Grania has two beefs

Grania is cranky today because she has a sore throat and a stuffy nose and her computer at work is operating at minimal speed. Therefore she offers us two rants, both of which I share. The quotes, links, and screenshots are hers, and her beefs are in bold:

“1. Everyone is acting like a British guy getting engaged is literally the second coming of Christ. I was hoping that Americans would be more restrained, but even in the New York Times there is the obligatory fawning and  gushing of joy even from the readers. They also have a moronic op-ed from someone who writes that she never had any interest in the UK royal family until now because the female part of the engagement is mixed race.”

Grania is of course referring to the engagement of Prince Harry to American actor Meghan Markle, who wed in May at Windsor Castle. To show her fealty to the Royal Family, Markle will a. give up acting, b. convert from a Protestant to an Anglican, and c. become a British citizen. Oy! As for the link, here it is (click on screenshot to see the fawning), but Grania adds “the NYT has published around TWENTY FIVE stories on the engagement in the last 48 hours.”

And the statement from author Irenosen Okojie about how Markle’s race ignited interest in the monarchy, and may save it! (Markle’s father was white and her mother black.)

Admittedly, for the most part, until recently I’d been indifferent to the monarchy. It felt old-fashioned, an archaic and exclusive institution people of color couldn’t really connect with nor would feel particularly invested in, given its long historical association with colonial projects.

Prince Harry openly and defiantly dating Ms. Markle made me, a black British woman, see the royals slightly differently. Suddenly they — or Harry, at least — seemed more open-minded. And it wasn’t just me: Other women of color, too, I found, had begun taking notice and talking about the monarchy. Friends discussed the possibility of an engagement, whether the royals would be forward-thinking enough to give Harry permission. When the announcement finally came, the reaction from people of color on both sides of the pond was explosive; memes were deployed immediately.

. . . Are we being ushered into a new era where the boundaries of race and class will be blown open in Britain, when people will grow more open-minded about who they can consider as a mate? This is probably optimistic, though in some ways not: Interracial marriages are on the rise in Britain. In this sense, the prince and Ms. Markle are following, not leading. What is more intriguing is the question of whether, as a result of this unlikely pairing, more people of color will come to feel they have a stake in the country’s most old-fashioned institution.

It’s great that people can accept a mixed-race princess, but I don’t think that’s going to save the monarchy, which in my view deserves to die a quiet death. It will either go on, sucking money from the British taxpayer and prompting teenagers everywhere to gush about things like this engagement, or it will die, regardless of who Prince Harry marries. As for Okojie suddenly getting more interest in the monarchy because of Markle, that’s like getting more interest in the Presidency after Obama was elected.

“2. The press headlines after that stupid National Geographic show are weapons-grade stupid and show zero signs of even a modicum of critical thought.”

Here is a screenshot of a web search Grania did; it refers to National Geographic’s uncritical touting of the finding of a tomb that’s supposed to be that of Jesus Christ Himself:

Once again I emphasize that although some Christians, particularly of the Sophisticated Variety™, spurn the need for evidence for their religion, when evidence as thin is this is reported they’re all over it like ugly on a frog. They do need and want evidence, showing that faith is not enough.

112 Comments

  1. Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Anglican IS protestant… surely if she really believed she would have been baptised a long time ago…

    I do not care for them. Off with their heads!!!

  2. Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Grania and I should count our Paddy blessings: proof that a Princess can marry a ginger-nut.

    A small victory for an excluded group which doesn’t even make it to the identity politics hierarchy.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I say Grania should just ignore it – I do not care about them. actually i do, I deeply resent them & all the titled classes.

      Bloody Normans have a lot to answer for.

      • joanfaiola
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Please explain why the Normans are responsible for the pernicious class system in Britain.

