Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thanks for the iPod

. Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just look at that big California smile, the Obama's beaming from cheek to cheek, the President resembling the modern day happy-faced politician. Traditional monarchs don't do happy face, at least not in the same way, their outward demeanor tends to be more restrained and composed, even when they plaster on the forced grin, as the Queen hilariously appears to be doing here, which looks even more forced than usual. The irony is that the involuntary smile is more sincere than the happy face, because while you can easily fake a happy face, one cannot easily fake an involuntary smile. Her Majesty appears genuine enough, but the President doesn't even look real, he looks like he belongs in a wax museum.

But let us not begrudge the President's (presumably sincere) excitement at finally meeting the Queen. And let us not begrudge our Grand Old Duke's wish to be somewhere else - if His Royal Consort looks singularly unimpressed, remember he's been entertaining American presidents since Truman, they by now probably mean as much to him as the Queen's corgis.

Let us take issue, rather, with the incorrigible shallowness of the gift-giving. I realize the President is addicted to his gadgets, that he apparently can't do without his blackberry and teleprompter. But giving the Queen an iPod as an official gift with the sound of his own voice recorded on it, is only marginally better than the unworkable DVD collection he gave Gordon Brown the other week. I will admit that President Obama has a very pleasant and well modulated voice, but IT gadgets are little more than transient objects that are meant to be discarded, unlike say a fine painting or a rare old book. So thanks for the keeper - suffice it to say, it's the thought that counts.


Younghusband said...

My favourite gift between these two countries was the desk given by Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880, built from the timbers of the Resolute (when the RN was charged with eradicating the evil of slavery) and used by nearly all presidents since.
Intrigued by the various "versions" of this site; what is the story with version 3? Seems a bit dark and antiquated upon first visiting; maybe consider replacing your pic of George V with that Her Maj. has behind the ensemble in this entry's photo. And what happened to the flags...?

Younghusband said...

Have to add: It's terrific how you've managed to make use of both sides of the site; I'm rather stuck with waste space on mine.

The Monarchist said...

The links are all coming back, but I have to re-populate them much more efficiently this time, so as to not make the site slow and jerky like before.

Robbie Duck said...

she also received a rare songbook signed by composer Richard Rodgers also I believe she requested the ipod I'll have to find where I saw that but heres the song book

BillyD said...

Well, to be fair, Her Majesty must be a terribly difficult person to shop for. What *do* you get someone who has everything - or could get it if she wanted? To his credit, in recording music to the iPod the President personalized the gift; at least he didn't just present her with a gift certificate...

J.A. Crisp said...

The most common criticism I have heard of Obama's gift-giving is that things like ipods and DVD's can be picked up at any store in Britain. However, the rumor mill is that Mrs Obama in particular is no fan of the British and still associates them with being imperial meanies. While defending the botched welcome shown Gordon Brown one White House aid even remarked that there was nothing "special" about the relationship with Britain. That ruffled quite a few feathers even on this side of the pond who pointed out that no other country has been as solid an ally and willing to contribute more than the UK. In understanding Obama's own attitude it is probably worth remembering that his father, Barack Obama Sr, was once put in prison by the British for revolutionary activities in Kenya. Probably not the sort of history that would engender good feelings between the Obamas and "the Empire".

Younghusband said...

"Mrs Obama in particular is no fan of the British and still associates them with being imperial meanies."
Specifically in regards to the Mau Mau.
To give Obama his due (and this is only I recognise style over substance, but it's early days and style means more and more today) I'd be interested to see comment on AA Gill's op-ed in today's NY Times. He absolutely gushes over the fact that Obama shook the hand of a bobby:
"As the president stepped up to 10 Downing Street, he leant over, made eye contact, said something courteous, and shook the hand of the police officer standing guard...No one has ever shaken the hand of the policeman before, and like everyone else who has his palm touched by Barack Obama, he was visibly transported and briefly forgot himself. He offered the hand to Gordon Brown, the prime minister, who was scuttling behind.

It was ignored. He was left empty-handed. It isn’t that Mr. Brown snubbed the police officer; he just didn’t see him. To a British politician, a police officer is as invisible as the railings.

But the rest of us noticed. Because in this country that still feels the class system like a phantom limb, being overtly kind to servants is the very height of manners, the mark of true nobility. Being nice to the staff is second only to being nice to dogs as a pinnacle of civilization. ...Apparently, the Obamas searched every cupboard and closet in Downing Street to personally thank all the servants for looking after them. That’s classlessly classy."
But then, he refers directly to the photo Beaverbrook uses for this entry. Whilst others have sniffed at Mrs. Obama's choice of a sweater, he writes "she rose above was Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: Honey, we shrunk the royal family. If ever we needed a totemic image of the merits of a republic over a monarchy, this was it."

