I Aten’t Dead

I’m also, honestly, not trying to see how late I can be before I check in here.

The day just sort of took a weird turn, or I’d have put on a Blast From The Past.  No, nothing bad, just I knew I needed to do some things today, and they necessitated driving, only I’m not driving yet, and it was easier for son to drive me before I’d put the post up, so…

Anyway, speaking of things in the air, that aren’t exactly a conspiracy theory, because it would take too much effort to coordinate across thousands of sites and classrooms, etc but which are everywhere, because they fit what people are taught, even when what people are taught is complete, laugh out loud nonsense.

Going through the Viking exhibit, for instance, we kept being told time after time how powerful women had been among the vikings, and also there were things like treasure troves, which in one case they said “was a woman’s treasure trove, probably to honor women in her ancestry.”  At which point I looked at the case enquiringly, because these idiots don’t seem to understand someone’s unearthed treasure trove is someone else’s panicked burial.

I do because it’s not unusual in Portugal to find “treasure troves” while doing house repairs or digging in a field that “has always been a forest.” (actually aerial photography of the village shocked me by showing that the “immemorial woods” had at one time had buildings in them.  Look, we knew there had been buildings here and there and the occasional mill.  One of the things dad and I did, while walking in the woods was read Roman inscriptions, many of them (now utterly meaningless) boundary stones.  And you often tripped on mill wheels and such.  No, the weird thing is that the entire “forest” was once upon a time a village, larger than the village.  So those mill wheels and other things left in the middle of the forest were not places where the owner died without descendants and left it to rot, but places where some catastrophic disruption occurred.  And the population of the village was once almost as large or as large (assuming they had no multi-story buildings, not always a good idea with Rome) as today.  I’d guess either the fall of Rome, or the Black Plague shrunk the village.)  Usually too small to warrant calling the authorities, most of these troves contain five or six coins, and were someone’s whole fortune before an invasion, or a catastrophe.  I don’t and can’t imagine the householder pausing to hide certain objects to “honor” certain women.  There is no way to even get in the mind frame of whoever wrote that card, except to say that they never new privation, need or threat in their entire lives.

Which brings us to the next part.  All through the exhibit, people told us over and over again that the Vikings were — contrary to legend — peaceful, peaceful I tell you.  Most of the Vikings were, after all, farmers and householders.

I wasn’t buying it.  Yeah, sure, most Vikings, if you count women, children, and people to old to go aViking, just stayed put.  But no civilization where dying in bed gets you sent to Hel (which was cold rather than hot but much like our Hell) is a peaceful one.  In the same way I didn’t buy the continuous reassurances there were as many women as men aboard those ships.  Cooeeeeee!  Really?  The men saddled themselves with a liability likely to get pregnant, give birth, etc AND be weaker in battle?  That’s…. amazing.  Oh, I forget.  The idiots writing these cards think women are naturally as strong and physically as fast as men and that the “patriarchy” is a six thousand year old conspiracy to hide this.  Sure, there probably was the occasional female in a male role.  Contrary to much bleating on the left, the patriarchy didn’t enforce strict gender roles, life generally did, and there are always outliers, and Helga the Ugly who could lift a pig under each arm, probably was allowed to join the guys in their expeditions.  For one, who was going to tell her now.  For another, no guy ever got drunk enough for her to be at risk.

Other than that, sure, there were as many women as men aboard Viking ships.  Coming back from a raid.  They called those women “slaves.”

One thing that surprised me (though it pretty well put paid to the “peaceful Viking” image they’d been trying to build, was the skulls and the list of healed injuries, etc.  A lot of the skulls or fragments of skulls showed just how hard life was, from the health point of women.  Women’s skulls probably in early middle age, around their early thirties, showed osteoporosis we’d expect in an elderly women.  All the bones showed signs of someone headed for the grave in their forties, if they weren’t killed by a violent illness first.

This shouldn’t have surprised me, except that one of those “not a conspiracy but they all believe this” lies going around seems to be that life expectancy hasn’t expanded, that all the increase in life expectancyy is do to less child mortality.

And this is poppycock.  It might have applied to “average age at death” but not to “life expectancy”.  Life expectancy when I was little was around early sixties for the village.  This was not so much a calculation as a “no one is surprised if you die at this age.”  Keep in mind we were reasonably prosperous, in historical norms, and reasonably well fed, again by historical norms.  And yet when someone died in his sixties people went “well, he was old.”

OTOH when my cousin died, in his early sixties, five (?) years ago, it was a horrible shock to the whole family.  It was like someone dying in his thirties back in the day.  The words “so young” were in everyone’s lips.

Sure, some people lived longer.  Like my family, which had a tendency to live to their eighties or nineties.  BUT even then, eighty now is not like eighty then.  My parents are in much better shape than their parents at eighty.  They look and act 10 years younger, easily.  And older son, when he worked at the hospital, told me that it wasn’t rare to see people 100 and older.

When I was a kid, turning 100 was a joke, and most of the people who “did” didn’t, as the birth records were imprecise. (We’re still not absolutely sure when my father was born.  What we know for sure is that he was either not born on that date, or not in that year.  Because Grandma’s stories of his birth involve giving birth on a Sunday when a festa happened in a nearby village, and she was alone in the house.  His birth date was not a Sunday for the year he was supposedly born in.  And like most people his age, in the area, grandma got around to registering his birth when he was school age.  We don’t THINK she lost track of his year of birth, because she had a kid less than a year older and one less than a year younger.  If she miscalculated dad’s age, she miscalculated ALL of their ages.  Which is POSSIBLE, because our family runs to large and precocious and she might have convinced herself they were all a year older, because the oldest was reading.  But it’s more likely to be that it was a different date, probably by a month or two.)  Still, it was a big enough thing to get your picture in all the papers, and it happened every few years.  If they did that now, they’d never publish anything else.

However, I have had arguments with earnest academics, most of them very, very leftist, that if you survived childhood then you’d live “about the same time” you live now, and with the same degree of health.  One of them told me she had dug a village in Germany in the 19th century and knew this to be so.  (Turns out it was a very wealthy area.)

No, you couldn’t expect to live the same time, certainly not with the same degree of health, because you’d have vitamin deficiencies, not enough protein, and honestly, a lot of infections that had to run their course, due to not having antibiotics.  Anyone who has lived in a time or place where vegetables and fruit were not plentiful in winter, where there was no temperature control in human habitations, and where antibiotics were difficult to obtain, knows this “they were just like us” bullshit deserves a bullshit medal with d*ck clusters.  But most of these people have never had a day of privation in their lives and think their good fortune is how human life has always been.

The side effect of this is that they are like stupid little romantics, seeing everything that’s “wrong” with human life (anomie, artificiality and the heartbreak of psoriasis) but not how much better, how amazing our life is compared to past generations.

Because of this, they think we can give up the gifts of science and industrialization and all we’ll lose is our “capitalist shackles” of having to actually earn a living.

They imagine we could live in the middle of the forest and be as healthy and strong as we are now.

And thus they facilitate the Socialist power grab via bleating about crisis, be they crisis of the “environment” or of redistribution.  They believe in the same idiocy as Mr. Obama who thought “At some point you’ve made enough money.” Because money is just money, nothing else.  It’s not health and longevity, and sufficient food of the right kind not to be malnourished.

It’s tempting to think these beliefs are being disseminated in order to push these bah lambs to the slaughter with their enthusiastic cooperation.

But no, like the beliefs in powerful women Vikings, (who apparently can ONLY be powerful by pillaging and plundering.  Being mistress of a farm is not enough), and in peaceful Vikings too they’re simply an upending of long-held beliefs about something.  I.e. if Western culture has long believed something, progressives will believe the opposite, because that’s about as hard as any of them can reason, and congruent with their initial mission to topple civilization so perfect communism will emerge.

Note that whether it’s a conspiracy or not, disseminating and believing in these lies still has the effect of corroding civilization.

May G_d have mercy on their souls, because the world is merciless, and their beliefs are counter-survival.

 

 

393 responses to “I Aten’t Dead

  1. Very good points about how many people romanticize the past and gloss over what does not fit their narrative.
    FYI, in this post you mixed up ‘no’, ‘now’, and ‘know’ several times – you must really be running like crazy!

    • And that’s the ones I didn’t catch. No, I’m running on 4 hours of sleep and the keyboard isn’t the most responsive thing ever.

    • Just looked, can’t find. I do have several weird constructions, but no confusion I can find. So either I’m weirder than normal or it’s just odd constructions.

      • There is no way to even get in the mind frame of whoever wrote that card, except to say that they never new privation, need or threat
        Paragraph 5.

        I had spotted more while reading and found less upon review, so … WTF?

        WP Delenda Est!

      • Don’t worry about it, at least they SOUND correct and are easy to figure out.

        You could always end up with rhyming slang typos.

    • Such things are just Sarah. And these are free – unless I can’t make sense of something at all, I don’t mention them.

    • tregonsee314

      Romanticizing the past is not new. Please consider W.S. Gilbert’s lines from “As Someday it may happen”, AKA “the List song” in the Mikado

      Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
      All centuries but this, and every country but his own;

      First performed in 1885. Those idiots were around then and they’re around now, But we’ve got them on the list…They’ll none of them be missed.

  2. It’s not just that we’re living longer, it’s that we’re healthy longer. Every year, as I take part in a Gilbert & Sullivan production (written in the late Victorian era, say 1880s for the most part), I have to explain why Ruth, in Pirates of Penzance, is so horrifyingly old at 47, and not just by comparison but in terms of decrepitude, or how Lady Jane, in Patience, is considered a horribly old spinster and is probably all of 25 or maybe 27. Look at Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and the protagonist and her sister being confirmed old maids at those ages. And the former looks positively haggard at 25, according to the spurned love interest.

    I’m forty. I’m about to play an eligible young maiden again on stage, and it won’t even take far seats to make me look believable. (Admittedly, I did win a bit in the genetic lottery and don’t have more than the faintest hint of crow’s feet.) I can move freely and gracefully, and if I troubled to do certain exercise programs like yoga, I could look even younger. A century ago, I would be a marvel. Today? I didn’t have to live through a dozen vaccine-preventable diseases, I have no malnutrition issues, I can get only as much sun as I need, I have plenty of healthy, nutritious food… I’ve got plenty of advantages only available to the most wealthy back then (and sometimes not even then! Rich folk got rickets…)

    History, folks, history.

    • One of the historical things that rather shook me, when I first read it, was how Calvin Coolidge’s 16 year-old son and namesake developed a blister on his foot, playing tennis against his older brother on the White House tennis court. The blister became infected, the boy developed blood poisoning and died a week later.
      The son of the US president, given the most expert medical care available in 1924, dying as the result of an infected blister … which a course of antibiotics would have knocked out in hours. But there were no antibiotics available then.

      • My mother always said that aspirin would have been regarded as a wonder drug, except that the sulfa drugs were coming into use at about the same time.

      • No sulfas or penicillin in 1924.

        What many people fail to realize is how *recent* “modern medicine” is. There are still people around who were alive in 1924.

        • Not much in the way of vaccinations, either, especially for flu, chicken pox, small pox and measles.

          • Actually, for the deadliest of those, smallpox, there was a vaccination available. I believe the oldest vaccination known, dating from 1796. Well, modern vaccines are probably different. There was form of vaccination available earlier for smallpox. George Washington ordered it used on all his men. One of the many things I learned at the annual Boy Scout Pilgrimage at Valley Forge. As an adult.

            • There’s a bit of common confusion around the beginnings of vaccination. Vaccination (from vaccinia, the Latin name for cowpox) was invented in 1796 by Edward Jenner. As the name implies, it involved deliberately infecting people with cowpox which isn’t nearly as fatal in humans and confers immunity to smallpox.

              Prior to this there was the practice of variolation (from variola, the Latin name for smallpox) where people who hadn’t been exposed to smallpox would deliberately be exposed to someone who had a mild form of the disease in the hopes that they would also contract a mild case. It was successful in conferring immunity, but it was much riskier than vaccination.

              • Variolation being a special case of inoculation — there was actually a smallpox goddess in India whose priests were in charge of it — but the REAL big difference came when Pasteur used Jenner’s work to devise how to artificially weaken a disease.

            • Inoculations, I think they used– find someone who was sick but not VERY sick, and infect yourself.

              • Feather Blade

                That’s how chicken pox worked when I was a kid. Oh your child is nearing 7 years old and hasn’t had chicken pox yet? Have him visit one of his friends that does have it!

