Sunday, August 18, 2013

Death of the West: Viking Whalers

National Geographic had an interesting article on Norway's dying whaling industry and whaling communities. Like the sea mist itself, it is an entire way of life evaporating into nothingness. The breathtaking photos are at another link. The whaling communities are dying from a combination of bigger fishing companies, the oil industry sucking young men away but mostly, the people saying no thanks to that way of life. Permits for X number of whales go unfulfilled. Money is not an issue as they make good money. If they loved the area but didn't want to work, Norway also has a very healthy and wealthy social safety net thanks to being the Saudi Arabia of the North. There are two things the article dances around but appear to have an effect. First, the effect of modernity + consumer culture drawing children away from a way of life that lasted generations. Second, the effect of young women leaving the island. We cannot solve or address any problems because the ideology the media supports will not discuss all factors.

The youth of that region of Norway are pushing back and saying no to the fishing and whaling industry. Why? There are small references to ecogroups sabotaging and terrorizing fishing boats decades ago. Could there be a link to the under 40 crowd saying no to whaling and fishing after those eco-battles? What of the non-stop environmental propaganda? The NatGeo article mentions how there are only 1600 whales hunted a year worldwide (down from mid-20thC peak of 80,000), yet there was recently an American reality TV show called "Whale Wars". Combine this with the propaganda of the big city fulfilling all your dreams, it is not too much of a wonder that Norwegians are saying no thanks and breaking that multigenerational chain. The work is hard, but some men do it, so why have their numbers gone down? The decline is a taper, not a total cut off, so NatGeo, maybe you could explore the space. How could generation after generation fish and hunt for whales, yet the post-'68 crowd runs from it? There have been other social changes and even world wars, but whaling and fishing thrived after short term set backs. The writer doesn't delve into what makes recent history so different.

Completely off the writer's table, and this might be a stretch, but what are whaling and fishing? They are industries that are heavy male. They are location dependent due to where the fish and whales are. Take a peak at the end of the article and in the pictures. Check out the photo of the girl mentioned at the end going off to study and live in the big city maybe to retire when she's older back home. She's a cute girl. She's going to follow her sisters who went off to become a lawyer and doctor. Over/under on total children by all three women at 1.5? I'll take the under. If the young women of an area are running away, the guys will leave as well. It's like local bars. You get girls to show up, which then brings in the guys. Young men aren't going to stick around for a rough trade, which yields good money, if there are few if any cute girls to fool around and form families with in proper ratios. Norway's fertility is 1.77. Marriage is dying, too. The youths must be finding fulfillment in their self actualization and big city jobs. Wrong again.

The whales are there. The fish are there. It's the people. The article does rightly square some blame on larger fishing business firms and the people themselves saying no, but it never gets down to why they are saying no. The small fishing town life is not enough anymore. Yet the lives in larger cities are empty. Family breakdown and social atomization is the expanding problem even in wealthy, healthy Norway. Even the small town folk of northern Norway are susceptible to the call of narcissistic entertainment and pleasure rather than being a part of something far greater and older than themselves. Whaling and fishing worked for Vikings for Christians for centuries. Norse mythology and culture is engaging and poetic enough to still linger on in Hollywood + Americanized versions today in Thor. Norway's whalers withstood busts, depressions, technological advancement and good substitution, but it was no match for progressivism and modernity.

3 comments:

Big Bill said...

This is Scandinavia:

http://www.hel-looks.com/20130809_07/


Helsinki, Finland, to be exact.

Page through each page using the left-right arrows and take a look at what Scandinavia has turned into.

Portlander said...

I have to believe whoever runs that site has to be a gay man. I can't believe the entire male populace of Helsinki is that faggy-weird. However, if the photog is gay that would markedly skew the sample: 1) he's more inclined to take pictures of men he likes 2) a confident and traditionally masculine male isn't going to pose for him, even if he were to approach one to ask, which he wouldn't.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Whenever Roosh posts photos of women from hel-looks, I laugh. They are a joke. The men are weird. They give the Japanese subcultures with their weird clothes and makeup a run.