        • Graham Head
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          A large part of the English aristocracy can trace their ancestry back to the Norman conquest. The pre existing Saxon aristocracy was replaced by Williams hench men. They have been lording it over the rest of us ever since.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            Were it not for the Normans, the rest of you would still be drinking grog and talkin’ that Beowulf talk. 🙂

            • Mike
              Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

              It was as if in 1066 Tony Soprano invaded England and gave large parts of it away to his made men, it was the biggest thug on the block scenario, and William the Bastard narrowly won, His opponent Harald,had ,3 days before fought and beaten a Viking Army at York, the force marched his Army for 3 Days to fight the Normans. The Normans were very fortunate. As for the present ,we should be done with the Monarcky,it’s wey past time ,we became a Republic, the main argument being that Hereditary Monarchy doesn’t safeguard the Country against an Idiot taking the Throne, whereas an Elected Head of State does,the irony being that in the case of the US, it failed miserably.!

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

                “the main argument being that Hereditary Monarchy doesn’t safeguard the Country against an Idiot taking the Throne, whereas an Elected Head of State does,the irony being that in the case of the US, it failed miserably.!”

                I think you just shot down your own argument. 😎

                cr

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

              Beowulf was a Viking. So were the Normans, they just spent approximately 3 generations beating up and procreating with the northern French before conquering England. “Norman” = “North” + “man”.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                I think Ken meant that we’d all still be speaking Anglo Saxon instead since Middle English took in Norman words which is where a lot of the Latin got into English. I have often wondered what English would have sounded like if it took a different route. Perhaps it would have died out altogether.

              • Posted December 1, 2017 at 3:44 am | Permalink

                Diana – in case you look back –
                How We’d Talk If the English Had Won in 1066
                David Cowley

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

                Thanks, I will check that out!

  3. Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    As for the ‘tomb’ it is pretty clearly a Constantinian fake…

  4. GBJames
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I do not think frogs are ugly!

    • Gamall
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I am actually a frog* and I’m offended..

      * Well yeah, I’m French 😛

  5. Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    [The monarchy] will either go on, sucking money from the British taxpayer …

    Estimates are that it earns us more from rich American tourists than it costs. 🙂

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Some estimates say there’s a net loss of money even including tourism:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/the-biggest-myth-about-the-queen-her-contribution-to-the-british-economy-10491277.html

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        It’s not so much the money argument that’s the clincher for me – after all, revenue oould change according to boom and bust, it’s the preservation and normalization of the Gross amount of servility and the double-think it engenders.

        Considering what a mature democracy the U.K. is, consider how much more admirable it would be without the kinesis-like sycophancy which all are expected to display: which too often tips into a form of Nurembergish group-emote, mawkish self-pity or jolly-join-in-fascism, depending on whether the royal bod is despatched, hatched or matched.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Dang, Dermot, that last sentence could’ve been plucked from Finnegans Wake.

        • Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          Agreed. Even if it was a vehicle for earning money, it’s a vehicle riding on other people’s misguided beliefs. The monarchy’s mere existence makes a mockery of the idea of equality in a democracy. For starters, I’m damn sure I never had a chance to live in a palace, or to be fawned over for being born from the right parents.

          I have my list of problems with the UK “democracy” as it stands, but at least it’s not theoretically or fundamentally opposed to the ideal of democratic fairness the same way this painfully obvious bit of class elitism is. The former could at least in theory be reformed into a better version (in theory). The latter would have to cease to exist in order to do that.

      • Frank Bath
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know how this tax sucking idea originates. As I understand it Wiki)the monarchy is provided with a source of revenue indexed to 15% of The Crown Estate’s annual net revenue. The estates are vast, as is the revenue they bring in to the Government Treasury.

        • kevinj
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Because the Crown Estates belong to the crown not the monarch.
          Its one of those strange kludges brought about after George III handed them over alongside dodging the cost of government.

          So they are really just government funds now and so the amount handed to the monarchy is a cost to the rest of us.

      • Charles Sawicki
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        The British need to apply a severe inheritance tax to the monarchy, so they can fade quietly into oblivion.

