Tag Archives: Charles II

The Year’s and the Day’s Deep Midnight—aka the Solstice—Longest Night and the Shortest Day, with thoughts on John Donne, Samuel Pepys, King Charles II, and the 1751 Calendar Act—but December 21 was the night we always used to put up the Christmas Tree as Advent came to an end…..from this day forward, the Sun Returns to Us….

Today we think about Calendars—-a large number of misguided souls believe that today has some great mystical significance in the Maya Calendar.  Some people even think the world might end today.  Some people think “it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”  I actually DO feel OK, come to think of it—I’m here in beautiful New Orleans, and nothing anywhere could be finer or sweeter than to savor this day in this spot and from this vantage point in the French Quarter.

But the Solstice is a fine day to think about the Calendar regardless of the correlation or miscorrelation of the Maya Calendar.  I honestly do not believe that the Aztec Fifth Sun (Nahui Ollin = “4 Earthquake”) or Maya Baktun 13 (properly correlated) are actually ending today, and if they did, good riddance I guess.  These last 500 years have not been kind either to the Maya or the Aztec.  But I still favor, as I have for almost 32 years, George Clapp Vaillant’s 11.3.0.0.0 correlation rather than the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson 11.16.0.0.0.  11.3.0.0.0 works just as well with the Crónica de Oxcutzcab and MUCH better with the archaeological record of the transition between the Terminal Classic and Postclassic…. Vaillant was the pioneer of stratigraphic excavation and ceramic chronology in Mesoamerican Archaeology, and his very early (mid-1920s) Harvard doctoral dissertation on the Ceramic Chronology of the Maya Lowlands was….really just amazing, as was his work at Holmul and his later work in the Valley of Mexico while working at the American Musem of Natural History in New York….

In the mid-17th Century, until the Calendrical Act of 1751.  It is widely known that in September 1752, Great Britain switched from the “Old Style” Julian Calendar (aka “O.S.” on many 18th century monuments, including almost all the old Colonial Churchyards in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut)  to the Gregorian Calendar. In order to achieve the change, 11 days were ‘omitted’ from the calendar – i.e. the day after 2 September 1752 was 14 September 1752.

An Act of Parliament triggered all this (yes, for a long time the Government has been telling us “what time it is”) – this act, the “Calendar Act” of 1751 bore the preambular title of An Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year; and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use.

What isn’t so widely known is the second, and in some ways even more significant change which the Act introduced – as named in the first part of the Act’s title. The Act changed the first day of the year (or, if you want to impress your ignorant, historically unaware, quasi-illiterate American friends with a new word, the Supputation of the Year).

Prior to 1752 in England, the year began on 25 March (Lady Day) as it had indeed since long before the time of Julius Caesar after whom the Julian Calendar was named.   March 25 was one of the two dates seriously considered for bearing the honor of Christmas (birthday of Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior of the World—I mention this only because most people think of Christmas as strictly an event in the commercial and party calendar these days) at the Counsel of Nicea under Emperor Constantine the Great.   But March 25, from the Biblical Evidence of Shepherds being out tending their sheep on the hillsides of Judea, would make a lot more sense as Christmas than December 25, when the sheep would all have been brought down out of the cold….

Lady Day is one of the Quarter Days, which are still used in English, Irish, and Scottish legal circles. The Quarter Days divide the year in quarters (hence the name :-), and the Quarter Days are: Lady Day (25 March), Midsummers Day (24 June), Michaelmas Day (29 September), and Christmas Day (25 December).

Lady Day was one of the days when rents were traditionally due. In fact, this practice must have continued will beyond the 18th century as I’ve seen paintings of large meals for farm workers on Lady Day. Taxes were also due on Lady Day. With the ‘loss’ of 11 days in September 1752 and the stories of riots on the street, people weren’t impressed with having to pay their taxes in March 1753 like nothing had happened (in fact, as 25 March 1753 was a Sunday the taxes were due on Monday 26 March 1753 ) – so the taxman skipped the 11 days and decreed that taxes were due on 6 April 1753. And, to this day, the UK tax year starts on 6 April.

In any event, in Jolly Old England in the Good Old “Old Style” Days, the day after 24 March 1642 was 25 March 1643. The Act changed this, so that the day after 31 December 1751 was 1 January 1752. As a consequence, 1751 was a short year – it ran only from 25 March to 31 December.  The famous riots which occurred all over England “GIVE US BACK OUR 11 DAYS” were in part a response to the fact that the rents for that year were increased, along with the taxes…. always a bad thing to do in defiance of the Traditional Rights of Englishmen….

To throw some just a bit more confusion into the issue, Scotland had changed the first day of the year to 1 January in 1600 (in 1600, Scotland was a separate kingdom). When King James VI of Scotland became also King James I of England in 1603, the possibilities of date confusion must have been very large.

Historians have to tread rather carefully when reporting winter month dates prior to 1752. For example, in The Tower of London there is some graffiti scratched into a cell wall by someone imprisoned in January 1642 for his role in the Battle of Edgehill (which took place on 23 October 1642).  And this is totally accurate, historically: January, February, and most of March of 1643 (by our reckoning, were originally considered to be part of 1642—the graffitist was NOT delusional by any stretch at all).

Historical documents contain, from the century or so before the Calendar Act, substantial evidence of contemporary dual dating in England and especially Scotland.  For example, some essentially contemporary paintings of the execution of King Charles I (aka “King Charles the Martyr”) on Tuesday 30 January 1648 have a title bearing the date 30 January 1648/9.

