Category Archives: coffilosophy

Viking Pagans Were of their Time, Monotheists Worse in More Recent Times

If I.S. have done one good thing for humanity and the world it is to show the horrors of war; of course, they weren’t meaning to do good for humanity and the world. As Simon Schama pointed out at the start of the Civilisations programme with the account of the killing of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, at Palmyra, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of art pieces, they were doing it to intimidate and threaten, using new information technology.

Art of the Vikings

My interest in Viking culture (500-1100 AD) was inspired by The Vikings movie (1958), and when I was young it was all about their scenic sailing warriordom; as I was intrigued by wild pagan Native American horseriding culture from Hollywood movies.

However, in modern times; I intended starting my travels by taking the ferry to Bergen, Norway, but then changed them as I waited for the Monsters of Rock in late August, and so headed south straightaway, before reaching there for the Midnight Sun Marathon in 2007; I admire Scandinavia for its democratic civilised qualities and environmental initiatives.

In the latest NASA’s Unexplained Files I liked the story of the skydiver seeing a rock fall near him, causing a year-long search. When a NASA worker worked out it must have fallen from his parachute, the Norwegian investigator said he thought everybody would be angry, but they were all happy and congratulatory, because they’d been honest, and science had worked. That’s the kind of scientific ethos I try to have with my writing and research.

In Secret Knowledge: The Art of Vikings I liked the jadeYgrey Buddha statue they found some Vikings had from the 6th Century Swat Valley in the heart of Asia, which was then Buddhist (about 14 minutes of the documentary).

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Then just after about 20 minutes of the 30 minutes documentary, Dr. Ramirez says she thinks one of the main interests the pagan Vikings first saw in the Christian religion was the part played by fish, as they were a part of their natural folklore too, and they valued living things the most. This thirty-five piece gold, silver and bronze (me: Olympic medals relevance?) Viking fishtail necklace shows their respect:

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Vikings in Historical Context Compared to Monotheism

Inquisition Documentary Shows Christian Horrors

The Yesterday channel series about the Inquisition has showed the horrors of the Christian church in Europe from the 11th Century to the 19th, with the last episode focusing on the British witch trials. Thousands of people were killed, with most being women who were the community healers; or victims of grudges and land grabs. Britain wasn’t as bad as continental Europe, and one man called Matthew Hopkins killed the majority of victims in a three years period 1644-1647.

Muslim Pirates Acting Like Vikings Until 19th Century

Barbary pirates were raiding Europe as the Vikings had done up to the 19th Century, capturing victims for sale as slaves, until European nations united to repel them. Over a million Europeans were enslaved from 1530 to 1780. Some of the enslavers were European ‘converts’.

When I was reading about Iceland around my January visit I saw that it suffered horrific such attacks in 1627, with hundreds of victims killed, and hundreds forced into slavery. (Wikipedia).

Conclusion

I’ve grown out of my childhood and youthful Romantic Viking Hollywood movie inspiration now, and relate more to Odin than Loki of the Valhalla pantheon; wisdom over trickery; especially after seeing the Valhalla Rising film featured heavily in the Scandinavian section of XaW Files!

As Dr. Ramirez pointed out at the end of her Art of the Vikings documentary, the battles for ‘England’ in 1066 were basically a Viking civil war, with the Normans (Norsemen) Vikings who settled in northern France, and those already resident in ‘England’ having strong Viking links after hundreds of years of residency.

I updated my thoughts on the Americas migration, and its connection to the Middle-East, last night on fmpoetry.wordpress.com, arguing that what is most amazing about it is that the Mayans featured similar structures and symbols (500-800 AD) about 20,000 years after their ancestors must have left the Middle-East to start the migration to the Americas, and where the Mesopotamians would signify the importance of the bag-carrying Apkallu around 2500 BC.

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Wolf Howler 4 Earth Hour in 4 Hours

I created a little wolf art for this year’s Earth Hour, which is tonight, March 24th, from 20.30 to 21.30. Using some wrIus writer-genius to add to the 3-D artistry, I call it Earth Howler:

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I just posted a long article updating my alien space wonder wanderings on this site’s sister site fmpoetry, including more on the Mesopotamian Apkallu featured on this site before. Along the way I found this artist’s interpretation of how ancient humans used to gYgPOP (greenY[ellow]greyPinkyOrangePurple) before the www!:

242 Mirror Poems and Reflections by [Latham, Marc]

Spring Equinox International Day of Happiness and mistYmuse End Eve

The northern hemisphere spring equinox is today, at about 1600/1700 in the U.K., so it’s quite easy to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. However, it must be harder for people in the southern hemisphere, with today marking the beginning of autumn, and the end of the warmer months.

March equinox illustration

Happiness is Relative

There are a lot of people who find it difficult to be happy in the northern hemisphere too, and that’s where things like society and culture make a difference. Iceland is one of the ‘happiest’ countries despite being one of the coldest.

That’s mostly why I set up the mistYmuse (Midwinter Ideal Sunrise Times and Midwinter Until Spring Equinox) to bring some happiness to the most difficult months, covering November to March.

