Disney, which markets its products to kids of all ages, has one common thread which sprang from its very beginnings. My mother, born in 1933 vividly remembers the sinister character that conflicted heavily with the image of Snow White. It has preyed upon her where she's feared it all of her life. Now, she admits that when we watch it today, it is quite tame by comparison however what she fears still remains deeply engrained within her. What I can tell you is that the Viking Imagery of my youth has been engrained into my life and shall be with me until my dying breath. These images now appear to be lost to the ages.
The purpose of Victor is quite clear in that families are bringing their children to the game and there is something specifically for children however hypocrisy is afoot. Football is a sport of grace, beauty, tempo, power, and skill ... all combined with contact, collisions, violence, pain, sweat, blood, emotion, joy, tears, etc. It is like television substituting violence for viewing the taboos of our society. It is what it is but that does not mean I'm ready to settle for whatever a fruitcake is planting in front of my face.
Disney does not own the rights to all imagery just as they do not own the rights to the forces of mother nature. What they did was to combine darkness, the raging billowing deep grayness of clouds, lighting with a blitzing cracking thunder, with freezing gale force winds, driving rain interspersed with snow, surging seas over and upon the deck, a mast with blowing tattered sails, a the surging deck of what is most certainly a Viking Ship with the view of a man forced to face his own mortality. He was neither in danger, nor was he master of his domain. There is nothing sterile about this image.
In this imagery, what were we thinking about in that very instant in time? Why did he choose to be on that ship? What was his goal? How far is he from safety? Are all the odds stacked against him? What could possibly happen that could be a worse situation for him? If he is a Viking, and his quest is to lead an invasion, a raid, for booty, what form of death awaits him on that foreign shore? What test do the gods have in store for this soul? Are each of mother natures forces a perceived threat, and which are actual threats that require his immediate response? All of these thoughts are captured within this image within an instance in time. This is what it means to be a Viking.
Minnesotans live in the land of a thousand lakes. Many of your own players leave the confines of your facilities to escape to the solitude and freedom that lies upon these lakes. Dirty old men or John Madden's mundane views of ice fishing are the false positives. A change in uniform does not capture this essence. No man swinging an axe standing on shore can attest to man standing on deck in a fog bank completely without his senses ... facing the very elements of nature on his own. Do these images attest to what it is to be a Viking?
In being a Viking all of my life it meant that there was no prejudice, there was no race, there was no gender, there was no political toil ... only the balanced thoughts between life and death. They came from an unlimited well of questions? That is what it is to be a Viking.
No one is in the business to scare children, except maybe Disney, however Viking imagery is in the business of opening ones senses to the world ... the forces of nature.
I'm not talking about seeing die hard batteries being started on the frozen lakes of Northern Minnesota. I grew up to fire breathing dragons, that torched and blazed upon the frozen tundra of the north. "What the hell was that, Dad?" My wide eyed sons, only recently seeing this imagery for the first time, get an immediate understanding and a bonding between generation that immediately formed from this simple imagery. My eyes were opened to blowing gales, swaying towers, frost and snow. Fat Snow, sideward stinging snow, icy rain filled snow and frost ... the hardest frost anywhere. Temperatures that were always the coldest in the nation. Where the vapor of a mans breath exposed his very soul. Benches side by side, with taunting looks of sleeveless men that felt no pain and felt no cold. A walking insane asylum wearing purple. Frost and a frozen everything everywhere. It was inescapable like the images of hell. Stoic figures with piercing eyes combined with human-like figures that were the masters of these elements. A simple roof killed this imagery and its passion for all time. This imagery was priceless and it was all provided for free by the hands of the gods.
First and foremost were biological functions (eating). What follows is an absolute & complete devotion to the Vikings. The images of my youth were rambunctiously anticipated and then devoured. Many of these shared experiences are now seared into our memories almost like attending a game at the Met on a December day. Is it any wonder why my wife encourages the very thing that makes her a widow. Although she would be the last to admit it, maybe it is the spawn of these very passions that brings the artistic skills within our lives.
Ladies ... find a man totally committed to the Vikings and I'll show you a man with fringe benefits ... marry one today!
Capturing the Viking Image cannot be allowed to be influenced by some corporate boardroom. It must be influenced by what it means be a Minnesotan, it's life, it's hardships, it's humanity. What it is to be a Viking!
What the hell is a Packer? Not that there is anything wrong with that ;o)
Well, maybe not.
The Viking Ghost