King Arthur? Avalon? Who? What…?

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Illustration of King Arthur Receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. N.C. Wyeth, c. 1910.

I had an instructive incident this afternoon, as I was teaching one of my behind-the-wheel students: since the struggle to save the West does not come with a salary, I teach driver’s education to put meat and bread on the table, and otherwise attempt to keep the wolves from the door.

Seeing a Toyota Avalon ahead of us at a stop light, I quipped to my student, “Well, there’s Avalon! I wonder where King Arthur is?” There was a brief silence, followed by a (slightly sheepish, to her credit) “I didn’t get that one!” from my student.

She didn’t get it. An Anglophone high school student, and one with a European last name and apparent ancestral heritage, to boot, didn’t get a reference – and not an obscure one – to the Arthurian legends, one of the most formative legendary and literary cycles in the history of the English-speaking peoples (and significant to French and German-speaking ones, as well). If there is any doubt that our educational system is in serious disarray, this one incident is proof positive, I would confidently assert.

I passed off the episode lightly, for my student’s sake – I’m teaching her to drive a car, not appreciate her own cultural heritage, and there were tasks to accomplish, and traffic and road conditions in need of attention – but it bothered me, and it continues to rankle.

But thinking about it tonight, I realized that from the perspective of the propagandists and ideologues that make up much of our educational establishment, this is an example, not of disarray, but of how well their plan is working. King Arthur should most emphatically not be taught, according to this outlook!

He is not only a member of one of the most despised of all classes (and one of the very few it is permissible – indeed, encouraged – to despise), a “DWEM” (Dead White European Male), but he actually fought against the invasion and subjugation diversity and cultural enrichment of his Romano-British land and people by the Anglo-Saxons. Really fought! With swords and spears and things. And in the process became an icon and an inspiration for defense against immigrant invasion opposition to multiculturalism for centuries thereafter.

How vile! He must have been one of those white supremacists. Oh, wait – the Anglo-Saxons were white, too! And so were the Vikings… and the Normans… and even the French and Spanish, who tried and failed to invade England. Best we just leave British / English history out of the schools entirely, unless we can find ways to convincingly pretend that they weren’t nearly as European as they very clearly and historically were, at least until the last decade or so.

We certainly don’t want to infect any of today’s students of European ancestry with any pride in their heritage, do we? Much less suggest to them, however indirectly, that it might be – perhaps even, ought to be – defended from invaders? Perish the thought!

We are seriously screwed up, and are getting screwed-er up-er, all the time!

 

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Knife crime: Tony Blair says police losing knife crime battle – BBC News

Tony Blair

The former prime minister says “the emergency” means he is more worried about his own children.

Source: Knife crime: Tony Blair says police losing knife crime battle – BBC News

One more, since I’m posting anyway…

Many years ago, I wrote what was supposed to be a satirical piece for the local newspaper about a future “National Club Association” (the NCA) protesting a proposed ban on cudgels – the idea being, first they ban guns, then knives, and eventually clubs as well. Now that concept doesn’t look so satirical. The UK really is banning knives!

And of course, what doesn’t get mentioned is who are actually engaging in these knife-fights, slashings, stabbings, etc.: I feel fairly safe in presuming that it is not, for the most part, descendants of those who won the Battle of Britain in WW II, or the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415… The UK has chosen, on its own or by acceding to EU mandates, to take in many outsiders whose values and culture are inimical to Britons; as ye sew, so shall ye reap. In any case:

The Paleoconservatives, who posted this on Facebook, accurately commented:

“The progressive left simply wants control. Gun control, and if they get that, then knife control. They want to control your words, your faith, your children. Once, the best of the left were at least classical liberals, supporting freedoms, but these days they will make you accept their definition of progress – whether you like it or not.”

What is true in the UK, is also true here. The Left – I will not call them “liberals,” except ironically – wants one thing and one thing only: power. Control. The political heirs of the Jacobins of Revolutionary France, and Cromwell’s Puritans in the English Civil War, they want to impose their idea of the ideal society – a warped, twisted secular version of the Kingdom of God, a God in which they no longer even claim to believe – on everyone else. And they will stop at nothing to get it.

As the traditional Order for Compline puts it, quoting 1 Peter 5:8,

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, firm in your faith.”

Neolithic Britons travelled across country for regular mass national feasts 4,500 years ago, new research claims | The Independent

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Neolithic stone circle at Avebury, with the modern village built in as well as around it.

New scientific discoveries are set to dramatically transform our understanding of prehistoric Britain.

Source: Neolithic Britons travelled across country for regular mass national feasts 4,500 years ago, new research claims | The Independent

So, once again pop culture is discovering what some of us have realized for some time: that so-called “primitive” peoples were not as primitive as we often tend to believe!

A study of Stonehenge-era archaeological material from large-scale ceremonial feasts is revealing that neolithic Britain was, in key respects, much more interconnected and unified than previously thought.

“These gatherings could be seen as the first united cultural events of our island, with people from all corners of Britain descending on the areas around Stonehenge to feast on food that had been specially reared and transported from their homes” [said lead author Dr Madgwick].

The emergence of some sort of country-wide identity now appears to have been part of a package of new cultural and political developments that occurred at around the time the great stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury were built.

