Monday, 11 April 2011

A Burning Issue

Life would certainly be boring if human beings and their institutions were wise and sensible. If that were the case, I wouldn't bother writing my blog - after all, I've better things to do - like catching mice and birds, and depositing fur-balls and post-alimentary offerings on Beeby See's carpet. But that would be too mind-numbingly pedestrian for this kitty. I'll leave the mundane cat activities to my prosaic cat colleagues. They have nothing better to think about.

Here's one piece of news that's reasonably fresh and steaming: a Northumbrian National Faction member has been arrested by the Costumed Thugs for committing an execrable offence. Sit down, close your eyes and take in a deep breath, children... he burned a copy of the Vikings' sacred book - the Eddas - in the privacy of his own home. The consequent  fallout has been considerable, and the governmental hordes have been foaming at the mouth in hysteria. The soothsayers have - as usual - squealed like demented pigs.

Now, as far as this cat is concerned, he doesn't give a gnat's whisker about the Eddas; they may be sacred to the Vikings, but they're not sacred to me. Anyway - what's special about a book? Granted, it takes some considerable time to write one out, and it's an expensive exercise; I'm sure sometime in the future, they'll devise a way of producing them quickly and cheaply. But a book's a book - covers, binding, pages and writing. It's nothing magical. Now, I'm aware that there are certain Christians who have an undue reverence for the Bible (as if it were more significant than the One who inspired it), but they don't actually worship it: that would be a desecration of the Second Commandment. But the Vikings thus revere their Eddas; according to their strange creed and theology they believe that they were dictated directly by the god Odin to somebody or other. And the Witangemot, their hangers-on and the legions of no-hopers who help to prop up this shabby wasteland of a Kingdom have - in their infinite wisdom - decided to favour the Vikings above other religious groups. So the desecration of an abbey or a church would be deeply upsetting to the many Christians of the realm, but should that happen, they'd simply be expected to put up with the injustice, turn the other cheek and manfully carry on.

The Vikings, however, aren't likely to take such iniquities lying down. They would proclaim a sacred fast, chew sacred mushrooms and go on the rampage, sacking, butchering innocent bystanders and pillaging Anglo-Saxon settlements. The upholding of Odin's honour is their justification for such unruly and brutal activities. It appears to me that Odin is pretty well powerless to defend himself, so he's dependent on his warrior followers to fight his own battles for him... bless.

Anyway. The main issue is that some bright spark decided to burn a copy of the Eddas in the privacy of his own home. Big deal: every Anglo-Saxon's home is his sacred and inviolable castle; he is king of the realm of his own hearth. Why shouldn't he burn whatever he likes? If he wants to burn a book, that's up to him - if, that is, he bought it or obtained it by other legitimate means. My master Caedmon burns copies of his poems that he's dissatisfied with; nobody cares about that.

But there's a nagging question. Why was this Northumbrian National Faction member arrested? Were members of the Costumed Thugs peeping into his doorway to make sure he wasn't burning something forbidden? I struggle to imagine that this were the case. Nobody pops their head through Caedmon's doorway to check on the kindling.

Did someone in his household see what he was doing and report it to the Costumed Thugs? Possible - but family loyalties are very tight here in Northumbria. So I'll rule that out as a valid reason. So, that leaves me with one remaining theory. The Northumbrian National Faction member announced beforehand that he was going to wind up the Vikings - and the knuckle-dragging authorities - by burning a copy of the Eddas. He was making a public statement. What other possible reason could there have been for his arrest? A show trial in the Moot is likely to follow with Beeby See and Guardy-Ann licking their slavering chops.

He made a statement. And the statement he made to the world is this: "I am terminally stupid."


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