          • My mother and her sister told stories of spending one summer in Baltimore when polio was hitting fairly hard. Granny had sewed up bags of smelly herbs that they wore on a string around their necks. It was what the rumor that year said would keep you from catching polio. (Mom and my aunt joked that it worked by keeping anyone from getting too close to you.) Mom made sure we got polio vaccine (and I was VERY glad when it changed from a shot to a couple of drops of pink stuff on a sugar cube.) There were still enough victims that we donated pennies to help buy iron lungs.

            Measles and mumps did their best to empty my elementary school classrooms in successive years. There were several weeks where half of the class was missing. (I also had chicken pox as a baby, but don’t remember that.)

            I shan’t bore you with the assorted massive infections that nearly did me in (starting with a ruptured appendix) but without antibiotics I’d have been dead at least five times so far.

            Even if the past actually were otherwise idyllic it would have been a death sentence for me.

            • Asafoedita bags. A very old preventative, for exactly the reason you mentioned.

            • In the not so distant past, I would have died at two years old of pneumonia. Or I would have died at the age of 15 from a painful death as an infected appendix ruptured.
              Modern medicine for the win!

          • smallpox vaccinations were much older than that, although much less pleasant than todays vaccinations, they were generally effective. On the other hand I still consider myself young (most days, although the body is starting to protest that some days) but they didn’t have chicken pox vaccines when I was a kid.

            • They were pretty new when I was in high school– they were still reporting on the rate of adults getting chicken pox as adults (very dangerous) after vaccination, and of an increase in shingles.

              Even mentioning that gets you called “anti-vaxxer” now. -.-

              • I got chicken pox as a kid, not sure how old but young enough for my mother to be combing my hair. Which is how she discovered I had them when I started jerking away from the comb, I mostly only had them in my hair.

                I got shingles about seven or eight years ago. NOT fun. That was when I first heard of the chicken pox vaccine, from the doctor who diagnosed me with shingles. She didn’t recommend it to adults because she said it increased your risk of shingles enough that it was as great as your risk of getting chicken pox without it… now that they were giving the vaccine to kids. Of course we didn’t live in an area with a significant population of illegals that wouldn’t have vaccinations, but there is a portion of the population that is anti-vaxxer to make up for that.

                • If you are really worried about anti-vaxxer on chicken pox, start complaining about them not allowing the morally licit versions.

                  There ARE strains grown in animal material, but they only allow the ones grown in fetal human in the US. (and trust that screaming “anti-vaxxer” will make people do it anyways)

      • Send back a 50 cent tube of neosporin.

        • dont have any, all i have is ‘gel butthurt lotion’

          • Well I’m glad you’ve got that covered, but your butthurt gel wouldn’t have done Pres Coolidge’s son much good while a little tube of neosporin would have been enough to save his life.

            My father, who was born in FDR’s first term, and his siblings were raised to be fanatical about care of minor surface wounds – basically, boo-boos, because their were family memories of people who died from them due to infection.

            I grew up being practically *doused* in Mercurochrome every time I skinned a knee. Effective topical antiseptics are truly an underappreciated miracle, but I’d prefer to avoid the whole toxic heavy metals thing.

            I personally am a *big* fan of neosporin. Though I do always keep bacitracin on hand because I have a friend who can only use that due to some oddball allergies.

            • I almost never treat minor surface wounds, and so have a built up immunity to stuff that causes infections in others. But I always have the option of good antibiotics if I do get infected or I suspect I wouldn’t be so cavalier about them.
              Neosporin is alright, although I prefer black salve myself, although I more often use nitrofurazone because I always have it on hand for my dogs and it is also very effective. If a wound is serious enough to treat it I wash it out with alcohol or strong iodine first. I suspect Coolidges kid did not do this, because frequent cleansings should have prevented that.

              • Soap and water first, with vigor. But you always ‘put something on it’. Being blase about infection to build up your immune system, because antibiotics, was not really an outlook people in the pre-antibiotic age who did physical labor for a living would pass down to descendants. Because the ones who thought that way wouldn’t, one way or another, have descendants.

            • oh, i use triple antibiotic ointment too./ I remember only using it on bad cuts and scrapes because it was expensive, and using peroxide alot.

    • Visiting the old historical triangle at Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown was pretty eye-opening. It was hot as blazes, and one couldn’t help feeling grateful for shorts, t-shirts, and refrigeration.

    • I have an on-and-off fascination with genealogy. And two of the things that surprised me at first were:

      1) Yes, there were a few people that really did live to a very ripe old age (over 100 in a couple of cases, unless it was “mother and daughter/daughter-in-law had the same name” things).

      2) How rare the first cases were. Yes, there were many children that died in infancy, or before they reached their teens. But there were also many people who died in their 20s, 30s, 40s . . . And lots of both widows and widowers who remarried after outliving their spouse, sometimes more than once.

      My grandfather was born in 1903. His 15 siblings from 1898 to 1926. A brother and sister both died in infancy, and another sister at the age of 10. That’s in the US, and is probably a lower number of childhood deaths than early times and other places. And puts those who lived to adulthood into the early modern medical era. Of the 12 that lived to adulthood, the highest age attained was 84 (1916-2000), but the average lifespan of those 12 was a touch under 58 years.

      Need I point out that the expected lifespan in the US these days is a touch over 79 years (including infant mortality), while if you reach 65 your life expectancy moves up to ~85? For that matter, worldwide life expectancy these days is just under 72 – and that includes a lot of third world countries.

      Even excluding infant mortality, 21st century humans can expect, on average, to live ~20 years longer than people born a century earlier. And – for much of their adult lifespan – to appear and behave 15-20 years “younger” than those who attained the same age a century earlier.

      • You also get to discover reasons for death you hadn’t previously heard of. Marasmus was quite often a cause of death for both newborns and the very old. Pretty much death by starvation. If mother couldn’t produce enough milk,nor afford a wet nurse, well, there was no formula made by evil multi-national corporations available at the corner market. And if your teeth no longer worked, and you couldn’t chew and swallow stuff, there was no Ensure or similar product available.

        • My husband’s aunt was sensitive to milk—human and cow both. Her pediatrician told her mother to give her 7UP—which actually worked, since she’s still alive and kicking 80 years later.

          Formula is a wonderful thing, and anyone who needs to employ it is generally grateful.

      • Someone did a study on colonial mortality in connection with Sturbridge Village (our local recreation site) and came to the conclusion that you could divide people’s lives into bands consisting of the first year, and then every ten years after, and your chance of dying in each band was just about the same.

    • The spurned love interest was just angry, as he admitted later.

  3. You know, you won’t go far wrong if, when you have no first-hand knowledge about a particular subject, you just take the position diametrically opposed to that of the majority of leftist academics about it. Especially if it’s related to the “soft” sciences; guaranteed if it’s a subject that’s attracted the scrutiny of a “Studies” department.

    • A heuristic I’ve been employing since I figured out what a leftist academic was. Middle school, IIRC.

  4. I’ll take capitalism’s “shackles” over communism’s “freedom from industrialization” any day of the week. At least I can trade the shackles for shekels and not starve to death.

    • But classical communism was *in favor* of industrialization, their argument was that they could do it better and faster. The hostility toward industry is something that was grafted on to leftism by the academic left, circa mid-1960s.

      Interesting quote from the Fabian socialists Beatrice & Sidney Webb, at my post Powering Down:

      http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/10812.html

      Historically, I think, Marxism was a bastard child of the Enlightenment, whereas Fascism was counter-Englightenment. Today’s leftism is also substantially counter-Enlightenment.

      • I may be being simplistic, but to me, Fascism, Socialism, Communism, Feudalism are all forms of the same thing: a totalitarian state run by a small group of people. The different groups always fight with eachother, claiming it’s about different ideologies, but really it’s just about which group is going to be in charge. No matter how much they say they’re going to bring about Paradise and/or It’s-all-for-your-own-good, it always winds up with a few very wealthy powerful people at the top along with their lackeys, and severe poverty for everyone else.

        At least with Fascism and feudalism, while the state may control everything to varying degress, it doesn’t necessarily own or try to run things directly, much less tell the people they don’t even own themselves.

        • After I became full-fledged anarcho-capitalist libertarian, I noticed this, too. The most successful societies ought to be called “individualist” — they are the societies that respect the individual and his liberties — while all the others, to one degree or another, considered society more important than individuals; and thus, they are really just “collectivist” societies.

          Really, the only differences between fascism, communism, feudalism, socialism in all its flavors, and so forth, is to what degree they take away your rights, and what justification they use to do so….

        • Exactly this — the same old ‘lords and peasants, with a small cadre of favored clerisy/enablers’ just dressed up in different garb. Someone – maybe the Sainted Heinlein – described it as the natural default of humanity.

          • I think fascism/feudalism actually has a place, as the next step up from tribalism, which is why I don’t have problems supporting some third world dictators as a necessary evil when the alternative would be tribal genocide.

            • kenashimame

              I’m going to object to everyone dumping feudalism in with the various forms of socialism – Marxism, fascism, progressivism, et. al.

              In feudalism, yes you owed service and or money to your liege lord, but he had obligations to you as well. In socialism you belong to the state, the state owes you nothing, except – maybe – upkeep of you as property. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but there’s a difference

              • Concur with your assessment of feudalism. Duty went both ways.

                • Assuming people lived up to the duties. I think chivalry was often honored more in the breach than otherwise.

                  • Based on…..?

                    Not to attack you, but I see this assumption a lot– and I have yet to see a justification that goes beyond “well, I think so.”

                    A system where 9 times out of ten, doing what you are “supposed” to results in REALLY BAD STUFF does not, based on observation, work.

                    This does not change if a 1 in 10 failure rate is too high for modern, sane people to reject it– sometimes it changes if their goal is not what a modern person would recognize (say, “not starve to death because I am pregnant and can’t hunt my own food”)

                    If half of the time you take a risk, you lose it all, do you take the risk? More than half of the time?

                    Because that’s what “honored more in the breach” would mean. More than half of the time, people make a ‘purchase’ and get nothing.

                    • IMO It depends on what Laurie meant by “chivalry”.

                      IIRC Most of the codes of “chivalry” involved dealings between nobles (kings included among nobles) not between nobles and “common folks”.

                      IIRC Much of the “honored in the breach” stuff talked about involved relations between nobles and commoners which wasn’t actually covered by the codes.

                      Some of the “advances” in places like England was to add “free commoners” to people that were covered by many of the codes.

                    • Just off the top of my head (it’s late and I’m tired today) the Wars of the Roses, the aristocracy of medieval Eastern Europe (atrocious behavior in response to brutal wars/occupation by the Caliphate), common abuses by magistrates, abuses by smaller rural aristocrats (though there might be a “hunting accident” if the local lord pissed off the populace too much, if the peasants weren’t too beaten down to protest). I admit, it’s not always history I turn to, but the stories of the times – I’ve been reading some pretty creepy old Irish ghost stories, but there’s always history and old behaviors and attitudes in there, and medieval times were pretty brutal.

                      In general, abuses by anyone in power. It varies, depending on century, and area of Europe. Give people that much power, with little to no enforcement of breaches, and a lot of people will abuse it. It doesn’t mean the system doesn’t work – lots of bad systems work, or at least continue, or were even the only way for people to survive at one time – but that doesn’t mean they weren’t bad. The mafia works, it’s lasted for centuries (actually, the mafia is my go-to model for feudal behavior).

                      I agree that feudalism set up an ideal, particularly of honor and service, that fascism does not, and just having ideals is worthwhile. There are even powerful people in history who lived up to it, or tried to. There are plenty of others who did not.

                    • If the abuses had been the norm, they wouldn’t have been worth talking about.

              • Also it was deeply personal. In any of the socialist states, all bureaucrats are the same. In a feudal state, he’s YOUR lord.

                • This has some serious issues, but it also has some serious high points– what kind of freaking un-christian monster could’ve looked at young Charlie and gone “hey, no, I INSIST that he stay in our hospitals and that we remove his food, water and air. You’re not allowed to take him anywhere else, even if it is home to die.”

              • While I don’t consider them the same I think most leftists want to create what they think feudalism was even if they won’t admit it to themselves.

                Their mistake is the one you point out: that duty flows both ways. They merely seem themselves as ruling aristocrats guiding the benighted peasants. They also like the idea of living in castles (based on their visit to Disney and seeing Cinderella’s castle) while the rest of us live in low carbon footprints neat and orderly hovels (based on their impression of the third world and noble savages).

              • Also, feudalism allows for freemen. While serfdom exists under some forms of feudalism, it’s not a requirement of the system. And if you’re not a serf under feudalism, then you have a certain amount of freedom of mobility. Don’t like your current lord in particular? Go find a different one. Or move to one of the cities.

                • One notes that even a serf has his rights. You can’t leave, but you can’t be evicted either. Your lord has to sue you in court. Your marriage is legally binding. Etc.

            • Thirded.

              It beats tribalism and communism, but it ain’t a republic.

        • There are great similarities among all these things, especially when it comes down to the practicalities of the societies they create, but there are also differences in the psychological nature of their appeal, hence in the kind of people they attract and perhaps in the ways they can be countered. Aldous Huxley put it this way:

          “In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet–the scientific poet–of a new mythology. Both are justified in their pretensions; for each applies to human situations the procedures which have proved effective in the laboratory and the ivory tower. They simplify, they abstract, they eliminate all that, for their purposes, is irrelevant and ignore whatever they choose to regard an inessential; they impose a style, they compel the facts to verify a favorite hypothesis, they consign to the waste paper basket all that, to their mind, falls short of perfection…the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence.”

        • No matter how much they say they’re going to bring about Paradise and/or It’s-all-for-your-own-good, it always winds up with a few very wealthy powerful people at the top along with their lackeys, and severe poverty for everyone else.

          That happens with ANY group that’s not working with a lot of good will and storing up their seed corn.

        • You forgot the part where they all kill you if you are so much as suspected of disagreeing with how the elite are running things. Or if the elite brand you an “undesirable.”

          • No forgetting, just not mentioned. All are bad, just different degrees of bad.

            I’m so glad for places like this. I used to wonder if I was crazy because I saw no practical difference between “left wing” socialism and “right wing” fascism (not to mention that Nazism means National Socialism).

            • If seeing no difference between “left wing” socialism and “right wing” fascism is crazy, I don’t want to be sane.

            • That’s because Fascism was left-wing. Everyone knew it until Stalin decreed that to be left-wing, you had to support HIM, and all the useful idiots fell into line.

            • This was recognized when I was in high school. But the explanation then was that the whole political spectrum thing was a huge ring. Going far enough in either right or left would effectively put you in the same spot.

            • To add to the confusion: when Europe talks about “Left Wing” and “Right Wing”, they are merely arguing over who they want to rule over them.

              In America, there’s some of that, too, but there is also the Libertarians, who no one knows what to do with, so for stupid historical reasons they’ve been called “Right Wing”. (The notion that Libertarians would be Nazis if their ideology were taken to extremes, though, is laughable indeed, though.) So, in America, when you talk about “Right Wing”, sometimes you’re talking about someone who wants to rule over you, but at least half the time you’re talking about someone who just wants to be left alone, and to leave others alone too!

          • They will also kill you if they have large debts to you that they can’t pay back. Who thinks kindly of moneylenders?

        • Nokia, Samsung, Apple,… also fight each other — over market share for their brand of the same product 😉

    • Ya’know, for places “free of industrialization” the average commie hellhole . . .errr . . . Workers Paradise, sure has a lot of factories where the work is long, hard, dirty, and dangerous.

  5. Just about every point in here that the SJWs seem to want to believe, I can come up with a counter-example just from my own family history research. My dad lived until he was almost 70. Cancer took him out. All of his direct line male ancestors except one, died before 62. Several died young enough their wives remarried and had more children. The will of our brick wall ancestor says he was of sound mind but weak body. It was written in March and he was dead by August when it was probated. He left seven children, none married or over the age of 21. He was moderately well off too. We’re guessing he died in his 40s or early 50s. The child of his that we are descended from died less than 15 years later, under 36 years of age. He’d had the chance to get married and they had 4 children. Which would I prefer? Death due to overworking, infections, and accidents or cancer because I lived long enough and beat everything else and there wasn’t anything else to kill me except old age? Our lives are much better now.

    • And sometimes it went the other way. Was dredging up my genealogy and was struck by how many of my ancestors had lived to be fairly old (80+) and that very few of their children and siblings failed to survive to adulthood (even when the brood was fairly large). All Norwegian farmers on one side and all tradesmen-class Brits on the other, but perhaps relevant, the whole bloody tribe had a culture of extreme order and cleanliness.

      • That is true. I have some of that too. Even having babies into their late forties and hardly any of them died. If they did die it was things like appendicitis or fall from a horse.

        The climate and political situations would certainly play into things too. Deep South? Mosquitoes? Swampy, damp air? Or parts of the world being constantly used as battlefields every 40 years or so?

        • I think it may have been the Romanian lady who used to comment here on occasion who said (in essence) that you don’t want to live in a place where a lot of history happens.

  6. I’d hazard that most of this Viking revisionism is about the fact that the Vikings were pre-Christian. If we say that A. the Vikings were actually really mostly peaceful, honest guys! and B. Women were super honored and powerful in their culture, we get to say that all the world’s evils begin and end with Christianity. Yes, there are idiots who actually believe that the pagan world was one big love fest.

    I’m not even Christian and I find this view point extremely stupid.

    Yeah, some Christians have done mean things, human beings tend to be pretty mean to each other. But a whole lot of humanity voluntarily converted to it from pagan religions because hey! in this new fangled religion, it’s the son of God who is sacrificed, not my kid? Sign me up twice!
    It’s kind of a no-brainer.

    • When put that way, it sounds like the Vikings are the new American Indian. Even back in lower and middle school, we were taught that all the Indian tribes were completely, utterly, 100% peaceful. Not a warring bone in their body. Then the evil white Christian man came over and BOOM! (Literally and figuratively on the “boom.” Them fire sticks were no joke!) …When, if you do a little bit a research, you find that the tribes were just as warlike as virtually every other human society on the planet.

      King Solomon was right: there’s nothing new under the sun, and that applies triply so for progressive revisionism.

      • Oh, we were taught they warred but only by counting coup which merely meant touching each other with sticks.

        Oddly, that seems even stupider than the idea they had no war.

        • My professional mentor was an Ojibwa chief. He said the only reason there were any “plains Indians” (who found the plains no more hospitable than did the early settlers) when the whites arrived is because a few generations earlier, said Indians had left the more habitable eastern forests — fleeing for their lives from the Iroquois, who practiced slavery when they needed warm bodies, and genocide when they didn’t.

          • paladin3001

            Slaves, entertainment (via torture that the whole family could enjoy), and in a lot of cases food.

          • I’ve heard recently that a whole lot of European diseases severely reduced the native American population, just from the original explorers hitting the Caribbean and spreading naturally, long before any Europeans actually set foot on the North American continent. Don’t know how much store to set by this, though,

            • One thing that has me wondering about that line is that the Norse had settled (at least) in L’Anse aux Meadows in Nova Scotia hundreds of years before Columbus. It wasn’t a long-lived settlement as I understand it, but certainly it lasted long enough for contact with the natives. I suppose the Icelandic disease environment may have been sufficiently different from the Mediterranean to be less of a problem, or the more isolated location may have slowed the spread somehow.

              • The Norse were well-noted for their extreme cleanliness and hygiene, compared to other European Medieval cultures. There are written records of several occasions where English and French were bitching about how the Norse were taking all the girls, and complaining about how effeminate they were, bathing at least once a week, etc.. As well, the kinds of diseases that were endemic to the rest of Europe were not generally present in Scandinavia.

                One is rather struck by the irony that the Columbus-era European success at colonizing the Americas might well have been driven more by piss-poor hygiene and generally bad public sanitation in Europe than any supposed military superiority. Anyone who has personal experience of an actual Aztec macuahuitl will rapidly lose their faith in the superiority of metal edged weapons; the friend of mine who produced his own replica of an actual historic one used during the time of Cortez places the efficiency of that weapon a hell of a lot higher than you’d initially think, and when you look at the numbers…? Without disease as an ally, I don’t think even the guns did Cortez that much good. Those macuahuitl were capable of taking a horse’s head off with one good blow, and I’m here to tell you that having seen what my friend did with his to a side of beef…? I’m not at all enthusiastic about going up against someone armed with one, even if I am allowed the armor traditionally credited to the typical Conquistador.

                The white man got lucky; without the diseases that were endemic to the large and generally filthy European cities, I don’t think we’d have been much more successful than the Norse were.

                It’s interesting that Tenochtitlan, a city built by supposed “stone-age primitives” was larger and had better public sanitation than anything then existing in Europe. The technology and care lavished on public sanitation by the Romans was entirely forgotten, and would remain so until the 19th Century, with the attendant effect on disease.

                It’s not just the Europeans, either–Any of the large urban areas like those found in India and China likely harbored sufficient disease reservoirs that they’d have been just as lethal as contact with our ancestors proved. The pre-Columbian American civilizations were likely doomed no matter what or who contacted them, unless they somehow missed out on contact until the advent of modern medicine. Which is pretty damned unlikely, no matter how you cut it–They’d have been just as dead after steady contact with the Chinese, were the fabled fleets of the eunuch Zheng He the source of contact with Eurasia.

                • I’m not saying that disease wasn’t a factor in the conquest of Mexico but there were other factors.

                  One of the big ones was that the Aztecs weren’t liked by the other tribes/peoples living in Mexico.

                  Cortez was able to convince them to join with his forces against the Aztec forces so while his Spanish troops were greatly out-numbered by the Aztec forces the addition of the Mexican warriors made it more of an even fight.

                  Another factor involves how the Aztecs waged war. At the time of the arrival of the Spanish, the Aztecs were mainly fighting “Flower Wars” where they were more interested in taking captives than in killing opposing warriors. Thus the Aztecs weren’t used to fighting to the death opposing forces while the Spanish (and likely the other tribes) weren’t interested in taking Aztec captives.

                  Of course, the very ritualized nature of “Flower Wars” may have meant that Cortez, who had either European war experience or knowledge of how Europeans fought war, could likely have out-thought the Aztec military leaders.

                • If I remember right, the whole “they were horribly dirty” thing was largely debunked– they DID lose the Roman city-type public sanitation, because there wasn’t any reason for it in the much smaller groups, and it did have to be figured out again later on when they did get bigger, but a lot of the disease was from having more people and being able to move more easily.

                  Heck, you know how bootcamp crud is!

                  • Lemme see… Population that lives cheek-by-jowl with domestic animals, vs. population that basically had a.) dogs, and b.) some rabbits and/or guinea pigs, and which was so desperate for protein that they had ritualized human sacrifice and cannibalism as cultural features. Which is most likely to be devastated when exposed to the other…?

                    I don’t think I buy that whole “disease had nothing to do with it” theory, especially once you compare what the Southeastern US looked like pre-Ponce de Leon, and after he brought his primary sources for zoonotic disease through the region, the pigs.

                    As well, read the primary sources on Cortez. Were it not for the mass die-off that happened during the aftermath of the Noche Triste, it’s pretty unlikely that the war would have played out the way it did. The smallpox epidemic wrought havoc in the upper classes, and left the rest of the population ennervated and unable to even keep the majority fed. Were it not for the smallpox epidemic, the death of the majority of the elites, and the side-effects in weakening the survivors, it’s problematic to say either that the disease did little to aid the Spaniards or that it had limited effects on the Aztecs. The later epidemics that put paid to the population may or may not have been brought by the Spaniards, but the social destruction and chaos they cause certainly reduced the native population’s ability to cope with them.

                    As well, one has to remember that European agricultural practices of the era, which generally had the farm animals living in the midst of the house, was an environment that was nearly perfect for the rapid adaptation and mutation of all sorts of zoonotic diseases. Remember what happened with the so-called Spanish Influenza epidemic, and that happened to a population which was quite experienced, immune system-wise, to coping with zoonotic diseases. For the Mexica, who did not have immune systems attuned to that sort of thing, it’s no wonder that something as “harmless” as swine or avian flu would wreak havoc on the population, leaving them vulnerable to epidemics from local disease that they might have weathered well, absent the effects of what the Spaniards brought in.

                    As well, the whole question of what actually did the most damage, epidemic-wise, is still up in the air. We still don’t know what the hell it was that the survivors were describing when they called the disease “cocoliztli” later in the century, when most of the dying happened. It could have been a local disease suddenly finding purchase in the population, or it could have been something brought in from outside by the Spaniards.

                    Still, the 1520 smallpox epidemic that killed an estimated 8 million people in Mexico certainly didn’t make it any easier to resist the Spaniards–Especially when most of them were effectively immune to it. None of the Spanish elite died from smallpox, while a host of Aztec leaders did. That factor alone would go a long way towards explaining the inept leadership and poor planning on the part of the Aztecs that led to Spanish success.