I could have been saying it was timed right this year (although not the day, as it falls on the 20th this year, rather than 21st, as it sometimes does), with a mini-freeze just ending in time for today, but I just saw another one is forecast for the Easter weekend in a couple of weeks. At least there’s more light than darkness now, with more chance of warming sun when it’s shining through the cloud.

Happy Guilt

U.K. comedy great Ken Dodd passed away recently, and one of his regular topics and subject of a song was happiness. I was thinking then that I would probably be happier if I focused on entertainment, instead of feeling obliged to write about the negatives of the world, mostly due to having been to university and studying politics and international communications, and wanting to ‘make a difference’; knowing I can only try and slow the planet’s decline down, due to human overpopulation and consumption; which brings me into direct conflict with the general theme of global human happiness… in the short term anyway… as future generations will be happier if they have a cleaner planet with lots of other species!

Stephen Hawking, who of course inspired the greenYgrey parody comedy science correspondent, Stephen Wolfing, also passed away recently. He seemed happy, having fought against the most debilitating illness, showing there are different ways to find happiness, and sometimes adversity provides the opportunity for personal greatness… as in Buddhist enlightenment or Nietzsche’s superness, which can provide happiness whatever the situation.

Comedy Philosophy

Anyway, I have become too greenYgrey, and will leave you with some Ken Dodd happiness to enjoy the special day, in whatever way, wherever you are. In the obituaries I was also reminded of Dodd’s 1960s (my birth decade) Knotty Ash Diddy Men, which could have been an early influence on my greenYgrey fantasy fiction, although I didn’t remember them at the time!:

Wikipedia: The Diddy Men have a song, once released as a single, titled “The Song of the Diddy Men”, sung in a high pitched, chipmunk style voice. It includes the chorus: “We are the Diddy Men, Doddy’s dotty Diddy Men, We are the Diddy Men who come from Knotty Ash”. Another song “Doddy’s Diddy Party” featured the refrain – “tonight’s the night the Diddy Men paint the town, we’ll lose our blues, and let our Diddy hair down”. There were several other songs including Diddycombe Fair – a spoof of the well-known West Country song Widecombe Fair.

Cosmic Rey-kjavik – Sun Return

Leaving Borgarnes on the Sunday 09.50 bus to Reykjavik, which was excellent both ways, the eastern horizon glowed a deep POP (which I remember as originally a Deep Orange [not Purple!] rather than the PinkyPurple it looks in the photo) beyond the buildings hiding the dividing line between land and sky. Was it the Northern Lights? It looked vivid and vibrant enough. However, it was the sunrise time too, so I think it was more or all that. I took a photo, but it doesn’t do the deep rich colours justice, appearing lighter than it was (I know the back of the building looks yellowy orange, but it wasn’t that!).

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Cosmic Ray Vik

I’d seen online that the Northern Lights had made a big appearance near Vik, 150 miles / 225 kilometres east of Reykjavik, so walking to the centre from the Mjodd bus station I kept observing the sun and eastern sky, with our solar system centre keeping me company through thick cloud the whole way. It seemed to be creating shapes again, kind of a pillar effect.

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Getting a little lost, I ended up south of the centre in Kopavogur, but that resulted in me seeing the southern horizon of Reykjavik for the first time, and I was impressed by its peaks there, already loving the northern and eastern ones.

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As I approached the excellent bargain Capital Inn, where I was staying, the sky under the sun seemed to be moving. Was it the Northern Lights I could see, as they happen all the time, but are largely invisible in the day. Or was it snow high in the sky? Or wishful thinking? I don’t know, but there did seem to be some activity up there, under the sun.

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The sun continued shining into the evening, when I walked down to the city for a few pints of Gull.

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Lizzy Yarnold: Return of greenYgrey Great

Thinking about my ice sculpture afterwards, I think I did look on my phone for the other photos, but couldn’t see them, as I took so many on the Borgarnes Beach, and they were all quite monochrome (black and white). I thought of that while watching the Winter Olympics live, and it was like a deja vu greenYgrey age reminder, as Lizzy Yarnold repeated her Sochi feat, by winning the Skeleton gold again in Pyeonchang. It was four years ago to the day that her first gold made headline news in the greenYgrey world, with a ZZ Top poetry ditty intro:

Thin Lizzy
Sochi
Top ZZ
like Poetry

First of all I’d like to congratulate quite Thin Lizzy Yarnold for winning Team GB‘s first gold medal of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by finishing ZZ Top in the skeleton (a type of sled).

Pyeonchang Izz Buzzing

The bizzy (busy) day of izz deja vu had started earlier in the day, with Izzy Atkin winning a bronze.

There have been lots more amazing performances, and unlucky great competitors who’ve just missed out, but I’m calling it a day here, and will let the games continue, without further ado.

 

Chile Atacama Desert Vizcacha Sun-Catcher

Here’s some photos from a day-trip to the Atacama Desert in 1994, from the town of Arica in northern Chile. It’s accompanied by a Folding Mirror poem on the fmpoetry site, which mixes travel memoir in the first half with a story I saw a couple of years ago about a mysterious humanoid being found there, with some people thinking it could be an alien.

