Thursday: Hili dialogue

Greetings from Boston, where yesterday’s glorious weather—72°F (22°C) and cloudless—has turned overcast and rainy. But it’s Boston, which is always lovely whatever the weather. On this day in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, continuing the superfluous and embarrassing British royalty. I was four at the time, and on my way to Greece to live; we stopped in London on the way and I remember all the excitement. (I got to climb inside the Lord Mayor’s gold coach.) On this day in 1840, Thomas Hardy was born, and, in 1941, Lou Gehrig died of ALS, (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”). On June 2, 1962, Vita Sackville-West died, and, in 2008, Bo Diddley met his Composer.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili shows herself to be a Jewish cat, always kvetching about something: in this case, the fact that there’s nothing to kvetch about.
Hili: In principle we have nothing to complain about.
Cyrus: That’s true.
Hili: And this is also a serious problem.
 In Polish:
Hili: W zasadzie nie mamy na co narzekać.
Cyrus: To prawda.
Hili: I to też jest poważny problem.

The roses are blooming chez Hili, and, as Andrzej says on his Facebook page, “Wygląda na to, że redakcja “Listów” kwitnie”—”It seems that the editorial office of Listy is flowering”:


Meanwhile in Winnipeg, Gus is having a blast. Staff Taskin reported, after I kvetched about the TSA:

Here’s a Gus video to improve your day. I have a pile of grass clippings drying so I can use them for mulch. Gus found another use for them.


  1. Sarah
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “Superfluous”? “Embarrassing”? The UK is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen represents the Crown and is revered in that capacity, not just as a lady who presides at banquets or cuts ribbons. Different countries have different ways of expressing this kind of thing. For example, there is no flag etiquette in Britain, no rules about how it is to be flown or folded up, and the reverence for the US flag strikes Brits as odd. Think of the Queen as the embodiment of the Flag and the Constitution, if that helps.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      I’ll back up PCC(E) on this – inherited power is something we should celebrate for what reason now? Who pays for the Royal swag, and wouldn’t it be put to better use some other way?

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson even has spoken out on this matter.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        It once would have been “inherited power” but now it is more like “inherited duty with some perks”.

        • Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          It’s demeaning to the entire nation to have to bow, grovel, and walk out of the room backwards in front of a class of “royalty”. It’s like refusing to shake hands with someone of the opposite sex: one entitled family is allowed to be treated differently from everyone else: lionized and treated as if they were deities. I refuse to bow to the Queen and Brits who do are abasing themselves.

          • Sarah
            Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            You would probably not be expected to bow to the Queen, and I don’t think anyone does anymore. As for “walking out of the room backward”–I don’t know when that happens. Maybe on some very formal tradition-laden occasions. I think for most Brits the royal family represents continuity and the Queen embodies the state. Other nations have other symbols.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            You don’t have to bow, just a nod of acknowledgement will do, and you only have to take one or two steps backwards, which is more about normal politeness than anything else. It’s not usual to just turn your back on somebody and walk off unless they’ve been objectionable in some way.

            Personally, I find the USians more formal in many ways than the British. They still call people by whatever is the most senior job they’ve ever had long after they’ve left the role, and more often use titles when speaking to people rather than first names. We never, for example, carry on calling someone Mr/Madam Prime Minister after they’ve lost the job. And even while they’ve got the job it’s usually just Mr/Ms and their name.

            Your Majesty was a title invented by Richard II, who was an uppity little shit and a bit carried away with his own importance, and it’s been carried on since. Before then it was Your Grace.

            • Sarah
              Posted June 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

              FWIW, Henry VIII was called “Your Grace”, I believe.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted June 2, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, come to think of it you’re right, and so were several other after Richard II. I suspect it was either James I or Charles I that brought Majesty back permanently – it’s the sort of thing they’d do.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          *Some* perks! We have an embarrassing monarchy here in Sweden which makes a lot of money, has a lot of it stashed and employ a large unnecessary staff.

