Thursday, June 15, 2006

Happy birthday EIIR

I'm watching the BBC1 live coverage of the service of thanksgiving for HRH the Queen's 80th birthday. Her actual birthday was on April 21, but the deal, set up before central heating and goretex cold weather gear, has always been that if the monarch's birthday falls in the winter the official knees-up is in the summer so that the subjects can get out and par-tay.

For a republican, I love the pageantry and sweetly enthused deference of these occasions far too much. Fortunately, like most academics I'm disturbingly gifted at managing internal conflicts. That also helps with compartmentalising the God Factor. The cathedral is beautiful, the choir raises the roof with gorgeousness surpassing understanding, and the Archbishop cuts an impressive figure and is an accomplished and intelligent speaker. I just hum over the one-true-god-wretched-sinner parts.

At the end of the service, there is the blessing.

Be of good courage.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the afflicted.
Honor all people.

Well. Dare I say it? Amen.


Heidi the Hick said...

Gawd Xtin, you slay me. Flame decals, Vanity Fair, bottle of paste, the God-departmentalization thing. And Lilibet. amen!

Tom Bozzo said...

From benefit-cost land, the Queen is a bargain compared to the U.S. presidency; imperial grandiosity seems to ensure that we don't enjoy any head-of-state economies of scale. But I don't think we could trick you into a trade under present circumstances.

Xtin said...

Tom, my friend, I feel you may be right about that. Of course, the job market may ultimately take the decision out of my hands, but lately I've been wishing like hell that I had a US presidential vote to play with.