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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.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

The following quote is from an article about the highly acclaimed new movie, "The King's Speech," in which the author makes an interesting case for the idea that the film indulges in a gross rewriting of history:

In a letter to Edward VIII written that same year – not cited by Manchester – he [Winston Churchill] spluttered his hopes that the king would "shine in history as the bravest and best beloved of all the sovereigns who have worn the island Crown". (You can see there how empty and bombastic Churchill's style can sound when he's barking up the wrong tree; never forget that he once described himself as the lone voice warning the British people against the twin menaces of Hitler and Gandhi.)

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, now being fast forgotten and for good reason, I would say, were really hot stuff in the 1930's and 1940s.   Every move they made in their wastrel lives was deliriously reported by the press, much like any number of vapid celebrities today.  I never understood this.

  Things were so bad that even my mother, normally a very level-headed person, couldn't hear enough about that pair.  I guess, like the many millions of others, especially women, she was totally entranced by the romance of how Edward VIII, the royal toward whom Winston Churchill was bending such an abject knee in that quote above, gave up the idea of being the King of England, by choosing instead to marry a so-called commoner and a foreigner besides, an American widow or divorcee or something.   Subsequently, and consequently this man, now demoted to being only the Duke of Windsor, spent the rest of his days doing little more than touring the various playgrounds of Europe and other places with his bride, the pair being inseparable and toasted everywhere they went (except maybe in Israel -- the Duke counted A. Shickelgruber among his friends), I assume because of the widespread perception that Eddy-boy had done it all for love.

A 10-year-old like me, whose formative years up to then had been shaped in large part by cowboy movies, would have been especially baffled by his complete inability to see anything about the object of such kingly obsession, the former Ms Wallis Simpson, that would have made even a halfway blind man give up anything, except perhaps drinking too much.

The Duke's companion as they wandered through the celebrity desert was not anywhere in the league of Connie Britten, the brightest light of "Friday Night Lights" and everything else that she appears in.


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