March 10, 2011

Head's up

Random animal picture.

It's all fun and games until somebody loses a head. At least that's the case in Beowulf, the theme here lately. I've been working my way through the first English epic for a while now and am on Monster #2 at this point. If this is your cup of mead, click on earlier posts. You'll also find links and more or less snide comments about current events below.

After Beowulf kills Grendel, there is much rejoicing in Heorot, the mead hall of Danish king Hrothgar. He hasn't been able to use his prize hall for years, since Grendel had the not-so-endearing habit of eating people who hung out there. The Danes reclaim the hall, although Beowulf sleeps somewhere else.

That night, Grendel's mother comes back for revenge. She is eventually driven off, but only after taking Hrothgar's trusted advisor Aeschere with her. They find his head the next day near the haunted mere, which is a lake or swamp where the monsters live.

After the attack, Hrothgar summons Beowulf and asks him to step up one more time. Beowulf gives the following classic lines, which kind of sum up his warrior ethic:

Wise sir, do not grieve. It is always better
to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.

This is one part of the poem where the thin veneer of Christianity gets even thinner, but I must admit to feeling that way myself some days. It's kind of the proto-Viking version of the old labor saying, "Don't mourn, organize!"


INSTEAD, consider this. A new poll shows a majority of Americans favors cutting military spending rather than cutting vital social programs.

DIRTY DEEDS done dirt cheap. Maybe we should impose a no fly zone over Wisconsin.

THE WORD OF THE DAY is philanthro-feudalism.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, this is totally Koched up.

NOTE: This post was scheduled in advance due to much sleep deprivation. Well may the world go.


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