Hundreds of years before the advent of satellite photography and Google Earth, French monarchs used detailed scale models to micromanage their realm…
Not only is it fascinating these intricate models of cities and forts would have been commissioned in the first place, but quite amazing they’ve actually been preserved intact for hundreds of years.
Following the opening of the Calgary Stampede and yet another tedious photo-op – this time at the local zoo of all places, apparently to educate the Royal couple about how carbon deposits from the Cretaceous era are ingeniously turned into our leading export commodity – today mercifully ends the nine-day cross-Canada tour by Prince William and Katherine Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge.
Presuming this charming twosome might eventually become our titular heads of state it’s perhaps a good thing that they became somewhat more acquainted with this country, even though most of the painfully staged “events” on their itinerary were far removed from the daily realities of Canadian life.
Speaking as a supporter of the monarchy – at least in principle in terms of it being an abstract political concept – I confess to being more than a little turned off by the ridiculous adulation accorded to the Royal couple by their brain-addled fans; for example, some folks at one stop on the tour who exclaimed that having them pet their dog was the “greatest moment in their life” or many others expressing similarly ecstatic sentiments after having exchanged some inane small talk with the exalted pair on a rope line.
To resolve the conundrum of being pro-monarchy and anti-royal, I propose that the existing Royal Family be gradually replaced by robots. Pension off all of the existing “human” royal parasites and instead substitute life-like animatronic replicas specifically programmed with diplomatic protocols and pandering sub-routines tailored for interfacing with gormless proles at ribbon-cuttings, charity events and such. Would there really be any difference from the current arrangement?
Opening of the British Parliament yesterday afternoon. The phenomenally uninspiring speech setting out Gordon Brown’s final kick at the can before the forthcoming election lasts only a few minutes; all the rest is the ceremonial procession and other such symbolic falderal.
Seeing as Prince Charles and his haggard consort have descended on our humble burg in recent days, this seems like an appropriate documentary to share.
George S. Stuart reads from his marvelous historical monologue 400 Years of English History about the namesakes of the Prince of Wales.
I would love to see the entire DVD of this lecture series as it’s always immensely delightful to see history brought back to life in such a seductively charming, humorous, and vibrantly immediate way.
This was always a required part of Christmas when I was a kid. Essentially they were something to be endured more than anything else.
It takes about a minute to actually get going… bear with it.
Update: Okay, here’s the real thing — full version.
Filed under Arcana, Monarchy