Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Iceland Poor? Follow Thor!

With the collapse of Iceland's coalition government and her economy in ruin, angry Icelanders are left with only one viable option for survival: do what their forebears did in times of political and economic turmoil, take to the sea, and maraud. Icelanders are descended from fearsome Vikings, some of history's greatest go-getters. When sputtering economy or domestic upheaval forced their hand, the Vikings sailed their longships to distant lands and pillaged the countryside, looting as much gold and silver as they could carry and slaughtering the locals at every turn. Okay, mass slaughter may have fallen out of favor in today's politically correct climate, but as we see currently in the Indian Ocean, piracy and plundering are back in fashion. And who is better equipped to raid foreign shores and restore their fortunes than the sons and daughters of the Norsemen? The necessary shipbuilding and blacksmithing skill resides in Icelanders' veins; it need only be awakened from its thousand-year slumber. No proprietor of boardwalk gift shop or manager of seaside B&B will refuse to hand over everything in the register when faced with a horde of irate, flaxen-haired warriors out of their minds on hallucinogenic mushrooms and brandishing battle axes.

Sure, Icelanders could pull an old Viking trick out of their helmets and try to fool investors into immigrating to their depressed island by renaming it something hospitable...say, Niceland. But that scheme didn't do much for Greenland, and it sure as hel didn't work for Vinland. Any benefit from such a cartographic ruse would take decades to reflect anyway...by which time, everyone would have starved to death.

So go berserk, Icelanders. Make sail again for the opulent coasts of the British Isles, Normandy, North America, and the Mediterranean. Ravage the countryside. Grab all that you can and write eddas about your conquests. Even found an obscure kingdom or two. Because, as the great Viking chieftain Eric the Red said a millennium ago, Ven thou ainst got nalthing, thou ainst got nalthing to lose.

No comments: