of the most wohrst-tempah’ed unemployed guys in all of fuckin’ histahry.
See, back in the late 700s the unemployment rate in Scandinavia was skyrocketin’ like the cost of a fuckin’ college education. Responsible business practices weren’t very populah in Scandinavia back in those days n’ so what yah ended up with was this unsustainable expansion of the fahmin’ industry n’ added tah that was the fact that it coincided with a population boom that made our post-war one look like a fuckin’ calamity of stillbohrns. So now yah got all these youngah sons of families lookin’ fah work on the fahm n’ not bein’ able to find any ‘cause all the jobs went tah their oldah brothahs. N’ as fah the women, well they didn’t really figyah intah the employment system any so there isn’t much tah say about them, but yah know, shit must have sucked fah them too ‘cause how could it not have.
Anyway, the point I’m tryin’ tah make here is that there wasn’t any sohrt of safety net so all these poor outtah worhk bastahds were basically like, “Fuck, what do we do now?” Well what they decided to do was tah legislate a Scandinavian economic stimulant package by rapin’ n’ pillagin’ the fuck outtah Europe fah the next 300 years. N’ the thing that was really fuckin’ unique about this stimulant package was that it actually stimulated the fuckin’ economy, yah know as opposed tah bankruptin’ the coffahs by siphonin’ off huge sums of govuhnment funds tah bailout n’ pay off businesses n’ individuals who have no real chance or hope of evah payin’ it back.
Now there are some guys out there who would say that the Scandinavian economic model of the late first millennium was pretty fuckin’ discriminatahry. N’ yah know, I suppose they got a point ‘cause if yah lived in England or Ireland or France or pretty much any fuckin’ where outside of Sweden, Nahway, n’ Denmahk in those days, odds were the Scandinavians were probably gonnah try not just tah unfairly tax your ass but also sell it into fuckin’ slavery. Sure, this might have been ‘bout as fair as Bobby Orr takin’ a shot against a kid who’s nevah even been on skates befohr n’ there were protests tah this sorht of economic imbalance n’ all, but usually they just ended in massacre n’ the Vikings just kept on doin’ shit howevah they so fuckin’ pleased.
But the one othah intriguin’ thing about these Scandinavian guys was that they actually had this “lagom” attitude meanin’ that even though they had no qualm ovah exploitin’ the fuck out of othahs, they still all tried tah treat each othah pretty fuckin’ equally n’ that included, yah know, tryin’ tah share their profits equally with each othah as well. N’ now if yah live in Cambridge or Brookline or one these othah hahdcore intellectual type places then I guess yah might want tah try tah connect that tah modern wealth redistribution or top-level corporate bonus schemes, yah know, whatevah gets yah blood flowin’.
But anyway, tah get back tah what we were talkin’ ‘bout, aftah completin’ one of these international business trips the Scandinavian guys would usually just head on back home tah one of their Nohrdic hahbahs with shit-tons of silvah, gold, n’ slaves n’ then they’d set up shop tah do some fuckin’ trade. N’ they’d probably give some of their gold tah the local king too just as a gift just so as tah stay in good favah with that guy ‘cause one thing you sure as fuck didn’t want back then was fah the king tah come ovah n’ staht fuckin’ around with your business like he thinks he’s the fuckin’ IRS or somethin’, but even with that bizarre voluntahry/mandahtahry tax lots of times a good numbah of these guys would still have enough left ovah tah buy their own fahm or boat or whatevah n’ then they’d hire a bunch of new guys tah work fah them n’ if that right there isn’t proof of a stimulant tah the economy then I don’t know what the fuck is.
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