Tuesday, April 03, 2007


In a Guardian article extracted from her book "Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy" Barbara Ehrenreich takes a look at the "English malady", epidemic depression:
We used to know how to get together and really let our hair down. Then, in the early 1600s, a mass epidemic of depression broke out - and we've been living with it ever since. Something went wrong, but what?
It's uncertain exactly what the British were sad about way back when but their current status as a nation of wimps can't be doing anything positive for the collective mood:
“15 British Agressors [sic] must be EXECUTED.” That was the placard being held up by some beetle-browed Iranian outside the British Embassy in Tehran. Well, I don’t entirely disagree. I certainly think that those British captives who have let themselves be put forward on Iranian TV, that woman wearing a headscarf, and the young man apologizing to the Iranian gangster-rulers, should be court-martialed for dereliction of duty when they get back to Blighty, with shooting definitely an option.

How on earth can Britons behave like that? A previous generation would not have done so. I knew the women of my mother’s generation pretty well (Mum was born in 1912), and I am certain that any one of them, given that headscarf and told to put it on, would have said: “You can hang me with it if you like, but I’ll be damned if I’ll wear the filthy thing.” The men likewise. What on earth has happened to the British? Where is John Moyse?

Well, he is of course on Wikipedia. Who isn’t? To spare you the trouble of reading all through, Moyse was a British soldier of the East Kent Regiment, nick-named “The Buffs” on account of their 17th-century uniforms, which prominently featured that color. Moyse was captured by the Chinese during the Second Opium War of the late 1850s. Taken before a Mandarin, he was ordered to kowtow, but refused. He was thereupon clubbed to death and decapitated, and his body thrown on a dung-heap.
Today's British soldiers forego the beating and beheading opting instead to climb straight onto the dungheap. That makes me sad and I'm not even British.
Via Instapundit.


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