        • phil
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          There are constitutional issues that would prevent it from simply fading quietly into oblivion. The monarch has various roles including commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces, head of the Church of England, and is also the head of state of various other sovereign states including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I read somewhere long ago that the USA is the reason the queen is still Queen of Canada.

          The British monarch has three rights, to be consulted by the Prime Minister, to encourage certain courses of action, and to warn against others.

  6. BobTerrace
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I agree with Grania on both beefs. I don’t care about English royalty doings and the archeological find is nonsense.

    • Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Oh come on, folks! Where’s your romance? I’m an Aussie and would prefer she were not our queen. But queen of the Uk? Fine. Mr Google tells me that 68% of Brits think the monarchy is good for the country. Who else has such high ratings?
      I’ve grown up with the Queen, and Phil, and Charles and Anne, and their kids, and their kids’ kids. They’re our family. Many many Poms would miss them deeply. But they won’t go.
      So just get ready to smile in the glow of a new great grandchild for the Queen and A WEDDING!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Good. Even Google thinks that the support for the monarchy is falling.

  7. Johnman
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    “Jobless British guy from rich family engaged to divorced American TV actress” So what?

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      I’m feeling much the same. It’s also reminiscent for me of the death of Princess Diana, in its excess and its hysteria. That event, incidentally, did probably more than anything to bring the Royal Family to their (admittedly limited) senses.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

    • Graham Martin-Royle
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Perfect description.

    • phil
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      So what? Well it’s simply SCANDALOUS is what! She belongs to the wrong church, she’s part Irish! a DIVORCEE!! and AMERICAN (how do I turn on bold) (and italics)!!! But most scandalous of all is … SHE”S AN OLDEr WOMAN!!!!!!!!

      Not only that, but it looks like they’re already living together.

      Remember the fuss Wallis Simpson caused. In fact if it weren’t for her Harry would hardly be in line for the throne.

  8. joanfaiola
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    As an ex-Brit (I have lived two thirds of my life in Africa) I am no fan of the monarchy, but have a soft spot for Harry, who seems so normal. Hats off to him in choosing to marry an intelligent woman who already has good credentials, who happens to be black (so what?) Together they might even do some good.

    • nicky
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      If you’re living in Africa, how can you say Ms Markle is ‘black’? She’s white, or possibly a ‘yellow’ coloured (a term used by ‘couloreds’ here to indicate a paleness of skin). Note, I would not care either way, but still, she’s not really ‘black’, even less than, say, Mr Obama or Mr Powell.

  9. Historian
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The doings of the royal family provide entertainment for the masses. It’s reality television at its best. There are many sad people who become emotionally invested in that family, just as others become emotionally invested in one celebrity or another. The royal family is great at selling magazines, newspapers and Internet clicks. All in all, the royal family does its best to promote the entertainment complex. Nobody should really care.

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      What we need now is a Royals Channel so that we can bathe in this moronic nonsense 24 hours a day.

  10. BJ
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Regarding the first rant: I was saying the exact same thing to my family last night when we were watching the local news during dinner. I cannot understand why Americans always give such a very big shit about the British royal family.

    Regarding the second rant: apparently, all you have to do to suddenly be seen as hip, cool, and open-minded by a good portion of progressives these days is marry or hire non-white people. If the monarchy was a corporation, this would be a diversity hire. I’m not saying the Harry is marrying her for that reason, but the PR effect is clearly the same. Her race has also constituted most of the reporting I’ve seen on the news about the marriage.

    How sad that people’s minds are this easily changed. If you believe today’s royal monarchy is still some racist, colonialist monster (I don’t think this, but apparently the author of that article did…until now!), then a marriage to a gorgeous mixed-race actress shouldn’t change that.

    • BJ
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Sorry, my second paragraph obviously refers to the second half of the first rant.

