In May of 2009, I did an interview with Arthur of Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness.
If I had to pick the year that Rantlister peaked it would be 2009. The Rantlister Forums were burgeoning with activity, member sites were updating frequently, and the web traffic was flowing freely. The underground rant scene was at its finest.
I had just recently joined the Rantlister staff and was eager to prove myself to Bob Smash and Bagoda and take my place as a rant scene legend. One of the ways I intended to do this was to add new talent to the List. Bob and Bagoda agreed, and we scoured the internet for fresh sites to add to our list.
I honestly don’t remember which of us found Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness, but given the fact that Arthur was probably the most conservative writer on the List I’m going to assume it was Bob that found the site. I’ve never identified as either liberal or conservative (as you’ll read in the first sentence of the interview), but if you read my articles from 2009 you’ll definitely notice a right-leaning slant to my opinions. Barack Obama had just become president and I was living in a trailer park in the mountains, so naturally my political beliefs were going to be influenced by that and lean towards the right. I’ve since lightened up and my views are so middle-of-the-road that both sides routinely get pissed off at me. I still stand by my belief that Obama was a communist, but I also refuse to blindly defend the dinosaurs in the Republican Party. Another article for another time.
Anyway, Arthur’s Hall was a great addition to the List. At first I only read it minimally, just enough to verify that it was a fit for the List. Instead, I opted to send Señor Juan over to shitpost on their forum and turn it into a Trolled! article. I was dumb, what can I say? Thankfully Juan wasn’t. Juan used the site as English reading practice, and told me in his at-the-time very broken English what I was missing out on. So I went and actually read it.
Holy shit, I really had been missing out! Arthur’s Hall was easily one of the best sites on the List. Most of the other sites were rough around the edges, as was common for the 2000’s underground rant scene. But here was Arthur’s Hall not only boasting a professional-looking appearance, but equally great writing and a very active community with many members. The whole purpose of Rantlister and the List was to help readers find new rant sites they might like and thus increase traffic to member sites. To this day I believe that this symbiotic relationship may have been reversed when it came to Arthur’s Hall. If Arthur’s Hall didn’t get more traffic than Rantlister or the other sites on the List, it sure as hell did a great job of portraying itself like a site that would.
Most of the sites on the List either fired off half-cocked rants or were more comedic in their approach to writing. Arthur’s Hall, on the other hand, was a very serious political commentary site. From Milton Friedman to Ronald Reagan to guns. If it was even slightly right-leaning then there was a good chance Arthur or his slightly-liberal co-admin Shatner had written about it at some point. Hell, their article about the Mosin-Nagant was so good that it almost convinced me to go out and buy one. I’m not a gun guy by any stretch. I wholeheartedly support the Second Amendment and would have no issue with picking up and using a gun if the situation required it, but I also understand that there are some people who probably shouldn’t own guns and I’m one of them. In the end I didn’t buy that Mosin-Nagant, but that’s how strong Arthur’s writing was. If I ever do decide to take up guns as a hobby I’m definitely going to check out the Mosin, even if it does kick like a mule.
Among other topics Arthur often wrote about were fitness, heavy metal, and even video games. It wasn’t uncommon to randomly find one of his articles being passed around Reddit, or even being shared on bigger sites like Engadget. As I said before, there’s little doubt in my mind that Arthur’s Hall pulled in more readers than Rantlister or any of the other sites on the List, which makes the fact that he agreed to do this interview all the better.
The Viking Forum was also pretty cool. I actually joined up and was a regular poster there for a while, which no doubt only reinforced my conservative slant at that time. The Viking Forum was a great place to have a serious discussion without people taking it too seriously. Nowadays people expect you to source every little claim you make and basically write college thesis papers if you want to have serious discussions. There was none of that pseudo-intellectual bullshit on the Viking Forum. People would have profanity-laced but still serious discussions and debates, and if somebody made a false claim they were called out and shown evidence to the contrary (a young and dumb AJ was often on the receiving end of this; I really learned a lot from these guys). I actually came to regret sending Juan over to troll their forum, these were an alright bunch of folks. Off the top of my head some of the cool people I remember were Bill/Motivation Man, Liberal Slayer, Scottish Lord, Snappy McFly, and Harry Paget Flashman (I hope that old timer is still kicking). That’s not to say the other users weren’t cool, those are just the people I remember.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. In 2011 Arthur’s Hall closed down for good. I’m still not 100% certain on the details but I think it had something to do with Arthur meeting a woman (this same fate befell many rant sites back in the day). Shatner and many of the other members of the Viking Forum went and started a new site, “Manly Excellence”. That too went under, I’m not sure why. Last I checked, they had another forum, simply called “The Hall” and closed off to the public.
I was sad to see Arthur’s Hall go, and I often wonder how the site would have fared in today’s world where the left seems hellbent on censoring the right and anyone even remotely conservative is considered a fascist Nazi. Maybe Arthur got out at the right time and avoided getting caught up in the shitstorm that is modern politics. But personally, I think voices like his are needed now more than ever. As someone who is very bipartisan, I don’t want to live in a world where one side isn’t allowed to have a voice. That’s not freedom, that’s goddamn insanity. No one side should ever be allowed to control the entire narrative. We need to hear opposing viewpoints, we need to be challenged. Fuck this echo-chamber safe space bullshit that most communities have going on. You’ll find none of that here at AJnet, that’s for damn sure.