                    • “They had more trans-species diseases due to actually having animal husbandry” does not equal “horrible public sanitation.”

                    • I think you need to reread Foxfier’s comment. She didn’t say that disease didn’t have anything to do with the Spaniards success, she said that they weren’t “horribly dirty.”

                      I’m not saying she’s right, because I don’t know if she is or not, but you went off on a tangent arguing a strawman argument that she never said.

                    • she’s not. The “Europeans in the middle ages were clean, Moors were clean, Vikings were clean” is another side of the “but they were almost like us” and is the merest bullshit. SOME of them bathed once a week, but more likely once a month, and some took great pride in not bathing at all, because it was supposed to make you stronger. I’ve read original documents. understood them even.

                    • Anybody wanting to make an argument for Medieval Europeans’ routine bathing needs to take a serious look at what constituted soap in those days.

                    • And at how hard it was to get enough water, and heat it (in winter.) I’m sure in summer local boys took to the rivers (they did in my day) but winter? bah.

                    • *laughs* Oh, gads, no– NOBODY was as clean as modern America is, the Japanese are about on par but most others think we’re psycho neat-freaks.

                      (Not remembering very well, but I THINK the Navy explained that once a week showers were the norm, possibly plus after a heavy workout.)

                      That doesn’t have much to do with, well, realizing that pooping on your food is a bad idea, and carrying that over, which was the point about public hygiene.

                  • I think it varied with time and place. 13th Century English liked taking baths as often as they could. Given the expense of heating the water, this wasn’t that often, but they still bathed. King John spent a lot of money hauling a giant bathtub around with him. In later times, I think the custom changed (maybe from the Little Ice Age?) and baths became less common.

                    • As a side note, a clothing historian had long underwear made from linen (such as rich folk in England would have had in the Elizabethan era) and wore it without bathing while on a period clothing film. She reported that by changing out the form-fitting underwear daily, even the folk who would have been sure to tell her if she smelled amiss did not notice anything. Apparently linen has a wicking property that absorbs sweat and body oils, and if you were rich enough to afford the long underwear (and that’s not an inconsiderable amount of cloth, thus fairly expensive to own and maintain), you could get away without a bath for a very long time without smelling like it.

                    • The expense and difficulty of heating water is what limited “clean” to the upper classes. heck, it’s what did it where I grew up. And then some very poor people made a virtue of necessity.

                    • There were also public baths, which waxed and waned depending on how much “going to the public bath” meant “picking up a prostitute.”

                      There’s also the non-negligible “enlightenment” thing of “everybody before us was ignorant, brainless and filthy.”

              • Smallpox wasn’t endemic in Iceland and Greenland at that time. There would be occasional plagues as the virus was introduced from mainland Europe, but no steady population infected. At the same time, L’Anse aux Meadows isn’t exactly well connected in the modern world, it would be extremely difficult for a disease from the literal end of Newfoundland to get to the major population centers of the Americas. Especially one as virulent as smallpox.

                • Ah. That answers a personal question. There was enough contact with Europe that Hernando de Soto encountered a bearded Indian, I wondered why smallpox didn’t show up prior to Columbus. But if prior European contact was mostly from areas where smallpox wasn’t endemic, then that explains why it didn’t spread before or close before 1492.

                  BTW, Hernando de Soto’s expedition found that flame hardened cane arrows would punch right through some of their armor and splinter through chain mail. They took to calling it “Flanders Linen.” BTW, that little foray was a failure and the survivors had a hard time escaping. Something interesting from the accounts is that each tribe was essentially a city state at war with each other, but when they decided they hated the Spaniards more than each other, managed to work together long enough to give them fits.

              • Considerably less diseases in very cold climates in subtropical and tropical climes like where the Spaniards and Portugeuse landed.

              • (Pssst….L’Anse aux Meadows isn’t in Nova Scotia– it is at the Northwestern tip of Newfoundland. The Viking explorers/settlers may have visited Nova Scotia, but we have no archaeological evidence placing them there.)
                Reading the Vinland sagas which discuss the Norse experience in the New World is pretty interesting. The Norse and the Natives just didn’t get along very well. Culture and language were tremendous barriers (and although the records don’t say, probably competition for scarce resources didn’t help.)
                The Vinland sagas also mention women who accompanied the expeditions (not the discovery voyages of Leif the Lucky, but the later voyages). One well-known story involves a Viking woman bearing her breast and hitting it with (hopefully the flat of) a sword to scare off the “Skraeling” attackers.
                However, these were not raiding or war parties which had women with them.
                Knowledge of these actual events (yet a refusal to actually know history) likely led to the ideological, non-historical conceptions of Vikings held by the rosy-minded, empty-brained people Sarah mentioned in her original post.

                • paladin3001

                  Too lazy to track it down now, recent archaeological dig/study discovered evidence of mining for bog iron in the southwestern side of Newfoundland. Where Lanse Aux Meadows is located on the northeastern tip of Newfoundland. So that shows evidence of an extended stay and searching out of resources.

            • The most trustworthy sources I’ve found thus far [no, I can’t stick any more caveats in, Boss] suggest that there was a two-pronged infection spread, one out of the Caribbean/Mexico and another from Florida with Ponce de Leon. The southeast and south-central area was already unsettled because of a power vacuum caused by the collapse of Cahokia in the late 1300s, and the spread of disease just stirred things up worse. The human population crash was probably part of why bison were reported as far east as VA and KY.

              • The population crash was probably what enabled the population explosion for a lot of wildlife in the Americas, including the Passenger Pigeon, which is virtually impossible to find any evidence of in the native’s midden heaps.

            • Specifically, smallpox. Nasty in Europe, it hit the Americas as a full-bore biological weapon.

              • Feather Blade

                Hey now, the Europeans traded for that fair and square, smallpox for syphilis. /sarcnotsarc

                Which makes one wonder, how does one determine who got the better deal in an exchange of disease?

          • Got yelled at once for pointing out some of the Cherokee on the Trail Of Tears were maddest over having to give up their plantation slaves. This person thought all the tribes were living in teepee villages in the east.

            • One reason a lot of the Cherokee went “over-the-hill” and passed as white men instead of joining the Trail of Tears is not only because many were as light skinned as a white man who worked outdoors every day, and often were auburn or brunette rather than black haired. It was because they were Already living the same as white people, running plantations, stores, blacksmith shops and etc. Many of those who had successfully integrated with white society just conveniently forgot their Cherokee heritage.
              I have friends who moved out west from the Carolinas and the Virginias, some of whom claim to be full blooded Cherokee, many of them about the only sign of this is their lack of facial hair. (and their propensity for alcoholism)

              • Don’t forget the high cheekbones. That’s a sure sign of Cherokee ancestry, them high cheekbones!

                • Yup, I’ve got them, and I have at least as much Cherokee in me as Fauxohantas.

                  Actually I may have more, my grandmothers grandmother, according to my grandmother was a full blooded (no idea how she determined this) Indian from that part of the United States, but she always insisted she was Yankee. (not quite sure that this inspired less prejudice than being an Indian, but hey, I wasn’t there) So I don’t know what tribe.

                  Seriously though I get the high cheekbones from the other side of my family, which is Black Irish. My grandfather on that side regularly got jobs as an Indian under Affirmative Action, because he tanned very dark, had high cheekbones, black hair and no facial hair except a mustache. Not a drop of Indian blood, pure Irish, but it was a good way to get Union jobs.

              • also easier to do when so many had surnames like Smith and Johnson

              • Quick note: By the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee and Creeks were living pretty much the same as “Whites.” Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins, at around the time of the War of 1812, notes that the Creeks were concerned that if they improved their roads, it would make “Whites” more eager to press for land treaties, and that they wanted their own smithies. The only ones who wanted to go back to the “old ways” were the ones with a grievance against the “Whites” and who may have been leaning toward the Red Sticks.

                • The version I got during a tour of Cherokee, NC, is that the native culture was so compatible with, and adapted so quickly to, White culture that they were soon outpacing Europeans’ economically.

                  At least, that was the version in their tribal museum when first I toured; they’ve gotten a casino since then and dramatically rebuilt the museum so it is possible that modern research methods have revealed new historical perspectives.

                  • Feather Blade

                    modern research methods have revealed new historical perspectives.

                    Odds that the “new historical perspective” starts out with “We were living peacefully, when..” and ends with “It’s all the fault of the White Man”?

                    I’d imagine that plays better with the tourists who bother to tear themselves away from the slots.

                    • Actually, if that is the case they probably have kept them the way Kevin remembers even if actual evidence points the other way.

                      Guilty white man in museum fails to spend like foolish white man playing slots after all.

                  • Oh dear me no it has not changed greatly. The success of the Cherokee was seen as one reason for the removal. once they left settlers could then cease their already developed properties. Mind you there was another aspect to this, various state governments also wanted others to gain hold of Cherokee Indian property because then it would fall under their control and be taxable by the state.

              • There’s a museum called the Chief Vann House in Georgia that was a showpiece mansion built by a Cherokee ahead of the Trail of Tears. A large number of the Cherokee wanted to integrate. I know about this because I’m friends with a couple of descendants—the tenor friend I sometimes mention is, when you look at the formal painting of his ancestor, quite clearly related.

                For some reason, he’s not fond of Andrew Jackson. 🙂

                • They wanted to integrate? I didn’t realize Europeans were spreading false consciousness so early 🙂

                  • Heh. They were smart enough to see the way thawing was blowing and tried to show that they could be a state with European habits and all. The problem was that 19th-century racism went deeper than habits, and they really wanted the land.

                • There were a lot of people none too fond of Andrew Jackson, and there still are.

              • Hm, wonder if that might’ve been great-grandma (or great-great, they totally tossed it out the window so we don’t know if great grandma was full or half but by looks she likely wasn’t less)’s cousins.

                It doesn’t really MATTER– I horrified a lady at the local archaeology museum by explaining to our kids that some of the folks she was (truthfully, but politely) pointing out as aggressors on the local “new” tribes were our cousins– but it’s just interesting.

                Digressing again, my kids thought it was really really cool that they had distant cousins involved. It didn’t matter that they were homicidal maniacs, they already KNEW that. 😀

                • Kids ALWAYS think it’s cool that they are related to homicidal maniacs 🙂 At least I always did when I was a kid!

                  No idea, I’m not really into geneolagy, I just have a good memory for interesting stories told by my elders. I don’t even know what her name was, I would have to ask my grandmother.

        • You mean sharp pointy sticks that are used to touch the heart or spine or something?

          • We were taught blunt sticks to tap gently on the shoulder or head.

            How you do that gently on a moving horse was never revealed.

            • Gently. Got it. Gently through the heart with a blunt stick at speed. Right.

            • I remember reading that as a kid (I don’t recall the gently part, just the touching a live enemy with a coup stick was respected as a sign of bravery*, presumably because said enemy was trying to kill you with sharp pointy things). Amazingly the pictures of coup sticks I saw looked remarkably similar to war clubs.

              *Its amazing how often the definition of bravery and stupidity are interchangeable.

              • I recall, from my days fencing, seeing sabreurs rubbing welts and grousing about neophytes using brute force in lieu of skill. Counting coup with a war club may have been considered a similar demonstration of skill as well as bravery: having sufficient control of the weapon to require only as much force as necessary rather than just swinging wildly.

                Or perhaps History has told lies, as usual (to cite Shaw.)

      • That’s kinda the sense I got at Hedeby back in June BUT with the massive caveat that the museum is closed for a complete re-fit and re-working, so we only saw the living-history area, not the museum. The books in the shop were pretty straight stuff, based on archaeology.

        In Germany they do Romans vs. Germanen instead of playing cowboys and Indians. I’m not certain who are the good guys, since these are all adult reenactors.

      • Pretty strange that the Vikings are now going through the multi-culti rehab process, seeing as they were once-upon-a-time considered the Whitest of all the White People, the magnificent blond blue-eyed strong fearless Nordic Race that everyone else wanted to be. One would think that it’d take closer to a century for all of that once-fashionable eugenic “scholarship” to be forgotten.

        • Given the historical ignorance of the modern left and the fact that this move seems aimed at attacking western culture, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.

      • Yes, and their highly vaunted Iroqouios weren’t above using force to get a neighbor tribe to be compliant.

      • When I pointed out that they (our sort of local tribes) routinely raided neighbor tribes and enslaved the women, the teacher said that they became “part of the family.”

        If I had been…well, something besides a shy 15 year old kid with confidence issues, I would’ve commented that if slaughtering your family, raping you and enslaving you was equivalent to how they treated the women born into their families, no wonder so many Indian women married out of the tribes.