      Needless to say, the actual second rant’s subject is equally stupid. Jesus Christ!

    • tony walters
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Hmmm… The only thing I’ve seen about a “British guy getting engaged” is on this web site. Perhaps I’m lucky I frequent a better class of web site that doesn’t cover such nonsense. 😉

      • BJ
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        As I said, I’ve been seeing it on the news, not on the internet. I don’t use any websites that report on stuff like the royal wedding.

        • tony walters
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          Ahh… Watching news. I’d never do that. And, as a bonus, I don’t have to be alarmed by news of “diversity hires”, as you call them.

      • phil
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        When you say British… isn’t he at least part German, and also related to the last Tsar of Russia. Last royal tsar I mean, not including Vlad.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        I thouhgt it was about some new pop star crotch-throb called Harry Markel.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Agreed with you there, BJ.

      “I cannot understand why Americans always give such a very big shit about the British royal family.”

      ‘cos they haven’t got one of their own?

      Okay, that was a cheap wisecrack. But there seems to be a natural human impulse to want to create celebrities, whether it’s the First Family or the Kardashians.

      If there are dynastic or historic overtones, so much the better. Why else are childrens’ stories always about fairytale princesses and the like?

      cr

      • BJ
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, the whole fairy tale thing is my first thought. People seem to be fascinated by those who are living the lives of which they’ve always dreamed. I don’t know if it’s unhealthy in any way — throughout at least the last several thousand years, people have been fascinated by these things, and one could say it’s aspirational — buy it still gets on my nerves sometimes!

  11. Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It’s wall to wall coverage here in Blighty; there’s a magic money tree for a Royal Wedding but not for sprinkler systems in tower blocks, apparently.

    It felt old-fashioned, an archaic and exclusive institution people of color couldn’t really connect with nor would feel particularly invested in, given its long historical association with colonial projects.

    No, it is</b) an old-fashioned, archaic and exclusive institution, and adding one woman of colour to the mix doesn't change that. Interlopers have been treated pretty badly by the Royal Family (the Royals know their place, and that is above everyone else!), so I hope Markle doesn't suffer as others have.

    For an antidote to the Royals, watch The Windsors:

    https://tinyurl.com/ybjy46ka

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Ooops, sorry about the unclosed tag.

  12. Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I’m with Grania. Unless the marriage is openly secular or Asgardian Jesus warps into orbit on Enterprise NCC-666 with a light saber in hand it’s not interesting.

    • Ann German
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Ditto. Weapons-grade prose there.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I’d pay to see that! Asgardian Jesus I mean.

  13. Dave
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The British monarchy will live on for a long time yet. It’s an integral part of our history, it’s a source of constitutional stability, its cost is peanuts in comparison with the countless things the state squanders money on, and it’s still hugely popular among the ordinary British people (as opposed to Guardian columnists or other professional complainers).

    The monarchy is “old-fashioned”. Yes, that’s rather the point of it. Saying “please” and “thank you”, holding the door open for people, correct spelling and writing with joined-up letters are old-fashioned too, and I’m heartily in favour of them all.

    If you look at the world it’s patently obvious that liberal democracies with a constitutional monarch as head of state are among the most peaceful, stable, prosperous and humane places on Earth to live: the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Australia, NZ. They’re far from perfect, and of course I accept that constitutional monarchy isn’t the sole cause of their stability, but to me it suggests that we should think very carefully before knocking it down in the pursuit of some nebulous egalitarian utopia (which never comes into being, no matter how much blood is spilled to create it). And I say all this as someone who used to be a left-wing anti-monarchist in my youth. But like many before me, I grew up, looked at the world, and realised that most of what I used to believe was wrong.

    Good luck Harry and Meghan, and God Save the Queen!

    • Richard
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear! May her gracious Majesty continue to reign over us.

      God preserve us from becoming some dreary, gray, old-Eastern-European-style “Peoples’ Democratic Republic” as some would prefer, or another Venezuela as Jeremy Corbyn would have us be.

