Karl Siegfried of the Norse Mythology Blog (and jazz musician extraordinaire) will be appearing on H2, the second channel for the History Channel, tonight on their “Ancient Aliens” show. Is there an extraterrestrial connection between the Vikings, their gods, and alien beings (as w/ Stargate)? Here’s a hint from a professional: No. Watch in any case to see Karl go head to head with the aliens. Or those who believe in them, anyway. I’m hoping H2 will put it on the web later, so I can link to it or embed it here.
My impression of the sort of documentaries you get on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc, is that they may be entertaining (occasionally), but they are hardly interested in education. Conspiracy makes for better business than the truth, and, paradoxically enough, the idea of historical truth makes for better business than historical truth itself (OK, bracketing off for the moment the epistemological/ideological complications that come along w/ using a word like “truth”). If you want to learn, the best bet is to take a course, and then continue from there, having “learned the ropes.” That said, there is a lot of introductory material out there for beginners, written by world-class scholars in the field (as I have noted many times), so don’t feel like the university is your only option for learning! Check out my “Book Reviews and Recommendations” category for posts in which I cover books on the Viking Age, Norse Myth, etc– as well as a bunch of Science Fiction and pretty much anything else I find interesting. More posts will be coming as time goes on–it was recently recommended that I give some recommendations for reading about life in the Viking age, but in the meantime you can get a few samples in my initial reaction to The History Channel’s Vikings Miniseries.