Samuel Pepys’s famous diary begins on New Years Day (1 January) 1660, but it is clear that this is actually the year 1659/60. So was the Calendar Act in 1751 merely formalising common usage, or was it a radical change ?  The preface to one recent and authoritative edition of Samuel Pepys’s diary states that using 1 January as the start of the year was common practice at that time – i.e. 1660.

Likewise, a tourist pamphlet I once collected at Broughton Castle (just SW of Banbury in Oxfordshire, the ancestral home of the Fiennes family, including the aristocratic Norman and Cavalier ancestors of Hollywood/Pinewood actors Ralph and Joseph.  It is appropriate to recall Ralph’s portrayal of famous Fascists in “Schindler’s List” and “the English Patient” and Joseph’s “M” roles Martin Luther, Merlin, and Most recently as Monsignor Timothy Howard, not to mention their nephew “Hero” who played Tom Riddle, Lord Voldemort in the Half Blood Prince.  Yet another member of the family is “gasp” an archaeologist—Michael Fiennes.

Anyhow the tourist guide pamphlet for the mediaeval manor house Broughton refers to a speech made on Thursday 27 January 1658 – and the pamphlet states it was printed in 1659.  In order for the day to be a Thursday, this must be referring to 27 January 1658/9 (i.e. the pamphlet was printed some months after the speech), however the year is specified as 1658 – and not as 1658/9.

So did the year of Charles II’s glorious restoration, in fact commence on 25 March in 1658, or on 1 January in 1660 ?

Perhaps the answer is connected with the coronation of King Charles II in Scotland on 1 January 1651 – that’s a Scottish date, for a Scottish king. Perhaps the Royalist cause Cavalier Longhairs used ‘Scottish’ dates, and the Roundhead Parliamentarian cause used ‘old style’ dates?  This theory doesn’t sit well with the fact that from 1654 Pepys had been steward to Edward Mountagu, a General-at-Sea in Cromwell’s Protectorate, but Pepys was to make his fame and fortune and contribution to literary and social history during the Restoration and Reign of King Charles Edward Stuart, II.

King Charles II did not become king of England until 8 May 1660 (coronation on 23 April 1661), after the start of Samuel Pepys’s diary.

In the Julian Calendar, leap years occurred every 4 years, and in leap years the 29 February was added.

But remember that 29 February was in the last quarter of the year by the old reckoning.

And so it appears that leap years have NOT always (at least in the Old Style) been those where the year number was one less than an exact multiple of 4! (e.g. 1600, 1660, 1776, 1788, and all American Presidential Election Years since).

The House of Commons Journal for Wednesday, February 29th, 1659 would seem to bear this out – remembering that this date is otherwise expressed as 29 February 1659/60, and appears in Samuel Pepys’s diary as 29 February 1660 (just to add to the confusion).

House of Commons Journal for Thursday, 29 February 1643 (otherwise 29 February 1643/4) and House of Commons Journal for Tuesday, 29 February 1647 (otherwise 29 February 1647/8) confirm this, although note the Latin form of the dates which was presumably dropped in the Commonwealth/Protectorate.

Anyhow, a truly Old-Style English Christmas Tree will always go up on the Night of the Solstice and this is totally perfect and appropriate and in line with the Pagan heritage of the Christmas tree.  I wish everyone else would stick to the schedule properly—I hate it that the New World Order Common Commercial Christmas starts November 1 (at the latest) in all the stores everywhere IN THE WORLD.

I love the old-fashioned ways of putting up the tree on the Shortest Day and Longest Night—and keeping it up a few days past Epiphany at the most.  Christmas really is more magical when it’s limited to “the Season” properly defined.  Kind of like how Mardi Gras in New Orleans has become a nearly year round thing with beads and tokens all over the place all year….

Thursday night, I had a young Moldovan cabdriver from Kishniev this evening to bring me back from Tulane Law via the Trolley stop restaurant on Saint Charles.  He was sure I had never heard of his country, said I was the first American ever to accurately locate it between Romania and Ukraine, and was even more amazed that anyone in the US would know where the River Moldau was….. luckily for him, he had no idea why it was I know so much about Moldavia… why I know it better than I want to…..  It was so refreshing to see someone so young and innocent talking about American Christmas and New Orleans Mardi Gras customs….and being so amazed by them all…..

Remembering that from the early 13th to the mid-18th Century, Old Style, before the 11 day Calendrical adjustment, the Shortest Day and Longest Night of the Year fell on December 13, and came to be known as Saint Lucy’s Night, I reproduce today, as I do every year, John Donne’s Nocture on Saint Lucy’s Night in memory of my grandmother who knew how to keep this season so very well…. and this was the ONLY night she ever put up the Christmas tree at 3516 Lindenwood in Highland Park, or wherever the season happened to land us….

A NOCTURNAL UPON SAINT LUCY’S DAY,                                       BEING THE SHORTEST DAY,                                                                   by John Donne

‘TIS the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
    The sun is spent, and now his flasks
    Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
            The world’s whole sap is sunk ;
The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed’s-feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr’d ; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
    For I am every dead thing,
    In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
            For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
    I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave
    Of all, that’s nothing. Oft a flood
            Have we two wept, and so
Drown’d the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else ; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
    Were I a man, that I were one
    I needs must know ; I should prefer,
            If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love ; all, all some properties invest.
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light, and body must be here.

But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
    At this time to the Goat is run
    To fetch new lust, and give it you,
            Enjoy your summer all,
Since she enjoys her long night’s festival.
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year’s and the day’s deep midnight is.

