A bit of lunacy for your Sunday morning…

…from the Houston Chronicle:

It was a lofty idea: Formulate a British “statement of values” defining what it means to be British, much the way a document like the Declaration of Independence sets out the ideals that help explain what it means to be American.

Because of the peculiarities of its long history, Britain has in modern times never felt the need for such a statement. But in an era of decentralized government and citizens who tend to define themselves less by their similarities than by differences of region, ethnicity or religion, the government felt that the time was ripe for one.

The proposal, part of a package of British-pride-boosting measures announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government last summer, raised a host of questions. What does it mean to be British? How do you express it in a country that believes self-promotion to be embarrassing? And how do you deal with a defining trait of the people you are trying to define: their habit of making fun of worthy government proposals?

I can’t find the words to describe this. I mean, seriously, it just defies comment, but I’m gonna give it my best shot…
This is what once-mighty England has come to? A government program to make people proud of their nation? How ironic it is, too, that the author of this piece compares this government program to our Declaration of Independence, since it was England that we were declaring our independence from. And Britons still have their lives, of course, but if they even had liberty, they lost it long ago, along with the pursuit of happiness. Which, of course, would explain why the government felt the need for such a campaign. I mean, if they were free to do whatever they chose, don’t you think they’d be a little more proud to be Britons? I think it’s worth asking why one doesn’t need to do this sort of thing in America, or in Texas. (Incidentally, I think it’s also worth asking why the reporter indirectly characterized this asshattery as “worthy.”) For some reason the words of Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag” come to mind…
“…And she’s gettin’ threadbare, and she’s wearin’ thin,
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in…”

For what our country’s come to, I think there’s still some truth to that observation…


“…You know, when I was in school, we used to sing it somethin’ like this, listen here…oh, beautiful, foooor, spacious skies, for amber waves of grain…”



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