Monday, October 31, 2005


Actually, we're told he intends to visit the U.S. for the first time in decades to lecture Americans about tolerance of peace-loving Islam. But the accompanying photograph in Britain's Telegraph newspaper would indicate that there has been some interest in bringing royal ceremonial jewelry more in line with the unspeakable tackiness associated with Miss America and friends. (The Crusty the Clown hair arrangement is pretty effective too.)

Over my 34-odd years living as an American in Canada I have at various times entertained the possibility of applying for citizenship, especially after it became possible to hold dual citizenship (I believe that came in under Clinton, who was always mindful of how nice it would be to collect the taken-for-granted Democratic votes of immigrants who didn't want to give up their connection to Mexico or wherever else they came from). At one point I even favoured this course because I thought it would be kind of cool to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

I got over that, as I watched her low-brow children assume their high places in society and contract ridiculous marriages they had no intention of preserving (or, in Andrew's case, a ridiculous marriage he would probably love to have preserved, but his mother, Defender of the Faith, won't allow him to reconcile with his tramp of choice, despite their being perfectly suited to each other).

So with each passing year, and each passing anti-American tantrum on the part of Canadian public officials, I become less inclined to undergo even a pro-forma Canadian citizenship ritual. (Not long ago I met an American woman married to a Canadian, who figured it would be best all round if she took out dual citizenship-- she said she wept with grief through the entire ceremony!)

Anyhow, it looks like Americans, especially those in the Washington receiving line, now have the prospect of having to hold down their cookies while being preached at by the under-achieving heir to the English throne about what a superior thing it is to oversee (or at least "tolerate) your national identity's slow death by a thousand cultural cuts, as official Britain systematically grovels to Muslim hyper-sensitivities about the customs of their adopted home.

(Yes, many a Muslim was in fact born in the United Kingdom, so it's not in that sense "adopted", blah, blah, blah-- bottom line: Britain is an ancient land whose history pre-dates the invention of Islam by eons, and its laws and institutions are what they are because of its Western Christian culture. If you don't find them desirable, move somewhere else where Western Christianity hasn't been so influential. I understand Indonesia has a few vacancies where a few school-girls' heads used to be.)

Perhaps the hapless prince will also try to export Britain's latest exercise in tolerance, the banning of all public representations or other detectable presence of PIGS, in deference the Islamic discomfort at the very thought of the little swine. In case you haven't been following it, Kathy Shaidle at Relapsed Catholic is a clearing house for the "Free Piglet" campaign. Intrepid Middle East chronicler Michael J. Totten has a few choice comments on the subject too, though, as always, Mark Steyn has the last word (and it is "Pooh").

Peaceful Islam update: Best accessed through Little Green Footballs-- exciting tales of tolerant beheadings of little girls in Indonesia, peaceful riots in Paris, profoundly spiritual compulsory head-scarves for non-Muslim women in Malaysia, hypothetical hangings of stock market players in Tehran, just capital punishment** for a 14-year-old in Saudi Arabia. Well, I guess that's only fair in countries that were part of that imperialistic Coalition of the Willing that invaded Iraq-- oh, no, wait, that was somebody else.

**(heck, even peacekeeping Canada was prepared to do that once!)

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