HRH PoW and English Culture

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Rocketeer, Nov 23, 2004.

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  1. Guess there's a lid on the court case unfolding over the treatment of the young woman who wanted to work at the palace and ' rise above her station ' and the outfall from the Prince's ' intemperate ' musings [ never commit anything to paper ! ]...

    ' Like a good colonial boy, my ears are tuned to the ironies of the English, so when I heard Prince Charles blaming the ' learning culture in schools ' for giving people hope beyond their capabilities my ears pricked up. Now, normally this kind of unguarded comment would be music to my ears, but I can't decide whether I agree with him or not.

    ' What is wrong with people nowadays? the Prince sighed in a private memo to a former member of the household. ' Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? The education system 'tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state, without ever putting in the necessary work or having the natural ability '..

    Well, that seems fair enough. Lord knows the world is full of people whose only qualifications are printed on their birth certificate. But, while all men and women are born equal, clearly some are more equal than others. I don't know whether PC's famous ears are as attuned to irony as mine, but his beef with what he sees as originating from the political correctness of the no-child-left-behind philosophy in the British education system, surfaced last week during court proceedings...

    The woman claims that the Prince's household is ' hierachical and elitist ' which is bit like saying air is transparent - that's the point of rulers, isn't it? Some are born to rule and others are selected to rule by about 50% of their electorate and those selected by votes are likely to be millionaires or indentured servants to all kinds of elitist and hierarchical interests.

    I accept that kings and queens and dukes and whatnot are all part of the pyramid of injustice that sits on the rest of us, a history of oppression that colonized, pillaged and stole in the name of divine right, but I don't have much faith that the alternative, the prime ministers and civil servants and whatnots are any more democratic or accountable to those of us at the bottom of the pyramid..Just as there are boneheaded presidents and wise princes, there are boneheaded princes and wise presidents.

    What impresses me about the British monarchy is how the institution has survived all kinds of assaults on its authority, from feeble characters and colonial upstarts to fierce republican sentiment on its doorstep. You wonder how such a closed shop can still survive in these global, irreverent times.

    One answer is that it resorts to bloody mindedness, especially in the face of irony. Which is why, whenever Chuck's father, The Duke of Edinburgh, King of the Politically Incorrect quips about ' wogs' or ' slitty-eyed ' people, we wonder if he knows that we all know he's a foreigner. fact is, even the most ' pukka' Englishman has some mongrel blood in him, starting with the Heir to the Throne with his Greek father and half-German Mum.

    The trick, as with all things English, is to borrow, steal and assimilate any foreigness[ curry and chips, anyone ?] until the authentic Englishman only bears a passing resemblance to his ancestor. I once read that the original people in England were the Welsh who were driven from their lands into the Celtic wilderness by the rapacious and greedy Anglo-Saxons. In fact the word for foreign in Anglo-Saxon is ' wealas ' -Welsh - Nice touch that...

    I love the English [ hey, I'm English-Scots on my mother's side and Soho Italian on my dad's ]..I admire the way the language has managed to retain a native identity and ideological purity even as much of its vocabulary is made up of foreign words.. that takes chutzpah [ see what I mean ? ]

    Whenever I'm faced with this conundrum about the British..I take heart in the words of Caribean-born writer Caryl all us colonials he has a comlicated relationship with the motherland as do us all who were once part of the Empire.
    Phillips writes that the British character has been forged' in the crucible of fusion - of hybridity ' but, rather than celebrate its diverse heritage, in the face of overwhelming evidence, the ' mythology of homogeneity ' not only exists, it endures..It also excludes and prevents countless numbers of British people from feeling comfortable participating in the main narrative of British life. so, for all its genius at assimilating us and giving us a ' lingua franca '..English culture is also exclusive and elitist.. go figure...
  2. Good observation Rocketeer. I've seen some of that exclusive and elitist
    culture growing like mold in the split fluids on the floor of the 'N' bar.

    The English hold on to their monarchy as a heredity of tradition and a sort of parental beneficence void of any real guilt or blame...'they' have a unity in holding 'others' in contempt.

    Diversity IS the opposite of Unity. Certainly the English culinary culture is held void of diversity. The Diversity of the Colonials...while once treasured is now most often rejected as 'foreign'. Rather than embrace the spectrum of 'alternatives' offered by a close association with the 'extended family' perception is that the English view the 'extended family' as a bunch of irrirritating 'step childern'.

  3. What on earth are you talking about, Weatherman, you irritating step-child?

    What does "the English culinary culture is held void of diversity" actually mean?
  4. Hey VB, don't expect a sensible reply. This guy is not just from a different planet he breaths a different air. Some of his other posts are truely bizzare.
  5. You are probably right, Birdie. Before we know it he'll be demanding that all posts are also printed in Zanussian, to protect his minority rights.
  6. Rocketeer writes of English

    and takes heart in this

    in the crucible of fusion - of hybridity :?

