Whaleoil has run the gauntlet

There are two meanings to the word gauntlet. This post will use both. Whaleoil was forced to run the gauntlet when Dirty Politics hit before the last election and we were attacked from all sides.

The phrase, “to run the gauntlet,” derives from the Swedish word “gatlopp” and the Old English word “gantlope,” meaning lane course or passageway.

This gauntlet referred to a military punishment in which a prisoner was forced to run or walk between two columns of troops as they struck him with clubs, heavy ropes, whips or leather straps. The practice was common in the British navy in the 17th century, but was also used by Native American tribes even earlier. Today, modern militaries use less painful versions of running the gauntlet as rites of passage, and sports teams even use them as conditioning drills. The phrase is also used figuratively for a variety of mental as well as physical ordeals, such as facing a barrage of criticism or political challenges…

…Today the phrase “throw down the gauntlet” means to challenge or confront someone, but in its earliest use it wasn’t meant as a metaphor, but was a physical action intended to issue a formal challenge to a duel. The word itself comes from the French word “gantelet,” and referred to the heavy, armored gloves worn by medieval knights. In an age when chivalry and personal honor were paramount, throwing a gauntlet at the feet of an enemy or opponent was considered a grave insult that could only be answered with personal combat, and the offended party was expected to “take up the gauntlet” to acknowledge and accept the challenge.


Today I am taking the opportunity to throw down the gauntlet not to our enemies but to our friends. My challenge is to those of you who have not yet subscribed to Whaleoil. My challenge is simple. You can take action like Ragnar on the left or you can do nothing like Ingrid on the right.

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