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Ice Sculpture not Genius to Doctor Who Ice Warriors Under the Bridge Ice-breaker

Walking along Borgarnes’s Borgarfjordur beach there were lumps of ice that looked as if they’d fallen out of the sky, as they were so ice-so-lated (isolated) in thawing compared to what must have been other ice around them… unless they were placed there by U.F.O. aliens! Al-ice-ns? Doctor Who‘s old-fashioned greenygrey Ice Warriors?

 

The Curse of Peladon depicts an Ice Warrior delegation aiding the Doctor.

 

The Ice that Fell to Earth (referencing the film of that name, swapping Ice-Man)

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When I saw a lump of ice that looked quite picturesque and light enough to be moveable I thought I’d create a little ice-art, from the bottom of my cold heart, lifting it onto a rock, and having to spend a few seconds balancing it:

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Okay, my ice sculpture is still at a basic level. I did write a feminist Folding Mirror poem this morning in not much more time than my ice sculpture took, after being inspired by watching the Suffragette film last night.

To finally say ‘bye ‘bye to Borgarnes on this blog, here’s a little more variety to end, in contrast to var-ice-ty, with photos of a frozen waterfall, grass sticking up through snow, and Under the Bridge, which acted as an ice-breaker as I got to know the Borgarfjordur!

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Back to Borgarnes Basics: Beyond U.F.O.

After my day on the Borgarfjordur beach has contained many photos of amazing natural beauty, and perhaps some bordering on the supernatural, although they are quite common in Iceland, due to it retaining its natural beauty, and being close to the top of the world, although only its small northern island of Grimsey is within the Arctic Circle.

Borgarnes Sunshine Photos

Iceland’s weather is not dissimilar to the U.K. most of the time, with both warmed by the Gulf Stream. There was also a cold spell in Blighty while I was farther north, which had travelled down from the Arctic. In fact, the coldest temperature I saw for Iceland was -9c, while after I returned I saw the UK had been -13c. There’s supposed to be another cold spell on its way this week, but this time travelling from the east.

Here’s some photos of Borgarnes looking back from the road south to Reykjavik, and the Borgarfjordur beach, including one I was trying to take when I took a selfie, and later discovered the photo contained a U.F.O. or four!:

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The mountains to the north and east are partially visible in the above photos, and I also took more of them on their own, looking north and inland to the south-east:

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I thought I’d say ‘bye ‘bye Borgarnes again today, but have seen some photos that I think you should see, proving that even in quite extreme conditions, enduring below freezing weather and little food that day, and the preceding few days, I was still inspired to let the artist in me out, and do some impromptu ice sculpturing. I think they deserve a post of their own, so it’s back to Borgarnes tomorrow!

Borgarnes Black Hole Sun Iceland Photos

Being an agnostic greenYgreyologist, I hopefully still have balance. For my writing and poetry I have to delve into the creative, which is the more mystical spiritual side of the agnostic, and probably the green of the greenYgrey. While I didn’t have any poetic inspiration in Iceland, focusing more on the image, watching a documentary about The Fall’s Mark E. Smith opened up the floodgates; after watching an old CBGBs The Dead Boys concert earlier in the week inspired my first Folding Mirror poem for a few years. I just wrote and posted the second on foldingmirrorpoetry. Today’s started off just as the introduction for my hour of creative inspiration, and I think there’ll be lots more from the rest.

The Black Hole Sun of the headline is taking artistic licence to reference the Soundgarden song, included in the Guns N’ Roses set for their current tour, since the suicide of Chris Cornell. The clouds are really dark grey, as in the greenYgrey landscape-weather original meaning.

The Sun Works in Mysterious Ways

If you spend a lot of time thinking about the sun, like I have over the last fifteen years, you can start to treat it as a living organism, as some people think it is, as Earth is Gaia: like a couple of flowers in the universal garden, or neurons in the universal mind.

After yesterday writing there was a nice sunrise because high pressure dominated, at 7.45am, 30-45 minutes before its midwinter peak, this morning at 8.30 the sun shone through a narrow band of clear sky in an otherwise dark grey cloudy sky, with spectacular crepuscular rays shining through.

The part of my brain that thinks the sun is alive and aware (a were?) interpreted it as the sun replying to yesterday’s blog post, putting me in my place, as if to say the pristine POP (PinkyOrangePurple) sunrise was its creation, not high pressure; that it can create beauty even in a cloudy sky, and that it can do it at any time of day!

North of Borgarnes Sun

On my second and last full day in Borgarnes I walked north, in the opposite direction to the day before. I probably would’ve taken the bus to Stykkisholmsbaer, but it didn’t run on Saturdays. I walked that way, before finding a path to the coast. The weather was kind to me again, with the sun in full view over coast and deep snow.

I was probably going to post these photos after some more from the Borgarfjordur beach, but this morning’s sky has put them top of the agenda:

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I also met some lovely Iceland ponies:

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