        • *very big grin*

          They called them warbrides for a reason, and it wasn’t because they were acquired by peaceful means.

    • If I remember my skimming of the literature right, there’s also the appeal of being able to project a lot of stuff on to the mythology. Theory went that a lot had been “contaminated” by Christians being the ones reporting it– on one hand, figuring out story-telling bias is good. On the other, “I don’t like this part, I’m saying it’s Christian and chucking it out to substitute something that matches my pet theory” is bothersome.

  7. paladin3001

    “Three score and ten are man’s years” Or something like that from Genesis. And here we are. Most people, avoiding sickness, injury, or accident, are exceeding those years. And the majority of them in the past 50 years. We have gotten soft in our advanced civilizations, we can afford to be after all.
    Sure there were the outliers in most ancient and medieval civilizations. They were the noted exceptions as well.
    One final thing, was it an English or Irish prayer that went, “…and god save us from the viking”?

    • That prayer probably ended that way because Vikings would hug you to death if given half a chance. They don’t have any boundaries, and their eagerness knows no bounds!

      And they happened to like the beauty of blood eagles, too….

  8. Glad to see you aten’t dead. Figured as much, so no worries.

    I know that I saw the same data from back in the 80’s about the lifespan thing, though it was more like a trumpet – a huge drop from birth to the 20’s from childhood diseases, then a more gradual tapering until a big taper in the 60’s, but it was for a middle class parish in London, a place where the poor and sick would move out of the parish and not be included in the numbers. Have to look behind the numbers.

    Granted, I think people have been romanticizing the past probably forever, as in Kipling’s Farewell Romance, or Gilbert and Sullivan’s people who belong on the executioner’s little list: “And the gentleman who praises with enthusiastic tone, all centuries but this and every country but his own …”

  9. Elizabeth Creegan

    Anyone claiming to be willing to do without modern technology should start with dentistry.

    • Professor Badness

      Eh, some of us won the genetic lottery and have never really needed dentistry.
      Now, plumbing? Yeah, going without running water just sucks.

      • Professor Badness

        Of course, after having said that, I reconsider how the terrible diets of the ancient peoples would destroy their teeth in short order.
        So, yeah, dentistry with a side of decent food.

        • kenashimame

          Food storage technology, both canning and refrigeration; prerequisites before I make any time travel jaunts prior to about 1924.

        • Indians living in California had acorn mush as a staple of their diet. In Northern California, they ground them on limestone, which is fairly soft. In Southern California, the rocks with grinding holes that you find all over the mountains tend to be granite. Either way, there was pulverized rock in the acorn mush. This added to any other dental problems so that they were essentially toothless by their mid-20s.

          We made some acorn mush once in my misspent youth. The guy from a local tribe said it was called “wewish” (though darned if I know how it’s supposed to be spelled.) Even using boiling water the process of leaching out the tannic acid took hours. After tasting it we decided that the name was short for “We wish we didn’t have to eat this.”

          • Our advanced English class got permission to visit the Nez Perce reservation and hook up with their…well, fanboys for history, basically.

            Similar thing– we got goop made of spanish moss, goop made of berries*, etc.

            I don’t know about the rest, but between politely tasting the “authentic” stuff, and noting the vast number of used condoms mixed in with the junk around Mr. “I will fight no more forever”‘s resting place, I thought even less of Rez Indians than before. 😦

            *they managed to make service berries taste bad. At taht point I’d been riding through the woods, grabbing two or three at every bush we ran past, for several years at that time. They can be a bit bland, but somehow the preparation made them WORSE. I am guessing it was prepared as winter food, and I really am grateful to the volunteers (who, notably, looked as Indian as my about maybe half cousins, and had the same attitude as my Irish freak uncle) but gag!

            • I’m wondering what they added to service berries to make them taste bad. Tasteless I could see, but not bad.

              I won’t mention my opinion of Rez Indians, but I will point out that the Nez Perce Rez is MUCH cleaner than the reservations I grew up around.

              • I would guess from the flavor that they picked it green and then dried it.

                IE, “I have one weekend a month to do my History STuff, we WILL pick All The Berries!”

              • Note: the rest of the rez wasn’t that bad, but the graveyard– especially Chief Joe’s– was HORRIBLE.

      • One of my high school teachers liked to shock his class by reminiscing about the joys of dental care when he was in the WW2 era Navy. He needed some cavities filled before shipping out from New York. Foot-treadle dentist’s drills and no painkillers since that was being rationed for those wounded overseas. Have you ever seen a whole class of typically self-absorbed teenagers wincing in unison?

        • I had a dentist do that to me in 1965. Dentist gave my parents a good rate. Rabbis don’t make much money. He was the sole breadwinner for his family plus his wife had expensive cancer treatments.

          • Ouch!

            I see the rationale, and I imagine it saved you more pain down the line, but suspect that having this done to your kid would get you classified as a child abuser today. Though I could see my mom doing the same thing in that situation. And it would have been tempting with my younger brothers, whose teeth tended to spontaneously rot if you said the word “sugar” in their presence.

      • I spent time in the early spring in a cabin in the Poconos where the heating and cooking was done with wood, the lighting by oil lamps, the water came from a pump and there was a near by out house for relief. It was an interesting experience. I survived it, but I was much younger then. I would not gladly choose to live that way permanently.

    • Agreed. The forensic anthropology book I just finished went into detail about all the cavities, tartar build up, and abscesses and root-problems the various skulls had. Ick. Yuck. Ow. How did they live? The oldest confirmed skeleton in the book was probably late 70s, a woman with no teeth and terrible osteoporosis. She and her entire village got done in by “persons unknown” who bashed in the skulls of the babies as well as killing the adults. They seem to have carried off the kids. Late Chalcolithic (just before Bronze Age).

      • unpossible! We know that era was a cooperative matriarchal paradise!

        • *snort*

          I’ve heard it expressed as, “Kidnap the women and children, and kill all the men and any males taller than a wagon axle.”

          Males at least that tall will remember what you did to their family, and might seek revenge when they grow up.

    • A Neanderthal (IIRC) fossil has been found that exhibited early dentistry… a tooth drilled out and filled with bitumen. Funny how the technique hasn’t changed all that much.

    • Egad, I don’t wish to revert to even 1970’s dentistry.
      And “Civilization is proper drains.” possesses much truth.

      • Do you realize they used to fill cavities with an amalgam of toxic heavy metal?

        Heck, they used to take your temperature by sticking a thin glass tube filled with that heavy metal up your butt!

        • Realize? I have some of those fillings.

          • I did also but they’ve been replaced. Fillings only last so long.

            • One or two have been replaced. The rest are holding, for now. The dentist I see says “It’s not Star Trek” and alright he doesn’t just wave a buzzing thimble around and be done, but compared to earlier? Star Trek enough. I’ve actually turned down chemical anesthesia. This… still astonishes me some.

              • 3m makes a thing that can scan your teeth, and if you need a crown will scan the opposing tooth and the one that needs a crown and use photogrammetry to create a 3d tooth, then it CNCs the fitted crown in about two hours.

                • Seems to me my dentist did that a couple years ago when I needed an implant (protip: do not attempt to retain baby teeth all your life; sixty years seems to be a pretty good run for one of those.)

        • I realize that. My dentist removed double railroad tracks of mercury amalgam from my mouth and now the teeth are filled with a ceramic mixture.

          • Talking with my current dentist, the old “drill and fill” has become more of a “grind and bind” due to the nature of ceramic mix which can be (and is) fast-set.

            Between the fast set and not needing to wait for chemical anesthesia to wear off, it’s been something to go to the dentist for actual dental work (“filling” rather than cleaning/checkup) and when done… be simply done. No “Don’t eat for $TIME” or such.

      • I’m hearing “What have the Romans ever done for us” now …

  10. “They fail to realize a shovel implies and entire steel industry” – reconstruction of a half remembered quote from Expanded Universe (sometimes I wonder if Heinlein became so large because he was just not afraid and said what everyone else was just thinking).

    Personally, I wish we could give them an island or three and yet them live out their idyllic fantasies with the proviso that you go and never come back.

    • I have some candidates in mind for the island option:

      Novaya Zemlya
      Kerguelen Islands
      South Georgia (and the South Sandwich islands)
      Heard Island
      Auckland Islands
      Attu Island

    • At the end of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six novel, a bunch of eco-terrorists get abandoned in the South American jungle – without any of their modern tools or electronics.

  11. David Hume – “The humour of blaming the present, and admiring the past, is strongly rooted in human nature and has an influence even on persons endued with the profoundest judgment and extensive learning.”

  12. You aten’t?

    I remain dubious about that claim. How would we know we aten’t all dead?

    • Easy: the fighting, the drinking, and the stealing, and the stealing — we must be in Heaven! Thus, we must all be dead.

      Sadly I have a son that was reborn shortly after he died several years ago, and my father was reborn several years ago as well. Hopefully they’ll rejoin us soon, if they haven’t already!

  13. Pingback: Pretty much right | redneckperil

  14. Professor Badness

    I have a story where an immortal is discovered as a homeless man gathering pop cans in a walmart parking lot. The ensuing conversation is full of the immortal expounding on how wonderful life is now, compared to the centuries leading up to it.
    Even homeless on the street, he has access to wonders that men of centuries past could only dream of.

  15. Penicillin, and other drugs that came after, is humanity greatest discovery so far.

    Before aspirin, antibiotics and a few other discoveries, life must have been miserable in ways we can’t comprehend today.

    • I had a friend who was reading regency romances, and kept running into plots involving laudanum ( plots run like tides in some sorts of genera fiction). She was appalled that opium was being so widely used. I pointed out that the doctors of the time had damn all else, which she didn’t believe until she looked it up.

      • I’m pretty sure a large force behind the Progressive and temperance movements was reaction to a large number of Civil War veterans self-medicating their war wounds and PTSD with whiskey and opium.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I read a history of the Anti-Saloon movement. Those research binges make it pretty clear that there were some additional factors. 1. They observed alcoholism, and didn’t have our modern understanding of the mechanics. They didn’t understand that only part of the population is susceptible. 2. Previous “frontier is scary, let’s change alcohol to make it safer” attempt had resulted in an increase in whiskey production that could no longer be used to produce whiskey, but could be used to produce beer. That beer needed a market, and the retailers got a little out of hand trying to find it. The combination would have inspired alarmism even without the civil war veterans.

          • Another factor, too. My mom, born in the 1930’s, grew up in a really poor neighborhood. My dad described it as a place where men regularly got drunk on the way home from work, then went home and beat up their wives. My mom’s dad’s only job while she was growing up was during WWII when he was overseas doing civilian work – and had a good portion of his paycheck automatically sent home to support the family, which he had no power to stop, or he’d have drunk it all up and left his wife and children with nothing.

            Temperance was, I understand it, largely driven by women, who mistakenly thought that by passing a law banning alcohol, it would stop this from happening.

            • Instead the men came home drunk and beat their wives up in order to teach them to keep their mouths shut.

              Temperance was, like so many other laws, people sticking their snout in other peoples business instead of taking care of their own.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Those women had children that would be considered minors these days. Early teens. These children could work and earn income. The kids had money, the alcohol retailers would sell to them because desperate for a market. Even when the women got the votes locally to make the local government say ‘quit it’, it was ineffective. Were the children the women’s business?

                Women’s suffrage and abolition/abolition successors were sister movements of temperance. Should the abolitionists have minded their own business?

                I’ll concede the later overlap with Progressivism, and that a lot of the Progressives should have minded their own business.

              • They could not “take care of their own” with the way the laws were set up.

                Get drunk, spend all your pay, go home and beat the $*(@# out of the lady of the house when she points out that your children are hungry and unclothed?
                Hey, it’s her problem.
                Prior solution would be that her family would either have a “chat” with you, or that your friends would– when that broke, well, folks tried to fix it.

                Might as well bitch about a patched plate being ugly.

                • Frankly I think they should have either shot the jackass or brained him while he was passed out. But I realize that many women (or men for that matter, it isn’t a sex issue) are unwilling to do that.

                  It was a bad situation, I just don’t agree with passing laws to attempt to control someone else.
                  Your ancestors did the right thing, but it wasn’t easy for them, many times the right thing isn’t.

                  I don’t have a good answer other than to say that every time a man sees some guy slapping a woman around he needs to make sure that guy gets a very pointed reminder that such actions are NOT OK. I’m not positive but I think at the time of prohibition it was already illegal most places to beat up your wife. Which made the situation kind of like the gun control issue today, the guy is already doing something illegal, making something else a lesser crime is not going to stop the guy from either doing it, or committing the greater crime he is already committing. You really need to be punishing them for the crimes they are already committing instead of making more laws for them to break.