What is not known is whether this nascent “national,” or at least pan-tribal, cultural identity was a lasting feature of neolithic British society, or whether it only lasted as long as the reign of a particularly dominant king / chieftain (or perhaps dynasty). The evidence, in any case,

“strongly suggests that religious or political elites wanted and were able to gather together at a ‘national’ rather than purely local communal or tribal level.

“Given the religious and ritual nature of the venues, it is conceivable that at least some of the participants had societal roles that were ‘national’ in nature  – similar perhaps to the pan-tribal Druid religious elite in Iron Age Britain 2,000 years later.

“The emergence of some sort of country-wide identity now appears to have been part of a package of new cultural and political developments that occurred at around the time the great stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury were built.”

Read on for more!

Feasts were held at ritual sites, including Avebury
Feasts were held at ritual sites, including Avebury (English Heritage).

Glories of the West: New research and artist’s impressions shed light on Windsor Castle’s 1,000-year history

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Reconstruction image of Windsor Castle in its earliest form, a motte and bailey castle, around 1086 ©

The story of Windsor Castle’s transformation from the wooden fortress built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the Palace that today serves as an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen.

Source: New research and artist’s impressions shed light on Windsor Castle’s 1,000-year history | Royal Collection Trust

This looks marvelous!!!

“The story of Windsor Castle’s transformation from the wooden fortress built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the Palace that today serves as an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, has been brought to life in new artist’s impressions. Based on the evidence of new research, historic manuscripts, drawings and paintings, and recent GPS surveys, the illustrations were specially commissioned for Windsor Castle: A Thousand Years of a Royal Palace, published by Royal Collection Trust today. The most comprehensive study of the Castle in more than a century, this book sets the architectural and artistic history of Windsor against the backdrop of wider social, political and cultural events in the life of the Monarchy and the nation.”

 

 

More on Shrove Tuesday (“Pancake Day”) customs in the UK

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As commented earlier, today is Shrove Tuesday, also known as “Pancake Day.” Apparently pancake races, in which the contestants have to flip pancakes while running along, are traditional for this day in parts of the British Isles. These are young choristers from the choir school of one England’s great cathedrals – I forget, now, which one (I’ve had the picture for quite a while…). Here are more customs, along with some recipes:

All About Pancake Day in the UK

Shrove Tuesday pancake races alive and well across the Diocese of Leeds

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Source: Shrove Tuesday pancake races alive and well across the Diocese of Leeds

Apparently there are some places in England that are keeping the tradition of Shrove Tuesday pancake races alive (although this is from 2015)!

“Pancake racing has been taking place this Shrove Tuesday… on streets across the diocese from village churches to Minsters and Cathedrals. It was the first experience of the traditional Ripon Shrove Tuesday Pancake races for the Dean, the Very Revd John Dobson, pictured below with a team of Cathedral staff racing along Kirkgate – including Canon Paul Greenwell, Verger Philip Bustard, Head verger Colin Belsey (right) and the Mayor of Ripon, Cllr Mick Stanley.”

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Why pancakes, and why races? According to the Diocese of Leeds’ website,

“Shrove Tuesday is part of the Christian calendar marking the eve of Lent (40 days of fasting and prayers before Easter ). It was historically held so people could use up their supplies from the pantry before Lent began on Ash Wednesday. The word shrove comes from the Old English word shrive – to confess one’s sins. On Shrove Tuesday people confess their sins and it’s believed that pancake races came from women rushing to church before the noon cut-off time, clutching their half-finished pancakes.”

The “why pancakes” part I knew, of course; but the “why races” is interesting, even if perhaps apocryphal!

Accession Day (UK): God save The Queen!

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Today is Accession Day in Great Britain, marking the 67th anniversary of the death of King George VI and the Accession to the Throne of HM The Queen: Queen Elizabeth II.

She came to the throne early and unexpectedly, but even before that day, she had made her intentions known. On her 21st birthday, while in what was then the Union of South Africa on a tour with her Royal parents, then-Princess Elizabeth gave a speech, in which she concluded:

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong… God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”

For 67 years Her Majesty has kept that vow. God bless her, protect and preserve her, grant her still more years to love and serve her people, and when that time comes that comes to every human being, accept her into His Eternal Kingdom with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Prayers for The Queen’s Majesty:

AI.MIGHTY God, who rulest over all the kingdoms of the world, and dost order them according to thy good pleasure: We yield thee unfeigned thanks, for that thou wast pleased, as on this day, to set thy Servant our Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH, upon the Throne of this Realm. Let thy wisdom be her guide, and let thine arm strengthen her; let truth and justice, holiness and righteousness, peace and charity, abound in her days; direct all her counsels and endeavours to thy glory, and the welfare of her subjects; give us grace to obey her cheerfully for conscience sake, and let her always possess the hearts of her people; let her reign be long and prosperous, and crown her with everlasting life in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O LORD, our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally, after this life, she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Her Majesty’s 21st Birthday speech:

Her Majesty’s Speech upon her Coronation:

A rather more solemn speech by now-Queen Elizabeth II – one can almost imagine the weight of the Crown upon her young brow – but touching on the same themes: service, common good, hope for the future. But above all, service:

“Through all my life, and with all my heart, I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”

God save The Queen! Health and long(er) life to Her Majesty. Long may she reign, in health, prosperity, and peace!