Remember, Remember, the Fourth and Fifth of November…..Argo, the Iran Hostage Crisis 33rd Anniversary Today, and Guy Fawkes’ Day Symbolism in the Confused Stew of Race, Religion, & Identity in the Western World

NOVEMBER 4: ONE OF THOSE DAYS THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY

Ben Affleck’s recent (excellent) movie Argo reminds us that on November 4, 1979, a mob of Iranian students breached the walls and “occupied” the American Embassy in Tehran, which they proceeded to hold for another 444 days until Ronald W. Reagan became took his oath of office as President, largely as a result of Jimmy Carter’s shame in not being able to resolve the crisis or liberate the hostages beforehand.  The feeling in this country and the world was that Carter would never go to war to defend American Honor, and that Ronald Reagan would, even though the best he ever really did was to invade the tiny island of Grenada to defend against about 200 Cuban medical students…..

Last month I attended a distinctly pro-Iranian lecture by Mark Weber at the IHR (Institute for Historical Realism) in Orange County, but Argo reminded me of how angry and personally offended I felt by the seizure of my country’s embassy in Iran.  The repeated presentation of the disgraceful history of the US & British subversion of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh’s brief progressive democratic interlude in Iran is a stain on America’s honor, and Great Britain’s, which is hard to overcome.  Especially considering we allowed Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other distinctly anti-Democratic countries to nationalize and manipulate our oil markets in 1973 with little or no resistance at all.  “Argo”, along with last year’s “The Big Fix”  both start out with reminding us of Mossadegh, once Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” (of course, so was Hitler, once, Time’s “Man of the Year”).  At his Imperial trial in Shah Reza Pahlavi’s courts of justice, Mohammed Mossadegh answered the charge of treason as follows:

Yes, my sin — my greater sin and even my greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire. This at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism …. I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”

BUT WAS THE SHAH OF IRAN REALLY SO BAD?

I confess that, during my youth, at least in part because of my dearly departed Grandfather’s support and extreme enthusiasm for the Shah’s fabled “White Revolution”, I had intensely respected, even admired, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for his work in westernizing Iran and for brining the U.S. and Iran close together as partners against World Communism.  The Shah’s policies sought to modernized Iran (making Iran more like Sweden, was his stated goal) liberated women from some of the harshest effects and constraints of Sharia Law, including a ban on the horrific practice of female circumcision.  

I went to a fairly unusual high school in Hollywood and there had the chance to learn the views several aristocratic (secular Muslim, Westernized) Iranian “foreign exchange” students who were very strong supporters of their King and Emperor.  Finally, I know that my grandfather’s positive views of the Shah were by no means unique to him, one of my best friends for most of the past 40 years has been one Helen Sorayya Carr, named after the Shah’s beautiful half-German Empress (Shahbanu) or Queen (Malakeh), named by her father Denzel Carr, a Professor of Linguistics at Berkeley, for the most ancient beauty Queen of the West (Helen of Troy) and the most modern beauty Queen of the East (Sorayya of Isfahan).  Obviously, and for many good reasons, that Shah or Iran was well-liked in the United States and Europe—he was “one of us” trying to assimilate his country with ours and trying to raise his population from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century…… Mark Weber in his speech had very little to say about the Shah…. 

But the portrayal of the Shah in “Argo” (or at least its portrayal of the spirit and causes of the Iranian Revolution) is that Reza Pahlavi was a tyrant on the level of, if not even worse than, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.  There was no justice in the American invasion of Iraq, or the subsequent execution of Saddam Hussein and many of his regime’s top officials.  There is certainly no apparent justice in the fact that we supported the Shah but invaded Iraq to overthrown Hussein while all during this period we have done nothing but support the House of Saud and related regimes in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.

And of course, as Mark Weber correctly pointed out in his presentation at IHR, immediately after the overthrow of the Shah, Iraq and Iran went to war and at THAT time it seemed that the US could and should support Saddam Hussein as the Secular Muslim opponent of “Lunatic” Islamic Fundamentalism under the Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini.  Saddam Hussein seemed like the great beacon of progress and Westernization in the Middle East.

Isolation and Non-Interference are the Best Policies Available.  

It is very confusing to be a 52 year old Anglo-American and look at Iran and Iraq today.  I cannot do anything but regret that we ever violated President George Washington’s counsel in his Farewell Address that we stay clear of all foreign entanglements.  The bottom line is simply this: the United States has done no good at any stage by interference in the Middle East: we certainly did terrible injury by opposing Mossadegh and participating in his overthrow in 1953—there is simply no doubt about that.  We did no good by supporting the Shah of Iran afterwards, but frankly he was so rich from Oil, especially after 1973, that whether we supported him or not seemed quite irrelevant.  

One recurring theme in US-Middle Eastern Politics is that we (in the US) seem to put Israel First, no matter what it costs to do so.  Dinesh D’Souza strongly supported the pro-Israeli position in his movie “Obama 2016” which also made more than passing reference to Iran….and Obama’s seeming non-opposition to Iran, despite the continual beat of war drums throughout his Administration.  Mark Weber made the excellent case that the blindly pro-Israeli policies of the United States are extremely destructive to the future of our relationship with the Iranian people—UNDER ANY GOVERNMENT, PRESENT OR FUTURE—and of course, Ron Paul concurs 100% in this view, and it is for that reason that the pro-Israeli lobby in the US has all but banned Media coverage of Ron Paul and his successor Gary Johnson…..

We, the American people, should simply keep our noses OUT of other countries’ affairs.  Freedom is fundamentally the freedom to be left alone, and every sovereign country on earth deserves that freedom from interference by the US, Russia, China, the UK, or France—or an aggressive Iran or “Brazil” of the Future…

Separation of American Interests from foreign interests is consistent with maintaining real diversity in the world, and I am in favor of real diversity.  Iranians should develop Iranian culture as Iranians see fit, but they should mostly develop it in Iran, and yet I live in a city sometimes called “Irangeles” and find myself enlisted to assist in mediating constant bickering and civil disputes between Iranians and non-Iranians, but also between Jewish Iranians and Islamic Iranians (especially in Beverly Hills), and even between Iranian Jews and Non-Iranian Jews.  

