A tweet seen today
What is the term which I seek? Ah, yes. “Cultural appropriation”…or you could say “takeover”, or more…
At any rate, “virtue-signalling”. In my view, that is ecumenical Kameradschaft taken rather too far. Would it happen in reverse? Maybe, but I doubt it. Also, is there any real point to such gestures?
It was not always so, as Rupert Brooke wrote from pre-First World War Berlin, in a rarely-seen verse from his famous poem, Grantchester [properly, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester]:
“Here, temperamentvoll German Jews drink beer around
But there the dew lays heavy on the ground, in Grantchester.”
At least, I thought that that was what I had read, several decades ago, aged about 18. In fact, I have misquoted, it seems:
I always thought that the lines were rather trite. Now I know why. I misremembered. The triteness was mine, not Rupert Brooke’s.
“The Old Vicarage, Grantchester
(Cafe des Westens, Berlin, May 1912)
Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow . . .
Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,
Beside the river make for you
A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep
Deeply above; and green and deep
The stream mysterious glides beneath,
Green as a dream and deep as death.
— Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
How the May fields all golden show,
And when the day is young and sweet,
Gild gloriously the bare feet
That run to bathe . . .
Du lieber Gott!
Here am I, sweating, sick, and hot,
And there the shadowed waters fresh
Lean up to embrace the naked flesh.
Temperamentvoll German Jews
Drink beer around; — and there the dews
Are soft beneath a morn of gold.
Here tulips bloom as they are told;
Unkempt about those hedges blows
An English unofficial rose;
And there the unregulated sun
Slopes down to rest when day is done,
And wakes a vague unpunctual star,
A slippered Hesper; and there are
Meads towards Haslingfield and Coton
Where das Betreten’s not verboten.
εἴθε γενοίμην. . . would I were
In Grantchester, in Grantchester! —
Some, it may be, can get in touch
With Nature there, or Earth, or such.
And clever modern men have seen
A Faun a-peeping through the green,
And felt the Classics were not dead,
To glimpse a Naiad’s reedy head,
Or hear the Goat-foot piping low: . . .
But these are things I do not know.
I only know that you may lie
Day long and watch the Cambridge sky,
And, flower-lulled in sleepy grass,
Hear the cool lapse of hours pass,
Until the centuries blend and blur
In Grantchester, in Grantchester. . . .
Still in the dawnlit waters cool
His ghostly Lordship swims his pool,
And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,
Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.
Dan Chaucer hears his river still
Chatter beneath a phantom mill.
Tennyson notes, with studious eye,
How Cambridge waters hurry by . . .
And in that garden, black and white,
Creep whispers through the grass all night;
And spectral dance, before the dawn,
A hundred Vicars down the lawn;
Curates, long dust, will come and go
On lissom, clerical, printless toe;
And oft between the boughs is seen
The sly shade of a Rural Dean . . .
Till, at a shiver in the skies,
Vanishing with Satanic cries,
The prim ecclesiastic rout
Leaves but a startled sleeper-out,
Grey heavens, the first bird’s drowsy calls,
The falling house that never falls.
God! I will pack, and take a train,
And get me to England once again!
For England’s the one land, I know,
Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;
And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
The shire for Men who Understand;
And of that district I prefer
The lovely hamlet Grantchester.
For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,
And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there’s none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton’s full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you’d not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.
But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!
There’s peace and holy quiet there,
Great clouds along pacific skies,
And men and women with straight eyes,
Lithe children lovelier than a dream,
A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,
And little kindly winds that creep
Round twilight corners, half asleep.
In Grantchester their skins are white;
They bathe by day, they bathe by night;
The women there do all they ought;
The men observe the Rules of Thought.
They love the Good; they worship Truth;
They laugh uproariously in youth;
(And when they get to feeling old,
They up and shoot themselves, I’m told) . . .
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”
If truth be known, that is not the style of poetry I like anyway.
I have actually seen Grantchester, once. It was when I was doing my Bar pupillage. After the early collapse of a trial when a co-defendant elected not to surrender to his bail, the pupilmaster and I went to Grantchester for a beer (it was by then about lunchtime, and we needed one! See: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2018/06/24/a-day-out-in-cambridge/).
On the edge of the village, we saw the eponymous Old Vicarage [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Vicarage,_Grantchester], which seemed less scenic then (1992) than it does in the Wikipedia photo. I was surprised to see a painted plastic or concrete deer in the grounds. “Vulgar, moi?” territory. I could believe that of its then (and I think current) owner, Jeffrey Archer, but hardly of his supposedly (according to a trial judge) “fragrant” wife Mary, who was then, I think, a professor at Cambridge University. Still, there it is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Archer; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Archer.
As to Libby Purves, I may have heard her a couple of times on radio many years ago. I know little of her, though I am sure that she is well-meaning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libby_Purves.
Other tweets seen
Slava! The best chance for social nationalism yet, if a movement can be born.
In fact, the System parties are effectively one party, and we live, more or less, in that one-party state. ZOG and NWO.
Even Con voters are slowly waking up to the idiot’s uselessness…
The only thing that saves the skin of Boris-idiot and the misnamed “Conservatives” is that Keir Starmer and equally-misnamed “Labour” are fading in popularity at the same time:
Meaning that, so long as people are all basically imprisoned in their homes, “the virus” cannot easily be transmitted. If the “lockdown” (shutdown) is strict, maybe, but only for as long as it is maintained strictly. Except that it cannot be maintained for long, certainly not strictly, without inflicting massive economic and social (and indeed, non-Covid medical) damage on Britain. As Hodges says, even if “lockdowns” “work” (while they are in strict operation), they can only work as long as the shutdown continues. After which, “the virus” surges again; and the economy has been shattered in the meantime.
The Twitterati idiots don’t care much about that. Many are on public service contracts, so will be the last to be made redundant. Some (eg NHS doctors) have “had their mouths stuffed with gold” (pay rises) too. Other Twit-people are unemployed, disabled, or employed on hugely lucrative msm salaries and/or fees (eg the “celebrity” types).
All of the above are fine (for the time being) that the economy may soon be tanking…
Exactly. Society is (in yet another way) divided…
Has it really? Just what I predicted a few months ago. What is really behind all this? The “Great Reset?”
Amusing (?) things seen today
- Sadiq Khan wearing a massive facemask in tartan and doing an interview in it;
- The celebrity-alumni University Challenge with the usual collection of badly-informed msm talking heads, drones, thespians etc. Particularly poor was the BBC News “Security and intelligence” bod, Gordon Corera [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Corera], whose grasp of geography seemed remarkably poor for someone with his special focus. For example, he thought, inter alia, that Azerbaidjan is in Central Asia…He did not seem to know much else, either;
- Assorted “antifa” idiots and/or Jews complaining that Nick Ferrari on LBC actually let a British woman, opposed to mass immigration and the “BLM” nonsense, speak for a minute.
Late tweets seen