Jay, now standing on the edge of a cliff, looking over a bay. The surroundings are rather rugged, but there is a nice sun shining. The brilliance of the sunlight is naturally no match for the dazzle from his teeth though.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Again, we got a huge response to last week’s episode; with thousands of people expressing their desire to burn in hell. Unfortunately we got a less positive response from our lawyers over our planned episode tonight, examining Islamic paradise. So, instead we’re going to look at an Afterworld with plenty of historical resonance, but one which may be perceived as lacking contemporary relevance. We’re going to demonstrate just how misguided that perception is. Tonight, we’re examining Valhalla. Our reporter tonight is Tyrone.
Tyrone, tall, black, shaved head, good looking (of course); standing before the shining citadel of Valhalla. Wagner is playing as the background music.
Hi, everyone. Big thrill for me to be here at Valhalla. Coming from the States, it’s always interesting to see some old-fashioned European religion, and it doesn’t get much more old-fashioned than Valhalla, where fighting and feasting is the order of the day. Now we’re here to look behind the surface and see what Odin and the other Norse Gods have to offer in the way of a contemporary Afterworld.
Tyrone walks through the huge gate and into the hall itself.
Valhalla! This used to be the hall to which Valkyries brought valiant warriors slain in battle in order to aid the Gods in Ragnarök, the final conflict against the Giants. Recently, however, the criteria for admission was changed, and you no longer must die heroically before having your rotting corpse lifted from the battlefield by virgins mounted on wolves.
We’re here to discover the new Valhalla. And here to explain it to us is Heimdall, the watchman of the Gods. Heimdall, what’s the rationale behind the change?
Primarily, it’s down to the impact of modern society. The political and military policies followed in Scandinavia over the last century or so means we simply aren’t getting enough Norse warriors encountering glorious deaths. While Ægir’s Hall – which accepts those who die at sea – still gets refreshed through those who perish in the noble struggle to harpoon Whales and club Seals; we just aren’t getting enough fresh blood.
Why is that a problem?
Because, although the relationship between us and the Giants seems fairly placid at the moment, you can never trust those treacherous bastards and we need to make sure that our army is strong enough when they do eventually decide to unleash the ultimate showdown.
So, basically you’re mainly looking for potential warriors? That can’t be all that enticing for people comparing Valhalla to the eternal peace offered in Heaven.
First off, I’m not sure that’s the case. While the world may have largely ignored us for about 1000 years, we’ve kept an eye on world history, and there always seems to be a ready market for those in search of soldiers. Secondly, as I mentioned before, war doesn’t seem imminent, there may be every possibility of another millenia before the inhabitants of Valhalla are called into action. Finally, one of the reasons why we’re most keen to expand our recruitment is that we know that military techniques have moved on somewhat since the days of the Viking hordes and we want to make sure the Giants haven’t opened up an arms gap. So we’re also looking for weapons technology experts, engineers and so on. Just in case thunderbolts aren’t enough.
That’s fascinating stuff. But even so, a day of fighting on the plains of Asgard then back to Valhalla to eat boar and drink mead. Every day. Isn’t that too restricting to allow you to compete against other Afterworlds?
Well, it is extremely special boar and mead. More importantly, fighting is a lot more appealing when you know that you’ll make a full recovery from any injuries or death you sustain on the battlefield. The crucial factor we have in our favour though is that if you come to Valhalla, you’ve got Ragnarök to work towards. Whatever pleasure other Afterworlds may offer, they are ultimately pointless, but here you have a purpose.
But isn’t it fated that the Gods and the warriors of Valhalla will be defeated at Ragnarök?
Oh no, that’s simply a line we push in order to make them complacent. While they sit back and assume they don’t have to do anything in order to achieve victory, we’re expanding our recruitment and modernising our forces.
And are you just trying to get these new recruits from Scandinavia or are you casting your net a bit wider now? Because from a quick look around, I don’t see many brothers here.
That’s a fair point. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse the Valkyries of institutional racism, but our previous admission process did have the side-effect of restricting racial diversity. We do want to stress that any race is welcome to enter Valhalla without prejudice.
Well, given that the inhabitants of Valhalla have spent up to two thousand years going out every day to fight on the plains of Asgard before coming in to drink vast quantities of mead, we think that so much testosterone has built up that it might be unwise to admit women at this stage.
Tyrone thanks Heimdall for the guide and links back to Jay.
Wow, thanks to Tyrone for his report, certainly made me look a bit differently to Valhalla. Now, what if you’re thinking that this is where you want to go after you’ve shuffled off your mortal coil. It still seems that the best way to get there is to die a heroic death in battle and fortunately plenty of governments are offering that opportunity at the moment. Otherwise you’ll just have to apply and see what happens. Unless you’re a woman of course, in which case you’ll just have to look elsewhere.
Fortunately, we’ll be back next week with another Afterworld guide. See you then.
It is our considered opinion that in the current political and social climate it would be unwise to show a program that purports, however faithfully, to depict an Islamic paradise. Not only would this inevitably attract negative publicity and probably several lawsuits, it could also lead to more direct action being taken against those involved in the transmission. We strongly advise you against broadcasting this program.I mean, for fuck's sake, if you idiots have got some kind of death wish, why don't you just jump off a cliff, rather than taking the whole fucking studio with you. If you've got a single functioning brain cell rattling around in your coke-addled minds, you'll choose to do your next program on some long dead religion that no-one gives a shit about.