the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone (whiskyinmind) wrote,
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone

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Watched a documentary on Channel 4 last night called "Pagans". What a load of prejudicial tripe! The presenter whose name has just escaped me, started off with a basic argument and tried to prove it. Fair enough, his show his perogative. His premise was that Pagans in ancient Britain were the equivalent of today's football hooligans and their kings were the equivalent of Beckham and Rooney. It could have been an interesting viewpoint, yes Pagan history is rife with violence and full of battles, yes the rulers were selected from the general populace and adulated until something went wrong in which case they were cut down more vicioulsy than the Sun ever could today. But. The programme ignored the fact that ancient Pagan culture was not male dominated, it certainly wasn't anything resembling a matriarchy - what it was was about recognising and revering duality.

The presenter coudn't really deal with anything that didn't back up his argument 100% so he skipped over it or ignored it - for instance, his example of how Britons were bloodthirsty gangs of hooligans was Boudica's success against the Roman invaders. Boudica. The warrior queen. A woman. That litttle factoid got neatly skipped over.

The programme also ignored the fact that although violence was a central part of Pagan life, it was more about defence than any kind of bloodlust. It did mention the fact that when conflicts arose then champions from each band would fight each other in a contest but even though it was never actually vocalised, it was clear the presenter was comparing this to Roman Gladiatorial challenges and allowing the audience to draw the conclusion of barbarity.

And then, when it was clear he didn't have enough drivel to fill the full hour, the guy went to Sweden and began explaining how violent and regicidal the Viking culture was. For the last twenty minutes of the show. I sat there watching it thinking, he's not really making that obvious mistake is he? But he was. Viking society may have shared a lot with Pagan society, but it was a very different animal. This guy, whoever he was, seemed to forget that purely because Viking history is better recorded and seems to prove his theory of Pagans.

Channel 4 can make some damn good documentaries, they are usually well balanced and insightful. This was one sided propaganda more fitting to Channel 5 than anything else. I've just had a quick look and C4 have a website dedicated to the programme which seems to be far more balanced than the actual programme was. is the main site and is the link to the programme that was on last night. There's one more programme in the series which I plan to watch in the hopes that it will at least try to balance out the viewpoints a little.
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