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Initially I launch a scrapbook on the subject:
“Hollywood royalty mingled with the real thing as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent a sun-splashed day on the polo fields of Santa Barbara County followed by a diamond-studded night amid movie glitterati at the midpoint of their tour of California.”
Greens and glitter for royal couple
See? This author thinks that English “royalty” is real? If so, what right did America have to resist George III? If Britain’s social mythology is true, then America’s can’t be. Then America’s pretense at meritocracy is not only experientially false but theologically and cosmologicaly false as well. So, inherited “merit” is “true,” and market-based values are false, eh? I certainly agree that market-based values may be as false as anything may be false, but as another little kid force-fed democracy I have genuinely never believed in inherited merit. If Genghis is khan by his ability to kill, then, so long as he is still able to out-kill everyone else, he has the right to name an heir; but, unless the heir also has the ability to out-kill everyone else, I don’t see why Ogedai’s authority lasts one second past Genghis death.
But god, I love that image: this “duke” is “real” “royalty”; Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart … Katherine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp … are fake “royalty.”
I remember decades ago reading in NYC that traffic on Lexington Avenue would temporarily reverse its one-way direction so the visiting Queen Elizabeth’s Rolls could deliver her to Bloomingdales in a way that would permit her to get out on the sidewalk side, not disembark into traffic, then walk around, like any other poor sap of a citizen. Why don’t we just apologize for having been wrong in 1776 and pay back taxes (plus compensation) to England?
All those years of watching Americans worship Princess Diana made me puke.
2016 08 15 I visit today having just watched a few episodes of a “Royalty” doc.
Genghis: Conn Iggulden’s series of historical novels on Genghis are wonderful. I gulped novel #1, gloried when #2 came out, took much longer to read #3, but started #4 mid-#3. Last night I finished #3, which ends with Genghis’ death.
I’ve always admired Genghis because he conquered to destroy the way of life — farming — that was destroying his way of life — herding. In the Bible Cain slays Abel, but as with so much else, the Bible has everything wrong, sometimes dead-backwards. Farming killed nomadism, nomadism didn’t kill farming. Note further: the nomads degenerate on their own, witness the Laps. they don’t follow their reindeer, they castrate the bulls so the leaders’ leadership is managed by the supposed followers.
Anyway, I love Genghis the way I love Anthony Quinn’s portrayal of Auda Abu Tayi in Lawrence of Arabia: Lawrence enlisted Auda’s help with promises of gold in Akaba. Auda rumages through the strong box, throwing Bank of England notes everywhere: where’s the gold? Auda attributes no value to the paper, and you’d think Anthony Quinn didn’t either! Genghis destroyed cities because they were limiting his ability to go wherever the grass beckoned. Our ape ancestors lived in a tree, but could move to the next tree. When they came down to the ground, at first, they could still go back up into the tree if they wanted to. So much kept them on the ground, that we stayed on the ground: now it would be impossible for us to move back into the tree, not without first losing our trucks and palaces and zillion acre farms. Genghis wanted to move from this part of the grassland where the grass was thinning to that part of the grassland were the grass was lush: but with more and more of the grassland turned into wheat farm, rice farm, bean farm and more and more more turned into tenement and slum … I’m all for an alpha male or two lashing out and killing everything human in sight: except his own family (though in the Conn Igg novels he does kill his won family: and they kill him!)
2016 08 15 Speaking of Lawrence, check out Theeb. Little Bedouin kid teams up with raider who’s killed his companions, put hi in danger, is now protecting him: partners watching each other’s back. But then Theeb shoots the raider: he saves him, removing his bullet, then he shoots him, finishing the feud, and everything else. The military rep, the cop, says Why d’ja kill him?” Theeb says He killed my brother.” “Oh,” says the cop, recognizing an ancient theme, “Then go home.”
Anyway I love how Conn Igg presents him as not civilized, not monotheist, not even theistic, not even a tiny bit, but then he compromises on this and that, and enjoys some of the ironies. For example, he and his original general don’t believe in record keeping; but Genghis youngest son from his first wife keeps records for him. Genghis does keep one city: Samarkand. But then Genghis proposes to his record keeper that in their accounts of his battles the numbers of all defeated enemies be doubled! The record keeper is shocked. But Genghis sees it’s all lies anyway, all vanity: make a good joke out of a bad joke! Falsify accounts!
Falsify: how’s that for an ambiguity? Falsification in science means to test the model; here falsification means to edit the truth to suit you, replacing truth with vanity, lies, propaganda. So: Genghis thinks, if we’re to keep records, let’s do it right; let’s keep false records!
The difference between him and us is that he says so (as do I: except I don’t also kill everybody around me.) (Sometimes I wish I had.) (Of course had I tried, little skinny weakling me, I’d have been among the first to die!) (I did live, and did grow strong, very strong for a little weak old man, but largely because I never did actually kill. I let the muggers: the state, the teachers take everything from me.)