March 04, 2011

A little dip

The Goat Rope Beowulf jag continues, although you'll also find links and comments about current events below. It occurs to me that it's about time to get down to some monster-killing.

The first such episode that occurs in the poem is related by the hero himself and happens during a whacked-out swimming match with one of his buddies, Breca.

Imagine that you and a pal are walking beside the ocean (with swords and full armor, of course) and one of you suggests a contest that involves plunging into the sea--which is probably cold, it being Scandanavia and all--and swimming for days to see who will be first to reach land.

If it was me, I'd say, "Knock yourself out, dude. I'm heading to the mead hall." Not so Beowulf. He jumped right in and and the two were neck and neck for five days and nights until Beowulf is attacked by a sea monster:

Together we twain on the tides abode
five nights full till the flood divided us,
churning waves and chillest weather,
darkling night, and the northern wind
ruthless rushed on us: rough was the surge.
Now the wrath of the sea-fish rose apace;
yet me 'gainst the monsters my mailed coat,
hard and hand-linked, help afforded, -
battle-sark braided my breast to ward,
garnished with gold. There grasped me firm
and haled me to bottom the hated foe,
with grimmest gripe. 'Twas granted me, though,
to pierce the monster with point of sword,
with blade of battle: huge beast of the sea
was whelmed by the hurly through hand of mine.

As if that wasn't enough, he manages to kill another eight aggressive sea-beasts before washing up on the shores of Finland, after which the waters of the area were singularly monster-free.

Too bad ultra-marathon armored swimming isn't an Olympic event, even without monsters.

DOUBLE WHAMMY. Paul Krugman argues here that federal spending cuts proposed by House Republicans could undermine the nation's future and damage a fragile recovery.

KOCHED RED HANDED. Here's a look at corporate life in Billionaire Union Buster Land.

ONE DAY LONGER (AGAIN). Retirees at Century Aluminum in Ravenswood rallied at the WV capitol yesterday protesting the company's elimination of retiree health benefits. Nearly 20 years ago, these workers won an epic struggle after being locked out for nearly two years by then owner Ravenswood Aluminum.

DROPPING THE BALL? A new study found serious coal mine safety enforcement lapses by the federal mine safety agency prior to the Upper Big Branch disaster.



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