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The Wight Stuff: A Case for Car Wights

The Wight Stuff: A Case for Car Wights

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” — Arthur C.


Occasionally, I write something that I think is controversial, but ends up being controversial in ways I never expected.  Last week’s post created a bit of a kerfuffle over, not the concept that we are doing blots wrong, but the idea that there could be car wights.

Seriously?  Seriously?

I’m not one to shy away from a good controversial discussion, especially when I think there is much to do about nothing, as Shakespeare would put it.  So, I’m going to dedicate this blog to the lowly car wight, who just might have been slighted by those who think it could not exist.

Ready for some fun?  Let’s go…

First Understand Whence I Speak

Before I even get started in the entire “are their car wights?” debate, let’s talk about my own beliefs on the subject of wights.  I am agnostic when it comes to wights.  I haven’t met one directly, and while I’ve had some pretty freaky shit happen with stuff, I can chalk it up to something natural or at least some root cause that is probable.

So the argument of whether wights exist is largely an entertaining discussion to me.  It also means I look at what could exist and not necessarily what does exist. So, let’s get started.

What’s a Wight, Really?

When we look at legends and lore, we get a pretty interesting view of how our ancestors looked at the world.  The world was full of beings, seen and unseen, that either helped, harmed, or ignored humans. We can point to etins/jotun, trolls, alfs (elves), dwarves, and various nature sprites and come up with a statement, along with the Anglo Saxon definition of wight, to include creatures and things. Now, for the sake of argument, we can narrow that definition down to supernatural creatures since many of the folks who dislike the idea of a car wight are stating that cars can’t have wights.

I would narrow it down further to supernatural creatures that inhabit only natural places, but this doesn’t hold true for wights. Some wights don’t live in rocks or trees or forests. Some live in barrows which are manmade, some live on farms and in houses, and some have been known to travel on boats.

Types of Wights

There are almost as many types of wights as there are ordinary critters in the world.  Not all the same rules apply to these wights either, nor have they all come from the same place. The alfar or alfs may be our male ancestors, just like the disir are our female ancestors. We have ghosts, trolls, werewolves, and zombies in our beliefs (call them what you will in Norse, if it makes you feel better.), so, we have quite the variety.  Some, most notably the alfs, can’t touch iron. Others, such as the dwarves and etins work and use iron quite handily.

I bring this up because the obvious problems with some wights and iron.  It would obviously not be the type of wight who inhabited a car, so let’s rule them out right then and there. Some wights seem to be bound to objects; some, like the huldufolk in Iceland, seem to be able to move out of rocks when told that a highway may be going through.

We can also take a look at magical items, including swords, and consider them wights of sorts because they seem to have their own will.  In these cases, swords that are imbued with will and spirits can certainly be constructs as well as wights. Why do I bring these up? This is important to consider when deciding if a car is a wight or not.  We can’t look at one thing that matches the wight criteria and exclude others simply because we don’t like the idea. The swords have undergone the blacksmith’s fire in order to become something that humans can use.  Cars simply undergo a more modern forging and stamping.

Taking this One Step Further: Car Wights

Okay, so we know wights can inhabit human constructs, some can tolerate iron, some can travel and inhabit boats, and some aren’t so strictly bound to objects.  Okay, then.  Let’s look at the car, shall we?

  • Human construct?  — Yes, but so are farms, graves, and homes.
  • Iron in it? — Yes, but many wights are good with that.
  • Natural materials? — Materials are made from atoms and molecules, many mined and reworked to served specific purposes.  But yes, it came from nature at one time.
  • Gives gifts for gifts? — Yes.
  • Personality?  – Yes.

But what about magic?  As the science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” What would our Heathen ancestors think of our technology if they were to step into our time? What would they think of a vehicle that has no horses or oxen to pull it? I submit to you, if we didn’t teach them how cars work (teaching them would be a tough thing given the difference in culture and education), they’re likely to think it was some type of magic.  Hence they would be considered supernatural creatures.

So, are there Cars Wights?

By the definition of what I’ve established as a wight, I’ve managed to at least suggest that cars could have wights, or even be wights. They have personalities.  They have quirks.  We name them. We give them gifts (fuel, care) in exchange for their gift (transportation). They are made from components of this earth. Obviously the car wights aren’t alfs, given the metal, but cars could carry any of the huldufolk that could tolerate iron.  And our ancestors would think they were magical.  That qualifies a car as a wight, or at least something that would have a wight in it.

On of my patrons brought up the fact that cars don’t have free will. I’ll grant you that. But I’m not certain all wights have free will either. And given the fact that free will may be an illusion anyway, it’s a moot point.  But a point that may or may not be relevant to the discussion. Some wights are tightly bound to their homes; others are not.  So, they do have to operate within the confines of their set parameters.

So, there may be car wights; there may not.  I’ve at least given a good case for why there might be. Whether you accept them or not is your choice.

Airplane Wights

As a postscript, I have to bring up airplane wights.  Why?  Because airmen in Great Britain during WWI had claimed to see gremlins damaging airplanes.  What’s more, Charles Lindbergh claimed to have seen some sort of gremlin that kept him awake during his transoceanic flight. If gremlins aren’t our modern day version of wights, I don’t know what is.

