Stupid Leif Eriksson statue at Minnesota State Capitol
Leif Eriksson Day 2018. A day America pauses to… pretty much do nothing. Various Scandinavian groups have small celebrations sometime around the date (I’ll be speaking at one on Saturday, and it’s a good one) but the Leif Eriksson parades are few, and nobody gets a school day off.
However, as Christopher Columbus rapidly becomes an Unperson and an Enemy of the People, Leif seems to be gaining ground. Not by winning, but by losing less. For now.
I’m frankly a little embarrassed by most of the comparisons between Leif and Chris. It was fun when Columbus was riding high, and Scandinavians could pretend to be unfairly overlooked. Now it’s just kind of like kicking a guy when he’s down.
So here’s a moment of respect for Cristóbol Colón, who did not intend to genocide anyone. He intended to spread the Kingdom of God, and to save Europe from economic strangulation by the Islamic world. He was successful at both – at least until recently.
Big men do big things. Columbus did pretty big stuff. You can spit at the castle your grandfather built, but knocking it down will take some work. And it will leave you poorer.
Artist’s conception of me addressing the Icelanders
It’s always nice to be asked back, even when you’re a semi-agoraphobic. So I was pleased to be asked to speak for the second year in a row at the annual “Icelandic Leifur Eiriksson Cod Dinner,” in Bloomington, Minnesota. This gala event (some of the best cod I’ve ever enjoyed) will be held at the Bloomington Event Center, 1114 American Blvd., Bloomington on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m.
The deadline for reservations was Sept. 30, so maybe it’s too late to get in, unless you’re a popular celebrity like me. But you could contact Steingrimur Steinolfson at firstname.lastname@example.org and check.
It’s a cool opportunity to plug Viking Legacy, which concerns the Icelandic sagas sufficiently that it ought to interest the audience.
I’m moving a lot of copies of this book. It seems to be very well received.
I’m finally back from Høstfest.
“Wait!” you reply. Because you’re an intelligent and attentive reader, you seem to recall that I got back a little more than a week ago.
And you are correct, as always. But you know, there’s the physical journey and the spiritual journey. And my spiritual journey lasted through Saturday.
Which is a pretentious way of saying that I wasn’t able to get out of Viking Presenter mode, because I had two – not one, but two – last-minute lecturing gigs last week.
Which, incidentally, explains my blogging silence Thursday and Friday.
Thursday I lectured to a Sons of Norway lodge which happens to meet quite near my house. When I was setting up, I had a (biblical) Job Experience: “The thing which I have greatly feared has come upon me.” Continue reading PowerPoint chronicles