Anyway, with all that said I was glad that I was able to score this interview with Arthur, and also able to preserve it on this site so it doesn’t get lost to time. Though looking back at it, I feel like I wasted the interview’s potential by asking the same generic and bland list of questions that we asked all interviewees. This is how you know that Arthur was truly a great writer. It was Arthur’s skillfully written replies that salvaged my weak questions and made this a stellar interview, one of my favorite ones that I did. In fact, I continued to chat with him via email for a while after the interview, picking his brain on other things like dieting and fitness.
If Arthur is reading this, I hope you’re doing well, and, by God, I wish you’d return to writing. Same goes to any of the old Viking Forum folks, hope you guys are doing well in what’s very fast becoming a leftist hellscape.
So without further ado, this is my interview with Arthur of Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness, originally published to Rantlister in May of 2009.
While I generally look down upon labeling myself according to my political beliefs, Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness is my favorite Conservative site. Aside from the bitching picture of Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson in his Trooper outfit on the front page, Arthur’s no-bullshit writing style is one of the few that can keep me reading even if I disagree with a particular opinion. His website has also encouraged me to get into better shape (just because I’m no longer fat doesn’t mean I’m in shape, y’know). The Paleolithic diet is quite possibly the most interesting diet system I’ve read about. Sure, Señor Juan may have trolled his forum almost a year ago, but Arthur’s Hall is amongst my top three favorite sites on the List.
Because Bagoda has been slacking with the interviews, I decided to do an interview with Arthur. If you’ve been overlooking this awesome website, this interview just might make you smack yourself in the face.
1. Why did you start writing?
A good friend of mine from high school and I were bullshitting one day and he said “You know dude, the world needs to hear the crap that comes out of your mouth”. That friend is Shatner, the co-founder and designer of the site. I found that after a couple of articles the site seemed to resonate with people and that encouraged me to write more. I enjoy it, it gives me a way to have my voice heard by a wider audience than I could have ever imagined.
2. How would you describe your site?
Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness is the leading exporter of true manliness on the planet. It is part satire, part political philosophy and part shit talking all at once. There is no site that resembles Arthur’s Hall. In many ways it is a modern codification of the masculine norms of 200 years ago updated for our times.
3. Have you ever thought about writing a book or taking your writing to another medium?
Yes, I am very interested in writing a book. Anyone out there want to hook me up with a book deal? Ha Ha. Arthur’s Hall will be launching a full fledged weekly podcast once I figure out how the hell do it and smooth out the format. But…it will be great.
4. What’s your favorite website, other than your own?
RealClearPolitics and Sports is a great site. It brings articles from all over the world and put them right in front of me.
5. How did you hear about Rantlister?
I believe a regular reader of the site submitted my site to you guys and then told me. I checked it out and am happy to be involved.
6. Describe your perfect day.
Wake up when I want, Eat a shitload of eggs, salmon and beef. Take my dog Arnold to the park and go to the gym and destroy as many muscle fibers as I can. Get into a heated discussion on the Viking Forum about some social issue, a political position or a “what’s more powerful, the 45 acp vs the 9mm” argument. At the end of the night, call a member of my harem for some late night servicing. My perfect day happens a lot…
7. What do you hate most?
I hate modern society more than anything. We live in a world of complete pussies, afraid of their own shadow. This utter lack of courage and foresight has spawned a generation of celebrity-worshipping dimwits.
8. Do you read any of the other sites listed at Rantlister?
Occasionally, but Arthur’s Hall is a full time internet occupation. I have over 500 active members on the Viking Forum (http://arthurshall.com/forum) many of which I communicate with on a regular basis. We are an incredibly close knit community. I feel like I know a lot of them and that we are friend and brothers at arms. Long story short…maintaining the superbosity (I know that it isn’t a word dipshits) of Arthur’s Hall takes most of my internet time.
9. Have you ever been compared to Maddox? If so, what was your response?
Yes, many times. Often its “this dude is like a wanna-be Maddox”. Maddox WAS a genius at what he did. He WAS a legendary satirist. That said, he got his book out and has gone into semi-retirement and that is great. I am a bit different in that I have a mission and its much larger than merely entertaining people. I have quite a few things in the works. Regardless of how big the site becomes, I am Arthur so I am not going anywhere. But absolutely some of my initial inspiration came from his site. In many ways, I am the Maddox of the demographic that my site appeals to.
10. Reagan not withstanding, who do you think was the next best president the United States has had?
Easy, George Washington. He had every opportunity to become a psuedo-king. He turned it down. Had he not had the internal belief in our democracy that he did, American democracy never gets up and running. In that way is the polar opposite of that communist rat-bastard FDR who subverted and nearly destroyed our nation’s
11. According to one article, you support Reagan’s “Strategic Defense Initiative.” However, some see this as going against the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction.” What is your take on MAD?
SDI was a ploy to bankrupt the Soviet Union. It was genius. MAD holds true with civilized and rational human beings which disqualifies the Muslim world.
12. Do you believe that China and Russia will someday pose a threat to America’s role on the world stage?
No. China is a house of cards for a multitude of reasons. I could write an article on this very thing. China has an artificial currency, a disenfranchised and rapidly growing middle class and is exploiting its natural environment at a alarming rate. They will crumble. As bad as China is Russia is worse. Low birth rates, high death rates, an utter lack of democratic tradition, a dying and drunk culture and a 1000 year history of backwardness precludes them from ever being a true threat to the US….unless we have 20 years of 0bama’s (yes, that is a zero).
13. How can I be touched by Arthur’s genius?
Well, you can find me all over the place. I am on Twitter (http://twitter.com/arthurtheviking ) and Facebook as Arthurs Hall and the official Facebook fan site (link). Another way is to join the Viking Forum (http://www.arthurshall.com/forum) where you can interact with me on a regular basis and marvel at my greatness!