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Do You Even Troll, Bro?

Do You Even Troll, Bro?

Today, I’m on a rant against trolls.  These may indeed be the type that live under bridges, but more
likely, they live in their parents’ basements and bitch about those of us who actually have something to say.  These are the types who use the “anonymity” of the Internet to cyber bully and laugh at those who don’t agree with their world view.

Kids, I’ve been slaughtering trolls before you were a gleam in your troll-daddies’ eyes.  I think you need to get a reality check.  For the rest of those who want to understand why someone doesn’t respect your opinions and viewpoints online (or if you’ve ever been the target of DYEHB), read on…

Internet Trolls are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

Whoa!  That sounds extreme, doesn’t it?  Guess what?  Those aren’t my words, but I agree whole-heartedly.  The pronouncement comes from an article in Psychology Today. Trolls are the nastiest people around and we don’t want to spend anytime near them.  They scored ridiculously high in what shrinks call “the Dark Tetrad:” narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. Canadian researchers came to this stunning conclusion that those of us who have been on the Internet had already known after two studies with more than 1200 subjects. So, if you’ve ever taken delight attacking people on the Internet for sheer sport, count yourself among the troll-kind.  And you’re not my friend.  For some reason, I couldn’t see the graph, but I found it on Slate, so you can see it too.

The researchers had this to say:

“… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” [emphasis added]

Well, well, well.  That says to me that they simply get their rocks off making other people feel awful.  Nice.

Is the Rational Heathen a Troll?

Now, I can hear some of you muttering that I am some kind of troll because I post what are controversial posts occasionally.  And sometimes, yes, I admit that the titles are a bit more click-bait so that you’ll read them, but I consider that just good journalism and not necessarily trolling.  In my Recons are Idiots piece, I thought I was pretty damn clear what kind of recons I had issues with.  And oddly enough, those were the same folk who took umbrage at my statements by proving me right.  It’s funny because as many outspoken recons there were, there were more people saying, “yeah, I’ve experienced that — thanks for agreeing with me.” So, if you’re a recon and you’ve disagreed with me, note that plenty of other folk are in my court and you or someone who claims they’re a recon are the ones who have given recons that reputation.

That being said, I don’t go out of my way to attack a particular person.  Oh, I might mention a type of person, or refer to someone whom I keep anonymous for everyone’s overall protection, but I don’t troll the boards looking to pick fights and make people miserable. If anything, I’m extremely courteous to those on other boards.  Now, if you come swinging on my own board, then the gloves are off.  If you make a legitimate case, I will listen to you.  I may not agree, but I’ll listen to you.  And if you’re civil to me, I’ll be civil to you. That’s the game we’ll play.  The only people I don’t have patience for are the racists and white-supremacists.  And I will insult you if you are one.

Look, no one says you have to read my page.  In fact, if you don’t like what I’m saying, maybe you should go elsewhere where people agree with you.  You’re welcome to stay in your narrow-minded corner since you can’t seem to accept someone else’s point of view. (And yes, I just took a swipe at you.  Deal with it.)

I’ve had precisely two trolls show up on my Facebook page. After some long, ugly discussions which ended up as ad hominem attacks, I didn’t bother to tell them to fuck off.  I simply banned them.  The problem is the more you try to reason with them, the worse they get.  Finally, I got tired of them and pulled the plug. I’ll entertain opposing views, but you’re on my good graces if you’re nasty.  My good graces incidentally are largely dependent on how much work I have to do, how much sleep I’ve had, and what kind of day I’m having.  In other words, “you don’t know my day, bitch,” — don’t push it.

Why Do They Do It?

 Interestingly enough, there is a lovely post in Psychology Today which actually states why trolls do what they do.  A lot of it has to do with the nameless face in the crowd mentality.  The overall “anonymity,” or at least, obscurity, of the Internet, combined with the feeling that other people’s silence equals agreement, and being surrounded by a social group that will at least support them, are reasons they will say the damnedest things.  The trolls I zapped online wouldn’t dare say what they did to my face.  If they did, they’d better only keep it at words.

For a while, there has been people who had a board specifically for Heathen trolls. I read through some of their “laughs” and found them to be boring and inane. And yes, I just call them inane.  They laughed at people for the way they practiced Heathenism, as though there is some “right” way and some “wrong” way.  I’ll admit, there are some practices I think aren’t right due violations in the ethics of reciprocity, and you’ll know up front why I think that, but the gray areas of Heathenism are very large. It’s those gray areas that the trolls revel in, and they make certain that everyone knows how “stupid” they think a person is.  While I might think your way of practicing Heathenism is wrong, if it is harmless and you’re not trying to push it on me, I probably won’t make fun of you.  If I do, it’s because it’s so bizarre and off the chart.  But I won’t name names.  Ad hominems directed at specific people aren’t cool, and downright mean.  There’s no reason to do this.

The Troll Test 

Yes, really, there is an Internet troll test. While I am not beyond getting into a debate with someone, I can truly say I say no to all those questions.  I’m not asking you to bare your heart to us, but if you really think it’s a great idea to call me names, I’d suggest taking a look at the questions and see if maybe the shoe fits.  If it does, then perhaps you need to go somewhere else.  Like very far away.