    Weatherman might understand that.

    The Duke of Edinburgh may have been born in Greece and been a Prince of Greece through the convoluted Euro Royal's lines of succesion but his lineage is Danish and German. He's a bit on the blonde and blue eyed side to be Greek.
  7. but does it matter? he still fought for this country against the germans - he didn;t have to.

  8. Viz the Duke, miniTJ wrote

    Not at all. DoE is as English/British as he wants to be (and is). His experience at the sharp end in WWII ( MiD I believe ) adds to his credibility. He is a product of his time and of the Royal Navy and a fcuking star!

    Nationality is about more than a name and a passport and was well illustrated by an exchange at the end of the Falklands war between and ( ready for corrections on this ) an Argentinian Naval Officer of British decent, Captain Melbourne Hussey and the British Officer accepting his surrender.

    "Melbourne Hussey? Do you not feel English?"

    "I'm no more English than Eisenhower was German"
  9. there are people disappearing up their own hoops here

    lets talk about that!


  10. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    TRANS: << Some folk say English cooking all same-same she-e-et >>
  11. The 'English' Language (or languages) may be a better example than the food...I was referring to Rocketeer's 'Curry & Chips'.

    The English seem to cling to the dissapearing national identity of those thrilling days of yore. The so called '"received pronunciation" used by the English ruling now a tiny minority dialect of 'world englishs'.
    'Standard English' though said to be an instrument of social exclusion and cultural domination... IS the perferred international language spoken by about a billion and a half folks.

    Still...I see the 'English' grammarians livid when even the "standard english' is not used 'RP-correct'. (Don't start a sentence with the word 'AND') This gives speakers of non-Standard English an inferiority complex...when in reality the 'RP' will continue to diminish as 'world english' 'TEX-MEX'.

    AND...yes seadog I do indeed know what Rocketter means by
    'crucible of fusion - of hybridity' (and 'world english' 'tastes' of it.)

    So NOW it's the 'English-English' who are finding their once pedigree culture undergoing 'calcination' by the heat of the 'molten mongrels' (or 'hibachi hybrids'... as the case may be).

    Not just the 'words' or the 'food'...but also loosing a global 'authority'
    (Gawd they've even lost the 'world clock' from Greenwich!)
    No longer ruling the waves...not even a 'Superbowl' for their own Sir Paul.

    It seems to me the English are like those no longer willing to takes risks.
    Not taking risks lowers expectations and increases the severity of that ANY loss isn't WORTH the risk.

    These English folk resent loosing...especially when 'others' are dealing the cards.

    'Momma don't allow no fiddle-play'in around here!'


    (The 'Mother-Land').

  12. What's this English b@llocks?

    Britain - original Brits probably came from central Europe via what is now France. Since then, much cross-pollination between the British mainland and Ireland and Brittany (hence the name) - the original Celts. Cue one Roman invasion, followed by an invasion of the Angles and Saxons (England, parts of Wales and none of Scotland) from northern Germany, and more invasions by the Danes (curtailed by Alfred the Great) until our "final" conquest by the Normans who, although from France, probably originated in Denmark/Norway. During the Middle Ages the English (from "Angles" or equivalent) had a kingdom that stopped at Hadrian's Wall in the north and stretched halfway down western France. Britain as we know it dates from the 17th/18th century when the kingdoms and parliaments of England/Wales and Scotland united and when Ireland was incorporated at the beginning of the 19th century.

    In short: us Brits are about as mongrel as you can get. And that is before you consider the influence the Empire had, and is still having, on us. If you want to find a true Brit you might find one in Cornwall, northern France, remote Wales, Ireland or the outer Hebrides.

    Britain, Britain, Britain - A land of mongrels, but quite endearing ones. And what of the people of Britain etc..(enunciate like Doctor Who would!)
  13. Unknown_Quantity

    Unknown_Quantity War Hero Moderator

    Rocketeer, that was a quality post. It was also unreferenced. I know someone else came up with the idea before me, but if you write these pieces yourself then you should try publishing them.
  14. Unknown:

    thanks for the kind words... but, the scribblings I do here, and did on the old jargon site, I consider to be 'recreational ' and just finger/mind exercises...doubt that they'd have much truck with a wider audience ..much better pundits and more influential editorial commentators out there than me..

    I'm content to stay within my little niche and make a modest living playing the keyboard in my own small area of expertise where I have some limited street cred...

    This stuff is mostly me making bar to ' blog' with like-minded military-leaning types..can ' mouth off ' here and know in my heart I'll get sh*t on by all the others who think I'm full of crap.. [ awww.. nothing like being with friends.. ]..
  15. I make no excuse for advocating the use of good grammar, spelling and punctuation.

    RP or not, it's better than speaking French!