Getting All Nordic with Hot Lixx
This just squirted out of the mojo, penned by Hot Lixx Hulahan (Craig Billmeier), who was hired by AGWC to serve as their senior executive diplomatic attaché in Finland.
We’re just tying off our last night here in Oulu and it is as emotional as any last dance at junior high summer camp, and just as mature. The dust has settled and a new (non-male, non-French) champion has been crowned, one of which we can all be proud. She is not a random Katja-come-lately actor/dancer/comedian/dare-acceptor who treats her recent wins as a meaningless fluke, she is a bona fide music nerd and a scholar to boot. She is currently finishing up her thesis on, yup…air guitar. She’s the real deal, she’s friendly, and she’s a creative performer. Mütze glatze to her.*
Nordic sustained several new injuries while waving an American flag.
In 2009, when an air guitar-related back surgery put Nordic Thunder on the DL, he sent out a series of emails to the USAG family. They were long-winded and overwrought with sentiment. You practically had to wipe spilled Boones Farm off the keyboard as you read them. The term “getting all Nordic” was thus introduced to describe a very dude-like outpouring of emotions, not unlike the stage of inebriation that is all hugs and love and weepy declarations of promise and passion.
In 2011, post Nationals/pre-World’s, these emails resumed fast and furious. A six-year journey finally landed Nordic at the pinnacle position within the competitive U.S. hierarchy, so what else is he going to do but get all Nordic on us? And who can blame him? As soon as the last traveling air guitarist cleared out from under his kitchen table, Nordic was on a plane to LA to be on national television. It seemed his every waking moment was being spent interviewed for every major TV and radio network in the country. His performance got nearly 50,000 hits on youtube in its first days. He became a spokesperson for an Anti-Polio campaign. Realizing that you are taking the hopes, dreams, and sauna-based fears of the US Air Guitar community across the world to compete internationally … well, it is easy to understand how that can influence a person’s emotions and enthusiasm. Plus, it seemed the entire USAG clan were getting all Nordic on Nordic himself with their unrelenting phone calls, emails, and gifts. This of course made Nordic get even more Nordic, and so on.
Nordic Thunder and the children who love him.
I, personally, fret much more over what kind of ambassador our national finalist will be rather than how well they will score in the global competition. To begin with, we all know how erratic and unpredictable judges can be so to base the quality of your experience solely on that would be naïve. Plus, this is an event whose prime purpose is inspiring world peace, and so it is our responsibility as a nation to put our friendliest foot forward and contribute to that cause. We have been fortunate enough to have a strong history in making friends on the world stage despite any global opinion of us outside of air guitar, but I don’t think anyone has ever left as strong and emotional impression on the AGWC as our boy did this past week. Biased hyperbole? Perhaps. But was everyone crying when Nordic went home? You betcha (but no one more so than Nordic himself).
We arrived in Oulu on Tuesday night, at which time Nordic got the only sleep he would get all week. For the next six days he was the first one to show up for every meeting/meal/party/adventure and the last one to leave, and he could always be spotted fraternizing with someone – and not just the air guitar community; it was not uncommon for him to be surrounded by little kids taking his picture or showing up to a bar (or “meeting”) with a new drunk metalhead he had befriended on the way from point A to point B. He was somehow always everywhere, socializing and taking in some new piece of Finnish culture. (Although, he did disappear for a few hours on our last day which was unusual. Turns out he was invited to the family house of the event’s soundman to eat reindeer meat in his home sauna. The soundman!) Nordic rolled deep and I’m not sure any one person could have absorbed any more culture in such a short time. His photo album is as thick as the Oulu phone book, and nearly as thorough. To quote facebook: Justin is now friends with Tapani Launonen and Aki Latvamäki and 35 others.
Oh, and to top it all off he got 2nd place. In the world.
So, if I may get all Nordic for a moment, I would like us all to share in our excitement for Nordic and his success this season. It took him many years and numerous physical obstacles to reach the level where he is at, and so few people are more deserving of the glory and reverence shining down on him right now. Well done, Nordic, ya done good.