                  • It was a bad situation, I just don’t agree with passing laws to attempt to control someone else.

                    Bullshit.

                    That’s what laws DO. “No murder”? Controlling others.
                    “You must fulfill agreements entered into or pay the penalty”?
                    Controlling others.

                    Laws are ONLY controlling others.

                    • Poorly phrased on my part, I should have said I don’t agree with passing MORE laws to attempt to control someone else.

                      Frankly I could write all the laws I consider necessary on a doublesided sheet of notebook paper. With a couple more pages for writing out what punishments are due for which laws and mitigating circumstances (stealing a car to escape a tsunami would be a mitigating circumstance where one should not recieve the punishment due to a regular thief, etc.)

                      I fully understand we are not going to reduce our laws down to that level, but I also believe that we already had way to many laws in the 30’s much less today. So therefore I am against passing more laws, unless there are clearly new circumstances that are not covered under existing laws, which would be very rare. For example, vehicular homicide really doesn’t need to be a new law just because motor vehicles were invented, it should be plainly covered under the existing law that makes homicide/murder illegal.

                    • Starting with getting rid of the double jeapordy stuff would be a nice start, yes.

                  • Wouldn’t “mind your own business” include “not fighting somebody beating his wife (or other woman) in public”?

                    For that matter, generally speaking “wife beating” most often happened in the privacy of their home.

                    So if you’re going to go around “punching out wife-beaters”, you might have to enter his home to know if he’s a wife-beater.

                    • In some cultures a man who doesn’t love his wife enough to beat her when she misbehaves is looked down upon.

                      Now tell me about “all cultures being equally worthy of our respect.”

                    • I guess I subscribe to the outdated notion that protecting those weaker than himself is a man’s business.

                      Sexist of me, I know.

                    • Not a bad notion. 😉

                      My point was that “staying out of other people’s business” can be taken too far.

              • Look, as far back as we can see, I got insanely lucky– NONE of my female ancestors would take JACK from anybody. Some were more polite than others, but even if it meant leaving with the kid(s) and living on basically being a hostess, they would DO it.

                Ad not, as folks have mentioned, remarry as if they were widows.

                That is really, really freaking rare.

            • and had a good portion of his paycheck automatically sent home to support the family, which he had no power to stop, or he’d have drunk it all up and left his wife and children with nothing.
              ————————

              I had a history teacher who explained to us that this is how company stores got their start.

              • Another quick note: The company store was basically adopted from the sharecropper system. A sharecropper owned no land nor tools nor beasts of burden, and agreed to work for a share of the harvest. Until harvest, he had credit at stores with an agreement with the landowner, or traded exclusively at the commissary, a store run by the landowner. At harvest, the purchases of the sharecropper was deducted from his share.

                The potential for abuse is left as an exercise to the reader.

              • I remember reading somewhere that at least a few Company Store setups started out as genuine if probably misguided altruism. Between the Confederate Planters and the Modern Intellectuals there was another self-selected elite. They believed that if you were wealthy, this was a sign that you were approved by God and deserved to run society. Some of them tried to build model communities, and subsudised company stores as a way to encourage people to settle there. Of course, these Model Communities did no better than The Projects of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and the Company Store soon had to turn predatory to continue.

                • My grandma’s dad had a modified version of the company store. Including, from reading between the lines, giving locals access to the “indian school.” (His wife was the teacher, and all of his kids were it the school–along with the “boarders'” kids.)

                  Yeah, the famous cases were the “You MUST buy bread here, and oh yeah a day’s bread is two days work” type things, but remember that good cases don’t make the news.

                  • The grand-kids of teh kids my grandma was in school with came to her memorial, so it must’ve worked out pretty good.

                  • Company stores, or sharecropping, can work really well. If you have an understanding and honest boss, and it does generally provide hard working employees.

                    As Kevin points out, the problem is the potential for abuse if the boss isn’t honest.

                    It’s kind of like strong man government, it can be really good if you have the right strong man in charge, but it can go Really bad with the wrong guy in charge, and there is to much for potential for the wrong guy to take charge.

  16. So, did you write a long post because you didn’t have time to write a short one?

  17. Christopher M. Chupik

    “From the fury of the Northmen’s hardball trade negation tactics deliver us, O Lord.”

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “negotiation”

      sigh

      • Considering that the Northmen’s “bargaining” essentially prevented/disregarded the existence of a willing seller, I think “negation” entirely appropriate. Freud slipped you a good one there.

        • Well, there were “peaceful” Norse traders and there were the Norse raiders (called Vikings).

          I put peaceful in quotes because in much of ancient times, a trader might turn raider if he thought he’d get away with it and a raider might turn trader if the town had very strong defenses/defenders and had something he wanted/needed.

  18. Going back through my Late Roman Empire references (to pin down the date of the decree where the child of a laeti and a colonii became the property of the landowner), I came across a reference to another code for another adjustment of the tax rate on treasure troves. No reference for when these were first taxed – but I’d be willing to bet that it was sometime in the early Republic. People have always had to be ready to run, and leave their pitiful few valuables behind on the off chance that they would return.

    This is not a mindset that has wholly disappeared, either – not even in the Western cultures. I know many people that have “emergency” cash secreted away somewhere (and probably many, many more that are smart enough to not let anyone else know).

    • I remember hearing about someone, whenever he visited a city sufficiently different from where he lived, would deposit a few hundred dollars at a bank under a different name, so that if he needed to, he could come back to that city in an emergency.

      I’m not sure how to pull this off today, when IDs are so prevalent…but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless…

      • Two years of inactivity, most banks close your account and take your money.

        • Can’t do that anymore.

          But Washington state will confiscate all accounts that are “inactive” for more than…I think it’s five years.

          They tried that after my family moved to Washington– for accounts in different states, because they’d been “inactive” for more than the time limit. Got lucky and one of the ladies at the bank they contacted remembered my mom because she’d helped her kid, tracked her down and gave her a heads up on how to undo the “inactive” tag.

      • IIRC W. C. Fields was witnessed putting money in a bank under a different name.

      • I’ve seen that behavior attributed to both W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx.

      • Douglas Smith

        I read a biography of W C Fields that mentioned that he did this.

        • I have heard it of numerous vaudevillians, which makes sense given the history of the reliability of both travelling actors and banks.

      • In the Prospero’s Children trilogy L. Jagi Lamplighter has an interesting subplot revolving about faking identities in the modern world.

    • Doesn’t everyone have at least a twenty tucked somewhere in their wallet?

      • That kind of depends on one’s relationship status…

      • I used to always keep at least enough to fill the gas tank in the ash tray of all my rigs. Of course nowadays you have to have an older rig in order to even have an ashtray.

        • Mine is labeled something like a “small items storage nook”– with removable bottom…. and there are two power points. I think it came with a free cigarette lighter…..

          Still has a removable bottom for dumping— which is actually pretty handy for change!– but it’s a horrible place to hide money because when they break your window to steal your change, they’ll most likely see it under there. I keep the mad money in the glasses holder, and if I was putting an emergency fund in the car I’d probably put it with the ammo.

          • In a couple of old Toyota pickups I had I mounted the CB under/in front of the ash tray. In those it was actually a great area for stashing emergency cash, because you had to dismount the cb to open the ashtray.
            I never would think of stashing “emergency cash” in my wallet, because if I have my wallet I assume I have the cash in it. Emergency cash would be for when I forgot/lost my wallet, or need more than is in my wallet.

            I have ammo everywhere in my rigs, but usually they are in places either visible from outside the rig or a natural place for anybody looking for valuables to check (glove box, center console, etc.)

          • I remember totalling out a pickup when I was a teenager, and going to the yard where it was towed to the following day to retrieve my possessions out of it, and pulling out the cb, then getting the hundred dollar bill stuck in the ashtray. Not sure if it would have been there if the ashtray was easily openable.

            • My folks’ first almost-new pickup had a dash that was amazingly easy to remove.

              They kept a couple of hundred dollars, all the important keys and several important pictures in there, and had to be reminded to remove it when we sold the pickup a decade later. (To the folks down the road. Strictly because they WOULD take care of it, and love it, and not junk it. I come by my irrational caring about objects honestly.)

              • Note that I still own the pickup mentioned. I totalled it three times (the final time was not my fault, I was rearended on the freeway doing 65 by some jackass weaving through traffic) and bought it back from the insurance company and fixed it twice. Currently the rearends (custom) spare gas tank, hood, back window, winch and winch bumper, reside on another truck that I own, and the motor and transmission are currently sitting in the shop looking for a nice body to drop into. There isn’t much left on that truck other than a couple little things like door handles that are useable.

                Yeah, I might have problem with getting rid of things just because they are broken or worn out, also.

      • While I am glad that the success of Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical means we will retain Hamilton on the ten for a while longer. Now why not change the twenty? I am sure I am not the only one irked by image of Andrew Jackson on such a handy denomination.

        • Oh, gads, NO!!!! STOP!!! Enough with the idea that things must change based on annoyance or outrage or just for blooping variety already. I’m sick of it when libs do it, I’m no more congenial about it from cons.

          • Scot Douglas

            ^^ This is perfect

          • Alright, but as inflation is inflating and larger small denominations might become useful, who ought be on the $3 bill?

            • Now there is a fun topic. 😀

              Betcha we could troll lefties into putting Reagan on it with them doing it because of the “phony as a three dollar bill” and us doing it because, hey, three dollars is everywehre.

              • I wish I had thought about this when Obama was first elected, rather than three or four years after, but I would have liked to change the name of Washington DC to Obama DC.

                Had I been able to propose the idea at his inauguration, there may have been enough of a “Hey, this is historic!” euphoria to actually succeed (which, incidentally, would have been the justification, too)…but to propose the idea years afterward, people would be suspicious of my motives…

                And they should be: my motive is respect for George Washington. He was a fantastic man, and I’m not happy with having his name tied with the strong urge to spit after saying the name of the Capitol.

          • I’m really only in favor of exactly one monetary change: getting rid of money altogether, and replacing it with trading straight gold, silver and copper, where the values float based on what the free market demands, with whoever choosing to make the coins being free to put whatever they want on those coins, so long as they honestly state how much pure metal is in the coin, and what percent of metals are in the alloy.

            Of course, the chances of this happening is about the same as the chance of retiring off of winning the Utah State Lottery (where the jackpot doubles every week, yet stays the same size!)…

  19. … someone else’s panicked burial.

    A recurring theme of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Saga is of the narrator, Uhtred, going off to the wars and burying the household wealth against invading Vikings pillaging the family estate. Almost as frequently occurring are Uhtred’s pillaging homes and searching for signs of their hastily buried household goods.


    Sigh. People think Game of Thrones type stuff only happens elsewhere.

    • I’ve only read the first book years ago, but I had learned since that the Game of Thrones was based on the War of the Roses.

      It’s my understanding, though, that the nihilism of that power struggle wasn’t sufficient for GRR Martin, so he added more nihilism in for good measure…

  20. Random thoughts. Please note I don’t know enough to argue them, just throwing them out for the sake of comment.

    On peaceful Vikings: I have to ask, seriously, compared to whom? Possibly the Vikings were as peaceful as any other people in Europe at that time.

    How many men actually went on raids? Here the accounts of when the raids happened could be valuable. If they happened during the growing season, then likely only a small percentage of men went. But it if happened during relatively slack times, then a much higher percentage is likely.

    I have a question on aspects of their religion. How much is reliably known? If the sagas say to die in bed was a one way ticket to hel, that’s that. But if it came way after the fact, how reliable is it?

    On life spans: Could it be the percentage of people able to achieve what we consider old age increased with the age of the survivors? An infant had a poor chance to make it to eighty; a teenager a better change; middle aged a better chance; and so on. This gives a low age of life expectancy, but accounts for those known to have lived to an old age by our standards.

    • “Possibly the Vikings were as peaceful as any other people in Europe at that time.”

      This is what I always think when I come across an article about how awful/barbaric/evil the Mongols were. As compared to…who, exactly? I think part of it was the Mongols were just waaaay better at it, and preferred cities to surrender rather than have to lay siege to them, because that way they got more stuff. But the only way to do that was to prove they weren’t bluffing when they said “Surrender, or we kill ALL of you.”

      I gather they were rather more tolerant of religious freedom than most other cultures of the period–although that might have made them *more* barbaric in Europe’s eyes rather than less, heh.