      As for “openly and defiantly dating Ms. Markle” – really? Defying whom or what? I have heard no word of criticism from anyone over his choice of girlfriend. The vast majority of people in the UK simply want Prince Harry to be happy, and we are delighted that he has found someone.

      • BJ
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I think the author of the article simply imagines that many people must be angry that Harry is marrying someone of mixed race.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          Agreed. Bearing in mind that the British are a pretty well mixed race already, I doubt if the average punter really cares what race Meghan is.

          I would think that the only people who are fussed about this are hopeful SJW’s and a very few KKK-ish bigots on the extreme right.

          cr

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            You’re forgetting the racist, Brit sweet old grannies & granddads – including Phil the Greek

          • BJ
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. But it’s not as fun to be an sjw and doesn’t help justify your mindset if you can’t imagine that everyone but you is racist 🙂

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      That’s the same argument non-believers offer in support of religion — it might be nonsense, but it pacifies the masses and helps maintain order.

      Correlation does not imply causation. What evidence have you that the perpetuation of a monarchy actually contributes to the stability, prosperity, and peace of any western democracy?

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        What’s particularly odd is that this is combined with an appeal to the monarchy’s history. Even a cursory glance should make it clear that most of that history consisted of monarchical conquest, wars, and conflicts. Hardly peaceful, stable, prosperous*, and humane.

        * Unless you measure prosperity by how much international theft in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia you could get away with.

        Heck, Christianity is an “integral part of our history”. As is colonialism, war, and xenophobia. That doesn’t mean they’re based on sound premisses, or that they ought to continue existing.

        • BJ
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          ” Even a cursory glance should make it clear that most of that history consisted of monarchical conquest, wars, and conflicts. Hardly peaceful, stable, prosperous*, and humane.”

          That was when the monarchy, in any of the countries the OP listed, had actual power. The monarchs are simple figureheads now, and unlike religion, they don’t really serve any nefarious purposes or control people through negative reinforcement.

          • phil
            Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think it is that simple to separate monarchy and religion. One confers power to the other, and the other confers legitimacy to the one. It’s been a double act from the start.

            So far we have managed to pretty much neutralise the power of monarchy, now we need to put religion on a chain.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the same position as you took a year and a half ago, with exactly the same logical problems present too (correlational data, cherry-picked data at that, transparent romanticism pretending to be an actual argument, unsubtle rhetoric and cheap ad hominem/poisoning-the-well tactics, etc.).

      On a case that flimsy, I’d be very careful even suggesting monarchy is in any way a positive cause for those nations’ prosperity, especially when even correlational evidence doesn’t support such a claim.

      https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/prince-charles-uses-homeopathy-on-his-cows/#comment-1344324

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the same position as you took a year and a half ago, with exactly the same logical problems present too (correlational data, cherry-picked data at that, transparent romanticism pretending to be an actual argument, unsubtle rhetoric and cheap ad hominem/poisoning-the-well tactics, etc.).

      On a case that flimsy, I’d be very careful even suggesting monarchy is in any way a positive cause for those nations’ prosperity, especially when even correlational evidence doesn’t support such a claim.

      https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/prince-charles-uses-homeopathy-on-his-cows/#comment-1344324

      Honestly, it’s not even the weak correlational argument that’s tedious so much as the holier-than-thou skeptic-bashing.

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Whoops. Double posted. Didn’t realize there’d be a delay; I thought the first comment simply vanished. My mistake!

      • BJ
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but what Dave noted makes it extremely hard to claim that the monarchy part of the constitutional monarchy equation is somehow harmful.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          It in no way precludes that these countries might be doing even better had they abandoned monarchy completely. The exact same argument could be (and doubtless has been) made regarding religion. Can you show how liberal democracies that have abandoned hereditary monarchy in all its forms have suffered as a result?

