Day 21: Patriotism day!Posted: January 21, 2011
The Book asserts that “it is the duty of every citizen to be patriotic” – but not, necessarily, about one’s own country. The Book provides a list of six countries to choose from – France, the UK, Nigeria, Russia, Moldova, and China – and asks its readers to be patriotic about one for the day.
I chose – perhaps unsurprisingly – the UK. Many of my favourite novels and authors are British – my area of professional interest is the (really) long 18th century in Britain – I love British beers, I love Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky and Scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie, I love Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and Love, Actually – I even love British coinage, and the way Queen Elizabeth II ages on the obverse sides. I’m not really a fan of that whole “British Empire” fiasco, and my interest in football doesn’t extend to actually watching it. Also, I don’t get the obsession with the royal family – if you ask me, the monarchy has gone steadily downhill since the reign of Æthelred the Unready.
I started my day of Anglophilia with a bowl of oatmeal (with butter, brown sugar, strawberries, and scotch) – a grain which, according to Dr. Samuel Johnson‘s dictionary, “in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” I was thus able to both feel superior to and resentful of myself – before I even left the house! Wonderful!
In class today, we were discussing “class in America,” and I managed to work in the British monarchy and aristocracy. Apparently there are some people you can take to dinner with the President that you can’t take to dinner with the Queen – but Lady Gaga isn’t one of them. I rounded out my workday with some Francis Bacon, some Shakespeare, and a lecture on Gulliver’s Travels (which involved pirates, sort of!).
My commute home was not particularly Anglophiliac – I jammed out to some Theophilus London, but he’s actually from Brooklyn – but now that I’m home, I’m going to have a Tanqueray, eat a bit of … uh, whatever a stereotypical British meal is? I’m not really sure? … anyway, at some point I’ll read a chapter or two of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to Ella, and then end the day with some William Tyndale, whose 1525 translation of the Bible into English heavily influenced every other major translation that followed, including the Authorized Version of 1611.
God save the Queen!