James said...

Huh? Is the man honestly inferring that a republic to be desired over a monarchy because the former will result in a tall head of state with a tall spouse, but the latter will not? Does he also not realise that nobody votes in a first lady? They come by chance as much as a royal consort; perhaps more, given the restrictions on a royal's choice of partner.

His piece sounds makes him sound to me like just another gushing Obamamaniac. I doubt he was extolling the virtues of a republic over the Crown when it was George and Laura Bush standing alongside Her Maj and the Duke. Maybe they were just too short.

James said...

Grr.. Sorry for the sloppy copy-editing in the above post.

Gladstone said...

At one pooint, I had rather high hopes for Obama. Afterall, he was Liberal after eight years of heavily Neo-Con rule. Obama was confident, charismatic, and could actually speak the English language well in a public setting, unlike his predecessor. And he seemed to be a man with ideas, and good ones at that.

...But now, he's starting to look a little bit like a lame duck. ESPECIALLY in his treatment of foreign policy. DVDs for the Prime Minister? An iPod for Her Majesty? This seems excessively shallow to me, perhaps reflecting how our society has become.

Anonymous said...

"and could actually speak the English language well in a public setting, unlike his predecessor"

Have you ever heard him speak without a teleprompter? He stammers and stutters and generally embarasses himself when he does not have scripted words right in front of him.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget, please, "conservatism." It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor,
Recovering Republican

PS – And “Mr. Worldly Wiseman” Rush Limbaugh never made a bigger ass of himself than at CPAC where he told that blasphemous “joke” about himself and God.

Jeff said...

Obama articulate?

Well, Obama is only viewed as articulate because he followed one of the worst rhetoricians in the history of the rebellious colonies. It does not take a careful listener to hear Obama often say, “gonna”, and “uh”, and he commonly pronounces words ending in “ing” as in’. And of course, the ubiquitous teleprompter has already been mentioned. The sad truth of the matter is that no president in recent history could last a single round in the rhetorical gauntlet of your Parliament.

Back to the iPod and DVD’s. President Obama is the product of an entertainment-soaked culture. What do we expect when we elevate actors to such heights that they are allowed to give testimony before Congress on a gamut of topics including climate change, the fate of the spotted owl, and the plight of migrant workers? Politicians and Hollywood actors are now part of the same cultural genre. They both exist and move in a world distinct from reality. And both consider themselves the center of the universe. Who but a nihilist would give someone an iPod that contained his own speeches?

President and Mrs. Obama are dyed-in-the-wool egalitarians who are not interested in conserving anything and whose worldview disdains everything for which the Monarchy stands. In their short tenure, they and their financial engineers have already trampled upon our own Constitution. Of course, it has been an empty piece of paper for some time now.

Mr. Lofton, you are completely correct in the above summary. Those that believe that they can retain or resurrect those traditions that they hold dear without first acknowledging THE Monarch to whom all should submit are simply rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic. The golden years of the Empire were a product of Christendom, not pagan Greece or Rome.


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Peter Hitchens: Get rid of the monarchy and you will get rid of a guardian of liberty


New York Times: Ever Backwards into the Royal Future
Peter Hitchens: People love the Queen...and the BBC hates us for it
Christopher Hitchens: An Anglosphere Future
Andrew Cusack: Republicanism is a traitor's game
Courageous Patrician: Rt Hon Ian Douglas Smith (1919-2007)
The Last Rhodesian: What began with Rhodes and ended with Ian?
Gentleman Journalist: The Lord Baron W.F. Deedes, 1913-2007
Not Amused: Blair's sinister campaign to undermine the Queen
Loyal Subject: Queen Elizabeth: A stranger in her own country
Reverence Deference: Bowing and Scraping Back in Tradition
Rex Murphy: Kennedy, Churchill, Lincoln - The rousing bon mot is no more
Gerald Warner: Don't shed a tear for Diana cult in its death throes
The End of Grandeur: Rich, chincy Canada puts Strathmore on the blocks
Confessions of a Republican Leftie: "The Queen charmed the pants off me"
The King's Own Calgary Regiment: Cpl. Nathan Hornburg is laid to rest
The Royal Gurkha Rifles: Prince William grieves the death of Major Roberts
Queensland Mounted Rifles: Trooper David Pearce, 41, killed in Afghanistan
The Order of Canada: 100 investitures later, Canada's highest honour turns 40
Prince Edward on Prince Edward Island: Troop's link to monarchy important
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN: Unveils the UK Armed Forces Memorial
Great Britain: "A rotten borough with a banana monarchy" - by Europhile
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Remembering 'Smithy': An obituary tour de force by Andrew Cusack here, here and here.
NOT AMUSED: Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Quebec not invited to Quebec's tercentenary