Thursday, April 19, 2012

Does Not Work Well With Others

"Must Reads" and
Phillipa is such
a catchy name.
It seems I have accidentally fallen into a liking of historical fiction.  Now that I have read all of Phillipa Gregory's books in the Tudor family genre and am 6 out of 7 books into the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series (we'll discuss both these later) I want you to know that I am something of a self-appointed expert on England.  And you know what?  The current England-is-so-proper-and-benign-and-nice reputation that England enjoys is without question the work of the most brilliant PR people ever.  England might be relatively harmless now, but really, it used to be kind of the biggest jerk on the whole planet.

Now, don't get upset any of my English friends (or friends of English ancestry, or people who have visited England or people who speak English), I will explain.  You know I love you all dearly, but all the proper high teas and darling accents don't change that your past ancestors were a little bit hideous and awful to everyone else and not all that nice to each other.

I almost don't even know where to start.  I suppose the fact that someone decided they were king and backed it up by saying "God says I am and you're going against God if you disagree" was the beginning of the problem. I don't know how, but people went along with this.  With that as our jumping off point, England pretty much claimed that any country they wanted actually belonged to them due to divine providence.  Whoever was King or Queen at the time got the Pope to back it up and voila people got on board.  Those who didn't were conveniently (or inconveniently, dependent upon which side of the situation you were on) squashed like bugs.  

Eddie is a RIOT!!  And he
dresses like a woman,
an added bonus.
As comedian Eddie Izzard said in one of his routines (you must watch him if you haven't), England took over a bunch of countries with the cunning use of flags.  They would show up places like India, which had about a kabillion people, and say things like "We claim this country for England.  See, we just planted the British flag here, clearly, the country is now ours."  Izzard is far more humorous when describing this, but he totally nailed it.  How do you just show up somewhere so far from your own country and claim it's yours?

There were a few countries who, like England, thought their king should own the whole world (Spain, France, Scotland).  In between fighting with these countries, England would just get their royalty to marry the other countries' royalty thus creating one giant royal family.  Kings and Queens were essentially breeding their children like one might horses or dogs.  Sadly, part of that fallout is that along the way, we have quite a few royals that whose looks might be compared to said animals.  Yes, I know that's mean, but you go look at the pictures and say that I am wrong.

This of course brings me right back to wondering why the 99% of the rest of the population of England, who was poor and mistreated and unfairly taxed and put upon went along with this.  I am sure it's because the Pope said so.  But what, at the whole start of the monarch thing, made the Pope go for this?  This is about as close as one can get to saying "I'm Jesus and God sent me."  Usually when people make a claim like this they don't get made king, they usually get killed or jailed or hospitalized (depending on what era we're talking about).

Yes, I am well aware that other countries (our own included) have also acted similarly, but none besides England seems to have come out of it all with such a nice reputation.  England is kind of the respected stately aunt of the world.  Russia and Germany, also big on the world domination front, still get the hairy eyebrow from other countries.  They still have a little bit of an evil reputation.

As an American, the irony is not lost on me that once we were free from England we felt that all the God-given rights to freedom and self-governing were only for us (and only a small group of "us"), not for everyone.  Our treatment of Native Americans and our belief that people stolen from other countries deserve to be our slaves is thankfully not something most Americans believe was or is okay.  Let me just say though, people like England way more than us.  We get treated like we're the bullies.  Hello England, learned it from you.

Queen Mum has found out
that she, like the Wicked
Witch of the West, has
no power here.
If we all are now enlightened, forward-thinking global citizens, how is it that England still has a monarchy in place?  The royal family gets a lot of money and owns a lot of property.  Why?  The Royals got to keep all this despite the country deciding (awhile back) that the monarchy would not rule the country.  I just don't get it.  Like I said, there is a lot of good PR going on here.  The British seem to love the Royal Family and won't hear a word against them.  Did I mention that I don't get it?

Now that I have given you a complete and accurate overview of the history of England's reign of terror monarchy I think we can now move away from the topic of Things I Obsess Over That Have No Effect On My Life Whatsoever.  I will also tell you, that as I write all this, I am doing so in an English accent.  I believe it is quite authentic sounding and I no doubt could get voice-over work using it.  It's bloody brilliant.


  1. I speak English, visited England, and am definitely the Queen Mum.
    Love, Mum

  2. HOW can you read the Outlander series? I painfully made it through the first one and vowed to never pick up another of those books again!

    Also, I think England gets the stinkeye about as much as the U.S. does. Just not FROM the U.S.

  3. OMG - I would have never picked it up based on the blurb, but my sil said it was really good. I totally loved it. I will say, the first few better than than the last few -but of course I am now committed. I am not sure what the appeal is, but am totally into them. :)

  4. I know I am totally picking nits here but why a picture of the Queen labeled as the Queen Mum? Just being that annoying person out here in Anonymous Land.

    1. Oh, I suppose the next thing you're going to do is correct her grammar! :D

    2. Hey!! No correcting my grammar. First of all, my mother likes to do that. Two - I will claim all grammatical errors as poetic license.

  5. She's not really since none of her kids have taken over, but I kind of think of her as it since she is like the old matriarch who has no power. But, you are correct, she really isn't.

  6. "You can't claim us, we live here." "Do you have a flag?" "Wellll, no, but we LIVE here." "No flag, no country." Some of the best Izzard lines ever.


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