Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Childhood Memories

Old Knudsen was a beautiful baby as you can agree, some wanted to leave him in on mount Taygetos to die from the elements or to be eaten by wild animals as was our way with sickly or disabled babies but it was thought that maybe I'd grow into my looks a bit more as I got older.

In those days we just didn't do disabled people, there was no building ramps or kneeling buses, no awkward moments when you want to stare at them but want to remain cool and so ignore them as you would anyone else but then get accused of discrimination. Should disabled people be treated like everyone else or should everyone else be treated as disabled people? ..... too much to ponder. 

In my day toddler training consisted of tough love, we'd be left alone in dark unfamiliar places for hours, half starved and crying, when me mammy came home from her bare knuckle tournaments she'd wash me in wine that would sting my eyes and tell me off for being so needy.

At the age of seven I was taken away from home to start my military service like all the boys did. We'd learn to be disciplined, not to let discomfort get to us, we learned martial arts and taught to run around half naked in the cold or the heat because the older men to whom we looked to for guidance liked it.
We'd be given lashes of the whip in a display to show how much we could take without crying out in pain, I'd usually win as it takes a while for pain to reach my brain, I also have a thick fuzzy pelt of hair on me back which also helped. I must say that a flogging is a great way to get rid of warts or suspect moles.  

Don't get me wrong it was a great childhood .... when I mean great a loving hug would have been nice and I don't mean from older men trying to guide me. Apart from that it was spot on.

We learned to survive on our wits, to scavenge and steal in order to survive. We had taken a whole nation as our slaves, they had great farm land and so we wanted it. Those people were called the Helots and outnumbered us 10 - 1, always revolting and trying to retake their lands, to show them what cunts we were we'd tell our 13 year-old boys that killing a Helot was a rite of passage.

They were adults and strong from working the land but when faced with a 13 year-old who has spent his life learning to kill with a xiphos which was a sword only 12 -16 inches long they never stood a chance. Stab stab stab in the groin cutting the femoral artery then running off .... that kept the slaves in their place.

Such an upbringing made Old Knudsen into the man he is today, my therapist thinks I could have done without the brutality but she doesn't understand. Back in my day it was, 'fucking Persians, lets kill them all or die trying' .... the die trying bit seemed a little extreme to me and so me back always conveniently gave out before a battle.  
Now it's 'fucking Muslims' same people but in my day it was honest racism, none of that religious shite.

Well it's good to see that children are being taken away from their homes and taught how to kill and die, putting the state, or the cause before themselves. Those children are being taught this by the likes of Hamas and ISIS and so I guess that makes us the Helots now. 


1 comment:

Cathy said...

What I'm trying to decipher is whether you're disguising a rage at a seemingly harsh hard childhood by alluring to "it made me a man" kind of thinking, or you're being sarcastic (surprise!) I'm sure a lot of what you endured was better for a kid than what we have now, all the pampering and plugging-in the kid for hours to a play station - then prepping him to be a robotic killing machine. I agree though, keep the religious crap out of it, if chaos and war must have their day let it be for honest hate of their sense of style, or shopping habits, or anything but a god-based fiasco. Nice reading.