It was bound to happen sooner or later...
I don’t mean just the tRumpian-inspired storming of the Capitol. That was something many people anticipated, at least those of us who took tRump’s MAGA movement mythically.
I mean that amongst this throng of thugs and maniacs, there would be a ‘Viking’; or at least someone who coopted the trappings of the mythic ‘Viking’, in the same way that putting on a headdress in the old days denoted ‘Indian’, or wearing a kilt shows one's Scottish pride.
Speaking of the Scottish...
… years ago I took my college girlfriend and her mom to see Braveheart in a small Kailua theater. I was still cutting my teeth at that time on the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement, which they had introduced me to.
I thought perhaps these two firebrands might appreciate Mel Gibson’s attempt at historical (hysterical?) adventure. In retrospect, I was seeking validation that injustice had happened to my ancestors as well. This of course is the slippery-white-man’s slope into the morass of both-sides-ism. Because while the Celts were massacred during the Roman invasion of Western Europe and the British Isles hundreds of years ago, and subsequently the Angles and the Saxons… and then the Normans and (well you get the picture) all that brutality happened… well, hundreds of years ago.
As you have no doubt guessed, my girlfriend's mother was lukewarm. She knew then what I now know: Braveheart, for all its adventure and great directing, was a white male puff piece, a stepping stone on the boney road of the proto-political myth that has evolved into modern notions of white victimhood, and its shadow kin, white supremacy.
Fast Forward to January 6, 2021…
…and we have a psycho painting his face with the American flag while wearing a ‘Viking’ helmet as though this deadly insurrection (let’s not pretend it is anything else) were nothing more than football Sunday pageantry or Cosplay with real guns and ammo in a violent performance, spurred on by the ultimate performer.
It Is Important We Not Cede Our Symbols…
… to these craven mother fuckers.
Nowadays, when I see an American flag outside a giant ex-urban home, I assume that the people who hung it support the anti-democratic actions of our soon-to-be ex-president. How did this come to be? My family is a very old Anglo/Celtic-American one; the American flag belongs to me as much as anyone.
And when did Christian values become their exact opposite? The Black academic and activist, Cornell West, has spoken about how the progressive Christians have ceded the church to the vocal Evangelical right.
My mother was a very religious person. She worked as a Mental Health Chaplin at Harborview Hospital, helping the mentally ill interpret their visions, not metaphorically or psychologically, but with good faith that they may have been touched by God. Christianity is as much my inheritance as anyone's.
And the character of the mythic Viking (i.e. the Viking that never was) whose anachronistic trappings I’ve used to frame my (hopefully) universal story of growing up and growing out?
Big DNA tells me I’m only 4% Swedish, but I believe that the Viking, the most visible vestige of a marvelous indigenous culture that is still being studied and interpreted to the present day, belongs as much to me as to that bombastic white supremacist prick who turned against the American flag and God when he chose Donald J. Trump as his false idol.
W Alan Gosline