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KBO. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
In England’s win over Australia, Marcus Trescothick burnished his credentials as a centurion to be relied upon.

Sadly, that is not today’s lead story.

As I do try, with whatever success has so far attended the effort, to avoid politics here, I shall be brief. A few observations of the day are not, however, amiss.

I also have seen and sensed myriad instances of the Stiff Upper Lip, and as many or more instances of kind, solicitous enquiry from American fen. (Nothing, apparently, renders the average Briton so helpless as a direct proclamation of support from foreign friends of the ‘our love to your country’ variety. It is appreciated, of course, gratefully. And yet…. No Briton, I suspect, feels altogether comfortable in responding in any way that suggests he or she is speaking for the country or accepting sympathy, condolence, or support for the country as whole. That is HM the Queen’s role.)

I do wish to say that even the backhanded self-congratulation on British phlegm, as I have seen in some quarters, is a trifle un-British. Nor do I think it altogether fair to contrast this to the American reaction after the New York mass murders. The Americans I know – admittedly, they tend to be active or retired officers, lawyers, judges, and politicians, with a few historians and such tossed in – reacted in as Stoic and grimly determined a fashion as the veriest Colonel Blimp could wish, and, contrariwise, I know not a few emotional, sensitive, feeling Britons (all this Blairite, modern, metrosexual, Europeanised wibbling simply must end), though no one seems to be indulging in emotional orgies today. (Thank God. That weepy, more-sentimental-than-thou business that accompanied the death and funeral of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is something to be eschewed.)

Yet I do think that, once again, the practitioners of confounded politics and knavish tricks are bound to be frustrated, as having underestimated the British character. I have not yet seen on LJ any Madrid-style cravenness. I have seen only one such instance at FA. For once in my life, I find myself in agreement with Adam Ingram, of all unlikely chaps, whose dismissal of George Galloway’s vicious, defeatist remarks cannot be bettered: ‘he has once again dipped his poisonous tongue into a pool of blood’, indeed. I am in fact reminded of the aftermath of the Miracle at Dunkirk, quite as much as I am of the Blitz. Hitler and his commanders confidently expected that ‘the sight of a beaten army’ would defeat British morale. Had the returning troops thought themselves beaten, or had the populace seen them as such, that might I suppose have been remotely possible. Instead, one still sees in the mind’s eye the little trains chugging through the green Kentish countryside, having to stop at every halt, as the WI and the Mothers’s Union and Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and All, met them with lemonade and biscuits, and the cricketers waved at the troop trains from each village green.

If the Hitler’s sodding Luftwaffe did not cause Britons to cut and run, what chance do these murderous gentry have?

Fear them? Balls. They have, I trust and do believe, only hastened their own destruction, and called down new and hotter fire upon themselves. One is not wise to twist the tail of even the eldest and most arthritic of lions, after all.


8 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 7th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank You.

Not that I've any superior qualities, let alone erudition as being one of them.

Still, yes, I did in fact decide I wanted an icon for this sort of post, and created this one this afternoon.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 8th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not At All.

While different modes of expression may be observed - I was in a way following on from what you and avus and I had been discussing - there's no question but that sympathy is cherished and accepted. That this New World directness startles the average Briton is no indication that the sentiments thus expressed are unwelcome, as indeed they are not, I'm sure.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 10th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hullo, And Thanks For All The Moose.

And you're quite right. The moose is vy uplifting.
avus From: avus Date: July 8th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
KBO, dear fellow, dear people, KBO.

If I may go off topic a bit, but only a bit. You mentioned Yank reaction to 9/11. I remember vividly, when there was uncertainty early in the day, checking to make sure my 20 y/o son was all right in his summer job. (He worked somewhere that might have been a target -- the top of Pikes Peak, overlooking Cheyenne Mountain, the headquarters of much of America's strategic command. That evening, we were visiting family in the mountains, as long-planned, and I spent much of the time walking my 5 mos old granddaughter around the restaurant while the adults had conversation.

I had, by far, the better deal, as I had much the best company.

May you always find yourself in good company.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 8th, 2005 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Good Company?

My dear fellow, so long as you are of the company, I am well content.
avus From: avus Date: July 9th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Good Company?

I'm flattered.
From: seneska Date: July 8th, 2005 09:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I do believe we are of one mind. Especially about the foreign sympathies.
I'm uncomfortable with it all, but we certainly don't need to suddenly give up on our essential british character. We are not headless chickens, we're british.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: July 8th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


Mind you, any expression of sympathy and solidarity is grateful. It's certainly better than the contrary, which I see beginning to pop up.
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