          • BJ
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            No. But the claim youre resting on seems to be the one that needs proving, as there are plenty of first world democracies without a monarchy, and none of them are doing better than the countries listed. The countries with monarchies seem to be doing a he’ll of a lot better by most metrics. It seems the claim that needs proving is that those countries would somehow be doing even better if they ditched their monarchical figureheads.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

              You’ve got that backwards, BJ. The proposition on that table here, made by Dave (and challenged by me), is that hereditary monarchies are integral to the peace, prosperity, and stability of western liberal democracies. That’s the affirmative assertion in need of proof.

      • dallos
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        The Naked Gun was much better than
        The Naked Gun 2 1/2 or The Naked Gun 33 1/3
        and you can see the Queen in the first movie
        only.

        Coincidence?
        Who knows?

        • BJ
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          The greatest possible argument!

          All great arguments somehow incorporate The Naked Gun.

    • Charles Sawicki
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      The Queen is equipped with a vast array of homeopathic remedies which accompany her everywhere. Prince Charles also has a number of superstitious beliefs. As humans they are both expensive to keep and useless!

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      If the monarchy went, one just could not say “please”, one could not hold doors open for persons, one would lose one’s manners, interrupt incessantly, punch anyone above one’s class, fail to feign compassion for one’s social inferiors, moth-ball one’s bowler hat, push in to queues, eschew oysters for breakfast, reveal piano legs tous nus below the aspidistra, refer caddishly to ladies’ embonpoint, blurt out unfortunate vulgarities on our banking fraternity and otherwise frankly express indelicacies best reserved for the forthrightness of the withdrawing room over a Havana and malt, disinhibited – the ungallant might aver, liberated, – by the absence of, and one’s respect for, the fairer sex.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      On a practical level, if we didn’t have the Royal Family, we’d have to elect a president as our head of state. That seems like a complete waste of time considering the position has no power.

      The other thing is that the main job of the Royal Family seems to be to go round giving virtuous people pats on the back and saying “well done”. That seems like a nice thing to do.

  14. Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    —They do need and want evidence, showing that faith is not enough.—
    Love the phrase! If that evidence would be unquestionably demonstrated, it still would not prove the Resurrection. So I doubt that it would move any unbeliever to convert to Christianism.
    .-

  15. Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The dating of the mortar seems of minor archeological interest, although hardly surprising since history records that the sanctuary was constructed during Constantine’s era. I fail to see how this discovery could provide any evidence that this indeed is Christ’s tomb or whether Christ actually existed.

  16. Steve Pollard
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I feel rather sorry for the poor woman, having not only to be baptised and confirmed into the CofE before she can get married in St George’s, Windsor, but also having to become a British citizen into the bargain.

    None of this seems necessary. Big-Ears and the Parker-Knoll had a civil ceremony. The ex-Edward VIII was made Duke of Windsor despite his wife never giving up her American citizenship. Prince Harry is not noted for his religious piety.

    I bet the CofE hierarchy have been pushing all this behind the scenes. The way things are going, Ms Markle will be about the only new recruit they manage to get all year.

  17. Serendipitydawg
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    At around 10:00 on the morning that the news was released, the BBC interrupted their normal programming to go to their royal correspondent who knew exactly one thing: they are set to get married some time next year. We were then treated (or would have been, had we continued watching) to 40 minutes of meaningless speculation about when, where, what she would wear, and every other bit of trivia there could be. Then the normal news was bumped to make way for an enagagement special and the website suddenly became engagement central. Now we have the usual “Let’s have a bank holiday on their wedding day” starting up. Really, who gives a sh… sorry, I should have simply said that I am with Grania.

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      I’m an ardent republican but I wouldn’t turn down a bank holiday.

      • kevinj
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Yeah thats the annoying thing. We seem to be getting all the downside without even a day off in return.