It’s enough to make one wonder: where DID all the blonde California beach girls go?  How DID West Los Angeles become Irangeles after Iranians overtook and then outnumbered Armenians as the largest Middle Eastern Population in California?  “Middle Eastern Population in California?”—oh yes, there’s a large Mosque on Shaw Avenue in Fresno not far from Cal-State Fresno—although there’s still a monument to William Saroyan, Armenian-American novelist and Playwright, in a park in his native Fresno close to the courthouse……

Again speaking as a 52 year old American WASP, I cannot comprehend the religion of Islam at all.  I despise the Muslim oppression and suppression of women—I have known too many Egyptian women, in particular, who have been subjected to the almost unspeakably inhumane savage and brutal practice of female circumcision (which according to WHO reports results in approximately 10% fatalities).

I cannot believe that such practices (and worse yet, the “Muslim grooming” of young English and French girls) are not only being tolerated among immigrant populations in France, Great Britain and the USA but are actively condoned by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance” and saying that adoption of some form of “Sharia Law” in the UK is all but inevitable.  I say: it is avoidable—just say no and vote Front National, BNP/English Resistance…. which is a good point to move over to another point about today’s dates:

A Day Which has Lived in Infamy (Justifiably or Otherwise) for 407 years now—Was the Protestant Reformation about anything important other than Nationalism and Autonomy from Rome?  (Probably Not….)

Tomorrow, on November 5, we remember that Guy Fawkes was a Catholic who wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, or so they say, because he wanted to oppose the final triumph of Protestantism in England embodied in the recent accession of Catholic Queen-of-Scots Mary Stuart’s son, James I and VII, to the throne of a finally united kingdom of what was not yet called “Great Britain”.  

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, as described in the history books anyhow, has to be one of the lamest conspiracy theories ever.  How exactly, I would love to know, could Catholic, Jesuit (and therefore automatically suspect in early Jacobean London), co-conspirators LEASE strategically located space (i.e. make a written contract)  and then use this space solely for the purpose of managing to get 36 Barrels of Gunpowder into a strategic location to blow up the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in July, keeping them there until November 5, without ever being discovered?  And all this happened during a time of plague and pestilence in London?   And all of the participants were already well-known Papists suspected by the crown of treason?  

The history of the “Gunpowder Treason and Plot” stinks of being a Stuart-Crown initiated “false flag” episode like the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the Reichstag Fire, and of course, the most recent, 9-11-2001, as being a staged event to organize and inspire loyalty to an at best shaky oligarchy…..  James I & VII was considerably smarter than his son, Charles I, and much more likely to have ordered and pulled off a “false flag” attack that would define history for a long time to come….  So in retrospect now, I strongly suspect, as I have to admit I did from “Day 1” of the 9-11 business, that Guy Fawkes was just another Patsy, like Lee Harvey Oswald, made to take the blame for something that was carefully planned just to use him as a symbol to be burned in effigy every year just after Halloween—-“Penny for the Guy?”

V-for-Vendetta Revisionism?

The movie “V-for-Vendetta” that was filmed for the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Treason and Plot made the Patsy into a symbol of heroic resistance which appealed deeply to me and to many around the world.  The Guy Fawkes’ mask has turned the “Guy” into a symbolic of Patriotic resistance completely inconsistent with the historical reality, so that the revised myth of “The Fifth of November” as a great revolutionary people’s insurrection against oppression is just as phony as the original “False Flag” Jacobean cover story about a Papist Plot to blow up the House of Lords was…..

But what are the elements that the myths have in common?  Both the original theory of the Gunpowder Plot as “Compassing the Death of the King” and causing a major Catholic (counter-reformationist) insurrection in England and the “V-for-Vendetta” version both focus on religious identity and intolerance as key elements of statehood and established power.  “Guy” Fawkes was often ridiculed as “Guido” because he used allegedly used this Italianate version of his name in correspondence with Jesuit “co-conspirators”, in short, Guy Fawkes became the first “real Guido.”

And so it is, of course, just another ironic if little-known fact of history that the first Guido to make a name for himself was not an Italian at all but an Englishman: Guido Fawkes, a.k.a. Guy Fawkes.   There is, to be sure, no evidence whatsoever that the Real Original Guido wore Armani Exchange T-shirts and artfully distressed jeans or that he tended to strut and flex steroid- pumped up muscles.  (Modern ethnologists from New Jersey & Staten Island report that the call of the Guido is bellowing, and frequently slurred, invariably starting with the sound, “Yo,” followed all too often by some creative variation on an expletive beginning with the letter, “F”).

In V-for-Vendetta the disfavored religion is Islam and the disfavored ethnics or behavioral subgroups are Muslims and Homosexuals.   Ever since the movie came out, it has occurred to me that the Patriotic fervor of the anonymous, amnesiac character who wears the Guy Fawkes mask would (in the modern world) be shared largely if not predominantly by people who supported some version of the conservative “Norsefire” platform on which Chancellor Adam Suttler and his government stood.  But the use of Guy Fawkes’ image as a paradigm for revolutionary action and advocacy transcends right and left—the mask is as popular among members of the (mostly but not exclusively left-wing) “occupy” movement as well as the “We the People” anti-IRS tax protestors.

I suspect that Natalie Portman and the other luminaries who participated in the making of “V” would tell you that their movie is a paradigm in favor of multiculturalism and diversity—where everyone can be united “behind the mask” no matter what their ethnic or religious affiliation and/or origin.

