Friday, December 11, 2009

Unity and Concord

King Ethelred was not, as they say, a Good King. He had paid off the invading Danish bullies, changed his mind and rather than face them in battle elected to slaughter them all on the same day in 1002, a rather early variant of ethnic cleansing. This didn't go down awfully well in Scandinavia, since a) it didn't work and b) the Queen of Denmark's sister was among those massacred. King Sweyn united the Norwegians and Danes, exacting a four-year revenge by way of blood and slaughter on the hapless population, culminating in drunken Vikings capturing the Archbishop of Canterbury and bringing his life to an exciting close by hurling animal skulls at him until he expired.
Why the history lesson today? Well, King Sweyn's father was Harald Bluetooth - they had funny names based on rather odd peculiarities in those days - another was Thorfinn Skullsplitter, whom one might hesitate to invite for lunch. It was this Scandinavian ruler who, with his son united the warring and savage Northlanders in much the same way as Bluetooth technology unites computers, phones and PDA's. Indeed, the Bluetooth logo is his name in Nordic runes.
I wonder if the current visitors to Copenhagen are making use of the technology? It's unlikely that the sex workers' generous offer will be captured photographically by those who availed themselves of it and bluetoothed to wives and families all over the world or, indeed, whether unity and concord will flow from the deliberations of the great and the good. The picture of a sex worker is self-explanatory.

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