The second season of Valhalla on Netflix started a couple of weeks ago. It has all the incredibly handsome, bloodthirsty men, and occasionally women—including the requisite bloody axes. In this season, those converted to Christianity have driven most of the followers of the old g-ds into exile. I admit being spellbound by the series Vikings, and I am enjoying this spin-off series as well.

But more to the point of this blog is the fact that it portrays Vikings not as moral heroes, but as hierarchical and as cruel as any other group at the time. Without giving away the plot, you see Vikings enslaving other Vikings; greed and power are the real g-ds. So much for entertainment.

Next week, I leave for Puerto Rico to spend a week with my sister, who has wintered there for a couple of decades. (She resides in northern Maine. Who can blame her?) I shared my travel plans with a work colleague, a nurse with family on the island who knows it well. Our conversation turned to the damage done by hurricanes over the past several years and the fact that little to nothing has been done to repair the damage, especially in poorer neighborhoods. My colleague offered an interesting reason for the lassitude and slow pace of progress.

With the houses becoming less and less habitable, wealthy investors are able to buy up large tracts of land, tear down the houses, and replace the old neighborhoods with big hotels and casinos. The rich get richer, and the poor can no longer afford to live there.

Real life today doesn’t seem much different from my TV series. Maybe there are fewer axes, but the suffering is the same.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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