But “Guy Fawkes’ Day” used to be called “Pope’s Day” as well as “Gunpowder Day” and it was a celebration of anti-Catholicism and Protestant Triumph.  I was born into a Southern Protestant family in which Catholicism was strongly frowned upon on one side and fairly strongly favored on the other, albeit under the rubric of “Anglo-Catholicism” and adherence to the notion of Jacobite Stuart monarchism and “Charles the Martyr” day on January 31. “Charles the Martyr Day” commemorates the admittedly unjust and more than slightly appalling execution of King Charles I and the equally unjust and more than slightly appalling “Commonwealth” of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell and his son created little more than a beetle-browed Puritan dictatorship with no long-lasting heritage or accomplishments.

Cromwell’s “Commonwealth” Dictatorship was replaced after a mere 11 year experiment by the Stuart Restoration of Charles II which shaped and formed “all the best” of England basically as it was to be until 1914.  The death of Charles II with tons of illegitimate children but not one single legitimate heir led to a Guy Fawkes’-like “Hiccup” in the formation of modern England, namely the reign of Charles’ brother James who was overthrown for trying to restore, for the last time in England, Roman Catholicism as the official religion.

Modern readers are reasonably suspicious of religion.  Even those of us (like me) who may be going to Church on Sunday have only limited confidence in any creed.  Philosophy and Science, including Anthropology and Evolutionary Biology, have taken a huge toll on what we can unquestioningly “believe” or not.  I love my Church—the Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Tradition, but I do not believe in its embrace of multiculturalism AT ALL.  Rather, I love the fact that in the past, and especially in my past—my personal and family history—that Church embodies all that is AGAINST multiculturalism and globalism in favor of “Anglicanism.”  I would define “Anglicanism” as the English people’s worship of themselves, primarily, as being created in the image of God—how’s that for an anthropologically reasonable, post-Vatican II liturgically blasphemous explanation of my Church and my Faith?

The modern ethnocentric Anglican has to address the political correctness of multiculturalism.  I do so as follows: we must choose and define our own identities.   Not merely do we have the INALIENABLE right to do so, we MUST do so.  We must define our own identities and try to keep and develop them for our children for the sake of preserving real diversity in the world, for the purpose of FOSTERING more “micro-diversity” and hence “micro-evolution” in the world.  We must not shrink from our obligations.

England should NOT become a Muslim country, nor should Sweden or Norway or Denmark or the Netherlands or France or Greece.  I that sense, I stand by Chancellor Adam Sutler and “Norsefire.”  However, it is only by a “Guy Fawkes” like uprising” led by the BNP or “English Resistence” or “UKIP” or some group like that who can make it happen.

About the United States—what is this country and what should it be?  Los Angeles and New York (and up to a certain point, Chicago) are cities culturally dominated not by Muslims but by Jews, even if demographically Jews remain a minority.  Henry Waxman represents me in Congress (actually, he doesn’t represent anything about me, but I guess it’s more appropriate to say “I live in his Congressional District”).  I did not vote for him, but I have no confidence in Bill Bloomfield for whom I did vote.  (New York Mayor Republican Mayor Bloomberg endorsed Obama—I find this appalling, although I did not vote for Romney, I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Candidate (by mail, I sent my ballot in last Tuesday).   I might have written in one of several other candidates but the California Legislature has for the time-being at least all but outlawed write-in candidates and I have voted Libertarian more than any other party ever since I decided in 1992 never to vote Republican again after George H.W. Bush’s treason on both the tax question and the invasion of Iraq—-which some propose that we now follow by the Invasion of Iran…)

Of course, adding to the confusion about Iran, as noted, Ronald W. Reagan owed his election in no small part to President Jimmy Carter’s complete ineptitude in defending American honor around the world, especially in Iran.  And yet, 5 years into the Reagan Presidency, a good-looking Colonel named Oliver North was on all the Radio and Television stations defending his PURCHASE (with White-House approved fund) of ARMS FROM Iran for sale AGAINST U.S. Law to the Contras in Nicaragua.  Huh?  I almost decided never to vote Republican again after that.  Reagan knew that the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran was the chief enemy of the United States after the Communist Soviet Union and China, and he was clearly authorizing this Colonel North to give “Aid and Comfort” to the Iranians by doing business with them, paying them for guns to a cause which Reagan personally supported, although the Congress of the United States had barred official support of it, namely the Contras (Anti-Sandinistas) of Nicaragua. And yet I made the mistake, as did many Americans, of voting for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and that led to the first U.S. invasion of Iraq (for the heinous crime of overthrowing the Kuwaiti monarchy??????) and my final defection from the Republican Party.  THERE WAS NO EXCUSE FOR OUR INVASION OF IRAQ in 1991 or in 2003, and THERE IS NO POSSIBLE EXCUSE FOR US TO INVADE IRAN NOW.

I for one unequivocally oppose all American adventurism and imperialism abroad.  I agree with Pat Buchanan that we are “A Republic, not an Empire”, and I hope that over the next few years we can restore the American Republic and work towards a restoration of American Identity—“Los Angeles”, not “Irangeles”—with no disrespect to the rights of the people of Iran to maintain their own culture and civilization as they see fit, and as they have done without Anglo-American assistance for most of the past 4,000 years since Susa, the Sassanians, and Persepolis….

Bastille Day 2012: Civilized Memories of the Moonrise Kingdom in a Savage Land

No day on the calendar more appropriately juxtaposes civilization and savagery than July 14, Bastille Day.  If any nation in the world epitomizes the height of human civilization, well, I suppose that would be England until Tony Blair became PM, but both before the insertion of “Great” in the title of the United Kingdom of England & Scotland was added to “Britain” by the Act of Union in 1707 and since that word is no longer really warranted, especially since the House of Lords no longer has any hereditary peers or judicial functions, there has been and still remains “La France.”  

