Thursday, November 2, 2017

For Once, an Apolitical Post

Cartoonist Dave Granlund (who has been mentioned here once before, in a positive light) recently came up with this:

For those not paying attention to football (like me), the Minnesota Vikings are or were playing a game in London, and Granlund thought this was worth drawing. Who the intended audience was, I'm not sure, since he's not carried in our local papers generally, and does anyone else care what the Vikings are up to?

Anyway, it's not one of his best efforts conceptually, and then it goes completely wrong because he doesn't seem to know anything about the history he's referring to.

Let's see, how many things are wrong with it?

  1. The winners in 1066 were the Normans, who were themselves Vikings who had earlier conquered northern, coastal France. Norman: North men. Get it, Dave? Yes, they spoke Norman French, but they weren't really French. And they won, not lost, the battle.
  2. The losers in 1066 were the English. Who were Saxons (or Angles... but no one really knows how that became the namesake group). That means they were Germans, who had invaded the Celtic isle of Britain some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. It's likely there had been a lot of intermarriage between the Saxons and Celts, but still... there's a reason they were speaking Old English, not Celtic.
  3. Queen Elizabeth II herself is descended from more recent Germans, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (starting with those four guys named George, remember them?), not to mention Queen Victoria's German consort, Prince Albert. They changed the family name to the House of Windsor around World War I. (Too German-sounding.)
So no, Dave, "we" — meaning anything Queen Elizabeth would identify with — did not defeat the Vikings in 1066.

Doesn't anyone know this stuff nowadays?

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