Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Note the use of a control fire

Viking Medical Research -- A Continuing Series
Thangbrand declared that he would use the berserk to test the power of Christianity over that of the old religion. "We shall light three fires," he proposed. "I shall bless the first one, you heathens shall bless the second one, and the third one shall remain without a blessing. If the berserk walks through your fire unharmed, but is afraid of my fire, then you must accept Christianity."

Gest, the leader of the heathens, believing that the fearless berserk would walk through all the fires, accepted this challenge.

When Otrygg the berserk was seen approaching the house, the three fires were lit, and two of them were blessed according to plan. Without hesitating, the berserk walked through the fire blessed by the heathens, but he stopped at the Christian-blessed fire. Agonizing with unknown pain, Otrygg raised his sword to strike out at his foes, but as he swung the sword upward, it caught against one of the crossbeams of the house. Thangbrand struck him on the arm with a crucifix, causing Otrygg's sword to fall to the ground, and then ran a sword into the berserk's chest. Gudleif attacked him as well, cutting off Otrygg's arm. Others entered the fray and helped to kill the heathen berserk.

Having thus seen the power of Christianity, many leading households were now baptized.
In the face of such a conclusive clinical experiment, when the Icelanders gathered at the Althing in 1000 they voted to follow best international practice and adopt the fashionable "White Christ" religion. It remained legal to follow the 'old gods' alternative therapy so long as this remained indoors and no horses were sacrificed in public.

Probably this new religion was congenial to the vikings because of its torture-porn aspects -- the whole business of scourging, thorns, nails and lance-wound misericorde -- which fitted with a tradition of attracting injuries among their own gods. As well as Odin and his self-mutilatory tendencies (he was on 24/7 watch after the eyeball incident and the nine-day erotic suspension), there was Baldur, whose idea of a good Friday night out after a hard week in Valhalla was to stand around while the rest of the pantheon pelted him with every weapon they had on hand. Not to my tastes but here at Riddled we do not judge.

This inspired an entire artistic tradition of "Woundgod" images, depicting a Baldur figure incurring as many simultaneous injuries as the artist could fit into the frame.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicIf you are thinking that this is an excuse to assemble a series of Woundgod images into a montage, then well done!

Initially I had intended to write something directed at Sub McG about a little-known comic-book superhero called Wound-man, saving the world along with his colleagues Vein-man and Zodiac-Man, but it turns out that some bastridge has used the idea already.

18 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Not to my tastes but here at Riddled we do not judge.

Thank goodness there is a place for all of us!
~

Jennifer said...

This is reminding me of my many years in parochial school... I shan't be back...

tigris said...

Having thus seen the power of Christianity

Being killed and hacked to bits does make it a bit hard to walk through a fire.

Captcha? No lie, "stabn."

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

You breathers pretty much treat zombies the same way.

Substance McGravitas said...

Meet Dead Girl.

tigris said...

Zombie, we were TOTALLY just trying to put out the full-body flame fest you became after walking through the first bonfire. I know you tried to warn us, but we thought you were saying zombies are tEnder.

Smut Clyde said...

Being killed and hacked to bits does make it a bit hard to walk through a fire.

I like the part where Otrygg has walked through a bonfire and is now "Agonizing with unknown pain". The pagan spokesman hadn't really thought through this bipartisanship deal before signing up to it.

Another Kiwi said...

It certainly makes '60's Music Trivia Night down at The Rat and Entomologist look civilised in comparison.

Smut Clyde said...

Woundman has managed to overcome his trouser addiction.
Has anyone noticed the subliminal "Drink Pooter's Porter" message flashing up every 10th frame?

mikey said...

Also, if you focus your attention on woundman's package (c'mon, stop that giggling this minute young man, this is science) you'll notice that exactly NONE of the contributing artists were willing to stab, hack, penetrate (not gonna tell you again), puncture or otherwise wound the genitalia of our hapless hero.

I think this tells you more about the universal squeamishness of men about the state of their junk then we might have initially expected...

tigris said...

I wasn't giggling. It was more a titter.

Another Kiwi said...

We can't have naked titters in this blog. Skellingtons, yes but no titters

Another Kiwi said...

I'm not actually very high up the scientific pecking order ladder rail so I don't know all about ethics committees but we are not allowed to burn people and then make sushi out of them, these days. Science, Ethics: Can they really be friends.
Blimey I'm getting thirsty, I need a Pooters Porter, really. Weird.

mikey said...

Ok ok ok. Check it out. Here's whacha gotta do, ok? Get the woundman animated gif up on the screen. Yes, now. Jeez. Ok, is it up? Good. Now, squintcher eyes pretty good, don't look at any one part of it, try to see the whole wounded dood at once. See it now?

YEAH! Fuckers DANCING. Watch how he waves his right hand up, trying to knock the various weapons and projectiles out of his head. Watch how his feet are actually doing the "hokie pokie".

He puts his right foot in, he puts his right foot out, he puts his goiter in and he shakes it all about. You do the hokie pokie and a bag of blood expander. THATS what it's all about!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thangbrand struck him on the arm with a crucifix

Cruci-Fu!

Captcha- ballse

Curiouser and curiouser...

Smut Clyde said...

Watch how he waves his right hand up, trying to knock the various weapons and projectiles out of his head.

The dude throws like a girl.
But as mikey has noticed, the designers of this early animated cartoon did have the basic concept sorted out. They could have been the Disney Studio of the renaissance, except they had to commission a different monastery to illuminate each of the cels (in order to keep all of the abbots on side), and if you do that then you have to make sure that they stick to the plan.

mikey said...

And honestly, the only thing they could agree upon was that junk will not be wounded.

Not a basis for a summer blockbuster, despite the fact that the producers of summer blockbusters have agreed to the same ground rules....

tigris said...

The dude throws like a girl.

HATER. My old granny threw better than that guy, though admittedly she didn't have quite so many projectiles lodged in her. Maybe they've caused some nerve damage which has hindered his throwing ability?