Much moreso than the American Revolution which preceded it barely by 24 years, hardly a generation, the French Revolution really marked the beginning of the Modern World, of truly modern history in all its blood and gore relating to ideological warfare.   The great ideals of the scientific and philosophical enlightenment coupled with the barbaric rejection of Christianity; the concepts of liberté, egalité, fraternité, however unrealistic they are, coupled with massive official murder and senseless bloodshed—all of those things are commemorated on July 14—the greatest of all the remaining Midsummer Fires that Sir James G. Frazer described as the Aryan heritage of Europe in the Golden Bough (whose brilliant Third and final original Edition Celebrates its centennial this year).

So last weekend and this, I listened to my gendarme and lieutenant (both appropriately Francophone titles) Peyton Yates Freiman, who told me that I had to see Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom with Bill Murray because it was the most “relevant” film of the year.  Last weekend I had the misfortune to see the movie paired with Oliver Stone’s Savages and the contrast was almost too great.

Savages—set in Southern California where I now spend most of my time and in Orange County in particular, which I associate with the Savagery of Orly Taitz and her husband Yosef, not to mention Steven D. Silverstein, among many others—is so “relevant” to the modern world as to be deeply depressing.  Oliver Stone artfully created a dual ending to blunt the nightmarish effect of the plot in its most obvious line—which led directly into bloody death and destruction of all the major characters—into a pro-establishment (if hardly credible) pean to the weak-minded DEA Agent credibly played by John Travolta.  Savages was a “Brave New World” movie, regardless of which ending you choose to believe as the most realistic—it is amoral, devoid of decency of any kind on the part of any person—it does not exactly “glorify” the drug traffic but it doesn’t raise any standards of—anything.  Savages belongs to the “Reign of Terror” aspect of the quatorze juillet.   

Yesterday, I reproduced on these pages Guillaume Faye’s depressing commentary on the role of the sexual revolution in the death and decay of modern Western Civilization.  Savages was an extraordinary movie (in some significant part) about the end product of the sexual revolution: total sexual liberation, specifically a romantic threesome which might pass as “polyamory” in Huxley’s Brave New World and modern 1980s and afterward sense.

By contrast, Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom pledges allegiance to a world that is all but gone, vanished, which has essentially been murdered by the sexual revolution and liberation epitomized in Savages.  The first time I saw Moonrise, last week, was in the company of my rather sentimental and deeply feminine friend Min, who passed out/knocked herself out (intentionally fainted?) during Savages (because it “came to close to home” for her comfort) and she focused on the warming and endearing feel of Moonrise Kingdom.

This week, for a second viewing, I was alone and finally I realized what Peyton meant by “relevance”: Unlike Oliver Stone’s work Moonrise Kingdom is TOTALLY SUBVERSIVE.

Now there was a time when Oliver Stone made people think and challenged the status quo, but I think that phase of his life ended in 1991 with his magnificent JFK.  The transformation of Stone into a supporter of the establishment and status quo was already apparent in the final entry of his Vietnam Trilogy Heaven and Earth (1993) but his W. kowtowed so cravenly to the 43rd President that it made me ill and I had to leave the theatre when I saw it.

No such worry about Moonrise Kingdom—it brilliantly pits the vitality of youth and young love against the wooden and legalistic stupidity of elders.  Yet the young love in this kingdom is as moral and Christian as Romeo and Juliet. Love comes first and foremost and all hints of sexuality are wonderfully awkward and childishly mishandled in very credible, realistic ways.  Min appreciated this innocence the first time round but I didn’t realize just how deeply ethical, romantic, and moral it all was until seeing it alone on Friday the 13th.

I’m just overwhelmed now that I realize how well this movie really did show the brilliance and triumph of true love over law in a manner that Richard Wagner would have appreciated and congratulated.  The marriage ceremony is patently and admittedly ILLEGAL—but the fact that it takes place at all—in front of a cross in a camp chapel no less—for a pre-teen couple who met during a Church production of “Noah’s Flood” is in this day and age counter-revolutionary for sure. (The Church called “St. Jack” is a major setting of critical moments in the movie.  It is operated in part by white-robed nuns who might be Episcopalian [e.g. in the Anglican Order of Saint Helena] or RC, albeit they operate a whitewashed wood-framed “Puritan” Church with a bell tower of the type so typical of the fictionalized New England setting—a mythic Island of “New Penzance” whose map ever so slightly resembles the layout of Nantucket).

One need only compare and contrast this with the apparently, at least architecturally, authentic Gothic Church which played a key part at the beginning and end of Snow White and the Huntsman.  This Church not only lacked even a single cross but did not allow to its (again, classically dressed) Christian Clergy the utterance any prayers which made any mention of the people I admire most (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who had apparently taken the last train to the coast).  I would have to examine the film frame-by-frame but I think there was even something resembling a menorah in the Church—slightly horrifying considering there was no cross.  (In all fairness, Kirsten Stewart is allowed to recite the “short version” of the Lord’s Prayer and Thor, I mean Chris Hemsworth, as the Huntsman all but expressly compares Snow White (while he believes her dead) to the Virgin Mary when he predicts that she will “be a Queen in Heaven and sit among the Angels”—but overall, overt Christianity is shockingly suppressed EVEN in portrayals of obviously Christian Churches!).

But Moonrise Kingdom was all about real moral optimism and virtuous rebellion against stifling legality and convention.  It is a movie which I think could be shown for young teen viewers and discussed for its ethical stance everywhere that White American Christians still live and cherish the values of….well, an America that increasingly seems not to exist anymore.