      • Not only were they much more tolerant of religious freedom, but they had some amazingly individualistic laws that were absolute anethema to the other Powers That Be of the time.

        • Note for day dreaming: “Some.”

          So, when they weren’t slaughtering you for being in X (frequently geographic) group, they MIGHT let you live.

          Better or worse than neighbors, it’s rather important.

          • Very true, they weren’t a nice libertarian republic, but they were more so than their neighbors. The trick was to either come under their rule voluntarily (either by moving to join it, or living in a place that surrendered when they were feeling merciful) or being born under. Then they were better than the alternatives.

            They did however make rather less than ideal neighbors. 😛

      • Yeah. For one thing, if one was a teacher, a priest, or a doctor, you didn’t have to pay taxes. Genghis Khan had little interest in learning to read or write himself, but he saw the value in it, and his favorite war prizes from captured cities were scribes and scholars. I mean, the man set up a *postal* system. (Which, granted, some scholars think may have later contributed to the rapid spread of the Black Death across the Mongol Empire and into Europe, but still. Definitely ahead of his time in terms of moving information quickly.)

        I find the Mongol Empire deeply fascinating, because it was, in so many ways, *very* different to the empires that had come before it. And hey, if I had to pick a tyrannical regime of the past to live under…I’d take the Mongols. So long as you surrendered, didn’t betray them, and let them have cool stuff (they loved stuff) they mostly let you get on with your life. At least while Genghis was alive.

    • I’ve missed the “peaceful Vikings” stuff myself; what I have run into is usually more “it was not actually the entire population going around doing nothing but raiding; most of them had farms and families back home,” which is more reasonable. (Come to think of it, if they didn’t have anywhere to leave them, having women along would make at least somewhat more sense.) I have run into the “half the warrior graves are women” thing, though.

      • Now half the warrior graves have women in them, I might believe, but not that half the warriors are women.

      • This is why I’m wondering about when the raids took place. If it was during the time when farmers were in the field, then only a small percentage of the population was involved. But if it happened at other times of the year, it’s likely raiding was something done during the slack times, and had greater participation.

      • Look at teh ages of most of the men who went a vicking as compared to trading and staying home. You have a surplus of 14-21 year-old males. What do you do to keep order at home? Point them toward the sea and say “Wealth, free beer, and girls. That-a-way. Have fun,” or something along those lines. Yes, in the real world there was a lot more involved, but that played a major role. The climate was settling down after the little oopsie of the 500s-700s, more people were surviving, and Europe was re-stabilizing. So you send the young guys off to wear their energy down on the neighbors and bring home goods while the older men and most women farm and trade.

        • Wasn’t it also the 8th Century equivalent of ward heeling? Anybody with aspirations to high rank was expected to fit out a few longships and demonstrate his (or her *snicker*) leadership skills and warmaking prowess?

          “Don’t elect Sven the Silly chief; he built a longship with naught but left-handed oars!”

        • kenashimame

          2-300 hundred years later, they’d point those young men at the Holy Land and the Reconquista.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Just remembered one of the books I learned about the charming habits of Plains Indians from. It discussed several different warrior cultures. Check out Signy Volsung in the Volsung Saga if you can find a version with the gory details.

      I’m due for an early bedtime, so can’t really do it justice. The story definitely isn’t built around Christian ideals, and if it reflects pagan Norse ideals, they were a) assholes b) not happy shiny liberated feminists. Signy has her brother kill her husband, but burns to death in her husband’s house because that is appropriate for a wife.

      But that doesn’t really attest to pagan Norse religious practices. I’m pretty sure the sagas attest to the human sacrifices, but I’m not so sure how much theology and cosmology is attested.

      I’ve heard speculation that Ragnarok was a result of contamination by Christianity. (Keep in mind that the Romans had contact with both the Wotan/Odin cults and the Jews and Christians. I know the former because Roman theology claimed the old Norse gods in the same way it claimed the ancient Greek ones. (i.e. Thor/Jove/Zeus, Tyr/Mars/Ares, and Odin/Mercury/Hermes.)) So questions can be asked about Odin and Freya collecting the souls of the dead in battle to wait in their meadhalls for the final battle.

  21. … most of these people have never had a day of privation in their lives

    You are being sooooo unfair, there. Why, one time one of them had their cellphone die and couldn’t get a recharge for, like, fifteen minutes! And there was the time the local Barrista Joint ran out of soy milk and they had to drink their cappuccino with (shudder) cows’ milk! Oh, it was vicious back then, I tell you, life an almost unbearable stream of challenges. There was this one place that didn’t have buckwheat pasta, for gawsh-sake!

    • That reminds me of this Studio C sketch.

    • Back in the late 1990s, my brothers and I visited our Grandma. We took her driving around all the old places they used to live. Went off the main road to check out random interesting places that were near their old ranches and homes. One place had become a recreational area. There was literally a concrete, single-person outhouse built out in the middle of the hills. We are so “deprived” now that they can afford to put a semi-permanent structure miles from civilization for the comfort of humans.

  22. They believe in the same idiocy as Mr. Obama who thought “At some point you’ve made enough money.”

    In fairness to Mr. Obama, he said “you” have made enough; he never said “I” have nor “we” have. With Obama, like Billy Jeff, you must pay very close attention to the precise meanings of the words used.

    • I would also like to kniw what in Obama’s history leads anyone to think he believed a single word he ever said?

    • Obama obvious did not believe he had enough power. Wound up as President of the USA and still went on to power-grab. Never was enough, for him.

    • scott2harrison

      Forgive, but as far as I can see, Obama never made anything. He stole plenty, but made, nope. As you said, you must pay very close attention to the precise meaning of the words used.

      • Point taken, but I think it requisite we acknowledge (especially after seeing the contortions required to undo the Charlie Foxtrot that is OCare) that Obama has made a he[ck] of a mess.

        • scott2harrison

          Very true. I had not thought of “made a disaster” as an example of making things. I was wr … wr .. wr .. not entirely correct.

  23. Note that whether it’s a conspiracy or not, disseminating and believing in these lies still has the effect of corroding civilization.

    There is always a Zeitgeist that limits our understanding of Reality. This is why actual reading of old books is important.

  24. Most of those no-nothings-of-history haven’t the foggiest idea of public health and hygiene practices. They’d probably dig their well down hill and next to their slit trench; assuming they knew to even have a privy area in the first place. Which is rather unlikely after they demonstrated just how ignorant and stupid they are during Occupy Wall Street.

    • No problem, since they’d likewise lack the first clue how to dig a well…

    • I’ll note that this was common for clueless middle class lefties last century, too. I remember reading about how poor hygiene among hippies, especially in certain urban areas, led to the reemergence of a number of diseases otherwise long-banished from the western world.

      • Heck I know of some people who got typhoid from greens bought at the Farmers Market in Portland. Turns out they were buying them from a niece who was an organic loving hippy. Her and her husband (boyfriend?) didn’t believe in “wasting resources” or modern evils like fertilizers… or indoor plumbing. They had an outhouse and a supply of plastic bags they would crap in and then use that to fertilize their crops.

        • At least typhoid is well known, if rare, and treatment is known. Preventing typhoid – and a host of other diseases – is definitely known; now if we could only get hippies to get with the program.

        • That relate I’ve mentioned who’s in the DEA, got word from him about being “careful” with buying produce from Mexico.

          You should’ve seen the colors he turned when I went into detail about things like using human fecal matter as fertilizer, and oh yeah SURE you can trust “inspection” stuff.

    • “My privy and well drain into each-other, after the manner of Chistendee,

      Fever and chillls are wasting my mother!
      Why is the Lord aflicting me?”

    • I’ve heard from a fellow who lurked on various boards of dubious nature that the whole OWS thing was orchestrated as an exercise in, “How many suckers can we get to stand out in the cold?”

    • Only civilization can wreck civilization.
      Only civilization can make people so comfortable that they can forget all the lessons that made them comfortable. Which works well for a time, as certain specialists arise. But, eventually, ignorance of those hard-won lessons becomes the norm (or even celebrated), and it’s all Morlocks and Eloi – then comes the darkness.

  25. Civilization is fragile and essential to my existence. I’d love to kill those good for nothing parasites who are attacking civilization.
    Maybe I’m bloodthirsty today but I’d like to kill all of these people who are attacking the civilization that keeps me alive and happy.

    • If, and at this point I am somewhat hopeful that it won’t happen, but IF the Recolution comes, we will have the pleasure if watching the thugs who would inevitably take over liquidate all the Lefty Intellectuals as obvious troublemakers. It’s happened in every Communist revolution, ever.

      • Don’t want to have a communist revolution. Prefer to have a civil war where I can kill these bitches. Don’t want anything to do with communists!

    • I’ve had for years, the sense of tragedy felt by people living in the ruins of things that were better once –
      http://www.celiahayes.com/archives/799

      The writer Rosemary Sutcliffe, writing about Britons, living in the shadow of the fading Roman empire, in the novel “Sword at Sunset” and in the YA series that includes “The Lantern Bearers”:

      “…we clattered under the gate arch into Narbo Martius, and found the place thrumming like a bee swarm with the crowds pouring in to the horse fair. It must have been a file place once, one could see that even now; the walls of the forum and basilica still stood up proudly above the huddle of reed thatch and timber, with the sunset warm on peeling plaster and old honey-colored stone; and above the heads of the crowds the air was full of the darting of swallows who had their mud nests under the eaves of ever hut and along every ledge and acanthus-carved cranny of the half-ruined colonnades…” That’s from an early chapter, describing a visit to the horse fair at present-day Narbonne.

      Another chapter describes the arrival of Artos and his companions at Hadrian’s Wall. “It must have been a fine sight in its day, the Wall, when the sentries came and went along the rampart walks and bronze-mailed cohorts held the fortress towers and the altars to the Legion’s gods were thick along the crest; and between it and the road and the vallum ditch that followed it like its own shadow … the towns were as dead as the Wall, now, for the menace of the North was too near, the raids too frequent for them to have outlived the protection of the Eagles; and we rode into a ghost town, the roofs long since fallen in and the walks crumbling away, the tall armies of nettles where the merchants had spread their wares and the Auxiliaries had taken their pleasure in off-duty hours, where the married quarters had been, and children and dogs had tumbled in the sunshine under the very feet of the marching cohorts, and the drink shops had spilled beery song into the night, and the smiths and sandalmakers, the horse dealers and the harlots had plied their trades; and all that moved was a blue hare among the fallen gravestones of forgotten men, and above us a hoodie crow perching on the rotting carcass of what had once been one of the great catapults of the Wall, that flew off croaking with a slow flap of indignant wings as we drew near…”

      • I feel more like I’m living in 1935 or so. It feels Like there’s going to be a catastrophic war anytime now, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Maybe it’s just anxiety. Iran worries me.

        • Cheer up! I lived though the ’70s. Nasty, depressing era. Last year was our 1980. Things should brighten up around 2019.

          • I lived through the ’70s too. Remember stagflation? Carter and the killer rabbit? Agnew resigning? I remember Ronaldus Maximus R. fondly. Between him, PM Thatcher and the Pope (I think it was the Polish one) they managed to kill the Soviet Union. In those days I told any feminists I knew that PM Thatcher and Ambassador to the UN Jeanne Kirkpatrick were my role models. I absolutely adored the 80’s!
            I’m 55 how old are you?

            • Gas lines. I had the newly drivers-licensed’ kid job of taking the family car out and waiting in line for gas. For hours. Best lesson on why price controls don’t work you could ever want.

              I’ll be 57 in a month or so.

              • I am very glad to live in a time and place where my kids hear “gas line” and think “that cool pipe thing over by base, where the nice guy told us it was going to pipe gas around” instead of anything else.

            • Yeah, Karol WoydoesanyonethinkIcouldspellthis, AKA, John Paul the Second, JPII/JP2.

              Oddly enough, right now we also have a liberal pope, and a liberal president, who were considered waaaay too conservative because they’re right of center for their social groups….

          • Not 1980. 1969. Think Nixon.

            Hopefully without Watergate this time, though the Dems are sure trying hard.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I take heart from the thought that the ‘despair’ model of nuclear war may be mostly derived from soviet agitprop hype. It may be that it will turn out quite affordable and practical. Okay, maybe that is a little depressing, especially for everyone with actual cold war baggage.

          I spent eight years in a hole over Obama’s foreign (and economic) policies. The screw ups are beyond easy fixes. Trump is not the ideal repair job I wanted, but I may have wanted a series of presidents each beyond the level of human ability.

          At this point I see ample grounds for cautious optimism in regard to Trump.