        • Serendipitydawg
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          Your employers obviously don’t sneak them back out of your annual leave…

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    … that’s like getting more interest in the Presidency after Obama was elected.

    I don’t think the two things are comparable. I can understand why the election of Obama might’ve heartened an American minority youngster’s belief that the nation was finally prepared to fulfill its promise that any American can grow up to be president. To follow in those footsteps would be a worthy goal; marrying a royal is not.

  19. David Harper
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Still, it’s handy for the British government to have the latest royal wedding folderol to distract the public from the unfolding disaster of Brexit. So there’s that.

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Had it been William instead of Harry, things might have been a bit different.

    I wonder, what good is a tomb if your not dead?

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      “I wonder, what good is a tomb if your not dead?”

      THIS. Why a tomb, indeed.

      Many of us remember when we lost our religion and I vividly remember the moment when it all made stopped making sense to me. I was 16, it was Easter and I was at the obligatory Mass. While desperately trying to stay awake, I recall thinking; “It’s not a sacrifice if you take it back”.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Or maybe you just cross your fingers. I never got that moment of clarity when it all stopped making sense because I never had it to begin with. When you start out without religion it is easy to keep it.

      • nicky
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that, and also the fact that an Almighty Creator ‘sacrificed’ (not really as you point out) his ‘only’ son , how can that possibly mean anything?

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how much different it would be if Christianity was based on an actual sacrifice?

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    … but I don’t think that’s going to save the monarchy, which in my view deserves to die a quiet death.

    When it comes to royalty anywhere in the world, I hold with the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot that “[m]en will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” (That’s meant figuratively, at least on my part; Diderot and his cohorts seemed to have had something more literal in mind.)

    Why anyone would want to perpetuate the existence of a monarchy — even one functioning in as effete a figurehead role as that found in the UK — is beyond me. Hell, I’ve never seen any benefit to the public weal from inherited wealth, let alone inherited privilege.

  22. Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    It’s testimony to how Disneyfied politics has become that black women are celebrating that they too can marry a prince.

  23. Frank Bath
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    If the USA had a King or an Emperor he would look very much like Trump, who behaves like one. You have a Pretender for a president.

  24. Jonathan Dore
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    European constitutional monarchies today (and that of Japan and a few other places) are perfectly reasonable solutions to the problem of concentrating too much power in the hands of one individual when a head of government is also a head of state. Bush and Trump most forcibly showed the problem of the Franco-American “kings in suits” model of a republic when they shamelessly use the deference owed to a head of state, ceremonial representative of the dignity of the nation, as a screen behind which to hide their activities and decisions as chief executive from proper scrutiny (witness the perpetually softball questioning Bush used to receive at press conferences, compared to the grilling he would have had at a Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament, or at the hands of a Paxman on Newsnight). Trump plays the game differently, but his and his supporters’ mock outrage at displays of lese-majeste by the public show that he is still trying to pull the same old trick.

    A non-executive elected figurehead, on the German, Indian, Irish, or Italian model, is the other major alternative. It serves the ceremonial purpose, but since those elected to the post (either by the government or directly by the people) are almost always ex-politicians, they are unlikely to be unifying figures (Thatcher as UK president, anyone?); and serving five- or ten-year terms, they are also unlikely to be figures of continuity.
    So in the abstract, a monarchy — if your country already has one — is not a bad solution to the head of state problem, since it allows a clearly and avowedly non-political person to carry out all the ceremonial duties of meeting foreign dignitaries, opening hospitals etc, thus leaving the head of government unencumbered to do the governing. And for the head of state to have a personal lineage stemming from Alfred the Great is no bad thing in terms of providing that sense of continuity and deep-rootedness that many younger nations aspire to and feel the lack of.

  25. nicky
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I think that a constitutional monarchy is not the worst of systems: Denmark, Holland, Norway….
    I do not rejoice in the adulation of some of the public for the Royal House (of Hannover it still is?), but at least it appears to prevent the Trump phenomenon (well, maybe I’m a bit optimistic there).

