I have a new column (as of Sunday) at The American Spectator Online. It’s the article on Hans Nielsen Hauge I’ve been warning you about.
I had the chance to meet a scholar recently, a woman from Norway. I went to hear her talk about a historical figure I’ve written about on this site before — Hans Nielsen Hauge (pronounced “HOW-geh”), the early 19th-century Norwegian lay revivalist.
In conversation after the lecture, someone brought up an undocumented but well-attested story — that it was a tradition at a nearby liberal seminary for some of the students to celebrate the anniversary of Hauge’s death with a drinking party where they would make fun of him.
The speaker said this surprised her. “In Norway,” she said, “Hauge is a hero to both sides. The conservatives admire him for his religious activities. The liberals admire him for being one of the founders of their movement.”
I’m in the American Spectator Online again today, with an article on my ambivalent “relationship” with Donald Trump. I wasn’t even aware they posted on Saturdays.
I have a new column up at The American Spectator Online today: Slaves to Intellectual Fashion: 1619. A little more fiery and dismissive than my usual stuff, I think. This particular initiative gets my goat in a personal way. I consider it slander against a country I love and am grateful for.
The weekend was good, thanks for asking. We had a couple Viking groups at Nisswa, Minnesota for a one-day Viking event on Saturday. I took a few pictures, but they weren’t very good. Having 2 groups together made it possible to have some relatively impressive battles, with (I guess) 15 to 20 guys all together. I did not participate in those. I sat in my pavilion in Viking splendor, dispensing wisdom and information to all comers. Also selling books.
It was nice, the weather was beatiful, and I stayed with some very gracious hosts in Brainerd. All in all, pretty rewarding. The scuttlebutt is that the event will happen again next year.
I didn’t even know The American Spectator Online posted on Sundays. But that was when the put up my latest column. And I guess it’s appropriate to the subject matter.
Read it here.
I have a column up at The American Spectator Online today. It seems a little tin-foil-hat even to me, and yet it also makes perfect sense to me. Either I am mad, or the world is.
On my mental timeline, that conversation marks a watershed (I’m always seeing watersheds everywhere; probably a sign of OCD). It seems to me to mark a realignment on the Left. The feminists and the hippies were never really compatible, but they made an alliance, like Churchill and Stalin, during the Wars of Aquarius. The alliance was doomed, of course. Feminists have always been essentially Victorian. The last thing they want to see is anyone letting it all hang out.
I have another article in The American Spectator today. I was nervous about writing about Viking Legacy, the book I translated, but editor Wlady Pleszczynski took pity and me and stretched a point.
In time I was delighted to discover a Norwegian historian whose thinking ran very much along the same lines — Professor Torgrim Titlestad, now retired, but then on the faculty of the University of Stavanger. A local historian in Stavanger put me in contact with him, which led eventually to his hiring me to translate his Norwegian book, Norge i Vikingtid (Norway in the Viking Age)…
I heard from Prof. Titlestad’s son, who liked the article, but gave me an additional piece of information I wish I’d known. Prof. Titlestad didn’t retire from the University of Stavanger. He resigned in protest against changes made in the history curriculum. He now works full time with The Saga Heritage Foundation, which he founded to combat the current rush toward historical amnesia.
Had a strange phone conversation last night. It wasn’t as grim as that summary might suggest – it just had a sort of black humor quality.
One of my cousins died recently – much too young; sad story. Shortly after her death, I had a call from her brother, who wanted to talk, and I was happy to offer a shoulder. He was also concerned that he hadn’t been able to reach our last surviving mutual uncle. Uncle O_____ has had some health problems recently, and my cousin couldn’t find a number for him that worked. I promised I’d call him myself, since I’ve been in pretty regular communication with him, until recently.
I tried calling, and the numbers I had didn’t work.
After the funeral, my cousin called again, and I told him about my failure. My cousin suggested I go through Facebook (which he doesn’t use anymore), messaging O____’s grandchildren. I tried that and broke through. They said they’d pass the news on.
So last night O____ and his wife called me. Apologized for losing touch – they’ve been going through a difficult time of selling a house and relocating, on top of health issues.
Then we started catching up. There was a lot of catching up to do. Continue reading The shadow of death
A new column of mine, Letter to a Young Friend, has been published today at The American Spectator Online.
So here we are, post-election, looking at an outcome neither of us expected. I’m not about to do an end zone dance — this election wasn’t exactly a triumph for conservatism. Frankly, I expect the new president will do a lot more that will please you than you expect at this point.
But now seems to me a good time for a thought experiment.