I don’t always watch ‘Strongest Viking’ competitions on cable. But the other day I was channel-hopping and became mesmerised by one. Firstly because I wasn’t previously aware that such banality was possible on television. People really watch men trying to push a stone or pull a rope? This was new data to me. But I also stayed because I was struck by the sheer lack of diversity.
When the league tables flashed up, it transpired that the board was led by someone called Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, otherwise known as ‘the Mountain’ in Game of Thrones. Mr Björnsson is from Iceland, so there was a nice Icelandic flag beside his name. Then I noticed the rest of the league table. Without exception the top Vikings were all from Scandinavian countries. There were several people with unpronounceable names who had the Danish flag beside their names. Others had the flag of Sweden. My first reaction was surprise. My second was: ‘I’d give this competition about a year. Wait till the internet discovers it.’
I refer of course to the appalling cultural homogeneity of the Strongest Viking competition. For it is a truth of our age that everything must be diverse. And this was strikingly not.
There is a caveat I must add here. For naturally the rule does not operate if white people are not predominant. So far nobody with any wish for career longevity has tried to assail the National Basketball Association of North America for the distinct predominance of black chaps in their ranks. I have heard no calls for diversity to be introduced into basketball in general. And nobody seems to think that the NBA is for the chop unless they can increase their quota of white folks by next season.
But then it never does work that way round. Because that would be racist. Whereas attacking anything where there are ‘too many’ white people is, by the dictionary of our time, ‘anti-racist’.