          At this point we as citizens are stuck casting dice, and there is little we can do to change the outcome. Planning is still useful, but there is a lot we can’t do until we see more of the dice land.

          I personally may be getting my life out from a hole I had dug it into. There’s a lot I’m unhappy about, but my national forecast is relatively positive. It may be that I am blinding myself because I cannot afford the gloom and doom. But we are not stuck waiting four to eight years for Hillary’s replacement.

          There are fewer trivial paths to a civil war.

  26. I have this image of some Leftish females thrown back in time to the Viking Era into the homes of these Strong Norse women.

    The Norse women would put them to work cleaning the latrines … especially if the Leftish females could tell the Norse women about their education. 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

    • I think Stirlings Island In The Sea Of Time addressed that. Some of the people who thought “I can rule this world with my vaunted Ivy League education” ended up being slaves of the vicious barbarians. The blowhards who tried the same sort of thing back in “civilization” got off a LOT easier.

      • “Slaves of the vicious barbarians”?

        I missed that.

        But I do remember the “oh we must go help protect the poor little Mexicans from the evil people of Nantucket” only to get most of themselves killed (and eaten) and the leader raped as part of a religious ceremony. 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

  27. Re.: surviving pre-modern. Good grief! Do these pinheads have no family history? For example, when my last surviving maternal great-uncle had his 70th birthday party, a copy of his birth certificate was displayed. Vital statistics recorded included the fact that he was my great-parents’ 13th child and was the eight child alive when he was born. Meaning they had lost five children by about 1920. Then there is the story of the cousin who died from lock-jaw, etc.

    • No they don’t have any family history. If they they did they wouldn’t listen to it.

    • Usually, no.

      You have to actually TALK to your family for that– and have family, too.

      I shocked most of the folks in my various classes by knowing at least the basics of my family history back to my great grandparents, even if I’m iffy about names. They don’t even know about when their PARENTS were kids, and an awful lot of them don’t have multiple aunts and uncles.

      • Remember, for progressives, history has no relevance to the future, and progressivism is all about the future! (Even “winning” it! WTF, indeed.)

  28. Things I noticed in ancestry research which told me there’s a lot of misconceptions about the past.

    Marriage for one. Everyone thinks teenage marriages were common. Not in England, Scotland, Wales or the Colonies or thereafter the United States. Different in Ireland, where one set of great-grandparents were apparently 17 and 15 when they were married. Most first marriages in my direct ancestry were early to mid-20’s. In one of the lines with 5 “greats” there’s a Dutch couple immigrating here as married ages 16 and 15. I discovered that there’s something called the Hajnal Line which demarcates marriage ages among western cultures.

    No premarital sex: Either my direct line ancestors in all lines were prone to first children being born prematurely, or they somehow checked to make sure they could have kids before they married. Especially so for relatives on frontiers, but including those in England.

    I just saw this as a plot on a TV show supposedly based on a historical politician, but while divorces could be had, they weren’t common. In some, paperwork was forged. And I have several ancestors who apparently moved away from each other, as in different states moved, then remarried as “widows” or “widowers”. Don’t know how common THAT was, but assuming my ancestry is somewhat average, other’s would find the same thing IF THEY WANTED TO. I suspect many people clean their family trees of any such unpleasantness..

    And we had this discussion in a past blog post. One my ancestor sea captains had a wife and family in England and on Prince Edward Island. I have several ship’s captains in my ancestry, so there may be others. It was a purely accidental discovery of the one. Leads me to wonder about what ship’s officers talked about among each other when they gathered in pubs….

  29. “They imagine we could live in the middle of the forest and be as healthy and strong as we are now.”

    Well we would have much less obesity, and within a generation or so health problems like diabetes would be severely reduced. So for certain values of healthy and strong, it is true. Mainly because those who aren’t healthy and strong (and some of those that are) would die off.

    • I live in the middle of a forest and I’m healthy and strong.
      But it requires shopping weekly at a grocery store that imports fruits and vegetables year round from all over the world, which requires a vast transportation industry, that runs on a vast fossil fuel industry.
      It requires immunizations produced by huge pharmacy companies.
      It requires checkups and repairs by doctors.
      It requires exercise using equipment produced in China, Japan, England, France, and Germany.
      It requires a tractor made in South Korea to move wood and snow.

      Throw me back in time 500 to a thousand years in North America, and assuming the natives don’t kill me right off; I’d spend the rest of my life redeveloping all of our technology.

      • Locavores make me laugh.

        • The extent of my locavorism is to plant my own garden. Potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant all do well. For some reason corn doesn’t grow worth a damn.

          • in my case its because they talk about how everyone should eat locally, and they are usually located in Los Angeles….

            • You can eat better than you might think, without eating “out of season”. But not as well as you might like. And it takes a LOT more effort – drying and preserving things, canning, etc.

          • How big of a bunch are you planting? The guidelines say you need to have X number, but it was more like a 12×12 or better yet 20×20 to get anything to show up when my mom was trying it.

            The 5×10 patch of sweet corn was yummy, although it never hit the table.

          • kenashimame

            Khrushchev visited an Iowa corn farm in the 50s, and thought it was wonderful. He decreed that the Soviet Union should start widescale corn production, even in areas where it wouldn’t grow.

        • The local deer and elk taste great, but I would never get seafood if I only ate local.

        • You have to pick your location very carefully for that to work.

        • I am a committed locavore: I never travel more than an hour’s drive to eat.

  30. One of the things that hit me hardest when I started to really study medieval history was how very common death in adulthood was. We’re used to dying being something the elderly do, understand that infant mortality used to be high…but the flatness of the “Age At Death” curve for the Middle Ages comes as a bit of a surprise.

  31. Because of this, they think we can give up the gifts of science and industrialization and all we’ll lose is our “capitalist shackles” of having to actually earn a living.

    They imagine we could live in the middle of the forest and be as healthy and strong as we are now.

    For some reason, I’m reminded of the ending of Rainbow Six. The novel, that is: I’ve never played any of the games.

    Anyway, the bad guys in the book are a bunch of ultra-radical environmentalists who attempt to wipe out 99% of humanity with a genetically-modified supercharged ebola virus so all of the “good, right-thinking people” like them (who’d been immunized against the plague) could live in harmony with nature. Of course “living in harmony with nature” means living in a state-of-the-art (for 1999) compound of climate-controlled buildings in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest.

    *Spoiler Warning*

    Their plan failed miserably, and their “armed security force” (big-game hunters who thought that being able to stalk cape buffalo put them in the same league as the Navy SEALs or SAS) get slaughtered by the multi-national anti-terrorist Special Forces team that had come to capture (if they surrendered) or kill them.

    The big boss of the SF team, upon realizing that the bad guys destroyed most of the evidence against them and probably have enough political allies in the states (the high-ups were all very rich and well-connected) that they’ll never face justice, blows up the compound and gives the survivors a choice: either strip naked and “live in harmony with nature” for real, or else he and comrades will all gladly shoot them right then and there. They all decided to walk into the jungle. Not a-one walked out.

    My point in this long-winded comment is that I think we should present the uber-socialists with the same option. Round ’em up, drop ’em on the Galapagos Islands (they seem to have a real hard-on for that pace, or at least they did the last time I bothered to check), and let them shed the evil of capitalism and live the way their fruit-loop ideology says they should. Ten bucks says none of ’em last longer than a month.

    Heartless? Probably. Evil? Maybe? Do I care? Not really.

    Normally I’m not this sadistic, but the last few days have made me REALLY grumpy. I swear, if I see one more media post claiming Trump is literally Hitler…

    • Awww. But that fake news back in 2015 about Hitler and Trump having common ancestors was priceless! Or was that worthless?

    • According to the left: the current Republican president/candidate is literally Hitler. When he leaves office, and the next Republican candidate/president appears – this new guy, HE’s literally Hitler, but that last guy we said that about, actually he’s not that bad. And when the NEXT Republican candidate/president appears (who is also, you guessed it, literally Hitler), that first guy, he’s absolutely wonderful. And so on and so on.

      (Remembering the Doonesbury cartoons about Reagan the week of the election that were so awful a whole lot of newspapers would not run them.)

      • I don’t remember those Doonesbury cartoons, but in my defense I was born the year Bush the Elder was elected.

      • It’s a very odd sort of reincarnation. Only, instead of birth/death, it’s kickoff-of-campaign-season/election.

        [I’m not old enough to remember Kennedy, but I am old enough to remember landing on the moon. And the first season of re-run of Star Trek (I wasn’t old enough to watch it when it originally aired).]

        • My parents assure me that I was taken out of my crib and put in front of the TV for the moon landing. But that I had probably fallen asleep again before the actual event.

    • Galapagos is too special, plus it gets too many visitors so the internees could run away. I don’t know; maybe Johnston Atoll or one of the Midway Islands?

      • Huh. Wow. Guess I’ve been tuned out for too long. Last time I could be bothered to check, Galapagos was totally off limits to everyone except a very tiny number of carefully-screened and selected researchers. Of course, last time I could be bothered to check was when we were forced to learn about the Galapagos in my high school biology class, so we’re talking roughly 15 years.

        I guess Johnson Atoll or Midway could work. Or any other island in the Pacific (there has to be at least one) where there’s enough food and water to survive (for a while, at least), but everything else (clothing, etc.) has to be brought in by boat.

        • Whatever we do, let’s not put them on Guam; I understand* that island is already so highly populated it is at risk of tipping over.

          *per Rep. Hank Johnson, PoS**

          *Party of Science

        • Oh dear Lord, not a Pacific island! You’re dooming them to death by drowning, as the seas rise! How cruel!

        • Last I heard, they were trying to explain away how birds from the far north were able to mate with birds from teh far south and not have any sort of issues at all, and how this TOTALLY didn’t change them being different species. -.-

      • kenashimame

        Hawaii is blue enough, why not use it?

        We could wall off Pearl, Hickham, and their immediate environs like Guantanamo Bay and observe the festivities.

  32. Given our illustrious hostess’ Darkship series, I find it interesting to note the recent news that for the first time in the USA human embryos have been edited. And the researchers claim several advances over foreign attempts.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608350/first-human-embryos-edited-in-us/

  33. DoubtingRich

    “They called those women “slaves.””

    Well to be pedantic they called them thralls.

  34. I will note at this time there are people who believe a potato is birth control, and you can’t talk them out of it.

    • [Don’t you dare type what just came to mind! Go wash your mind with soap. – Alma’s Inner Editor]

      • I confess I am wondering about what type of potato — Yukon Gold, Russet, Russian Banana, Austrian Crescent, Red Gold, Purple Majesty, Norland Red, Kennebec or others, and whether sweet potatoes and yams are included?

        I am going to guess fingerlings and new potatoes are not included although I cannot think of any reason they prove less effective.

        • The real question is how long the potato lasts before you have to get a new one. Opinions vary, as it turns out.

        • “I am going to guess fingerlings and new potatoes are not included although I cannot think of any reason they prove less effective”

          I can… but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be approved by Alma’s Inner Editor.

    • Wait, how can… no. No. Forget it. I don’t want to know. I REALLY don’t want to know!

    • Everything will turn out alright, as long as you have your potato

    • If you keep the potato between your knees……..
      You can tell the type of girl by how big a potato she keeps.
      /runs and hides/

    • how is it birth control? Does it block a cavity?

  35. Scot Douglas

    c4c (always)

  36. if they weren’t killed by a violent illness first
    Heh. A phrase I will have to adopt for my own use. “Violent illness” indeed.

    I think lots of folks could go “live in the woods” today and live longish, happyish lives. And a smaller subset could do that without running all the electricity the first group would likely require.
    *BUT* those folks would do it on the backs of civilization, still. They would probably use advanced techniques of construction, some advanced materials (that would last longer, etc.), better science/engineering, money to bring in experts for some things (though you have to be careful – if you have to start killing your contractors because they “know too much” it could set back your project timeline), etc.
    With modern technology, I could build a very nice “primitive” place somewhere well out of the way and “Go Galt”.
    (And, no, I haven’t read the rest of the comments. In case I’m duplicating what someone else has said.)

  37. I’m reading this and shaking my head. So stupid. I’ve lived the hard life of a farmer’s girl without water and electricity and where we grew most of our food in the summer. The back breaking work never stopped. There was barely enough time for school… How do these people come up with these theories? Plus when the Vikings were the finest mercenary fighters of that time… it makes you wonder why the signs said they were peaceful. *snorting into my hand.

    Genetically I am most from that group of people … temper, fighting, ambition, etc. Peaceful… not likely.