          Our Human secularists have joined the effort to replace the empty head at the top with the Speaker of the Parliament. That way it would be a chosen and cheap role.

          Unfortunately the majority likes the monarchy in the same way that they like the church. It is like a pair of comfortable socks – except they never disappear in the washer.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 2, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink


      • David Duncan
        Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        The Queen has no real power, she acts on the advice of her ministers, of whatever party. The system works well, unlike the US system of government by gridlock and buffoons.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted June 3, 2016 at 4:58 am | Permalink

          How did the royal family earn their position?

          not by election.

          • Sarah
            Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

            Of course not. That doesn’t come into it. They, uniquely, have the exactly right ancestors.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        “Royal Wedding celebrates inherited power; the opposite of America’s founding principles. I’ll be watching the shuttle launch.
        8:05 PM – 28 Apr 2011
        1,580 RETWEETS166 LIKES”
        Source: Twitter copy/paste

      • Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        The privy purse portion contributed by the UK State (taxes) is nowadays relatively small with the Monarch funding much of the Royal Family and extended family expenses. For example, no more Royal yacht, royal train, royal flight etc.
        Prince Charles I believe funds his and his extended family totally from the income derived from the Dutchy of Cornwall and in return pays no income or corporation taxes.

        Buckingham Palace is owned by the state and provided to the monarch for residency in the capital. Most of the other royal residences are owned by the monarch (how they came by them is a whole different story) and are not maintained by the state.

        The privelage and homage and the rights of succession, coronations with the accompanied divine right to rule are another matter altogether and are anachronistic in a secular country and I cannot wonder exactly what will happen when the present monarch dies. I have said previously on WEIT that I find it hard to perceive a repeat of the 1953 coronation with all the nonesense that accompanied it.

        The current monarch is probably why the UK Royal Family survives, the survival after her death will be interesting as in my opinion there is not a single suitable candidate from amongst all of them to replace her even supposing that she should be replaced.

        • Sarah
          Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          The only residence the Queen owns is Sandringham House in Norfolk. All the others are State-owned. The “divine right of kings” went out in the 17th century!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Well said. I’m not embarrassed by our constitutional monarchy.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        In reply to Sarah.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        This isn’t about the government – it’s about the Royal circus.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    my emdash meter just spiked

  3. rickflick
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    It’s also the birthday of Lotte Reiniger – see Google image for today.

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    When I was in first grade (grade one) in Ontario (Canada is a British Commonwealth country), we used to color pictures of the Queen and her surroundings and accouterments. To this day when I see the Queen on TV I can still smell crayon wax.

    • Posted June 2, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      In the *1980s* some teachers sometimes had us sing “God Save The Queen” in elementary school. That’s when I first wondered about all of this … (it wasn’t that QEII appears on all our money, except that old 50 piece that my grandfather gave me from 1942 …)

  5. Taz
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    That evil Grass Clippings Monster never stood a chance!

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    As an American, considering how long the British monarchy has lasted in one form or the other, I would hesitate before throwing darts at it. After all, leaving the empire is only at best, 240 years ago and it’s very likely that more than half the people in this country today do not even know it.

    • Sarah
      Posted June 2, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      It is interesting to recall that at one time the second biggest city in the British empire was…Philadelphia!

  7. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    We all have our crosses to bear. The thought of King Charles III and his increased ability to meddle by supporting alternate medicine is not a pleasant one.

    Pales in respect to how the Republican Party failed their Nation and their allies with their unwillingness to pass any legislation that might conceivably benefit President Obama.

    And now Trump? Our Prime Minister’s father once remarked about the concerns of being a mouse in an elephant’s bedroom. Now we have to worry that the next mahout may be one who is prone to narcissistic fits.

  8. Sarah
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I think it’s possible that Charles III might be less able to meddle and promote his interest in homeopathy, etc. than he is now. The monarch is allowed few publicly expressed opinions. We know what the Queen thinks about horses and corgis, and that’s about it.

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