Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bog Politics And Bailouts

I was doing some free-time research on bog mummies the other day, as I often do, and I couldn’t help but think of the economic bailout packages being distributed in the US. In retrospect, I can’t believe I didn’t notice the relationship between these two things until now. Silly me. Let me explain…

Bog mummies are preserved remains of cadavers that were thrown into the bogs of Europe thousands (or at least hundreds) of years ago. As far as archeologists can tell, many of these mummies were human sacrifices – people who were killed to curry favor with pagan bog gods, in order for villages to receive bountiful harvests and divine protection against enemies.

Meet Tollund Man. His time of death is somewhere around the 4th century BC, in Scandinavia, during the pre-Roman Iron Age. He is in remarkable condition for a man left for dead in peat moss. His eyelids are still there and his sheepskin hat is no worse for wear. He’s quite a find.

When Mr. Tollund was about 40 years old, he was garroted at the neck and choked (not hung like a criminal). He was not beaten, slashed or treated poorly before his death. Mr. Tollund’s hat tells that he was no common slacker, and his preserved belt indicates he was a fellow who knew how to dress for important occasions.

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Human sacrifices. A tricky business. Many a culture has been tempted to give up their coveted virgins. The reality is that not every sacrifice was a perfect person. Villagers had no problem with selecting people they perceived as weak or expendable. Mr. Tollund is different than your average human sacrifice because he was not a burdened by a hymen (intact or otherwise), and was not physically challenged. Also, he was carefully laid to rest in a decent patch of bog. Mr. Tollund was not just anybody; he was somebody important who needed to die.

In our generous hearts, we might see Mr. Tollund as a selfless leader who paid the price (and how!). Perhaps, but what if he was doing well for himself at the expense of his clan? Is it possible that Mr. Tollund had to go down because his success was the byproduct of his neighbor’s misery? We could be looking at a man who is the prototype of a corporate CEO who enjoyed one too many bonuses.

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Meanwhile in Washington, DC, modern humans are handing out cash money to stave off economic destruction. Men in private jets with luxurious mistresses are holding out tin cups and begging for credit from the US government, as if our collective wallets represented some kind of bog god who could persuaded to make things better. The government will write enough checks to ensure our safe passage through Wall Street, but it doesn’t mean we like it. It might not even work. So we need a patsy, just in case.

There will be blood drawn over the economic bailout. Maybe not literally, but at least symbolically. Humans are biological creatures, sure, but we are also wired for retribution and drama. I have yet to see a garroting of any CEO’s, but I am fairly certain that a descendant of Mr. Tollund is going to need to be choked to death before anyone feels a bit better about things. That is how the world works.

Someone always has to pay. Right now that person is me. It’s you. It’s your neighbor. This bailout is costing us more than we can count. We will carry a grudge against some guy we perceive as the ultimate bastard. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but that guy is going down. Deep. No, we don’t do bogs anymore. The new bogs are called blogs. Nothing is too sacred for a blog.

Have a happy day, sir, whoever you are.

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Anonymous said...

good observation, mojo! there you have, a chance to become immortal! ;-)


Mojopo said...

LV, between you and me (and whoever stumbles across my nonsense), I am absolutely fascinated by the ways humans reach for immortality.

Nothing we feel has not been felt before. No emotion is new. Over and over, we keep doing the same things is different ways. It is one of the reasons I love humanity, while being absolutely impatient with them at the same time.

Anonymous said...

right, there have been always the ones wishing immortality and others looking for ways to sell immortality to the firsts.


Anonymous said...

O.T.: LV lives in Munich and eats weisswurst ( with Bavarian beer.


PapaPig said...

It's amazing who is in "The Club" and who isn't. Tonight on even the liberal CBS news they totally gave the auto makers a new rectum. Talking about how much money they gave congress, exaggerated their wages by adding retirement of other workers. etc.

We voted for a guy that promised health care and better medicare, etc. So a company tries to take care of their employees, and they are called dinosaurs.

We give the banks , rather the guy in the picture, Santa Paulson gives the banks hundreds of billions, no strings attached; Well cause he used to work there and they are his club buddies.

The car companies not only have to borrow not get the money but it looks small compared to what we gave the banks.

Ok I am not saying give the car companies the money in case you get my point.

My point is the car companies aren't in "The Club", because under current administration Wall Street is the Club.

but I am just a pig that was spared yet another fall.

Anonymous said...

I never would have made this connection between bog mummies and politicians Mojo. You're a genius!!! Are you sure we can't bog W?? Although, he'd never turn out a purdy as Tollund man. =)


Minnie-sota said...

I missed your Wednesday post on bog man, Mojo. Speedy's comment made me laugh.