About Me, Berenstain Bears, cane, dwarfs, feminism, Freyja, Freyr, Frigg, Frigga, gadara, Goddesses, Gods, Hanna Rosin, Heathen, Heathenism, honor, Jan Berenstain, Norse, Pagan, Paganism, Rants, Religion, respect, vikings
Probably one of the Biggest things in Heathenism is the concept of Honor. This isn’t all that surprising, seeing as most “races” who wear the Proud Warrior Race hat (like the Vikings, Cane, Dwarfs, Marat, etc) all tend to throw a lot behind Honor. Honor is gained in battle, in keeping your word, and is used both as a mark of standing and as a currency. There is a term used by the Cane that I really like: Gadara. It means a trusted and respected enemy who in many ways is closer to you than a friend, because a friend can let you down, but your enemy who is your equal will always be your enemy who is worthy of respect. I will probably write more on that later.
One of our greatest losses in society, is Honor, especially as it was viewed in Western Europe. Many other cultures still have their concept of Honor strongly held, such as the Japanese or the Muslims, but their version of honor is different from the concept from Europe. But I am not going to talk about that today. Defining the nuances of Honor can come later. What’s important is that Honor has been lost.
Which brings me to the point of my post today. A good writer would put this first, but I wanted to show where I was coming from. I came across and article by Hanna Rosin called the Berenstain Bores. I don’t know how many of my readers know this, or really care, but Jan Berenstain who co-wrote the Berenstain Bears with her husband died just a little while ago. This has caused a great deal of sadness, as the books have been around for a very long time and are much beloved by many a child and their parents. I’m sure there are a great many articles about Jan’s death.
I don’t thing they started out like this though:
The world today brings news that Jan Berenstain, co-author with her husband Stan of the 45 years and running Berenstain Bears series for children, has passed on to a better world. As any right-thinking mother will agree, good riddance.
Now, there is no shame in gloating over the death of an enemy, but it must be in moderation and in accordance to the nature of that enemy. If your enemy slaughters your family, razed your village to the ground, defiled your women, then by all means throw a feast for nine days with much drinking and merriment.
If it’s a woman who wrote children’s books, however, I think it is a wee bit crass. Especially if said writer didn’t do anything to you personally . Now, I never met Mrs Berenstain, nor can I recall really reading her books, but I do know at least one person who has read them, loves them, and met her, and by all rights she was a sweet old lady (with a penchant for British terms and inventive, if rather vanilla cursing).
Of course, I have to wonder what qualifies Ms. Rosin to define what a “right-thinking” mother is. Reports is she’s a feminist, which would explain her attitude towards some of the stuff she brings into her article. Apparently she has issues with using the birds and the bees to explain sex to small children (something about butterflies) and I can’t help but wonder if her idea of sex ed to a four year old is “the man puts his evil penis in the woman’s holy vagina and makes her bear his child for nine months like a parasite unless she gets an abortion and terminates the little hell-spawn.”
Actually, I get the impression that might just be how some feminists describe creating children. Though I suppose it is simpler than explaining that Thor and Freyr lay their blessings upon Father, Freyja and Frigg upon Mother, and the Norn weave the Wyrd of the child, and from all this and the base mechanics human procreation is a Child born to effect the world as is its fate. But I like my version better. Bringing children into the world is one of the few areas where I prefer not to be “evil.”
Dragging myself back to the topic at hand. Ms. Rosin has shown a supreme lack of honor. Even assuming that Berenstain was her enemy, she would have been a small one in the scheme of things. Certainly not one so great as to merit open gloating up her death. Maybe a private fist pump in your own home, but not to be slandered and demeaned. We are reflected in the enemies we have, if your enemies are mighty, then you are worthy of respect for facing them. If your enemies are honorable, and you are honorable, then you are worthy of respect. If you enemy is a little old lady you attack after she’s dead, well…
I doubt anyone will ever call you Gadara.
Shen Hart said:
You make me feel so very old. I often comment on such things as respect, honour, the old ways and simple manners and etiquette so lost these days. It’s truly a said state of affairs we find ourselves in.
Robin Helweg-Larsen said:
I have no comment about the creator of the books or of her death. I don’t know anything about her, and I don’t care one way or the other.
The *books* however were banned in our family, as being part of the dumbing down of the US and Canada. They have no depth, they don’t feed the soul. They are candy, cartoons. (The fact that they are stereotypically sexist doesn’t help, but isn’t the main issue.)