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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Destruction of the Tea

Once I belonged to an artists group here in rural Virginia that was dominated by women, and after we were allowed access to a house to use for a gallery on the main street of the county seat in one of the two counties in which the group was based, one of these ladies became enamored of the idea of using this house to hold afternoon tea/lawn parties, I think during the openings of shows.  So I can say I have been to at least one genuine, Virginia-genteel, tea party, though quite naturally I did not dress in the least for it, though the ladies showed up in all their finery, complete with the big, lacy hats.   And it was the real thing and not the events for which the term has been so sadly hijacked.

A BBC article that I found out about through a second New Year's article in the BBC that also makes interesting reading because it is about things that came to be known during 2010, such as that swans, supposedly lifetime mates, occasionally engage in divorces, and that every year that are an average of 87,000 glass assaults in supposedly sedate British pubs,  tells us that tea parties only came into being in the 1830's, 60 years after the well-known event at the Boston Harbor

I've never understood what was so inspiring about the so-called "Boston Tea Party," and why people should use it as a basis for the founding of a political movement, much less of a nation supposedly conceived in virtue and dedicated to the notion that all citizens should behave decently and should even be (gulp!) free. 

One day in 1773 a group of British colonists -- they could not have been American patriots because the U.S. was still several years away from being founded -- stormed onboard a merchant ship that didn't belong to them and where they weren't crewmen, most likely after they had first juiced themselves up good in a tavern, and after having first cowardly assumed the trappings of Indians so that the blame for their acts would be placed on a minority.  Claiming to be outraged over some tax matters that were so involved that these worthies could not have  known exactly what they were screaming about, they grabbed a bunch of barrels of tea that also didn't belong to them and tossed these into the Boston Harbor.

This strikes me as having been a clearly criminal and also highly wasteful act, and for the next 60 years or so it was only called  "the Destruction of the Tea." But then tea parties were invented in Britain, and that gave the U.S. patriots of that day the chance to put a better spin on what was essentially just the work of a bunch of some thugs, pure and simple.

When, a few decades later, after group tortures and murders of Rainbows by large numbers of so-called "whites" became so fashionable that they amounted to nighttime entertainments for all but the victims, these events were called "lynching parties" from the start.    As such these were undoubtedly even truer precursors of the modern political movement, whose center philosophy has to do with toppling the current U.S. President, who "just happens" to be the hated color, and so these moderns whose elected representatives are about to defile the halls of Congress even worse than those corridors and chambers already were have the same evil intentions as those tea thieves and lynch mobs of old.


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