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Much as I oppose monarchy, there’s more than one way to muck up a country.

  26. Michael Fisher
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Harry: Blue suit with black shoes & black tie. What was he thinking?

  27. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stand royal weddings and I don’t really give a crap about the royal family. I wish Canada would get rid of the whole thing. Of course, I’m seen as negative if I make a face about it at work where people gush over the whole thing. And shouldn’t we be thinking about how this woman has to give up her entire identity to wed this person – her religion, career, nationality? And that she does so so willingly? That’s the real story!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      You’re talking as if what Meghan is giving up is something unusual. Millions of people in trans-national marriages have done exactly the same. Melania Trump as the most obvious current example.

      As for giving up her religion (not that we on this site give a stuff about that?) – it’s pretty much the same religion isn’t it? C of E is a branch of Protestant, last time I looked.

      cr

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Protestantism began in the corruption of indulgence, the C of E in the indulgence of corruption.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Nice chiasmus. lad.

          • Posted November 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Ah, chiasmus, Ken, the word reminds me of my voyages around the Aeneid with my lovely old Latin teacher, Crusty Crosthwaite, the gentlest Classicist you could meet, and not averse to introducing his 17 year-old spotty youths to the rum and risqué Odes of Catullus. He introduced me to such almost disused, but deeply satisfying, phrases as hapax legomena and anacoluthon, the latter, essential if one is to describe the syntax-liberated style of the Koran (at least in translation).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        I actually said none of that. I’m saying this is the real conversation. I’m not making judgement either way but it seems we are all quick to give up our identity for a prince or that we see that as acceptable. This is something worth discussing.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Okay. I take your point.

          But as I said, millions of people make that calculation when they enter into a marriage – or steady relationship – with someone from a different background or location. It happens all the time. Kiwis marry English people, or Canadians, even sometimes Australians. (I’ve heard rumours that sometimes New Yorkers marry Californians, but that’s probably apocryphal). One way or another, someone is going to end up living thousands of miles from their home.

          I had the impression from your post that you regarded this instance as exceptional, which it really isn’t.

          I do agree it’s an interesting topic to discuss.

          cr

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            While my point was neutral, i actually thought the discussion would be around how common it is.

  28. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    “Ugly on a frog”??? from a biologist who loves posting beautiful photos of all manner of living things including some pretty spectacular frogs? For shame! 🙂

  29. kelskye
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    The only important question is “will Harry wear his Nazi uniform when he walks down the aisle?” All else is trivial.

  30. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    More interesting than the mixed race issue, Miss Markle has slave ancestry, possible though controverted royal ancestry, and shares some ancestry with Richard Nixon.
    (It is unclear if John Hussey of Dorking, Surrey and his contemporary John Hussey of Lincolnshire are the same person. If they are, MM has royal ancestry.)

    This somehow brings to mind the old MAD magazine piece on “If Richard Nixon was black”, which if it was online, I would now post here. 🙂

  31. Stephen Barnard
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    This is a political marriage, which shouldn’t be surprising in context. The royals, or their advisors, have decided that they should be edgy and relevant. Poor Harry.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      With respect, crap. Has anyone even suggested that Harry was told who he was going to marry?

      cr

  32. Don Quijote
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    What I find more intersting is that this American woman will be given British citizen ship when others who have lived, worked, married, had children, paid taxes and NI are being threatened with or are being deported.

  33. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    made me, a black British woman, see the royals slightly differently. Suddenly they — or Harry, at least — seemed more open-minded.

    I can’t remember if it was this inbred idiot, or the fraternal inbred idiot who thought wearing a Nazi uniform to a party was a good idea, but that’s the line they’re descended from. House of Saxe-Coburg, and all that contemptible jazz.

  34. Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    As usual, it’s just royals doing what they do best, that is, “Let them eat cheesecake!”


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