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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Hilarious Monarchy


The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite FetishThe Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish by Christopher Hitchens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One day early in the morning I was feeling ever more broody as I mooned around the landscape of my Kindle. I’d been clicking and sniffing between books I could read next, in that horrible in- betweeny mood in which I found myself. I’d just finished reading the second volume of an excellent trilogy and I needed a break, a breather, a period of recuperation and recharge before plunging into the explosive third volume and it was in this ‘need a short, sharp break’ frame of mind that I browsed my 5-way button to The Monarchy ~ A Critique by Christopher Hitchens, for no particular reason apart from the need for a total change. By the time I’d reached the end of the free sample I was chortling away as I hadn’t done for many a merry month and rarely have I clicked that ‘buy’ button with such eagerness. ‘After all,’ I reasoned to myself, ‘£1.49’s just over what I paid for a pint of IPA draught at the local when I moved to this village 30 years ago.’

So without further ado let’s take a look at the The ‘News’ presented as if it’s set in stone. As Christopher Hitchens (1949—2011) writes: “We know that this strident, bombastic noise is a subliminal appeal to think of ‘News’ as part drama, part sensation and part entertainment”. The beauty of this opiated numbing show is that you never know whether your trip is going to be good or bad. The same thrumming monumental brass rhythms will tell us either that the Queen Mother has got a fish bone lodged in her throat, or that we’ve just severed diplomatic relations with Iraq. YOU are left to decide which item carries the greater weight.


Already long, our Prince's face lengthens
even more as the news worsen

Chris (Yes, let’s hob-nob for a bit!) invites us to look at absurdities like the ‘Investiture’ of Royalties which to most of us mean a lot if we don’t think about them, but examined closely they amount to absolutely nothing. Just look at this on the myth of the ‘Investiture’: “The official guide to the ceremony dissolves in contradiction here, because it says of the sacral moment that it comes from Zadok the priest, who anointed Solomon as King of the Jews, and that the ceremony follows the old Saxon ritual, and that the moment is to be accompanied by the singing of Handel.”

The more we bring our pet-theories into the light, the more threadbare, nay mendacious our propaganda seems. ‘Invisible earnings’ may indeed be comforting dummies to suck in times of crisis, but in these days of costing everything up why do the powers that be seem incapable of coming up with an estimate? And while we’ve revelling in contradictions, what exactly is this ‛special relationship’ which we apparently hold with the USA? — What does it amount to? In these days of costing everything up, listing and categorising every aspect of our lives, which boxes does it tick? And what exactly is the ‘unseen hand’ of the money market?

The End of This Post
Back-chatter :
End, what do you mean, ‘End’? Monarchies and Dreams don’t have an 'End'. They dissipate in the morning mist when the sun rises, only to re-form with the coming of the night. Monarchies keep folks dreamy, happy ready to chase the rainbow to its end.

Think Barbara Taylor Bradford, man, finish with all this Woman of Substance fantasy and begin to Hold That Dream. Never mind about subscribing to The Sun or Mail, just keep to the news for your daily fix. Suck the curate’s egg of the ice-cream cone, starting with the sickly raspberry ripple and the tang of the lemon twist. Lick your way through the chilled artery-clogging fat of the ice cream and don’t stop until you reach the sickly nugget of treacle at the end. Worry not, you’re in the Ukay. Just keep taking the tablets and watching The News.... Dang, dang, Dang 16/08/12 13:51:10 Stop Press (Dissected) (1) The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital because of a bladder infection. (2) This is just a routine and it’s giving no cause for concern. (3) He’ll be in for a few days he’s receiving intravenous antibiotics. In juxtaposition to this we’re asked to also know that: (a) The Duke is 91 years old and it’s always serious at this age. (b) (Invisibly: He obviously can’t swallow tolerate tablets, hence the anti-bio’s) (c) This is the 3rd time he’s been in hospital in the past 9 months, the first time being before Christmas when he was admitted because of a heart problem 20/08/12 06:24:36 The Duke is having to spend a fifth day in hospital. Remember it’s (a) Just routine and nothing to worry about. (b) He isn’t allowed any visitors (Only one telephone call from The Queen so far) (c) If the stay extends to a sixth night, there will then bee ‘cause for concern’ Despite their apparent longevity, (Long-faced Prince) Monarchies are really a transient and ephemeral phenomenon which are lent their solidity solely by the careful presentation of choreographed images flashed onto our retinas, much in the way that ‘movement’ in a movie is really a sequence of still images. The images presented here now need to be frozen in aspic, at a time when very little appears to have happened. Let’s keep in that way before the routine of the fifth day lapses into the concern of the sixth. If it gets to that, matters will be a little more serious than the tragedy of our Duke missing The Boxing Day Shoot of Christmas 2011. Hurried Royal Notes scribbled frantically as I try to close this blog entry (again). I blink my eyes awake after a late night, first carefully checking my limbs and hair to see whether I’ve woken up as Nicholas Witchell. Fortunately I haven’t, as my hairs have no trace of gold or red in them, they’re just showing me an ag├ęd grey and I’ve woken up as me, the same me as I’ve always been:
Will The Duke have to miss the
Boxing Day Shoot?
(** Prince Philip has been taken to Papworth Hospital rather than a local cottage hospital. Rather. Rather. What on earth do they mean “rather”. There is no RATHER about it! Cottage hospital are totally incapable of inserting stents into a coronary artery. Papworth Hospital is the main, the only hospital in the area which is capable of performing the procedure.) STOP PRESS: The Queen’s corgis have got into a scrap with Princess Beatrice’s dog Max. I don’t think I can stand any more of this. Off with them, all you get out of my sight! Mad Hatter, I call to you. Please make yourself welcome in my house any time you want...


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