It remains to be seen whether Moonrise Kingdom is an epitaph on a world that is as “Gone with the Wind” as the Confederate world of the Old South or whether it symbolizes the existence of a real resistance to the Brave New World with a live heartbeat in America.

Either way—directly contrary to Mark Anthony—I stand here to praise the values embodied in Wes Anderson’s film, not to bury them.   The young Kara Hayward actually IS a brilliant new actress, from Massachusetts, and a member of Mensa they say.   The credits also indicate that this is her, and her “Romeo” Jared Gilman’s, first appearance on what they used to call the “celluloid screen” but is now apparently just pixels like everything else.  Even the music of Moonrise Kingdom starting and ending with Henry Purcell, reminds us that “restoration” of a moral and constitutional regime is possible even after the disastrous dislocations of civil war politically motivated ideological  savagery.   Only a very small amount of 1960s music (French at that) insinuates its way into the world of Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky—most of it is Classical and reminiscent of everything that I grew up with—a bizarre bipolarity of Restoration Baroque and Hank Williams which I thought was oddly out of place in New England—but then my parents loved the Kingston Trio and brought Northern “Folk” from Massachusetts to New Orleans for their wedding.

The reality of the world on this July 14, 2012, is that it IS a savage place. The English Civil War (prior to the Restoration of Charles II and the “Cavalier” music and poetry of Henry Purcell and those who came with it) was certainly savage, although not as bad as the French Revolution.  The American Revolution was strangely quiet and conservative, certainly there were a few martyrs and senseless killings on both sides, but in a muted way, nothing as extravagantly awful as the Show Trial of Charles I and his execution, nor anything even remotely like the French Revolutionary bloodbath.

 La Marseillaise celebrates both the beauty of the dreams of the French Revolutionary Patriots and the gore of the war and terror of 1789-1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte took charge as First Consul and thus ended both the revolution and the terror.   The pair of movies, Savages and Moonrise Kingdom portrays the same dichotomy in the world—the real world and the ideal world, and their joint appearance in theaters this summer reminds us of the short time from 1965-2012—a mere 47 years, and how much can go wrong in the world in such a short time.

“Behold El Capitan,” “Remember the Maine,” Guy Fawkes’ Day, September 11, and the Culture of Deception

Some of my happiest days as an undergraduate at Tulane University were spent in Dixon Hall under the tutelage of my voice and singing instructor Francis Monachino, long-time Chairman of the Tulane & Newcomb Music Departments and a great and inspiring teacher.  

My first part in any major production at Tulane was as “Senor Amibile Pozzo, Chamberlain of Peru” in John Philip Sousa’s Comic Operetta El Capitán (Premiered in April 1896 in Boston & New York).  I never realized it at the time, but this comedy had great historical significance, and may have played a part in launching 20th Century America’s Culture of Deceit and Deception.  

The plot is pure farce, on its face: “El Capitán” is in fact Don Enrique Medigua, a fictional Spanish Viceroy of Peru, which was in reality the richest of all the dominions in the New World, whose production of gold, silver, and agricultural products far outstripped even Mexico during the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries.  Don Medigua fears assassination by rebels, and secretly arranges for the murder of the (real) rebel leader known as “El Capitán” (so the real rebel leader plays no part in the operetta). Unbeknownst to the rebels or anyone except his Chamberlain Pozzo, Don Medigua disguises himself as El Capitán and sabotages the rebel movement from within, but not before allowing the beautiful Estrelda, daughter of the former Viceroy, to fall madly in love with him based on his reputation as a fierce terrorist and warrior.  Don Medigua’s actual wife and daughter think he has been kidnapped by the rebels and have Pozzo pretend to be the Viceroy so that the Spanish born Aristocrats of Peru will not lose hope and despair.   An enterprising band of rebels then capture Pozzo, believing him to be the real Viceroy, and bring him before El Capitán who is, of course by this time in something of a pickle.   But Don Medigua disguised as El Capitán has so completely exhausted the rebels by his “mis-leadership” that the rebellion collapses, the Spanish nobility wins, and the story ends “happily.” 

A thought that never occurred to me when I was playing Pozzo at 16 (to Anthony Laciura’s brilliant performance as Don Medigua/El Capitán) now seems so obvious to me: was it mere coincidence that the most popular writer of military marches in American history composed this operetta less than two years before the sinking of the Battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898.  Most historians now concur that the Maine, the second armoured cruiser (pre-dreadnought Battleship) in the U.S. Navy, was deliberately sunk by its crew for the sole purpose of inciting American popular opinion in favor of America’s first “World Wide War” of expeditionary conquest (i.e., the direct precursor of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq).   El Capitán exemplifies the literary, historical, and/or dramatic trope that certain ideas appear first as a comic joke and then are later taken seriously: if John Philip Sousa’s operetta was not the template for the sinking of the Maine, it is nevertheless a remarkable historical coincidence that Don Medigua first murders and then impersonates his enemy in order to defeat him in a popular drama that was still playing all over the United States when the USS Maine blew up.

And yes, I write all this at the close of Guy Fawkes’ Day, November 5, 2011: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.  I like to pat myself on the back and brag that no sooner had Osama bin Laden been named as the perpetrator of 9-11 than I predicted with great confidence that he was the new Gunpowder Plotter, and that 9-11 was the new 5th of November.  I predicted that bin Laden’s name would endure forever beside Guy Fawkes, but unfortunately, I had no role in producing the amazing movie based on that theme which came out in 2005, on the 400th Anniversary of the original Gunpowder plot in 1605.

V-for-Vendetta remains, to my mind, probably the finest political movie of the century, and I mean the past hundred years since the beginning of the cinematic film industry, not just the 21st Century in which we have lived for barely 11 years.  Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving marvelously portray the principle characters in this story which explores all the possibilities of the use of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder story, and this movie has in turn given a new birth of metaphoric and dimensional analysis to the study of false flag attacks, false heroism, and the role of government as “first among all liars.”

There is not a shred of doubt that the movie V-for-Vendetta is the story of 9-11, metaphorically, allegorically, fictionalized as Britain under a pseudo-Fascist (Adam Sutler, whose name is awfully reminiscent of Adolph Hitler) instead of the United States of America under a pseudo-Republican (George W. Bush), in future time rather than historical, but with so many direct references to 9-11 and associated events…. well, it’s just incredible.  

Also incredible to me is that the Wikipedia article on V-for-Vendetta does not even mention the parallels between the Sutler regime’s use of false-flag bioterrorism against the British people and the (9-11 “Truth Movement’s” theory that the) Bush regime used false-flag air terrorism against the American people.  To me, the parallels are inescapable: the producers of V-for-Vendetta analyzed the same facts concerning recent history as those which gave rise to the 9-11 Truth Movement and came to the conclusion that terrorism originates not (primarily anyhow) with real Muslim extremists but with governments who see the “genius” of fear and use it against their own people to suppress civil liberties and maintain power.  

The Muslim terrorists (in both North American and Western European modern history and V-for-Vendetta mythology), to the extent that they are real, are rather like Guy Fawkes in the 17th century.  Modern Muslim terrorists, like Papist plotters of the past, have great value as symbols and embodiments of a real but rather vague threat to the national identity which justify the use and maintenance of real power.  The Papist threat in England could only materialize when it comes in the form of a Catholic King (like King James II Stuart, grandson of James I, against whom Guy Fawkes allegedly plotted, and younger brother of Charles II who had no legitimate offspring [although he had literally dozens of illegitimate children by his mistresses].  The tumultuous history of 17th Century Stuart England focused on the maintenance of royal power through popular fear of Catholicism, balanced against royal fear of popular power manifested through Cromwell’s Civil War and Commonwealth (including the Regicide/Martyrdom Murder/Execution of King Charles I on January 31, 1649 after a preposterous “show” trial of the King for treason) and finally the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-1689 which firmly established the modern Constitutional Monarchy of Great Britain ruled by Parliament.

In Adam Sutler’s England, like George Bush’s America, maintaining fear of Muslims among the people supported the repression of the historical “English Freedoms” secured under Elizabeth I, James I, Charles II, and William III & Mary II.  If there are real fears of Muslim domination in America, they are coming to fruition under George W. Bush’s successor, “Barack Hussein Obama” whose name resoundingly echoes both “Osama” (bin Ladin, the modern Guy Fawkes) and the former dictator of Iraq whom George W. Bush decided to eliminate to maximize control over a nation which simply did not accept the “Bush doctrine” of Global government under US control.  

Any way you look at it: elaborate governmental lies concerning faked attacks and falsified heroes have been used to justify strong central governments for a very long time now.  It is hard to say whether the original Gunpowder Plot was real or staged. The “November 5” plot on King James I and his wife and Court MIGHT have been real, and if so, it was a REALLY stupid plot (there was not enough Gunpowder under the houses of Parliament or any other explosive technology available in 1605 to have blown through and killed the King).  Even if successful, the plotters had no Papist “nominee” lined up to become King of England on King James’ death, and James’ eldest son at the time, the future Charles I, was only two weeks short of five years old on November 5, 1605. (But admittedly, if James AND his children had been killed, legitimate succession at that point might have been very difficult, in that no English Monarch since Henry VIII had had any children: all of Henry Tudor’s children: Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, died childless, possibly in part a testament to their own horror at their father’s gruesome “family and marital” life and history).  

Other historians have seen Guy Fawkes as a “Patsy” (scapegoat) comparable in real role and status to Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, being the “Fall Guy” for the “False Flag” Gunpowder Plot just as “9-11 Truthers” (including this writer) believe that Osama bin Laden was merely the “Patsy” for the events of 1998-2001 and afterwards which gave rise to the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and all the subsequent greatest suppressions of English and American liberties in the entire history of both nations since the reign of Henry VIII (who died 102 years and 3 days before the execution of Charles I, on January 28, 1547).  

The study of “false flag” terrorism and warfare is a rising subject of historical deconstruction.  It is stark testimony to the general lack of confidence people have in the U.S. government that a large number of people (polls differ) disbelieve the “official stories” of the Warren Commission concerning the events of November 1963 in Dallas, the origins of the Vietnam War in the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident the very next year, in August of 1964, and the subsequent stories of the events in the 1990s at Ruby Ridge (Idaho), Mount Carmel (Waco, Texas), Oklahoma City, the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and finally 9-11 itself in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  Pearl Harbor, the trigger for World War II, was obviously not a “False Flag” attack (there is not and has never been any doubt that the Imperial Japanese Navy was correctly identified as the culprit, and that it acted under official orders from Tokyo). But many Americans (and others worldwide) believe that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had despaired of ever finding a politically adequate or emotionally sufficient excuse to embroil or involve the United States into World War II, and so he either expressly invited the Japanese to attack or at the very least intentionally disabled the U.S. Naval and air forces around Hawaii in early December 1941.

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, in this day, appear to be governments based on a culture of pure deceit and deception.  All governmental pronouncements and actions should be regarded with the most stringent suspicion.  As one of the newscasters says in V-for-Vendetta “we just report the news, we don’t make it up….that’s the government’s job.”